On love : The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Just came across this beautiful piece of writing in this wonderful wonderful book.


“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.

Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories



They say loving comes at a cost, you have to risk it all, bare your heart and soul and be vulnerable to another person, and trust that they see how beautiful you really are. And that they don’t break your heart.

I thought this is how love was supposed to be, only not really. And i too, got caught up in the give and take. This piece is called collision.

collision final.jpg


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child : Spoiler Free, I swear!

I gotto admit. I cried a little. Yesterday when i held the book in my hands and the proceeded to read it in the bus trip home, i cried a little. And laughed, and worried and loved and cared. I did all that just because I had a new Harry Potter book in my hands, after years of believing that we’d never have another Harry Potter book, ever again.

But before I discuss what I felt about the book, something very important. I began reading other reviews as usual, and i found quotes like,

But as a mere script, where everything besides dialogue is written as bland stage commands (“Albus is sleeping in a pew. Ginny is watching him carefully. Harry is looking out the opposite window”), it feels nothing like the detailed-filled paragraphs of the Rowling we love. It’s more like sneaking a peek at her unfinished notes or finding a fetching piece of fan fiction. The magic is stunted.


To be perfectly honest, it took me some time to adjust myself to the script. JK Rowling’s effortless flow of prose was missing and so was the imagery that goes with it. But as i proceeded in the book, what happened was, I was too engrossed in the plot to even think about those things. And the imagery, just was there. I could visualise it all.


And as intelligent as JK Rowling is, I think this, is what she counted on. The book, her fans and their level of acceptance to whatever format she would put out a Harry POtter story in. Also we have read the books so many times over the over the years, when in the script she says, “Album lay in Ginny’s arms, Harry looked at Ginny.” I think we can all visualise the exact location where they sat, the exact look that passed and all the emotions that were felt.

So this comparing the script to the books review, I majorly disagree with. Do not underestimate the fandom’s ability to connect with JK Rowling’s words. 

“The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.”


This is where we left the last Harry Potter book. But all is not well in this new world.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

The Cursed Child is less about actually rewriting the past and more about how that past affects the future. It examines the bond of father and son, and what makes that bond more than perfunctory. What kind of expectations did Harry saddle poor Albus Severus Potter with by giving him those three names?

It would be impossible to come up with a villain as cruel, malevolent, and outright fascinating as Lord Voldemort for the Cursed Child heroes to battle, so it’s almost poetic that Albus’s biggest enemy instead is his father. Thorne’s Harry Potter, all grown up, features prominently in the play, and the tension between him and his son is one of the most frustrating plot points, born out of dramatic necessity and riddled with cliché and angsty platitudes.

“I didn’t choose, you know that?” Albus glowers in one scene. “I didn’t choose to be his son.” Later, Harry echoes the sentiment, saying, “Well, there are times I wish you weren’t …” Although he immediately apologizes, why he feels this way is never really made clear; readers are left to intuit simply that the relationship is a troubled one.

The best parts are seeing friendships and alliances reconfigure in a new generation. Seeing how these children, Albus and Scorpious, James, Rose and even Lily are both like their parents and also not. They have these distinct characters which are fascinating, and the relationship between Albus and Scorpius is the highlight of the book. JK Rowling’s portrayal of friendship and understanding of love is something truly unique and that shines through in the new book itself.

It really, is all about love. Harry’s love for Albus, Ginny’s care for both of them. Love, friendship, family, at the core of it all and all the misunderstandings and disfunctions that go along with all these wonderful emotions. If i have to explain the book in one line, that is what it will be.

There are moments of pure joy in the book, for us Harry Potter nerds. Hermione and Ron bickering, Harry and Ginny, and ofcourse the amazing amazing interchange between Harry and Draco. It really is beautiful to see how master a manipulator JK Rowling really is. How she has turned some characters right around and just how much depth of emotion has gone into actually doing it.

I wont discuss the plot here, just trust JK Rowling’s sheer genuis, because she deliveres in spades. Just go get the book, go back to the time you just closed the Deathly Hallows and begin reading the Cursed Child. I promise it is a thrilling ride and a beautiful story. So true to its heart.

Keep an eye out for Scorpious Malfoy though, he’s fantastic, so is Professor McGonagall.

One last thing though : There’s Snape in the book! Go figure! 


Let’s design social media that drives real change.. TED talks


0:12I once said, “If you want to liberate a society, all you need is the Internet.” I was wrong.

0:21I said those words back in 2011, when a Facebook page I anonymously created helped spark the Egyptian revolution. The Arab Spring revealed social media’s greatest potential, but it also exposed its greatest shortcomings. The same tool that united us to topple dictators eventually tore us apart. I would like to share my own experience in using social media for activism, and talk about some of the challenges I have personally faced and what we could do about them.

0:58In the early 2000s, Arabs were flooding the web. Thirsty for knowledge, for opportunities, for connecting with the rest of the people around the globe, we escaped our frustrating political realities and lived a virtual, alternative life. Just like many of them, I was completely apolitical until 2009. At the time, when I logged into social media, I started seeing more and more Egyptians aspiring for political change in the country. It felt like I was not alone.

1:39In June 2010, Internet changed my life forever. While browsing Facebook, I saw a photo, a terrifying photo, of a tortured, dead body of a young Egyptian guy. His name was Khaled Said. Khaled was a 29-year-old Alexandrian who was killed by police. I saw myself in his picture. I thought, “I could be Khaled.”

2:11I could not sleep that night, and I decided to do something. I anonymously created a Facebook page and called it “We are all Khaled Said.” In just three days, the page had over 100,000 people, fellow Egyptians who shared the same concern. Whatever was happening had to stop.

2:35I recruited my co-admin, AbdelRahman Mansour. We worked together for hours and hours. We were crowdsourcing ideas from the people. We were engaging them. We were calling collectively for actions,and sharing news that the regime did not want Egyptians to know. The page became the most followed page in the Arab world. It had more fans than established media organizations and even top celebrities.

3:05On January 14, 2011, Ben Ali fled out of Tunisia after mounting protests against his regime. I saw a spark of hope. Egyptians on social media were wondering, “If Tunisia did it, why can’t we?” I posted an event on Facebook and called it “A Revolution against Corruption, Injustice and Dictatorship.” I posed a question to the 300,000 users of the page at the time: “Today is the 14th of January. The 25th of January is Police Day. It’s a national holiday. If 100,000 of us take to the streets of Cairo, no one is going to stop us. I wonder if we could do it.”

3:53In just a few days, the invitation reached over a million people, and over 100,000 people confirmed attendance. Social media was crucial for this campaign. It helped a decentralized movement arise. It made people realize that they were not alone. And it made it impossible for the regime to stop it. At the time, they didn’t even understand it. And on January 25th, Egyptians flooded the streets of Cairo and other cities, calling for change, breaking the barrier of fear and announcing a new era.

4:32Then came the consequences. A few hours before the regime cut off the Internet and telecommunications, I was walking in a dark street in Cairo, around midnight. I had just tweeted, “Pray for Egypt. The government must be planning a massacre tomorrow.”

4:52I was hit hard on my head. I lost my balance and fell down, to find four armed men surrounding me. One covered my mouth and the others paralyzed me. I knew I was being kidnapped by state security.

5:09I found myself in a cell, handcuffed, blindfolded. I was terrified. So was my family, who started looking for me in hospitals, police stations and even morgues.

5:25After my disappearance, a few of my fellow colleagues who knew I was the admin of the page told the media about my connection with that page, and that I was likely arrested by state security. My colleagues at Google started a search campaign trying to find me, and the fellow protesters in the square demanded my release.

5:47After 11 days of complete darkness, I was set free. And three days later, Mubarak was forced to step down. It was the most inspiring and empowering moment of my life. It was a time of great hope.Egyptians lived a utopia for 18 days during the revolution. They all shared the belief that we could actually live together despite our differences, that Egypt after Mubarak would be for all.

6:18But unfortunately, the post-revolution events were like a punch in the gut. The euphoria faded, we failed to build consensus, and the political struggle led to intense polarization. Social media only amplified that state, by facilitating the spread of misinformation, rumors, echo chambers and hate speech. The environment was purely toxic. My online world became a battleground filled with trolls, lies, hate speech.I started to worry about the safety of my family. But of course, this wasn’t just about me. The polarization reached its peak between the two main powers — the army supporters and the Islamists. People in the center, like me, started feeling helpless. Both groups wanted you to side with them; you were either with them or against them. And on the 3rd of July 2013, the army ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president, after three days of popular protest that demanded his resignation.

7:33That day I made a very hard decision. I decided to go silent, completely silent. It was a moment of defeat.I stayed silent for more than two years, and I used the time to reflect on everything that happened, trying to understand why did it happen. It became clear to me that while it’s true that polarization is primarily driven by our human behavior, social media shapes this behavior and magnifies its impact. Say you want to say something that is not based on a fact, pick a fight or ignore someone that you don’t like. These are all natural human impulses, but because of technology, acting on these impulses is only one click away.

8:23In my view, there are five critical challenges facing today’s social media.

8:29First, we don’t know how to deal with rumors. Rumors that confirm people’s biases are now believed and spread among millions of people.

8:41Second, we create our own echo chambers. We tend to only communicate with people that we agree with, and thanks to social media, we can mute, un-follow and block everybody else.

8:57Third, online discussions quickly descend into angry mobs. All of us probably know that. It’s as if we forget that the people behind screens are actually real people and not just avatars.

9:12And fourth, it became really hard to change our opinions. Because of the speed and brevity of social media, we are forced to jump to conclusions and write sharp opinions in 140 characters about complex world affairs. And once we do that, it lives forever on the Internet, and we are less motivated to change these views, even when new evidence arises.

9:39Fifth — and in my point of view, this is the most critical — today, our social media experiences are designed in a way that favors broadcasting over engagements, posts over discussions, shallow comments over deep conversations. It’s as if we agreed that we are here to talk at each other instead of talking with each other.

10:04I witnessed how these critical challenges contributed to an already polarized Egyptian society, but this is not just about Egypt. Polarization is on the rise in the whole world. We need to work hard on figuring outhow technology could be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

10:26There’s a lot of debate today on how to combat online harassment and fight trolls. This is so important.No one could argue against that. But we need to also think about how to design social media experiences that promote civility and reward thoughtfulness. I know for a fact if I write a post that is more sensational, more one-sided, sometimes angry and aggressive, I get to have more people see that post. I will get more attention.

10:58But what if we put more focus on quality? What is more important: the total number of readers of a post you write, or who are the people who have impact that read what you write? Couldn’t we just give people more incentives to engage in conversations, rather than just broadcasting opinions all the time? Or reward people for reading and responding to views that they disagree with? And also, make it socially acceptable that we change our minds, or probably even reward that? What if we have a matrix that says how many people changed their minds, and that becomes part of our social media experience? If I could track how many people are changing their minds, I’d probably write more thoughtfully, trying to do that,rather than appealing to the people who already agree with me and “liking” because I just confirmed their biases.

11:54We also need to think about effective crowdsourcing mechanisms, to fact-check widely spread online information, and reward people who take part in that. In essence, we need to rethink today’s social media ecosystem and redesign its experiences to reward thoughtfulness, civility and mutual understanding.

12:16As a believer in the Internet, I teamed up with a few friends, started a new project, trying to find answers and explore possibilities. Our first product is a new media platform for conversations. We’re hosting conversations that promote mutual understanding and hopefully change minds. We don’t claim to have the answers, but we started experimenting with different discussions about very divisive issues, such as race, gun control, the refugee debate, relationship between Islam and terrorism. These are conversations that matter.

12:53Today, at least one out of three people on the planet have access to the Internet. But part of this Internet is being held captive by the less noble aspects of our human behavior.

13:09Five years ago, I said, “If you want to liberate society, all you need is the Internet.”

13:18Today, I believe if we want to liberate society, we first need to liberate the Internet.

13:26Thank you very much.



The Fountain : 10 years of ingenuity

Admit it, there are some movies that people, in general just don’t like. These movies are just too abstract, too out there, too ambitious too confused for them. While this might be true, the confusion might be real, this sheer genius is over looked by critics and people who just refuse to see beyond the normal.

Ten years ago today, A masterpiece was born. I was young, i was naive, and the movie so ahead of its time that understand it, was not something I could even try to do!

The fountain was one of those movies, it is still called Arronofsky’s weakest film to this day that remains a shame because I think this movie, was Aronofsky’s most emotional, complex, and rewarding film.


In a very short and not so confusing way, the plot of movie looks like this. The film consists of three story lines, in which Jackman and Weisz play different sets of characters who may or may not be the same two people: a modern-day scientist and his cancer-stricken wife, a conquistador and his queen, and a space traveler in the future who hallucinates his lost love. The story lines—interwoven with use of match cuts and recurring visual motifs—reflect the themes of love and mortality.


At heart, this is a simple Zen fable about love and death. In execution, it’s a complex and gorgeous mini-epic with sterling performances from its two stars. I think this movie was Hugh Jackman’s most beautiful performance where he just so expressive and emotional and real.

“It’s rare you see a man cry on film, especially a man cry over love. It’s a shame that type of sentimentality isn’t represented in film. I think it turns some people off. A lot of women told me they had never seen a man cry like that before and didn’t know how to handle it.” Arronofsky says.

He says it took him more than six years to finally make this movie, and this was particularly close to his heart, as close to a biopic as he would get. And the result was one of the most divisive films of all time. When it premiered at Cannes for press and critics, it was met with a choir of boos. Meanwhile, when it was premiered in that very same festival for regular audiences, it received a standing ovation from the crowd. When it finally released for the public in theaters, it bombed at the box office and received none other than a 50% consensus rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And now, 10 years have passed, it’s garnered something of a cult-following.

In reality, what these critics didn’t know was that this wasn’t a film about unlocking the secrets of life, death, and the meaning of the universe. Rather, The Fountain is a film about how we process death, and the existential crises that happen not within the vast reaches of the cosmos but within our very own subconscious.

The three story lines are told nonlinearly, each separated by five centuries. The three periods are interwoven with match cuts and recurring visual motifs; Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play the main characters for all three narratives.Even within a given narrative, the elements of that particular story are not told in chronological order.

Whether these stories are actual events, or symbolic, is not clarified; and, director Darren Aronofsky emphasized that the storylines in their time periods and their respective convergences were open to interpretation.The director has said of The Fountains intricacy and underlying message, “[The film is] very much like a Rubik’s Cube, where you can solve it in several different ways, but ultimately there’s only one solution at the end.”


And it is, it so is like a rubic’s cube. It has been years and everytime I watch the movie, I find something new. A hint of an emotion tucked in a scene, a dialogue, repeated throughout the three storylines, and the motifs : The triangle for the Spanish inquisition phase, Square for the contemporary phase and circle for the space ship phase, they were just genuis and shot so immaculately. There in, in those perfectly set up details is where Arronofsky’s true genius lies. The story builds up slowly but powerfully untill the characters start to evolove, and this sort of development makes sense considering this is a story about personal introspection, and ultimately, an existential crisis doesn’t mean squat if the character doesn’t evolve from it. The same can be applied to Aronofsky himself, who clearly has a deep connection to what’s on screen.

In a 2012 interview, Aronofsky stated that “ultimately the film is about coming to terms with your own death”.

The film’s central section is unalloyed realism, and generates the fantasy of the first and third.

Is all of this easy to arrive at? Perhaps not, but it all makes for a beautifully fulfilling story that only grows richer with time. Certainly Aronofsky could have given this understanding to us if he so wished. A simple scene of Tom 1 beginning to write the future tale would have answered all questions and removed any need for deeper study.

But it was genius to leave it out. Because without that scene the movie requires a focused study of the themes, characters, and events to arrive at a solution. Given the weight of what he took on, Aronofsky ensured that anyone struck by the beauty of the film would have to continue to mull over what it felt about love, death, loyalty, rebirth and our place in the universe.

Instead of giving us easy answers, Aronofsky gave us all an opportunity to explore that which is deepest and most sacred in ourselves and those we love. The fact that he happily risked the derision of critics put off by the films audacious scope, or simply too lazy to contemplate a work that was more challenging than typical RomCom fare, shows that among many other admirable qualities, Darren Aronofsky is a filmmaker with a clear vision and spunk in spades!

Check out the original commentary by Darren Arronofksy himself here!

As Roger Ebert so aptly put it “When a film telling three stories and spanning thousands of years has a running time of 96 minutes, scenes must have been cut out. There will someday be a Director’s Cut of this movie, and that’s the cut I want to see.”

Ps : Just like the movie, i had to edit ounces of fan girl things i wrote about this movie. Let me know if any one wants another part of this post!

Meanwhile, do listen to the spectacular soundtrack of this movie! I guarantee, it will transport you in an ethereal dimension!


fountain 5


Spoken word poetry: A new venture

Often when i was young, i tried writing poems,only the poetry i wrote felt different. I struggled to make words rhyme. In my head, I’d wonder, why should i look for a rhyming word whenthe perfect word to describe the emotion, is right there!

I got frustrated. Result: Stopped writing poetry.

But recently i was selected to perform at a spoken word poetry event. As skeptical as i was, i decided what the hell, and just went ahead with it. Imporove poetry, was so perfect, suddenly I realised all the struggle back when i was a kid, led me to this!

My word was Vellichor and there goes my first attempt at spoken word! More and better work to come sooooon!

Me Before You : Movie review

I think watching a movie based on a book is one of the toughest thing to do for a book lover. Everything we see, we want to be an exact replica of how we thought the plot should turn out to be.We compare and find these weird, small, big, even  stupid contrasts and start criticising the movie. Now that I say that, i guess it must be even more difficult for the directors to make a movie based on books, knowing they have such high hopes and possibly harsh criticisms, because lets face it, no book reader has ever been happy with the movie version of the book, unless its Requiem for a dream, of course.

I try to not be too harsh on book adaptations, but this book, was special. I read Me Before You long before I ever knew it was going to be a movie. Infact for the Indian readers, it will be interesting to know, the movie Guzarish, was a lose interpretation of Me Before You. Yes, now that I said it, I can see those wheels turning and comparisons happening. Anyway, coming back to the movie, Me Before You. My verdict. Good movie, but it could have been much better. A cliche book readers opinion, but i have my reasons.


When I finished reading the novel, I didn’t want to review it; I wanted to reread it. “Me Before You” is a love story and a family story, but above all it’s a story of the bravery and sustained effort needed to redirect the path of a life once it’s been pushed off course. Author Jojo Moyes provides an eye-opening look at what quadriplegics have to deal with on a daily basis, physically, emotionally, and socially. Also addressed is the issue of death with dignity. That said, the book has stirred controversy for offering what some consider a stereotypical portrayal of a disabled person who feels that life’s not worth living because he’s disabled.

The movie however, was a different experience altogether.

Emelia Clark in the movie, plays Louisa Clarke, a plain-Jane Louisa “Lou” Clark, from a rowdy, working-class British family. Lou becomes the caretaker for blue-blood quadriplegic Will Traynor, played with winning charm by Sam Claflin of The Hunger Games franchise. Will, played by our very own Sam Clafin, is an impossibly handsome London financier who was paralyzed two years ago when a motorcycle accident ended a lifestyle that he absolutely loved. He was a thrill seeker, an adventure junkie who is now in a wheel chair, with the knowledge that he will never walk again.

There are a lot of things that set the novel apart from other romance novels or even the likes of 50 shades grey. The character actually had so much depth, and there are descriptions and viewpoints from almost all major characters in the book about Will, his plan, his pain and their resulting pain. It was a beautiful thing to see, where one decision could affect so many people in so many ways. But most of all, the two major characters, were portrayed with so much care and minute details. Their backstories gave them more depth, more understanding, otherwise how do you justify killing yourself, and letting someone kill themselves in front of you?

While there are a few minor changes throughout the film — Will’s sister Georgina doesn’t appear; his father doesn’t have an affair — there is one big omission that stands out.

Louisa’s depth goes beyond that of a struggling middle-class hero. She may be light and airy and chipper, but there’s an unshakeable tinge of tragedy about her. She’s never really ventured beyond the small town she lives in. There are economic restraints, but it’s more than that. It’s a phobia, a fear of not playing it safe.

The flashback—one of many elements that sets Me Before You at the front of the romantic novel class—reveals why. Louisa was sexually assaulted by a group of men, and in an emotional moment in the novel, she returns to the scene of the assault with Will and explains her trauma. It’s this plot line, arguably over any other in the novel, that gives the most insight to Louisa as a character.The crux of the story was, until she confides the story to Will, she believes that it was her fault. The incident itself is upsetting, but so is the implication that she needs an excuse to dress quirkily, and that the excuse is her assault.


Will, has a difficult life. And the movie didn’t show any of that pain. Agony. Infact I saw more pain in the Julia Roberts movie Dying Young, than Me before you, while clearly Will was in a worse place. First time in this instant I would say GUzarish did a spectacular job of making you care and not only sympathize but empathize and understand the main character’s agony. The moment Ethan decided to die, we all wanted his pain to end, but for me, Me before you the movie, did nothing, I felt nothing. And that is a shame because the book, is intense. It is moving, it is painful and it is definitely not unfeeling.
It is the understanding of each other’s pain that brings these characters together, but the movie did not give you the opportunity to explore that.

As Variety magazine so elaborately put it,

These are deep, complicated issues the film wades into, and it quickly winds up out of its depth. Aside from its inelegant way of addressing the politics of euthanasia — with the con side represented by a character, never previously identified as religious, now prominently wearing a crucifix — “Me Before You’s” admirable presentation of a disabled person as a swoon-worthy romantic lead collides awkwardly with its implicit suggestion that perhaps such a life isn’t even worth living, and the undercurrents of wish-fulfillment leave a sour taste. The skittish delicacy with which it tiptoes around the realities of quadriplegia doesn’t help; 2014’s romance “The Fault in Our Stars” was far bolder and more honest about the painful details of living with serious medical difficulties, and that was a film aimed at teenagers.


Not one but two Ed Sheeran songs and some seriously milquetoast musical fare get audiences primed for the torrent of emotions to come, but for me, the songs just made the movie more cliche. They had an amazing cast, and an amazing story, but what the movie failed to do was convince you that going to Dignitas was the right thing for Will. It failed to make me feel like Will actually changed Lousia’s life, because in the movie, she had no back story, so what was she afraid of? it failed to make me cry or make me feel very deeply about anything other than the picturesque locations and the really good looking cast.

The book, was so much more than a love story. The movie however, is not. But given that the film’s catchphrase is “Live boldly!,” it’s a shame that “Me Before You” didn’t take a bolder and more honest route in its adaptation of the novel by Jojo Moyes. I would have loved to see it onscreen, the way it was in the book. Infact for Me before you enthusiasts, Id highly recommend watching the Hindi movie Guzarish. That will make you feel, loads.

Is New Always Better?

This post was originally published in the Verve Magazine on APRIL 17, 2016 by    Nisha Jhangiani. I found it an interesting read. Appealing and thought provoking.

Are we getting carried away with our innovations?


Snapchat — a mobile app that allows users to send and receive ‘self-destructing’ photos and videos. Photos and videos taken with the app are called ‘Snaps’.

It’s been so long since I’ve tried to wrap my head around the purpose of the above app that I’m sure something more au courant has already replaced it. But seriously, what is the point of these nanosecond videos that disappear in less than the time it takes to create a perfect smoky eye?

I’m all for the new, the fresh, the innovative, the up-to-the-minute trend. But are we getting complacent and lazy with our ideas or, at other times, simply screeching for attention? Underarm hair is signalling a return, Thailand is big on Hitler-mania fashion, meggings (male leggings) are the It thing and don’t even get me started on eye tattoos — all curious cats can google what this barf-inducing fad entails.

I have welcomed boyfriend blazers, skinny jeans, wedge sneakers, oversized bags and denim-on-denim separates with seamless ease into my bulging wardrobe even as I’m nowadays attempting a ‘groutfit’ — a head-to-toe grey look that can be rather chic but also terminally depressing.

‘Athleisure’, though, I’m wary of. Gym clothes outside of the gym don’t work well with my selection of handmade Eina Ahluwalia pendants or my blood-red Chloé Faye tote. At the most, I could suggest this exercise gear for a spring-cleaning spree of one’s closet and it could definitely be the outfit of choice whilst bathing one’s dog. Now if we’re talking athleisure as presented by Stella McCartney and Gucci, or closer home by Hemant and Nandita, Namrata Joshipura and Sanchita, I’m happy to get me one of those tennis dresses, pull on my dust-gathering Karl Lagerfeld wedge sneakers and head out to a music festival.

Individuality and newness of thought should be applauded; I prefer to add a caveat where some sense of aesthetic is factored in. Kareena Kapoor Khan’s recent outing in a Dev R Nil sari paired with a vintage Lacroix jacket and a chunky Amrapali silver neckpiece was such a refreshing statement. Gwen Stefani’s constantly updated hairdos make a bold and appealing impact every single time. And the latest Pirelli calendar featuring accomplished women in all shapes and sizes, painstakingly photographed by the equally gifted Annie Leibovitz, was just such a smashing idea accompanied by an uplifting message.

Let’s experiment with the unknown by all means. But if a French manicure spells indisputable elegance unlike a set of garishly printed, stick-on nails, then why opt for the latter at all. Fashion is so cyclical that nothing is intrinsically novel anymore; just recycled or reinvented. Why not choose wisely….


Picture Credits : https://trendmodadunyamiz.wordpress.com/2010/11/

If your love hurts, its not love..

This article was first published on elephantjournal.com

Leave if your love hurts you.Leave if it is always more pain than it is joy.Contrary to what they’ll tell you,Love does not make the world spin around.

You can want someone, baby.You can want them until you’re raw.That kind of longing can turn you into water after a live wire has been thrown into it.It can turn you into the hand holding that wire,
But that doesn’t mean it’s right.

It doesn’t mean you should stay.Don’t hang round just because you’re scared that you’ll never feel that kind of electricity again.

It’s not true, it never was.The thing is, you were made to be touched by hands,
Attached to a body that finds itself at rest when it’s with you.That finds itself quietly trembling when you’re together.
Those hands need to come with gentle words and an honest mouth.A mouth that says your name in a way that sounds like the very definition of “falling.”

So don’t take less than that.
Don’t take half of that.
Above all, if it hurts, go.

You’ll fall in love so many times that you’ll lose count and it’ll shake you.
Tiny vibrations like tectonic plates with every stranger who you looked into the eyes and made your body feel new.
Find a love that makes you feel new, and better.

Always like you’re moving and staying still at the exact same time.
Grow, expand, and if it hurts, leave.”
– Azra. T. “Lessons #2”
Love doesn’t hurt and if it does, it’s not love.Love doesn’t provoke that burning, throbbing reflux of anxiety from my gut to my throat. Love isn’t unstable or inconsistent. It’s not fiery or volatile. 

Love is not words void of action.
I thought it was all I deserved, this type of love. I thought I needed to labor at it, fight for it, explain it, claim it, chase after it and be dragged by it.

I was wrong.
I couldn’t see that what I was feeling was the opposite of love, it was desperation to be loved, because I have lived in fear of being alone. I have settled for less than what I want and need in my life.
Someone once said to me, “Boring is good, especially when it comes to love and relationships.”
Love is mundane, routine and familiar. Love is the cherishing of myself first and foremost and then, of another.
Love is not unbridled passion and grandiose gestures; that’s lust. Lust is intoxicating at first, but it will spin me around until I end up on the floor, completely disoriented and unable to function.
Just as fear is mistaken for love, so is lust. Lust distracts me from life. Love encourages me to live.Love is like the oak tree that’s been there for hundreds of years. I know it will always be there, even if the tree is chopped down; the roots will remain.
Love is the morning hug and kiss at home that I still feel standing in the produce aisle of the grocery store that night.
Love is love when there is no question of its existence and its loyalty. It was there, it is there, it will always be there. Just like the tree, it stands right where it is.
Love is not love if it is in constant movement; yes it can grow, blossom and sway, but it doesn’t stray.
The elation, the sweep off my feet feeling, that’s just temporary, like a gust of wind. Yet I chase it, I try to catch it and make it stay. It never will and I will end up on my knees gasping for breath because lust is elusive, it is and will remain, a mystery.
Love is stationary. Love is the look across the table when I tell a story about my day that is less than exciting and the eyes staring back are intent, listening to every word, captivated by my life, every piece of it and celebrates the details.
Love is the embrace of details, because every one of my thoughts, feelings and dreams, matter.
Love is not bloated with pedestals and infatuated with idealism. This will only last as long as I do, standing on one leg or a broken pillar. I will fall in the end and it will hurt, terribly.Love is the acceptance of each person as they are. Whole separately and whole together.

When love arrives I will never have to censor what I say or how I say it. Love does not utter the words, “You are too this or that.”Love doesn’t struggle, it doesn’t know how to, but fear does. Fear loves to misunderstand, misinterpret and fight for what it believes to be right. But love? Love doesn’t need to be right, instead it listens until it understands.
I mistake fear for love because I’ve gone numb.
But I don’t like feeling numb, so I grasp for what’s out there, or I feel the air on my skin and it wakes me up so I run after it; I want more of it. I try to catch it with my hands, my mouth agape trying to swallow it; make it a part of me. That’s when it happens, the addiction—I consume the delusion like a drug, because it helps me feel alive, like I was still the little girl who could twirl and twirl and not get dizzy.
Why didn’t I get dizzy?
Because I knew love then, I didn’t need anyone to spin me around—not the world, not a person.
Now? I’ve lost that love so he spins me and it’s not the same, but I convince myself it is; it has to be. Around and around I go, no longer me, but a blur of confusion.
I try to ignore the sick feeling rising, I want it to stop but I think, “This is it, I won’t ever feel this way again and I want it, I need it.”
That’s the drug of illusion, it’s almost too late. The abnormal has become normal, I’ve been drugged by the tornado of lust, addicted and out of control.The love that hurts is like heroin to my veins; it cripples me, weakens me, and will kill me eventually.
When I finally let go of his hand, I crashed to the floor, the whirl turned to stillness and I realized—that was never love.Love is the right kind of medicine. It coats me slowly, my spin turns to a twirl again. I feel safe in its remedy. I start to feel better, back to myself.
A bit bored? Yes, but there is peace in that. Serenity is love.
Healthy again, alive again, free to feel. I recognize that this feeling is lasting, never dizzying.
Love is not supposed to hurt. With this realization, I stand back up, dust off my hands and begin to twirl toward the tree.
It’s been there, is there and will always be there waiting for me, to love me when I was ready to love myself and let go.

– Rebecca Lammersen 

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