4 years and learning…

I remember all the discussion on the story I had posted last year. It was a true, from the heart account of what brought me to Mumbai and how the first three years had been. If they could be seen as prep school, the fourth year was definitely an exam. Mumbai finally showed me the true colours of survival.

The year was peppered with highs and ‘not so highs’. I travelled to distant lands and found versions of myself there. Some that needed an upgrade, some that seemed to be far ahead of me, so I had a lot of catching up to do.  Many milestones marked the previous 365 days, which I am forever thankful for. I met some nice people, some of who moved away. I reconnected with some old friends. In the last year time and tide had indeed changed a lot.

I learned that you don’t choose this city (or the wand, for that matter). Mumbai chooses you. And it’s not some whim that brings you here either. You only come here when you are ready for an adventure. To have your rough edges polished. To see your faults, stare them in the face and say, “You, Again?” Only when your vibration matches that of the city, can you survive here. And to tune to that vibration takes time, patience and faith. Then the city yields its rewards.

I often face the question, “So you still like Mumbai?” Hell, I LOVE MUMBAI. It has given me life experiences which I couldn’t have had anywhere else. I have family and friends who have contributed greatly to my evolution. Observing life through every experience, corner, stranger, imperfection, has enriched me. And, that fuels my imagination, and my own will to live, to better myself, to try and be better for others.

The rain washes away the city and also any obstructions on my think tank. I have been reading various areas of interest, writing with a renewed vigour and the ‘expression quotient’ has been at its highest so far. Lots of movement on that front will be communicated soon.

Here’s to starting the fifth year in this city that embraces everyone. Don’t ask me how long I will be here, I don’t know. To quote ‘The fault in our stars’, I have experienced an infinity here, and “Some infinities are bigger than others”.




Read the movie, watch the book

The second oldest debate in the modern world, (you decide the first); what was better, the movie or the book. Many times, we watch the movie and then head to the book, which is usually a far richer experience. Other times, we read the book and are sad so many plot points were left out in the film(s) (Harry Potter fans will know the feeling). Sometimes the film is as good as the book (The Namesake) and other times, the film is the living, breathing, personification of the book (The Fault in our stars). I am sure some will disagree, but for me it seemed like the soul left the pages and enchanted us from the screen in the cinema. We had out-worldly, static-disconnected experiences alongside the pain, love and everything in between suffered by Gus, Hazel and their loved ones. Bravo John Green (writer), Josh Boone (Director), Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (screenplay). The stars were perfectly aligned when you worked your magic!

The fault in our stars (2014)

Once in a while a movie comes along that touches you, awakens you, moves you, inspires you, resurrects a part of you that you thought was dead, so to say.

“Depression isn’t a side effect of cancer, it’s a side effect of dying.”

“The world isn’t a wish granting factory.”

Many such pearls of ‘infinite’ wisdom take you into an ‘oblivion’ of emotion. When a film transports you on to the very streets, skies, rivers and roads it shows, with thoughts of the depth, divinity and tragedy of love, you know it has worked on ALL levels. The love in question is not just between two people, but between parents and children, between friends, and the way it is captured is authentically real.

Two cancer ridden teens fall in love and traverse countries and each others hearts. I wanted to remember every detail, because I dreaded their fate. I wanted to live their lives even more fully, because it was going to pass them by, just like all of ours are. Their dislikes were mine and I celebrated their moments, playing a quiet witness to their fragile yet indefatigable existence.

The lead pair Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (of ‘Divergent’ fame) bring alive a morbid chemistry which is tinged with regret and a fighting spirit. Eulogies and romantic moments, gestures and wishes unfulfilled, they are every bit the brave sufferers we adore. Their best friend, Nat Wolff is candid, their parents are strong, the scenario is bleak but love somehow still blossoms and perseveres.

Young director Josh Boone has handled a complex story brilliantly. Based on the best selling book by John Green, it just added one more reader to its millions.