While My Parents Were Dying, I Was Living On Her TV Serial

It was during 1995 when Ravi Rai—the man who revolutionized Indian television—launched Sailaab on Zee TV. This television serial took away hearts of millions of youth; including me. I was just 15 then, fresh in college and the zephyr—sorry, but I just got to know about this word and can’t resist using it—touched me too.

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The almost first love and this television serial was the rage of my life back then. That television serial had been my all-time favorite till I saw this television serial named Jackson Heights; in 2015. By this time, I was 35 and had made a false conclusion that there can’t be any other better story-teller than Ravi; especially on television and there can’t be any other serial better than Sailaab.

But I was proved wrong, and I am glad I was.

The person or the television serial that proved me wrong needs no introduction. In fact, I maybe the last one talking about it.

I am such a fool.

The director of the television serial Jackson Heights needs no introduction from a drugged mushroom like me. One can find 10^63 articles on her; on the internet. Her glory and appreciation is all over the internet. She or her work doesn’t need any introduction. Then, why am I writing this blog post?

Good question.

The answer is simple. I am writing this blog post because you’ll not find my perspective in those articles. This is my blog and you’ll find my reflection about her because Mehreen Jabbar has left a deep impact in my life.

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And believe me this blog post isn’t about glorifying her work or something like that. That the whole world is talking but this blog post is something personal and goes beyond glorification.

I have seen some of her films and other television serials—and strongly suggest you to do so. She has a magic in her that others don’t; in my opinion. She chooses the right characters for the right story and puts in the tight moments that take your breath away.

You might also miss a heartbeat or two while watching some of her television serials. I promise.

It was 2015. Both my parents were in hospital and both were taking their last breaths; while waiting for death to arrive. Like a good soon, I was around 24 X 7 but like a regular human—helpless. There was nothing much that could have been done so my task was just to hang around. This is the time that I had to pass a lot of time and my friend Sonal suggested me to watch Jackson Heights on internet.

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Immediately, I watched the first episode she sent me and I was hooked up after watching it. The story and the characters were so real and so relevant. Each character was designed so beautifully with his or her private traps. I have become a lifetime fan of the taxi-driver played by Noman Ijaz.

I used to watch few episodes everyday along with my wife. It was the only thing that gave us solace I this hour of examination and turmoil.

This television serial—along with my dying parents—had become my life. It became an integral part of my life. So much that, the end time of both the parallels were almost same. Both, the television serial and my parents came to an end together.

Such is life.

This is the power of a beautiful creation; it becomes your life. You can’t tell that it is in you or you are in it.

But whatever happened, had to happen. It’s all for the best.

Not that all the credit can be given to the director alone, because it’s huge team effort but the director, as a thread, hold all the pearls together. Also, not that Sailaab is not my favorite anymore but Jackson Heights has also taken that top place.

There’s no point comparing because both of them are different and same in many ways. But, Mehreen has certainly made a special place in my heart.

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Some people are born once in an aoen; only once. Mehreen is one of them. I feel same for other people from different fields. Although, we all are unique but blessed are the ones who you feel to meet once before you die.

These are the people who are legends!

My mother had this feeling for Bollywood star of the millennium and I made her dream come true before she could leave her body.

I wish I can meet her once and take her autograph in my autograph book. Sorry, I am one of those ancient types but I have autographs of many whom I have admired; a lot of them.

Another aspect of Mehreen is that her work has bought two countries together. We had been watching Pakistani dramas before but her television serials bought a revolution in common households. Suddenly, everyone is talking about Pakistani television now-a-days. Maybe there’s not much love for cross-border relations but there are names of television serials on everyone’s tongue; and some of them are directed by her.

Isn’t this magic?

I think it’s pure magic that something beautiful is being created that wasn’t possible  by the governments—of both countries—in more than seven decades.

The canvas of love and indifference is changing.

I believe that the renaissance of peace is around the corner; especially with creators, thinkers and artist like Mehreen—I see a lot of hope, compassion and loving-kindness.

Godspeed.

 

It’s Tough To Restart Life At 38 But It’s Possible

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It surely is. But not impossible. If a dumb-f***ing-bugger like me can, you can, everyone in this world can.

All it needs is a little madness, little fortune, little planning, little determination, little guts and an understanding soulmate.

My 4-year long sabbatical taught me good lessons. it taught me to open my eyes, heart and mind and look at the world in a different way. It made me more kind, more loving, more compassionate and more grateful.

In a nutshell, it made me simpler.

I realized that I don’t need much—in material and spiritual sense—to be truly happy in life. It’s just the little and basic stuff that matters to me.

But I wasn’t like this always.

Life in early 20s was demanding and of an extremely exploring nature. I got a dream job in a dream organization. I was doing good, got a series of promotions, reserved a six figure monthly income and everyone loved me. And this was big in beginning years of the 21st century.

This made me mad.

I think I couldn’t handle too much money at this early days. The amount wasn’t exorbitant was it was too much for young boy like me who came from a humble socio-economical background.

I remember spending most of the money in dance bars, team get-together parties and solo traveling. Money spent in dance bars and team get-together parties were more of satisfying the false ego and pride whereas solo traveling was to satisfy the soul.

The tips given were huge. Every day some thousands of Indian rupees were spent to dancers and waiters. I also remember making rings of rupees 100 currency note and putting it on the fingers of some dancers I liked.

Once, we went in a small group into a dance bar in Mumbai and we spent 100,000 Indian rupees in just 5 minutes just because it was my favorite dancer was dancing on my favorite film song.

Cut to.

I was saving rupee 10 when I was on this sabbatical as there was no income from any sources; other than my little savings. This continued for 4 years till the completion of the sabbatical in 2016.

In 2016, all my savings got depleted and I decided to restart my life commercially. I had acquired many talent and crafts in this period and I wanted to use them to rebuild something new.

My wife—my soulmate—supported me like a strong fortress.

I feel astonished by looking myself now-a-days. It was me who used to spend huge amounts of money as tips then and now, I spend only as per requirement. Neither I miss the old days nor I repent these new ones.

I have understood the worth of money in these 4 years. I have understood how to romance with it rather than just sleeping with for a night.

Restarting my life has been a really good experience for me. I am unlearning old things and learning new things; really enjoying the new life.

Let’s see what does it has in store for me!

Life Of A Happiness Coach And Emotional Wellness Volunteer

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In this blog post I want to share about the life of a happiness coach and emotional wellness volunteer.

It seems fun. In fact, it is—it’s the way how you define fun.

I became one few years ago due to the deep interest and requirement of the subject. Most of us are unhappy and have multiple emotional blocks. There is no one to hear. As a happiness coach I talk about ways to get true and everlasting happiness in life and as an emotional wellness volunteer the main tasks is to listen—without judgement and assumption.

Listening is an art and craft. It’s an act of love.

Although, I have done many academic and spiritual courses from reputed educational venues across globe, but the real experience comes on the field. It’s with families, corporate teams, individuals but tough in hospitals and hospices.

The experience with people who are facing terminal illness is the toughest ones; especially children and their families.

I have visited several hospices and hospitals and offered my selfless service but this case is a special one. I am treating her emotionally—that’s all we can do as of now. She’s facing stage 4 of cancer and nobody knows how much time he has.

In last few visits, I have spoken much about keeping patient and calm in the time of distress. Previous visits were more about talking and offer solace; that often vanishes soon. But the results were good enough.

She was ready to die; peacefully.

Yesterday’s visit was a different one. We took it into another level. This visit was more of going to the basics. It was about the virtues that hold us together and we let it go, it all breaks down—emotionally and physically. It was about forgiveness, gratitude, kindness and compassion.

She has many emotional blocks that were never treated. While the medical practitioner is doing their best, I am trying to design a prototype based on emotional wellness. I am not a magician, doctor or angel, I am just a simple human who can offer love and support.

Yesterday’s visit was all about transcendental knowledge. She has belied in spirituals philosophy and I am fortunate—and blessed—to have quite a few books on the topic. I understand this philosophy really well and apply it in my life.

In this visit, I have told her to prepare a bucket list, a balance sheet of life and a goodness chart. The emotional blocks need to leave her. The therapy is coming out good.

She’s ready to live; peacefully.

 

This Is What I Like The Most

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I am not interested small talk. I want to talk about atoms, death, aliens, sex, magic, intellect, pain, the meaning of life, happiness, why are we here, where are we going, faraway galaxies, technology, the lies you have told, your deep secrets, my failures, love affairs, childhood, stories, your hopes and dreams, insecurities, fear, the devil inside you, how can we make this world a better place etc.

I like people with depth; people who speak with emotions from a twisted and weirdly intoxicated mind.

I don’t want to know what’s up!

 

Revisiting Childhood Memories: Mani’s Lunch Home

I have also love South Indian cuisine since childhood and although, there are a thousand places to eat in Mumbai, Mani’s Lunch Home still is my favorite place to go.

When I was in school, father used to take me here once every month. I used to love eating at this place.

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The best part is that the food is still the same—delicious and the price id also affordable. I wonder how the owner can offer such prices in this times of acute inflation all across the world.

Nevertheless, it’s a place to go and eat authentic South Indian cuisine if you’re in my city; Mumbai.

Revisiting Childhood Memories: Juhu Beach

This is one place all the citizens of Mumbai have been; since childhood. It’s the famous Juhu Beach and it’s beautiful.

I have been going here since my childhood. My parents used to take me this place almost every Sunday.

What a time it was!

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Today, I lived the past glory. I visited there again; after many years. The fragrance of the sea was the same. The food was delicious as last time.

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The only thing that has changed is the cleanliness factor. It’s become quite dirty as compared to what it was in my childhood.

But that was like 30 years ago!

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I took the auto-rickshaw as we did many years ago. It’s fun to travel like this. I love the madness of the auto-rickshaw drivers, their stubbornness, their drama and their NOs.

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I ate the authentic street-foods of Mumbai.  I started from Pav Bhaji, then went to eat Pani Puri and completed my food orgasm with the most delicious and colorful of all—Gola.

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I have promised to go there every month now. It’s so much fun there. I love walking near the sea, listening to the waves and watching the sun becoming red and suddenly disappearing into oblivion.

If you’re in India and visiting my city Mumbai, please connect with me to take a quiet stroll at this nostalgic beach.

 

Life Has Been Generous, Too Generous

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Recently, I have been meeting a lot of friends and hearing their life stories. All of them have so much of inspiration and struggle in their life. There were challenges and all of that but my life has been quite easy.

My life isn’t full of challenges or struggles as such.

While so many of my friends were really struggling hard in their college days or post college days, I was enjoying life; drinking alcohol, hunting for women, traveling and mostly working day-and-night in various animation studios in Mumbai.

Life in an animation studio is not really tough. It’s like a golden cage.

There are dim golden lights and colorful toys all around. There is no organizational politics or cut-throat competition as such.

Moreover, I was enjoying the film projects, my large team, inter-country interaction, popularity, super-computer, no-dress code, long hours of work, all types of loans on my head six figure salary with unlimited perks and all the fun in and around the creative life.

I heard some stories of friends who became parents some years post college and were having such a challenging time building home and managing parenthood, while I was doing nothing much other than just chilling out with my film projects.

All I did was enjoy in college life, and did the same in professional life. I always was able to do as per my command; including my 4-year long sabbatical. I don’t know how many get this opportunity in life but I was the lucky or chosen one.

Life is fun and I am trying to keep it that way.

Today also, my friends see victory over so many of their challenges and struggles; they have big homes, fast cars, huge bank balance, extra property, children, foreign travels and I am doing nothing much other than just chilling out with my small home, no loan, no car, no children, no extra property, no foreign travels.

I still don’t have an inspiring story.

In all, life has been really easy for me as I never had serious struggle or challenges in life or maybe it’s the way I look at it.