Standing in the way of control

Today’s horoscope tells me

“You might just blow your fuse today. Anger will melt all sense & sensibilities. But, if logic does prevail eventually, things may just improve as the day passes. It is high time you awakened your softer side.”

 

I’m doing this for you
Because it’s easier to lose
And it’s hard to face the truth
When you think you’re dying
It’s part not giving in
Part trusting your friends
You do it all again but you don’t stop trying

Standing in the way of control
We live our lives
Because of standing in the way of control
We will live our lives

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Why don’t you smoke?

I’ve come across this question quite a few times, and frankly, the reason is, its purely out of choice. In return, I always come up with, “Why do you smoke ?” And generally, nobody has a clue, as they give me a puzzled, all confident smile.

The reason I’m jumping my ass into this ever controversial tobacco battle tonight is something I witnessed about an hour back. I was inside this grocery store, buying some random stuff, and amongst the small crowd, there was this really cute little girl not more than 6 or 7, buying herself an ice cream. Seemingly her parents had sent her to the shop, just outside the apartments’ gates, to pick her favorite ice cream. I was looking through the rack for the stuff I had come for, while noticing how cute the entire thing seemed as she kept contemplating between the flavors. Just as she finally decided on the dessert she wanted, she went to the counter, and muttered, ” I want this ice cream, and 2 cigarettes “. I was aghast, shocked with complete disbelief. What did this little ice cream girl have to do with cigarettes? The shopkeeper, almost matter-of -factly, handed her the 2 smokes, and she happily exited out.  Just as she was leaving, I asked her, almost calling out, “Aapko cigarette kyu chahiye ?” (Why do you want these cigarettes? ), and in unison with the shopkeeper, she replied, her dad wanted them ! It was just plain, disgusting parenting, and I didn’t know what this kids parents were upto.

But, what happened tonight is obviously not the reason I don’t take to smoking, the reason I don’t is that I have a choice. I have the choice to avoid one of the ways to fall to something as fatal as cancer; I have a choice to keep my lungs clean, be able to maintain good stamina, to keep healthy, and to not slowly, voluntarily kill myself. I have seen and read about innocent people, little kids who’ve had to face life-threatening, and often fatal diseases, for no real faults of their own. Kids, who were born to HIV; people who faced cancer just out of sheer bad luck, whose bodies were messed up from the inside, and they didn’t have a clue about where it came from. I know, just as much as anyone that I could face it tomorrow. But I have this choice today, right now, in this moment, to make it less probable. I have a choice to a healthy life, and I know I’m not the cleanest one around, nor for a moment am I implying, that I don’t have habits that I don’t regret, but this is something, that never caught up to me, and so I plan to keep it that way.

As for that little girl, I really can’t come up with words to express how pathetic I feel about her parents. Your parents are the ones you look up to, especially, more so as kids. They are your role models, the ones you brag about, the ones you protect, the ones you defend, the one who defend you, but parents like hers, are shameless, and to say the least, not worthy for any child to look up to. I am just a young guy myself, but that right there, is something I would never be proud of, as and whenever I become a parent. And, to think that her father send her out at 10 in the night, to buy cigarettes, with the lure of an ice cream, just disgusts me to the core. Think about it, I don’t imply you were to ever do this, but unless you were to quit, you’d never know when it drove you to this !

Yeh Saali Zindagi

YSZ is not really refreshing, its not something we haven’t already been coming across with all the smart Indian flicks these days, but where it does captivate you is its strong dialog, the inter-twined fates of its characters, and some really brave character acting. And to that you can add a little bit of Irrfan Khan!

Irrfan Khan & Chitrangda Singh

The story is about 2 Delhi goons, Arun (Irrfan, who is more of a corporate thug cum gangster) and Kuldeep (Arunoday Singh, your perfect Purani-Dilli gang member), who are desperately both in love, or rather trying to win their love back, and at the same time, entangled with their dirty money jobs. Their love interests are played by Chitrangda Singh (Priti, who waits for Arun to propose, and waiting too long, starts dating another guy) and Aditi Rao ( Kuldeep’s wife, who’s irritated by his dirty work, but extremely passionate about him ). The story keeps flirting between undertones ofobsession, crime, extortion, cheating and gang brawls, all of the while, with some really witty humor sprinkled all over by some of the best raw dialog of recent times.

While the genre is a familiar one, director Sudhir Mishra’s treatment is refreshingly zany. In place of gloss and gimmicks, he goes for the brash brutalities of love and lost love with layers of inter-twined protagonists with dedicated precision and subtext. But, the real deal-clincher is the very real-world ( full of everyday abuse ) dialog, arguably better than the likes of Kaminey ( although I don’t remember watching that movie ), and full of stimulating wit, which keeps you hungry for its next bit all the time. The background score  is well in sync with the storyline, with some really hilarious/sensuous themes packed along with the fast paced Dilli music.

It is a fast-paced black comedy, that made the multiplex audiences go hooting last night, so it has to be worth the dime, and a little more. Irrfan Khan is once again, back to his best, and Chitrangda Singh really keeps catching the eye. This would probably be my first Bollywood review, so I guess watch it for that !

Rating – 8/10

Little Seeping Thoughts

Sometimes you drift into things you’ve wanted to avoid for a long, long time. You want to just find out a little bit more, go that little bit further, when your mind says to stop, but you really can’t stop. You know it’ll burn you eventually, but its just sweet enough to take the burns. They’re thoughts that just keep seeping through your system, slowly, relentlessly.

You had vowed to never take that road again, and you can already see the futility it is leading to, and you start expecting things you know won’t surface. And you wait, and you wait.

And you get the same outcomes. Instead, Peace out, don’t wait, burn the bridges behind you, and if you had burned them already, don’t try to create them again.

Vegan

( OK, I’ve been told that vegan is an extreme form of vegetarianism; no milk,yogurt et al; by a few of you. So, thanks for that. Won’t be changing the title here though )

I decided to go vegan for a month, this Monday evening. Its been 4 days of February now, and its not been all that bad.

Why? What does it bring to the plate? For starters, haven’t been feeling good about myself for quite sometime now. Its been a lots of things, but I figured I needed to take a stand on something, to apply method, to turn the corner probably. So with that, and also probably because I felt I had been consuming too much of the meat these past 6 months, I decided to stop.

Vegetarianism as a habit comes to us naturally; yes as humans we’ve always been omnivorous, but the measures our civilizations have gone to, to sow, to wait patiently over the crops, to cultivate, to select and to relish the harvest go a long way in explaining our primal interest in the green diet. It is complete, brings in a lot of variety to the plate, and is above all very healthy. The oft laid criticism is its supposed lacking in the rich protein content, esp. vis-a-vis the muscle build department, where the non-vegetarian alternatives are said to be leaps and bounds ahead. I believe its about selecting your vegetarian diet wisely; indulging in large helpings of legumes, beans, yogurt, and off course-milk. And then again, vegetables are the best supplies of all essential vitamins and minerals, which go a long way in keeping healthy; and all carbohydrates are essentially grains. Lots of energy and well-being there !

Personally, for me, this is just a break from gobbling down on too much meat, at every excuse for a meal. I plan to go back to the more suited 3 non-vegetarian meals a week plan after the month. Do you ever consider your eating patterns? Sometimes, its very enlightening ( not The Enlightenment, NO ) into your general external self. For instance, if you’re a chronic skipper, chances are, you’re either always too hurried, or too high ! If you’re always pushing bytes down your stomach, or looking for something to eat whenever your hands are free, you could be really anxious, the can’t-stay-idle kinds. Look into yourself, your food habits mirror you.

Bon Appetit !