MAMI 2017

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MAMI was so much fun this year. Especially now that I know how to get movie recommendations, which venues to visit, how to book the movies, spend less time in queues and more time inside theatres.

How MAMI is unique from watching movies in a theatre on a regular day:

  • You are watching the best of the best. These are movies which haven’t released in theatres and are only doing the festival rounds. Many of them may never get a theatre release. These are diverse movies about topics you haven’t even heard or thought about.
  • Movies start on time. Even at PVR. I swear. Who thought that was possible in India? I have watched atleast 20 movies at the fest by now and except for the opening film, ALL of them start exactly on time.
  • I had to stand for the National Anthem 14 times in 4 days. Torture. It makes me want to pick a fight with every troll on Twitter who considers playing of National Anthem in the theatres a sign of patriotism.
  • No intervals. Holding your pee or thirst or hunger till the movie is over is not unusual. Nobody walks out of a good movie to pee.
  • People clap at the end of a good movie. Maybe the director is watching along with us. Maybe he/she isn’t. Doesn’t matter. It is our duty to express our appreciation.
  • There wasn’t one movie where someone’s cellphone rang. Basic etiquette is followed here.
  • There is no time for food. Sustaining on popcorn is the norm. PVR launches a smaller popcorn pack for Rs 70 so students can afford them. On the last day I wanted to have a quick lunch at Kailash Parbat which is across the road from PVR but there was no time. I was running from one movie to the next.
  • Talking to strangers and exchanging notes on the movies watched till now is the common topic of conversation. I didn’t do too much of this because I had booked movies in advance and didn’t spend too much time in queues.
  • 8 am is a crucial time when the bookings for the next day open. Some movies get booked out in 1 min (mother!) so it’s important to be on the bookshow site by 7.55 am. I rescheduled by gym/run around that time.
  • Stalking people on Twitter to check who watched what is considered research.
  • I watched movies at all theatres in Mumbai – Regal, Andheri, Juhu, Kurla, Lower Parel. Thane was too out of the way for me, of course.
  • I would reach home at midnight every night and then wake up at 6 am for a workout. I hardly slept for 4 days but it was worth it.

It is a different experience to watch movies with movie buffs. Regular movies seem so boring and mediocre now.

I am not over MAMI yet and watching the movies screened in 2016. You can check them out on my other blog. Link at the top.


Work… Life… Balance

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The other day I was speaking to someone and we were debating over being passionate about work. The answer would be simple if we were in a creative field where we get to create something original. But as corporate slaves, I don’t understand the concept of being attached to what you do.

My friend said that he really enjoys what he does, it is constantly on his mind and he would never hire someone who couldn’t work with his head, heart and soul. I almost laughed. The self importance we attach to our trivial jobs is hilarious. I told him maybe he doesn’t have anything better in his life to compare to his work. Can the books I read or movies or plays I watch or the treks I go on or my fitness journey ever compare to my job. Nope. Never. Ever. Because other things in my life are so interesting that work can never compare to it.

Also, you can’t make decisions correctly if feelings are attached to them. What if you have to let someone go? You have to listen to your head exclusively. There is no space for the heart or the soul. They should be left at the door of your workplace. Involving your heart means you can never detach from work. That is dangerous.

Yesterday a popular handle on Twitter asked for advice on joining her first job. Most people advised her to leave work at work and maintain a work life balance. So many people tell me that work life balance is not in their hands. That is absolute crap. I know people in the highest positions who end work on time. You aren’t saving the world. If you can’t sell your bullshit in 8-9 working hours, something is terribly wrong in your life. We are just tiny specks on this planet and nobody cares. It is as simple as that.

While we are on the topic, can people please stop talking about their work? It is the least interesting thing about a person. Why would I care about your career or how much you earn or what you do for a living? You are a whore like everyone else and we are just selling inconsequential stuff nobody gives a shit about.

 


Not to dos…

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Basis the responses received on social media, here is a list of things not to say when someone you know tells you they were raped.

  1. Ask yourself, “Is my reaction and response basis what I have read in books and seen in movies/Tv shows or do I know other women/men in similar situations?” If it is the latter, you probably don’t need to read further. If it is the former, read this post and take tips.
  2. Have they confided in you in person? Then understanding, empathy and sympathy is expected. If it has been shared on social media, neither of the above is expected. Victims only talk about it when they have dealt with the trauma or the lack of one.
  3. Getting raped isn’t ‘brave’. Is it brave if there is theft in my home and I have talked about it? It’s an unfortunate incident that happened and I dealt with in the way I thought feasible.
  4. Rape does not change you as a person. It doesn’t define who you are or what views you hold. It doesn’t have to be this significant event that you can’t move on from. It depends on how brutal it was.
  5. Please don’t say “it happens to a lot of women. It isn’t a big deal”. These are actual words typed by someone on fb chat. Someone who comes across as aware and posts about current affairs.
  6. Don’t use rape as part of a casual conversation. An acquaintance (someone I met through Twitter) casually mentioned a friend and went on to say “R is a friend. She was raped and stuff. It was very sad”. No, doofus. She confided in you. Don’t talk about it to a random stranger. Needless to add, I avoided all contact with him after that meeting.
  7. Talking or writing about it does not always helps in healing. I haven’t come across one person who had the right thing to say about it. And I could write about it only once I had dealt with it. Even then, it took me days to recover. Now it’s like a distant dream and I don’t remember a thing. Which is why the post was shared on social media today. I wrote the post 3 years back.
  8. Parents didn’t believe it. Well, if people of my generation have said all the wrong things, how can I expect my parents to have the correct response? It’s easier to deal with if you refuse to believe it. How are they going to deal with the guilt of their daughter getting raped under their watch and by someone they trusted?
  9. I am not a feminist or vocal about women’s issues because I was raped. I have always been more aware than most women around me. Repression of women does not anger me because I was raped. It’s because am sensitive to these issues. And if you don’t react or care, you are the odd one. Not me.
  10. No. It isn’t possible to file a complaint against the rapist. I don’t want to confront him because am not there yet. Right now I can’t even remember his name or his face and that is the most ideal situation. Last time I heard his name was 3 years back and my reaction was extreme. I don’t want anything to affect me like that again.

If you are still confused about how to react, don’t react at all.

According to statistics, 50% of Indian kids (male and female) have been sexually abused. If they are not talking about it, it’s because of inappropriate responses of people around them.

Thanks for the comments on social media. I know my response to the comments was harsh but I do appreciate the intent.

For any queries, you can contact me on social media.

Good night.


Insomnia… Stress… and why blogging is a dying art

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It is 6 am and I should either be sleep or on my way for a run. I twisted and turned till midnight, checked and rechecked IG and Twitter till the refresh button didn’t update any new posts and was horrified to find I had run out of Forest Essentials tranquil sleep. I haven’t needed to use it since I moved into a shared flat. I didn’t need someone to share my bed to be able to sleep well, I just needed the comfort of other humans in the vicinity.

It has been a stressful week and I don’t let stress seep into my life post 7 pm. But everyday has been a fight these last few days and I haven’t been able to avoid it. Maybe it is because I had a bad run on Sunday and haven’t been able to venture into the gym since then. Maybe because I am tired of people around me getting bullied. Maybe because the culture at my workplace is shit and I need to speak up. Or maybe because the cowardice of some people is extremely sad to deal with. I don’t know who I want to be but I definitely know who I don’t want to be.

But enough about me. Why has blogging been so slow? This is the first time in years am finding it hard to update the blog regularly.

  • Every thought I have is out there on social media (Twitter/IG/Facebook) within minutes of thinking it
  • Blogging can’t be instantaneous like social media. One reason is because it is difficult to blog from a phone or even from an Ipad. I brought the Mac from Gurgaon so I could blog
  • The apps of sites like wordpress and blogger are shitty. Do you know how difficult it is to even upload photos from them? Who is going to open a laptop everytime they need to blog?
  • I deliberately keep myself busy throughout the day and with so many activities, blogging has taken a back seat. Also, where is the need to express a thought or reflect on the day’s events when am doing that on Twitter or Instagram
  • There are so many people I follow on social media who I discovered through their blogs. Personal blogging is now a very lonely activity since everyone else seems to have stopped.

What do you think?