Sunday, October 29

a cat has 9 lifes, I have 8

The One has tagged me again. Almost out of habit this time.

This time its 8 things about me, he might as well have written it himself. But then it would read like - She got drunk, she got very drunk; she got a high again and danced like a maniac to Ganesh Chaturthi music….well she got drunk again….

Also blogging turns out to be self congratulatory most of the times, so here I go…..

I am truly patriotic – Every weekend when I go to a movie hall, I love to see the tricolor unfold on the 70 mm screen, it fills my chest with an extremely primitive pride, unrecognizable yet understandable, I love standing to the tricolor, paying my obeisance and singing Jana Gana Mana in a guttural voice. Global village be damned… I cried when I watched The Legend of Bhagat Singh, my hair stood on the edge when Devgan boy told an Indian jailor, an employer of the British empire , Tum namak ka farz ada karo mein mitti ka karz ada karta hoon.” Although my patriotism is truncated to singing the national anthem, watching the parade on 26th Jan or reading Indian authors ( I have a collection of over 200 books mostly by Indian Authors) not to mention Indian Cinema, it defines me in many ways.

I am a die hard romantic – It was Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights till I discovered feminism, then Darcy from Aunty Austen’s stable of knights & lords. As a kid I would turn coy when I saw Big B, expecting him to come to life stained in blood and soaked with sweat, out of the hoardings,into my 8 year old childish crush.

The idea of romance has captured my imagination. I have always believed in love, always believed that it is some higher order need, in Maslow’s world, a tenuous, subtle feeling, yet one so integral to our core.

Every time I feel the rain on my face, this belief gets stirred. Every time I feel the warm sunshine on my skin, I know I will be in love. Always. The walk together in the rains, sharing a cup of tea, watching a movie together, listening to poetry together, humming songs, the long lingering looks, the jokes, the anger, the arguing for the sake of it, the assertion, the little gifts, the long wait and more…..

Love is a feeling next to life itself. Nothing deters it. Not a hectic whirlwind 9 to 9 existence, nor the loneliness of a metro life, neither the stale taste of foil packed lunches nor the complicated thwarted realities of the mundane worldly relationships.

Love engulfs all. I know.

Bollywood ki kasaam – I belong to an era where clothes were stitched, with a five year plan in mind. May be two sizes bigger, keeping in mind your growth trajectory. Deprivation was a virtue and the concept of entertainment non existent.

The year was 1981. Maa and Runnmaa (my aunt) went for Umrao Jaan, leaving us behind, saying it was not a movie for kids. My sister all of 8 years started crying stung by the unfairness of it all. I, then 4, followed suit. We cried the whole afternoon pacified only when Papa (who watched all Hindi movies first day first show alone, till he got married to a teacher) promised that he would let us see Umrao Jaan when we grow up.

I remember the only 2 movies Maa took us out for with unbridled enthusiasm, one of them was Richard Attenborough’s Oscar winning Gandhi (1982) ( for its educational properties), and the other was 3D – Shiva ka Insaaf (1985) because it was a technical treat , she, a teacher, did not want us to miss.

All my mother’s well meaning austerity and control could not contain the magnetic attraction 70 mm held for me.

Sundays evenings at home were a delight. I would (pretend to) study the whole of Sunday to watch whatever cinema DD dished out, from “Saheb Biwi or Gulaam” to Aandhi, from Damul To Mrigya, from“Aawaara to Aaan”, election time would be another bonanza as the bulletins on DD would be woven with a movie or two. These evenings were valued because of Papa’s involvement in the cinema.

He would give me trivia – Aandhi is inspired by Indira Gandhi’s life. When I went to watch the movie 1st day 1st show, the enraged congress party broke down the hall; the movie was banned after that.

My first big lie to Maa was also on account of Cinema, when I sneaked out of college to see SRK romancing Kajol in trendy trains in Europe and the mustard fields of Punjab, even now when I see DDLJ it fills me with a sense of illicit thrill, the joy of forbidden pleasure envelops me.

Then there were those Friday nights of Adult Cinema which I watched standing in front of the TV, tuned to lowest volume and almost to 0 brightness on our black and white TV, scared of being found out. Bhavana, Kamagni, and a whole host of foreign adult cinema invaded my impressionable world.

2001 June- My first pay cheque. The gift of globalization.
2001 August- Lagaan goes to Oscar
2001 – December – I buy my first two white goods– a toaster and a television. The scheme offers me a VCD.

An age old irresistible urge resurfaces and I look for a video library at Cambridge layout, Bangalore.

And watch all the movies which were rationed. It rained cinema in my house.

I watched Umrao for Freudian reasons.

I still cry. For the unfairness of it all. For the loneliness of a nautch girl. For the pain of unrequited love. For the insatiable thirst…..

I am all for cinema, give me the smudged kohl in glycerin stained eyes, the puppy romances, the friends – turned – foe acerbic battles, the lost and found twins tales , the opulence, the melodrama, the madness. They still weave a magical, mystical world. I know I am home.

Writing is my catharsis. - It has been always like this. Ever since I discovered I had the ability to rhyme.

It started with juvenile rhyming…..

A sudden glance, the long look
Sent a flutter down the spine
The smile was a knock at heart
A knock that could not be denied

And it went on…. I have thick diaries filled with poems….my state of mind

The sea is calm after the hurricane
The world so happy and free
As I pick the debris of my broken heart
I wonder what has changed except me?


Aapne Tafhree janee hogee mere justozoo ko
Magar Kuch sanjeedgee aayee hein Ishq mein
Wafaa nibhane se

Someday I will write a book, or maybe a collection of short stories, till then blogging makes me happy, really happy.

My job- While it does not define who I am, there are parts of it which does. I get a kick out of addressing a crowd, resolving problems of people, influencing behavior and being in a situation to help. Every people situation ranging from hiring to employee counseling, is an opportunity to influence people and I genuinely like what it does to me.

It has been a tremendous experience to be a corporate citizen, from the year 2001 when I entered the workforce till tonight as I pen this down, the skills that I have added to myself, the value addition, the learning, the confidence, the experiences and before it sounds like a farewell speech…. I think my generation owes a lot to the policymakers…and also has an onus to posterity.

On posterity – I think if I do, and when I do, I will make a good Mom, not the one who peeps happily out of a healthy Maltova ad, but I think I will be a good pal to have around. I can help him with his essay and help her with her maths.

While I have not yet resolved how to deal with his messy, mud stained socks all over my living room or how to stop myself from squirming when she would want to tuck her skirts two inches above her knees, I would largely love to be a mom. I guess it will al come when it has to.

What else ? - I am glad this is the seventh thing about me. I will like to be born every time with every new thing I do, every new project I take, every endeavor I have. I wish next time someone tags me I have 8 new things to say about myself.

8 is a rather long list – I would love to contradict myself. Contradiction is life. Equilibrium is death.
On demand, I tag Sanjay Jha


sanjay jha said...

nameste shuchika
quite a reading
surely the post must have made you feel light,
may be a reason to celebrate-'edit',and 'construct' own 'image'makes one high...

PS-umrao jaan part two is few days away...

shikha said...

you inspired me to do the tag as well:)

Anonymous said...

About ur last comment on 'life is contradictory'....

not really. stolen words, yes but i ve seen that 'contradictions do not exist. if u feel it does, chk ur premises.' it is our inability to see things clearly or our ability to see things in a warped fashion that it feels that life is contradictory.

Anonymous said...

About ur last comment on 'life is contradictory'....

not really. i ve seen that 'contradictions do not exist. if u feel it does, chk ur premises.' (stolen words, yes but true).
it is our inability to see things clearly or our ability to see things in a warped fashion that it feels that life is contradictory.

sanjay jha said...

link me

Ajit Chouhan said...

Umhh ,it was felt g8 to relive the good old days of DD and Shiva ka insaaf.I still remember watching it in Mona Cinema ;0)...

The friday night movie was something we all grew up with.Still remember that at times it used to start really late (as per standards in those days).But i remember watching some great movies on DD.

Raps said...

oh man! How could you be so mean to yourself. I am almost controlling myself to say "go girl, get a life." It is great to respect past but not to such an extent where it turns out to be a sort of catharsis all the time. You clerrly missing present tense in your life. We would love to hear about the "present shuchika" , not the drunk and merrymaking suchika who is probably drowning something else in this entire process.... Now that would be interesting.

Btw, life is tricky and extremely funny... who knows may be your kid will crave for a moltova mom and not the paly one :)... will you have the tenacity and flexibility to change your identity to that which has been asked?

Some thought?

Amitabh said...

Life never ceases to surpise me. Here I was searching for the lyrics of 'Yeh Hosla' from Dor and I hit your site.

Brilliantly written blog, by the way I found your taste of books interesting.

White Magpie said...

Yeah!! Life is a paradox. Thankfully.

sanjay jha said...

nameste shuchika,
arey bhaai i asked you to 'link' me to your blog if its possinle,not to tag me for the
happy blogging anyways,

PS-i liked the word 'demand' i hope its not an allegation...

gunjan said...

hey shucika, this is a long lost friend. heard about your blog from another friend who was told by another friend. She didnt remember the link :(.. well google helped.. would like to get back in touch .. do write back back if you still remember me...

gunjan said...

hey shucika, this is a long lost friend. heard about your blog from another friend who was told by another friend. She didnt remember the link :(.. well google helped.. would like to get back in touch .. do write back back if you still remember me...

shuchika said...

Hi Gunjan,

Yes, I remember you... but saying thats a little tacky.

I have folded every bit of you... the long hair, the big glasses, the wide eyed vulnerability, and kept it with me.
A part of me is still there... lanes of Science College... Maurya Lok, Rajini's living room ( she married this Bong guy in US) ... the discussions... the fears... the pain of growing up and making live two fallen apart worlds.The Burden we both carried...

Please send me your number at

I will let all else remain silent till we speak.

shuchika said...

sanjay,thanks for reading my blog, i would have linked you if i knew how to link up, so far my destructive streak has not allowed me to link up too many things in life. and no, absolutely no allegations, just that I am technologically challenged. Even opening the lock to my house is a technical warfare.

Shikha, I cant find this tag on your blog.

Raps, honestly I am really going easy on myself these days.and drinking and merry making has become parts of "me", quite a departure from the girl in college who was finding herself and trying to fit in.

Ajit, I have to read up your blog, have missed it for sometime now.

Amitabh,Thanks for reading.

Gunjan, you are my find through this blog. Though you would not believe, you were always and will always be part of my mental space.