• Aditya | 19-Feb-2020
    Few years back a friend asked me this question, trust me it was a very genuine question, there was no malice in it, he asked; “I have read history books as well, why do you Marathi folks revere Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as if he is God incarnate? I don’t see you guys following his footsteps, but you use his name to bully us, those from out of state, why?” I will share the answer here for all my non-Marathi friends. First the politically tricky part; Do we directly or indirectly bully non-Marathi people by leveraging his name? First and foremost, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj isn’t just a Marathi King, he is an Indian King who represents all of us and our shared way of life. Now do you feel we bully you? Yes, if you feel so! Let me clarify, the show of strength symbolized by the excessive worship of our beloved King, which you misunderstand as bullying, is just a reminder of our tolerance. If you perceive it as bullying, then it is because deep down you know that your aggression has g
    1 likes
    0 Comments
  • Aditya | 12-Jan-2020
    Stereotyping has become a part of our life. More often than not we do it subconsciously and sometimes we do it knowingly. Either way, it has become difficult for us to accept things as they are. People, places, things, thoughts everything has to fall in this or that bucket and art is no exception. So which bucket do we put Chhappak in? Is it a tragedy? Is it a quest? Is it rebirth? Is it rags to riches? It can be anything or a bit of everything. Try and park the urge to assign a category, try and accept the film with a clean perspective without expecting cliché of the genre, only then there is a possibility that you will be able to see Chhappak for what it is. For it is just a story that needs to be told, as it is...! I came out of the theater obviously troubled, scared and concerned. But not once during the entire run time did I cry, and let me tell you I cry easily. Not once did I experience shock, not once did I felt like closing my eyes. There have been insensitive films where heinous crimes are
    1 likes
    2 Comments
  • Aditya | 03-Dec-2019
    As a kid, did my parents or elders around me teach me to respect women? Is there a written procedure to follow? A mutually agreeable protocol? I guess not. Parents can share a few good things from their perspective but I believe, by and large kids observe adults around them and emulate their behaviour. That's how we learn, that's how we grow.   While growing up, I also realised that, few things men and women in my family did were wrong. As teenagers we have immense sensitivity to notice these things but not necessarily the maturity to process it. We see things in society that we don’t agree with but lack the skill to articulate our feelings or the power to influence.   But as we become adults we are supposed to have gained that wisdom to work on these inputs. Do we consciously work on it or do we continue to unconsciously emulate our ancestors? Do we merely reflect the society by being one of them or have what it takes to form an individual stand?   These are roughly the three stage
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • Aditya | 01-Dec-2019
    I really, really don’t care if women call me regressive, or prehistoric or whatever they want to call me. I will say this again and again and again and keep saying this because I care! Our country is socially, morally, economically and in every other perceivable sense not ready to give the kind of freedom, equality and safe passage that women expect or observe in developed nations (I don’t know is such thing exists in other countries but let’s assume it does). I have no idea how we are going to be a better society neither do I know how long it will take for us to get there. What I do know is, safety starts with understanding the constrains that we live in. If you are walking a tightrope with blazing flames or a thousand-meter gorge underneath, then it is foolish, senseless and naïve to dance on that rope. For your own sake, please find that balance. Self-defense, support system, better law enforcement and all of that is “after” you encounter an unfortunate incident. What
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • The Love Affair I Got Comfortable With!
    Diyaa | 15-Oct-2019
    She hugged him tight and cried. It was a dark stormy night. The clouds were intensely close, waiting to squeeze tight together and burst out. Nature was mimicking human emotions virtually. Zara didn’t want to leave him; not now at least. She was in love. The kind of love wherein you don’t know if you are better together in a cuddly embrace for some time or lost in each other's thoughts all day. But this was the deciding time of her life. Amit stayed just one block ahead of Zara. She was visiting her parent’s house those days and so was he. She made it a point to see him every time he came around. They loved meeting up for coffees. It always struck me hard when I saw men keep themselves free for other women so easily. I never found the time for my own, forget any other. Probably that explains the whole chaos around me now. Oh well, I still haven't introduced myself. I am Rahul, Zara’s husband and this is my story. She used to mention about Amit a lot. They were childhood friends. Thei
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • The Love Affair I Got Comfortable With!
    Diyaa | 15-Oct-2019
    She hugged him tight and cried. It was a dark stormy night. The clouds were intensely close, waiting to squeeze tight together and burst out. Nature was mimicking human emotions virtually. Zara didn’t want to leave him; not now at least. She was in love. The kind of love wherein you don’t know if you are better together in a cuddly embrace for some time or lost in each other's thoughts all day. But this was the deciding time of her life. Amit stayed just one block ahead of Zara. She was visiting her parent’s house those days and so was he. She made it a point to see him every time he came around. They loved meeting up for coffees. It always struck me hard when I saw men keep themselves free for other women so easily. I never found the time for my own, forget any other. Probably that explains the whole chaos around me now. Oh well, I still haven't introduced myself. I am Rahul, Zara’s husband and this is my story. She used to mention about Amit a lot. They were childhood friends. Thei
    1 likes
    0 Comments
  • Movies
    poorva94 | 27-Sep-2019
    So, I have been a fan of movies for as long as I can remember. The first movie I remember watching is Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Like every girl in India, I instantly fell for Rahul, because he was the textbook heartthrob - good looks, a charming personality, and I-don't-care attitude. He was the right amount of a bad boy and also the kind that you can take home to your parents. It is safe to say, that after rewatching the movie in today's time, you can see that he was a total jerk and Anjali was better off with Aman who genuinely loved her for what she was, unlike Rahul who fell for his best friend only after she had a makeover. Anyway, my point is, movies influence us the most. It is the most powerful media of getting your content to the masses. Some people do take movies very seriously and forget that it is a story after all. Some might be based off of real life experiences but majority of the times, minor details are changed to appeal to the crowds or to protect the identities of whom the movie is based on. Not
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • The Silver Lining to Burnt Toast
    Asmita Javdekar | 20-Aug-2019
    I could barely take my eyes off him.6feet 2inches, chiseled to perfection!His complexion was reeking of warm chestnut, perhaps a well earned tan from the Himalayan trek that he was brazenly boasting about. Amma always told me that I was an innate revolutionary, my first shriek into this world was proof enough that I was here to ruffle quite a few feathers.At 12, I picked up my first fight against Avva (my grandmother) for not allowing me inside the kitchen when I was on my period. At 15, the target was Amma and Appa for setting a 7 pm deadline for me to get home when my younger brother could gallivant at his heart’s whim. This unfair, biased world for women made me sick in my gut. Ever since, I prioritised Women Rights and Welfare as a cause that I would dedicate my life to.Kabir was a chance encounter.I was working on a Skilling project for a community of Himachali women. A friend had recently trekked to our program site and wanted to update me about her experience. For the first time in my life, I co
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • Under our Umbrella
    Neha Mirashi | 01-Aug-2019
    This is for the people of Aurnagabad, who only hear about the rains in other places but are yet to experience the real monsoon! You think rain and all sort of images conjure up...for me, it is a nice cup of hot tea, a book (maybe a kindle), sitting by the window and some uninterrupted reading time, all to myself, all by myself, with the rain drops performing a symphony on their stage of the windowsill.It also makes me want to sing and dance, and actually believe in the romance of life.Aahh...rain....where art thou?The sun is sizzling, the roads are hot, mirages are dancing on the tarmac, the trees are losing their green hope and turning to brown despair again. The metal in the street is hot to touch, and the dust is flying free in this torturous reign of rising temperatures. The phone is still buzzing with messages for "summer sale" from retailers, clearing away what they thought was the last of their summer stock, more needs to be re-ordered. Ice creams and cold drinks, fired from the show, have been given
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • Feeling Loved
    Asmita Javdekar | 31-May-2019
    For Amit who secured admission at COEP for Mechanical Engineering, it was the first time in his life that his father, Mr.Shrirang Godbole had ever smiled and said “Good” to him.The Godbole family took immense pride in the fact that Amit would be the fourth generation of brilliant mechanical engineers from the Godbole family to graduate from such a prestigious institution.Shrirang was a disciplinarian and a pragmatic man.He was raised on a foundation that emotions take one away from focus and life should be led within the framework of rules rather than frivolousness of emotional display.Shrirang had never cried!Never even laughed out loud.He was simply a man of limited expression who led a very strict life.Amit had grown used to his father’s ways but a part of him yearned for some fatherly love and encouragement.Just any small gesture.A pat on the back, a warm handshake or even just an expression saying, “me ahe na” (I am there for you)After all these years, Amit finally managed t
    1 likes
    1 Comments
  • "Sukhi raha, Beta"
    Asmita Javdekar | 17-May-2019
    I chanced upon him at a subway station in New York. It had been a few years since I had heard anyone speak with that nasal stalwart Puneri twang which I so detested while growing up in our very typical "Koknastha Brahmin" household. However, on that very cold January morning, in a country which still felt somewhat foreign, the Marathi falling on my ears was like wisps of sunshine warming the cockles of nostalgia.My tapping on his shoulder was almost involuntary."Namaskar!Me Vidya Joglekar, Kasba Peth, Pune" "Namaste, Me Shrirang Datey, Sadashiv Peth" he replied with the most magnanimous smile and kind eyes I had ever seen. We met almost every day after that, sometimes for coffee, sometimes over lazy lunches but most of the time for long walks at the Central Park. All we ever did was speak. In a way, it was therapeutic. I emptied all those emotions so deeply buried within me. I wept, he offered me his shoulder.I vented out all my frustrations and helplessness and he gave me a patient hearing.He was a man of
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • Adi Shakti
    Asmita Javdekar | 13-Apr-2019
    What were the chances that just a day after watching Delhi Crime on Netflix and having been deeply impacted by the role of a young IPS officer, Neeti Singh, I bump into these three young police constables.What caught my attention was the uniformity of their demeanour. All three were fit with a calming disposition and a confident gait.Shraddha Gaikwad, Priyanka Pawar and Seema Musale are all less than thirty, married with children. One of them is a mother to infant twins. They work from 9am to 9pm.Women are inherent protectors. They also have a way with words and don’t need to escalate a situation to physical force as often as men.Having said this, when a situation demands, they can unleash their internal super human power.“We all have it. It’s important to know when to let is rest and when to make it thunder.”
    2 likes
    0 Comments
  • GOD
    GOD
    Asmita Javdekar | 12-Apr-2019
    Whenever I pass a place of worship, reflexively, my right hand swerves to touch the bridge of my nose, followed by a gentle tap, somewhere on the circumference of my heart, concluding with a light kiss on the periphery of the index finger.2014 was the first time when Chinu, Dinesh and I, walked a part of the Pandharpur Wari( An annual pilgrimage on foot)To witness this ocean of devotion was a surreal experience.Amidst the tinkling cymbals, clanging Dhols, “mauli mauli” chants, we saw a paraplegic man riding on a makeshift wooden cart. He was using his hands to push himself ahead through the procession.Chinu rushed to him and volunteered to pull his cart. Curiously, she asked him how far he was seeking to go. He said, “All the way.” A whopping 21 day journey, covering over 225km on foot, in his case by hands.How can it be even humanly possible?With a bright smile on his face, he said“I have been going for years now. Mauli (God) takes care of my journey.”Chinu helped him cove
    1 likes
    0 Comments
  • Two cups of Tea
    Asmita Javdekar | 03-Apr-2019
    I was about to put my footwear in the locker at my morning Yoga class when my attention went to a pair of senior citizens, struggling with something on the road.I could sense discomfort on the old lady’s face.The man accompanying her, stooped to check on her shoes but this was making them lose their balance. I rushed to lend some support, sat them down and realised that the cause of discomfort was a tiny splinter of wood in her shoe.Once that was taken care of, the man wished to walk the lady to the nearby temple, which was about 200m ahead.He told me this was their routine.I accompanied them to the temple. They both had Name Tags on.The man appeared to have a speech and hearing problem and the lady had Alzheimer’s.She told me that the man with her, was her brother and he had forgotten to give her tea.She almost had tears in her eyes when she told me that she was starving since morning.The man tried to pacify her, but in vain.He insisted that he was her son and had made tea for her every morning,
    1 likes
    0 Comments
  • Asmita Javdekar | 22-Mar-2019
    Nine year old Arjun was an avid reader.One look at his book shelf and you had Marvel the avengers, kid Krish, He-Man, Super hero Max, Hercules and many such flamboyantly dressed, brawny action  icons staring at you, head-on.        Arjun lived in an apartment complex in an upcoming suburb, with his mother Anjali and their pet mongrel, Spidey. Two years back, after her painful separation from Vikas, Anjali was granted sole custody of Arjun.For anyone who knew her, she was this live, breathing, pulsating energy on the move.Anjali was the life of any place she went to, she often had people in spilts with her wit and humour and she guffawed through most challenges in her life.        She was a brilliant multitasker and handled her deadlines at work, her household responsibilities, her pet and parental duties with the spirit of a fierce tigress.However, an underlying fear that silently gnawed within her was whether she did enough for Arjun. She did not seek va
    0 likes
    0 Comments
  • Asmita Javdekar | 05-Mar-2019
    New Beginnings in Mid LifeWe all became friends by fluke.While I was doing my masters in the US, on my first trip back home, I had inadvertently picked up a Black and Tan Samsonite bag from the luggage belt at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.I never bother checking the name on baggage tag and in my defence that bag looked like mine.Unfortunately, only on opening it, did the goof up dawn on me.On reaching for my phone, I bumped into twelve missed calls from an unknown number.When I returned the call, a frantic female voice squeaked in.“You have my Samsonite travel case. I mean, I really hope you have it.Do you have it?”I was cheap enough to say, “Sorry, wrong number” in an earnest voice and cracked up, sensing the nervous wreck on the other side.That was my first brush with my steadfast, crazy girl friend Manali or Man for all of us.Man was a tall, strong girl with an aquiline nose, bunny rabbit incisors and a stylish pixie cut.When she arrived home to exchange the luggage
    0 likes
    0 Comments