Movie Review*****Sachin: A Billion Dreams

Sachin-Tendulkar-young

Picture Courtesy: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/december-11-1988-rajdeep-sardesai-on-sachin-tendulkars-big-ranji-debut/240636 

I was on a rampage with my perfect mango margarita(s) while S and I were discussing cricket yesterday. He was playfully describing his love for Dhoni along with his brilliance as a Cricket Captain of India.

I say to him that I am not an expert, in the matters of cricket, merely because of the lack of interest. However, I do remember, that in 2003, when I got my first period, India was playing with Australia for the World Cup finals. I remember how nervous I was, while the whole household of Ajmer was equally buzzed with the electric current of it. How we used to bet with our household help Pappu, on how many runs Sehwag will score.  I remember, I used to glue myself on the lucky spot, not moving for hours, fearing that someone might get out, if India was batting. We had bribed all sorts of Gods and Goddesses with a variety of monetary and personal sacrifices, and yet, with all the moh-maya, India lost that year. Australia won the world cup.

India vs Pakistan cricket match was a different story all together. I was emotionally indifferent towards the political rivalry because I had little idea regarding the politics. All I knew, that when India played against Pakistan, it was like a crawl of emotions beneath your skin, threatening to rip you apart. My grandfather who had fought Indo-Pak war(s) in his time, would shout at the top of his lungs when it was a sixer by our boys. Everything stopped for a while. If you go to a shop, the match would be playing on the TV muted in the background. If the vegetable vendor came, the radio would be blaring on top of the eggplant pile. Emotions were always raw. Like someone has awakened something within you, a dormant beast, even within a 14 year old or younger. Goose bumps were common and your whole family including your grandmother-who had more idea of batting averages btw than you did- were all gathered in front of that meagre TV set, that you tied your hopes with. Everything was nail-biting. Your heart thumped and fingers crossed, you would watch that cricket match where all your patriotism poured out as hot lava. If India lost, India burnt in despair. Fans would walk on the streets and burn posters of the cricketers. If India won, crackers could be heard all around, and India burnt in happiness.

Years later, I walked into the theater to watch Sachin: The Billion Dreams expecting a pure commercial potluck that M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and Azhar had delivered in the past. Though I was purely entertained by both of them, I was reluctant to get inside the theater where clarifications were done and misunderstandings were sorted out or a love story twist.

So when I entered the theater this time, with no research done on my end, I was slurping away my Fanta to glory. I had no intention whatsoever to take back home melancholy or nostalgia that the game usually brewed inside me. But, by watching Sachin and the rest of the Tendulkars, I was mystified. Imagine my surprise, that I was not watching any shaped up Bollywood star enacting Sachin, but Sachin himself. Spanning a career from 1989-2012, I just did not understand what drove this man. He talks about his love for his family, the love for cricket, the love for his father and all the great loves of his life. In the end it became apparent that the mere desire of achieving a World Cup, bullied this man to insanity and back. Well, he did achieve his World Cup in 2011. I think I was falling in Love, with him.

The first half was routine, childhood stories and mischief of the bundle of joy. Little enactments, but mostly a well blended collection of home videos and interviews with his closest. The Little Master was just 16 when he made his International debut vs Pakistan. Sachin looked like a neighborhood kid supporting a brazen moustache of puberty, displaying humility. The film touches his meeting with Anjali, and how the 5 years older spouse played enormous role in his career. Sachin was just 22 when he married Anjali, a MD in Pediatrics who was 27 at the time. There was no drama. Still going strong after 22 years of marriage, Sachin restores my belief in the institution ( by a small margin).

Fanta untouched, the second half enters post the death of Sachin’s father- Ramesh Tendulkar. It shows, merely a journey of chasing a wild dream. The dream, of holding the world cup despite physical misgivings. You can see Shane Warne, Sourav Ganguly, Harsha Bhogle and many others describing him as a man with immense talent. Undeniably, there is a larger consensus, that Sachin is the man he is today because of his talent and HARDWORK! Apparently, that is why his career spanned for over two decades while people came and went…

With the hope that Arjun Tendulkar, Sachin’s son, may play for India one day, the movie concludes with Sachin’s¬†last match. One cannot hope to imagine, what Arjun will be up against- a lifetime of battle with his father’s legacy OR creating his own along the way.

In the end, I walked out of the theater, yearning to watch a cricket match with Sachin playing live at¬†the Wankhede Stadium. Alas, I cannot go back in the time machine and strike an item off my bucket list. Sachin’s dream was rightfully dreamt by us billion, and he and I and you, all could dream it to live it!

 

Indian women are hardly any role models

Indian women are hardly any role models.

I am talking about someone who is closer. I wish, my mother had taught me to be bolder. I am from an environment, where the first time I went outside the house wearing a capris pants, my grandmother commented that my grandfather would not allow me to go out. I went out anyway, even when the little bit of my ankles were showing. My aunt on the other hand advised us to stay indoors when sun would hit the horizon and the boys who were friends were a complete no no. My grandmother, my aunt and my mother are all very well educated.

Indian women are hardly any role models.

The only other friend in my class who read something substantial was one in 60 students in a class full of girls. We were in fact discouraged by my mother at one point of time to buy any novels. I did not read Enid Blyton or Jane Austen or Arundhati Roy or Anne Frank or Jhumpa Lahiri. During my library period at school, we were handed down Women’s Era to read, if the library period happened at all. In the crafts period we were taught year after year to do embroidery, make a stuffed toy, sew a button, make a flower vase,all useless things. Nobody encouraged world cinema because it was “apparently” full of sex. No teacher taught us how to handle our finances when we would finally become financially independent. Right now, I know only a handful number of women¬†who have handled their car payments, home payments, electricity payments, phone payments, insurance payments, credit card payments and downpayment of any sorts completely on their own-without their fathers or husbands to help. Many will get offended, but Indian women are supported by their family and then their husband’s family financially in most cases. I know a woman here in USA who is educated, smart, intelligent, works full time but does not know how much is her monthly car payment of the car she drives. Its all taken care by her husband. So why bother?

Indian women are hardly any role models.

I talked about sex, my mom and I. When I had my first boyfriend, me and my mom had the “sex talk”. My younger brother saw sanitary napkins in my cupboard and did not know for a very long time what they meant and why were they used. When he had his first girlfriend, I remember distinctly telling him to not hurt or disrespect the girl, ever. I told him about menstrual cycles. I asked him whether mom had the aforementioned “sex talk” with him, and he said no.

Indian women are hardly any role models.

I am an Instagram fanatic and follow Bollywood actresses. I never see one actress holding a good book and posing. I see them in their gyms during their workout. I see them with their makeups and cute dresses. I see them with hair and nails done. I see them doing pilates or doing pull-ups or being an arm candy. Then I see them giving interviews about body images and how we should not be shameful about our own body. I never see them without makeup, ever. What an irony!

Indian women are hardly any role models.

Maybe times are now changing. Maybe. I wish I was pushed for pursuing Karate or Judo or any self defense class more instead of pursuing just academics. My body shaming started from my very home. I was overweight and I was instilled from the very beginning that if I continue down the path, I will not get a good groom. A good groom! The answer to all questions and worries. My mother was more worried about my marriage when it was discovered that I had vitiligo. When I talked back, my grandmother taunted me that I would be a failure if I talked like this with my in laws after marriage. When the guy from nowhere grabbed and dug his long nails in my boob when I was with my mother, my mom told me to hold my tongue. Nobody should know. I continued ignoring his nail marks for days to come. When my ex boyfriend pushed me on the road, hurting me, I kept my mouth shut. Nobody knew.

We are hardly any role models.

We see inspirational messages on Women’s day. I feel its just like Republic day or Independence day where we feel patriotic twice a year. Then there is mother’s day, where we forward messages and share pictures on Facebook. Our duty towards ourselves and others end right there. We lament on the fact that men don’t respect us. Men display power and men consider us weak. The men dominate us. The men rape us. The men demean us.

Let me tell you. The women around you do not respect you as well. You don’t sometimes respect yourselves… How can you demand it from someone else?

We are hardly any role models for ourselves…

 

Fin

 

 

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Current Mood

Trust me you don’t want to know. I am totally frustrated without any rhyme and reason. Shower helped. Well I smell neutral now. Heavenly shower gels smells do not stick on me. Fuck it!


I watched the O.J Simpson series on Netflix. Angel and I binged watched it. They are called the American crime stories. Well, that was brutal, the outcome I mean…

Also, on another tangent, I feel like kaanta ben( Our maid Kaanta) because I cleaned the house. Again! People who tell me that I need to workout, suck this shiz!


Angel and I are not on talking terms. She stole my slipper and ran away with it the other day when I told her to stop drooling on me.

Called my Ex. Still remembered his number even though we broke up eons ago. Last I spoke to him was Dec 2015.  He did not pick up. Heard his voicemail. Still sounds the same, depressing.


 Ate cannon balls since morning and still feel starved. 


Need to go back and hit my chanting biz… Nam myoho renge kyo- Nam Myoho( my stomach is grumbling) renge kyo…Nam myoho renge( is that 2 mins already) kyo… Nam (I see Angel’s hair under the table: make a mental note to scoop it) myoho renge kyo….Nam myoho (Dear gohonzon kill me now) renge kyo….


Fin

Heavens are falling

Crossing the threshold to go towards my car, my feet sank in the snow. Deep enough to wet my clothes.

And while I struggled with my tresses and with my shovel to dig the snow, I wonder if I am digging my own grave. My man is not doing the shoveling, I am. No man is doing it, I  was. Was I supposed to do it or not?

Agreed. I have been given 2 hands and 2 legs by the almighty above. But wasn’t that a man’s job?

See right there, I transformed from a feminist to a sexist.

All my education and all my broad mindedness went down the drain when I grumbled my way to insanity. I went dark in silence as my body ached. As his lethargy increased, so did my tongue lashes.

Was it a man’s job?

It was our job. Not his, not mine, but ours. Maybe 51% his and 49% mine. Maybe 49% his and 51% mine, but ours nonetheless. Just like the dishes. Just like Angel and her potty gathering expeditions in the dark. Just like the cleaning of the house and cleaning of the path walk. I guess we would work better in a team.

Now that I have that figured out, I have to start learning how to¬†“drill ¬†this notion in¬†his head” exercises. I will lose my tongue and his ears in the process.

Worth giving a try?

PS: I guess its a who is lazy and who is lazier thing! S did bite my head off while I chewed away his ears to glory…

PPS: The results are negative. S does not believe in teams.

Post PPS: S and I both came to an informed decision. Angel needs to start helping. She needs to clean her own shed hair, keep her tongue in to stop the drool and should start doing her pee & poo herself. We ain’t accompanying! Its high time she joins a part time job, she is 18 in dog years¬† and so is now ready to move out. Fingers crossed!

 

 

My trip to Indiaūüáģūüá≥

Random thoughts. Random entries. Timelines are blurred because my whole trip was a big blur. It lasted 13 days precisely, where 4 days were spent in flights and trains. 8 days were spent in my hometown, Ajmer and 1 day was spent in the company of my cousins and extended family in New Delhi.

Ajmer, Rajasthan, India     8th January       4:42 AM EST


Paan- beetle leaves, are a religion in my home. After dinner, my pops solemnly asks for a customary Paan, everyday.

However, on this day,¬†pops and I¬†are about to board the train to New Delhi. Hundal Paan shop, which was in business even before I was born,¬†seals the deal. ¬†Gulkand daalkar and bina supaari …[My preference is beetle leaves with Gulkand and without the¬†Areca Nut].

Ajmer, Rajasthan, India     5th January         3:41 AM EST


Rubal, has an infection and needs a surgery. The gown does not fit and the compounder runs frantically to search for a gown that might. Finally a gown did fit and feels like a brassiere like choli from behind. Usually, its a solemn situation, but we start eve teasing my baby brother in a sophisticated way. While bua(Aunt) and Mommy dearest whisper words of harassment in his ear, I take a picture of his sexy back!

Ajmer, Rajasthan, India     4th January         10:02 AM EST


Pops got his first pair of prescription glasses when he turned 50. I got my first pair, when I was a teen. I have been a loyal customer of Bhargava Opticals Ajmer for 13 years for every pair of glasses I have ever put on. When you click on the link of BOA(not Bank of America but Bhargava Opticals) you will see two uncles. I have seen both of them at the shop for as long as I remember.

While the uncle- who gave my first pair of prescription glasses -is trying to handle a difficult customer who happens to be my dad, I click this picture.

Ajmer, Rajasthan, India     4th January         2:37 PM  EST


You look at these glasses? In case you did not notice, these are the new ones from BOA(not Bank of America still). You see the jersey I am wearing? It was owned by my sis from another miss, handed down to me when I was 12 years old. My mom PRESERVES clothes and does the cloth mummification. The chain of this jersey works, it still fits, and the color hasn’t faded enough to demolish this¬† jersey into a rag.

Ajmer, Rajasthan, India     3rd January        5:14 AM EST


I visited my best friend from school, whom I have known for 11 years. In my long lived absence from India, she got married and gave birth to a beautiful son-Zohaan.

He is crying in the picture because he is subjected to simple discomforts of life-gas ūüí®

Funny how memories flashes before my eyes. I see two teens riding to tuitions on Honda Activa, I see two teens eating canteen samosas, I see two teens fearing our class XII class teacher more than our own mommy dearests and then I see two adults, holding a baby- a baby who is just 40 days young.

Ajmer, Rajasthan, India     2nd January        4:54 AM EST


I casually mention while having lunch that I loved Dangal-the latest movie by Amir Khan. Pops got really pumped when I begin to mention that the story was true and based on two sisters from Haryana(my side of Yadav clan is basically from Haryana). Also pops is a movie buff, since the beginning of time.

We went to the Miraj mall- me, mom and pops- even though mom and I have already watched the movie. Before the movie begins, there is our Indian National Anthem where the mere total of 5 people get up in respect(there were 5 people in the movie hall because it was afternoon show on a weekday). There was a weak salute from the couple in front and I felt irritation more than patriotism.

I was battling through an intense case of exhaustion and jet lag, so I slept through the second half of the movie. I could not see, but the low volume snores may be from pops. Mommy dearest had her eyes wide open, mentally awake or not.

PS: If you notice, pops has a paan(beetle leaf) in his mouth.

New Delhi, India     31st December    7:59 PM EST

 

After roughly 16 hours of flight and 4 hours of layover in Doha, I land in New Delhi. I fought over currency conversion rates. Due to the recent demonetization, we are allowed to convert no more than 5,000 Indian rupees worth of currency. That was worth $70 on that day. The deductions included all sorts of taxes including the Krishi tax(Irrigation tax) and I was like WTF. I received 4,100 INR, where the rest was deducted in bloody taxes.

After winning OLA 250 rupees coupon, I was sitting on my trolley and was waiting at the airport for 6 hours before I boarded my train to Ajmer from Delhi Cantt.

I literally killed the boredom that day.

Not to mention that I lost my balance and fell from the trolley, luggage and all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dangal

The official meaning of the above said word is “the wrestling arena”. The Youtube trailers of this film has been awesome! Amir Khan and the 4 girls look like they have really worked hard on the whole film.¬†By the look of it, the story is¬†about two sisters and their father, where the father had a dream to make India proud. He is fulfilling his dream by training his 2 girls Geeta and Babita Kumari to be world class wrestlers. Here is the trailer:

So the weird thing is, I am crying after every time I watch the trailer. A wave of desperation hits me, a tremor of nostalgia engulfs me in its arms and before I know it, I am shedding tears.

How can a film trailer has such an effect?

I have always fought with two sides of my self. One side is strong and independent, indestructible, charming and stubborn, my man side. I am not saying that all men are like that, I am just saying, that being all those flaccid objectives dignify my iron side-man side.Pulling from the other end is another side- my woman side, which is also strong and independent, vulnerable and stubborn, indestructible and beautiful. My woman side is not iron, its like water- fluid. My woman side will take the shape of a bowl if confined to a bowl, and will mingle with the entire ocean if given the freedom. Neither of the side screams feminism or male chauvinism, they just co-exist in constant repel and attraction with each other.

So why the hell am I crying?

Its not a constant cry, its just tears after the 3 minutes or so trailer.

Maybe its because of my father who believed in me and educated me. He has trusted me and loved me. He has never left my side, and he has truly given me the wings to fly. He is that man, who bends his iron will for his children, is sensitive about me not calling him for a couple of days, who said that I am an investment with zero return but still sent my to the States to fulfill my dream, he is a brutally honest man. He is the man, who is my confidante and mentor. He is the man, of whom I have inherited my man -side. I have loved him more than I hated him, respected him more than I loved him and confided in him more than I feared him.  Am  I missing my father? Are those tears of happiness or sadness?

Any help here is highly appreciated…

 

 

Fin

 

 

Home

When I came to United States, you all know my room mate and I shopped our legs off at Walmart and I used to cry coming back from shopping everyday. Don’t ask!


The thing is, I built a home with her, piece by piece. Every little thing that was there in that apartment 917, was chosen by us. Not given to us. Not bought by my mommy dearest. Not handed down to us. Every little piece, be it¬†a kitchen towel or¬†a toilet bowl cleaner, was bought by us and we knew where it was kept. Isn’t that a big deal?

Over the years, it became aptly clear to me that the small things that seemed unnecessary and which I had vehemently opposed buying in the first place, were very important. So when it was time to move out of the place, my heart broke a little. We were discarding the things off like maniacs. We were handing over our priced possessions to nobodies and that made me crumble. Keep in mind that we were not shifting to another place, we were vacating it, never to stay with each other ever again.

Right there, Apartment 917, was my very first home. Not the house in Ajmer, where I had spent 12 years of my life. Not the hostel in Engineering college, where I had spent another 4 years and definitely not the paying guest situation in Gurgaon.

Home was Apartment 917, with a view of a lifetime. My two years of breakfasts were done with that view. The ocean was blue and the leaves were green in the summer. The green of the trees would slowly turn to blazing red, and yellow in the fall. The ocean would turn icy blue and the leaves would fall down like wandering souls until it was time for winter. We have watched snow storms from that window. We have watched sunshine from that window. We have watched rain from that giant ass window, and loved every moment of it.


Apartment 917 was where we both had our hearts broken. It was the same apartment where I wore my first dress. It was the same place where I was so drunk on my room mate’s birthday that I threw up all night, for the first time. Our humble abode guaranteed that I learnt to cook and¬†made out with my best friend(at the time).I learnt to make sheesha from scratch and tasted Old Monk the very first time in that apartment. Our apartment had NO furniture in the living room, I think that was the coolest. Well, now I think about it, there was this table that we hardly used which was obtained from the trash.



So yesterday when I was at Walmart again piecing together another humble abode, I had that longing ache in my heart because I was missing my room mate so much. More than that, I know what it feels like to rip apart a place that you had lovingly put together. Dreading that I might have to¬†move out again in a few months time, I feel the sadness looming over already. I feel my heart ache already. I had a roof over my head all this time, yet I¬†am hungry for the warmth of my home. The knowing¬†call of the home, the smell of your home, the walls calling you over, the¬†windows urging your soul,¬†every familiarity of it.¬†I¬†am starving, I had been starving all along without even realizing it. I am homeless. Oh, I am so¬†homeless…

 

Fin.

 

 

Ps: I obtained the idea to write from this awesome blog that I follow. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/27030/posts/1259101456