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Monday, 26 July 2021

My Favourite Shows

July 26, 2021 0 Comments

If one can get paid to watch TV shows (not daily saas-bahu shows), I would be a multi-millionaire. This love affair started with Vampire Diaries; we are still passionate lovers even after 10 years. 

Disclaimer Alert: I am in no way claiming these are the best shows ever made or other shows are not good. All I want to say is that these are my favourites.

Without any delay, let’s talk about my favourite TV Series:


Modern Family: Modern Family is about three families from California trying to deal with their kids, quirky spouses, and jobs in their own unique ways.

It was a summer evening around 7 years back and I was lazily surfing the internet and came across this show. And voila; I am was in love right from the first episode of the first season. 

My most favourite episode is the Punkin Chunkin from season 3. 

And the most favorite quote from the show is….


“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You'd think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true. You see, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun.”


Person of Interest: Former CIA agent Reese, now presumed dead; and billionaire software genius Finch join forces as a vigilante crime-fighting team. 

Though this show was started in 2011 and ended in 2016, I saw it in 2019. And to my surprise, I loved it so much that I binged watched 103 episodes. There are very few shows where all the seasons are well made, this is one of them. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

"Maybe it's up to me to do what the good people can't. Or maybe there are no good people. Maybe there are only good decisions."


Law & Order: SUV: A special victims unit of NYPD detectives solve sexual assault, child abuse, and rape cases based on real crimes. 

This show is on its 22nd season and I have seen all the episodes of all 22 seasons. This is one of the shows which is still able to hold its good storyline even after so many episodes. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“Some things, you can put them behind you…but they do change you.”


Evil: Psychologist Kristen Bouchard reluctantly works together with David Acosta, a priest in training, to investigate and find a logical explanation for every supernatural occurrence within the Church.

This show gives an X-Files vibe and I love the grey area it’s exploring. And I love Mike Colter. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“There’s no such thing as good and evil, black and white. There’s only gray. There’s only what a man can stand.”


Billions: This Showtime drama pits billionaire hedge-fund manager Bobby opposite the U.S. Attorney for New York. 

This show is a character study. All the characters are very well written and well developed. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“Get good at letting go, which is a different kind of freedom.”


Hannibal: Based on the Thomas Harris novels “Red Dragon” and “Hannibal,” brilliant forensic psychologist/cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

This show portrays serial killing like art and I simply loved it (FYI, I am not a serial killer, not even one in making).

My favourite quote from the show is….

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is a normal behaviour.”


Mindhunter: This crime drama follows two FBI agents who essentially write the book on criminal profiling in the late 1970s by interviewing serial killers. 

Well, I am fascinated by serial killers and this show is brilliant, to say the least. This show is based on a time when the “Serial Killer” term was not even coined.

My favourite quote from the show is….

"We're All Our Own Prisons. We Are Each Our Own Wardens. We Do Our Own Time. Prison Is In Your Mind."


Honorable Mentions: 

The Handmaid's Tale, Prison Break, 24, Mad Men, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Family Man, Dark, House of Cards, Paatal Lok, American Crime Story, Ted Lasso, Sherlock, The Americans, and many more. 


Happy Watching




Monday, 19 July 2021

I am Fair and Not Proud

July 19, 2021 0 Comments


Not so long ago, there was an advertisement where a girl gets rejected from an air hostess’s institution for being too dark-skinned. And her father decided to take revenge. He made some sort of cream which made her skin fair.

And...bingo...she got the job. I think in the subtext, she even marries the company’s CEO.


And I have another one, this one is from last year.


The most talented Kiara Advani (the brilliant actress from Kabir Singh, who took her acting fee for a silent role and no acting) suggesting another girl use some fairness cream, and hence become worthy of “Kala Tika”. Apparently, it is not needed for dark skin people.


I am not criticizing advertisements; I just wish that life was that easy. If only having a fair skin tone could solve all your problems in life. Unfortunately, life is much more difficult, complex.


Hence, let’s talk about shadeism.


According to Baba Google,


“Discrimination based on skin colour, also known as colourism, or shadeism is a form of prejudice and/or discrimination in which people who share similar ethnicity traits or perceived race are treated differently based on the social implications that come with the cultural meanings that are attached to skin colour.”


In simple words, if you are fair life is better for you in some ways and if you have dark skin, only God can help you.


Here are a few examples of how shadeism works.


➨ I have heard multiple times in my life that my parents have to give a lot of dowry in order to get me married. Unfortunately, my husband didn’t even receive a penny. That’s what you get when you marry a feminist, no money and a lot of opinions.

 

➨ Between me and my hubby, I am comparatively lighter skin. When my daughter was born someone gave a compliment… well she thought it is a compliment that my daughter is lucky not to have her father’s skin colour. I was about to kill her (hormones), then I thought; I can’t survive in jail, and ended up telling her to fuck off in the most subtle way possible.

 

➨ In the recent past, someone called me exotic. Disclaimer alert, it’s not my husband, we are married for 7 years, adjective games are over between us. Well, back to the topic, here exotic is not at all a compliment. It is a subtle way to say you are dark yet fuckable.


The examples will never end, not for me, and not for any other dark skin person.


Now the question is, why?


The most simplified way to describe this is...


“In India, the words for fair and beautiful are synonymous”.


Most of the research suggests,  shadeism have their roots in slavery and colonialism. We Indians were ruled by fair-skinned Britishers (so-called civilized folks) for around 200 years. Even after the end of colonialism, this idea has been deeply entrenched into our minds, hence society. The concept that fair is equal to superior is so much ingrown in our mind that, it became practically impossible to overcome. This is the bitter truth even today, where George Floyd got murdered because of his skin colour. 


This is the unfortunate truth of our society. 


Hence the final thought, what needs to do? 


It is as simple and as difficult at the same time – we need to unlearn the black is a bad concept. And teach the same to our children.


In the end, what Martin Luther King, Jr. said…


“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”




Friday, 22 January 2021

Movies that I want my daughter to watch

January 22, 2021 0 Comments


As a mother, I have a list of movies that I want my daughter to watch. The two most important movies on that list are Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Kabir Singh.

Well, no matter how much one praise those movies, it is never enough.

I have already talked about Kabir Singh is a previous post, so let’s focus on STS (Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety).

The main purpose of showing her these masterpieces are is to make her learn what not to do in life.

The movie revolves around three characters:

Sonu: Sonu is played by Kartik Aaryan who is famous for his female bashing characters. He is the flag-bearer of male friendship goals and meninism. As a result, he is a bachelor and plans to be so for all his life (why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free).
His life goal is to protect his childhood friend Titu (Sunny Singh) from shallow romance. As a symptom of oblivious innocence on Titu’s side, he suffered a heartbreak again. As a solution for all problems, he agreed to an arranged marriage with Sweety.

Titu: Titu is too saintly, innocent, sweet, and dim-witted to be taken seriously. Just ignore him.

Sweety: She is too good to be true. She is the ideal would be Indian Bahu. She works for orphan children, looks out for Titu’s every need, sends him lunches, and satisfies him in ways women are made to satisfy men. Sweety is a one-note perfect bahu.

No… No… No… just wait, she is not one note, she is a multidimensional character. The hidden part of her character is that she is a Bitch and wants to control Titu, just like Sonu wants to control Titu.

Sonu and sweety have the same goal… to get Titu to do whatever they want.



Story of the Movie:

Sonu is convinced that Sweety is a BITCH in disguise, which he concludes based on his instincts. However, nobody believes him and he is all alone in proving this hypothesis. Therefore, what started is a battle of the sexes; it is best friend versus the bride-to-be. And what a twist it is. They just replaced the mother-in-law with the so-called best friend. And what follows is a war between these two characters with every bit of the pettiness, bitterness, and nastiness.

Conclusion: 

Sonu is closeted Bisexual and Indian movies are far behind even showing Homosexual relationships; Bisexual theme in a movie is ages behind.


What I want my daughter to learn from the movie is that everybody can tell you how to behave, this will teach you how you are not supposed to behave, treat people, let yourself be treated like this, and most importantly, run from this type of people like they are Corona Virus.



Friday, 15 January 2021

#WOTY – Word of the Year 2021

January 15, 2021 0 Comments

 


I think this year is all about trying out new things for me. This year I made New Year Resolutions for the first time. And now I am going to try another new concept, something that has been around for a while, but I am going to try for the first time – Word of the Year!

I first came across this concept on One Word 365 quite some time back. One Word 365 is more than a new way to approach resolutions. Choose one word to focus on through the year. There are no specifics other than commitment to keep your focus and follow through on the word you choose for yourself.

My Word of the Year for 2021


After much consideration I have decided to choose the ‘Strength’ for myself in 2021.



Definition of Strength:

1. The quality or state of being physically strong.

2. The capacity of an object or substance to withstand great force or pressure.

3. A good or beneficial quality or attribute of a person or thing.


At first I considered Perseverance for 2021. But then realised that I have been persevering through the last few years and I need to do more than that this year. At 37, I am starting over. A new life without the old habits and influences. With the changes that I am looking to make in my life, things are not going to be easy. And, I will need Strength the most in moving forward. 

  • Strength to stay healthy.
  • Strength to move forward.
  • Strength to stick to my resolutions.
  • Strength to take care of my anxiety.

Do you have a WOTY for 2021?






Friday, 8 January 2021

A Not So Good Girl

January 08, 2021 0 Comments



My three-year-old daughter drives me crazy with her activities and it is a daily thing in our home. And many a time, to my surprise, what I tell her is, “good girls don’t behave like this.”


Somehow, this “Good Girl” concept got imprinted on her, and she loves to be called a good girl. However, with some magical force or something, her definition of “Good Girl” is different from the so-called societal definition. I am eternally thankful for this.

This reminded me of an incident that happened years ago. It was about 10-11 years ago that Sania Mirza wore a T-shirt with the caption “good girls don't make history.” And as you can imagine, she was criticized like she had committed murder and it was time to punish her for it.

Another time I remember noticing this concept was when I was watching a movie called "The Stepford Wives’. The theme of the movie is about men turning their wives into robots in order to make them the perfect wives. Perfect wives seemed so familiar with the Good Girl concept.

It got me thinking, what the hell is this good girl, and who is she? So, I asked who always asked for help…Google, and here is what Google told me about good girls.

Good Girl:
A good girl is to be passive, submissive, and compliant. A good girl won't be solving problems, feeding the homeless, and making the world a better place. She's good by her own twisted definition of good. And anyone who doesn't adhere to her paradigm of goodness is most likely, in her mind, bad.

Every society on this planet has its version of a good girl. The version differs from country to country; however, the undercurrent is the same as what the definition said about good girls.

We love our good girls, but why? Why we are (‘we’ include both the genders.) so obsessed with them?


But first, let’s see the common characteristics of Good Girls:


Living for others: The main and the most important characteristics of a Good Girl that she lives for others; her whole life is devoted to others, especially to her husband and in-laws. 

Being what others want you to be:
A Good Girl is what others want her to be, especially the men in her life, obedient, submissive, and happy (nothing wrong in being happy, however here happy means looking happy not being), always available to serve others, and the list goes on and on.

“Me” is on the back foot:
This is interconnected with the first point; her own self is served at last. She is never her own priority. Even if she looks nice and happy, it’s because to gives comfort to someone else. Not for her own good. 

Compelled to behave like this for others' approval:
Her behavior is always aimed to please others, get their approval, especially from the opposite gender. 

She Avoids Drama:
A Good Girl hates drama, not because of her personal dislike towards it, rather to provide comfortable surroundings for men. 

She’s Not the Jealous Type:
She is never the jealous type, not because she has overcome jealousy. It is just to make sure her man can be comfortable with others, and most importantly, to avoid drama. 

She’s All About Compromise:
A Good Girl is synonymous with Compromise. Her whole life is a compromise and she is proud of it. 

She Takes Pride in Her Appearance:
A Good Girl is always aware of her beauty and makes sure she looks nice all the time. Again, this is not because it is her choice, rather make sure when her man sees her; he sees a beautiful, happy face. 

Humor:
She has a great sense of humor, never cracks stupid jokes, doesn’t laugh loudly, always has a happy persona, and makes sure to never miss the chance at laughing at her man’s not-at-all funny jokes. 

Down-to-Earth:
Good Girls are down to earth, even if she is a rocket scientist. Now being Down-to-Earth is not a bad quality, however, for a good girl, the reason is not to come across overachiever or over-educated to her male counterpart. 

She keeps only positive, uplifting people in her life:
Now, last but definitely not the least, A GOOD GIRL IS A ROBOT. She is all positive, doesn’t have a single shred of negativity, always happy, loving, serving, compromising, and definitely not a human.

Now back to the main question, why do we love our good girls?

The answer is simple; in a male-dominated society (created by both men and women) a Good Girl serves men's need to feel superior and comfortable (and many more, directly or indirectly). And who doesn’t like to be served?

Lastly, I want to finish with a thought…


“You can't put everyone before you and call that love”







Friday, 1 January 2021

Making 2021 Count!

January 01, 2021 0 Comments


Are you ready for 2021?

Every year I see people making New Year Resolutions and then joke about how the resolutions do not even last a day or a week or a month. And when people asked me, I usually responded with - read more books. In my mind though I always think, next year I hope I get to do this or that – they are always related to books or travel or learning new things.


But things have been difficult for me for the past few years, and without even realizing it, I had given up on a lot things I actually love and care for, including my physical and mental health. 2020 has been an eye opener for a lot of people and it has brought some good and some bad changes in my life. And the fact is, though we are all wishing for a better year in 2021, much of it is still up in the air – especially with the new strand of virus emerging in Europe.

Irrespective of it all, I am determined to make 2021 not only better, but also make it MY YEAR. So, I decided to make some resolutions for myself that I plan on sticking to. This post will go live on 1st January to serve as a reminder and also for you, my dear readers – if you are up for it, to hold me accountable!

1. Exercise:

My health had taken such a hit that around September this year that I could not sit up or walk around or do chores for more than 15 minutes at a time. I would end up feeling dizzy and throwing up. Headaches and body aches were constant companions. I have been in treatment and resting up since mid-October and as I write this post towards the end of December, I am on the last leg of the medical treatment but have not recovered completely yet. I have taken to exercising for 10-15 minutes for about 2/3 times a day and that is helping my recovery journey quite a bit. 
So, my first resolution is related to the most important things in my life – my health. I cannot be expected to go from zero to hundred in a day, but I am going to increase the time and intensity slowly. I will exercise 6 days a week through 2021.


2. Mental Health:

Not many people know this, but I was diagnosed with acute anxiety and depression a while back. I have had more panic attacks in the last 3 years than I care for. Needless to say, complete isolation in 2020 (and some other experiences) haven’t helped at all. So, Mental Health has to be a priority in 2021. Besides, physical and mental health work in tandem. As such, taking care of one and ignoring the other is not going to let me progress on either ends. I have a few ideas on how to work on it which include breathing exercises, affirmations, NLP and journaling. I also plan to involve a lot more music in my life and to push myself to go out and meet people.


3. Dance:

I used to love to dance and used to be quite good at it – if I may say so myself. I may not be a professional level dancer (though I could have been if I had the inclination) but I have always received distinction marks in the yearly evaluations when I used to take lessons. But more importantly, it made me really happy. I have taken lessons in Bharatanatyam and Fusion, but just the act of moving to music and rhythm really made me happy. It used to make me feel good about myself and I would often work through my frustrations through dancing. Over the years, I have had to give up my passion for it and now I can barely bob my head to music without cricking something. So yeah, I am going to get back into dancing even if I have to start as a beginner and move at a snail’s pace to get that feeling of freedom and happiness in my life.

Bonus: This should also help with my first two resolutions.


4. No Compromise:

I have lost count about how many times I have been told and expected to compromise, limit my expectations and give up the things I love by people who wouldn’t spare a single thought for me. And stupidly enough, I have done it. Over and over again. That is going to change. I am not saying that I will become an overall unyielding person. But if someone expects me to compromise, they need to meet me at the halfway mark. Else, no deal.


5. Make time for things I love:

For the last few years, my work has been the only thing that has been keeping me sane. As such I had become a complete workaholic who worked 365 days a year. I am not kidding you – if you have seen or heard of my vacations, I would come back to my hotel room and get to work at the end of the day. While I continued to study and learn other things, they were secondary, and I allotted them time only after I had finished work and chores. That is going to change too. I have already started informing my existing clients that I will be taking every Sunday off, and making sure to allot at least an hour a day for something other than work and chores. This is on top of the time I am going to put towards exercising and dance. I will put it towards whatever course I am doing or towards my Tarot learning journey.



That is about it! I wanted to add 2 more things to this list but decided to keep it to 5 resolutions. No use in making too many changes or resolutions and not being able to keep any of them. Maybe for 2022 I will have a longer list once I manage to stick to these in 2021.

What do you think? Would you want monthly or quarterly updates on my resolutions? I would love to know about your resolutions for the year and how do you plan to make it better than 2020?




Sunday, 14 June 2020

To "Meat" or "Not to Meat", the saga of a Bengali Brahmin

June 14, 2020 42 Comments
So! That happened! Never in her life did Andy think she would be called an asshole for being a non-vegetarian but there he was, the guy she lovingly called "The Tamilian", saying she is as much of an asshole as him, coz she wants to cook meat at home.

Andy was in a daze...


Growing up in a Bong household (Bengali for our traditionalist readers), it never occurred to her to give a second thought while wolfing down a plate of yummy fish curry or gorging on the next chicken roll served at the roadside stall.

In her life, so far she has interacted with people from various cultures and tried out a variety of cuisines based on religious and cultural significance - some more palatable to her than the others. Some liked her type of food, some chose not to. But lately, she is coming across a bunch of these religious bigots who has been raising a finger at her food habits - a very dangerous thing to do to a fish loving strong headed Bong chick!

For as long as her memory serves, Andy has always had fish. In fact, that was her staple diet while growing up. It didn't matter that she grew up a Brahmin. In a Bong family, your caste is determined the football team you follow (her house was strongly divided between Brazil and Argentina my friends - a sight to behold during world cups) rather than the food you ate. Yes they were Brahmins! Yet they revelled in the next serving of mutton biriyani as much as their Muslim brethren of Park Circus.

She first encountered this caste based food bigotry when her roommate's Grandma chastised her for eating meat in spite of being a Brahmin, a dialogue she chose not to engage with out of respect for her old age.

In the inside though, Andy was in turmoil.

What does being a Brahmin meant exactly and why does she need to prove her Brahminism to these other group of Brahmins from the rest of India? It almost seemed like the majority of the remaining Brahmins didn't eat meat and expected her to apologize for indulging in such delicacies.

However, like most of the Bongs Andy was lazy as fuck to have joined a heated conversation justifying her eating habits. Instead she treated herself to the next serving of chicken rezala and moved on with her life.

Fast forward 10 years, as she tried to get back into the world of dating, she kept on bumping into these "vegetarian" sect. Contrary to the popular belief that a non-vegetarian like gay people would forcibly try and convert all the vegetarians, she was finding all the vegetarians acting exactly like homophobes - literally looking down upon her food habits and trying to make her give up fish and meat.


One of the men she met had the audacity to ask, being a meat eater how can she call herself a Brahmin which prompted her to thoroughly research the various kinds of Brahmins in India, including the references of having beef in the original vedas which were replaced by practising "Sattik" or "no meat philosophy" down the line.

Inspite of not believing in cast and creed, Andy found herself learning about how sections of the Saraswat and Kanyakubja Brahmins settled in Kashmir, Konkan regions, western parts of India and sections of Bengal, Assam and Odisha. They have always retained their non-vegetarian diet - something that baffles the rest of the Pancha-Gauda (to the north of the Vindhya Mountain range) or Pancha-Dravida (to the south of Vindhya Mountain range) Brahmins.

While she was busy educating this new horde of vegetarian dates, in walks the Tamilian, with his complicated soiree of long lost words that hardly gets used in day to day life. Looming over her like the next big disaster, he was completely opposite to the kind of guy she usually falls for - anal retentive and rigid as fuck, something she discovered months later. His kindness and stoic nature made her blind towards his rigidity and she started finding his anal habits such has fixing the lining of her shoe while she was crying loudly in his shoulders, cute.

However, months of engaging conversation and care couldn't save her from this conversation that Andy was having now.

She was not allowed to cook meat in the same house as him. As she accused him of being a rigid asshole and not believing in "live and let live" policy, the Tamilian surprised her by calling her an asshole for insisting on being herself and wanting to cook meat at home - the very thought of which he found offensive.

There it was! The red flags that she was trying to overlook when he said that he has only ever stayed with other Tam Brams now suddenly became traffic stop lights and halted her in this unrealistic dream journey. Months of conversation was nothing to this guy just because of her food habit and it broke her.

She started reflecting on her eating habit, and started wondering why it's always the vegetarians who think they are better than the non-vegetarians, just because they don't consume animal protein? Were these practices followed in the era of cavemen where survival was the key? As she tried to drown her sorrow in her tear-soaked pillow, Andy realized how one man's rigidity can be perceived as another man's religious bias. She won't make a deal with the devil and give up her fish and meat or freedom of expression for ANYONE.

And no more trying to date vegetarians! Those snooty bastards seem to be the worst of the lot, thought Andy next day as she happily chomped into her crab roll, choosing herself over any rules and regulations.





Tuesday, 26 May 2020

My Mini Version and a Thoughtful Afternoon

May 26, 2020 22 Comments


Life is hard with a toddler, life is very hard with one toddler and one unofficial toddler (read: husband), and it is extremely difficult with both of them at home because of this lockdown. It’s almost like, if the lockdown goes on any longer, the mothers’ union will manage to create a vaccine to send their toddlers to school and office respectively.

My three-year-old daughter is a mini version of me. God! She is a smart baby; asking questions the entire time and challenging every single rule. All these questioning and challenging rules are fun when I am doing it, however, when a three-year-old refuses to listen to you and argue, it just drives me crazy. And the mighty husband enjoys the show from the front seat.



While having a crazy quarantine, I was thinking about my pregnancy and what struck me most is that I wanted a boy child and I am not ashamed of it.

My whole life, I really considered myself a feminist, and most of my actions reflected that. One of the best compliments I ever received is from my MBA classmate who called me a true fearless feminist.

But when I became pregnant the first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted a boy. And that very thing felt so damn wrong. On one hand, I claimed to be a feminist, belief in equality, and on the other hand, I wished to have a boy. I should have been wishing for a healthy baby, irrespective of the sex of the baby.

That very thought haunted me for days. On Surface, It seems like I just want a boy child. But it was only when I dug deeper that I discovered the real reason why I wanted a boy child.

One thing is very clear in our society, not only in India but the whole world, it is primarily a male-dominated society whether we like it or not. Still, there are some people, called feminists (I swear to god, it sounds like an abusive word nowadays) who still dare to believe in equality, striving for a society, which is based on equal rights, equal choice, and equal opportunity. In most cases, the work of feminism was concentrated on the independence of women, women empowerment, equal pay, equal job opportunity, equal opportunity for education, etc. And we have created a generation of ladies who are independent, smart, intelligent, and ready to take on any responsibility and do what is needed.

No matter what, one thing we all can agree, the two genders are an equal part of our society, and in order to achieve holistic growth we need to address both genders, only making our girls independent won’t solve the problem. However, men, in general, are not used to such independent women. Someone once told me, you are too smart to be a woman. And he received a very polite reply from me, i.e. “you are too dumb to be a man”. Sadly, this answer does not even come close to generate a real change in our society.

What we mothers, parents' families really have to do is construct a generation of men who are ready for independent women, take them as their friends, wife, sister, mother, and not be afraid of their intelligence.

And that is the reason for me wanting a Boy Child. I wanted to raise a man who treats all humans equally, who is very good at household work, earns his own living, takes care of a baby, in short, can do everything a woman can do.

All human beings are equal, but the challenge here is to raise men who are equal to women. 

My mini version of me sleeping beside me, while I am writing this, and I am proud of her for every smart little things she does, for every question she asks and challenges the societal gender norms in her own kiddy way, I still want to raise a boy to show the world that there is a man who can cook, clean, wash, babysit, work, earn, love and be a MAN. 




Tuesday, 5 May 2020

A Widower and a Sad Afternoon

May 05, 2020 14 Comments


It was just another Wednesday afternoon during the lockdown. I was about to finish cooking and start cleaning the house. I was sweaty, irritated, and hungry when my husband decided to call me at the top of his voice. I responded to him with the normal frustration and he told me Irfan Khan has passed away. I was not expecting this. My first reaction was that this must be fake news. But to my utter disappointment, it was not, and I felt so gloomy for the rest of the day. 


Later in the afternoon, I was watching one of his old interviews where someone asked him about his most difficult acting jobs and Irfan Khan mentioned two names: Life of Pi and In Treatment. I had never heard of “In Treatment” TV series and started watching it immediately (what better way to honor his memory other than watching what he considered one of his most difficult acting jobs). 

In Treatment is an American HBO drama which was produced and developed by Rodrigo Garcia. It is about a psychotherapist, 50-something Paul Weston, his weekly sessions with patients, as well as those with his own therapist at the end of the week. The series debuted in January 28, 2008. 



I have only watched the part in season 3 where Irfan khan played a 52-year-old widower Sunil,  who was transported to New York from Calcutta following the death of his wife. His new life entailed him living with his son, daughter-in-law and their two young children. 

Sunil is not only depressed by his wife’s death, but he is also deeply wounded by his son’s decision to marry an American woman and angry at what he sees as his daughter-in-law's insensitivity. He is extremely disappointed with his son’s American lifestyle and thought process where he chooses his personal happiness over family respect and pride by marrying an American woman. 

I cannot express how much I got affected by this. Saying 'brilliant' would be an understatement. 

Sunil’s (Irfan Khan) son Arun/Aaron and his wife guides him to see a psychologist since he is finding it difficult adjusting to his new life in America. Sunil refuses to take a bath or eat, and doesn’t maintain proper personal hygiene. Sunil also displayed deeply resentful behavior towards his daughter-in-law and probably has some unresolved sexual tension towards her. 

As the series progresses, we learn more about Sunil, his lost love, a tragic suicide, and an unborn child. The series is portrayed as a mystery drama, where you can say for sure something is hidden but can’t exactly figure out what it is. The ending of the series is unpredictable and leaves you with a heartache. 

Irfan Khan portrayed the character of Sunil with so much ease that it seems like the audience is witnessing a real counseling session. On the surface when the audiences see Irfan’s character, he comes across as depressed. However, as we get to know more about him, there is an undertone of anger (second stage of grief), sexual tension, and huge guilt building up over time. 

Sunil is an extremely complex character. He was probably brought up by narcissistic parents who hammered a false sense of family pride before anything. For him, putting his family's pride before his happiness is a sign of a disciplined life. As such he resents his son for marrying someone he loves instead of the girl Sunil and his wife choose for him. In reality, he resents himself for not fighting for his own love; he didn’t even think of fighting and accepted the fact that marrying someone from his caste is the best thing to do. As a result, he was responsible for a death. 

All these issues from his childhood and past combined with his recent loss of his wife and moving to America became an unbearable situation for him. 

What will he do to resolve this? The story offers an answer in the end.


While watching, I saw Sunil, (not Irfan Khan) a middle-aged Bengali, his struggle, hopes, dreams, and an endless quest for a disciplined life. And that is the brilliance of Irfan Khan’s acting. You don’t see him; you see the character he is playing. That is the true nature of an Actor.


I will miss him, as will the film industry and people all over the world. I want to finish this with a dialogue from his movie ‘Life of Pie’: 

"I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye".







Monday, 27 April 2020

Kabir Singh and a Lazy Afternoon

April 27, 2020 20 Comments

I was going through a very difficult time in my life when my friend (philosopher and guide) Debdatta suggested I should write and put it in a blog. She actually gave me access to her personal blog, and the lazy me didn’t do anything concrete with it. 


After this lockdown, like many others, my husband is at home and eating my head along with sweets, biscuits, and every possible snack and bugging me to do something about my free time. My friends and husband seem to have a lot of confidence in me that I will do something good in life; however, I am happy with my lazy ass.

Yesterday, after a heated argument, which I think my hubby won, he convinced me to write. Therefore, here I am trying to collaborate one of my favorite subject Psychology with not at all favorite character Kabir Singh. 

Before I start, let me clarify that I am talking about Kabir Singh as a character, not Shahid Kapoor the actor.



The primary criticism the movie received is that it is promoting misogyny and being anti-feminist. However, I found the main problem in the movie is: The director is promoting a mental illness as a masculine trait and fun quality. Kabir Singh is clearly suffering from Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). It is a very much real disorder recognized by DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). The DSM-5 defines Intermittent Explosive Disorder as “recurrent behavioral outbursts representing a failure to control aggressive impulses.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)

From the very beginning of the movie till the end, there are multiple occasions where it is very evident that he needs some medical help, counseling, and medication. Having a mental disorder is not fun, like many other physical problems it needs to be treated. I actually felt like the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga trying to say like, “hey Kabir! You have a brain tumor (comparing IED with a physical disease to have a better understanding), it’s actually fun to have a deadly disease and the best part is you are not going to be treated, and most importantly, you are a doctor.”

For god’s sake get some treatment Kabir, you are a doctor, I am sure you know some good psychiatrists and they can give you some discount also. Anyhow, Kabir was consuming so many drugs; it won’t kill to replace them with some prescribed medicine. 

I am sure after the treatment, people will not call you a misogynist, and even if you still behave like a jerk with girls, you can definitely do something about it and get improved. But first, consult a psychiatrist.

And lastly, let me tell you who the main villain in the movie is… Any guess…

It is that dean of that medical college, he asked Kabir to write an apology letter for his aggressive and violent behaviors and didn’t bother to understand that he is sick with IED and needs to visit a psychiatrist. 

This is my two cents about Kabir Sigh. I hope I will not get back to my lazy routine and continue to write more. 

Please suggest to me something to write about. I struggle a lot with prospective topics. 


Thanks