Monthly Archives: November 2013

The simple equation: 10 things that can keep you permanently happy


Remember the time you were really happy. The laughter was genuine, the fun was crazy and life was good. And then you suddenly lost the plot. And the only things called happy in life were those sad meals at McD. Ok its time to reclaim lost ground. You don’t want to grow old sad and then pop out with a constipated expression. So lets build a happiness equation and here is a list of 10 things that will go into it

A large dog – It could be a small dog too. But the large dog can wag its tail better

A spoonful of Chawanprash – You can’t win the happiness game on a blocked nose. So the chawanprash to keep you healthy

Comfy shoes – The world is a rough place when your shoes pinch. Wear good, comfy shoes and the world is yours

A notebook –  Scribble down what’s bothering you. Trouble shared is trouble halved

A tune – There has to be one tune that makes you euphoric. Load that on your ipod. On yourmind. Hum it. All is well

Malai wala dudh – Remember when you could eat anything without worrying about growing fat. Ok bring it back. Allow yourself atleast one indulgence in a day

An open ticket to a faraway place – Get an open dated travel ticket. Keep the possibilities open

A secret place – Remember the chinar tree or that attic where you had your secret hiding as a child. Discover your place again. Where you can be yourself and make faces without anyone giving you weird looks

A good hairdresser – who gives the perfect head malish

Good friends- Whoever said happiness is in your hands said so with a wink and pun intended disclaimer. You are affected by people around you so have good people around. And a heart-break sofa in a friend’s place where you can crash at




Craziness is a good thing


I was attending a corporate get-together at a university and had an interesting chat with the profs. They gave me a long list of ways in which the students are prepared for the professional world. ‘We don’t let them wear jeans.’ I shifted uncomfortably. I was in jeans with a waist coat-one of my favourite combos. And yes I do not care much for a lot of rules the professor were talking about. Would it be a over-simplification to state that we are ruined by most of these rules. Strange a country that flouts traffic rules and public rules so openly, we are such a big stickler for rules in our private lives. Follow the herd. Be the good guy. Run down craziness. Kill rebellion. If only we showed the same careless streak which we drive, refused to toe a line like we do with queues- we could have had more interesting lives and spared our fellow citizens the horror. But we choose to flip it around. Devote a life time to being normal. You know those perfect families that take emis, go to holidays and bring up kids as normal as them. Its safe. Its respectable. And it gives you decent returns. The sedan and the large flat. The approval of the peers. The likes on facebook. The craziness could have gone either way. So you kill it. Accept status quo. But believe me craziness helps. The little rebellion. The colored streaks. The mid week holiday. The crazy start-up which nobody backed. The girl your parents didn’t approve of. So that at 60 you aren’t looking at a successful, normal life. Where you missed out on life itself. Because you dressed like everyone else and clocked the 9 to 5 routine. Believe me unless you are on the road and theres a traffic light ahead breaking the rules is a good thing to do

Twitter and artists – Frenemies?


I had a very interesting debate( it was more like a war) with Vir Das and his friends and fans. Vir had asked audience not to live tweet his punch lines. My pov was in a social world you cannot stop it. The attack was swift and furious. The logic given by Virs supporters ranged from ipr to giving the surprise element away. And that the twitter junta was less important than a live audience. Some of the points were valid- you are potentially giving away jokes Vir will rehash for his next performance.  Which is ok. After all that’s what most artists have been doing. Put efforts into an act and then use it. Perfectly fine.  But in a social, hyper informational world maybe that doesn’t work so well. Because in a world where information is fast and readily available, the surprise is hard to contain. Is there merit in Vir’s entreaty? Maybe there is. Can it be enforced? No. And blaming twitter for spoiling his next act is a little unfair. Considering that twitter or social or internet is also giving you a lot of the publicity. Most people who are tweeting out your jokes or lines from a play are not doing it out of malice or an attempt to subvert IPR. They are tweeting because they love the jokes or the lines. And want their friends to know. Chances are a person who would have never come to your show otherwise will come after reading the tweet. The internet is making a small local event viral. If you want to stop this you will have to throw the baby out with the bath water.  You could enjoy the privilege to repeat acts but you lose out on organic publicity. And that specially for a new artist could be vital. The internet has become a debut platform and a key to bigger things for a thousand artists and performers. Twitter has given them what expensive PR struggled to give – a global network and engagement. Yes it has made life harder too by forcing you to constantly reinvent-as your last act could soon be common knowledge. Maybe the internet and twitter are doing their bits in separating the ‘great’ from the ‘good’. While giving an elevated platform and a free, effective PR machinery to broadcast your talent.

50 things to do before you turn 35


The first panic button pressed at 25. The second loud one at 30. And if you are a couple of years away from 35, the alarm bells cascade to a full fledged judgement day trumpet. In a country where the median age is 19 and a half, you feel like a senior citizen at 29. And at anything above 30 oh my god you are so antiquated.

Ok enough of gloom. I will do the thing that cheers me up the most. Make a list. Of 50 things you should do before you turn 35. And then get ticking!

  1. Get a crazy tattoo that peeks through your formal suit
  2. Go into an office party not dressed like everyone else
  3. Fire your boss
  4. Launch a start-up
  5. Write a book
  6. Go on one crazy trip with only a 1000 Rs in your pocket
  7. Go on a boat ride in the dark. And sing Bhatiali with the boatman.
  8. Have an extra marital crush
  9. Teach your kid that its ok to flunk but not ok to not have fun
  10. Do a bike trip- a really long, crazy one
  11. Get hauled into a police station
  12. Go spend a month as a yogi in Pondicherry
  13. Wear a swimsuit with a mickey mouse motif
  14. Learn Mandarin and write a love letter to your crush/ wife/ hubby in Chinese. Or a resignation letter
  15. Believe in god
  16. But refuse to be the docile attendee at a family puja
  17. Buy your mother in law a pair of jeans and convince her to wear them on a family day out
  18. Do one crazy career change
  19. Take a year off work. Go do something bizarre- like drive a truck in Australia
  20. Work in a slum
  21. Stick out your tongue at office
  22. Bring out your tattered jeans and wear them to work
  23. Do a trip of a life time with a friend you are not likely to spend your life with. The moments will stay
  24. Design your own costume(with one quirk) and wear it to a family function
  25. Stalk a celebrity
  26. Open a parody account
  27. Jump noisily into a five star pool
  28. Giggle helplessly with your school friends at a posh restaurant
  29. Sky dive. Or bungee jump
  30. Make a will
  31. Spend the limit of your credit card on a shopping spree
  32. Turn over a month’s pay to a charity you care for
  33. Get an extra piercing. Yes you are never too old for it
  34. Learn salsa
  35. Spend a night on a beach. Aimlessly strolling
  36. Sell a flat. And a Ferrari if you have one
  37. Have a kid. Or adopt
  38. Stand up for a cause. Sit in at a protest
  39. Don the overalls and join a town painting session
  40. Go on a sojourn. And make new friends
  41. Read the vedas. Or the Koran. Or the Sufi’s text. Or bible. Or all of them
  42. Take your parents on a trip of a lifetime
  43. Conquer a fear
  44. Go down on your knees for someone worth it
  45. Renounce the religion. But find the faith
  46. Inspire
  47. Take flowers to the lonely, old woman who lives next door
  48. Get high on Bhang
  49. Take a detour. And throw away the map
  50. Spray Paint your car. Or the mini-truck you exchanged for it. One Life One chance