Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Can I Sleep Alone?

She smiled at the hush hush smiles of her kids, making cards for "Women's Day" for her. Her kids thought that she did not know. It was quite impossible to keep anything a secret in her small apartment. She knew every corner and every corner knew her. 

She spent considerable time cleaning, sprucing and decorating it. Her house had to be perfect. Everyone who came to their house had compliments to give her. She was the reason of envy for many women in her society. 

Her husband was romantic, good looking and doted on her. He brought her gifts and generally supported all her endeavors. His sense of humour and adventure kept their lives constantly alive and active... 

He too in some corner was secretly hiding a gift for her which he had carefully kept hidden. A sleeveless dress perhaps or shorts. He knew her well. Her tastes never ran into jewellery or expensive demands.. She knew her home budget and finances well to expect for more... 

She sighed... Obedient and loving kids, adorable husband and lovely home. She was the Queen... Or was she? 

To maintain the house in the time constraint and financial limitations was a struggle she hid skilfully. 

Her beauty regimens and many such needs had to be shelved to meet demands as and when they arose. Sometimes the bill was high of Electricity or fees of the kids were due. Some relative's ceremony needed funds as Gifts to be purchased. Inlaws coming over for a full week stay. 

They managed somehow, working together. She had taken up work at home which paid her but just about to tie the ends.She did not particularly like her work. It brought her money and so she continued. Imitation jewellery, mechanical and economic option for women who make believe and cannot have it real.  She remembered giving up so many of her aspirations and workshops she longed to take. Either finances or responsibilities impeded the process. She saw all those independent women who made headlines and wrung her hands silently. 

She looked around her. Docile environment greeted her. "Is it not enough?" she would ask. It should be... But when she wanted to so much as eat something of her choice.. She could not.. One of the family member does not like it.. Too much of effort to cook separately! Just when she would open the book to read, a kid would come forth with a homework to handle.  Just when she took the tea cup to her lips, someone demanded her attention. If she desired to catch up a programme on TV, her hubby would get a film ticket, he may enjoy... She would just get along and enjoy. Was she pretending? Was she fake? 

She just thought if it kept peace in the rosy bubble, why burst it?  All is well, why jeopardise with demands and grouses? Hell, she never gave opinions on social situations however strongly she may feel... She served and listened while family debated... 

Just yet she knew, she would have to carry out yet another function, guessing from the sexual looks her husband was sending. He was waiting for kids to wish her and sleep. 

She knew, she will participate. Why create a fuss over a matter that will like get through in few minutes?  He will sulk and feel hurt rest of the  day. Kids will go on to feel "What is wrong?" If she however co-operated all will be smooth and hunky dory. She enjoyed Sexual encounters but there were days when she did not really feel like it. Today happened to be such a day. Her husband was as sexy as ever. She just felt no desire today. All day she had felt crowded and bombarded. All she wanted was to wrap her favourite blanket and sleep "Alone" 

"You are the best woman I have met, Ask me anything and I will give you My Queen! ", So declared her husband with a long Sleeveless Summer Dress. 

" Can I sleep alone? " remained unasked! 

She had wanted it from quite some time. She was thrilled. She took it Gratefully... 

Her kids danced around her," Yes Mom.. Chance of a Lifetime! " 


Really.. Her heart asked.. Can I sleep alone... Just for a night.. Without anyone fussing over me? Can I voice it? Can I do it, even if I am not unwell? 

 Her husband had come pretty close and kissed. It was a delicious sight for her children. It filled them with security and happiness. All was great in their world. 

Her world... Sometimes longed for a mental space when worries did not crowd her... Insecurities of finance did not surround her... Heavy workload of home and work demands leave her... A time when her body muscles do not ache... A time when she can state her mind's and  heart's desire to just be left alone with nothing to do... 

Her husband had picked her up to take the kiss to its logical conclusion and headed to their bedroom. 

She sighed. Everything was perfect. She was just being philosophical and tad bit ungrateful. She shrugged and looked into the eyes of this man who had given her this perfect world. So many women would love to change places with her. 

Simply greedyand illogical,  she was being. 

"Tzzzz Tzzzz.. " rang the cell phone! 

Her husband frowned and set her down reluctantly. 

" Hello, Ajjubhaiya.. Yes.. When?? Ohhh! Yes Yes, ofcourse... I will join you. "

He looked at her." Renumaasi from Pune, she is no more... Ajjubhaiya is on his way. Mom and us will have to go. Kids have exams, so they will understand if you and bhabhi don't come"

She went to the Cupboard and fetched the travelbag and kept few clothes. Rest all will be provided in their family home in Pune. 

He left... 

She turned and looked at the Sofa.. Her blanket... Children off to sleep... Silence and Solitude for few hours... But she did not want her husband to go!

Should she be happy or not with her predicament... She got what she asked for...? 

Women's dilemma... Merge or separate...? 

Where lies her wholeness? In dependence with others or being Independent? 

                                        -Sonnal Pardiwala

Monday, February 13, 2017

Luv In d Air

Valentine's Day! A special day marked specially for Expressing Love. There are as many expressions of love as there are people. All count as long as it is pure love.

In this era of Commerce and Consumerism, love is equated with Gifts and Gimmicks. More expensive a gift one can show, deeper seems the feeling of being loved. More Dramatic an expression with verve and style, more memorable the Day.
Yet we forget...

Love is an emotion to be felt and not weighed in Gifts and Galore.
Love is what conquers and love is what lasts. Love is what will help you get through rough patches and cold winters. For memories of shared feelings shall thaw differences and warm lonely moments!

Think about it, No one escapes the gentle aim of Cupid  and it strikes all of us!  It is this twinkle that unnoticed creeps in the eyes and creates waves in your hearts. This blow of Cupid at a tender age is the most special "mush"  for it belongs only to you. Rarely are you capable of understanding it yourself, much less explain it to self or others. The first scrawl of Smileys and "Will you be my Valentine?" may go unanswered and break your heart.
Only momentarily, for a floodgate once opened rarely stays dry.
For sure, it taught you to love... And you will love again. The stars that twinkled at that tiny age will shape and mould mischief in your eyes and also teach you to cope when it does not go your way.
You will learn to love. Cupid will leave you enriched and ready for love.

That is what is captured in #LastSeen...

Watch NOW:

The tender age love shenanigans and the internet drama that unfolds, the charm of letters, hidden underneath a rock will refresh those young memories when we had our "Crush"  the first flush of love beats of coveting some special one's attention. Shahen Pardiwala brings the clumsy and first brush of confused flutter of a naive heart. Vihaan will directly string your heart with the right force and make you wanna give him a hug and his cheeks a pull. His elder bro can do with a jab in his back for introducing his little bro into Love town!

The Next film #FavsheToh captures the immature cuteness of being in love and creating mountains out of tiny molehills.

Watch NOW: 

A love that is still to bloom, still to understand its complete impact looks to short-cuts, but does not have the gumption to even carry it out. Sense of humour can save the day instead of catastrophizing every insignificant detail or obstacle that is perceived. The Master Wisdom being "Kaik setting karin laishu"  translated it means "We will manage and scrape through

See our "Vipla" win the day and "Niku's heart" with his cool googlies and gentler wisdom. Meet our Niku who is full of female guiles of nit jumping, for her face may bear the impact.
Our Ever caring Vipla defines love in one sentence "Hu toh tane keva pun choktha saathe prem karish"  It made me go Awwwwwww and so simply he puts the definition of ever lasting love.

We need more such "Viplas"  to do settings in life and not add to our already complicated life. We need more Nikus who will write an open ended possibility "Favshe toh apghaat karish"  before signing "Tumaar badhani vhaali Nikita" .

Parents would smile at this mushy gushy note that reassures no ramifications and yet acknowledges that she knows she is loved. As the couple walks on to peace and optimism, we are left with a smile at the simplicity that we are losing it in today's times. Love that is decided on Terraces is now moving into malls. Oh!  Please bring back my Terrace days where no transport cost prevailed and offered full privacy and freedom to fight and make up!  Think today's generation is missing out these Clandestine pleasures and Romantic Jugalbandi. Nozzer Pardiwala reflects the utter Gentle aspect of not yet come of age Love!

Love changes gears and takes on a Softer hue in Gaata Rahe Mera Dill...

Watch NOW:

Repartee of two, locked in Love, sure of each other's surrender and yet love that tarries to tease the other. There is a certain Amount of Surity as the Gentle Doves parry and Romance. The plea of the man in love to Wiles and Guiles of a Woman who knows she has surrendered and conquered in return. These are the moments of complete immersion of each other where they reflect into each other's souls. A time that freezes the moments when no one else but them reside in their own private world. Both know they shall surrender, both know they shall reign, both know they shall carry the warmth of shared intimacy into their lives in those sultry weathers that are ahead.

Love in its most mushy format with a flavour of Only Songs from yester years when Romance took residence in the eyes...words adorned their vows of togetherness and intimacy dripped in Locked Gazes and Sensual exchanges. Our Megha will entice you with her demure glances. Our Mohan shall make an entry with his wide grin and awkward promises. That is love which hums from deep within. That is love which tarries and lets it bloom to its completion. The element of rushing is absent. They savour each other, tease each other, make up, promise long lasting love with only and only Songs that reeked of togetherness. Every Single aspect, flavour and hue of Romance you will find in those songs.

Every newly wed knows the precious time spent together.
Come Celebrate love in its eternal and etheric form with Blogimly. 

If you are young, have a crush with "Vihaan".

Or Reminisce about your past crush days. Smile in each instance.

Experience Vipla and Niku and go back to your premarital "O, we are doomed"  theory and laugh as to how much of a fool you both were?

Be enwrapped in the seductive swirl that Megha and Mohan weave. 

Bet you will prefer being dragged further than come ashore.

Happy Valentine's Day to all. Life is about loving and letting go...

Life is Laughing and letting go.

Life is about embracing and Surrendering.

This Valentine, hold your Valentine and sing "Tu tu he vahin, Dil ne Jise Apna kaha! AB toh ye Jeena Tere been he sazaa!!!"

The only Gift you give is yourself.

The only Gift you get will be Love!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Slap The Man Who Gropes!

I promulgate safety and precautions during personal revelry. I advocate sanity over recklessness.

That is not to say I do not care about women!

My blood boils then when I see and hear about groping and grabbing and pinching of girls. Not only strangers but even familiar folks do it.

The advice I have given to girls who have been my students (I am a teacher from last two decades) is...

*Do not shrivel in the corner, trembling!

*Do not sigh while cluck clucking over the molestation.

*Do not be all teary eyed at the doom and gloom "Abla naari syndrome"!

Then you shall ask "What shall we do? It is the upbringing to blame of our boys."

Society failed!


Think for a moment about Savitri Bai Phule's plight who was openly condemned, criticised and abused back in the 1800s! She was fighting for a noble cause. Did she have a screeching media at her disposal screaming "Hail women!"

Was Society any better, then?

They did not even consider women humans back then! Did Savitribai even expect anyone to change overnight?

Here is what she did.

She carried right through with what she thought was right!

We are today's women, then.. Lot more supported, educated and equipped!

Let us look into the eye of the perpetrator and holler "No" with all our mights!

Let us teach our girls to be not shrinking violets.

Let us teach them to give right back.

Let us Be the change.

Why be quiet the first time?

Even if a pinch or grab comes in, use your sandals, bags, umbrella or whatever you have and hammer!

Others will join the party!

Ask "What?" instead of retreating into a corner!

Return that stare for a stare instead of "Jaane do?

Let us begin #SlapTheManWhoGropes-  wherever, whenever...Get the Girl power out on the front. Now is the time.

Get up and give back!

Enough you waited for Mindsets to change!

Enough you waited for some system to protect!

Enough you found upbringings at fault!


Let's make it a norm, not an exception.

Use the voice, the weaponry in your arsenal.. More so, throw away the endurance and tolerance.

Why wait?

Start this moment while you stand at the bus stop, railway station, office, park or street while walking home.

Courage is what you draw out and molestation what you annihilate!

Will you?

                                   -Sonnal Pardiwala.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bengaluru Chaos- A Lesson in Personal Responsibility

It was with great shock, I viewed the pictures doing the rounds of media on the mess that was created on the streets of Bengaluru. It was claimed that there were 1500 policemen and yet, many girls were molested!

Media had a field day on pronouncing it as the state's failure.

Police department blamed for its inefficiency.

Debates took place on Facebook, Twitter and outfits working on women issues slammed it as violation of Girl's modesty and infringement of their rights.

Great... It is so fashionable to blame Men and their mindsets.Portray women in victim mode and helpless. So convenient! Nowhere does the blog justify Molestation or condemn women out in public spaces at any hour. She is returning from work, she deserves a dignified passage to home! 
However, we must also look into the mob that created chaos on the streets of Bengaluru. Are women and men alike not "The Citizens"  of country who must uphold the Discipline and Law of the country. 
Time to take few Inclusive thoughts on this.

In battling Misogyny, let us not go creating Misandry.

It was a New Year Eve. People were happy 
and in a mood for frolic. Each wearing what they want. Each choosing the beverage they want. The question is,

"Why were they on the streets?" A stampede could have killed them. 

When we have a wedding, we choose a wedding hall!

When we have a religious ceremony, we have building premises!

Each celebration has a designated place. Why is there a need to get it out on the streets?

A mob is the most insensitive ground that breeds unruly behaviour. Responsibilities distribute. Accountability vanishes. Inhibitions are shed.

Now, why make this a gender inequality issue?

Why blame public servants who are human, ill equipped to deal with huge numbers of people, not in full control of themselves?

Why take this matter into the 'equal rights' debate?

The fact, that girls and boys both were on the streets, means, they were exercising their rights.

A bigger question is, why? To both?
Weren't there enough pubs or establishments to have fun to begin with?
As a woman, I never wear or wore purdah, neither a Burkha nor Ghunghat!

Pepper spray???

I do not know where to buy it.
I do not earn enough to afford a bodyguard. A beer or a whisky, yes!
Martial arts.. I learned out of hobby in my twenties.

But I have not been once molested, if you overlook the pinch and grab on railway stations.

If ever a guy acted smart I used my sandals or my verbal weapons.

Over the years I did realise that "being safe is an option not to be confused with rights."
I have a perfectly fun loving family and we have tons of fun. We however keep to our boundaries. We have chosen places which we have checked for safety and prestige.
One gets confused with an unruly mob and slanting it to equality and gender issues. 

Questions you should ask:

1) What is the correct way to celebrate something? Why Holi does need balloons thrown on streets, Diwali to be strewn with crackers, why New Year on the streets?

2) Does Bengaluru or any other city not have proper building compounds, terraces, hotel premises throwing "New Year Bash" for its citizens to bring in the New Year?

3) What exactly should a policeman do when they will be blamed either for not protecting the girls or bashing up the men?

4) Supposing something barbaric happens, how do you reverse it?

5) When none will protect, we women of India, should we not take kinder measures?

6) Am I modern only if I scream, dance and drink on the streets (regardless of being a male or female)?

7) Even parking slots refuse to take ownership of your car even if you pay parking charges! We install buzzer alarms to alert! Then why sounding some much needed alerts on "personal safety"  looked down upon?

8) Will I receive some protection, if I spew out anti men slogans and scream "women rights", from anyone?

Did what happen in Bengaluru a gender issue or a misplaced sense of fun and revelry?

Are roads made for dancing balls in an inebriated state by anyone or are they convenient means to travel from one place to another?

When you go out on the street, you have an incumbent risk.

You may meet with an accident... So there are footpaths erected, zebra crossings created.

You may slip on the road for it is wet!
Will you then blame the road because it is wet?

Precautions and rights are different things.
I have a right of being on the roads, yes.. I can take the precaution to walk sensibly and not run wild in the face of traffic. 

In the same way, if I know I am slightly tipsy and others are likely to be tipsier than me, it is best I stick to familiar people and familiar environs. Why walk into unfamiliar arenas and expect completely unrelated people, (men ill - mannered and hiding behind mob anonymity)  to show decency? It is the ideal expected but rarely fulfilled.

The fact that foreign beaches do not have molestation reports is not proof enough for various reasons

*Each one of them has culturally learned to mind their own business... Our country is yet to learn this basic ethic.

*Molestation might have happened but the reports have not reached us!

Media loves to sensationalise and create news out of everything.

If I have to teach my offspring something I would go with decency in thoughts and deed, saner philosophy on celebrations and safer strategies of self preservation.

If they must party, why not in a place where security and accountability measures are firmly placed? Street is for walking not partying! 31st night or any other night.

Be safe, walking out on streets drunk only gets you foggy heads the next day, not a Happy New Year!
                                 -SONNAL PARDIWALA

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Deodorise and Disinfect - The Natural Way!

9 Ways To Use Aroma Oils For A Healthier Lifestyle

Cleanliness is every mother's top concern. Hygiene, a super priority! Bacterial presence in the air or water- a mom's dreaded hazard. We invest precious monies to accumulate the right disinfectants, toiletries and medicines to deal with it. Now we are told that our detergents, shampoos, deodorants, disinfectants, dishwashers have chemicals that gently erode our immune systems. 

In that case, what shall we do to contribute to "Go Organic"  movement? 

Here I share few tips on using a natural multi purpose and uncontaminated ingredient. 

Nature has imparted us with lots, all we need to do is use it. 
Essential Oils, popularly known as aroma oils are fantastic aid to home help and keep the environment at home hygienic and fragrant. Do throw away the air fresheners that are adding to Mother Earth's pollution. 

Generally, when we think Aroma oils, we think only 'massage', but they can be applied in various situations. 

What are they?
Essential oils are concentrated liquids distilled from various parts of the plants (Root, bark, leaves, flowers). Therapeutic use is a different science but we can use in everyday situations at home. 

Every oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, analgesic property. 

Where do you get them?

Nearby beauty shops or online. Available in 10/15 ml quantity.
How to use them?

      1) Cleaning and Mopping floors. 

In a bucket of water, add 6-10 drops of any or combination of oils
  • Pine
  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Lemon

Wash the floor with running water or mop it with oil infused water. 

The fragrance will calm and soothe your nerves and lend a cleaner than thou feel. It lingers for a long time.

      2) Bath Waters

Want to beat a tired day? Have aching and frazzled muscles? Feel depressed and down? Add to your bath water the following oils either one or in combination:
  • Lavender (5-6 drops) 
  • Rosemary (3-5 drops) 
  • Pepper mint (3-5 drops) 
  • Bergamot (3-5 drops) 
Bathing with the refreshing aromas will rejuvenate you and leave your bath space feeling like a Spa.

      3) Disinfectant Spray

Take a small bottle spray. Add 50 ml water and to it add (5-6  drops) of following oils:
  • Lavender
  • Tea tree
  • Rosemary
These three oils kill air borne bacteria. Spray it in all the rooms twice a day. Specially if there has been an incidence of cold and flu and sneezing sprees.

      4) Insect Bites

If a rash is developing post an insect bite take a little raw oil in the pinch of your finger and thumb and apply on the itching area. 

Itching will subside in no time. Swelling too will dissipate.

      5) Mosquito Repellent

Take 5 ml almond or coconut base oil and add 10/12 drops of citronella oil. Apply on the skin before sleeping or going outdoors. It keeps mosquitoes away and allergies too. It induces good sleep.

      6) Deodorize Cupboards. 

Sprinkle any essential oil you have on a tissue paper. Keep this near the stack of your ironed clothes. 

Keep a tissue rolled which is oil infused near a dustbin area, shoe rack and places which will need deodorizing.

      7) A Goodnight's Sleep. 

Before sleeping, sprinkle few drops of Lavender under the pillow. It will relax nerves and induce peaceful sleep.

      8) Massage
Make a therapeutic mix of base oil (Almond, Coconut, Jojoba and any oil of your choice). 

It can be safely used on children. Personal experience! Both my sons have grown up with massages and infusions of this oil. 

      9) It is a deeper science, however a general list is given for various ailments. 
  1. Headaches and sleep issues- Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint.
  2. Coughs, colds, flu, breathing issues- Chamomile, Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon Grass, Frankincense, Basil. 
  3. Digestion issues- Geranium, Carrot Seed, Lavender. 
  4. Pain in any area-Lavender, Marjoram, Rosewood. 
Gently massage the mixture on the affected area and let the person relax. You will notice a sound sleep pattern, relaxing of nerves and reduction in pain. 

These are not to be taken as absolute medical care methods but as alternatives and remedies in conjunction with medical care. 

It will be our bit to replacing polluted elements with natural stuff. You may get addicted to its earthy aromas and gentler all encompassing relaxed effects. 

-Sonnal Pardiwala

Monday, December 26, 2016

Dangal - Refreshing And Exhilarating!

Profound wisdom emanates from simpler moments of life, when one halts for a moment and changes perspective. So says a 14-year old bride to the disgruntled daughters of Mahavir Singh Phogat. "Your father at least takes an interest in you. He accepts your existence and is striving to give your life a shape worthy enough of dignity."

That is enough to awaken in the daughters a renewed zeal to give in to the drill and agonizingly disciplined regime their father has set for them. 

Indian Cinema needed this 'Dangal' for so many reasons!
We will digress for a while but well, I am inundated with so many...So many thoughts that each reason can make a blog post.

The Indian male protagonist is so self-centred to date that very rarely we see him, allowing himself to look anything less than perfect. He always wants to be in command and if possible every frame right till the end. His real age notwithstanding, he is an epitome of eternal youth. He has to romance beauties half his age. He has to win and if he cannot he will use his progeny to break his bones to near death (Apne, remember?)
There are long drawn guilt trips for the poor unsuspecting progeny and ultimately a grander end. 

Cut to Dangal

We have a National Wrestling Champion, mired in financial difficulties living with a regret filled silence. Regret of not able to continue his wrestling journey and not getting a gold at an international level. His desire, "my son will continue my legacy!", squashed as he had four girls. 

There are no loud complaints and neither ignoring his girls. In fact he says "I love them but they cannot fulfill my wish."  A silent acceptance of fate as he puts away all his medals. Did I forget to tell you, it was, and is Aamir Khan?

Ohhh... Not intentional but just to make that point. He has clean changed the definition of what a mainstream 'hero' is. The silent, pigheaded, doggedly determined father who let criticism simply go unaffected. I had to remind myself, it is Aamir Khan who was Mahavir Singh Phogat

Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan ought to actually take a leaf out of his book and well, just take a cue!

Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat is so adorable in this big paunch and haryaanvi dialect. He did not feel the need to add a scene to educate the mass on procreation behind the curtains kinda thing. There is a very simple equation with his wife, Daya Kaur played by Sakshi Tanwar, "I don't understand your decisions but..."  and he requests "Ek saal de de munne...

No barbaric abuse or dogged domination. A fair relationship that has accepted a gender given societal roles. 

Wife obeys, husband decides.
Aamir dominates the screen as the father with an ambition... Father with a Vision... Father with an iron hand at discipline... Father who is willing to change perspectives... I too wish to say "Kaash ye mere Pappa hote...

Another reason why Indian Cinema needed this Dangal 
It is a Dangal of sorts for perspective of the girl & boy paradigms. What they can or cannot do! What we think 'they can or cannot do'!  Again from deeper disappointment and little moments, a mindset changes in a father who is living in a very orthodox, rural set up. 

A man who goes about declaring "Pehelwaani khoon me hoti hai..." is willing to do a gleeful roundabout on his pehelwaan  girls. 

He is still in his stereotype zone when he hits his nephew for hitting boys when few mangled kids stand in complaint. The glee on his face when he asks his girls, "Kaise maara?" is priceless. That is the moment of a mindset change that creates history. A perspective that begins questioning "A Gold medal can be brought by Girls, too!"  A perspective which erodes each societal norm one by one at the razor of 'what is possible"  "what is achievable"  A perspective that holds out hope to fulfill a long held dream.

 Those moments are now priceless for me. I wish my parents would have had a chat of this nature... When I stood on the threshold of adulthood and fought to continue studies post graduation. I did have my way but not without arguments and heartache. Reason: "A Groom that educated will be scarce." Well... 

This moment when the father decides to enroll his girls in his stricter course in wrestling, they have no clue... But the girl in me so rejoiced at the turnabout of a Dad to prepare his girls for a robust future with full faith that they can. They were his girls. 

'Pehelwaani' unke khoon me se!! Indeed. 

Steadfastly he began dealing with every and any impediment cited by his wife or girls... Even if to sometimes just escape. The perspective shift is so apparent in every scene that shreds misogyny to pieces. Sometimes the reasons made into excuses by the very same girls who would cry foul when growing up and asking for liberation.

"We cannot run in salwaar kameez!" it is not only the rant of those two girls but also so many in the nation. 

He silently asks his nephew's clothes and hands over to his wife to alter them to suit the girls. Wife, though aghast and confused does as bid. 

No prolonged arguments or heavy duty dialogues. 

"Our hair become filthy and we are facing trouble!" So they complain... 

So he decides, "Chop 'em off!" much to the chagrin and embarrassment of the girls who meant it as an excuse.

For the determined and ambition consumed father, it was... 

Whatever comes in the way of them focusing, will be simply terminated!
The very tenets of misogyny questioned in an eloquent way.
Should the raiment or Curls determine someone's worth or do we get overly attached to these external standards and judgments? 

Remove their strict adherence, strip the long held beliefs and ask "How are then girls or boys any different in spirit?

I have seen Mary Kom and Saala Khadoos. What left a bitter taste was the rough edge to the coaching highlights.
In pointing out the hard work, there was a tendency to overdo and dramatize to the point of making it sound unrealistic. Then it made one feel, only those who are made of steel or a different material may be capable. Not me or you or my children or yours. 

Indian Cinema needs Dangal to Demonstrate how from scratch, a sportsperson is molded out of sheer diligence and vision.

The girls in question did not even know for what were they being trained! 

Another endearing aspect of this pigheaded dad was his inability to get into long drawn educational or preachy monologues. Simply "This needs to be done!" , "This needs to be done this way..."

This is the obstacle... We'll get rid of it or rise above it.. Making the girls sing "Sehat ke liye Baapu Haanikarak he...
The "Paanch baje taiyaar rehna!" coming as a warning knell on the Girls. 

To fight he brings in his nephew in front of his girls...who are hell bent on sabotaging his every efforts. The import of their father's vision plain escapes these simpletons. 

Awareness dawns again in the most misogynistic situation of a child marriage. The very marriage ceremony of their friend they so happily scamper to. Against their father's wishes, they romp and rave oblivious of the hurt, despair & disappointment so vividly written on the bride's face.

 The girls complains finds a counter argument in the bride to be. "I so wish he was my father, he acknowledges your existence atleast, thinks about you. Else for a father a girl is only a burden to be married at the earliest." 

Both the girls find their existential purpose in that vulnerable moment of despair from the girl who knows her identity is off to be vanquished and she will be a machine henceforth to churn out kids and run the household impeccably...No more... 

That is the Dangal adorable quotient of a mindset shift... From one Girl to another Girl. My Destiny could be different if there was a father like yours "Value it!

Value they did...Surrendering now to the mold and discipline of their father's regime head on. 

Father too ups the challenge by getting them to compete with males. An unheard of faith. A faith of a Father nevertheless!
He eggs them on to join a tournament where they are underweight... Encourages in every round. No word of criticism ever uttered even if a round is lost. Only wisdom accrued over the years.

"She is overcoming the fear." He empathizes with their woes and enters quietly to soothe their aching muscles. It is the 'Dangal' of 'Guru' who has to push them further and 'Father'  who feels their pain. 

It is his faith and steady encouragement that brought them so far. A lesson his elder one learns the hard way. The later part of the movie sees the 'Dangal' of will, technique and discipline. It also raises question on our Sports Department system which lacks the inimitable will and zeal for the players they train. 

"Get me medals!", who gets it, does not matter? 

You are training 'humans' for God's sake! 

When a player loses a round, instead of boosting up their morale, there is derision and deprecation. 

No wonder India loses out on 'winners' zone! When coaches have no faith, where will the players borrow it from?
That is succinctly displayed in the short zone when the daughter moves to NSA for international training and is introduced to temptations. 

The Growing of hair or using nail paints or eating golgappa hitherto forbidden may bring in a sense of liberation but took away the steely edge from her disposition that was carefully inculcated by a Father who had been through the rigour and knew what it entailed. 

She came in the village with new know-how and dueled with her mentor to defeat him. Maybe it was her rebellious angst all those years...but the younger daughter echoes "He lost out of weakness not technique..."  so began the distance and downfall of Geeta (played by Fatima Sana Shaikh) who lost all international tournaments and Babita (played by Sanya Malhotra) who won her national championship. 

The difference being the rock solid force by her side. He knew their strengths and built on it. The coach focused on Geeta's weaknesses and destroyed her will. Their Father's gift was the fiery steely determination and the steadfast support which the elder Geeta realised as her laissez-faire liberated attitude faced turmoil soon. A debate may arise on liberation and discipline. A Dangal on was the father correct in instilling or imposing his ways on his unsuspecting daughters to meet his ambitious goals. His tender girls sure toughened up and created History for the nation! Does the end justify the means? 

All I would add is when you do not have your own dreams, might as well embrace another one's who directs and channelizes the Persona into someone worthwhile to Reckon with. He did make them a force to look up to! So an angry Geeta leaves her father 's stringent domain to enjoy her liberated one, to learn a valuable lesson. When we chart out on special journeys, the vision of the mentor counts. He had not cut their curls out of some male dominance. It was a well planned construct to keep their obstacles at bay and aid their work out progress. 

Series of defeats and Babita's presence binds the gap and gets the father to again take up six month old coaching of his girl. He finds ways to review her performance and restore her confidence. A confidence echoed by the younger sister "I do not know the girl who lost. I know the girl who fought boys and emerged a winner. She was underweight and yet pounded her opponents!"  In that depressed moment comes the realization of what their father's presence entailed. A confidence ingrained by the father in her Girl, who knows not to accept defeat or defect casually. Defeat needed ruthless review and more practice. Defects and lack to be improvised. 

If they cannot be accepted in the akhaada, he makes one...!
If he cannot get a leave, he leaves his job...! Again deeply entrenched misogyny spelled out loud and clear in the derisive words of the employer "If it was your daughter's wedding I would consider... For Wrestling practice, no way!"  

So progressive our society is! So considerate! Yes read deep sarcasm! 

He needs funds to make a mat for their practice, but is the sports personnel willing to forward the funds? For Girls wrestling??? Are you kidding??? 

Again compelling wisdom comes in casual conversations,when his brother asks "Ye mat ke se?
He says "Gadde jese...

Brother quips "Gadde te gadde se na bhaisaab!"

Then forms the improvisation of mats on terrace for practice.
Our winners make history despite the drawbacks... Not in spite... 

The final match was a treat. The Dangal between sure confidence of a father and insecurity of the coach was worth pondering over. It brings questions to fore when father indignantly gives it to the coach "You are asking Sehwag to be Dravid..." Instead of her strengths, you are looking elsewhere  His tearful declaration to the panel is "I have dreamed of my daughters getting a Gold for the country." is so heart rending. 

This is Aamir Khan... I do forget to mention him as he was all of that Haryaanvi jat for me for those two odd hours. He was graceful to not be in the climax scene and give it to the young talent to carry it off. The Culmination of his training of all years. 

Neither did Shahrukh Khan in Chak De allow that nor R Madhavan in Saala Khadoos. The Mary Kom angle of the child's surgery was over stretched. 

Nasty coach gets the dad locked who waits helplessly after initial attempts. 

But he is with her in spirit...With his words. Look into the eyes of the opponent...Always look for their weak moments...Rainbow loop... Which she used to combat and win the tournament. 

Here he knows of the victorious moment by the Anthem being played. 

I did not want this movie to end. It had to! IN THAT CASE I will have to see it at least five to six times to 

*Catch the Haryaanvi dialect and interactions of daughter and father.

The younger girls were so so endearing in their bewilderment, in their innocent rebellions! 

*Watch the supporting cousin who begins with false sense of male supremacy but resignedly and good naturedly accepts that 'he is the Good luck'  factor. 

*Catch the super exciting matches of the girls, 
Geeta and Babita who worked hard to achieve their picture perfect toned bodies to reflect embodiment of athletic refinement. Both the girls have stupendously hijacked the Canvas of Dangal to bring alive a possibility. A role model for this Generation to emulate. One life we have to hone it and honor it. The ends justify the means I guess. 

*See Aamir Khan. Tell myself this transformed man is indeed the Aamir of Andaaz Apna Apna or Hum Hai Raahi Pyaar Ke...

He once sang "Papa kehte the bada naam karega, beta humaara aisa kaam karega."  

He truly has done 'aisa kaam' to  be proud of and he himself portrayed the Papa...Who made it possible to change the lyrics a bit "Beti humaari esa naam karegi.
Kudos to a Movie that might go on to become a classic for us like his 'Taare Zameen Par' and '3 Idiots'.

A grounded effort par Excellence...He was not making a Documentary for God's Sake!  (for all those who feel criticizing him is a mandatory need for their evolution) 

INDIAN CINEMA NEEDED DANGAL... for so many reasons and more... We need more of it... 

For Indian movies should move out of thinking only domestic violence and marital abuse and rapes are maladies that women go through! 

Indian movies must stop thinking that a woman is attractive only when she sways her hips in less clothing...

Indian movies must stop thinking that a man has to have six pack abs and is needed always to rescue a woman from dire circumstances in the form of a father or husband. 

Indian movies must stop thinking giving up career for a man is the ultimate sacrifice and aim of a woman. 

Indian movies must believe mature stories can be told of Father's faith...
Daughter's striving and bringing home glory.
Indian movies must believe that stereotype does not have to be nurtured but challenged...Gently, silently, effectively and eloquently... Without tons of drama! 

The writer deserves a bow... the Director a Salute!... And Aamir Khan a squealing bear hug! 

Too old to say "Kaash vo mere pappa hote!"  but a cute father he portrayed. For those two hours I lived a different life and shall want to soak in again... Another five times perhaps...

Cast and Crew of 'Dangal' you are permanently etched and inscribed into my psyche! Love and loads and loads of it!

-Sonnal Pardiwala

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Child In Us Never Ceases To Be!


The most significant possession of a child is, a toy! An insatiable need for toys! The more one has, the more one wants...one more...one more...and ever more! 

Big Bazaar's Kiddie Club has geared up to meet this ever accelerating inner quest of kids for Toys and Activities through its #KidsCarnival2016 starting from 10th December 2016 till 8th January 2016.

Big Bazaar is a trusted flagship hypermarket retail chain from Future Group. It has its presence in over 100 cities. It has a motto of 'Making India Beautiful.

With its high quality products made available at affordable prices, it is a dream store to walk into for each member of the family. It is a one-stop shopping paradise for the entire family. And easy on the budget too!

Big Bazaar ensures their customers value added products while always adding a generous sprinkling of discounts and promotional offers. No doubt, a family will turn to the store to find the latest in toys, clothing and entertainment under this ever cordial and benevolent premise. 

The Kiddie Club stems from the idea that kids needed a platform to show case their talent and pursue their hobby through fun activities. Big Bazaar stores offer this carnival as an experience which is filled with creative, innovative games and competitions. 

What is more, the Kiddie Club offers its little members a #KiddieClubCard which allows them to collect points while shopping and indulging in rollicking pursuits of childhood. 

They have zipped up the excitement quotient by roping in the ChotaBheem Competition.

Yes! The little ones stand a chance to feature in a ChotaBheem TVC. All they need to do is send in a fun Selfie taken in the store to @big.bazaar on Twitter/Instagram. Besides, tons of events and action awaits in each store of Big Bazaar for the little ones. 

Dear Mommies and Daddies, 

Christmas is around and how much will Santa Claus do? Lending a helping hand to the old man will bring in smiles and grins for your little ones!

The Polite and Prompt staff shall be at your assistance. While you shop, your kids shall be so engaged in fun filled events, that they will not press you to hurry up your affairs anytime soon. Either they will be busy with My Heroes theme, Jungle Set up, RC RangeMy Mind (board games) and  fun-packed activities like mood board, ring toss, hopscotch, feed the joker, angry bird, golf ball throw or clicking photographs at the photo booth. 

You can shop to your heart's content while your energy bundle is channelized constructively. You'll be happy too!

Shopping will be no longer a chore for you or an experience that is tiring for your kids. 

Come, visit Big Bazaar Kids Carnivalthis festive month full of gifts and giveaways. Gift your little ones happiness and usher in the New Year with cheerful promises of fulfilling all the dreams your children may ever have!

Our children have only one childhood, embellish it with delight and squeals of joy. Bestow the perfect sigh of contentment onto your kids and also walk away content with super discounts and offer!