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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Destiny- a short story (the story that kickstarted my writing journey)

Akash Mehra
January 01, 2007
I woke up wishing I was dead. I’ve read extensively about the power of one’s will. They say a person can make his dreams come true if he truly believes in them. Well then, why am I not an actor, yet? I have recurring dreams that I am leading my life the way I always wanted to; I win awards, my movies are box-office successes, I’m married to the superstar Antariksha and my life is absolutely perfect. And then I wake up.

My current job is so far from glamour, it’s ironical. I am an accountant. Need I say anymore? I work with numbers everyday. It is the most unimaginative job anyone could ever choose to do. There are set rules; certain items will only appear on the debit side of an account. No two ways about it. If you put an amount meant to be debited on the credit side of the said account, it just won’t balance. When this mistake occurs, it can easily be rectified. Once everything balances, I can go home knowing that everything is in order. Except that everything isn’t in order. My life is not the way I imagined it to be. Instead of living a dream, I’m living a nightmare. I’m a failure and I know it.

My parents are very proud of me. In their eyes, I’m a hero. But that’s about it. No one else looks up to me. If I die today, it won’t make a difference to anyone’s life. Yes my parents will be affected, but they are already on their deathbeds. My friends have proved to me time and time again that they are only there in the good times. I never married because I knew that I was meant to marry Antariksha. Marrying someone else would entail compromising in yet another sphere in life. I tried really hard to become an actor. I wouldn’t have given up but I had no choice. When dad got cancer and could work no more, I had to give up on my dream. I had to become the breadwinner of the family. I had to do this for my “parents”. I never shared this thought with anyone but I always found it hard to believe that they were my parents. I didn’t look like either of them and I certainly had a different outlook on life. They believed in earning enough to ensure three meals a day. I wanted more.

Antariksha is getting married to that “superstar” or superstar’s son rather, Abhinav, today. He doesn’t deserve her. He doesn’t deserve any of it. It’s my life he’s leading. I feel it in my gut. But, who’s going to believe a 33 year old, boring accountant?

Abhinav Gupta
January 01, 2007

Happy New Year! As if. I’m getting married. Against my will. My life is over. I hate Antariksha for this. That conniving little ---- you know what. She had to go and get pregnant. If she was a nobody, I could easily stay uncommitted. But she’s as big a celebrity as I am. I don’t even know why. If people knew what she looked like first thing in the morning, she wouldn’t be half as famous as she is now.  

And people think my life is perfect. My life is unreal. That’s what it is. Ever since I was born my fate was decided. It was a given that Rajdev’s son would become an actor like him.
Granted, I led a privileged life but I’ve never led a private life.  Honestly, I’m tired of lying. I lie about my love for Antariksha, I lie about my love for acting- I lie about everything. When I stand in front of adoring fans, I know I’m a fake. I have no in-born acting talent. I don’t believe it’s in my genes. Only dad and I know (and my acting instructors who were paid huge amounts to keep their mouths shut) how many acting lessons, dancing lessons and hours of rehearsals it has taken me to achieve the status I have achieved. Whenever I caught dad staring at me, I knew exactly what he was thinking. He was wondering how I could be his son. He couldn’t understand how Rajdev and Maya’s son could be such a terrible actor.

I suppose I am being envied by thousands of men at this very moment. They must be wishing they could lead my life. I just wish I could lead the life of a single man. How hard I prayed that the stupid DNA test would prove that Antariksha’s child isn’t mine. But it is. I now have to go and put on a fake smile that will have to last for the next 15 hours. How I hoped when I woke up this morning that this was just a nightmare. But it isn’t. This is my life.

Dr. Ram Nathwani
January 01, 2007

Rajdev and Maya’s son is getting married today. To that poor girl Antariksha. How a girl can marry a boy who refuses to believe the child she is carrying is his, is beyond me.  I conducted the DNA test as requested but ended up stumbling upon a shocking fact. Rajdev asked me to match his DNA with Abhinav, while I was at it. When Maya looked at him questioningly, he just laughed and said ‘I always had my doubts’. He changed the topic by cracking a joke and Maya put it down to one of his eccentricities. But I knew that Rajdev was serious.  I conducted the test; their DNA didn’t match. But Maya could never have cheated on Rajdev. I just knew it. So I found the file that contained information of children delivered in my clinic that day, thirty three long years ago. Abhinav was born before Rajdev and Maya had made it big. That’s why he was born in a small clinic like mine. That day only six children were delivered in my clinic. Four of them were girls. That leaves two boys. The other child was born to a simple middle class family. I couldn’t believe my luck; they still had the same phone number. I traced that child. I asked him when he had last got a medical examination done. I asked him to come in and get a routine check-up done. I lied to him about the Government making regular check-ups compulsory soon. He didn’t buy it, but came in, nonetheless. One glance at him and I knew he was Rajdev’s son. I could just see it. I conducted a DNA test; his DNA matched Rajdev’s. Life is so strange; this boy, Akash something, is the son of Bollywood’s biggest celebrities, Rajdev and Maya. I didn’t say anything to this young man or to Rajdev. It’s too late now. I just asked God for forgiveness. I am sorry for what this child has been deprived of, due to my mistake. I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if this boy had been given the chance to live a life that rightfully belonged to him. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to lead a life that was not yours. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


So I'm utilizing this blog space after two whole years! This was an assignment I had when I was studying Creative Writing a few years ago. Stumbled upon it while I was clearing out my overflowing desk. I was pretty smart for a twenty-three year old! We had to write whatever came to mind when given the word 'revenge'. Here's what I wrote:

It is said that revenge is best served cold. The saying is probably true; when you focus on the hurt, anger and agony that an enemy or friend-turned-enemy has caused, you re-live the humiliation that moment caused you. The more time you spend thinking about it, the more devious your mind can become. The fact that so many people never have 'comebacks' when someone is rude to them shows that these people are inherently nice. They don't have easily accessible negative thoughts floating around in their minds. Thus when confronted, they are too shocked to respond with anything mean. However, as they recall the moment again, they come up with nasty things that they could have said but didn't. Mature people forget about the moment and move on with their lives. Or they never really forget the moment, but they do forgive the offender. Alternatively, people carry the resentment with them but never voice out their opinions. This is actually the worst way to deal with anger because if one lets anger and humiliation build, eventually, this seemingly calm person will vent all the pent-up feelings and the result won't be pretty, to put it mildly.

Nonetheless, revenge is a word that makes many uncomfortable. It brings to mind dramatic Hindi movies where the hero avenges the death of his loved ones. The 'villain' is generally a stereotypical bad guy who doesn't have one good bone in him. The fact that good and evil are so clearly distinguished in cinema is what makes it unrealistic. In reality, most of us have good and bad in us. In the real world, everything isn't always black and white. There are shades of grey all around. And that us probably why I haven't enjoyed writing my thoughts on revenge. Writing this post is bringing back memories of instances when people have been rude to me and I haven't had the guts to get my revenge. Or worse, moments where I have retaliated and hated myself for it. For when you give in to anger, you completely lose control of your words and actions. And while spectators may think you had the mettle to stand up for yourself, your conscience isn't convinced. That is what keeps you awake all night when you've had a fight and hurt others. And so, while revenge has been the theme for many a hit movie, make it the theme for your life and it is bound to flop. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Top 10 Romantic comedies of the 90s-2000s'

I’ve always loved rom coms. I love the warm, fuzzy feeling I get after watching a good rom com. The thing about romantic comedies or chick flicks is that even though they are far from reality, they give most viewers hope. And while men will deny watching them, many of them secretly do watch these movies and enjoy them too!
So, here it is. A list of my Top 10 All time favorite Romantic Comedies. I’ve watched pretty much every rom com that released from the 90s’ onwards, so I consider myself an expert on this subject.

10. The Holiday

Nancy Meyers (Director of Something's Gotta Give) brings a sweet movie about how a holiday can truly change one's life. With a stellar cast consisting of Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Jude Law, there's no way she could have gone wrong, anyway. 
The two main characters are Amanda (Cameron Diaz), a highly successful movie trailer editor in Los Angeles, and Iris (Kate Winslet), a lovesick society column editor for The Daily Telegraph in London. The story is set in motion when each of them suffers a heartache: Amanda discovers that her boyfriend has cheated on her, while the object of Iris' unrequited love announces his engagement at the office Christmas party. Seeking an escape, Iris proposes the home swap on the internet, posting an ad about her quaint cottage in Surrey in the English countryside. Her offer is eagerly accepted by Amanda, who lives in a luxurious home in L.A. but is stressed over her break-up. Each woman discovers a new way of life and another chance at a romance. A perfect movie to cheer you up on a Saturday night at home!

9. A Lot Like Love

This 2005 film starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet is about how life can come in the way of love. Constructed as a series of chapters that take place at a turning point in each character's life, the story moves over seven years. Emily Friehl (Amanda) and Oliver Martin's (Ashton)  first encounter is on a flight from Los Angeles to New York City, during which they join the mile high club. He has hopes of becoming an Internet entrepreneur and, certain of his future success, gives her his phone number and suggests she call him in six years to see if his prediction came true. She ends up calling him much sooner than that and their star-crossed love story carries on. Each time they meet, the pull they feel towards each other is immense but the timing is always wrong. Will they realise that what feels a lot like love is indeed the real thing? You have to watch it to find out!

8. 10 Things I hate about you

This movie is a remake of the classic Shakespare play "The Taming of the Shrew.", set in a modern day highschool. Made in 1999, it stars the late Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in lead roles. The talented cast also comprises of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The story begins with Cameron (Joseph), a new student at Padua High, who has a major crush on Bianca Stratford, a beautiful sophomore with one problem: she isn't allowed to date. And neither is her "shrew" sister, Katarina (Julia), a senior who loves indie rock and feminist prose and hates conformity. But Kat and Bianca's father alter's his house rule: now, Bianca can date as long as Kat has a date, too. So, in order for Cameron to date Bianca, he has to find someone to date Kat.Enter the misunderstood bad boy, Patrick (Heath) Although Hollywood has churned out numerous high school movies, 10 Things I hate about you stands out because of it's star cast, humor, script and dialogues. If you haven't watched this yet, please do, if only to pay homage to Heath Ledger.

7. He’s Just Not That Into You

He's Just Not That Into You is a 2009 film based on the self-help book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.
I've read the book and while it was indeed a revelation to a naive teenager (I read it 4 years ago) like me, for once, a film based on a book outdid the book. While the book is mainly non fictional, the movie manages to create lovable characters and stories to get it's message across. The story focuses on Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), a clueless journalist looking desperately for love and Alex (Justin Long), a bar owner who educates Gigi on the pyschology of men. The ensemble cast also includes Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Conolly and Ben Affleck. The four main love stories are connected by inter-related characters. A must-watch for every woman who has ever mis-interepreted a man's signs. Never again will you waste your time on a man who is not that into you after watching this movie!

6. While You Were Sleeping

Sandra Bullock has starred in some of the best romantic comedies made and this is why she features in two of the movies on this list. While You Were Sleeping is an adorable 1995 movie about a lonely ticket collector, Lucy (Sandra Bullock) who pretends to be engaged to the man whose life she saves. However, while her "fiance" (Peter Callaghan) is in a coma, she ends up falling in love with his brother, Jack Callaghan (played by the dashing Bill Pullman). While the love story is endearing, another highlight of this movie is the eccentric yet highly endearing Callaghan family who welcome Lucy into their family whole-heartedly. This is one of those movies you can watch over and over again and never tire of.

5. You’ve Got Mail

This is the story about two owners of competing bookstores who hate each other in person but fall in love on the internet. Released in 1998, this movie stars rom com experts and sweethearts, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. This lead pair creates as much magic in this movie as they created in Sleepless in Seattle in 1993.Each of them has attractive partners but can't help being drawn to each other online. This movie shows that true love can be found (and can find you) anywhere.

4. Two Weeks’ Notice

Two Weeks' Notice explores the relationship between an intelligent lawyer, Lucy (Sandra) and her wealthy, charming boss, George (Hugh). George hires Lucy as Chief Counsel for his real estate enterprise. However, he soon starts relying on her for every mundane decision  of his life. Tired of being his nanny-cum-assistant, Lucy serves her two weeks' notice to him. But is George the only one who needs Lucy or is there more their relationship than the usual boss-employee one? The chemistry between Hugh and Sandra is great in this movie and Hugh shines in this rom com due to his trademark accent, unique expressions and inherent wit and charm.

3. Bridget Jones’ Diary

Based on the novel by Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones' Diary is a hilarious rom com about an average woman struggling against her age, her weight, her job, her lack of a man, and her many imperfections. As a New Year's Resolution, Bridget (Renee Zellwegger) decides to take control of her life, starting by keeping a diary in which she will always tell the complete truth. The fireworks begin when her charming though disreputable boss (Hugh Grant) takes an interest in the quirky Miss Jones. Thrown into the mix are Bridget's band of slightly eccentric friends and a rather disagreeable acquaintance (Colin Firth) who Bridget cannot seem to stop running into or help finding quietly attractive. This movie is worth watching for Renee's hilarious antics, Hugh's indisputable charm and Colin Firth's portrayal of 'Mr. Darcy' yet again. 

2. Someone Like You

Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd) has everything going for her. She's a producer of a popular daytime talk show, and is in a hot romance with the show's dashing executive producer Ray (Greg Kinnear). When Ray unexpectedly dumps her, she begins an extensive study of male behavior to try to find out what makes men tick. Her "research" leads her to become an overnight sensation/Guru for single women everywhere. When Jane begins to use her womanizing roommate and co-worker Eddie (Hugh Jackman) as fodder for her research, she finds both humor and answers where they were least expected.The reason to watch this movie? It stars Hugh Jackman! You don't need any other reasons! This 2001 movie marks the beginning of my 9 year crush on the delectable Hugh Jackman.

1. Love Actually

Love Actually follows the lives of eight very different couples in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.
The characters are falling in love, falling out of love, some are with right people, some are with the wrong people, some are looking to have an affair, some are in the period of mourning; a capsule summary of reality. Love begins and love ends. They flirt a lot. They are all flirting with love. At all ages and social levels, love is the theme. Romantic love and brotherly love is the hotchpotch through out the movie.This is the most uplifting rom com you will ever watch. And with an ensemble that boasts of Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Emma Thomspon, Kiera Knightley, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman and Billy Bob Thornton, amongst others, you know you are in for a Christmas treat! Watch it in the holiday season or simply whenever you need to renew your faith in love; the one thing that makes the world go round.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Love-this one word means so much to so many,
It is the ultimate purpose of existence,
Yet to some it is still a mystery,
A puzzle that cannot be fathomed

Is it acceptable to not understand it’s meaning,
Even after twenty odd years spent on this planet?
Is it wrong to consider all love quotes as mere ramblings of the weak?
Relying on themselves is what the strong do- is it not?

So many unanswered questions,
So many unresolved thoughts,
My soul knows that my mind is right,
Yet it’s desire to feel this love someday is immense

My family has graciously bestowed love on me,
Yet I am not sure if what I feel toward them is love or simply gratitude,
Love is supposed to overpower logic and reasoning,
But I have yet to feel that way

As much as it is an unknown and dangerous concept,
For letting go completely can only result in pain,
My greatest fear is never getting to know this feeling,
My biggest worry is to die an incomplete being

Rubix soul

‘Life is a gift’, they say,
‘Make every moment worthwhile’
We’re supposed to keep unhappiness at bay,
And through our sorrows muster a smile,

It’s all easier said than done,
Some hearts rarely find peace.
To us, these words, merely tease,
They’re a reminder of what we can never have.
Be it in the long or short run.

The clock ticks steadily away,
Before we know it, life has passed us by.
Nothing gained, everything lost,
Breaths exhaled at a high cost.

Why were we constantly searching?
And what were we looking for?
Unhappy memories keep surfacing,
Regret at actions not taken, dangerously lurking.

Easy to heal are wounds that are visible,
But what cures an empty soul?
Action can be taken for reasons identifiable,
But how do I align disparate parts of my rubix soul?

How do I align disparate parts of my rubix soul?
How do I fix it, when I don’t know why it broke?

New Year

A New Year has begun,
They say wondrously,
What is so new about it?
I ask ponderously

The cycle repeats,
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn,
A new beginning, they say,
A continuation, I counter

If I were wrong,
There would be something tangible at the end of each year,
Instead, there’s nothing to show,
All momentary; laughter, a smile, fear, a tear

The year has gone,
Another one arrives,
With each celebration, I realize,
Nothing is real; it’s all an illusion,
It’s just a way to present time,
It was created to make it bearable,
To quantify this journey of ours,
To make it less frightening,

New is good and old is bad,
They lie to us,
But I’m not buying it,
A New Year is not new,
It’s just an old, ageless toy,
Gift wrapped in new paper…

Words; a short poem

Tangled up, messy, hurtful,
Kind, encouraging, hopeful,
They can be anything we want,
Just like our minds,
Despite having control over them, sometimes we don’t,
Apologies are made,
Yet sometimes it’s too late,
Once spoken they rarely fade,
They have hurt you like a spade,
All that is left to say is,
Don’t give them the power to affect you,
Today should be a day of bliss,
Not one that is blue,
Let it hit and miss,
Please don’t let my harsh words affect you…