The actor’s wife.

She looked at herself in the mirror. Her weight gain was not a lot, women of her age did gain that sort of weight, especially after two pregnancies. She looked at the Newspaper. There was an article on her husband. As usual. And his new wife. And how he still ‘maintained relations’ with the children of his first marriage. Her children. Their children.

Things were obviously going to fall apart. He was from the film industry. She was not. It was naive to think that he wouldn’t fall for one of the women from the sets. But what happened surprised her more than shocking her. He had fallen for the director, a hard-working young woman, and not the scintillating actress, his co-star.

They had married when he hadn’t even worked in his first film. People advised her not to. What if he ended up being just a junior artist all his life? But she believed him. She believed in him. And he succeeded. The more his profession took off, the more their marriage failed. She should have known. She never understood how the  other star-wives managed it. She didn’t want to. She wasn’t one of them.

She had given the marriage all she could. Perhaps too much. But she was thankful he ended it when he was in love with someone else, although, it still was extra-marital, and she could never forgive him for it. The kids had grown up. She had hoped that they would not join the film industry. But it looked to her that her son was inclining that way. Well, it was his choice.

The only mistake she thought she had ever made was let the marriage and her husband define her identity so largely. Now she had found herself, and did what she want to. She turned the page of the paper. Something caught her attention –

A young actress, who had done a brief role in one of her husband’s films had committed suicide, and abuse by a boyfriend, another actor’s son, was said to be involved. No doubt her secretary would put a call through to her soon, from the deceased relatives. But she could not wait. She picked up the phone.

“Hello? This call is from the Director of Protection of Women in the Entertainment Industry. I was wondering if this is a good time to talk about your daughter, the deceased Miss Khan? It appears to me that the case needs probing.”

Helping isn’t enough.

The other day, dad donated some money, and came home and boasted about it. My mother rebuked him with a ”If you are giving something in the name of God with one hand, you should be so discreet, that even the other hand should not come to know”. (Giving to the poor is equal to giving to God – no doubt a smart belief of major religions to encourage helping the economically backward)

That is all well, I thought to myself. But why do we insist on such pureness of spirit from someone who helps? It’s as if, in the back of our minds, we feel that either the person be a complete angel and be secretive about altruistic behaviour, or if he can’t shut up about it, then he is better of not helping people.

Some people told me that if this is not insisted upon, people will not help in order to help, but to gain fame and to tell everyone how nice they are. So, the spirit of helping is lost. People should only help when they really want to, or let it be.

Now, I had a chapter on Helping behaviour in Social Psy last year, and the reasons we help, according to the author of the book (based on lots of research and studies) are –

1. It feels good to help others.

So basically, its a selfish act. We do it, because we feel good. Like eating or watching porn. Only difference being, it involves other humans.

2. It reduces our negative feelings.

Helping others gives them joy, and gives us a relief from negative emotions.

3. Helping is an accomplishment.

I helped  someone, so i’m the cool dude.

4. Competitive altruism

Oh, you donated 10k? I will donate 15k. Who is the better helper now, huh?

5. Kin selection theory

I will help those who maybe related to me, or those, who will benefit the world if they are helped. E.g, save a young woman first in an emergency situation, because she may bear children which helps continuity of mankind.

Ok, so some of these motives are nice, some are not. My mother, for example, would not agree to helping if it were any of those above, except out of the pure goodness of ther person’s heart.

But I feel, that no matter why you help, you certainly are helping. You gave the beggar food, for whatever reason, but the fact remains that you helped him to have a meal. His stomach, as well he himself, will be thankful to you, regardless of what your motives are.

I think its about time we overcome this “either be a noble helper or no helper at all” psyche and accept people who help as well as boast about it. Why shouldn’t they? Isn’t helping an achievement in this world of cut-throat competition, when no one looks kindly at fellow humans?

If they took out the time, money to be kind, they have all right to be proud of this achievement, just like they would of winning a prestigious award.

Further, I also feel that if such people were accepted, many more people than currently do would act in helping, prosocial manner.

Lastly, the argument that, unless done purely, they might help only to show-off, and so it will be a one-time act and not a continuous act of helping. I feel that precisely the opposite is true.

When only you are to experience the joy of giving in privacy, you may experience it twice, maybe thrice. But since you can’t tell other people, your motivation will keep lowering and secret self-joy won’t be enough to push you.

So go out there, help, and spread the word! Image

Crockery Conversations – Part 2! (a co-authored post)

And The Manor lived by another day. Its members and inhabitants doing what they were supposed to do. Live on, do their daily work, blissfully unaware of the existence of talking crockery. And just like these members, lived the Crockery of that Manor, the sun went down, lights went out and the Crockery came to life, like always. Slowly, gradually, trying to shake off the stagnant daily life off them, and shedding the darkness. Beginning to talk and move. This day had been quite eventful. Hell, not just eventful but full of hectic work and excitement. It was Neelofar’s birthday. Neelofar, the middle child of one of the brothers of the Manor, was celebrating her18th birthday. Every event, like a birthday or a marriage, at the Manor was a huge, ‘talk of the town’ sort of event. The magnificent Manor would be lit up like the Sun, covered by unbelievable and brilliant decoration, making it truly look like a wonder. Richie rich guests, friends and family, all occupied the Manor for Neelofar’s birthday, to get together and meet up, greeting each
other, the party being a reason for another social comparison, who was prettier, who was richer, and by how much?.

While the legally living greeted outside, the pseudo non-living prepared them to serve their guests with exquisite food and beverages. Dishes of many varieties and kinds were served on them, to cater to people of every type .For a manor this big, serving a family this royal, the amount of Crockery in the kitchen had to be humungous and unbelievable too. Years of serving the royal blood and friends, they had tasted almost every dish, every drink and every stain. They would show off, about how many dishes they have served and which the best was. Surprisingly,
these were the things who had tasted more than any man could have (or woman. We no sexist, bro.)

Shaking off the memory of the day, Mrs Potts, the all mother, the oldest, announced it was safe for everyone to come out. With her permission and assurance, all the unboxed, unchained Crockery came out. Cluttering on their way through the counters, hopping, rearranging themselves, and finally walking down from cabinets, and the strong ones jumping off heights, they all gathered around Mrs. Pott.

Mrs. Potts, with her favourite pots and cups, started chatting about how the day had gone. What went wrong and what was new and what all happened. Comparing everything to how they did it before. Condemning some new things and praising some. While the pots and cups kept on with their chat, two imported, English plates, brought specially from
England, argued with other Indian plates about a recent game of cricket between India and England. David, one of the English plates said, “We invented the game, we play it the best. Everyone else came and cheated from us and learned it. We own cricket!” To which, a furious Indian plate, Rex, replied, “Yeah, and who stole hockey? Don’t you people play it, too? Everybody in the world does. That’s our game. Give that back to us and you can have the
right to lecture me about owning cricket.” Disgusted at being levelled by a comment equally valid, David had to give in and cluttered back into his stand, stomping angrily, giving Rex the meanest of looks. Rex continued to talk to the other English plate, Harrison. Harrison was rather a calmer, more reasonable plate. Now, that’s the kind of personality a plate should have, Rex thought approvingly. He would talk is way out of people but never fight. Taking David’s place, Harrison started talking to Rex and everyone, the other Indian plates knew, Rex was going to succumb to Harrison’s way with words. Thus they popped open their ears and patiently waited for it to happen. Knowing that this night, was going to be all about it cricket and Harrison.

Only, they noticed that one of Neelofar’s friends had forgotten her cup at the Manor, and it simply wouldn’t talk! This was pointed out by the very observant kettle, Jaya. Then it struck her that, *maybe* only the crockery which has been in this Manor can talk! And that spun all kinds of questions – Was the manor bewitched? Were the owner’s wizards? This would explain the incident of last time, when they thought morning came too soon! Do time and other fundamental things behave differently in this Manor? The uproar that went around was magnanimous! But how much of it was true? Only time would tell! (Whether it behaves fundamentally normally, or not.)

{ This blog was co-authored along with Adam Fredie, in fact, the post is mostly him. Do encourage him by comments 🙂 }

House of the Pretty (a.k.a The Ladies’ Room)

If  you have ever wondered how girls look so pretty and perfect most of the time, think of the time when they said,in almost a whisper, ” i’m going to the ladies room/washroom. Be back in a jiffy!” with a captivating smile.

 

Thats right. That is the room that i prefer to call the “House of the pretty” . Practically everything, from a touch up, to changing one’s hairdo, to wiping off the Smeared mascara after an emotional moment…or readjusting one’s lipstick after a passionate one [;)]  are taken care of , in that humble place.

Personally, i also enjoy going to the washroom in Inorbit Mall, Vashi, beacuse the music they play there is better than the stuff they play in the Food Court. Seriously!

And that is perhaps the reason why the ladies’ washrooms are all hip and swanky in malls…and guess what? Lately they include a “baby change section” too, where a mother can tend to her baby, change diapers..and so on.

So, in a way, it is the ultimate hotspot for women.

Once i asked a guy friend if their toilet trips were as eventful. He gave me the blankest look possible. In fact when a group of both male and female friends go out, the male counterparts keep wondering why girls have to “take a leak so often” so as to speak. That is before they understand, what really goes on.

But, underlying this phenomena, is a fact that applies to most things. For example,The green room, is the place where artists are themselves, without the masks. Similiarly, for once, women don’t HAVE to look  beautiful in a washroom, but can be themselves for a while, and after gaining their presentableness, back into the world of faces.

Also after a lot of shopping, women generally go to the washroom, why ? Well, if they bought a lot of clothes to make them look good, a pretty face is certainly necessary for the complete picture. Why not soothe the ego from now itself, a constant reassurance, that the face is worth the clothes (and the money spent on them) and vice versa.

These observations might not make sense to everyone, but the next time you go to the loo, think if it as the “house of the pretty” and they just might. Happy Relieving ! 😛