Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When I met Chetan Bhagat

I met the man, the brand, who allegedly has the power to change this generation*! He never claims as much, as he seems to bask in the aphorism. 

I walked into his talk show, which claimed I would be pepped up. ‘An inspirational evening with Chetan Bhagat’, that’s what it was titled. So I looked for anything that lifted the throbbing wobbly parts of myself no sooner I stepped into the extravagant Ritz Carlton. A chilled drink did the best it could and a friendly hostess did some more to pacify the vengeful sinus-vertigo aliens unhappy with me not pampering them. 

Soon, the man with about 2.3 million Twitter followers and 4.2 million FB fans walked in escorted by two women. 

What did I expect! 

Well, he took the stage and started with a disclaimer. “I will not give advices. Especially for this audience… if you’ll can afford to be here, you’ll don’t need my advice… so I’ll speak of my life.”

Some connect there!

Soon I was left wondering why the PowerPoint presentation. But I almost forgave him, when I heard his confession of having to do certain things against his better judgement in public domain. Like how he ‘fights’ on News channels when the hyper host poses questions such as ‘The nations says this about you. What would you say Chetan Bhagat?” And he lets go…

Point noted!

Having goals is crucial to living life, he continued. When he became a full-time writer his first goal was to challenge publishers who rejected his manuscripts. And thus he began urging NRIs to challenge themselves. “NRIs only exist…they lack the zing in them..” With annually increasing bank balances, bigger homes and sending kids go to the best institutions, NRIs "pull on" and "go on". He called on all to chase their dreams.

My fav topic! I was all ears

That’s when I heard him say his dream was to be a househusband. Some laughs, muffled and modest followed when he delivered the age-old mom-in-law and wife jibes. He went on to recommend how important it is to ‘under-promise and over-deliver’, and gave the example of his  upcoming movie ‘2 States’ – based on his autobiographical book by the same name. 


“Form partnerships, cultivate patience, be humble…” were his tips for success. His political allegiance to BJP and reasons for him thrashing the fledgling AAP was also clarified in the process.

By now I was slouched in my chair!

“I have travelled to more than 100 cities and interact with about 5 crore people currently…”

I lost the connect!

And so, I asked, “Would you have taken the decision to give up your job had your wife not been a successful professional?” Without batting an eyelid, he replied, “No. I would have never taken such a decision had I not been supported.”

I sat up.

“You are one of the most criticized authors. How do you tackle that?” Again, without taking as much a second, he replied, “You just learn to deal with it.”


The hows were missing. The ‘H’ that will elevate people; that which will differentiate a well-orchestrated show from that of a Wikipedia evening; that which will add the zing he alleges is missing in NRIs; that which will pep up aspirants and wannabes; that which will fuel those revving up on their tracks towards their dreams…

The trials and tribulations during his incubation period, the brick bats he battled; his mental, emotional state when overcoming them; his modus operandi…is what the audience would have taken home and adopted and remembered when they feel low and seek to get out of the mundane rut.

Nevertheless, I did connect. His honesty vowed me. So did his humbleness. As when he answered my direct query about quitting his job, looking me in the eye. As when he spoke of giving his kids middle-class values. As when he said family is the base, everything else is secondary…

A connect lies in the ears of the audience, as with the heart of the speaker… provided there are no expectations!

There I go… so what did I expect? To see a brand named Chetan Bhagat. And I only saw a human in flesh! 

You may want to read more Chetan Bhagat related posts:

Chetan Bhagat's dream for us: 

Who must do books? 

PS: [*Meghnad Desai called this the Chetan Bhagat generation]

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Who let the wolves in?

I woke up seeing red. A colour I see often in my effort to keep the wolf off my door!


Is it the wolves splashing them or me imagining?

I leave it you all to find out.

Meanwhile, I’m determined from the previous moment not to refurbish the muck they spew!

So I stop. Good day friends!

PS:  A clue to help you find the answer...I let them in. Phew!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Of sarees, women and me

Survived a dampener of a weekend that saw me as usual rev up my hopes to fit the bill, only to unwind wondering when I will at last do it. Rev up the self, all by myself. And let go. Go by myself…to where I always saw myself with a care to the tongues…
All set for the women-only affair
After more than a decade in this glamorous city, I draped the nine yards for a Hindu ritual, and felt honoured to be invited. Felt beautiful, too. A saree makes one feel so! It hides your flaws and moods as well!

But when I soon learnt it was an exclusively all-women evening and bitterly let the better-half wander around, I was once again reminded I am one less on the feminine gene. Like a square peg in the round hole I endured the chatter, banter, howls and squeals of married women until I thanked the host and sneaked out after a respected show of guest etiquette.

Some women never grow up!

There’s nothing a sound sleep can’t fix. But, soon I was again reminded that feminine ego is just one oo..aaw! that can’t be lullabied. I willingly endured more of the I-am-the-best stuff. Everything from kids’ education to TV soaps and how to breathe right, the importance of each topic can be correctly ascertained only by my ilk. Even my man who tires people with his details fails on this count!

Some women never give up!

Well, here I stand after my weekend sucking my toes and nails up until the sole that I feel my feet in my epiglottis.


Every weekend I rev myself up, all by myself. And decide to let go. Go by myself…to where I always saw myself with a care to the tongues…And then…
The week begins, yet again. I survive it the same way yet again.

Bloody, it’s time I grew up and garnered the courage to just give up!

I am a woman, too!