“He tells me that he 1st saw me at the gym when I was 20 & told his friends, ‘I’m going to get to know her 1 day.’ When we moved to Bombay, we met at a mutual friend’s party–it was just us standing in the balcony. I saw a different side of him–beyond the jokes & wit, there was a sensitive man.
We were both away from home in Mumbai, so I always relied on him for support. He lived a bachelor life & the 1 place he could always get home food was mine. We became close friends–there was no façade & no attempt to impress one another. Well, no attempts on my part! In fact, he was the 1st call after a major heartbreak & he talked me through it–I’m sure there was a hidden motive!
He wasn’t low key about his feelings for me. I was shooting in Punjab & told him about a role for him. He didn’t ask for any details. He only cared about spending time with me & flew down immediately. After that shoot, he showed up at my parents’ doorstep & asked for my hand in marriage….I had no idea about it! This was when I was dating someone else! When Angad met my boyfriend, he was nice to him, but wasn’t subtle about his love for me!
Finally, at a party, Karan Johar took us aside & screamed, ‘Can you not see this?! Are you blind?’ You should’ve seen the look on Angad’s face. He had ‘I told you so!’ tattooed on his forehead.
When we finally decided to get married, he didn’t go down on one knee & propose. He told me I’d already wasted 4 years & declared ‘Chalo Dilli!’ to meet his parents. Then he said, ‘Before you change your mind, pick an outfit because we’re getting married in 2 days!’ Earlier, I loved the set life. I wouldn’t give it up for anything. But now I look forward to coming home to him. I couldn’t imagine myself as someone who runs to the door, but when it’s time for him to come home, guess what I do?
He’s currently shooting both day & night. When he comes back at 7 am, he makes me breakfast & then goes to sleep. We’re still figuring it all out & don’t expect to have it all together. Everytime we’ve planned our lives, they’ve fallen apart–so we’re sticking to the unplanned! The wedding, the baby, the parenting..we’re winging it all!”
“The darkest period of my life was in the 9th grade. We learnt what sex was in school & it all just hit me. The flashbacks started & I realised that I had been sexually abused as a child. When I was 5, my parents would drop me to a daycare. There was another girl who looked like me–chubby & dark skinned. The nanny’d nap in the afternoon & her son would take turns to molest us. He would rub his penis on our bodies.
After realising this, my behaviour changed–my grades started slipping, I started eating less & withdrawing from people. I blamed myself. Years of body image issues & battling insecurities led me to believe that God was punishing me. My mom noticed this sudden change & I finally told her in the 10th grade. She was shattered–she started crying. She blamed herself too & apologised for not protecting me.
I told her it wasn’t her fault & we tried to move on. But, when I moved to Kolkata to study Political Science–it brought up the past again. I was out with my friends when I saw a man brutally hitting the woman with him. I was horrified. We tried to get help from a traffic policeman & he ignored us. Finally, we spoke to 2 policemen & waited there until they came with us. When they reached & talked to the woman, she started crying & defended the man. There was nothing anyone could do if the woman wasn’t ready to file an FIR.
I realised that was the problem. As a woman, you think you deserve to be mistreated & you accept that as your reality. I tried to move on & forget. But, it all changed when I met a friend in college & opened up to him. He made me realise that my story was worth sharing & I wasn’t at fault. The only way to get past it was to accept. I had had enough of this anonymity-why should it be my shame?I posted my story on instagram during the me too movement & so many people in my college followed. It made me realise how common it is.
Most people never want to face their abuser again. But I want to confront mine to let him know that what he did was reckless & affected my entire life. It’s 15 years later & I’m still trying to heal...were 5 minutes of his sick pleasure, worth an entire life of pleasure, worth an entire life of pain?"
“I’ve always wanted to wear the Khakhi uniform and make my country proud. All my life I worked towards this dream–I even trained in mixed martial arts for 22 years. But on my first attempt I failed the UPSC exam–I was shattered and lost all my confidence. I decided to study Law instead.
There, I met the love of my life–She was a formidable force of nature. She was a topper, full of confidence. She was the only woman after Mamata Banerjee to hold presidentship for three consecutive years at college. She then became the President of a regional Political party.
We became friends but obviously, I fell for her. I don’t know what she saw in me...but she liked me too. We had a simple registered marriage in 2011, because we were both struggling financially.
She pushed me to become the best version of myself. She knew about my dream to be in uniform so she made me understand that, ‘sometimes you have may have a goal in mind but there’s not just one way to get to it. Sometimes, you just have to figure out another way.’ That’s when I decided to work at a law firm part time and pursue my dream in other ways. I developed my own close combat style and contacted the Police to see if they would let me train our commandos… pro bono and they agreed! Today, I volunteer as an honorary police officer to help out the Police whenever they need me and it’s my biggest privilege to serve.
And none of this would have happened without my wife. She earns more than me so that I can do what I love every single day. That’s the woman she is. In fact, we both only decided to have a proper wedding ceremony a few years ago...once we both had saved enough money. Always remember...a good woman can make your life.”
“When I was 1 yr old I started stammering. School was difficult–my father’d drop me at the gate & I’d be too frozen to go inside because I’d be bullied. I could never speak up, literally.
Once, I wanted to act in a skit, but my teacher told my classmate ‘He can’t even speak. How’s he going to say the dialogues?’ I had no confidence & developed anxiety–my studies were badly affected. I had to repeat the 9th grade.
Still, I had a dream to be in the film industry. All my teachers told me to give up. But my parents kept encouraging me.
So during BMM, I looked for jobs in the film industry. Finally, I was able to prove to Door Darshan that this was my passion & got an unpaid internship! I gave it everything–I worked 15 hr days & sometimes there wouldn’t even be trains to go home! I took up a job as a waiter to earn Rs. 600 for my travel.
On the side, I was even auditioning & I’d do well! I never stammer on camera so I’d get shortlisted but after they’d find out I stammered while talking normally–I’d never get a call back. I had so many rejections, but I’d keep reminding myself that this was my destiny & just a test I had to pass. When I was down, I’d watch this video of Hrithik Roshan talking about how he overcame his stammer. Everytime I heard him speak eloquently–I felt like I wasn’t alone.
Finally after a year, with my mentor’s support, I began working as an AD. Then moved onto another media house. I starred in my own videos & became popular–I had red hair then. If there’d be a video without me, people commented, ‘Where’s the red haired guy?’ It felt good to be noticed.
Now, I’m a producer & director at RajShri. I have my own show & do voice overs as well. Imagine that! The voice that held me back, is now my biggest tool.
I also started teaching filmmaking. On my 1st day, my dad sat in the 1st row, with tears of joy in his eyes. He couldn’t believe that the same boy who’d freeze while entering school & couldn’t have the last word in an argument, was on a stage, teaching students.
It’s been a rocky road, with lots of half spoken words, but after all these years & insults, I guess I did have the last word in an argument. The comma finally became a full stop.”
it was a particularly hard day, and I clambered onto a train to escape. observing these munchkins brightened up my day considerably, and I found solace. @dugargauri
, I missed you and wished you were around to give me a shoulder to cry on and to exchange simple smiles with as we’d watch this scene unfold in silence.
#trainrides #mumbaistories #heatwave #bookstagram
“We’ve always been taught that family comes first. We lost our father early on and we were raised by my brother and sister-in-law. I grew up with 4 sisters and 2 brothers. We all have families of our own now. But we made it a point to live nearby even after marriage. I still remember the day I got married, the only thing my brother told me was–'I will only let you go if you visit me everyday.'
Today, I’m taking my niece and nephew back from school. We lost our younger sister-in-law a few days ago and the kids are still coming to terms with it. But we're there for them, whenever they need. I'm just teaching them that when you have family, you never have to face the world on your own."
“When I was 14, I started learning salsa–it made me feel like a part of something bigger. Eventually I found a guy at this dance company who I did most of my routines with. We started dating & then launched our dance company together.
It was a dream come true because we got to travel the world together as well. But I started noticing how possessive he became about who all I danced with. Rules were now a part of our relationship– it started with ‘your first dance has to be with me’ to ‘our last song also has to be together.’ Slowly, I couldn’t dance with anyone else without feeling guilty. I’d given him all the power. Finally it boiled down to ‘you can’t do anything without me’ & ‘you won’t know how to survive in this dance world.’ When I tried to break up with him, he said, ‘If you don’t date me, you can’t be in the company either.’ And somehow it’d gotten stuck in my mind that if I didnt dance with him, I wouldn’t be able to dance at all.
But I stood my ground. I said I didn’t want to be his girlfriend & I still had the right to run the company. So he left me with it, without giving me any backup… I was confused and terrified to think on my own, I’d cry all the time. I was 23 & shattered. But I had to keep going, because the classes had to go on & the rent was already paid. Eventually, I pulled myself out of it. But we shut the company down.
Still I wasn’t done with dancing. My friend asked me to join her, & I took the chance. I worked in the film industry & it boosted my confidence. Somehow I found my way back to salsa & decided to rebuild my dream. I started a company from ground up. Together with my team, we designed a whole new format – we started with a small class & kept going up. Finally today, we’re at 4 different centers & have taught 500+ students.
I realised that all the ‘you cannots’ made me doubt myself & I became my own enemy. But I pushed myself to get to a point where I was proud, where there was no self-doubt.
Once I was able to shove the negative thoughts aside, I found my strength & was able to do so much with it! It was just a matter of finding that voice within me & dancing to my own beat... Why do you think I’m a pro now?”
I remember a nice saying I'd read somewhere, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together"
Now a real life example.
I'm in the phase where I'm transitioning from freelancing to having people work with me.
Freelancing is efficient. Because it's just one brain. I don't need to depend on someone else to do a job. It's fast.
The work is always high quality.
But there's only limited growth as a freelancer.
I hired my first intern recently.
I would ideally like to spend a little more time finding new business opportunities and building relationships. So I need to delegate the everyday tasks.
Now here comes a great reduction in speed.
Say a client asks me to make a graphic. As a freelancer I'd make it and send it.
End of story.
Now, if a client needs a graphic, the intern makes it. Then I check it, and ask them to make changes. Then the client checks it and asks for changes.
Then it's sent.
The same job takes longer. But I guess that's only until the intern learns the tricks of the trade.
Will this actually help my business grow more?
That's something to be seen in the coming months.
I'll keep you updated :D
mid-day.com impact>> In the ongoing mid-day.com series '#HeroesofMumbai
,' we showcased BMC cleanup marshal, #DadaraoPatekar
, who has been sweeping and cleaning the streets of #Mumbai
for over two decades. He shared his grievances of how the sweepers and the garbage collectors lacked basic safety equipment such as face masks and hand gloves required for their daily job. The interview had a huge impact after it was showcased online on mid-day.com, with BMC, the civic body of Mumbai where Dadarao is employed taking notice of the ordeal and swinging into action. As a result, Dadarao and many other sweepers and clean up marshalls were provided with face masks and hand gloves by the BMC.
#middayexclusive #heroesofmumbai #mumbaistories #Mumbai #cleanliness