Friday, December 28, 2012

What more can I add?

No, this is not another moral lecture on the state of society. Nor is it an outburst, as a woman, at the heinous gangrape that happened in Delhi. These are just observations that come to my mind. My attitude is impassive. Because all the passion in the world has not and cannot change a thing. So why waste human emotion better put to use elsewhere.

The first thing that comes to my mind when i think of it is that the victim was just plain unlucky. Having one’s body literally ripped apart at the end of a fine Sunday for no fault of one’s own is sheer bad luck. What else would you call being helplessly manhandled by a group of men who not just rape but ram an iron rod into the body all the way to the intestines!! Just like that. Out of nowhere.

Some people have brought attention to the fact that the main culprit comes from the lower strata of society and has had a bad childhood. Is that a reason for us to soften towards him? Does that justify behaving like an animal and ripping another human apart? Should all people take it out on innocent women because society at large did them injustice? And there are probably a few million unprivileged people like him around. You do the math.

Like i said earlier, nothing has and will radically change. Anytime soon. Though i find certain facts very ironic in the light of the unsafe situation of women. Delhi is the power capital of the country. The leader of the ruling party is a woman and so is the Chief Minister. The latter proudly so for multiple tenures. She’s been around for over a decade now. And yet are we expecting a miracle from her when we expect her to have done something to alter the situation of women in her state?

Our prime minister himself, in his lip service of a speech, claimed to be the father of 3 daughters. How does the heart of a father of 3 girls not splinter into a thousand pieces every time the horrible and humiliating plight of others’ daughters comes to light? i think the man should be affected 3 times as much God forbidding it was one of his daughters! And yet, not just the father but even our Prime Minister, who is one of the people who can really make a difference, is devoid of any genuine emotion.

What’s even more ironic is that while all the power centered in Delhi has failed to take any action against the situation, the action on the protestors was prompt. As if they are at fault. Not one official or minister made an attempt to understand the intent behind the protest gathering - the govt’s lack of any action or emotion. Or tried to talk the crowds into peace. Instead they were treated like mobsters with tear gas and water cannons used on them. This is a blatant example of - if you have it, flaunt it. Power, in this case. It’s very brave of Delhiiites stand up in cold weather conditions and I am sure everyone having to work for a living! (unlike our ministers who seem to make a living just by being in power!)

Another thing that strikes me is that a lot of famous personalities are seen at award functions, polo events, charity functions. But none think it important to lend their voice and support to such a cause. Would the police treat the crowd as badly if the protestors included top Bollywood actors and actresses, top cricketers and sportspeople, veteran industrialists? But, again, none think it worth their time to put their weight behind the common man’s movement. This would definitely boost our chances of affecting the minds of our obtuse politicians. And gradually, maybe, some change in the law as well. But i guess most of these people are busy preparing for Page 3 worthy new year parties.

Also, ever since the news of the gangrape has been out, the newspapers are full of more such incidents. Every single page highlights other incidents of crime against women. i wonder if they think that this will add fodder to the ongoing debate or galvanise the nation/politicians into action. Who knows? Every news channel has debates on whether rapists should be awarded death penalty. i have always been irritated by mindless discussions on the idiot box, as has been the recent trend on TV in an attempt to fill in 24/7 slots of news channels. Yes, we are a democratic country and we have the right to speech. But to what purpose?

If we all agree that rapists should be given death penalty, will the law change? We all know about the queue of people waiting to get their death penalties. What’s the use lining up a few rapists in the queue! The biggest non-deterrent at the moment is knowing that a rapist can get away with the crime. One in a million cases catch the attention of the media and probably the culprits are thrown in jail. But I am sure all this will be forgotten very soon and it’ll be years before the culprits are presented in court and maybe punished. So i think death penalty or no, there has to be something that acts as a strong deterrent. The fear of a law executed under any circumstance that will make any wannabe rapist think twice before attempting to be one. Something like pulling off arms of thieves. Nothing less would do.

Apart from the law, it’s the society that needs changing. But i guess it’s easier to lecture about teaching young boys to respect girls around them in a society where in a majority of lower classes, men have all the privileges and given the first right over women in the family/community. It has to to with the whole mindset that believes a woman is born to be a mother, sister, daughter and her duty is to selflessly take care of everyone. Even women do not expect to be respected in return.

Another thing, i feel, that has a very big impact is the societal attitude towards sex. Despite Bollywood and internet bringing it all out in the open, there is a lot of secrecy especially in the class of society from there the Ram singhs emerge. Come on, it’s common knowledge that even our respected ministers have their share of fun at work on their phones! But seriously, like all else, even this attitude will take a long time to change. Maybe the urban societies are more open and experimental. Though there are still a lot of repressed men out there waiting for a defenseless body to dump their frustrations on!

The simple fact that we expect people to wait till they are married to lose their virginity says a lot about our attitude. Added to that is society’s unwillingness to discuss the issues of safe and responsible sex with adolescents, in particular. i am sure a lot of sexual frustration emanates from there. We’ll need to be making talking about intimacy a healthy discussion, away from the prurience and fantasy, mostly depicted in the media and elsewhere.

Forget access to hi-tech devices and internet connectivity, every ad on television commodifies woman. i strongly feel that this greatly reflects the society’s attitude towards a particular gender. Some ads explicitly depict making yourself sexually appealing to the other gender through the use of the advertised products. God help the urban youth which is even more exposed with 24/7 connectivity to the internet.

Lastly, one thing for sure is that soon all this will be forgotten. Like we forgot the rape and  murder of a call center employee in Bangalore. The rape in Dhaula Kuan. The rape in a suburban train in Mumbai. The rape of a dalit in a village. Till the next time another girl is put through unspeakable physical and emotional violence, yet again.

In the quite moments of the day, my mind goes back to the body lying in a hospital. There is a void in her abdomen. Her intestines gone forever. She has struggled to stay alive for days. The life of her family will never be the same again. The national consciousness, that has awakened for a while now, will soon go back into slumber as probably she will lose her battle with life!

Monday, December 24, 2012

8 feel good things that are free of cost

With a deluge of ipods, ipads, smartphones, information centers, the idiot box, social networking sites and the race to make money that’ll last a lifetime, we forget that the world’s best things are absolutely free. We don’t need to earn a zillion bucks and be able to afford every distracting thing technology made to keep ourselves happy! Simple things around us can be put to use to meet our end - be it physical or mental well-being! i realized that i don’t use even some of the basic ones to make myself, and others around me, happy!

Here’s my list -

1. Smile: Sounds stupid. But i realised that i used to see the same people come to my gym. i recognized their faces but they never smiled and i too didn’t attempt it. That set me thinking. i am sure it’s ok to smile at people who you see more often than strangers on the street. One, a smile definitely makes one feel good. (Try it! Remember to smile often and you will see your mood drastically improve every time you do! And what more - a happy mind keeps you looking young!!) Two, who knows i might have struck conversations and made friends, all beginning with a smile!

2. Talk to people: The next thing i noticed is that i did smile at a few familiar faces but stopped at that. i thought man, and woman, is a social animal. i guess there should be no harm in exchanging a couple of sentences. Think of people you’ve been bumping into at your office escalators and train stations for months but never had a word. Go ahead and talk to them. It’s free!

3. Get out in the morning: One of the best mood boosting activities is to get out for a walk in the morning before the traffic builds up. Could be just outside your house or a park nearby. i always thought it impossible to step out of my street without having to combat a million vehicles honking away to glory! But when i stepped out, for various reasons, anytime before 7am - i was surprised at how tame and friendly outdoors appeared! And it definitely made me feel happy and nice about getting my share of fresh air. i also realised that it is for no reason that our ancestors insisted we should rise early. Because somehow being up early generally lifts the mood and makes you active.

4. Sing or move to music: Again, sounds stupid! But play your favourite song and move your body. If someone like me with 2 left feet suggests this, i am sure it’ll make dancers feel that much better. It doesn’t matter how you look because no one’s watching you in your room (or say, the kitchen while cooking). Imagine that you are Michael Jackson or Govinda. It’ll only make a difference to your happiness and feel good levels! Also, singing along the crazy lyrics or humming along the soulful ones also help! So what if we aren’t exactly Sonu Nigam! In our own world, we are!

5. Take the stairs: Well, this little freebie is to keep us fit. Take the stairs wherever possible. i had my heart rate up about 4 times just changing trains in Delhi Metro by doing this! i know this is nothing like a full fledged workout and a lot of times we are in a hurry or too lazy to do it. And many times our mind argues against it by convincing us that it wouldn’t make too much of a difference. i am sure it does make a difference to our body than not taking stairs at all!

6. Read a book: Maybe you already do. On a regular basis. If you don’t have the time to, make deliberate effort to set out a slot to read an engaging book, depending on your interests. i am sure you spent money on a lot of books hoping to read them someday! There’s nothing like losing oneself in the world of characters to forget a long days woes.

7. Talk to your neighbour: Log out of Facebook and get real. Walk up to your neighbour’s and make a sincere effort at getting to know them (if you don’t already, that it). You can pick a different one in your building every week, you may already know them but it must have been ages since you went down to the old aunty and said Hi. To you it might be just a visit, but to someone else it might be someone’s precious time!

8. Call a friend: Once again get off the internet and speak to a real person. You might have a zillion friends online but when was the last time you actually made an attempt to speak to one of them in real time? This isn’t exactly free because of call charges but i am sure it can be easily accommodated by cutting down several useless messages we send each day. Even better is to try and find an old friend on one of your networking sites and  get in touch. It’s surprising how we start off with school friends from where we left off no holds barred! i have found myself smiling for days after finding school friends and talking to them thinking of childhood memories and days spent with them.

i have tried out a few of these and intend to try out a few others. You may go ahead with some and see if it makes a difference to your worldview! Please share here if it did!

Friday, December 7, 2012

English Vinglish

No, this is not a movie review. It's too late for that. This is about the lessons that stay with you (esp if you are a woman and they should even if you are a man!) long after you have watched the movie.

1. It is ok to not have a particular skill even if the rest of the world thinks that it is crucial.

2. Any skill is worth being respected, even if it is cooking, which is generally perceived as a mundane household chore.

3. Any age is good enough to learn a new skill. There is nothing to be ashamed of the attempt.

4. Respect for life partners in a marriage should be independent of what one's good at or weak in.

5. And finally, any woman who isn't "working" but is "just" a "housewife"  is worthy of equal respect for the simple reason that she is the only person who puts others' comfort ahead of her own. (WE all would notice if we stopped for a moment and took notice)

This might look like just another one of those oh-women-are-so-great-and-should-be-respected post. But I can imagine people who have watched the movie nodding in agreement with what I have said here. And people who haven't yet should get a DVD, when it is out to understand what I have said. It is never too late to look at things differently!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ode to good old friends....

i am a school girl again in a dark blue uniform with white and blue striped tie and belt. Back to the noisy classroom where boys sat on one side on broad benches with desks and girls sat on the other in pairs (girls being fewer in number). i remember some clear and some vague faces. i do not have any photos of the time so memories are all i have to rely upon. The brighter students sat in the front. So Prashant sat with Venu, Srinivas and others in the front rows. i sat in the first row with the girls - one other girl next to me, actually- called Shubha. Her sister Shobha was in the same class. And there were a couple of mean boys - Dharmendra and Nand Kumar. There are so many names and faces preserved deep down in the mind. All the girls and the mean boys also!

When i look back 20 yrs ago when I finished class 7, it’s an exciting journey down the memory lane. Walking to school everyday since that was the way of life (Oh God! I sound like I am about 60 yrs old!!). Carrying school bags and a basket with lunch and water bottle. Every student carried that and we put them all together either in the front of the class or at the back, if the classroom was small. The front baskets would have a thick layer of chalk piece dust by lunch time with all the writing in the first half of the session. At lunch time we would all line up in the space outside the classroom. The group of boys and girls i was close to would sit next to each other in groups. In fact, Prashant would fight for a particular corner he wanted to sit in everyday at lunch! The upma that Shobha’s mum used to make was so awesome that we would exchange our tiffin boxes on the days she brought it. Yes! Exchanging the tiffin box was a concept as opposed to one bite we used to share with everyone in the group everyday. i still remember one bite size portions lined up on the lid of our tiffins. In case someone brought something that you don’t eat, you wouldn’t take that on that day.

Truly the time before any cares in life began, it was just stupid competition for the first rank. As if it even matters today! But that’s what made life worthwhile then. Another thing was the wait for the final bell to ring by when every one would have already packed their bags. And the boys would have to be literally held back to stop them from pouring out of the class before the bell. Sometimes students used to go out to ring the bell - a task i didn’t enjoy much. The sound of the iron rod striking the metal surface was too strident on the ear when standing so close! Thankfully boys were asked to do that mostly - manly job perhaps - when the aaya wasn’t around!

And then we had a whole lot of stalls outside the school to buy tit-bits and consume on our way home. Mango slices, lolly candy, gooseberries and other stuff i do not remember. It was pricey in the light of the money we had. There were not so expensive things and the more luxury items. Like the lolly candy cost a whole rupee while a slice of mango could be had for 25 paise. And we couldn’t even afford to buy stuff everyday!

And once we went home, there was no way to contact classmates but walk up to the homes of the ones who lived nearby. Usually to exchange notes, know the homework if you missed school. Simpler times!!

i do remember so many of my classmates through all years of school and always wondered where they would be now after nearly 2 decades. But worldwide web to the rescue! Facebook and Linkedin helped find 3 such people from that golden era of life! They are like whole new individuals than when they were 11! Successful entrepreneurs, managers now - but the conversation and chemistry continues as if we met juts yesterday! Ture - the bonds we form as kids are much stronger than the ones we make through the cautious and prejudiced worldview of adulthood!

i know all the others also somewhere out there in the world! Till i find them and they become a part of my world again….

Monday, October 22, 2012

The art, science and politics of gifting

Expectant faces look on as a box wrapped in shiny colorful paper is handed to you. The jumpy seconds of wondering what might be in it. Some painstakingly peel out every inch of cello tape and others believe in ripping out the whole damn thing too eager to discover what’s inside. As soon as the gift is out, the gaze of everyone shifts from the gift to you eagerly waiting for your response….Uhuh!! Your smile freezes as you look at the gift … turns out to be an antique piece of jewelry which you are definitely not into….but there are all those faces looking up at you. So you try your best to make your fake appreciation sound genuine and hope you did a convincing job!!

Well, i am sure all of us have been through this awkward situation at least once in our lives. i know it is rude to not like a gift someone’s probably put so much thought (and money) into. But gifting is a such a gamble that i guess there are only 50-50 chances of the receiver liking it. It’s one of the great dilemmas of my life to find the right gift for someone. i have realized that gifting is as much an art as it is a science. And there’s a lot of politics in between!

It’s a tricky business, this! We play by general rules. The more thoughtful the gift is the more likely the receiver will enjoy it. Stick to plausible choices like favourite colours and things that people are likely to use. Or go by the age of the person. So no flashy stuff for anyone above 50 (unless  someone’s as young as Shobha De is just like our country!) But to get a gift right and the other person genuinely liking it is no short of an art. i remember when my sister’s sister-in-law (yeah!), who hardly kinda knows me, sent a top for me and it not just fit me but was also my kind of dress! Now that’s the art of gifting that i am talking about!

Once you get the art of figuring out what someone would like guessing from their age, lifestyle, general dressing/buying habits, it all boils down to the science of gifting. Finding something that would match up to your findings and fir the mould of someone’s tastes. Sometimes we might not be able to match it up bang on and make a discovery that your friend, spouse, son-in-law also likes something like this! It’s like a whole lab out there! 

What makes an ideal gift? Something that you like or feel the other person will like. The whole failure lies in trying to choose the exact purse that your friend might have chosen if she were to buy it or finding the precise pink that your mom-in-law will love! That is not going to happen since they are they and you are you! So we’d make better choices if we stopped trying to step onto others’ minds!

Politics is invariably a part of gifting. Gifts are generally on a pro-rata basis in terms of how are you related and how deep is the relationship. Or what did you get as your wedding/birthday from others. Sometimes it’s just about we-have-to-give-a-gift-and-it-doesn’t-matter-what!!! It also has a whole lot of class concerns. We have to give more expensive gifts because we have a class to maintain and financial status to flaunt! This comes out in a lot of North Indian (read Punjabi) weddings where expensive stuff has to be given because it’s for the whole world to see and not essentially of use to the couple!

The worst case of the gifts come out when there’s no art, only science and politics that gifts have to be given, it doesn’t matter what you gift. i recently came across an incident where a group of friends bought sarees for each other even though each agreed they would probably not be able to wear them since being 80+yrs old kept them pretty much at home! The gifts were exchanged but would only end up in cupboards with no actual joy of using it for the receiver. Others who understood the concept ended up getting a variety of things which might or might not be for future use.

That set me thinking! Arts, science and politics apart, is gifting an article really that important? Does it always have to be a pen- which will end up as just as another one in the stand, a purse - which might not even be to the taste of the person, clothes - which we would anyways buy. Hence the new concept in gifting - gift an experience. A day at a spa worth 5000 bucks is better than a designer bag which is an object at the end of the day. A holiday package where people can relax on their special day makes more sense than a present they might occasionally use. But, to me, this is also about the monetary value of the gift. It’s comes easy - go online and order the voucher!

So what would be the best present? Time, perhaps. Our precious time spent with our family, friends and loved ones. Making the day memorable with our presence so that we collectively think of good times together rather than the expensive cocktail glass set of which 2 glasses are broken in no time and the set can’t be used anymore! This becomes even more priceless especially in today’s times when time is the more scarce resource we have. So to gift our time for someone else is what truly says we care! We’ll really have to break through our whole materialistic perspective to be able to do this! Don’t just think an object when you think of gifting, just think different!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Forever young!

Is it some kind of a ‘suspension in disbelief’ that works in Bollywood? Or is it some kind of a trick played on the audience that we accept what we see on screen?
Well, the reason for this outburst started while watching the movie Cocktail starring Saif Ali Khan. His character is a flirt of the first order, sleeps around with babes and has a mon in tow who wants to find a beautiful Indian bride for eligible bachelor puttarji. i mean this man is actually 42 yrs old in real life with 2 grown up children! This is 2011. Rewind a whole decade and you’ll find Saif playing pretty much the same character in Dil Chahta Hai - the flirtatious, confused casanova nt knowing where to look for love! (Worth looking up Kal Ho Na Ho in 2003 and Hum Tum in 2004 in very similar contexts)

On the same lines, i still can’t believe that it’s possible to accept a 44 yr old actor as a first year engineering student!! Look at them in real life and they definitely look just out of school kids. But we just didn’t accept Aamir in 3 idiots, we also went to make the movie one of the highest grosser of the year. (Even in DCH, Aamir portrayed a college student while he was actually 36 then!)

Since most male actors in Bollywood easily have a career span of more than 2 decades, most of them end up playing college-going, mushy, romantic heroes for at least the entire first decade of their careers. It has never mattered that the age of the leading ladies keeps getting half their actual age! (Since a female actor is never going to be playing the same kind of roles as the men at 40! They come pretty young and die away that fast)
i know these guys work really hard at their looks. And Aamir definitely has succeeded a lot more than his other Khan counterparts. But what beats me is how magically people keep playing characters half their age and we as audience never find it out of place. It’s all so magically woven in to the masala that Bollywood is, that we just flow along! i really don't know what to make of this. i'd appreciate if you all can share what do you feel about all this?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back to books

i have always loved reading. i might sound crazy but the world of books fascinates me so much that its my secret wish to be able to read up all the books in the world! The excitement of looking forward to reading a book is unparalleled. i have read quite a few classics as a major in literature. But even after college, i always find reading soothing. It cuts me out from the real world and takes me into the world of the book and its characters, albeit make believe. It doesn’t matter whether the genre is fact or fiction, as long as it is interesting.

But as real life got busier, there has been less and less time to read. But i never forget to notice if i am not able to spare time for reading. i was thrilled when my husband introduced me to an ipad and had reading applications uploaded on it. Now i could read books on the move - even if i didn’t own an actual copy which would occupy space in my overcrowded apartment! It was a bonus that i could read before i went to sleep - my favourite time to read - with the lights off since an ipad is backlit. (i hate to have to get up and switch off the light just as i am blissfully dozing off reading!) i finished reading books i had from the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth time just to enjoy having something to read. In fact, it felt like such an ultimate thing in reading technology that i even learnt to download a software that could convert ant format of books to ipad format (epub). i felt like being a pro to be able to actually download software!!

Getting my own Kindle reader this year was another high point furthering the goal of reading regularly. Light, small, handy and less straining on the eyes since the screen is not backlit but has a matte finish to duplicate the experience of reading a book. i once again went berserk converting books to .mobi format to do justice to Kindle’s capabilities of holding about 5000 books in its tiny self. i have more books uploaded on it than have the time to read.

Somewhere between the ipad and Kindle phases, i discovered a library in the neighbourhood (it’s been there all these years, only i found it recently!) Bingo! All those books neatly lined had me salivating to devour all of them one by one! i found and finished the whole of Shopaholic series (and Sophie Kinsella books replaced J K Rowling books as comfort reading). i got to read books by Kareena’s dietician and her fitness expert (sharing some of the secrets behind her hot-bod) and the latest book by Malcolm Gladwell. i try to pick up a mix of fact and mindless fiction depending on what I feel like reading.

But somehow after the initial euphoria of owning devices that made reading easy and on the go, i seem to keep going back to real books of the library. Even when i am traveling, i no longer look forward to reading on Kindle. i’d rather take my library book along.

What happened there?

Well, i have realised that technology, however convenient it makes reading, can never replace the experiential kick of having a real book. The actual act of touching and holding the book, turning its pages softly, saving it from any scratches and creases- especially if it’s bought spending money- during the reading process, the pleasure of hitting the i-finished-half mark and turning pages to check how many more pages to go are incomparable and no reading device in the world can ever offer that. In fact, the lure of a book shelf in a store and the fragrance of brand new books is second to none. (i am not kidding! The next time you are at a book store, open a book at random and sniff deeply to take in the best perfume in the world!)

i don’t know if this feeling has anything to do with the fact that i spent the first 20 yrs of my life in the previous century and grew up in the pen and paper era. Being gadget-friendly is only an acquired behaviour.  On the contrary, teenagers of this century seem to be absolutely at home with their smart phones and reading/gaming devices.

Reading is a habit that was always encouraged when we were kids. It is one of the virtues that would help us in the future and books are a constant companion, we were told. There’s no harm in using technology to access knowledge. But i think losing an era where one could savour reading real books saddens me. i remember when British Council Library in Mumbai went online and shut its physical locations, one of my friends lamented that our kids might never know the joys of going through piles of books in a library to select a book. True, i am sure my kids, used to having Google throw up links to the exact book that they want in just miliseconds, will pull a long face at the tediousness of having to go through racks and racks of books in a library to find what one wants to read. But you know what, kids, that is the real deal!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The magic called Madhuri!

This has been my first season of watching jhalak. i had only heard about the show but never really got around to watching it. This year the promos started when i was watching other programs on Colours and - i thought why not? It's a great show with no drama or politics involved. No endless panning on faces and dramatic background scores. So its pure entertainment with healthy competition.

But the real reason why i watch it and am talking about it is Madhuri Dixit! Even though i wasn’t really fond of her during her heydays, i think watching her now brings back the old-world charm of Bollywood! Probably because no one’s come even close to her in some ways in the decades after she left the industry.

First of all, i now think she deserved to be the Superstar that she was then. In fact she was the last female superstar of Bollywood (after Sridevi). And there’s definitely been no one after her with that trademark 440 watt smile! After her, there are no specific names that come to mind that solely stuck to the no.1 position in the leading lady category. From Kareena, Preity, Rani, Kajol, Aishwarya to the more recent Anushka, Katrina, Sonam and Sonakshi - not one can compare to her unconquered status in the 90’s. In fact, all these ladies share the space so non-exclusively that the term No.1 position is no longer talked about. Because no one has qualified for it in a long time.

i also find that watching Madhuri now brings back the old world charm of the 90’s. Well, it’s not like she looks like a fossil now, but lets face it she belongs to the pre-item number and zero-figure days! That was a time when people shone by the dint of their hard-work. There were no tools of technology to cover their flaws and make them look or sound better. Success came from the quality of work one did and not automatically by flaunting a 6-pack chiseled body (men) or a zero-size figure (women). In fact, even though she didn’t shed as many clothes as heroines do today, we did not miss glimpses of her midriff (that became fashionable later). And the focus stayed on her acting skills making her an indelible presence from Bollywood of the era in our minds. 

One thing that touches a chord with me is the way she’s elegantly dressed every time. Now, some might say that a woman who has 2 kids and is her age has to wear layers to cover her not so perfect areas. That’s not the point. I’ve seldom seen heroines walk into shows in normal-person clothes. It’s mostly teeny-weeny pieces with unnecessary skin show which they feel makes a statement about how bold they are! Thanks to the recent anarkali series that people have started dressing up more decently. So, Madhuri dressing up the way she does actually upholds the simpler times that she comes form. You are in costumes only on the movie sets otherwise, dress up normally!

The same argument about her being old and married could apply to the way she greets most guests on the show. It is generally a handshake or sometimes a cursory hug. i don’t say that hugging anyone you meet along your professional career is wrong. In fact that is the trend today. i can’t count the number of time a particular woman choreographer hugged the contestants for their commendable performances on a dance show. But I haven’t found Madhuri say “I want to give you a hug for this performance” even once except for Darsheel who’s a kid. So that’s tehzeeb  for you which today’s actresses definitely lack!

She is also a true master of her craft! She’s not someone who’s reached the zenith of dancing because she can follow her choreographer’s steps through rigorous practice. She has that craft on a professional level. And yet she is so down to earth that when asked to demonstrate any of her steps, she’s always game.

So, for me, Madhuri is the magic of an era goneby. I don’t think we are going to see that grace, elegance, humility and truth in actresses of today’s times - as a person and as a professional.