Songstress Natania Lalwani’s Prisoner Has Me Rethinking Freedom

I was acquainted with Natania‘s music (Box You Up) before I was acquainted with the lovely girl she is. Her first association with me was that of Mindy Kaling.

Our paths crossed in Los Angeles. And she was kind enough to let me live in her LA home for close to 2 weeks. Of free will, I slept on her couch. And it was more freeing than being imprisoned on a hotel bed.


Natania is one of the strongest, determined, soulful girls I know. She has overcome hardships so beautifully that one forgets she might be affected. Living with her taught me that age is never a bar to chase your dreams. That a free spirit always lends a home to lost souls.

I’ve always obsessed over her music when she has sent me tracks I’ve requested. Her music is so special, everyone deserves to be touched by it.

In a world where music is becoming a sick language, Natania’s melodies are healing me and helping me find my true self.

It’s no surprise then that her latest single, Prisoner has me grooving. It has helped me rid myself of my own trappings.

Continue reading Songstress Natania Lalwani’s Prisoner Has Me Rethinking Freedom

To be Indian in a West inclined world.

Republic Day
Republic Day

For many years, Republic Day has meant a holiday from school, college and/or work. Of course, some of us, my sister included wake up and attend a flag hoisting ceremony at the institution we’re attached to at the time. The rest of the day is spent doing pretty much what we would on a regular day. And this year, as I imagine, would be the case, city folk might have taken off for a holiday to enjoy the ‘long weekend’.


As I type this blog, from my desk in my apartment in LA, listening to a Western artist’s music after my failed attempt at cooking pasta, I’m thinking about what makes me Indian in 2015. For sure, my accent is a give away in this American city. And that most foreigners find it difficult to pronounce my name. Interestingly, a Sidecar driver mistook me for a doctor. I definitely look Indian. I mean, I’m darker in complexion, shorter in height, have a strange nose and big hips. LOL

Sridevi in English Vinglish

It’s surprising when I feel most Indian. While writing my screenplay. I imagine song and dance sequences at crucial intervals. I still expect an intermission when I watch a film. I need to get that samosa. But that’s just one aspect of it. Because I actually think in English and write in English because funnily enough, it is my native language. Let me correct that, it is my first language and the language and culture of my thoughts. I say culture, because I probably enjoy a burger more than vada pav. Okay, that’s a bad example. But in all honesty, just like the protagonist of my script, I watch American television shows, eat Italian food, spend way too much time on Facebook and can’t wrap my head around ‘arranged marriage’.

Kajol & SRK in DDLJ
Kajol & SRK in DDLJ

I struggle with the idea of freedom in the independent India of my residence. I have only lived in the financial capital, Mumbai and the city lights haven’t dimmed but the city’s sparkle sure has. I have to impose a censor on my thoughts, on my writing, for worry of what my family, peers, authorities might have to say or do. I still have to go on arranged marriage dates and deal with obnoxious men. I still have to wear ‘traditional’ clothes when and if I go to the temple. And a film like PK does get caught in a controversy. I can sing along to Hindi music and enjoy Bollywood movies but i can’t write in the language. Like my favourite author Vikram Seth, English is the instrument of my choice.

Indian wedding
Indian wedding

I know we’ve come a long way in these 66 years. And I also know we still have many a issues at hand to deal with.

But as someone who belongs to the youth of the nation, I find myself struggling with the idea of equality and independence. I find us becoming slaves to Western ideologies, individualistic in our approach, enamoured by American influence. We speak a foreign language in our homes. We celebrate ‘English’ festivals with more gusto than we do national holidays. And I’m not complaining. This is my observation. I don’t know who to identify with. I can’t find my way through Google Maps for this route.


I don’t know how you feel about being a young Indian. On most days, I’m happy with the opportunities available to me. But I don’t usually think about giving back to my nation. Some of us don’t even know our political leaders. Our prime minister had to take to social media campaigning to reach out to us!

So, basically, do my words resonate with you? Do you ever think about what makes you Indian?

Phone | The Bachchans

This is all happening so fast. And it is all so exciting.

Amitabh Bachchan | Work in progress

My twitter stream:

  • @dhruvis: Answered house phone. Received a call from justdial in @SrBachchan‘s voice. Trying to fool me with #KBC promos doing the rounds? ROTFL
  • @SrBachchan @dhruvis oh must check on this …
  • @dhruvis @SrBachchan Its quite funny. Sounds like a mimicry artist advertising justdial. I was so thrilled at the thought of getting into KBC. 😛
  • @dhruvis: This is hilarious! & now I receive a call from Idea asking if I want a V.I.P. number, since its available. @juniorbachchan promoting too?
  • @dhruvis: Start 2 the day has been fantastic. @SrBachchan‘s voice & @juniorbachchan‘s promoted telecom company showing quite some interest in me. 😀
  • @dhruvis: Second call: ‘Raj’ from Idea insists I must get the similar no. 😀

This morning took all the ‘phone’y-ness a couple of notches higher.

I receive a call from Justdial. “Pehchana? Main Amit bol raha hoon…”
And I, starry-eyed, imagine I’ve made it to Kaun Banega Crorepati.
As the conversation continues, I realize I’m listening to a prerecorded advertisement.

After my tweet exchange with Amitabh Bachchan (yes, it happened! :-D)
I receive 2 calls, this time from Idea, asking if I want a V.I.P. no. similar to mine

I have been warned not to look for signs.
I’m still giggling with excitement like a 16 yr old. 🙂
I’m so glad dad bought me this no. when I was still in school.

I am a proclaimed phone addict. Some people still have my no. saved as Munna Mobile. Yeah. Aamir Khan hangover is quite obvious. I’ve had the same no. since I got my first cellphone. To my luck or ‘un’luck, apparently, Juhi Chawla also has a similar no. (a digit here and there).
Over the years, I’ve received calls on her behalf and of course, she, loads of texts.
I woke up one morning in my cousin’s seaside bungalow to be reminded that I needed to take trials and fittings of the clothes kept aside for me at Tarun Tahiliani’s studio. Some way to break a girl’s heart.

Anyway, I love the ensemble Amitabh Bachchan sir is sporting today.

T92 -At the sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad shooting for Gujarat ... on Twitpic

It is absolutely simple and in a colour that represents freedom for me (white). I love how sheer fabrics drape when you wear them around your neck. (chunnis, dupattas, stoles, scarves…) Churidars must be well-fitted. Otherwise, you’re missing the point of wearing them. And lastly, it’s quite obvious I love his spectacle frames.

It’s been a great start to the day! Do you have ‘phone’y incidents to share?
A phone call that brought about a change in your life?
Please share in the comments section or tweet to me. I’d love to know! xoxo

Independence Day | Freedom

What is freedom to you?

The idea changes every day, every month, every year…
When you’re younger, your dreams and hopes are alive
Don’t let time and age tarnish your personal goals
Be what you set out to be
There is no final destination
It’s the journey (through the rabbit hole) that is enriching

My most favourite freedom advertisement is:

What is your favourite freedom advertisement, clip, any form of media?
Please share in the comments section.

And of course, Happy Independence Day!

I love the Google tribute. Again. 🙂

To my surprise, I was up as sharp as the clock struck 9.
My teachers would have been proud.
My sister attended the flag hoisting ceremony at school.
While I discussed the press coverage with my parents. 😉