THE BIBLE…WORD OF GOD


I was familiar with the Bible since my childhood as a tiny version of it was a cherished item, of my possessions. It had adorable graphics and the most endearing side of it was the story of Jesus Christ. I would peruse it on a daily basis, tirelessly, overwhelmed with the same kind of emotions each day. Excited to re-start the awesome journey of Jesus, mid way an earnest desire to grasp and obey, towards His crucifixion would carry on my reading with teary eyes & blurred vision. Would invariably finish the book in acute pathos and also an undercurrent anger burning in, towards the false witnesses of Him, fervently believing…”if only I was there and could hide Him or protect Him”. Yes! I adored Him…as a child. How & when our alliance began, I cannot pin point since I knew Him from the beginning of my existence & believed that He was the God of my life. Everything about Him was so appealing; my hunger for Him was never sated. I would befriend Christian classmates, in solemn expectation to hear of Him more & more. I probably envied every Christian on earth as I felt like an outcast in the “circle” of Jesus.

In spite of taking birth in a Hindu family & cultured by the Hindu standards, nothing could alter my mind-set of Jesus. With time, I got aware that it is the “Calling of Jesus”, none out of their own sweet will can belong to HIM! Surely, the missionary influence of my convent school was in His plan too, to groom me towards Him. No amount of nagging and thrashing from elders could brain wash me to follow suit on their religious roots. I had adorned my finger with a golden cross ring; which I simply loved, when I was 6 years old. Soon I was to attend a family wedding, the minute a cousin brother-in-law spotted it on my finger, he tactfully asked me to show it to him for a closer look. I beamingly & trustingly handed it over to him. The next second I was sobbing uncontrollably as he threw it out of the window. I cried & squealed, but nothing could coax them to send me on the street to search for it… all I could see were idiotic grinning faces all around me, my mom too! He got away, rather, was looked up to for the hideous act, as he was the “Jamaai Raja” (son-in-law) of the family. He succeeded in his mission then, but I took the plunge further, today I am the strongest in Christ… Baptized, a staunch Christian, a follower, a believer, and I have many gold and diamond crosses to adorn myself with.

We all waver in our teens…I too fell prey to it. Never did I stop loving Jesus & His story… the 4 gospels of the New Testament… However, I acquired an indifference towards the rest of the Bible, say the Old Testament & the rest…thinking it was man written. I was against the idea of following manmade concepts…I still do not like to follow quotes & concepts of so-called “Great People”. None can ever impress me with such. Anyway, in my adulthood, I finally entered that “Circle” of Jesus…that I vied for since my childhood… this time no detractors to subjugate my allegiance to Jesus… I boldly entered the Church…the House of God, legalized my relationship n fellowship…got Baptized, & lifted the Bible in my hands…THE WORD OF GOD.

I began from the beginning of the Bible…the Old Testament…Wherein, the very first page of Genesis…teaches…the BEGINNING. The Bible started unfolding itself to me, revealing its holiness, purity, power, wisdom, history, facts, secrets, mysteries & above all…the Trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Its credibility amazed me, inspired me, spoke to me, miraculously turned me and my life upside down, touching n jolting me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet…I was never the same!!! My point of view altered to HIS point of view, the perspective of Jesus became my perspective…I learnt to abide in Him, through Him & for Him…”Taste and see…The Lord is Good” My outlook n principles of life, world, relations, values, beliefs, desires, ambitions, feelings…all took a drastic somersault.

I learnt and realized the magnitude behind that tiny book that I once held in my childhood… no more did I feel any remorse towards those false witnesses…nor did my eye sight blur at His crucifixion…rather it makes me smile in reverence and shed spiritual tears of God fearing Awe… His journey still excites me & His words make me bow in absolute obedience. It is most beautiful to dwell in His Wisdom, His Spirit and in His Truth. It’s awesome and amazing to know why He came on earth, how He came on earth, why He chose the Cross, He rose from the dead, He will come again…and who He is…Hallelujah.

Today the Bible is my favourite book on earth, imagine, the entire Bible was written over a period of 1400 to 1800 years; from around 1450 B.C.(the time of Moses) to about 100 A.D.( the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ); narrating the prior times too, right from the Creation, by more than 40 different authors. It is a compilation of 66 books, from the Old Testament…”the shadow”, to the New Testament…”the substance”. Yet the entire Bible is in one accord and whole; flowing together, merging with each other in Spirit. HOW? Because it was written under the guidance & inspiration of the Holy Spirit…Every word, each prophecy has been fulfilled until now and will be fulfilled further. It is evident that the Bible has been written by the Hand of God…& The Bible is… the Word of God.

The Bible also says…”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with god in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind………..The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” No wonder Jesus said….”I am the truth, the way and life”…. HALLELUYA. 

THE STAGE AND THE THIRD BELL -part 3


         HEER RANJHA: After Loona… it was very refreshing to play “Heer”, as it was entirely of a different genre. The beauty is…when I had gone to Chandigarh; I was not aware or familiar with the culture n literature of Punjab. I hailed from Calcutta, was familiar with the Bengali culture & language. I knew “Rabindranath Tagore”, “Rabindra sangeet”. Once in Punjab, I was acquainted with “Shiv Batalvi”, “Heer”, “gidda”, “tappe” etc. In spite of a being a Punjabi, I did not follow the language much, so really had to work on it & cut down on my English & Bengali accent. Punjab & its people are so infectious, that one starts enjoying the learning process & in no time becomes one of them.

                                                                                                           Heer Ranjha         

The ballet Heer-Ranjha, was expected to do well & it did so. I remember…one of our shows, was held in Mumbai (Bombay then). It was on the “vaisakhi” day; many famous personalities of Punjab were to perform in different acts & there was a prize for the best performer too.  Mr. Gurdas Mann was a rage then & he was to perform also. I too was a fan of his. Once the function got over; the organisers had to announce the winner. As expected, they announced the name of Gurdas Maanji.

                                                                            Heer Ranjha

I was back-stage then, when all of a sudden I heard a lot of shouting in the audience. I assumed that the uproar was for our Punjabi idol Gurdas Maanji. I too rushed towards the wings to catch a glimpse of him & to witness his aura. When I reached there, I saw him calming down the audience & saying he will just do the needful. I held my breath when he turned towards the wings. I could not move an inch; I thought I was lucky enough to have a closer look at him. I realised that he was giving instructions to look for someone & the organizers were going helter-skelter for so as it was quite dark over there. Before I could grasp the situation, I spotted one of them pointing at me & dashing towards me. Gurdas Mannji too turned towards me, came closer, flashed his most charming smile, held my hand affectionately, & I heard the sweetest voice telling me that I performed so wonderfully. He took me to the stage with him & I kept looking at him amazed. Then, once again I heard the frenzy shouts & realised that all this while people had been shouting…”Heer…Heer”, as they had loved my performance. They were finally satisfied when the prize was shared between Gurdas Mannji & me. I could not stop my tears.

Mirza-Sahibaan: Rani Balbir Kaur, a famous personality of the punjabi theatre… wanted to revive her play…Mirza- Sahibaan. When she was young, she had played the role of Sahibaan. She was also a professor in the Indian Theatre of the Punjab University. Many of her students wanted her to cast them as Sahibaan. She was not willing to as she had her own concept of Sahibaan; & no one around seemed to match it. When she described her concept of a Sahibaan to her daughter Komal, Komal jumped & told her that there is such a girl in her collage, named…Seema Kapoor.

                                                                                                                  Mirza Sahibaan

As destiny would play its part, that same evening, Dad had taken me to watch a play…&…Rani Balbirji along with Komal was there. The minute Raniji spotted me, she kept staring at me; she pointed at me & murmured to Komal…”there is my Sahibaan”. When Komal turned to look at me, she was pleasantly surprised that her mom had approved of the same girl, whom she had earlier suggested. In no time, they walked up to me & fixed a meeting. You bet…in a couple of days, I was rehearsing as Sahibaan. It was again a very challenging role; I loved every bit of it & performed to the hilt. All the papers paid such compliments that I was ecstatic. It was also my last play of Chandigarh…as I shifted to Bombay.

                                                                                      Mirza Sahibaan

       EK GHORA TEEN SAWAAR, &, MAIN ZINDA HOON: The 2 plays, that I worked in, at Mumbai, with Nadira Babbarji. Ek ghora… was a light comedy, nothing great but just fun. Main zinda Hoon was close to my heart. It was an adaptation of “Look back in anger”. I loved doing this experiment theatre.

                                        Ek Ghoda Teen Sawaar            Ek Ghoda Teen Sawaar   

                 Main Zinda Hoon             Main Zinda Hoon

SIX IN A FIX: An English play, commercial, comedy…good, but nothing awesome about it. I just loved the idea that I was casted opposite Benjamin Gilani…from whom I further learnt that what professional ethics were all about.

Shadyantra: A play in which I played the role of an active lesbian; who is a doctor by profession. It was a thrilling murder mystery. The funniest part was that in the climax, the scene was lengthy…between my co-worker & me; & each dialogue was a page n a half. Now my co-worker would invariably forget her lines during the show.  As a result, after finishing my dialogue, I had to say,” I know Puja what’s in your mind, U want to say”…. & there, I had to say her complete dialogue, then get back to  my lines, & back to her lines…mine, hers, mine, hers & mine…. God…It was crazy…Ultimately the whole climax used to be enacted by me as I didn’t want the play to fall apart; whereas all that my co-worker did was…miserably & thankfully kept nodding at me. Gosh! I had some guts to do that & she had some nerve to go on like that!

All the plays that I did in Mumbai were no match at all to what I had done earlier in life at Chandigarh… it was intensely a serious business there with such depth & projection…. that spirit was amiss here, in spite of being highly paid here. After a point, my heart- beats stopped beating for theatre…until…

A SUITABLE BRIDE: Came in my stride. It is my most favourite play. All about it is mentioned in my post…The Suitable Bride. Do have a look.

MADE FOR EACH OTHER: Another play, with the same team of… A suitable bride…BUT, after A Suitable Bride, I did not wish to pick up any other play…as nothing was beyond it. People who have watched the play…would surely understand…only God’s power enabled me to the 12 roles in one play… live… with different get-ups & body language…. oh so dear to me…THE STAGE & THE THIRD BELL!!!

 

THE STAGE & THE THIRD BELL…part 2.


        KI DOSH SI LOONA DA: The subject “Loona” is a folk lore of Punjab… a story of a beautiful young girl, who lives in impoverished conditions with her old father. One fine day, she participates in the beauty contest held in her town, in the presence of the king, & the other neighbouring kings too. She is declared the beauty queen & is crowned for so by a guest king named Salwaan , who is spell-bound by her beauty & falls for her; but he is a married man n twice her age. Yet he forcibly marries her, taking advantage of her poverty. Loona is betrothed to him against her wishes. Salwaan has a son who is very good-looking, yet very saintly, named Puran. Loona in turn falls in love with Puran as he is ideally like her dream man. The day she declares her love to him, Puran gets upset, as he always thought of her as a mother & swears never to come in front of her so that she does not feel drawn to him. Loona is upset and complains to the king of Puran’s high- handedness.  Salwaan the king gets angry & passes a sentence against his own son & gets him killed.

Ki Dosh Si Loona Da       

          SHIV BATALVI… a very famous poet of Punjab… for whom I could die for…but unfortunately was no more on earth, when I got to know of him. Yes I am crazy about him & his works & fondly refer him as the “Indian Shakespeare”!!! Anyway, he was totally in favour of the character Loona & had always claimed that Loona was a positive being. Look up at the story, can anyone claim that! Nobody could, many people picked up the subject & made a play on it but failed miserably to hold the claim of Shiv Batalvi; rather they ridiculed her character even further.

            During the phase when I was very depressed due to the set-back of someone’s mis-doing, (read part 1), Dad had taken me to watch a play… another play on Loona. The entire play was a shabby depiction & received hootings, than any kind of appreciation. We too came home criticizing the play. Next morning…”The Tribune” was equally critical… it said, “They have turned Shiv’s heroine Loona into a vamp”…but a particular line captivated Dad’s attention…it said, “one needs another Shiv Batalvi to justify Loona”. It hit Dad to realize, that along with Loona, another person needed to be justified…yes… his own daughter. He charged towards me & announced, “Prepare your-self…YOU are LOONA…& the justified one…the Heroine!

               Ki Dosh Si Loona Da

  Rest was history…as I mentioned in my earlier post…that I witnessed my “dynamite heavenly father” & my “dynamic earthly father” working in unison. Dad indeed altered the fate of Loona…if Shiv would have been alive, he surely would have hugged Dad. Dad also had promised me that he would make such a brilliant script that Sangeeta Mehta would beg for it. Each day Dad would pen down endless papers, & towards the eve, he would give me a copy to memorise & the other copy… he would carry to sangeeta’s home to narrate.      

 Now, the regular scene at Sangeeta’s home, during eves, was out of the world…her table usually laid elaborately with drinks n appetisers for all the famous personalities of the fraternity. All artistic discussions would take place, some singers would sing their latest numbers, musicians would happily play on their instruments; “shero-shayree’, poetries etc. making rounds in full swings…I too loved it all. Dad would narrate his work on Loona with utter pride. His each n every scene was to die-for, his dialogues made everyone dumbstruck, no one could imagine that Loona could go to such an awesome level of creativity. Each evening they all would wait for Dad to narrate further. Finally, Sangeeta begged Dad to allow her to do the role of Loona. Dad refused making it quite clear to her that she was older for the role. He could offer the role of  Salwaan’s wife…but… loona would only be enacted by Seema. No amount of her coaxing/ pleading worked on Dad. Ultimately, she took over to produce/direct, n act as “Ichchara”… Salwaan’s wife… & accept me as Loona.                                                                                                                                         

   Ki Dosh Si Loona Da        

           Dad was triumphant in his purpose!!! Imagine the person who tried to oust me from my first play, now signed me as the heroine of her own production & directorial venture!!! It was my “Jesus-Yahowa Nissi”, who fought my battle, avenged me & handed over the victory to me; & in the bargain, Dad came out with one of his brilliant work. I always believe that pain, hurt & zeal is always fruitful in the  end.

                    Ki Dosh Si Loona Da                                   

The pain, hurt n zeal was working on me too…I was so dedicated, engrossed n involved that I would breathe, eat, shower, sleep n awake on Loona. I usually worked on my lines at my terrace as the open space helped me to open up to Loona. I would go on & on delivering the great endless lines…only to realise later that the street below my terrace was full of spectators…no not for my talent but people were watching a mad girl who was screaming n shouting to herself…they probably thought I was mad & needed help or an asylum. I had to flee from there n hide!!! 

Sangeeta Mehta…was now my director & mentor. We developed an unsaid understanding. Seeing my obedience, hard-work n dedication, she too never got the chance to regret, rather, she was full of pride when the word of my performance spread all over Chandigarh; & people would invite them-selves in, just to see my rehearsals. I was thrilled when one day Balwant  Gargi…a famous n senior writer/director walked in to watch me rehearse, as he had heard so much of me, that he couldn’t stop himself from meeting me. He was so impressed to see me performing; he blessed me, also gave me a couple of tips, which I treasure until date.

        Ki Dosh Si Loona Da

The play “ki dosh si Loona da”(what was the fault of Loona) was power packed with high drama scenes, dialogues, music n songs. There was just no relief. In Punjab, people were used to watching light stuff but when they saw this play, they were spellbound, didn’t even shift in their seats watching a 14 year old me, mouthing such difficult lines with an ease of a maestro, performing the complex role of Loona with such finesse. The play got so popular that it staged from town to town, to city-to-city. All the ministers and dignitaries witnessed it. All had to admit that it was written superbly & Loona… is the claimed heroine & totally justified… as Dad had proved that Loona & Puran were innocent & the scapegoats of the villainous Salwaan, who moulded situations according to his benefits. The play was a  smashing hit!     

The best part of all was that on the Republic Day…the Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh, MR. B.S. Sarao, honoured me for my performance. Two rows of military men had marched on each side of me while taking me to the Chief Commissioner, to be honoured. Dad was thrilled, while my dilemma was whether I was to march with the military or walk straight!!! I chose to walk straight…thank God for that!

  Seema Kapoor recieving award from Mr. B.S. Sarao Chief Commissioner Chandigarh

Soon I was to be admitted in college for my Prep (11th & 12 STD.), the authorities acted tough on pretext of no vacancy. I was much hassled. Dad straight away walked into the Home Secretary “Sewa Singh ji’s” office. Now Mr. Sewa Singh had also come for my play & had rewarded me for my performance… the minute he saw Dad there, he recognised Dad & paid him the respect. Dad told him that, what was the point of so much appreciation & honour to Seema Kapoor, when she is being denied the admission in G C G College. Immediately a call was made for me.

 Seema Kapoor Miss Fresher GCG       Seema Kapoor Crowned as Miss Fresher GCG  

          Untitled 22         Seema Kapoor as Miss Fresher GCG     

 The whole scenario altered. I got a red-carpet entry in the G C G College, the authorities along with the principal were waiting to admit me in. Once admitted, no one regretted there too. They were proud of me as a student, as well as of my simultaneous professional endeavours.  My stage presence was looked forward to, in college; I was famous on the ramp. Also was the cultural head; & first… to make a record in GCG…I was crowned as “Miss Fresher” as well as the “Miss Graduate”.

         Untitled 26    Seema Kapoor as Miss Graduate GCG  

To be continued………

The Stage and the Third Bell…part 1


          The “stage & the third bell”… for me is akin to…A “heart & the heart beats”!!! Yes! My theatre life… so dear to me; I have always believed that if the celluloid has been my love, then the stage has been my passion.  As in the words of Shakespeare…world is a stage, where each one takes an entry & an exit, playing their respective parts… I too had my share of playing different roles, inexhaustibly making entries & taking exits… in the personal drama of life & the playacting of the theatre!

As an adolescent…(at Chandigarh)… when I had finally joined my creative Dad, after a prolonged, uncalled-for separation; least was I aware that I was being steered by the call of my destiny, and… the arena, the spotlight, the mask, the applause, the renown…was awaiting my arrival. Hence, my Jesus manoeuvred me & my Dad groomed me!

Dad made it quite apparent to me that an individual has two distinct sides of the personality…the personal aura & the professional enigma…like the two sides of a coin, which belong to the same physical structure, yet carry an unconnected substance. It was quite difficult for me to conform to it, as I was always a brutally straightforward person, die-hard candid in my approach, attitude n attribute. It took me years to imbibe! Partially I learnt…partially the ruthless world taught me!!!

Personally, Dad indulged in pampering me to the hilt, yielding to every demand of mine; yet, he also kept moulding me tactfully towards a standard of perfection. Nevertheless, on the professional front…he strictly imposed certain rules over me…over the years.

Rule 1:  Academic qualification was essential, to complete graduation, however busy with work…therefore; I have worked & studied simultaneously.

2: Never to mix the personal & professional aspects, they are entirely two different worlds, one should leave the problems at home, as it should not be visible on the countenance of an actor.

3:  Always to be punctual, dot on time… to give no one the place or space for any cross-question.

4: To be an utter professional & command the due respect, it would surely be apprehended by all.

5: To value and safeguard dignity, self-esteem and honour, always. Allow no one to take you for granted.

6: To give perfection-oriented performances & dialogue delivery, to be versatile, & to hold a command on language n diction.

7: Never to ask for work…as it lowers the charisma… It’s a fact, that having done so much work over the years, that too, all the lead n title roles; I have  only worked on offers that came my way,  have never asked for work. Rather, I have been famous for saying “No” to umpteenth offers, than a “Yes”!!!

8: Never “compromise” for success…it’s a wrong notion when people think that they can reach success by the unscrupulous short-cuts, rather they reach no-where, even if they manage to…its short-lived.

9: Never cry or get disheartened if someone else is considered or finalized in your place… since… it is not your loss…but the loss is theirs!!! As they know not what they have missed. Moreover, people who come with an offer do not come to favour you; they come according to their convenience… yes, I strongly believe in so!

10:” Do not cry over spilled milk”…learn from past mistakes & move ahead with double the energy n strength.

You see… along with the 10 commandments of my “Heavenly Father”… I also was groping to adhere to the 10 commandments of my “Earthly Father’.

Until then, the only experience of stage for me was some school dramas, wherein, the roles that I had enacted were highly appreciated by my teachers. They would compliment me by saying that I had acted it out so typically of the character! So much so, that my report cards were full of compliments for my acting skills, than my academic capabilities. Will you believe…I was too young then to realize the authenticity behind the adulations…I just grasped the emotion behind the appraisal & felt blushingly flattered…shot back my most famous dimpled n enchanting smiles, much to the awe of the others…though I remained quite unaware of its impact!!!

SHIRIN FARHAAD: My strikingly distinguished looks, personality, aura n beauty had fetched me the role of “shirin”. Much to the dismay of the graduating seniors, who had vied for the role! This had taken place at the private school, wherein I was admitted, for the boards of class 9 n 10. Their fury triggered due to the lead role handed over to a “teenybopper”. This “ballet” was an, inter-collegiate presentation, but performed on professional grounds, at “Tagore Theatre”… & witnessed by the elite & the dignitaries of Chandigarh.

Shirin FarhaadShirin Farhaad

     This was the beauty of Chandigarh…besides being a well-planned town & flaunting its scenic value…the students of the town dominated. All was a serious business…be it… the demands of students, their marches n strikes, etc. etc; the elected college n university candidates were as good as political representatives.  I received a trophy for the ballet, but what really mattered was that I managed to impress Dad. He discerned my capacity n range! 

           Seema Kapoor 

       AARAAM HARAAM HAI… the first professional play of my life that came knocking on my door! Colonel Gupte… was a sought-after director of theatre, he approached me for a young girl’s role; it was a major opportunity for me to begin in his guidance, hence I accepted the role…I was 13 years old then. It was a learning n training process for me. Being a convent student n hailing from Calcutta…my “hindi” was atrocious. I used to speak like…”Noodi pictude” (Noorie picture) me jo “hedo”(hero) tha , “Fadukh”(Farukh) sheikh, woh “bare- bare”(Bade-bade) pero(pedo) ke peeche bhaag raha tha….gosh …my R n D in hindi was totally haywire (Bengali-background).

                                       AARAAM HARAAM HAI         Untitled 9

    Mr. Gupte…fortunately/unfortunately… not once had to check me, as my Dad would already be on his toes to rectify my flaws. With practice, I started learning n improving. Was introduced to rehearsals, theatre discipline, make-up, movements, marks, cues etc. etc. & I was imbibing all very naturally n inherently.

       Finally shows arrived, my performance was highly appreciated in spite of the two blunders that I made…for “daal-chaaval” (my Bengali background showed up) & I said…”Chaal-daaval”, which I still say most of the times!!! The other mistake was…I had to cry n say in hindi… “It’s better to die than to live like this”. I cried to the hilt… but said… “It’s better to live than to die like this”. Nevertheless, my performance was so honest to the scene; the audience kept cheering, encouraging n applauding me. The response was so much in my favour during n after the show that a senior actor in that play got out rightly insecure of me. She was no other than my so-called second mother, future director & mentor…Ma’am Sangeeta Mehta. One of my forth-coming posts is going to be on her.

However, she was a very sought-after theatre actor, so right after a couple of shows; she tried to force Mr. Gupte to oust me from the play. Colonel Gupte was not a man to compromise on anyone’s demands n conditions, especially when it was wrongful, as he had witnessed the super response I had received. He refused to play dirty with an innocent soul, but due to her tantrums… he took a wise decision… he replaced us BOTH!!!

Such was my beginning…no sooner I laid my foot, I had to taste the “cup of poison”, which I guess is mandatory to sip, along with the “cup of success”. A first page, to a new chapter…  of another “lesson”… unfolded itself to me.

I was shocked n sank in my dad’s arms. The depth of my trauma didn’t escape him, yet he caught me n made me stand straight, looked deep in my  swollen red-eyes n said ..“ you trust me? Then do not cry, rather gather & gear yourself from now on, as I promise you that I will avenge your plight. I will write such a wonderful play for you that no one must have witnessed or heard of such work, & you have to prepare yourself for such a forth-coming challenge, rather than brood over someone’s mis-doing. You have to learn to stand strong right in the midst of your enemies.” I stared at him amazed…such a dynamic father!!!

I never saw him taking a breather after that… my “dynamite heavenly father” & my “dynamic earthly father”… moved in unison to write my success story, to offer me the “cup of fame” & revert the “cup of poison” to my detractors. I actually witnessed God’s glory working on Dad & his awesome work…my next play…”ki Dosh Si Loona Da” ( what  was the fault of Loona)….hence…banged into existence!!!

To be continued……

THE WOMEN I ADORE…PART-3


So far I have inscribed n etched a special slot for  “Mother Mary”, “Queen Esther”,   “Jyoti BHABHI”,  “Julie”,  “Queen Cleopatra”,  & my favourite “Stars”, who lie marked in my heart; in my previous posts!!! Yet, there remains few more that follow suit!!!

       The next on the list is….AYN RAND. Until my late teens I was only aware of her as an authoress, her book being “Fountainhead”, which I never got down to read. Later, when I was busy in my “Hasratein” days, my director’s wife would insist me, to read Ayn’s “Atlas Shrugged”, but somehow I couldn’t avail the time to do so. One fine day, at the shoot in a bungalow, her assistant lay hands on a copy of Atlas shrugged, n darted for us! Now the issue was that who would peruse the book first, me or him! I was cool but was given the obvious preference! I walked in home with the book, slightly guilty that I now possessed the book due to my star value & moreover it wasn’t in the least my property!

 However I got down to reading it, the more I read, the more possessive I grew over the book, I simply couldn’t part with it! I was in a world of its own concept n values, I found myself relating to it, discovered that my ideals did match so strongly, I had always believed in it, dreamt of it , loved every bit of it! When I finished reading, the two things I did right after was….bought the whole collection of Ayn Rand, be it fiction, non-fiction or her philosophies!!! Secondly, I would buy new copies of it n gift them to people who showed even the slightest inclination/interest towards it!  Internally, I knew why this was happening! The bible says…as you sow, so shall you reap! What had I done?  I had brought a free copy that probably belonged to some- one, & then, bought copies of it for so many people. You see, in this world n life itself, in a certain respect, we pay the price of our deeds, I strongly believe in so!!!

Coming to the woman I adore, Any Rand,  a gifted writer like her has to be so profoundly experienced, so profusely intense & so immensely  deep-rooted!!! I am just in love with her, marvel at her reflection, her aptitude, her communication & her insight! People who criticize her,  who run her down on the pretext of “capitalism”,  merely seem  to me,  certain  pseudo characters, emerging from her very books,  her  concept of…”anti-socials”, “murderers of mankind”!!!  I will always pay my salutations to her!!!

The next on the list are….”.RANIJI”…my Pastor & “Satinderji”, her partner!  Both of whom I endearingly look up to!!!

 Another belief of mine is, that at times, some people who have harmed you in life; turn around at some point in life & do you a favour, be it intentionally/unintentionally. Just like certain situations/circumstances that may pose quite adverse to tackle or bear, but with time, they turn out to be for your everlasting good!!!  After all, it’s written in the bible, that our God (YAHOWAH  NISSI),  will always fight our battle for us, deliver us from our enemies, hand over victory to us & lay our “Banquet table”, right in front of our foes !  Our God topples the adverse tables that are schemed for our doom…for our ultimate benefit!!! I have witnessed it many a times!  

       Let me tell you of one case, when I was in my teens, doing a couple of films,  I met a dress-designer named…”P”, she was designated for my costumes n was related to a veteran actress, who was also in the same film. So I trusted her n asked her to revamp my wardrobe for me. She made me buy expensive materials from the best of shops, & also took a hefty amount for tailoring them…. & ….disappeared!!! I was shaken up with the experience, realised that no one is worthy the trust. After many years, we finally met, at the sets of “HUM SAAT-AATH HAI”, for Star plus; as she was handling the costumes of it. She had no choice but to feign amnesia! I too kept mum on the past issue, for many months of working together. She almost believed that I hadn’t recognised her. One day, when the entire cast was present, she coolly joined us in our discussion of zodiacal signs, kept enquiring of each one’s star-sign, when she turned towards me, I told her…”P, I am a Sagi n I remember you being a Libran!”  She froze…that in spite of so many years, I remembered her sun-sign, so obviously I knew her all this while!!!

 Later she came to me with a pounding heart & apologised for her past misdeeds, confessed to being a misled person in those years. I forgave her, & told her that “I believe in “Jesus”…& for years have been longing to partake in a company of “His” people, but didn’t know whom to turn to for so”! …Now!… It was shocking for me… when she replied that she had turned into a Christian, & it was Jesus who had transformed her for the good & she knew the right person n place for me to dwell in the company of HIS people. At this… the scenario altered, it was me now, whose heart was pounding with anxiety, & I didn’t want to waste a single minute on past grievances, but pestered her to introduce me to that right person of Jesus!!! Yes, this was the favour done to me by the person who had wronged me ages back, & to whom I am grateful for the favour, in return, I choose to bear amnesia towards her mistakes of the past!!!

Through “P”, I finally met the woman responsible for my concrete destiny towards THE JESUS I loved from my birth!!! I met RANIJI!!! A woman of multi-dimensions! In her presence I felt… the love of Jesus, the values of Queen Esther, the propriety of Jyoti Bhabhi, the edification of Ma’m Julie, the command of the “Stars”, the dignity & fore-sight of Queen Cleopatra, the spunk of Ayn Rand…felt all the magnetic specifications that I have been pulled towards at various stages of my life, the establishmentism of all the women that I had adored!!! I felt perfect & blissful!!!

She was pleasantly surprised that I had not come to Jesus for any worldly need, but to know more of HIM, whom I already knew; whereas people came for needs, knowing of HIM & then knew HIM!!! A case reversal in all terms!!! I tried my best to grasp as much as I could from her, in our “House”of JESUS CHRIST. My gratitude will never ebb for her…as she gave me a new life in Jesus, she baptized me as per my long-desired penchant, she was also the priestess & the sole authority of my wedding, her preaching has transfused in me…a radical absolute!!!

Via Raniji I met… Satinderji… her partner in every respect! A woman of few words, soft-spoken, gentle, loving… bearing the spiritual fruits, & firm in her faith, discipline & strongly blessed with the spiritual gift of discernment!!! We have our own little joke to share. Once, when I was very new in the group, I had joined them for an out-station preaching n healing campaign, least aware that they all were on a fast; by the time we reached our destination, I was famished. Without any fuss,  Satinderji, in her fasting state,  lovingly cooked an omelette sandwich, reserved only for me; probably it was no big deal in her eyes, but that very moment onwards, she carved a place in my heart, equivalent of Mother Mary!!! To this day, Raniji teases me, saying that if they have to convince me to do something, they will just recall the incident of the omelette, & there, I go all ears, gooey-eyed, & a stickler of obedience, for the sake of Satinderji… & we laugh it loud!!! Oh mine! Do I adore them…. you bet…Yessssss!!!  A family for me…in spirit & in truth!!!

THE WOMEN I ADORE….Part-2


 The next gem of a woman that I adore is none other than…”Our Lady-MOTHER MARY”…the epitome of perfection and purity!!! Her beautiful simplicity is so striking that one can’t help being drawn to her; a characteristic that I die for!!! Yet what would supremely surpass all her attributions is the fact that she gave birth to…..JESUS CHRIST!!! She is the mother of the Alpha & Omega…all begins and ends here!

A virgin, so holy unto our Heavenly Father, so obedient unto the Holy Spirit, so doting unto Jesus…our Messiah!!!  The truest example of a mother figure! As a child I too looked up to her, shared a cohesive bond, shared with her what Jesus must have shared with her, shared with her what my mom didn’t share with me! But with Mother Mary, there has been a sense of fulfilment with her, to whom I could run to & call out “mother, mother”!

Nowhere in the bible have we been instructed to worship her, as worship is solely reserved for our Abba Father…the True Living God.  Yet I remember that my class-mate Stella Phillips would insist that we pray to Mother Mary for our prayers to be answered at once, & yes, our requests were answered then n there. So much so, that once we had to go for a school picnic, it was raining so heavily that there was every possibility of  the picnic to get cancelled, we dreaded the cancellation & at once prayed to her, no sooner we finished praying, the rain had stopped completely. Stella turned n said, “See, I told you!” Now I realise, that it was a true mother’s heart that worked, probably when we prayed, Mother Mary was praying too, for our prayers to be answered! And how could her request be refuted by God? Remember…the first miracle that Jesus had performed, was when He turned water into wine…. And He had done so…. on Mother Mary’s request!!!

The precious sacrifice of Jesus has given redemption n salvation to all those who believe in Him, therefore we believers, do not need any person or medium to call out to God for us, we are fortunate to have a direct access to Him!  Therefore we pray to only “HIM”!  Yet, never the less, the honour & glory & piety cannot be separated from Our Mother Mary…. for once & for all….she is….the Mother of Jesus!!!

 

Another adorable woman is… Queen ESTHER!!! A woman not just admired by me but highly admired in Christendom!  A woman of great faith, who is responsible for having liberated her entire clan from the clutches of austere bondage, single handed!!! She depended on none, but God; who believed only, in the counsel of God, headed in His wisdom & worked in His power!!!  Who knew how to give God the first place & the top priority, into everything that she intervened in. No wonder, the rigid fast that she had kept for three days, before her mission, is looked up at, by all believers! A key to achieve n accomplish!!!

Not many know that my Christian name is Esther, I was so happy when I was given this name by my pastor, in the guidance of the Holy Spirit! It’s one of the best names of the bible, given to the chosen fortunate ones. Many vie for this name, I realised this only when some of the girls of the church wanted to change their names to Esther, after I was given this name!!! But for me, I will feel complete when I justify this name!!! Amen!!!

 

The next I would like to mention is another “J” I adore….JULIE!!! But to know of her, one would have to go through my earlier posts…Julie, Julie the 1st & Julie continues!!!

 

The next on the list is yet another queen, my most adorable….Queen CLEOPATRA!!! A queen indeed in the truest sense…a woman of mettle!!! When I studied her through the William Shakespeare version…oh man…I was bombed!!! Never have I come across a woman of her calibre! It takes life times to be one like her or come across her!

An aesthetic persona, a blend of beauty with brains, a concoction of virtue & vice; bold n daring, sensuous n amorous, an intellectual yet shrewd, passionate, possessive, gregarious yet faithful. Arrogant yet dignified, ambitious yet prudish…..oh God, words cannot justify her…one has to have her wave-length & a certain flight, to be in cognizance, to be acquainted with her… the ultimate woman!!! Oh yes! Elizabeth Taylor, whom I adore too, as an actor, played her to the hilt, yet one who is familiar to her, knows for sure, that Cleopatra the original… is Cleopatra the Ultimate!!!

Naming Elizabeth Taylor reminds me that along with her, the other actresses that I adore are…Meena Kumari, Vajayantimala,  Sharmila Tagore, Rekha, Aishwarya….BUT…. my heart stops ticking with the very sight of…..MICHELLE PFEIFFER & SRIDEVI…..awesome is the word!!!

THE WOMEN I ADORE….Part 1.


          Yes, I have been very choosy in life!!! Always seeking perfection!!! The quest for so, most of the time, can lead a person to a route bejeweled with afflictions! A journey so distasteful, as each step unfolds a cryptic layer, unravels a striking contradiction, unmasks the other side of the coin! Yet I fervidly attempt to gather the gems and discard the unsought stones!!!  

Herein, is a dedication to those women who have left an indelible mark on my heart, & my entire being reverberates with their impact! The fairer gems of my life!!!

The first gem of a woman I met in my life, whom I adore forever, is my (cousin) sister-in-law, my JYOTI BHABHI. Another “J” of my life!!! She is special to me than any kith n kin! I was hardly 3-4 years old when she was betrothed in my maternal family. All I remember vividly is that I was so besotted by her that I kept glued to her throughout the wedding ceremony & followed her to her bed-room, on her special night, least aware that my prolonged stay over there, could have been so unwanted. I had engrossed myself in admiring her & her trousseau, stuttering in my awe, while she kept adorning me with her jewellery with amused patience! The fun of it was short-lived though, as my overbearing mom walked in & spoilt my gusto with her unceasing rage at my “bad behaviour”! In no time the red faced me was dragged out of the room, & in an aftereffect slumber, I was taken home.

 Somehow I did not get over those pleasant moments that I shared with the beautiful bride! I longed to encounter her once again! Later, many a times I got the opportunity to visit my maternal family house, I would search for her from room to room, floor to floor, but could never find her, I longed for a glimpse of her, but to no avail. I wondered where that bride from the fairy land had disappeared to. Sometimes I did come across my favourite cousin brother, her husband, mostly surrounded by the elders; I would innocently ask him,” Billu Paji, where is your wife?” He would lovingly pat my cheek with a wry smile, & before I could get my answer, I was hushed out of the room by the elders. I sensed something fishy but could not guess!        

In a couple of years, I apprehended the scenario, Jyoti bhabhi’s beauty, composure, aura & class had intensified the resentful jealousy of the so called elderly women of the family, mainly, (ashamed to mention), my own mom & “masi” (maternal aunt-my mom’s elder sister); who had a strong hold on their brother’s families, and concentrated more on them rather than their own respective families! They overtly indulged in their fault-finding, and their bitterness outscored all norms of decency to the point, wherein, the newly-weds were brutally separated. The worst was that when J. B. (Jyoti Bhabhi), was forced to part from her hubby, she had already conceived, yet it did not soften the hard-hearted women. They also preferred over-looking the pathetic plight of my cousin bro. His depression did not in the least melt their wrong intentions, rather whenever he tried to declare his love for his wife; he was advised to forget her & comply, to marry some-one else! He was left dumb-founded! Soon, he gathered enough courage to stand by his adorable wife, within months he walked in with his wife J.B. & their new-born daughter- Rakhi. Much to the dismay of the elders who were yet unrepentant of stealing away the golden moments of the loving couple!!! In spite of now staying in the family, the couple & their child were almost treated like an outcast!

I am sure there are no guesses… to… that who was the most elated with the re-entry of J.B.!!! You bet…a little girl…Seema Kapoor!!! Whenever I visited my maternal family, I looked forward to be in the endless presence of J.B., attract her attention & win her approval; for which I willingly evaded playing with my cousins, evaded the smothering company of relatives, and evaded the prying of the elders. I simply sat awe-struck in her presence, watching every move, every detail of her, and it never seemed to be enough!!! Never enough of her most gorgeous face, her mystifying voice, the fragile movements of her supple body, the magic of her appealing  aura & ultra personality, her gentleness towards me, her enchanting smiles, her killing acknowledgement of me & an unsaid understanding of my predicament. It was like a trance, I wanted to belong to her, and how I wished that I was her child, so that no one could separate me from her!!!  All my feelings for her were just kept embedded in my heart, mind, eyes & dreams. I was so shy n conscious in her presence that I could never express or utter my deep-rooted feelings for her, rather, with great effort, I normally met my eyes with her. Whenever I praised her, I was subjected to grave rebuke from my mom n aunt! The more I was discredited for her by all, the more defiant I got, in boldly loving & favouring J.B! Day by day I kept getting more n more attached to J.B., my bro, & their daughter-Rakhi; and more n more alien to my entire clan!!!

Decades & decades have passed by….TODAY….I still dote on Jyoti Bhabhi….adore her for her wisdom, her calm, mature, patient & understanding nature….having paid the price….still alien to the rest of my entire clan….&….NO REGRETS!!!