Monday, December 12, 2011

Vidya Balan's 'Dirty Picture' Her Sex Appeal Is Her Real'ness'

'Finding The Real Me' Vidya Balan

That Defining Moment when you Awaken Yourself

No one can doubt that Vidya Balan has arrived as an actor, an individual, a personna! -
One that we notice and whose movies we'll look out for! An opinion maker of sorts!
In an age of frenetic consciousness of size, grooming, appearance, self consciousness, the Joans'es and luxury brands, the gutsy girl next door Vidya Balan has left all the hoity-toity pretentious madams donning Gucci & Prada behind and won every award for her natural look, heaven may care extra pounds on her hip but most of all her endearing straight from the heart performances in films like 'Kahani' and ‘The Dirty Picture’. 

How Did She Do It?

The aplomb and abandon with which she essayed her roles left a moving impression so that I was thinking of her performances and her angst way after I  walked out of the multiplexs. Especially 'Dirty Picture' , where shades of the real Vidya, the sparkling yet propah lady I know, in the gutsy ambitious rambunctious Silk came through. Silk chose to go it her way in a judgmental  opinionated world. Only when she stops to think of the world that judges her does she falter. Vidya too has chosen to go with her gumptious decision to work with her sense of conviction.

Laughing Her Way To Success

Years ago when she was waiting her turn to audition for a role, she overheard some glamorous girls laughing about the ‘behenji’ Vidya who dared to dream of working a film with her in it.

Along the way of somewhat success, those words stayed with her, coupled with some press criticizing her dress sense. It rankled. In ones relationship with oneself, one is sometimes torn between ones idea of self and what one appears to the outer world.
“I tried to conform, and made a great effort to wear dresses and be a person that I was intrinsically not. Until the discomfort brought with it the realization that we really don't need to be whom we are not. I decided to be the person I really am, and my dress sense is only symbolic to this realization.” 

Wake Up Moment

This moment is described by psychologists as the sign of trying to "wake up", causing both visible and hidden conflict and subsequent change in ones relationship with oneself. “From that day on I wore mostly saari’s and it reflected in my performances and my outlook. I began to see a change in my work and my critics were quietened. Its not about western or Indian, it’s about the fact that treading the beaten path is not a surety of success. It’s about enjoying what I’m doing. From within there was a shift to not do what is the accepted norm. I was being told that the Saari is an older dress while I find it timeless and ageless. There was almost a resurgence and reaffirmation of myself from that point, the ‘ I me and myself’ burst forth stronger than ever.”

Self realization is the awakening within us of the awareness of the goodness and the gifts of

who we really are, unique and different to all around us. It awakens one to the goodness and to the gifts and to the possibilities that are in the world, and it fosters a sense of self worth. Contrary to the adverse criticisms and hits we take as we grow up, the baggage we carry from unwarranted criticism and unasked advise. Approval should first be sought from within to feel that inimitable sense of self worth.

I chose to do what I believe in......

whether its clothes or roles I am doing what is giving me joy. Vis Silk, the character from Dirty Picture, for me as an actor its very important to believe that such people exist. Any character one has to empathise with drawing from personal experiences and then essay the role. When I read the script what struck me was that she was celebrating her individuality, was unapologetic about her self. Judgement of other people doesn’t matter. 

When Silk fell prey to what people saw her as, it was the beginning of her downfall. For me throwing out debilitating judgement and negative criticism was my awakening.”

“I’d attribute my success to that faith in myself. I feel unconditionally loved by my family. They have always allowed me to live life on my own terms, to be myself without judgement and overdosed criticism, giving me faith in myself. I feel unconditionally loved. That's were it comes from and that's what allows me to filter out the negative. I also have much faith in God.”

Nisha JamVwal
Published & Printed in Asian Age & Deccan Chronicle

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Old Pals & Their Everlasting Magic!

Sashaying down the curvy stairwell at my champagne cocktail for Zoya Delhi, over a Ballet evening, all bouffant-ed in a Karl Lagerfeld gown styled by Yogi Sharma of Ministry of Fashion- Emporio, I was trepidations. I was meeting school and college friends after years. Hosting a champagne cocktail in Delhi also means a walk down memory lane. I am surrounded by friends who look the same from high school and college, and yet I feel so different. I remember an introverted and brooding girl, that was me. So different to the exuberant person that people see today. Those I grew up with
are the mirror to my metamorphosis. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Runaway Marriage, Secret Confidences & Life With Kim Sharma

Kim's Marriage Into A Different Culture Different Country Different Situation

Kim Sharma came to the Bollywood scene with a lot of expectations, scandal, speculation and curiosity about her. And then 'boom' she was married all of a sudden. No one knew to whom, when and why so suddenly. What followed was a  lot of speculation about Kim Sharma’s sudden marriage, not all of it charitable. 

What many don't realize is that marriage is a tenuous decision as it is, and then to drop all comfort zones, start a new life in a new country with a man from a different faith all on an instinctive gut feel  may make it even more concerning for a first time bride. Especially if she’s a recognized face with a Bollywood past that has been difficult. Surviving in the Hindi film milieu is not easy and Kim was making a leap of faith. There is then bound to be more gossip and scrutiny and pressure.

So it was that when Kim Sharma eloped , she choose to just keep it understated and see for herself how things would pan out with a decision that was impulsive and based on love but not necessarily practicality.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Do You Do When You Love Someone & They Don't Love You Back

Jim Carrey’s latest film, ‘Mr Poppers Penguins’ has his adolescent daughter asking her father, “what do you do when you love someone and they don't love you back?” The question became even more relevant when a few readers of this column wrote in and asked me the same question. The obvious answer that jumps into mind is many fish in the sea! You move on and preoccupy yourself with more important issues like work and life and come back to the drawing board when something more reciprocated finds its way into your life than belabour an equation is a non starter?

‘Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone - but not the complete structure.’ 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sushmita Sen Talks To Nisha JamVwal on Love, Romance, Marriage & Kids


She's one woman who so aptly exemplifies 'Bold and Beautiful'.

The warmth and exuberance that Sush exudes is infectious, and real. She's one of the most unpretentious star's I've met, and you might have noticed I don't use the word 'star' for just anyone who is an actor. To me an actor is an actor is an actor! Doing a job and earning a living. A bigger paycheck maybe, but fame and fortune is transient and erratic. Warmth and goodness are not common attributes in the artificial world of acting out roles! Sush, a star all the way, brings out a genuine affection, a desire to know what has kept a real woman in an artificial world so warm, loving and genuine?                                          

Most often the one thing a bachelor girl who wants to go it alone misses is a child. I find out, in our tete-a-tete I find that Sush found the all-round fab answer which allowed her not to cling to the first eligible that came her way, and here she is a successful, independent woman living life as a strong , living by her own rules, glamorous persona- the vibrant Sushmita Sen! Lives life on her own terms and a four-letter word to the world. 

She is the poster girl for today’s thinking, achieving woman- and the not so hi profile  want to know what it is to take the big step toward adoption, does it change life for the better, and what does it take  to go her way. 

Is it even possible to live life with the challenges that she must face on a personal level, because it can’t have been an easy decision. Taking on adoption of two girls without the conventional male support-how did she asses all this in life's weighing scale and what of the need of a psychological father figure? What guidelines would she give? While the world sees a rosy picture augmented by the glossies I’ve always wondered what are the challenges Sushmita encounters?  Would growing up children not miss the peer group conventional ‘dad’? Even condemn the unconventional in their young naïveté' and judgemental way?


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mandira shares her experiences on having babies & post Partum Blues


You thought you’d be the happiest person in the world when you had a baby, one of the most important and awaited events in your life. You fantasised about this moment since you got married, or maybe even since your teenage years? So why are you so down and upset often? You are not alone! More than eighty percent women suffer mood disturbances after  pregnancy  ("postpartum"). 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Long Distance Relationships

Living Apart & Loving Apart

The weather, the  location, the language , the skin color might be different , but underneath it all , we share similar emotions. I am in Valencia, Spain. Carlos has parted with his girlfriend in Rio. “It was the distance that did us in” he admits melancholically.

I too had to deal with a long distance relationship once, and it is a challenge. Once insecurity and jealousy kick in- composure is a distant dream. However hard you try  you do have misgivings and may loose confidence in your partner occasionally with the miles between you. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nagging for attention By Nisha JamVwal

Another night at dinner alone, and every time Natasha brings up this topic, her husband Zain, already on a short fuse with piles of work, ambitions and stress snaps and feels she’s just adding to his already full and pouring plate of “issues”.
The suggestion that they go to the movies and dinner meets with a look like she was suggesting he take her to Tahiti.

Just this morning she messaged me saying he just wasn’t the man she’d married. The one who’d made her feel like the cynosure of his universe, made her feel sexy, on top of the world.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Grand Indian Wedding- Shah Rukh Khan Unplugged Part II

The Grand Indian Wedding Scene with Pinky & Sanjay Reddy; 
The Cavalcade moved forward...........
Can you conceive of an Indian wedding without the essential Bollywood brigade?  

The evening belonged to SRK!

Whoever may be your favourite Khan on screen, in person Shah Rukh holds you captive all the way to his impromptu classic Shah Rukh Khan fare, charming everyone with his artless , exuberant shenanigans. 

This one man show of humour , emotion , dance , drama and charisma while including the family and guests in it all- unfurls not only the love story of the couple that is to tie the knot the next evening - but also the two infrastructure giants who are to give their children away in marriage. 

I am amazed as I recognize the very sedate  bridegroom’s father performing with abandon the ‘Sajdah’. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Exploitative Women In A Situation Of Bitter Divorce


In a response to my blog, a man named Joy recently wrote of terrible atrocities meted out to him by his ex wife, asking for advise. 

I was shocked and disturbed to read of his peril but also did not find it at all odd nor out of the ordinary. Often , and with greater regularity I see today that men are ridden rough shod over by women who manipulate the law to garner sympathy and 'run away' with wealth and property , that is not their entitlement calling it stree dhan or even maintenance. Or then with the children , using them as bargaining tools to negotiate more money and property.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Grand Hydrabad Wedding- PART I- Karan Johar & Rani Mukherjee Judge The Sangeet

Destination weddings to exotic game reserves and beaches, birthday 
merrymaking on islands, anniversary revelry with guests flown down to Switzerland,  girlie pyjama parties on luxury Boats . India’s going ultra luxe. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shilpa Shetty on Love, Sex, Late Marriage & Patience!

Am I Leaving It Until Too Late to Get Married?

A long time friend , Shilpa is one of the more real, from the heart people I know. A good friend, loyal and affectionate, she didn't find the right guy to marry for the longest time. 

Have you noticed, especially in India, how girls get panicky when they grow older and worry about being left behind on the shelf? Women all over the world actually begin to despair. 

And friends don't help with comments like "Oh you're not married? Haven't you found anyone you liked? The later it gets the more tough it gets" You often end up thinking 'other girls don't seem to have a problem finding the man of their dreams, why not me? Some women even get married multiple times, and seem to have little or no problem finding men to marry, why not me?"

Women worry and it only makes things worse. It is a viscous cycle where you begin the compromise game and get frustrated and unhappy. It's probably a better idea to get busy with your work, travel and friends than fret. To be independent makes you enjoy life more and become a more fun person to be with in the first place. And trust me, it's better to be single than trapped in a suffocating compromise of a marriage. 

If you've got needs and desires, better to get yourself a partner, than take the plunge for the long term without being sure in your heart. Since when was sex dependent on marriage? 

While Shilpa Shetty was somewhat concerned after her relationship with her Bollywood fiance went kaput, she just went about doing her stuff, working and traveling, when VOILA! out of the blue she met Raj during her 'Big Brother' stint in London. Sparks flew and the rest is history. 

Shilpa Shetty might have despaired at not finding the man she would tie the knot with after breaking her heart in Bollywood with actor Akshay Kumar, but when she met Raj Kundra she just knew this is it. Not only ws she overjoyed at finding ‘The’ man' she was glad that she had waited until the ‘right guy’ had arrived. 

It was only then that she realized that marrying in her thirties was the best thing she could have done . None of us realize in our hurry and panic that late marriages give us more time to grow, be independent find ourselves and make the most of life. 

“I’m way more mature, and when I look back at some of the things I did , or how possessive I have been in relationships I feel marrying late gave me time to be more complete. To see things in a better perspective. It worked out brilliantly, to marry late.”

They say thirty is the new twenty! 
That it’s obsolete to marry in ones early twenties.
 I also feel that there is so much to achieve , so much to savour in this new world of opportunity and experience. To marry young is to invite more responsibility at too young an age. And so many people like Shilpa find that to tie the ‘knot’ just after ones education is like putting a stop to a life of growth and piling up oneself with an existence of responsibility and duty that limits personal development.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Is Living in More Sexy Than Getting Married?

Is Living In With A Lover More Sexy Than Marrying To Get A Husband?

Angela Jolie and Brad Pitt are thinking of got married after years of living together. Why? With half a dozen kids and six years of living in - better late than never, or then not so? 

Quite a feat looking at the long list of live in relationships ending in break ups where the two people who were once inseparable go their own (bitter) ways. And this brings me to the entire premise of live in relationships, should one? Or then should one tie the knot and go for the conjugal bond?

My very personal opinion is that if you’re looking for long term commitment then it may not be a great idea to live in without putting your stock into the marital union which spells long term union. 

There is no such thing really as ‘trial marriage’. You can live together, have sex, put your dirty clothes in the same washing machine and share the same room but that does not a marriage make. It is not even a preparation for marriage. 

It is in my opinion a convenience of sorts without the attendant responsibilities. The live in couple seldom feel secure in the relationship and the desire to create palatable solutions to work toward a future together is absent. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Seductive Japan

Seductive Japan

In 1993 I spent several months in Japan at a little town called Ibaraki and entered a new world of custom, thought and life. More so when I visited Hakone, Mount Fuji et al in the course of a lyrical, beautiful stay with Sachiko, my flatmate  from Los Angeles, and her mother, Keiko Hattori. 

They  gave me a Japanese name, 'Sakura'!
Their word for cherry blossom - a most treasured flower, in their affection and desire to make me part of their beautiful family.

Monday, August 1, 2011

When A Couple Fight! Katrina Kaif & Salman Khan Aren't the only ones who parted ways!

Solving That Battle & Making your Relationship Work By Nisha JamVwal

There was a major learning for me this week, that only a couple in a marriage can work things out for themselves. In my zealousness I had felt protective about the closer spouse from among a couple. Only later did I realize that taking sides and ‘helping’, however well meant, can topple the apple cart and fan already tenuous flames.
A couple must be left to find their own balance.

Nisha JamVwal Roller Coaster Called Life