… MERI PYAARI BINDU …

A very rare sort of film which takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions as it portrays to us a side of love that we all experience but which has never been capture and illustrated quite like this before.

The film is, as cliched as everyone’s description of it has become, “nostalgic”.  You cannot help but be sent back in time, mostly that of the 80’s and 90’s. 

Meri Pyaari Bindu is not a fast pased film but neither is it slow… It’s pased well enough to allow for viewers to live the lives of the main characters Bindu and Abhi and probably relate their own stories to it as well.


DIRECTOR:

Akshay Roy, the Debutante Director has created a masterpiece with this film.  What comes across so evidently through out the film is this man’s mindset of being “unconventional”.  He never gives away the full story, he will keep you guessing, he forces you to think “out of the box” and he just doesn’t stop the film from entertaining you.

Unlike other thousands of movies, Meri Pyaari Bindu leaves you guessing, thinking…

Perhaps it was a love story, perhaps it was friendship, understood, misunderstood, told, untold, realised or in denial… The film keeps you wondering.  Akshay Roy has a knack of making you almost pre-empt what’s about to happen and when you’re right there, he pulls the rug from under your feet.

Often audiences are geared up for the typical “soppy” love story, of course with its unneeded heaps of “glitz and glam”… Meri Pyaari Bindu is the opposite!!! The film stays true to reality and allows you to appreciate the raw beauty and talent of its characters, with the correct dose of sparkle.
Bollywood can surely do with more minds like that of Akshay Roy.

BINDU SHANKAR NARAYAN

Parineeti Chopra brings this character to life.  She is outstanding in her portrayal of the role.  When you watch Parineeti Chopra on screen, you feel as if though the film was scripted just for her. 

Parineeti Chopra’s acting is so flawless, so seemless, so natural.

Bindu will have you in hysterics when she laughs, you will not be able to contain your emotions nor your tears when she cries.  She is larger than life, passionate, fiesty, demanding, naughty yet so sweet and innocent.  Bindu’s confused, undecicive mindset in the film will make you love her and despise her. 

She is what, a lot of girls are.  She’s real, hard-core, far from pretentious and she is so beautiful that she will have you fixated on her as much as she had Abhi. 

ABHIMANYU “BUBLA” ROY

Ayushmann Khurrana’s deliverance of his role in portraying Abhi deserves a bow.  He was just so impressive.

Without giving away details of the film (spoilers), Abhi is the most endearing, honest and real “Hero” to date.  He gave, probably what woud be remembered as a “classic act” throughout Meri Pyaari Bindu. 

Ayushmann Khurrana’s calm, stable character in real life is surely seen in Abhi in “reel life”.  Abhi’s vulnerability, his dry sense of humor, timid “bholepan” character will make you love him from start to finish. 

Abhi’s character exercises the right amounts of everything Bindu’s character needs, therefore making him holistically, the perfect guy…. And yes!!!, everyone wants an Abhi in their life.

MUSIC

The highlight of Meri Pyaari Bindu was its music, what a solid sound track.

Unlike the typical hip-hop, rap, loud music of current, most of which have meaningless lyrics and cheesy chorus lines, Meri Pyaari Bindu transports you back to the days of melody, meaning, “clean fun”, no “dirty dancing” but pure appreciation and respect for music. 


MAANA KE HUM YAAR NAHIN

What a song!!! What a voice!!! What meaningful, heart-wrenching lyrics, such a soothing melody… the song that sums up Meri Pyaari Bindu in 3 minutes.

Parineeti Chopra made her debut as playback singer with this song.  Standing ovation is a must for her.  She has sung Maana with so much emotion, such clarity… what a clean song!!!  No auto-tuning or voice ehancements were used.

When Parineeti Chopra sings, the expressions in her voice, the change of tones and pitches will give you goosebumps, it will make you tear with a lump in your throat and yet still there are parts of the song where you can hear her voice smiling and you will smile too.

A sterling debut release from Parineeti Chopra.  MAANA is definitely a song which belongs to Bollywood’s wall of “classic and most appreciated songs”.

Just to add to the incredibly beautiful single by Parineeti Chopra, there is a version of the song in the film in which you will hear a duet bewteen Parineeti Chopra and Sonu Nigam.

AFEEMI is the “Love Song” of Meri Pyaari Bindu.  It’s a song that just like you did with Bindu, you will do with it, “Fall in love instantly”. 

HAAREYA is a soulful song.  Yes it will have you singing along but it’s also a very real part of Abhi’s character in the film. Haareya is song that lingers on in the mind, long after its over.

KHOL DE BAAHEIN focuses on Bindu and her reflection on her life.  A painful, somewhat bitter-sweet song which has a Bengali tune to it, coupled with a few Bengali words. 

YEH JAWAANI TERI and ISS TARAH are more beaty and vibey with a very nostalgic, retro base to them.  Fun songs to watch and they will have you shaking a leg to them, perhaps clapping your hands even (3 claps for appreciation).

The entire sound track is the kind of one that you’ve not heard in a long time, it’s a real treat for those who’ve grown up listening to the legends of the 80’s, 90’s and prior to that. 

Amazing accomplishment by music directors Sachin-Jigar.

PROPS & STUFF

Through the entire movie, Bindu and  Abhi are seen in normal, everyday kind of clothes which makes their characters all the more authentic and aesthetic.

The creation of sets, background design, filmatography, editing and over all theme of Meri Pyaari Bindu were all on point, all in sync and packaged beautifully.

Special credit needs to be given to the team who created the trams and “Kolkata in Mumbai”… it was marvellously done.

FINAL TAKE AND RATING

With all honestly, the movie may not be understood 100% by all audiences as it requires one to, like I’ve mentioned before, “think out of the box”…  However, Meri Pyaari Bindu is like my Mom (who’s not a big fan of Bollywood) said, A GEM of a film. 

Meri Pyaari Bindu is crisp, fresh, clean and seriously, with all pun intended, none like you’ve seen.  I’ve had the priveledge of watching the film almost the same amount of times as the fingers on both hands and I’ve just appreciated it’s beauty more with each watch.

Meri Pyaari Bindu is an entertainer, there is not point in the film where you want it to just get over with already, on the contrary, you will be so engrossed that the 2 hour long film ends so soon… it’s a climax like no other and you just can’t get enough of Bindu and Abhi.

There are lots of surprises in Meri Pyaari Bindu, especially from Parineeti Chopra, so for those who have not watched Meri Pyaari Bindu as yet, please do so, you’re missing out on such a magnificent film and a beautiful part of the making of Bollywood’s next “classic” hit.

Go get your tickets now and meet the divinely beautiful, vivacious Bindu and the naive but the perfect, every girl’s dream kinda guy Abhi.

My rating for Meri Pyaari Bindu is ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 out of 5. 

SUPER-MOMS DO EXIST… HERE’S AN ODE TO MINE ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!

The first time I opened my eyes, I looked up at her… today 30 years later, through the many bends, bumps, ups and downs that life has dealt us, I still look up to her!!!

She was stern in her upbringing, ruled with an iron fist when it came to the education of my brother and I, she loved us incredibly. Birthdays, special occasions, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa were all part of our very fun childhood… we were naughty as anything and boy did we get dealt with for that, but no sooner than later, there she was to pacify us.  Bedtime stories were my favourite part of the day; she would sit in bed with me and read my favourite stories from my treasure chest of fairy tales.

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I hated school and I was a really rebellious kid (don’t think much has changed ha-ha) and I would deliberately slouch over the breakfast table in hope that I’d get late enough for school so I could stay home instead, my school tie sipping the milk in my cereal bowl before I did… After a good few attempts at talking to me about my behaviour and the importance of school, the voices would rise, and then finally giving me the hiding of my life was her only way out… I tested her patience relentlessly … BUT she’s never given up on me.

Before long, life had hit us with a tragic blow and that meant that she was solely responsible for raising and parenting my brother and I … A task so daunting, that when I think of it in retrospect, I myself shudder with what she had to go through.

“SHE” IS MY MOM!!! SHE IS MY SUPER-MOM… A title she’s earned and which she wears with pride.

Life was hard, very hard, but she’s never allowed our circumstances to consume us. She always taught my brother and I that if we studied hard enough, we would empower ourselves to get out of the situation and lifestyle we were in.  When we studied, she studied with us, just to make sure that she understood what we were learning so she could correct and test us, guide and support us.  Mom expected us to know our work pat off and dare we make a mistake by getting even a word wrong, there came our book flying right back at us so we could relearn.  When we wrote exams, she was always more stressed than we were.

As a Mom, she was the coolest… She always allowed herself to be a friend to us, to see life and the world from our eyes. She afforded us the opportunity to make our own decisions and to live with the choices we made.  She guided us and cautioned us but handed us the house and car keys and said “Do as you please kids, I’m just not ready for grandchildren”.  All she wanted in return was for us to give her our Degrees in its due time and to strive at being good human beings.

She never compared us to our cousins, friends or other children; in fact she would rather side with them. She never gloated over us to anyone and we would often get annoyed with her and ask her why?  She always said some day you will understand. That “someday” is here today and when I see how many of the kids of our generation, those much more fortunate than us turned out, I understand why my Mom was so afraid, perhaps of the embarrassment she’d face if we messed up in some way like the others did.  Where would she have put her face then?!!

Mom was and is our Dad as well… She’s never allowed his absence to stifle us or for us to use the fact that our Dad passed away whilst we were still kids to gain sympathy or as an excuse not to do things the proper way.

It’s been a long, hard journey for her… My brother and I are adults now, both Degree holding professionals with amazing jobs… My brother is about to get married and we’ve never given Mom a reason to be displeased with us, though we made our fair share of mistakes along the way.

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Lol yes Mom, we’ll always be your super annoying “kids” who you still cook for, pick up after, take to the Doctor and Dentist, attend job interviews with to give us courage and that really maddening couple of siblings who still fight like we did from the start.  Thank you for tolerating us, for mothering us with kid gloves even now and for loving us unconditionally.

Thank you Mom for being my “go to person” when I need to discuss a case, a patient, a relationship issue or when I just want to chill out. Thank you for our really intense conversations on the odd accession and all the wisdom that I get from them.  Thank you for being my Prayer Partner and educating me on the Bible more and more each day. Thank you for accepting the choices I’ve made in life, even the really bad ones and for never judging me but educating and supporting me.  Most importantly Mom, thank you for being my best friend, my movie buddy, my partner when it comes to restaurant hopping and my shopping associate!!!  You’re everything to me Mom.

Today Mom, on your birthday, I thank God for you. I thank Him for every smack, every punishment, every study session, every hard lesson learned that He allowed you to use on us, because today, through your actions, I am the person I am.  I thank God for you Mom, for without you, I have no backbone, no pillar of strength, no support… And yes I know you’ll tell me “But Rio, all those things you will find in Christ… Don’t look to mere humans for this”.  But I want to say Mom, that in you, I find my Christ… My peace, my security, my safety and solace.  You are a blessing to both Amir and I Mom and without you, we would be nothing.

Dear Lord, I want to thank you for my Mom and I ask of you in prayer, in total submission to You, that you bless her with a long, healthy, prosperous and peaceful life. Guide her and lead her to continue doing great things in the world.  I ask that you continue to bless her that she can touch more and more lives through your work.  Bless her with rest Lord for the past years have been those of toil by the sweat of her eyebrow.  Grant her peace and comfort Lord and bless her with many many more birthdays to come.

I hope you enjoy today Mumma and that the year ahead will be kick-ass in many ways!!! Here’s to new ventures this year, new plans and hopes. Amir and I love you incredibly Mom and we hope that we can continue to make you as proud of us as proud as we are to have a SUPER MOM LIKE YOU!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!

*** With Love and Adoration from Riona & Amir Balgobind For Our Mom, Innera Balgobind – 15/01/2017 ***

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I LOVE YOU TO THE SQUARE ROUTE OF INFINIITY … SANAM TERI KASAM

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I am an avid Bollywood supporter, watching Bollywood movies from the time I can remember myself. Regardless of the cast of a movie, its budget or its promotions, I watch all movies and judge and rate them on my own and for my own knowledge mostly.

Okay, so I am a real soppy romantic at heart and therefore I am automatically drawn to love stories and rom-coms.

Earlier this year, a little after its release, I found myself at the cinema, deciding what to watch. Now being a NRI, living in Durban, South Africa (which is literally a mini-India), most Bollywood movies are screened here.  Being the Bollywood fanatic that I am, I had watched all the movies on the now-showing list, except SAMAN TERI KASAM…

I had seen the trailer of the movie on YouTube and then again as rushes when I went to see other movies. Somehow it just didn’t grab me.  The trailer looked confusing and somewhat all over the place.  Perhaps this was the reason I hadn’t watched it as yet.

I booked the tickets for the movie, none the less!!!

The movie is based on a young Tamilian girl who’s an assistant librarian, raised in a very orthodox family and her neighbour, a ruffian, whose father is a famous lawyer. He was in jail for a crime he did not commit; after his release from jail, he lived a life of gyming and leisure.  He dated a famous fashion designer.

Saraswati (Saru) was in love with someone who didn’t love her back. She had numerous wedding proposals rejected due to her very “old fashioned, nerdy” appearance.  Her sister’s wedding was placed on hold until Saru (being the elder sister) got married.

Promising her sister that she will make sure she gets married, she goes to her neighbour Inder (the ruffian) commonly known by the residents as “bees bata baawan” for help in the hope that his girlfriend would do a makeover on her, making her attractive enough to find a guy who will agree to marry her.

In the meantime, Inder was totally in love with Saru, from the beginning. He would visit the library and leave her notes in the books he borrowed.  Being oblivious to it all, Saru never read them.

Saru is caught in a compromising position (actually trying to help treat a wound Inder had) as her father walks in. Her father immediately rights her off and arranges to perform a “kriya karam or pindedan” (death ritual) for her.

Devastated and alone, she turns to Inder who helps her find accommodation. He had broken up with his girlfriend and was getting closer to Saru.  Seeing how unhappy she was, Inder did everything possible to make her happy.  He even went to the extent of finding eligible suitors to get her married to.  He gets her a complete transformation done, making her unbelievably beautiful.  Finally the guy Saru loved, falls in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage.

Her fiancé needs to relocate to Turkey after the marriage and both he and Saru have to do routine medical tests as procedure would have it when moving to another country. From the blood tests done, it is discovered that Saru has Meningioma (a tumour deep in the brain). Subsequently the wedding is called off as his parents would not allow their son to marry a girl whose parents have already performed her death rights.

A heartbroken, devastated Saru (still unaware of the test results) turns to Inder who, himself is shattered from the fact that his love Saru was about to get married and leave the country. Saru and Inder go to her already booked Honeymoon suite.  Saru is a wreck and asks Inder to spend the night with her.  Inder does not want to hurt her anymore and resists, saying that in the morning she will hate him.  They spend the night together anyway.

Inder wakes up in an empty bed… looks out the window and sees Saru in the arms of the guy she was supposed to marry. Inder receives a text message from Saru saying she was sorry and that she had to leave.  Inder is beyond devastated.

Eventually he finds Saru and learns of her illness, he discovers that she’s dying. Inder finds out that Saru’s ex-fiancé knew of the illness but was bound by a promise not to reveal it to him.

Inder loves Saru immensely… Fighting all odds, doing everything possible to make Saru happy and keep her safe, Inder asks her to marry him. She refuses his proposal as she feels he’s doing it out of sympathy.  Eventually whilst going through the books she had recommended to Inder at the library, she finds all the notes Inder sent her and realises that he had always loved her.

She asks Inder to marry her. Inder goes to her parents to inform them. Her father, still infuriated, chases Inder away but they pitch at the registrar’s office as Saru and Inder are about to get married.  Remembering Inder saying “I can kill for her and I can die for her too”, Saru’s father realises that there’s no one better for Saru and blesses them in marriage.

Inder and Saru get married and Saru gets ill. Her parents find out and they are beyond consolation.  Saru has just a few hours left.  In that time, her parents make peace with her and she gets Inder to forgive his father for not helping fight his case.  Saru also tells Inder that she wants to be buried under a beautiful tree.

Saru dies. Inder and his father make peace with each other. Inder buries Saru under an oak tree in the garden of their mansion.  Inder becomes a successful lawyer and goes daily to the oak tree to meet his Saru.

The movie was directed by Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru, produced by Deepak Mukut under the Eros banner. The songs in the movie are full of meaning, painful yet lovable enough to make you cry and laugh at the same time.  The music was produced by Himesh Reshammiya and sung by Ankit Tiwari, Neeti Mohan, Palak Muchal and Arijit Singh amongst others.

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The story of the movie was not one that was not seen before but what made it so painfully beautiful was the scintillating acting of Inder, played by Harshvardhan Rane and Saru played by Mawra Hocane. This was a Bollywood debut movie for both Harsh and Mawra but gosh, their acting was so brilliant that it will touch you in ways that you will never forget.

The justice Harsh did to the character of Inder Parihar was stupendous!!! He made Inder so real, so lovable… A tough guy, who’s such a softy at heart and extremely rare. The effort, dedication and hard work he’s put into Sanam Teri Kasam are commendable… From his really intense emotions to his physique which will make you drool, his speech to his gait… All on point!!!

An actor that has shown such potential in his first Bollywood movie is sure to cause waves with all his future movies and projects.

The way Mawra Hocane brought Saraswati Parthasaty to life is laudable!!! For a Pakistani actress, the ease with which she played the role of a Tamil girl, the way she changed her pronunciation of words, her accent to match her character too, was commendable!!! For being a model, the way she pulled off Saru’s ungainly gait was amazing!!! The emotions she put into her character and how she brought it all to life will leave you at a loss for words!!!

Mawra too, has shown so much potential… Definitely one who will be a really fine actress.

Sanam Teri Kasam is a heart-wrenching movie; it will tug so hard at your heart strings that the impact feels like jolts.

I have purchased the DVD and have watched it close to 50 times now. Regardless of the number of times you watch Sanam Teri Kasam, the impact is the same.  I have cried buckets of tears each and every time.

For those of you, who have not yet watched the movie, please do. And for those of you who have watched it, you know exactly what I mean in this blog.

Do keep an eye out for Harshvardhan Rane and Mawra Hocane and their upcoming projects.

Kudos on a job well done to Harsh and Mawra and the entire cast and crew of Sanam Teri Kasam.

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THE EMPTY BOOK SHELF…

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She was sitting at her desk way after work was done, just to catch up on the piles of paper work and reports she needed to complete. The door was locked from the inside as she was the only one in a double story building which was lying vacant for a few years.  The only activity there came from the three offices used during working hours.

The building was a dormitory styled one with vacant rooms on either sides of long passageways, some forty plus rooms. Previously the building was used for accommodation but had subsequently been vacated.

Now the office in which she sat doing her work had a door with the bottom half of it made of glass so one could clearly see through it, whether from the inside out or from the outside in. Twilight came with sudden darkness on this bitingly cold day and an eerily deathly silence pervaded the building.  In the distance, down one of the passages, the sound of a leaking tap could be heard.

She continued writing, engrossed in making sure that whatever she was reporting was accurate. From the corner of her eye though, she saw “something” or “someone” glide past… She looked up immediately but couldn’t see anything.  She sat there, slightly panicked as she shook her head trying to clear it and also trying to get rid of the many things she thought she could have seen.  Finally, blaming her over-active imagination, she continued to write.

The building was known to be “haunted” by the many people who had lived there and passed on over the years. From sounds of footsteps, opening doors and closing doors, the toilets flushing on its own to the telephone ringing (you pick up and it still rings). These are but a few examples of what happens in this particular building be it during the day or at night.  Voices of people are also often heard.

This started to play on her mind, all the experiences she’s had in the building started to flood her mind. By now she was riveted to her chair, one hand on her Bible, her mouth barely moving while she said the Lord’s Prayer and asked for protection… All the time, her eyes fixed on the door.  She was way too afraid to open the door and look down either of the passageways or the long windy staircase that led down to ground floor.

The incidents of suicide and restless spirits etc. numbed her. She then started to talk to herself and calm herself down by thinking logically. She finally decided that her over-worked mind was playing tricks on her.

Just as she turned her eyes from the door and started typing the report again, she saw the same thing she did a while ago. This time she was able to see a little more… It definitely was someone (hopefully a human), navy sweat pants with really long legs.  The legs swiftly passed her office door and headed down the opposite passage.

At this point she froze with fear. There was no way she was opening that door, ever.  She thought even if she screamed, no one would hear.  The next building was a distance away.  Then she came to her senses again… she picked up the office phone and called one of the nearest buildings on the property… “Hi, I’m calling from WC Wing and I think there may be someone in my building that belongs to your ward… Can you come over urgently please?”

Although she wasn’t sure that what she has said on the phone was the truth, she was just glad that someone was coming to the building so she could leave at once. The 6 minutes if took for a Senior Sister from the ward to come to the building seemed like an eternity. Sounds could be heard down the passage, supposedly caused by this “thing” whatever or whoever it was.  The building was dimly lit which didn’t help the freakiness of the whole situation.

With her eyes fixed on the bottom glass of the door, she breathed a sigh of relief as she saw a flashlight shine into the building. She immediately knew it was the Sister.  Seeing the Sister, she plucked up the courage to open the door, meeting her half way between the two passages.  She explained to the Sister what had happened and admitted that she may have fabricated that it was a patient from her ward because she was so petrified and desperate for help.  The obliging Sister understood and the two decided to walk down the passage where she saw the “legs” go… shining the light and yelling out HELLO!!! HELLO!!! ANYONE THERE??? HELLOOOO!!!

Then the two stopped dead in their tracks as they came to an EMPTY BOOK SHELF.  They shone the light on the shelves and there huddled in the bottom shelf, in a foetal position lay one of the patients, very much alive but probably just as terrified of them as they were of him.  She asked: “Mr, what are you doing here??? This is a vacant building!!! It’s way passed your bed time, it’s dark and lonely… you should never be in here alone”.  The Sister went on: “You were given your medication and put to bed an hour ago, how did you get out of the ward???”  Both of them asking: “What are you doing in the book shelf???”

He looked up at them, eyes small and shiny, trying to make as less eye contact as possible.   He never said a word.  He crawled out of the book shelf and started to walk away.

It was just after 8pm, it was pouring with rain, and thunder and lightning made the windows rattle as the empty building trapped the deafening sound. All fear was gone now.  All she could see now was him sitting in that book shelf, looking up at her with that pitiful look on his face.  She led him to her office, asked him to sit whilst she explained to the Sister that she needed to speak to him to find out why he was in the book shelf.

She made him a cup of coffee and pulled a chair up next to him… she offered him a little treat and they got talking. He knew her very well and knew he could trust her; he was just probably really embarrassed that she found him the way she did.  He finally started talking about his love for books and how he was always drawn to the books he found in this building (the building became somewhat of a storage place since it was vacant).  He explained that he was really sad that he didn’t find any books tonight.  She explained that the passages were being cleared and therefore, all books were cleared earlier in the day and sent to the library.

She had a set of newly gifted research books that stared at her as she heard him talk about his love for books that came from his passion for reading. Without a second thought she gave him the set of books and told him that he now never had to lurk around looking for books, he had enough material to keep him occupied for a really long time.

His eyes lit up, a huge smile filled his face as he tugged tightly to the packaged set of books. He promised not to wander around and apologised for scaring her so badly.

Though she was relieved that she solved the problem, there was no way she was sitting alone in the building. She packed up, got into her car, thanked God for His protection, put on her really vibey Bollywood song play list and drove straight home.  11pm.

“LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS… ILLNESSES, ATTITUDES & OUTCOMES!!!”

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It was icy cold, the sun trying to peek at us from behind those heavy clouds, almost as if trying to spy on us like undercover detectives who were just not successful in their task… The day was rather dull and dreary!!!

She walked down the long passage, lights on at midday to brighten things up, the chilled draft traveling up her back through her layered work clothes from the windows which were left slightly ajar for ventilation.

Clutching her files tightly, making sure that none of those documents fly off, she continued to strut down the passage, hearing that occasional scream from someone who was in pain or the banging of one of the many patients who suffered mentally illnesses… Her mind kept being flooded with thoughts and ideas of which patient to start first with and what intervention was needed for the day.

Lifting her head somewhere down the middle of the lengthy passage, she looked into one of the patient’s rooms (Not by chance BUT by God’s design)…

Files flung straight to the floor, grabbed the band off her wrist,  roughly grabbing her hair together into an odd, half falling apart bun as she scurried into the room.

Here sat a patient, very calm, not a sound coming from her… All that was visible was the blood oozing out the sides of her face and a large black handle jutting out from her mouth…

Hurrying to her, half in shock, but thankfully the human instinct is pretty much stronger, the therapist ran to her patient.

The patient had pushed a knife, smooth bladed, about 30cm long and 6cm wide down her throat as she sat there still as anything, no reaction at all.  Being a therapist didn’t mean she was medically qualified enough to pull the knife out, although that was her first thought. She pressed the bedside buzzer frantically to notify the medical team that there was an ER as she kept a constant eye on her patient, making sure that she was still conscious…

Jittery, the therapist started to talk the patient in the most calm way possible, being loving and caring like she usually is, her hand caressing the back of her patient… All this happening in a matter of seconds.

Footsteps of the medical team could be heard clearly as they echoed with each thud as they ran down the passage to the patient’s room.

The therapist backed off slowly and watched in absolute trepidation.  The medical team lay her gently on the bed and holding her down, one of them meticulously, as gently and slowly as ever, removed the knife from the patient’s mouth.  Another one of them, wiping off the oozing blood whilst the other kept a check on her vitals.

The blaring sound of the ambulance raged as it drove up to the building, adding to the trauma of what was already happening.

The patient was taken to hospital and after a whole barrage of tests, x-rays and examinations, she was discharged a few hours later, miraculously without any major injury to her oesophagus or throat except for a few lacerations.

All this time, the therapist sitting at her desk, struck with fear as to what she may hear about her patient.  Flipping through the stack of notes, medical records and documents in the patient’s file.

The therapist knew her patient’s medical diagnosis from before and was trying hard to keep positive and fight off those horrible thoughts hanging over her mind, clouding her plan on how to work with the patient, going forward.

Her telephone rings and causes her to snap out of her thoughts which seemed to have had her entranced… The ward calling to inform that the patient was safe and discharged with no major injury.  The medical head asking for the therapist to come in immediately to start her counselling with the patient to figure out why she did what she did.

The therapist, again grabbing her hair into an untidy ponytail, rushed up to the patient, preparing herself mentally and steadying her mind set so that she could give off her best to her patient, under the circumstances.

The therapist enters the patient’s room, pushing the door behind her, leaving it slightly ajar.  She sits down on the bed gently, as the patient was laying there, eyes shut.  The movement from the therapist sitting down, awakened the patient.  She immediately recognized her therapist and sprung up.  The therapist was greeted with the hugest smile and the tightest hug, as she always was by this patient.  The patient addressing her therapist by name.

Immediately flags started to pop up in the therapist’s mind. Mentally ticking off certain boxes as she watched the patient’s reactions, responses and coherence.

Slowly, in a very calm, loving manner the therapist stared the session with the patient, asking direct questions in a “round about” way to get the answers she was looking for, without having to put any pressure on an already physically and mentally compromised body.

Finally the question was asked: “But what made you swallow that knife, knowing the dangers of it?”.
In response the patient replied: “There’s my mom sitting here, ask her! She’s been here, constantly insisting that I steal a knife from the kitchen when no one was watching and push it down my throat.  I don’t know why my mom is always doing this, she knows I have a baby daughter to raise”.

Instinctively, the therapist looked around the room, her eyes focusing on the spot that her patient was point to.  Then it occurred to the therapist that her patient, who was schizophrenic was having visions and hallucinating, an attack that was definitely more extreme than the others she’s had before.

The therapist also realized in those split seconds that her patient was relatively old, her mother had died decades ago and her daughter was now a grown woman with her own children.

The therapist consulted a multi-disciplinary team, got the patient to be reassessed and have her psychiatric medication adjusted appropriately.

The patient was much calmer over the twelve, one hour sessions with her therapist…The therapist empowering her with skills on how to cope when she starts to feel  anxious, depressed or when she hears “voices talking to her”.

Close monitoring, extra love, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a tight hug with gentle caresses on the back and a few, really easy but highly effective coping skills, was all that it took from the therapist to get her patient stable again.

Its been over a year and the patient has not had an incident of any sort, has not endangered herself or others and has not relapsed in any way.

Whilst there is no cure for Schizophrenia, or most mental illnesses… Love, patience, care and a hug coupled with therapy always  works wonders.

NB:  This was a fictitious story, based on a few facts regarding Schizophrenia and therapy.

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MY ODE – SHE’S MORE INCREDIBLE THAN INCREDIBLE COULD BE…

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I have not met her… I’ve heard of her 6 years ago but I’ve only gotten a chance to interact with her via social media in the past year I’d say. Of particular interest to me, was the way this woman was able to voice her opinion, especially through her writing.  This made me do a little more homework on her, as what I had known was not sufficient enough for my rather inquiring brain. She had peaked my interest and I was not going to let her slip by without following more of her work.

She was born in Singapore, raised in Kenya, Africa and has lived in Ambala India for almost 30years or more. Being raised in an influential family, she was well educated, broad minded, outspoken and travelled a lot.  Her upbringing shows in every bit of her, from her mind set to her family, how she’s raised her children to how she views the world.  Very up-to-date with current affairs of the world, techno-savvy and quite a social butterfly, this woman never fails to “pull a rabbit out of the hat”.

She is by nature, a very calm, understanding person. She is tolerant to quite a lot, pays attention to detail, she’s humble, approachable and man does she come with a mind that never ceases to impress.

I’ve been reading her blogs, following her work on social media and I’ve become a fan of hers. Her writing ranges from random thoughts to very real issues of the world.  She is able to express herself so beautifully through her carefully selected words which are constructed into perfect sentences, presenting us with a master piece of work in totality.

Her writing is so captivating, it entrances you in a whirlwind of emotions as it moves from suspense to reality, beauty to bravery, tears of sadness and pain to tears you’d cry from laughing so hard. Her work is so relatable, it sends out messages loud and clear and it can also transport you to places you’ve never been just by the way she’s able to pen down her own experiences.  She is a master at writing and I often refer to her as my “Genius”.

Whenever I read a piece of her work, I find myself lost for words to compliment her as just when you think you’ve read her ultimate, most amazing writing, she pulls out another, even better. Words fall short for praise when it comes to her.

One of her most recent pieces of work has an extremely special place in my heart and life and this has allowed me the opportunity to communicate with and praise her on another level. This particular piece of work of hers, I have used for my own personal work.  Using her story as the base of a session I had with a group of patients in therapy.  Her story worked magic, it was the perfect catalyst these patients needed, as to it allowed them to relate their own lives to it and it gave them courage to speak up about their own fears and life experiences.  Her work has touched the lives of each of these patients so profoundly that they are all in one-on-one therapy, accepting help and wanting to talk regarding the very “bottled up issues” they were silently fighting on their own, in their minds, every day of their lives for years on end, some resulting in psychiatric illnesses.  Each of them sent praises and blessings to her and all have a copy of the story she wrote as an inspiration for them.

The results I’ve had from just reading her writing to patients has been phenomenal and no amount of words would ever be sufficient for me to express my gratitude to her.

I couldn’t help but ask her: “What are you made off? “, as she so effortlessly speaks her mind through her writing, and that too, so amazingly. She is one of the most modest, humble people I’ve interacted with.

Apart from being a genius writer, she is a really talented artist who loves painting on canvases and making pencil sketched. Her art is the perfect example of “a picture speaks a thousand words”.      sketch

Could she get any more amazing??? Oh yes!!! She has a fetish for nature, she loves gardening, has green fingers (recently yielded a 50kg load of organic onions from her kitchen garden) and she’s one of those who love flowers. She finds peace and serenity in sitting at her garden, watching the beautiful peacocks whilst admiring her perfectly pruned garden.

Who is she you may ask??? She is REENA MALHOTRA CHOPRA!!!… My newest inspiration!!!

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