‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ – Don’t Just Say It…Mean it!

Early mornings are beautiful. They are full of Light, Positivity and Niceness. Although for some people mornings can be full on energy, for others it’s just about being cranky (depending on the kind of person you are).

The reason I am showing off and talking about morning beauty and all is because I am NOT a morning person. I hate to wake up early. I love it once I am up and running but till then I hate to wake up early. The only two things that can make me wake up early and not complain about it is Acting and Traveling.

And today the reason I am witnessing this beautiful sunrise at the Jaipur Airport is because of Reason number 2. TRAVELING!

Like every trip of mine even this trip taught me a lot. Met amazing people. Had great experiences. Had discussions about life, emotions, music, India, Beauty, Plastic use and so much more. Had a small little party in the General class compartment of a Train listening to ‘Gz and the Hustlas’ by Snoop Dogg to ‘Long Nights’ and ‘Society’ by Eddie Vedder.

This trip was a little different from the ones I normally go for. I don’t plan much and most of the time my trip has no specific reason. I just leave because I want to travel. But this time the reason of my trip was specifically to attend this Music Festival in the dunes of Jaisalmer. This was a proper planned trip with a return ticket to attend ‘Ragasthan’.

I had read an article about this festival around a month back and decided to go. Three days of Non stop music in the middle of a desert with your own little tent pitched in and surprise sand storms. How could I miss such an experience. So I went.

The festival felt more like a big family picnic as it was not very crowded. But the good part was because there were not too many people, by the end of day 1 almost everyone knew each other or at least recognised faces. The overall vibe was pretty good.

This festival also made me envy musicians. They are so cool. Their entire personality and body language and their passion for music makes me want to play a crazy musician at least once. Would love to get that passion and body language right. I hope someone offers me a character like that someday. Would be fun to play.

But this blog is not particularly about Ragasthan or my wish list of the characters I want to play. I felt like writing today because of many interesting topics this trip made me think about and the discussions I had about these topics with travelers from countries very different from ours. And the sad part is with all the beautiful things our country has to offer and the amazing people who are extremely warm and welcoming there were few who made me feel horrible.

I was on this train from Jaisalmer to Jaipur and met these 3 female travelers. We spoke about books, movies, countries we have visited, etc etc. And because I am a little fair and I was with these 3 foreigners, a group of boys/men sitting in the same compartment felt I am a foreigner as well. They started talking about us. I went with the flow as I generally like to know what people talk about me and others when they don’t know that I understand Hindi. I have had some real fun experiences like this in the past but not this time. This one was a shocker. These men started talking about who would I fuck tonight between these girls I was with. They started this guessing game. Also after a point one of the guy asked his friend to move so that he could sit next to her. Because I understood the language and the situation I went and sat next to her even before the man could try.

Another shocker was when the food guy came to take dinner order, I declined. He then started speaking in Hindi and said “Order something or you’ll die hungry tonight”. I said No again. And he replied in Hindi “Go fuck yourself” thinking I won’t understand. It wasn’t him who abused me that made me feel bad but the people around, everyone who heard him understood Hindi and were just laughing without doing anything or asking him to behave. Why are we always the on lookers? Why don’t we do something about situations like these? Why do we take it so lightly? There are these people who are not from our country and have come to see India for its culture, positivity, warm and welcoming people. We fucking talk about ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ but when it’s time to actually treat guests as god we don’t even help them as normal human beings. Just because she is ‘White Skinned’ doesn’t mean she is ‘Easy’ or all she wants is Sex.

I could have told these men that I understand Hindi but I didn’t and I am so glad I didn’t. If they knew that I am from India they would be super nice and polite and I would have never known this side to their behaviour.

Another thing to worry is the use of plastic and throwing things everywhere. I see most people throw their empty water bottles, plastic bags and food plates out of the window while traveling in a train. Those men even threw a glass bottle out of the window and it obviously broke on the tracks.

It’s Our country. Let’s make it clean rather than saying Europe is very clean and America is very clean but India is so dirty. We are the ones responsible. And even if we are not then we can become the ones responsible to clean it and educate others to do the same.

The whole point is not to crib or rant. This post is just a basic request to all of us, the Indians to be a little more aware about these issues which might look small but it’s real serious and important. NEVER let anyone disrespect someone or harass and make fun of someone just because the person doesn’t understand the language. Let’s start respecting and helping each other as human beings without discriminating because of Colour or country. Let’s not stand and look and laugh if you see anything unfair. Stand up against it. Speak up. All you need to do to stop a bully from bullying is SPEAK UP.

Let’s show travelers some respect and show them the real India where people go out of their way to help each other. Let them go back to their countries with a happy heart and lots of good memories.

I request you to understand and work towards both these issues and everything else that you feel is right. Let’s make India proud because it’s only these 1% of douche bags who are making the whole country look bad. Please stop them the next time you see anything like this. And also spread the word. Have discussions with your family, your friends, your kids and educate them about it.

You don’t have to share my post, just please share what’s written with everyone you know.

Please Please Please!!

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Dreams! 

“Follow Your Dreams”
This is the most common phrase we hear from everyone now a days. Everyone wants to follow their dreams and everyone wants everyone else to follow theirs, and it’s amazing. We all should. But…the important thing here is to have the right dreams. 

I understand…dream is a dream. To each its own and there is no right dream or wrong dream. 

Now let’s just try and understand that every dream we have will make us work towards it. It will change our actions in life. For example, if having a duplex in South Bombay is my dream then my efforts will go into making enough money so that I can afford and buy that duplex. 

What I mean to say is that our dreams for our future change our actions in the present. They connect our future directly to our today. 

We need to focus on choosing the right dreams because it will decide how we utilise our present. If we focus on the materialistic dreams our present will get overpowered with making enough money so that we can achieve those dreams and that will take us away from the real purpose of our soul and its growth. 

Some people might not agree with me here and say what’s wrong with making money. We can do that till a certain age and then have a comfortable life and then we can focus entirely on growing as a soul or we can do both simultaneously. 

My point is…NO! We can’t do both together.

I am writing this post sitting comfortably in my vanity van realising the fact that I can never focus on myself and my internal growth when I am reading scripts or shooting or working anywhere. My mind is constantly filled with this madness of money, comfort, looks, monetary success etc. I want my coffee in my fancy mug, an umbrella when I step out, my spot boy running around to get everything I ask for, hair to be perfect and blah blah blah. I can’t sit by myself even for 10 minutes without an ‘un required‘ thought in my head about how to get all the comforts of this crazy world because even if I want to try and be normal there are 10 people running around calling me ‘Sir‘ and it boosts my ego. It’s making this person happy who in the bigger picture doesn’t even exist. What exists is the inside of this person who doesn’t give a fuck about these ego boosting things and comfort. 

On the other hand when I am travelling my entire focus revolves around being a better human being, growing as a person and also the people I meet when I am on the road motivate me to be better. Most of them don’t know me as an Actor. They all come from their countries and meet me like a traveller. We talk about life, we talk about music and culture. It helps me be real. I am not looking out for comfort and luxury and still I feel super comfortable. I am happy from within because I don’t want to reach anywhere. I am living in the present. All my dreams and my entire focus is on growing as a being, keeping the ‘inner me’ happy and I just feel it. Everything feels right. I feel everything is exactly where and how it should be. 

Let not this materialistic world and fake dreams corrupt the real you. Focus on the real ones and everything will be perfect. You will feel it. And that experience is going to be beautiful. 😇😇

New Year…New Beginning

 

Every year there is a 31st December and then comes the 1st January. Everyone has their own way to welcome the New year. Some get drunk, some want a good high, some go loud and crazy, some like it quiet. Every year we move on from the previous year to a new one with lots of Positivity, Excitement, Resolutions, Dreams, Hopes, Love and plan to make this year the best one we have ever had.

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New Year is a beautiful way to start up something new or something fresh. Yes…it’s just another day like the rest of the year (I have heard a lot of people say that). But there is something which makes this day really special. It’s the vibe around this day, it’s the feeling of something new starting, it’s the positivity,  it’s the hope of putting everything behind and starting afresh. These feelings make it extremely special and important.

Every year we make plans for the New year. Some people want to quit smoking, some want to be single. Some people want to buy a new car, some want a bigger house, some people want a better job, some want a salary hike.

This year let’s make one more list. A list of things you want to do for yourself. To make the ‘Inner You’ happy. Forget about everything the world or the society wants you to achieve. Forget about your job or your bank account or your expensive cars. Think about the real you. What do ‘YOU’ want to achieve in this new year. The year that is full of light and life and beauty. Make a list of things you want to do to make yourself happy. Things that’ll help you to grow. Not materialistic growth but the real one. Growth of the soul. And don’t just think it in your head, go ahead and actually make one. Write it down. At least 6 things you want to achieve in 2018 for yourself. It could be anything. Stupid, crazy, bizarre, funny, as far as its making you happy Go Ahead.

For so many years we have been working on a ‘To do List’ which in the bigger picture doesn’t even matter. Let’s start working on the list that will matter. A list that’ll help us Grow…from within.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

#LetThePositivityFlow

FEEL!

A friend once told me that we are slowly turning into a generation who is Scared…Scared of everything. Scared to Trust, Scared to Experience, Scared to Talk, Scared to even Feel. And I think she is right. We are turning away and running from the most basic thing we have as human beings…Emotions.

We always see people tell each other to be happy always. Its great. We should all be happy but being happy ‘all the time‘ is not possible. Its not practical and its not good. We can’t possibly be happy all the time. And the point here is It’s Ok. Its ok to be sad or angry or whatever and not be happy sometimes. We as human beings are blessed with so many Emotions and it won’t be fair if we don’t experience them all. Experiencing Jealousy or Sadness or Anger is as big a blessing as being Happy is. This at least proves that we still Feel. In this generation of machines all around we are still very much Alive.

Don’t be this generation who is scared to Feel, scared to Experience. Don’t stop yourself from being Happy because you are scared of being sad, don’t stop yourself from trusting someone because you are scared of being cheated on, don’t stop yourself from falling in Love because you are scared of a heartbreak, DON’T STOP. Please. FEEL. EXPERIENCE. LEARN.

 

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Think Of The Bigger Picture! 

I remember the day I had signed Udaan. Vikram (Director of Udaan) took me out for a walk and told me that ‘Life will not always be easy. While shooting there will be days when things won’t go as per your plans. There will be days when I might get angry at you. There will be days when you will be too harsh on yourself. At that point just Think Of The Bigger Picture. Few years down the line when you will sit and watch yourself on screen none of this pain or fights would matter. All that will matter is what you see on screen.’ 


I took that bit of advice pretty seriously and I made it a very important part of my life. Everything I do or everything that happens to me I always try and look at the bigger picture. 

The reason I am writing this today is because I recently read about a young boy who killed himself because of life pressures and because he failed his Exams and Depression which lead to Drug Addiction. After reading about him I met so many people who told me stories about themselves or people they know who are struggling with the same.

Now let’s connect these two stories together. Let’s just see our entire life as a Movie. All these small little things which we worry so much about like Exams, Job, Making Money, Buying a New car, or a better car, Getting your ‘own’ house and thousand  other things DON’T MATTER AT ALL. These are the things which we do for the ‘Society’, for our family, for our future (which none of us have any idea about), for our kids and so on. What really matters is what we do for Ourselves. 

How many times do we actually do something that makes our Soul happy without worrying about anyone or anything at all? How many times do we laugh at problems which are super serious? 

Rarely or maybe Never! 

Let’s start celebrating Life. The ultimate happiness and Life’s ‘Bigger Picture’ is making your soul grow. Exams , Jobs , Money etc won’t matter At All. 

I was an extremely average student. Never got good marks. Never liked to study. Never got any importance or popularity in school. Had no Girlfriend. No money. Not good in sports. And even today I sometimes have money issues, Family problems, No work and hundred other things happening at the same time. But I still consider myself a Blessed person and I am really happy with my life. 

Reason? 

Because we all have problems in life. But if you look at our journey as a soul, these problems are our Experiences and Opportunities to grow as a Soul. By the end of every lifetime we live, when we will look at our own Movie, which is our journey in this particular lifetime, all we will be thankful for are our Experiences and Opportunities. We will realise that it’s the Human being we are that matters and not the money we make or the car we drive or the exams we pass. 

Now let’s do some simple calculations. Why do we have to worry about something which at the end of the day won’t even matter. And why not spread all our Niceness and Positivity around because that is the only thing which would truly matter. 

I am not asking you to run away from your problems. I am just asking you to face them and welcome them with a big bright smile. Don’t let anything or anyone pressurise you. If we fail ones we can do it the next time. If we can’t do it at all we will do something else. Do what makes you happy. Enjoy what you do. Write, Sing , Paint, Act, Travel, Study, do anything that you truly enjoy because you will give your best when you do something you enjoy. Even I changed 3 professions before I became an Actor. It’s ok to try and fail and then try again. Life is Beautiful. It’s not Hard or Complicated at all. So let’s just keep it simple. Enjoy Life. Live Life. Because when your film will be screened in front of you, you should be able to stand there and watch your entire journey with a smile on your face and no regrets at all. Life is Precious and at the end you should be proud of the way you Lived it because that’s all that will matter. 

#LiveLife #LoveLife

#LetThePositivityFlow 😇

Travellers Don’t Belong To Any Country!!

As a Traveller I am constantly moving from one place to another. Learning about various cultures, traditions, festivals, languages, laws and much more. I meet people from all around the world and learn so much from each one of them. I am growing with every new experience, every new person I meet, every new thing I learn from a fellow traveller. And that’s the reason I believe that TRAVELLERS DON’T BELONG TO ANY COUNTRY….because they are constantly travelling and they are constantly growing.

I recently went solo backpacking in India. The initial plan was to have a week long trip which ended up becoming an almost month long trip. And I am so glad It did. 

Every trip of mine is extremely special to me. It always teaches me something new and this one was no different. I had the most fun experiences and many first timers on this one. 

I started this trip from Bombay and the plan was to go to Kasol, Malana, Tosh, explore some places around and come back in a week. 

As a Traveller I hate to go anywhere with a fixed plan. I feel it kills the spontaneity. I like to go Travel with no return ticket and no middle plan. And even though I had a plan for this trip I didn’t follow it. And that was the best thing I did. 

This was my first time in this side of Himachal. And it wasn’t too late before I realised that Kasol wasn’t the place for me. I found it too commercial. I expected it to be a lil unexplored. After a day in Kasol and spending some time in Chhalal , I went on this trek to Tosh. 

Tosh was beautiful. It was exactly the place I expected Kasol to be. Not many people around. Extremely Pretty. And the best part was when it started snowing. It was super stunning to wake up to something like this. 


Because of the snowfall I got stuck in Tosh for a couple of days and couldn’t visit Malana. But it was totally worth it. 

This was all nice and beautiful but it was somewhere a part of the plan. The journey that began after this was totally unplanned and the best part of my Trip. 

After Himachal I went to Jaipur for a day to attend a food festival I was invited for. I didn’t want to stay in a hotel so I booked myself in a Hostel. 

I was sitting at the rooftop restaurant at the hostel and reading ‘Into Thin Air’ (I wanted to read it after I finished reading ‘Into The Wild’ by Jon Krakauer ). I was the only one sitting at a table which was for 8 people, so a group of 5 girls asked me if they can join in. I said ‘sure’. 

After a brief conversation I got to know that the girls met each other while traveling and started traveling together. I also got to know that one of the girl is a chef. She said she is not a professional chef but she loves food and loves to cook. I invited all the girls for the food festival and they happily agreed. 

The same day I met this guy from Italy who was in Bombay for 2 months working in a NGO and is now traveling for a bit. I got real positive vibes from all these people including this guy I met. So I invited him as well. 

Now we were a group of crazy backpackers in this extremely fancy Food festival called ‘Gourmet Getaway’. Everyone was dressed in fancy Gowns and Tuxedos and we were in our Denims and T shirts. We are backpackers after all. No one was carrying any fancy clothes. We had great food, drank the best red wine and went crazy. We all became friends and had the best time together. 


That’s another amazing thing about traveling. You meet strangers and share so much love and Warmth, you explore and experience new things together that you become a big part of each other’s Travel.

This trip was telling me each day that ‘This is Not it’. I am going to surprise you with new experiences every day. And I was happily accepting and enjoying it all. 

The next day, while me and my new found friends were chilling at the hostel we met another crazy backpacker, Jannika. 

Jannika was from Germany and unlike my other friends at the hostel who would sleep by 10pm, she was a night owl like me. (Yes, Sarah , Kritine, Jess , Meg and Fatima would eat dinner at 6 and sleep by 10). They called it their Australian culture. 

I loved the positivity and the vibe of these 6 beautiful backpackers. We became real good friends and I cancelled my plan of going back to Bombay for Holi and I decided to spend Holi with them. 

The hostel we were staying at had organised a Pool party for Holi. We all bought tickets and decided to go there. 


It’s so different celebrating a festival in your home country with people from other countries who have no idea about the festival. It’s great explaining them the stories behind the festival and getting to know their side to it. 

After a mad Holi party it was time for me to come back to Bombay. The girl gang from Australia left Jaipur. They went ahead with their individual plans. I had my ticket booked for Bombay. And just then I had another spontaneous plan waiting for me. 

Jannika was going to Ranthambhore to do the Tiger safari and then to Varanasi. I had both these places on my travel list but I could never go. Jannika asked me if I would like to join her travel plan and I agreed. 

So I postponed my ticket once again and we left from Jaipur to Ranthambhore on a General class train. 

General class has its own charm. I had never experienced this madness before. No one has got a seat. You can sit wherever you get a place to sit. And there are atleast 4 people fighting for one seat. The entire coach is full of people with no place even to stand. We somehow managed to get one seat for the two of us ( That too because people knew we are not used to this madness, so they were being kind and offered us their seat). It was a great and a super interesting  conversation we had with the people around. Everyone thought I am also from Germany and they started talking to me in English. They couldn’t speak English that well but they were trying with a few words they knew. I played along. I wanted to know what do they talk about me when they have no idea about me knowing Hindi. And I was right. They kept talking about me and Jannika in Hindi thinking that I don’t understand their language. One guy even told his friend about me being on my honeymoon and that I told him that. 

I have experienced this on most of my Travel in India where people think I am from Spain. I get treated like a foreigner in my own country and its hilarious. This time in Jaipur when I went to Hawa mahal they asked me why I have a Rs 20 ticket as that’s just for Indians. When I told him I am from Bombay he didn’t believe me and asked me to show him my ID. 

This trip gave me a lot of first time experiences. From Travelling on a General class ticket to Having no place to sleep to Sitting near the doors of a train and waiting for the Ticket Checker to give me a seat to Meeting strangers and Traveling with them spontaneously to Falling real sick and running around in a new city to find a good Doctor to walking non stop with a 15KG Backpack on my shoulders to Great conversations with people on a local bus and many many more such brilliant experiences. 

Varanasi introduced me and Jannika to our third partner in crime, Colm. 


Colm, a 38 year old from London with the Heart of a 25 year old boy. Full of energy and wit. He joined me and Jannika in Varanasi and we were a gang. We spent the entire day Traveling and exploring places together. We would sit by the ghats in Varanasi for hours and listen to coke studio Pakistan and Indian Ocean. 

Colm , Jannika and I love food. We went to this cafe called The Dosa Cafe. It’s run by a couple in their 50s. Real tiny place but extremely popular and super yumm Dosas and Upma and Ginger lemon Honey Tea. The man owned a Photocopy shop a few years back. He wanted to do something else and came up with The Dosa Cafe. It started with a very basic menu of a few usual dosas and Idlis but today they have a massive variety of South Indian food. And what I loved about the place was that it had a super positive vibe with love all around. The couple don’t feed you because they want to make a lot of money, they do so because they love to feed people and you can feel it there. And it’s not just Humans who can’t go back from this cafe Hungry, even the animals come here and the man feeds them with the same love and warmth. 

After Varanasi, Colm and I were planning to go to Delhi and Jannika was going to Amritsar and Rishikesh. But this time it wasn’t me changing my plan, it was Jannika. Colm and I somehow managed to convince Jannika to come with us to Delhi, spend a day with us and from there she can go to Amritsar or Rishikesh. She agreed and all three of us came to Delhi. We three had crazy time in Delhi and Jannika ended up staying there for 3 days. 

Now when the trip was coming to an end for real we planned our next one together. We three have decided to meet in London in November and do a road trip all around. 

I am extremely happy and I feel super blessed to have realised how important it is to Travel. It’s the biggest learning one could ever get from anywhere. I meet amazing people everytime I Travel and I am in touch with most of them. Everyone I meet takes away something from me and give me a part of their life and learnings. They teach me to be fearless, to be compassionate , to be kind , to be accepting and to be a better human being. I am growing as a person and as a soul everytime I Travel. Traveling teaches me to break free from this materialistic happiness and learn about the real happiness. It teaches me to celebrate life and relations. It teaches me to make mistakes and learn from them. It teaches me to trust strangers. It teaches me that it’s not about any country or caste or colour, it’s about the person. And that’s why I say it again that TRAVELLERS DON’T BELONG TO ANY COUNTRY AND I AM HAPPY TO BE A TRAVELLER. 😇😇

Society!! 

I want to be with myself but you want me to be with the world.

Am I The One Who Is Crazy Or Is It You?

I find Happiness in the small little things I do but you want me to conquer the world.

Am I The One Who Is Crazy Or Is It You?

I want to fill my Heart with experiences but you want money in the Account.

Am I The One Who Is Crazy Or Is It You?

I love when I am On The Road but you want the comfort of a car.

Am I The One Who Is Crazy Or Is It You?

I Want my Soul to be Happy but you are still stuck with this materialistic world.

I know!

I am Crazy!

But I want to be like this!

Because…

I Am Happy! 

I Am Me!