Together We Bond

You are not alone We are there and therefore Together we Bond

LIFE IN A METRO… a review June 29, 2007

Filed under: Entertainment — togetherwebond @ 8:50 am

LIFE IN A METRO… a review

Chatting with a friend, she quoted, about the big mean city of Mumbai.. ‘ye shahar jitna deta hai us se kai jyada leta hai!!’ and this set us discussing the movie METRO.

I watched it just a couple of days back and expected it to be a heavy one but it was so amazingly light… just the way it should have been. I found myself agreeing and nodding on many occasions. Rarely happens these days with movies.

Each of the characters are well thought of and well portrayed, the humor is played down and perfectly executed on screen. The character Monty played by Irfan Khan is absolutely hilarious…his down to earth practical way with life, from making a job recommendation effortlessly to his boss on the phone, teaching Shruti (konkona sen) how to get her anger off her chest, conning her into shopping for his would be bride. All were absolutely amazing and he makes his way slowly and surely into your heart and into Shruti’s heart as well. From a prospective suitor whom she rejects he turns into the love of her life!!

Shikha (Shilpa Shetty) and Ranjit (Kay Kay Menon) play a married couple with a kid. Both have made extremely good performances. Kay Kay is the cheating male who convinces himself that he has every right to be happy and if this can be accomplished without hurting another then what could be better. Shikha trapped in a marriage which she describes aptly in two powerful sentences…‘shaadi aur kuch sikhaye na sikhaye, acting karna jaroor sikha deti hai’ and the complete loneliness expressed by ‘ ab hamari khamoshi bhi aapas mein jhagda karti hai’…while Ranjit feels completely justified having an affair with Neha, his subordinate at work, (Kangana Ranawat) Shikha is devastated by her love for the soft spoken, gentle and sensitive Aakash (Shiny Ahuja)

Rahul – a young man (Sharman Joshi) Ranjit’s subordinate who holds the magical key to many influential bosses, cheating on their wives. He loves Neha and is devastated by the knowledge of her being used by and using the boss Ranjit. Things come a full circle when Neha and Ranjit stand exposed to Neha’s room mate and Shikha’s sister Shruti..

Two other characters who portray the idealistic love that knows nothing and believes nothing else are Shivani (Nafeesa ali) and Amol (Dharamendra)… no questions asked, no undying declarations of love, no promises of until death do us apart. Just a quiet assumption and assurance and the power of love to out shadow all others. Magical..almost unreal amidst the midst of the sordid dependencies..

1. Ranjit confessing to his wife Shikha of his relationship with Neha, Shikha looks guiltier and confesses to her love for Aakash (which never was consummated) but Shikha giving up love for marriage and family and stays.
2. Neha realizes her folly and goes after Rahul. Rahul quits his job as a manager of others affairs among other duties!!
3. Shruti realizes she actually loves Monty, and chooses to declare her love while the poor guy is riding on a horse back with sehera and on his way to his own marriage..!! Better late than never as they say.
4. The sad part with Shivani passing away leaving Amol guilty as ever to have left his love in search of the worldly pleasures in life.

Finally, for me the movie took me back to monsoons in Mumbai city… crowded streets, people waking unfazed with umbrellas, unstopping by the rain and the incessant pitter patter stopping for no one. The buses and trains and auto rickshaws bring the city back to everyone who has ever lived there in full dose of poignant memories.

By Prakruti–


‘Chasing the Good Life…on being Single’–Book Review March 19, 2007

Filed under: Entertainment,Management,Reflections — togetherwebond @ 10:07 am

‘Chasing the Good Life…on being Single’ edited by Bhaichand Patel, is delightfully fresh and frank; a compilation of essays by ‘singletons’ from various walks of life and yes, both men and women. The contributors range from Jerry Pinto, the 38 year old novelist and poet to Kushwant Singh, India’s oldest enfant terrible, from Dolly Thakore, casting director, journalist and script writer to Urvashi Bhutalia, the founder of the first feminist publishing house called Kali, and many more..

Farrukh Dhondy, novelist and columnist, explores the insinuations of the words bachelor; meaning gay or resolute bachelor and spinster evoking an image of the ‘unfortunate wall flower that was never asked for the next dance’!! Quite happy with his single status and not looking for that ‘promised land’ any more, he concludes that the quest to dissolve the single is an elusive, never ending but necessary pursuit.

An independent liberal from the tender age of 15, Aruna Vasudev is founder of the cine magazine called ‘Cinemaya’ a PhD from Paris and a reputed writer and has graced many a jury in film fests world over. After having lost her husband to cancer she found herself a singleton and a single parent at the same time! Work, travel, and a wide circle of friends and family leave her no time to catch her breath. Complete self reliance is what life has taught her and she has ‘no complaints’ Life is a party she says when you learn to take the high moments with the low, and treat the two impostors just the same.

Marriages are made in heaven and end in the bathroom says Asha Naarang Spaak, who was married not once but twice and enjoyed it while it lasted! (a case of hope over experience, she explains). For her the joys of being single are too much to give up for the (dis)comfort of having a spouse.

Not all is a bed of roses!! And the question that comes to every ones mind is what about loneliness and what about sex. Well, Gauri Dange, from Pune says…when you are 40 something and all the speculation about your past and future love life has died down… you are in a really cosy spot …no more questions, no more sympathetic looks. When you feel you are on a high and want a partner…a mental image (made of nice bits of all the men you know) comes to your mind. Then the moment passes and you stretch this way and that quite smug and snug in your solitude!!

To Kushwant Singh, the joy of living alone comes from being able to relieve himself of his gastric gases without being embarrassed and to be able walk around without his clothes!! He misses his wife and is sometimes lonely. But he admits that he does not have the gift of friendship and is quite happy with his solitary status. ‘When the time comes,’ he says, ‘everyone has to take the long road to oblivion all alone, so why not prepare for it while in good health?’

For Sheela Reddy, books editor for outlook, the secret success to her marriage is the long distance… her husband lives and works in Bihar and she in Delhi. The perfect recipe for her is two die-hard singles with preferable very less in common!!

After fleeing from her ‘Barsati’ in Delhi where the landlord had actually let himself in, the romanticism of living alone in peaceful melancholy shattered, Radhika Jha, novelist and dancer, still maintains that singleness had to be experienced before any ‘real love’ is possible. However, a lot has changed since those early days and now it’s easy to be single; liberalization, attitudes, lifestyles and finances have benefited singles tremendously. Its a rich experience-(without the glamour) but the price is the moments when one is truly alone which steal up on you, she says, and catch you unawares when you are most vulnerable. Living alone you experience the naked intensity of each moment-the good and the bad!

Single but not alone says…Humra Quraishi. After her divorce and a few painful years of adjusting to a new life, her circle of close friends, two children and close family are her world now and its enough, she says.

What struck me about this one by Varsha Das is its complete honesty and for me, a sense of someone else saying my lines…”I was quite certain that once I moved away from him life would be lovely” she says. She now realizes how foolish and perhaps simplistic her views were. With two kids and meager means she expresses her emotional swings between satisfaction and insecurity. She finds her refuge in a full time job, her kids and home and finally came to terms with her life fully triumphant. Letting go the negative feeling she feels is extremely important to be able to truly move on…’I stopped holding others responsible for my unhappiness’ and that was the turning point! She loves living alone and takes full charge of her responsibilities. And is smiling no matter what!

Dolly Thakore has learnt to deal with all the ‘men’s jobs’ mechanics, accountants, tax consultants, painter and plumbers of the world. After 20 odd years of living alone she has an indomitable persona (a put off for many men?). Loneliness does strike but she does all right she says !!

For Mahua Sen, coming to terms with her singleness has been an experience. She thinks, in life relationships are far lonelier than being on your own. Even you are not on your side she says.

Namrata Joshi, the Delhi based journalist says… you have to stay away from home to find yourself. Single to her is a constant engagement with who you are and the dynamics of this involvement change with time. She objects to the formalization of love and companionship into matrimony. For her being single is like being on a long journey; there are always possibilities as long as you travel. Arrival doesn’t interest me she says. Where do you go from there.

Coming from a conservative upper middle class muslim family, Sadia Dehlvi surfaced from a marriage and began life as a single in saddi dili. There has been loneliness, tears and heartbreak she says but matrimony does not necessarily provide the remedy. She has no need to feel the crippling of ones personal growth with the power play that marriages come to be. Women she believes have changed drastically and men have not which is why they are unable to handle the women of today!!

Single and sixty four, Rahul Singh has never been married. But came perilously close he says. I am not gay, not a DOM (dirty old man). I am a pretty good cook, play a variety of sport and have a close circle of family and friends. Perhaps a little self centered and selfish he admits. But then no one is perfect even if single!

To Urvashi Butalia who seems to think she got there without really thinking but wanting to, there are many more relationships that are sustaining, sometimes much deeper and richer than a married relationship. She is single by choice, and feels singleness suits her, as others may feel more suited to marriage!

Relocation, divorce and death are the most stressful things in ones lifetime says Anjali Puri… who got to tackle the first two together!! As a resentful wife she wondered why she was stuck with the unfairness of the medieval division of labor but now she feels a sense of entitlement managing her home, kids and work!! Her two children are quite resilient she says and quite efficiently divide their time between eleven months of not-quite-perfect-but-always-there-mom, and a month with Santa Claus dad!! Loneliness…After a day at work and an evening of parenting she is not really looking for romance but misses an intelligent, companionable and undemanding adult (of the non maid type) for company!!

There are more accounts of the singletons and their views but frankly the thin thread that runs through all these accounts is that quite happiness, success, close circle of family and friends, societal acceptance and even admiration in today’s world. Finally there is nothing wrong in matrimony if it allows you to grow, be independent and free. But a single life is certainly much better than the shackled, power plays, controlling and even crippling relationships we see more and more today!!

Finally…A very good read and much recommended!!

By Prakruti


Better & Lighter after 30 February 19, 2007

Filed under: Entertainment,Management,Reflections — togetherwebond @ 12:04 pm

It is always a delight to meet like-minded women personally from the same walks of life and with whom we interact frequently on the internet. We have so much in common from our past that when we met this weekend, it was no coincidence that we shared similar likes and dislikes, tastes and had the same views on life and the same status, the most sought after cherished status: SINGLE. Oh yaaaa…most of us have had to go through an ordeal to achieve this treasured status (once again).

All of us were in sync that life only begins after age 30. There is something special to it, which only when one has achieved the 30 can perceive.

I will give a practical example: When we travel from India to USA and if are overloaded with extra baggage then the airport attendant asks us to do away with certain kilos from our total baggage weight. And there at that point, we start deciding what to take and what to discard. What we discard is excess baggage. The excess baggage that we can do without and we don’t need. The excess baggage that we can comfortably be without. And at age 30 most of us have gladly discarded our excess baggage and we are thus lighter and carry only the vital stuff with us i.e. our zesty attitude & freedom.

And now for those who have not understood what I mean, well when you turn 28 or 29 and feel burdened, trapped, harassed, tortured and depressed, it will dawn 🙂

So….some of us fine ladies decided to meet and paint the town red this weekend with our antics. A weekend of fun and frolic and naughtiness. We met at a common place and stayed the night at one friend’s home closest to some hot spots, happening places and clubs here in the east coast. The snowfall from earlier this week and the cold weather created the perfect ambience for the eventful weekend. A bunch of 30 somethings have a lot to speak and share. Adventures galore…!! We brunched and dined and had some fine red wine. And in the night we partied until the wee hours of the morning. Being the Valentine weekend there was no dearth of single men who considered themselves blessed (oh yaaaaa…) when we obliged to shake a leg with them.

I suggest to all members in their cities to meet up, socialize and chill. As Prakruti says too “Life is lovely, if you know how to live it!!!”

No doubt life gets only better and lighter after 30. Got it???

By Sripriya


Returning Natives November 14, 2006

Filed under: Entertainment,Reflections — togetherwebond @ 7:36 am

The present day desi in the US returning to India is completely unlike the NRIs of the 80s vintage and earlier on their biennial pilgrimages. The whole purpose of their visits was to impress upon the less fortunate natives the true state of their material and physical well being. Gifts would be given liberally, drawing rooms would be chock full of relatives listening enraptured to the stories their fantastic lifestyles abroad.

Their teen-aged children could at best understand their mother tongue and lisp charmingly when pushed to speak it. Grandmothers and aunts cooed and fawned at how precious they sounded and made sure that they were stocked up on toilet paper even if the nearest store that carried it was at the other end of town. These were cyclically returning natives who reinforced to themselves and those that they deigned to visit with that they were glad to be out of the rat hole known as desh. A mini army came together from in and around town to see these oh-so-fortunate prodigals off at the airport.

Times have changed. More importantly perhaps India has and along with that the attitudes of desis home and abroad. Now it would be the ultimate social faux pas for an US desi to come home and throw a fit about the dust, grime, government office red tape and open man holes. They know better than to do that. Instead they will tell their relatives in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune that India as good as if not better than the US in most ways. They love indeed lust for street food, don’t need to tote Evian around and their kids speak their language almost flawlesslessy.

Thanks to rampant piracy in software and electronic goods, desis in India own cooler, hipper gizmos for a whole lot cheaper. Their cellphones are to die for and the posh schools that their kids attend are better than the best private schools in the US. In summary, the country mouse is getting a better bang for the buck than the town mouse and the town mouse would come to nest in the country in a heartbeat.

Unlike the desis of yore who landed in JFK feeling schadenfreude and got together with other desi friends over the weekend to recount vignettes from the trip to India to disperese that feeling more widely, the present day desi wonders if he is better served by not getting into the plane to America.
There is little left to be given to the well heeled friends and relatives in India whose business trips take them around the world all the time. There are no tall tales to tell of the dishy blondes that are so easy to pick up at bars, of the money to be made in day trading or the cross country road trips. The all desi weekend “parties” in burbs are a joke to those who have far more eclectic social lives. Everyone’s been there and done that. The captive audiences cheer led by the dowager grand-aunt are a relic of the past – that aunt is now likely vacationing in Madrid with her youngest daughter.

The draw of America to the mainstream desi used to be the lifestyle they could neither afford nor replicate in India. They basked in the envy of the hoards that came to see them off at Santa Cruz, snickering at the thought of their socialite aunt primping for her kitty parties with Yardley cologne from Wal-Mart they just gave her. It was a good place to be in. Today gift shopping is painful and expensive business – a Navajo Indian sun-catcher from that Alaskan cruise may be slightly interesting but Ralph Lauren shirt picked up from Marshall’s will be met with much disdain and derision.

It is not surprising therefore that the desis in US want to come home to roost the minute they get their US passport. No one who is anyone back home cares about their miserable suburban town home, $130k a year job and the fully paid off Acura 2.5TL. For all that they are not riding the wave of irrational exuberance that is India today- the technology is edgier, more patents are being filed than ever, they get to feel good about themselves by volunteering for the causes of the disenfranchised. India’s unique selling proposition today is the ability to combine a high-rolling lifestyle with abundant opportunities to stack up on good karma. It strikes a deeply resonant chord with the expat desi.
There is a heart and soul about India that expats are finding easier to sense in the context of an easy to replicate NRI lifestyle complete with obscene compensation packages and a white hot club scene. Its never been easier to claim their longing for family and homeland is more than they can bear – if only the date for the all important citizenship interview came around sooner to plug their bleeding hearts.

By Heart Crossings –


Sahara Charity Ball

Filed under: Entertainment — togetherwebond @ 7:23 am


Fashion Show Featuring

JJ Valaya

Sponsored by Ziba Beauty

Coordinated & Organized by Saffron International

Live Auction with…

Exotic Getaways, Sporting events

Vacation Homes and much much more…!

Join us at the Annual SAHARA Event on Nov 18th 2006 — from 7pm to 1am

for Cocktails and Dinner at


5400 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045


Exhibition of JJ Valaya and vendors from India on Sunday Nov 19th 2006 11am to 5pm

at SHERATON Cerritos Hotel

 Do visit our exclusive stalls

Exquisite Jewellery by Motiwala

Designer Collection by Renu Tandon

Collection from Saffron International


and live orchestra, food and much much more.

To be part of the event contact the SAHARA office. Limited passes.


Lunch with my twin November 12, 2006

Filed under: Entertainment,Reflections — togetherwebond @ 8:23 am

I work at the headquarters and my work demands that I coordinate with many of my colleagues at different branches over the phone. During one such interaction I came across an Indian woman. With regular work related interactions over the months, we one fine day decided to meet and put a face to the voice.

So we planned our meeting this Saturday afternoon at the Melting Pot’s parking lot. It was wonderful to meet her and we exchanged our moouahs, giggled, said our nice to see yous and walked into the restaurant. We placed our orders and got chatting (this time non-work related). I told her about myself, which part of India I am from, how I landed in USA etc. I never go out of my way to tell anyone that I am separated or any of the crap that has to remind me of my biggest mistake in life –my ex—my once upon time chosen sweetheart. Because I think it is my personal life and I choose not to make an issue of it. Plus in the USA, it is done deal that no one even questions about this as it is considered intruding. Also, very important, I never ask that pivotal question either lest the opposite person questions me back “hey what about you”

She told me about her life in India and where she comes from, how long she has been her and so on and so forth.

And now…it has been only 15 minutes since we met, placed our orders….

Here it comes…. she said, believe me she said it ( I never asked ) that she was a divorcee. (in my mind I was like ohhhhh noooooo, not you too). I just did not wish to spend my Saturday lunch hour discussing this divorce kinda thing.

The thoughts in my mind were zooming, should I tell her too or no or just move on with the regular lunch conversation………!!!!

yes no yes no yes no yes…..yes no yes no…..

So I told her (am sure I had an expression on my face of that when someone is about to throw-up) that ‘I am separated too’. I said it too and it was done with.

At that point her expression was worth a million bucks 🙂

This made me laugh, laugh so hard that am sure we received glances from the guests on other tables.

Nonetheless we landed up narrating our stories, put across in a humorous way, and rolling our eyes on the emblematic men’s common attitude and on mention of a similar experience we were like me too and same here, oh my god you too…..etc.

I never imagined that my meeting with her would turn out this way, fun filled , and making digs on our past wittingly and most important chuckling about it.

Lunch arrived that was scrumptious more so over we were having a ball of a time now. And we decided to go in for a second round of cranberry margaritas, to toast our Freedom.


By Ash


Travel and Leisure October 11, 2006

Filed under: Entertainment,Management,Parenthood — togetherwebond @ 8:25 am

Gear up for some fun times….. 🙂

I have been reading all the articles on the site with interest and also the equally interesting feedback and comments for the authors and others. So now comes something quite different…

Planning and ENJOYING vacations being single and with kids can be a daunting thought. Planning a vacation by myself with the kids seemed so scary to me at first. But I was determined to test it out. Since our first holiday by ourselves to Paris we have also been to Kenya, Amsterdam, Venice and numerous locations in Switzerland. Since we also travel to India atleast once a year we have also been to many places there like Coorg, Vythri, Mysore, Trivandrum… Here are some tips for the single parent or even if you are travelling alone:

1. Plan ahead for the best prices and the most convenient timings. If you are travelling by road print maps etc in advance and speak to people who have been that route before. They can have some amazing tips. If you are travelling in India by road, choose the car and driver carefully!!
2. Book a hotel in advance. A decent one located close to the places you would like to visit is best. It need not be fancy but it should be clean and safe. Don’t take any chances with the hotel, a good reference from friends who have travelled or a good guidebook like lonely planet is a must.
3. Travel light!!
4. Plan for the evenings. After a nice full and tiring day, kids like to relax in the hotel, may be watch a movie or play games like cards or other board games, read, draw, etc. Be prepared and carry what you need to keep them entertained.
5. Plan what you will be doing in advance in a way that there is variety for them and for you. Museums are not normally the most exciting places for the kids so club it with something more fun for them. Don’t plan to see too many places in a day. Its better to spend time sitting around in roadside cafes and by the riverside etc than rushing from one ‘spot’ to another.
6. Carry some snacks and water in your backpack and get the kids to carry some too. You never know how far food can be sometimes and how inedible too!!!
7. Invest in a good guidebook. Personally I love the Lonely Planet guidebooks. Maps and telephone numbers etc
8. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. First aid-to be carried, credit cards and travel documents-to be kept very safely, carry as little money as needed, keep the kids close and tell them what to do if they are separated from you, give them mobile phones if possible, dress appropriately and prepare for the local weather
9. Making friends. Sometimes it is comforting to make friends and tag along but be careful and do that only if the other group also really wants that. Sometimes it’s more fun to spend the time with yourself and the kids alone. Be wise in choosing.
10. Don’t be nervous, as the kids can smell your fears. Be cheerful and you will spread happiness and cheer around!!

Enjoy …. 🙂

By Prakruti