Thursday, 31 January 2013

Let their laughter not kill what defines you ---- Dream on !

If people are not laughing at your dreams, you have not dreamt big enough ... Do justice to your passions. Dream Big. Let them laugh. Let them make fun of you and call you mad. Let them talk nasty behind your back. For there is a purpose behind all this.

The laughter, the mockery and the back talk will not just add fuel to your fire, these will also be telltale signs of impending success. And then when you start walking towards that ridiculously unattainable dream ... never look back. Make setbacks and failures as your friend. The moment you fall, realise that you have more strength to pick yourself up, the moment you fail, realise you have learnt a new lesson.

Know that you have dreamt big. The lessons will be harsh. The journey will be long. But it will all be worth it in the end. So Keep Walking.

It's one life. One short life. Give it all you have got and show the rest of them that their reactions and laughter from the so called safe and mundane existence is meant to serve as signs and add fire to the drive of people who are passionate. They are there to serve a bigger purpose actually. To create a HERO. To applaud, when one is made. For heroes do not descend from heaven. They are the ones who refuse the boring comforts of a mundane life and CHOOSE to Dream. They are the ones who envision a new world, so beautiful that anything that is logical and sensible as per the majority folks, irritates them to a level of being rebellious.

No one will be able to see your dream and understand what it means to you. Forgive them the pain that they cause you by mocking at you. For their vision is limited. Let the love for your dream blind you to all the insults and the pain and let it make you walk single-mindedly towards that dream.

To Dream is to be ALIVE for it is only a dreamer who knows the song of his heartbeat. And the rest of them would not even know about this wonderful seat of emotions till they need angioplasty.

So dream on my friend! Dream on! Stay alive! Its a short life! Live on!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Thank You 2012

Time to catch up on a lot of things ....

Have not wished my dearest friends a Happy New Year and yet to go through the list of pending work .....

And most importantly yet to say thanks to the year gone by

So here's to 2012 ....

Thank you for being the toughest and most trying year of my life. Thank you for giving me so much and making me strong.

For every challenge that you brought my way, you brought a new friend, a new perspective and a new paradigm to assess life's situations. Life is ever more beautiful now.

For every disappointment and failure that you brought my way, you gave me a lesson and step by step, made me stronger to stand back up and made me resilient. Failure is a friend I have made in this year for what it has given me, no amount of success could ever do.

Thank you for the months that just flew by and thank you also for the days that just would not pass. For in between the two I realised everything is transitory. There is nothing that will last forever and there is nothing that would not pass.

Thank you for often breaking my blind trust in people. For I have a stronger and better relationship with myself.

Thank you for the discontent and fights with friends and family. Surviving each other has added to the security in the permanence of some relationships.

And most importantly, thank you for making this realisation dawn on me, the way it should, that it takes hard work and commitment and not giving up for years to become an overnight success.....

Thank you Thank you Thank you ....

I will always look back and fondly remember you.

Sunday, 23 December 2012


This rape has suddenly shaken the whole country from its slumber and we are up in arms against the powers that be. But lets face it - if our society is in disarray and if we are facing such heinous crimes, are we not responsible for it? Where was this outcry when the first rape case came up? Where was this angst when the desensitized police force in many parts of the country stood up and said that the women who are raped, deserved it? Where was this angst when the woman Chief Minister of a state and we well know whom I am referring to here, said that it’s the kind of clothes that women wear that encourage men to rape them?

We have brought this upon us. This angst, this humiliation, this feeling of being impotent - we deserve this.

I remember the lines from Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ where someone asks him that what should we do with someone who commits a sin? The Prophet replies that on the path of life, any act of disharmony is like a stone or a pit that one stumbles upon or falls into. That is a clear reminder to all those who have passed that way that they have failed to remove that roadblock and someone has fallen again into it. And it is a reminder to all those coming from behind him to watch for the pitfall and remove that stone so that no one else does fall again.

Let us use this opportunity to tackle this menace at every level. Let this fire not die or go waste. The strategy, of the powers that be, is going to be to make people wait. For wait makes people get tired and weary and they return to their normal struggle of daily life. Let this be a revolution. The one that does not only have the fire for justice and burns with passion but also the one that will prepare us for a long task ahead of us.

Rape is all about power. It’s all about humiliating the other soul. It’s all about breaking that person from within and crushing the very fibre of their being for lust and for the need for demonstrating cheap superiority. We need to tackle it at that level too. And we need to sensitize ourselves and lives connected to us about these issues. Let us educate ourselves and deal with any form of discrimination on the basis of caste, color, sex or creed. There is a need to look within. There is a need to be vigilant for we turned a blind eye to so many of such cases that we have reached this state.

Peace is not earned in a fight or a battle. Peace is a laborious task of years of work. Battles are easy but the tasks to maintain the peace or the values that made us fight them are far greater and require years of work and perseverance.

Let us teach our sons to be more sensitive and respectful towards women. Let us raise our kids with a sense of equality and without ever making a distinction between the sexes. This is always the first step. Let us bred in them the respect for life in every form.

We belong to a culture, which is at least 5000 years old. Let us try to return to our values by reinterpreting them to the need of the times by keeping their basic fiber, the same.

We have a long way ahead of us. Let this just not be about this educated doctor only. Let us channelize this anger and let it expand to every case of violence or molestation against any women that we know. Let this revolution spread to every town and let men deprived of values and real manhood know that they have to change and learn better ways. Let this spread to every household and to every bedroom and let us stand up even for marital rape. Let this also be about the adivasi women raped and paraded naked every other day in many parts of our country. Let this be about rich or high class and high caste men who feel women from lower strata are their property and means to either satisfy their desires or the means to control their men. Let this be against honor killings too.

All these issues are interrelated. Nothing is separate. Let us be totally intolerant of any act of molestation or violence against any woman and let us bring our own to justice first. And, a True Revolution needs to spread to every level. It is all encompassing. It is all pervading. It has to root out evil from every level. It has to impact us at the very basic level of our thinking and being. That I when we would have caused a real change.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

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Arfi Lamba | August 17, 2012

Catch Arfi on

How I have dreaded about sharing my experiences of what the shooting for Prague was like for me. But then, what is a man, who hath not faced his fears? So, here I go!

The night we were ready to leave Prague and fly off, Prague was still not ready to leave me. I was detained at the airport for a few hours over a small confusion over some papers and I had to stay another night. This time, I was alone as the whole crew flew off and it was between both of us. Me and the city. And I must censor the details but admit at the same time that I had one of the most memorable nights of my life. It solved a lot of mysteries in the form a love found and lost the same night.

Prague is complete. It recently premiered at the Osian Cinefan Film Festival in Delhi. But I have still not seen it. I have always felt a certain chill run down my spine whenever this was mentioned or I have entered the room where someone was watching it at the office of our producers. I cannot explain it. But may be I will never watch my work. I have often been too critical of my work. I have felt that I have double standards, a harsher one for myself for sure.

The word 'Prague' conjures up memories that go beyond the film, the sets and shooting. It just spins a majestic old town, with me in it, living a tale that was away from the story of the character I was enacting.

Prague introduced me to the element of feeling and living mysticism in a different way. Prague introduced me to Salvador Dali and to Kafka. To its wonderful music. To Dark theatre, to streets and monuments that don't tell stories but inspire you to weave them on your own. It's a town where you go, not to know the history behind its structures, but to live it and discover it. I made so many wonderful friends there. The nightlife was just awesome. And the local beer …ah! Lets not even go there.

Prague, the film, is not the usual run of the mill, big budget film. Still, the film is made on a very decent budget for an indie film too. There were exhaustive shoots every day and partying every night. Though I never had a real full day of engagement there like our protagonist, but every evening was a full evening to discover the city, its nightlife, its people and its mysticism. How I remember securing this role! I almost gave up when I was called for an audition for the sixth time.

Within 24 hrs of landing in Prague, I had lost my passport, my Blackberry, all the money I was carrying, my Sony Cybershot and much more. I do not believe in coincidences of life. Like Emerson, I believe that life is like a mathematical equation and being an engineer, I know that no variables can be there just for the sake of fun or to confuse you. Everything has a purpose; whether it is to add to the mystery or help you lift a veil, that's for you to discover. So I knew that my equation with Prague is not just what it looks. I am not just there for the shoot. But what else could it be, is what troubles me the most even though I have some answers by now.

Anyhow, the shooting started. Prague, the movie, taught me how to stay clam in a storm. How to listen to the beat of my own heart in the cacophony of sounds around me and how to be with all yet stay alone. It was a difficult shoot, for my character existed on a plane that was fabricated by the devastating guilt of the protagonist. My character was in agony and wanted revenge but actually he did not exist and was just a projection. I know, it's too complicated to explain and I am sure you will be able to understand my dilemma once you watch the film (do watch it, would love to hear the feedback). To interpret it and to understand the layers, took a lot out of me.
It's been a while since Prague's shooting got over, but I am still searching for THAT Arfi in me(luckily I get to play a character that's named after me :-D). Somewhere I want to console him and want to be his friend and tell him it's okay to be betrayed and want to inspire him to move on. How I would have loved to believe that I am an actor that switches off from the characters he plays, but strange and uncomfortable is this realization that this one has stayed with me for longer than it should have...

While I would walk every night in Prague, in its lanes and bylanes, I would often feel as if I am being followed, but I would never feel scared. There was a familiarity in that space for me. I knew Prague was playing tricks on me. I have never been so lost and yet present at any other place in my life.

Of all the monuments Charles Bridge was my favorite. Despite it being occupied by all the tourists day and night, the enthusiasm and the joyful gay abandon of tourists could never overwhelm the Bridge personified. I have stood on Charles Bridge for two hours once and I still do not know what happened in those two hours.

The Bridge has many myths attached to it. Though the bridge is known to be a point where many a lovers and desperate people have ended their lives after committing suicide, it somehow, still, presents one of the most serene sights to behold for anyone. It has many statues that add to its majestic self, but there's one that has on one side a dog being patted by his master and on other side is a women being condemned. We got to know that touching one brings luck and touching other will bring anything but luck. I somehow could never help touching both.

I left Prague way back but I still dream of the city. My experience there was like that of a 'Hanged Man' in Tarot deck. He is supposed to loose all to learn afresh. He is supposed to look upside-down to renew his perspective and his growth happens at the expense of a sacrifice that he makes by losing all he possesses and going though an upside-down change in his perspective. Prague often calls me and I often call Prague back. It's a matter of time till we meet again and meet we shall for the city has still to answer a lot and demystify all the puzzles it has sown in my head.

Till then, I will miss its mystical beauty and hope that I can relive it whenever I see promos of our beautiful film.