Book Review: Love has its Various Ways is the invisible force of the universe

Book Review: Love has its Various Ways

Author: Divya Kapoor

Genre: Self Help and spirituality

Rating: Four stars

Book Cover


Life is never known to put us on a pedestal. It is ruthless and often takes away our self-worth. Depression is one thing that gnaws us and bites us like termite in every breath that we take. Nobody can claim to be safe from the blows that life deals, be it a lack of self-worth, frustration and career swing where we suddenly find ourselves in shamble. The uncertainties and vagaries of existence can haunt us where happiness becomes a traded luxury.

Author Divya Kapoor approached me on Linked in for the review of her book, ‘Love has its Various Ways ‘where she takes a methodical approach to treat the issues that we face in everyday life. It would be wrong to confine this book under the tag of self-help but a gem that will accompany you at every step in life and push one’s boundary to fully explore the self at every stage.


Divya Kapoor gently explores several issues that touch lives where she offers a step-by-step approach to face the downside of things. We often stumble but willfully ignore the factors that make us an emotional wreck.  The book touches several aspects where the human mind and the body are constantly at odds that hit a new low every single day. The mind is not free from ailments. We are often surrounded by several negative people who bring such toxic energy that bogs us down and contributes to make us lose our self-worth and mental peace.

I like the caterpillar and butterfly analogy which is striking and powerful at the same time.  The pain that the caterpillar goes through before it takes shape into the colorful butterfly reminds us how change can tear us apart but at the same time, it takes the form of self-growth and empowerment. Life calls for drastic changes that allow us to discover a world of extraordinary and limitless possibilities when pushed to the brink.

Self-destruction mode is something that none of us is immune to and there are many who live a dead existence, losing the zing and mojo. Divya explores this issue of ‘US against US’ where she taps into the energy flow that we attract through our psyche and energy. The ingrained pessimism inside us will only bring negativity and it’s interesting to see how the whole thing works like a tide. There is a need to question established norms and beliefs that lead us to grow from strength to strength as a human being. Accepting the status quo has never led us anywhere. The book serves as a reminder and it shakes us to act.

Ever wondered why we are in a pit most of the times! There is a fear within us and it grows mightier that sucks our energy, hence, paralyzing our well-being. It’s a conditioned response, Divya observes.  But, she brings to the fore small exercises that we can do to flush it out. It’s about killing the fears. Most of us have gone through the mental blocks which are fed inside our mind.

I really like the three bones advocated, the wish bone, backbone and the funny bone. The sense of oneness and purpose coming face to face with the real are priceless learning that will make this book not only your guide but a friend that will equip you to face the trials and tribulations. Loving the self should be above everything.

The book includes a work book, from day 1 to day 10 which is very therapeutic and as I glean through them, I not only felt light like the light feather. It’s the real me. The exercise explains in detail the Emotional Freedom Technique (ETF) which every person in my humble opinion must go through. It’s a must have book. I personally love what Divya says, ‘Invisible force of Universe.’ Don’t resist and let it carry you.

Final Words

It is not just a book but a friend, an inner voice that must be nurtured and made part of your journey. Don’t push this force and tenderness away from you! It’s called Divya Kapoor’s Love has its Various Ways.

You can check out Divya Kapoor’s blog, check out the book blurb on Gooodreads, and click to buy it here. Check here for more details and the You Tube channel.




Happy Independence Day: Freedom, inclusive India and combating poverty

Happy Independence Day. Today, August 15, India celebrates its 71st Independence Day but turn 70 as a nation. I remember the times I was staying in the hostel, Independence Day was something we looked forward to as students for we were treated to sumptuous meal and mouth-watering Gulab Jamun.  After all, Independence is all about celebrating our rich and unique cultural diversity, freedom of expression and the upholding of constitutional values as a nation.


It gives immense pride to be an Indian. But, at the same time, does it makes one a lesser Indian when we question events in the country that makes our democracy flounder. The idea of a secular nation tends to lose its sheen when we see fringe elements assaulting people in the name of the cow and when contrarian views are met with violence to nozzle our secular values and sense of nationhood.

Image credit: Google.

There is one thing that comes to the mind when I hark back to the Independence Day celebration in India. I remember that after the sumptuous meal at the hostel, I took a walk at Churchgate when I was struck by images of a mother squatting on the pavement with a baby crying as the child was breast-fed and of small children begging or selling miniature tricolor flags at traffic signals when they should be schooled. There was no smile on the faces but battered with deception.

Are we truly an independent country when our children are begging at the traffic signal or a mother wearing torn and shabby two piece saree is not able to afford a pack of milk for her baby? It hurts us as a nation at a time when we strive to become a first world country. Inclusiveness should not be restricted on religious or caste lines or for that matter, the over abused secularism by political parties or putting India on the world map in the quest to become a super economic power. It’s about beating poverty and bridge the great divide between Bharat and India. Isn’t it a human tragedy that after 70 years we are still reeling from colonial hang over where children are deprived of education along caste lines or a woman is subject to sexual violence? There is a need for equality between sexes, respecting a women individuality and not label her with names.

These are real issues that the country faces and of course, we need to get away with alienating our fellow citizens in J & K and North East. Being Indian is about oneness as a nation. There are so much that we have achieved right from economic liberation in the 90s to our rich cultural heritage and the celebration of life, like in the movies. One thing that I like about India? There are so many. First, our spirit of oneness when a tragedy strikes and we overcome religious or communal lines to become one. Independence Day is one such day. Why not make everyday a freedom day and shorn ourselves out of label we give to others.? We can and should grow together as a nation, irrespective of our ethnicity, class or communal leaning.  Second, our democratic and secular values are still viewed as a model to the world and it is something that we should preserve. Third, we have always fought for what is right and the Nirbhaya mass protest is one example that seeped into our collective conscience.

On this Independence Day, I pray that we are able to overpower our differences and strive to make India a better nation every single day to preserve our values. Communal harmony, human dignity for every citizen irrespective of caste, class or gender, freedom of expression, removal of caste or class bias, inclusive economic growth, conquer infant mortality, combat poverty, strong laws against sexual crime, respect for women and the LGBT community. An inclusive nation is our strength.

Happy Independence Day

Jai Hind



Wild days, heart break and pain

The days of heart-break and pain,

every time it told a new story,

unrequited love,

loosened grip on destiny,

Image sourced from

wild heart,

it now belongs to another era,

dusting every pain with a sprinkle of salt,

flushing the scars,

a smile to bury the disappointment,

turning the leaf of time,

carefree days,

exploring the soul,

letting loose,

it pulls every time like a magnet,


every single second counted,

verging on extremities,

losing one’s way,

to the flavor of alcohol,





never shied away to burn the tongue,

blood tasted like water,


unquenched thirst,

tripping  on the wet road to hold rain drop inside the palm,

it bore no shame,

a song for every occasion,

drenched in every sauce,

left behind in memory’s trove.












Left Right…Romance Chowk: Chasing the mermaid

Chapter 4: ‘Chasing the mermaid’

The yellow-and-black taxi chugged slowly and was stuck in the pool of mud and water splash escalating higher at every second. Vehicles on the road were flowing like paper boats in a directionless manner. The entire city was brought to a standstill for more than three hours.

Mann was tensed, anxious and bored at the same time. The car lumbered, stumbled on the broken road and all of sudden jerked to stand still that provoked a thud noise that splattered his earlobe.  A thick fog surfaced to cover the beautiful Mumbai sky. It was raining everywhere. The cloud has lost its sheen and every space turned into dark spots as if some ghosts were wrecking havoc on the city by spitting fire balls and black smoke. The wind roared like wild sirens to conspire with angry foes and the thunder sparks shrieked like angry Goddesses.

The cab driver turned to Mann, “Bhaiya! We don’t have any choice. I am turning off the key. It’s impossible to move and I am very scared. Pray Bhaiya for our well-being. Everything is dark.” The man quivered and fidgeted with the car’s key. Mann nodded. Sejal occupied his thoughts and wondered whether she is stuck somewhere in the city. At that point of time, he didn’t mind her making out with a female friend or having sex with a random guy in a house or hotel, surrounded by a bonfire. As long as she is safe…he will turn a blind eye to extremities or human frailties that accompany the human mind and the quest for sensual adventure.

He was trapped in the myriad thoughts. Suddenly, he felt something sharp inside his heavy back pack that hurt his knee. He unzipped the bag and his hand flew inside to reach a dead-end at something thick that he removed. A pink wallet was snuggled inside the comfort of his bag. Mann was bemused, ‘How the fuck this pink wallet entered my bag?’

Mann pressed the button and the wallet flipped open. It contained a letter written by Sejal in bold, ‘You know where to find me.’

“If I go missing one day, don’t freak and become dukkhi like some jilted lover. Remember Devdas. It’s so passé. Mom will call you and blow her top. It’s her normal best. Excitement is me. Clue No 1, remember our conversation during sex. I love to mumble during the act like a flattened parantha. I disappear out of the blue. Thunder, rain and monsoon excite me to no end. I am a mermaid.”

Mann was amused. A feeble smile enlarged his jaw. He couldn’t help stop the frantic heart beat. His mind was stuck on the letter but at the same time was fighting demons like the ferocious rain spreading its might like arrows speckled on the car. The brain has stopped functioning. His eyes were glued to the letter that he caressed with his hand.

“Hey! Wondering what I am blabbering right now. Babe! Time for clue no. 2: You love girls who stand in the middle of the rain and getting drenched from top-to-toe? Sounds sexy and revealing when they wear everything white? The water makes the skin translucent. Gives you an orgasm…in your head. Stop being hard and stiff inside, you pervert. Imagine the rain sending the whole of a Mumbai in a tail spin and folks running for their life. See! Sirjee, I am Jhansi ki Rani and love to flirt not with men but danger. I love caressing the rain and the violent tree branches falling on my face feels like sensual love and lip smacking sensation. I ain’t crazy. It’s just a shade of me that you never knew till now. Slow baby! Dheere dheere, you are approaching my location and no, cabs are not GPS enabled. You gotta do some hard work to find me. You will be handsomely rewarded with a sprinkle of wet kiss and loaded sex for a full week. Wrack your brain.’

Mann almost cursed in frustration. “First, the cab is not even moving and she is telling me that I am coming closer to her.  Where the fuck do I find her? She lost it. I could be sleeping on my bed, wrapping myself under a thick blanket. But, no, I am out looking for her in the rain. I am the one who is mad. I am shivering. But, for whom! But, Madam doesn’t care. Right now, I don’t mind watching those ugly Ekta Kapoor soap operas that serves as a good substitute for porn.”

The letter was long like a scholarly dissertation and his eyes bore shades of tiredness. “Now, should I tell that guys like you are fascinated by Mumbai locals and railway station that you like to explore as if it’s some playboy hub! Stop guessing, baby. The clue lies within. Follow the heart. Heard the classic and oft-repeated ritual? Dhudne pe bhi bhagwaan milta hai. It’s not like I am some fucking bhagwaan but well, Run Lola Run.”

Mann was tired and felt his legs numb. He wanted to sleep in the backseat but ended up chasing the flies hovering above his head. Suddenly, the cars started to move and Mann felt a dash of hope. He read the letter all over again. It was unbelievable. Something was brewing in his head. He had an inkling where Sejal was.  A triumphant smile surfaced on his smile. “Pagal ladki,” he muttered.

Tring!!! Sejal’s Mom was calling. He picked it up, ‘Hello aunty.’ The person at the other end was worried and her voice broke, “Where are you beta? I am sitting inside my car and not able to get past my gate because of the rain and water flooding.” Mann spoke in a calm and hushed tone, “Don’t worry aunty. I think that I know where she is…saw a letter filled with clues. It’s almost impossible to get out of the city. But, we will find her.”

Sejal’s Mom broke into tears. “Beta, can you come to Churchgate. We will go together to find her in my car. My driver will take us.”

“Theek aunty. Hope the cab beats the traffic. I am coming,” Mann tried to calm her. He ordered the cab driver, “Bhaiya, please take a u-turn, speed and avoid potholes and flooded areas if possible. Churchgate.”

The driver nodded. The car screeched its way at a hurtling speed and in the flick of 10 minutes, it was speeding on the highway. Mann couldn’t believe that an Ambassador car can be so fast and furious. The driver sensed that something was wrong.




Pune Memoirs (III): Protesting against reservation, ideology and friendship

Pune Memoirs, 2005/06:

Third year in Pune

May 28, 2006:

The TYBA (Third Year) exams were finally over. Everyone waited in anticipation for the results that were delayed forever. I was constantly making this stupid joke of pulling a Rang De Basanti (RDB) climax at the University, reeling under the effect of the film that could be a mass movement in college. I was not the only one under the effect of RDB, it seems.

We were all counting the days, sitting and whining time at our college hang out in Savera with the gang. A bigger movement was taking shape all over India and it spread from one city to another, that ultimately reached Pune. Students all over the country, from  MBBS, engineers and arts, were angry over the latest measure announced by the Government and the HRD Minister Arjun Singh to go ahead with the reservation of 27 percent seats in premier institutions like AIMS, IIT and IIM for the OBC castes. We were young and reckless. After all, 20s is the age to protest against discrimination, misplaced merit which we viewed as negative discrimination to garner a vote bank.

It was a Sunday. I was bored sitting in the flat.  On that day, I took off early morning at Savera, picking up the morning newspapers and sipping countless cups of filter coffee and chai. I received an sms from P who became a close friend during the last year in college, where we were hanging out together at Savera to puff and indulging in gup shup. I walked back to the flat that was minutes away from Savera on FC road to take a shower and hastily walked back to my favorite restaurant for a quick meal. I met Sudhendhu on my way out when P buzzed, asking me to wait outside since she is on her way in the rickshaw where I’ll be picked on FC Road.

The movement was hosted by Youth For Equality and everyone would assemble at Saras Baug, Bajirao Road near Swargate where we would march from Saras Baug to Tilak Road, Deccan Corporation to end our march at Shanivar Vada. As we reached the venue, we could see flags flying against reservation and cops surveying the students’ movement with rumors spreading like wildfire that students were lathi charged.

Fortunately, nothing of the sort happened the time we reached post lunch at 1 pm and things started to move fluidly where we walked peacefully and in a disciplined manner following the crowd on a line on the bustling roads in the city. It was quite a long march and can’t remember the last time I plodded my feet for so long. We strongly believed in ideology and a quest for a better and equal India that shouldn’t have a room for discrimination.

Image credit: India.
An outside view of Sambhaji Garden off JM Road in Pune.

Today, it’s a different story that my ideology has shifted drastically away from the misplaced capital system where I find myself more in sync with leftist socialism. Needless to say, I have a significantly altered view-point on the whole reservation issue after reading several scholar articles on groups lacking access to education and there is a certain ground reality that we cannot ignore.

As we sweated it in the sun, we indulged in discussion on the whole issue between sharing fags and P rightly observed that this march wouldn’t make any difference to a chai or paan wala who is more concerned to make both ends meet, ensuring that his children don’t sleep on an empty stomach and on how to send them to school. It’s a valid point that has relevance even in today’s times. Time was flying fast on this otherwise boring Sunday where it didn’t struck us that it was almost past 4 pm as we sat at the Chattrapati Shambaji Garden on JM Road sipping chai and resting our tiring legs.

It was fun times to be in the city. I constantly pulled P during the entire year in Savera and she would get angry, protesting at my antics and the next breaking into a cackle of laughter. But, we were thinkers who could also have a passionate debate about issues. We spoke about a classmate who was planning for DU (Delhi University)  and has boasted about how he will never go through reservation under foreign quota, but would rather give entrance exams. But, sometimes, ideology fails when it doesn’t suit your interest. The man who faced the truth about the DU exams decided to opt for a seat under the quota, ultimately. It can happen with people where all their self-claimed ideologies go for  a toss. I found it ludicrous. Why boast about ideology when you will ultimately choose the easiest route?

At that time, I was trying for Mumbai University to do my Masters and was eligible under the NRI quota but decided that I am not going for it. As a proud Indian, I told the administration that trying under the merit list suits me when my results will come. It was either a do or die situation for me. It was one of the reasons that I was anxious about the result getting delayed and desperately praying to secure a first class. Ultimately, I sealed my seat in the Second Merit List at Kalina Campus. Delay meant not being in time for admission and there was always the risk of being royally fucked in the ass. I shared it with P who told me, ‘I am so proud of you Vishal.’

We parted ways in the evening. The cherry on the cake was that we crossed the path with N who was apparently the darling of college dudes and on whom I had such a soft crush in the first year. We cheerfully said Hi to her and exchanged pleasantries, talking about the reservation march for few minutes before she disappeared.

It was one of the memorable friendships carved during the college days with P and the bond that makes everything so vivid as if it was yesterday only. How I wish time would never fly so fast! I mean, we take every good thing for granted and at that juncture in life, we never realize that nothing stays forever but the only thing that would matter are the memory, friendships, and bonds. It was the last days that I was spending in Pune where good things were escalating one after the other that would make one miss the place like hell. College life was almost over. The best in my life.




Jab Harry Met Sejal is about being hopelessly in love

Film Review: Jab Harry Met Sejal

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Producer: Red Chillies/Gauri Khan

Rating: Three stars

Genre: Rom-com

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Aru K Verma and Evelyn Sharma.


A journey of love is not about conquering or possessing hearts but making every drop of water count. Relationships are complex so are humans.  Jab Harry Met Sejal (JHMS) narrates the tale of two characters who are dramatically opposed to each other but at the same time gullible. Harry and Sejal are not flawless or infallible. Imtiaz Ali is one director who believes in the films that he makes and the human emotions he weaved in the film will remind us of people whom we have met at some point or the other in life. JHMS is a human story that will warm your heart. It is very relatable and reminds us of the follies we made in life that would light our faces with a smile.

Shah Rukh Khan effortlessly plays Harry as the travel agent who is never shy in telling, ‘Mein ladkiyon ko gande nazar se dekhte hai.’ It truly embodies the Imtiaz Ali franchise where his one-liners or dialogues have always been his forte and this is what makes his movies stand out from the rest. SRK is charismatic and endearing as Harry. He doesn’t rise above the script but is sublime as Harry, delightfully slipping into the skin of the character. It’s an act that touches the heart.

Sejal is fun-loving and full of zest. Anushka Sharma is electrifying in donning this character, at times weird and quirky with her Gujarati accent that you will drool over. She is simply stunning and wins the heart. One of the most amazing actresses that we have, Anushka is like the light feather and the hatke girl who stole your heart in the not so distant past. There is so much of Sejal in an ex-flame. She is caring. She is selfish. She can be brutal yet want to lean on your shoulder for you to take care of her.

There are some scenes in the movie that will sweep you off the feet. First, when Sejal tells Harry to consider her as his girl friend till the time they are together but is selfish for she will leave him for his fiancée back home. It’s about human weakness, compassion and reminds us that love is all that we need and triumphs over and above everything.

The discussion between Harry and Sejal about finding God is something that we all have done, dhunde mein bhi bhagwaan milta hai. It can’t get more real than that. She told me that one day. It is this vulnerability in love that Imtiaz Ali has treated in a sensitive manner. Love can hurt but is a medicine to heal hearts. The scene when Sejal and Harry sleep on the floor and end up cuddling each other will touch every soul who has ever been in love. The heart knows no reason.

Of course, there are some hilarious scenes that will make you laugh your lungs out. Sejal following Harry in the lousy bar and the letter Sejal writes in the case there is legal intercourse, Harry will be absolved of all charges. Of course, the encounter with Don Gas (Chandan Roy Sanyal) where Harry turns the table on the former breaks the monotony and brings the laughter alive.

Imtiaz Ali brings out the ring analogy to the fore in depicting the love growing between Harry and Sejal which also shows the palatable chemistry between both actors. It sends a strong but proverbial message on the lies that humans make and we look for emotions far away but its simplicity lies within and near us.  What you seek is seeking you makes for a strong statement but a down to earth philosphy about life, love and relationships. For me, the lost ring analogy depicts love and weakness in all its forms. It’s simple and endearing.

Of course, Jab Harry Met Sejal is not the best script that will blow your mind like Jab We Met, Socha Na Tha, Love Aaj Kal or Highway did. It’s not the best work of Imtiaz Ali for he borrows from the same old tried and tested formula. There are moments in the second half that moves at a sluggish pace that work against the film but also that Shah Rukh Khan’s entry is too ordinary that doesn’t live with his superstar image.

JHMS stand out for its human narration about human emotions and tribulations that tug the heart. The way the song Hawayein has been shot is not only electrifying but is a personal favorite for both SRK and Anushka brings so much energy that electrifies the screen. Do watch the film for it means to be hopelessly in love. Fuck logic. Love is not about practicalities but losing all senses.




WoW: The friendship that I will carry till my grave


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. Today is Friendship Day and am writing about one of my most unforgettable friends, Adi and a bond that spanned over more than a decade. The prompt is, ‘The Unforgettable Friend’.

Friendship Day: The Friendship that I will carry till my grave

Friendship is the serum of life. There are some bonds which are rooted in heaven.  I am a sucker at human emotions. When it comes to my bond with people, I become teary-eyed and feels like it was just yesterday that we hit it off. It’s my best friend, Adi. We just had a long conversation on whatsapp. He is back in Australia after he went back to get married in India this year. What better time to speak again like it during the old times’ sake. Rummaging through the pictures when he celebrated his birthday on August 5 and it was exactly on August 6 that we planned his surprise birthday party in Pune. We were second-year kids in 2005. It was crazy. Strange coincidence, isn’t it? Friendship Day this year fell on August 6.  12 years later!

How I wish that the clock could be turned backward to recreate and relive those memorable days! It were the days of bliss and letting the hair down. I remember once after college, we were just off from British Council when his friend was coming down to Pune and he laughed to tell that some chick was coming to meet me from Mumbai. I was non-plussed. His friend N was coming from Nagpur. He told me in broken French, ‘La fille est pour toi’ (The girl is yours). We made every moment count. We fought and pulled each other’s legs. I often smile when I think how he hated the smell of milk. Once, someone was boiling milk in the kitchen and he was entering the milk when I took the milk pan to brandish right in front of his face. He ran towards the door shouted, “He mama.” We both hated it.

To think, the first time that we spoke in college was really bizarre. I was weird. I didn’t know what hit upon my head to walk up to him during the first year to say that let’s go for a movie. Poor dude went blank for a few seconds and must be thinking that I am gay. There was a ‘chick’ story behind this incident. But, the moment we started hitting off, there was no looking back with the booze and smoke every Saturday. It’s such an unforgettable trip of friendship and togetherness. Aunty would always say that we are like twins and he hated it.

Of course, we had petty squabbles but the next day, we would be sitting and drinking together again. He has always believed in the voice of reason while I am the opposite. That one time, when I traveled all the way to MG Road from FC Road to buy two packs of triple 5 cigarettes and paying an extra 70 bucks for rickshaw didn’t make sense to him. How stupid, he would say. Or, the countless cup of chai that we would be having and he will just ask, ‘Smoke or let’s go for a fag…asshole I told you not to smoke now…at least you could have waited for me.’

There was a pot of knowledge inside the hall where I was sleeping. It was a huge jar where he smoked over the months,  emptied the ashes and butt inside. The pot of knowledge as he would call it was filled to the brim until the end of our exams. One fine day, he walked inside, picked the pot and discarded it, saying that it’s not needed till the exams are over. In all friendships, there are trials and tribulations. He became cold at some point when I left for Mumbai. It was entirely my fault.  Things were changing between us. I was going through my mood swing and withdrawal symptom where I wasn’t in touch for a while for some reason or the other. But, we somehow ended up hurting each other.

True friendships are the ones that bear the scars but withstand the test of times. One fine day, I remember getting a call in Mumbai from an unknown phoren number. It was Adi! With time, facebook brought us closer like it used to and whatsapp made things easy calling each other to chat about things. There is something about close friends who are much more than siblings. We get to know when each other is in pain. We may not know it literally but I have received phone calls from Adi when I was in the dumps. It lifted me miraculously. There is another friend who is like that to me. I am blessed that way.

I was among the first people whom he called last year to tell that he was getting married. It came as a surprise.  Him! Of all the people. It’s a tale of an unforgettable friendship that I will carry beyond my grave. There are some friendships like that. They are special. I do miss him and the times that we would spend together. It was too good to be true. The Pune days. Feels like a dream, at times.

Happy Friendship Day