A Letter to Lockdown

Dear Friends, India has emerged as the strongest countries in the world. In times like these, what is needed most are leaders who raise the consciousness of the country to a higher level. And we are honoured to have PM #Modi#Sadhguru#NirmalaSitaraman#PiyushGoyal#YogiAdityanath (to mention a few) they have worked relentlessly to keep us safe. Nipping the bud before it spreads. To find light in darkness and solidarity in isolation. It was so wonderful to see the entire world coming together helping each other in solidarity. Never has it happened before.

We all know the truth about what has happened so far. Don’t listen and allow negativity eat into your brain… that when we are going to come out of this, a larger battle will have to be fought. A battle to sustain after we survive, and we need all the strength. A leader in times like these encourages, ensures, and motivates to keep the spirits up along with making plans to grow. Leadership cannot do without the support of its people.

When darkness ends and the sun rises upon us, let us remember the goodness in each one of us. We took care of our animals, migrants and sick, single-mindedly. Of course some have suffered… these are casualties of war, they will happen. A good leadership ensures the casualties are kept to minimum. Many didn’t buy essentials more than they needed so everyone could be served. Those who couldn’t help sat at home so they don’t add to the problem, but prayed and bled themselves seeing their businesses fail and wondered how they will stand up again. Once this ends, their battles starts to lift the economy. They need our support.

When we come out on 14th, it’s like coming into light. Having clarity about those who stood strong in times of crisis and those who let us down. Let’s us remember the foot soldiers, the policemen, army, doctors, nurses, cleaners, essential services, farmers.. who were on the frontline and kept doing the good work. The ones who fed the poor and the hungry, showing compassion to animals. There is a saying that a country which takes care of their animals, is definitely a country which will never let its people down. We have definitely raised the consciousness of each one of us as a single energy body to that level.

Let us continue to serve the animals, poor and the foot soldiers, and when we step out we ensure that feeding the animals and the poor become a habit, a ritual.. a necessity to our soul for we are one. We all pledge each one, feed one. And if we do that.. can you imagine.. no one goes hungry and thirsty.

Also, when we come out, let us be sensitive to nature. It has nurtured itself back and we are grateful. I can hear sparrow’s in my window. Different birds.. peacocks. Let us be conscious about them.. travel only when necessary, honk less, make less noise in the morning from our temples and mosques. Do you remember how they were startled with noise when we ran bells at 5pm? Let’s create less garbage, eat appropriately and allow food to be distributed to all instead of hoarding. Our health will be good. Cook at home. Watch less tv. Spend time alone at least an hour a day.. and be kind.. make a beautiful list of things we can do to sustain our planet.

Now, from 14th, let us help the ones who took the beating and on whose arms the country rests. The businesses, farmers and small shop owners. We should buy Indian, be India, travel Indian.. we might learn more about our countrymen than about others.. and learn to love each other more.. and help our people grow, for while the foot soldiers were are roots, businesses are our trees. They need to grow to give us fruit.

Our leadership will need support from us soon after. They are like the skies, they need to provide rain. We may or may not like things they do.. some have so much hate inside them. Nothing is perfect. But we need to cooperate, provide our suggestions and ensure that things happen instead of working towards things not happening. Negative energies will want to disrupt growth. We should not allow them to get into our space. And when they come we must remember today and know we had done better and we shined through. Let’s become a 5 trillion economy. Let us be an all inclusive country.. #standunited #stayunited #forindia #fortheworld

Together we can emerge as a strong and stable economy. I hope that the 21 days penance has changed us, given us clarity and hope, shown us who we are.. let us diminish fear and bring courage.. let us Stand United. Take care folks!! Love to all.

©2020 Dhanlaxmi Puja Goyal

Express Yourself – Intro

Self – Expression: the expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, or ideas, especially in writing, art, music, or dance.

Without being tainted with the burden of living, its responsibilities and a thousand manuals handed over by adults in informative years; children and animals already know the meaning of self – expression. They communicate their needs creatively through words, paintings, emotions, reactions, and play naturally from the moment they are born when they need milk or a change in diaper. They will cry and their degree of bawling will vary according to the adult response to their communication. Creatively modifying and changing their behaviour to the adult communicating back to them as a response.

However, over the years, we condition ourselves to action and response according to varied stimuli and rules are regulations we receive based on our environmental, societal and other boundaries. So, are these restrictions important, or do they curb our growth potential? Can they become a hindrance to living a full life and therefore should we then revolt and demand the freedom of full expression; or instead find a middle path where we are able to utilise the tools and restrictions available in our society to help us find expression and not treat it as a handicap.

As adults are we providing our children and us the right guidance and environment for self-expression? How would we find the right environment in the first place? Most importantly, why do we want to self express?

This 5 Part Article Series explores the importance of self-expressions, challenges faced in expressing oneself, tools for self expressions and the spiritual, assisting each other and using self – expression as an effective tool for communication, how creativity assists self expression, and emotional need to express oneself when you are a child or teen.

Read: Self Expression – Why Express?? on 11th March, 2020

Preparing for an Audition Call

insta summer (3)Receiving an Audition Call is the most exciting thing to happen to an Artist. It is an opportunity towards getting selected for your dream role. A very few percentage of Actors get selected for Series like “Big Bang Theory” and “Friends” where they become household names, and even few get to become Acting Legends. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. The first step to this journey is an “Audition Call

Audition calls come suddenly and it is important that an Actor is ready. When you do get that call, you need to be prepared with the essentials in your bag:

  • WORK DEMO: If you have done some work previously, its always great to carry a short demo with you of your best work so the Director or Casting Agent can be familiar with your work. Carry it in your phone. If someone asks, you can immediately whastApp it to them.
  • Photos & Resume: Always carry a set of Pictures of yourself and your Resume. Be familiar with what is in requirement in the Industry. Have a set of Ethnic, Western and Casual. Or whatever genre it is that you intend to audition for. A Close, Mid and Long gives a reasonable idea of you. Keep the pictures and the Resume pinned together. Always ask if the Director would like a copy of your resume and then leave it with them. Don’t just thrust it on the table. Some like it whatsApped, emailed, hardcopy. Everyone is different. Let those photos reflect the best you. If you are going for a Wedding Themed Audition, don’t leave Swim Suit pics. You want to be Selected, right?
  • Prepare: Always have a few Monologues and Acts prepared previously. Updating them regularly. Some Casting Agents send monologues in advance and some give it to you on the spot.  You cannot Audition without being prepared. Don’t waste the Director’s time. Show respect and build a reputation for being a prepared actor. Even if you didn’t fit the bill, but made a good impression, the Casting Agent and Director will remember you. So, be Honest and forthright. They are good judges of character and can spot a fraud miles away.
  • Know Your Genre: Many Actors go for auditions without knowing what they can do and what the Director wants. Be clear about what you are prepared to do and what you wouldn’t do at all. If it is a role of an 80 year old, and you could play it but you don’t want to do it because you think you would be stereo typed. Don’t go. If the Casting is for a 6 pack Boxer or Martial Artist and you are a one Packer with no Boxing background except that you watched Ali last night on Netflix, Don’t go. Many Actors line up randomly in Mumbai for all the auditions without understanding what their working characters are. You don’t need to go for all the Auditions, you need to go for some important Auditions.
  • Be Flexible: Don’t Argue. Casting Directors and Directors are looking for a character in you. They might watch your performance and give you notes and advice on how you could improvise and present again. If they do that, then it means they find potential. Listen to them and incorporate the feedback into your performance. They know what they want for their Casting to go right. You might have practiced the part many times in front of your roommate but your roommate is not Casting you. If you argue, it means you are stubborn and unwilling to improvise. Directors don’t want to work with Actors who can’t listen, improvise and apply.

Don’t forget to come in for an audition, early, it allows your nerves to relax and know your surroundings. Oh hey… remember to be confident and positive; and most importantly carry a happy smiling face. Goodluck!

Spicy Tea

kashmiri-kahwa-tea-500x500There are a few equipments which have changed for a Writer. They do need writing material, a vivid imagination and something to feed it. While furiously weaving stories; there comes moments when we need something which creates relief between thinking, writing and consolidating. In the deep dark nights its always either a little Scotch, Whiskey, Coca Cola (for Stephen King), Turmeric Milk, Coffee and in my case a cup of Spicy Tea. Two cups will relieve confusion and create an ambience of support for you in those dark endless night times when the mind is searching for clues, words, and cover ups.

Then, when morning happens, my mother realising I was up all night… peeps into my room and asks, “you want a cup of tea.” I say, “naa, its okay,” She asks “are you sure, looks like you need one“. You say “I’m Okay”. She says, “I’m making it for myself, so I could make an extra cup.” Then I say, “Okay, if you are making for yourself then make for me. Hold on I will make it for both of us.” This is an every morning conversation between us.

Here’s the recipe for SPICY TEA:

You Need: Water (500ml), SPICES: (Thumb Size Ginger piece, Two cloves, Five Black Pepper balls, Nail sized Cinnamon stick,) Half a spoon Indian Tea leaves. Half a Lemon, Sugar or Honey (your preference)

  1. Put the water in a pot, let it come to a boiling point.
  2. While the water reaches a boiling point crush the spices in a mortar.
  3. Add to the water and let it boil for about 4 minutes.
  4. Add Indian Tea leaves, boil for another 3 to 4 mins. Can be boiled more if you need it stronger. It’s is just to add colour. It can be done away with if you don’t desire Tea Leaves.
  5. Strain in a Cup. Add Honey/Sugar as desired (recommended quantity is half a teaspoon of Sugar, or One spoon of Honey) Can be done away with too.
  6. Squeeze your lemon.

You will learn your taste as you make. you can increase or decrease the spices accordingly.

TIP: if you so desire to add some milk, then do away with lemon and honey, just add sugar. In this case add the milk in the pot after the tea leaves, let it boil and then strain.

Making Tea is sacred. It is a conversation starter, opportunity to make friends, icebreaker, healer, and consoler. Don’t forget to make yourself my Spicy Tea and share your experience with me. I would love to have your favourite Tea, to accompany me in my writing adventures, do share your recipe with me as well.

“I don’t want tea,” said Clary, with muffled force. “I want to find my mother. And then I want to find out who took her in the first place, and I want to kill them.”

“Unfortunately,” said Hodge, “we’re all out of bitter revenge at the moment, so it’s either tea or nothing.”

Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

Spayed

1920px-Henri_Rousseau_011
The Snake Charmer is a 1907 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau (1844–1910). It is a depiction of a woman with glowing eyes playing a flute in the moonlight by the edge of a dark jungle with a snake extending toward her from a nearby tree.

Renewed every Summer,
The snake finally shed its
skin at 80.

The Neonate bore its ugly
head from the nest.
Primal with Life.
Its scales inherited definite hue.

One summer, nipped for fear,
A tooth fell, Venom Void,
it preyed on a Rat.
Rarely, do Rats show Courage.
This Rat scavenged on the
Neonate’s tail. Left to Bleed.

One Summer, nipped for Nectar.
Ecdysis.
Warts from sickly tail,
Met its end.
Snakelet, Primal with Life,
Slithered anew.

The Snake’s hood, STILL,
Held a vibration deep.
Primal with Life.
Followed its Need.
Charging upon Prey,
It Chanced a Charmer so keen.
It raised its head,
attempting to devour its meat.
Then while the Venom released,
The other tooth fell into
The Battle Ring.
Offguard, the Charmer snapped
Its head from behind with its fist.
Or so the story has been told,
Of how the Snake was Spayed.
Now rests in a basket,
With Darkness, without Grey.

Summer’s end,
The snake lies coiled with
the Gnawing Rat, Toothless.
Finally shedding its skin at 80.

Reincarnate like the Phoenix,
It set Fire to the Skies.

© 2020 Dhanlaxmi Goyal