Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sadhana Shivdasani - my imaginary guru

I was three years old when my dad took me to the movie theatre, in Mbeya, Tanzania, where we lived. I discovered how grand our world was through the Hindi Cinema. It was magic. I was mesmerized with the songs, colours and language as I watched the movie Rajkumar, starring Sadhana. I was completely in love with the actress. She was a beauty—her voice, her hair, her smile, her fashion—everything about her was a reflection of what I wanted to become. I can go on forever speaking of this beauty queen.
By age five I was certain that Sadhana and I were destined to be together. So I asked my dad if he could marry her.
“I’m already married to your mother,” Dad said.
“But Sadhana is so beautiful,” I said.
"So is your mother."
Now let me make it clear that I love my mum very much and she is a complete beauty as well. But Sadhana was someone I desperately wanted to meet. Sure enough my scheme of splitting my parents and having my dad marry Sadhana didn’t work. So I captured her in my imagination, think up a dialogue then act and pretend to be her. She became my imaginary guru.

When I watched her in Waqt, a Yash Chopra production, released in 1967, I wished I had a piano to play music and sing like her. Instead I danced and swirled my body around a curtain and sang the song, smiled, played pretend. My family would laugh at me. But I did not let my imagination die, because Sadhana kept me alive.
I remember every Sadhana movie and where I'd watched it. Such as Ek Phool Do Mali at Shan theatre, in Nairobi, Kenya. Or many more memorable movies like Intequam, Arzoo, Mera Sayaa, Mere Mehboob, I’d seen them in Dar es Salaam with my parents, mostly at Empire Cinema or Avalon theatre.

I had not seen Woh Kaun Thi, which was released in 1964. Mum had told me the story and I’d dreamed to watch it one day. Then finally, it was showing at Cameo Cinema when I was around eleven years old, but it was rated as not suitable for children due to a ghost story. I was really mad at my dad when he could not convince the ticket master to allow me to watch the movie. I cried and cried. Then at age thirteen, when I lived in Arusha, Tanzania, Woh Kaun Thi was showing at Metropole Cinema, a special Saturday afternoon show. No one realized how important this movie was for me. I could not convince any one to go with me, but my aunt gave me money for the admission. So I walked to the theatre, got myself a ticket, and finally watched the movie—alone.

Though, Sadhana quietly disappeared from the Hindi Cinema in early seventies, she remained my imaginary guru.

Rest in Peace, Sadhana Shivdasani (September 2, 1941 - December 25, 2015)

(video clips shared from various You Tube channel)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Downsize my Home: What a Joy

The month of July has started with so much happiness. I feel energetic and excited about life itself.

Wow! what a joy to downsize my home. I can't even remember the half things that I gave away. It's amazing when one does not miss the materials they once had. 

And when my 89 year old uncle-in-law came to visit, he blessed us (hubby and me) with much happiness and love. I felt that we'd made the perfect decision ever. The best was the flowers he brought for us, which we're enjoying on our patio. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Celebrating The Beggar's Dance

Reading an excerpt from
The Beggar's Dance
The Beggar's Dance book launch was a celebration with people who supported me during this five year writing journey.

Joyce Gram introducing me

My editor Joyce Gram shared her story about how much she enjoyed working on this project before introducing me.

The party getting started - emcee Liz Schofield

I am blessed with family and friends who helped at the event - my husband, my son, my sister-in-law Zain, my brother, my goddaughter and two friends, Rozy and Zahra, and fantastic emcee Liz Schofield.

Book signing with Gloria Barkley

Highlights worth mentioning:

  • My mum crying before I had even started the presentation.
  • Gloria Barkley attending and getting my book  signed.
  • Me wearing high heels for the three hours. 

Moments I shall cherish forever. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Books have arrived - The Beggar's Dance

The Beggar's Dance by Farida Somjee

Somebody pinch me
  Is this for real
Must be a dream

I gaze at the box
 and smile
Yes, it is a dream

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Journey of Joy and Love

Rose Quartz & Rhodonite bracelet
Here is a Rose Quartz and Rhodonite bracelet I made a while back. A symbol of love. That day, I wore it during my yoga session and took my attention towards the heart chakra, chanting the sound YAM.
  The same evening, I wore the bracelet when I went out. Not knowing that this ordinary bracelet would soon become a journey of joy and love.
 I unexpectedly met a friend. She commented on how lovely the bracelet was, and spoke from her heart how much she loved my design and the beads.
   I removed the bracelet from my wrist and gave it to her. She was surprised and thrilled, and kindly accepted the gift. I felt that I was also sharing my heart chakra energy with her. But when I got home, my heart was more energized than earlier. That's when I realized; it was she who was sharing her heart energy with me.
  It's true, when you give unconditionally, the universe gives back thousand times more.