The Bollywood guide to communication!!

Bollywood has projected the true essence of India in many ways – in terms of our bondings, our relationships, our dreams, aspirations, our families, our culture etc. A lot fictional but heart touching too.

I’m a great fan of Bollywood, having more of romantic and inspirational movies as my favorite than all other genres. A die hard romantic at heart but somewhere movies leave a lasting impression for me for good. I’m one of those completely crazy chaps who literally goes ‘Awww’ing at any romantic scene or dialogue.

Think of the movies like – Kuch Kuch hota hai where Kajol left Shah Rukh without confessing her love or Chak De India where Shah Rukh was not given a chance to prove his innocence on being blamed for the loss of match and it took him years to return to coach a women’s team.

Why I am taking the Bollywood route here is, to shift your focus to the biggest chord of relationships – Communication. The key to any relationship be it with parents, your friends, your life partner or even at work is definitely communication. Bollywood has been a great medium to showcase the different colors of communication and relationships, just everything under the sun.

From Bollywood perspective, I know if Kajol had confessed her love in the beginning or In Chak de, if Shah Rukh proved his innocence at first – then for sure there wouldn’t have been a love story on friendship nor an inspiring story of a coach giving his best to the country by training a women’s team in the most unconventional manner. I draw a great parallel between Bollywood and real life in terms of relationships, bondings etc. I would love to outline my perspective of communication in comparison to Bollywood with it’s varied colors.

Cutting straight to real life – not everyone gets a second chance to prove their innocence or confess thoughts that are on your mind. How often have I heard people say that they had a crush on someone to whom they never confessed or even parents for that matter – how often do we tell them we love them or even apologise for being rude or spare more time and talk to them on calls, when you are away from them. I have seen how life can bring you to the stage of guilt and there are only regrets left , nothing else.

I have had my share of realisations and observations that were definitely a learning experience for me. Right from my interactions with my parents, my family to my friends or observing colleagues’ and their relationships. I always liked my late cousin brother who was such an inspiration to me. When he passed away last year, I only have guilt within me that I never got a chance to praise him, give him a hug, tell him how much I admire him etc. Now Everytime I think of him, I end up saying – ” How I wish I had…. “.

I have often realized and lamented the fact that we take our parents for granted. There have been times when I would want to take care of them , be with them 24/7 because in their old age they become your children, but you have other responsibilities that pull you off to another world. I really admire people working out of their homes, staying in different cities, away from their parents earning and making a living. I have observed how difficult it gets for them but these days technology has helped them to a great extent to keep in touch with their children. Most of us crib of how much technology has affected our relationships but look at the boon side to it – these days our parents aged 60-70s are adapting to new technology to stay in touch with their children be it via WhatsApp,video calling, posting pictures on Instagram in remembrance of their kids or even emailing. There’s a great sense of happiness to it. I’m sure they miss the old times of letters and postcards but they are beginning to adapt to change for the sake of their children. Think of the movie Border, where every soldier feels so happy on receiving a letter from their loves ones and how they were able to express their love only through these letters or when they met their families once in 6 months. Think of the scenario now, how much strength and encouragement a video call or a message from their families holds to them.

Remember the movie, English Vinglish where Sridevi begins to learn English to support her family, to prove to her husband and kids that she has more to herself than just being great at making laddoos. It is how a mother takes it up on herself to prove and be on toes with her kids and husband and learn English so that she is on par with them.

Bollywood is a great example of communication when it comes to expressing love by parents or partners. Observe Shah Rukh in Kal ho na ho or Ranbir in Ye Jawaani hai diwani – the openness in expressing their feelings towards Preity and Deepika, brings about a sweet essence of love in friendship. How Shah Rukh annoys Preity but yet brings out the best side of her forms the crux of any relationship. It is important to have both the sweet and salty element in every relationship to keep up the spice in life :). The other point to highlight is definitely openness. Be Frank and open to your partner, speak your heart out, at the same time the other partner listening should not judge or draw conclusions based on the conversations. That spoils the entire relationship. Think of Kareena in Jab we met, how much she chatters. Every girl is that talkative who wants a Shahid to listen to her all the time and smile at the madness (Though post marriage the scenario gets depressing hahaha).

I have a big realization that every person wants to be heard in some or the other way, but is queit and secluded, all because of fear of being judged and questioned. Do not judge your partner, he/she shares something with you with the trust that you are listening to them, and you will respect their views or make them understand what is right or wrong and not judge them. Live up to their trust. Think of Dear Zindagi, how Alia approached Shah Rukh, who was unbiased, selfless yet so practical and full of experience to have helped her come out of her depression in the most smoothest manner with life’s simplest lessons. Why do you think people under depression go to counselors and psychiatrists for help? Because they want unbiased, non judging people to listen to their cries, pains and help them find a way without having to judge them or demean them.

I feel we all need that one unbiased, non judging person who will treat us as our own, listen to our crazy talks peacefully without jumping to any conclusions about our character or life. We all should learn to be unbiased to our loved ones at least and not make them feel left out or judged.

Communication also underlines the fact of problem solving. How often have we seen couples or parents or the children fight or quarrel for the smallest of issues , in terms of opinions, choices, challenges, decisions etc. These issues big or small become so baseless at times that we tend to pull them for months together, unnecessary assumptions are made, talks don’t happen and it just eats up our relationships like the termites. Do not let that happen. The best method to resolve issues is to talk. To converse, to confront. May be the assumptions you make of the other person may not be true, the story could be different. Be frank to speak up and tell the other person what you did not like or like and give a chance for him/her to explain. Give a ear to the conversation, and then take decisions. This helps strengthen your relationship for good.

Like for me, my mother does not appreciate me for any little thing I do but when something goes wrong in a silly manner , she definitely scolds me. I have told my mother about how I don’t like this habit of hers . She tries sometimes not to be this strict. Such should be the level of clarity maintained in relationships. This reminds me of 3 Idiots where Madhavan built great courage to confront his conservative parents to pursue his passion in photography than take up engineering. It takes a lot of courage to be frank and truthful but it is important to share your perspectives than assume and regret later. The same holds for spouses or partners or friends or children. Speak to them in the most polite way to clear out issues rather than bottling them up within yourselves.

This may sound funny but I have a rule in my head that when I get married and my life partner and I have a fight (silly or serious) , I would ensure to talk to him before we go to bed, get things cleared, we hug and I hold his hand tight and sleep. That is my way of living up to the best relationship I would ever have and want to cherish. I don’t want to have a bonding of Jaya and Amitabh in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, where Amitabh did not give Jaya enough freedom to put forth her opinion or even respected her everytime she shared something. Instead I want to have a relationship like Hema and Amitabh of Baghban – near or far they always had each other on their mind, with constant care and understanding and that always strengthened their love, come what may.

We don’t realize that we are losing time in cherishing the bonding. Life is too short to fret, regret, be guilty about. The more you keep things to your heart, the more they eat up your time, your peace and space. Chuck issues like a six in the cricket match. The farther the ball (issues in this case) , the more happy and rejoicing you will be :).

When I focus on communication, it does not only highlight the fact of resolving issues but also being appreciative of each other’s good. For example , look at the effort our mothers take to make our meals, be it simple dal chawal to pulao or biryani. Maa ke haath ka khana – a lot of emotions attached to it. But we rarely appreciate their efforts. They care a lot for our hunger than theirs that they are always on the lookout, if salt was proper in the dal, if the rotis were enough, if something was amiss etc. Try appreciating their dishes first, see how their concern turns to the biggest relief they have ever had. I have seen that at my home with my mother when keeps asking my brother and me if the food was good, if the quantity was enough, if we had on time etc. The moment we appreciate I have seen her smile, that’s priceless. It’s not just for us, but mothers care for our friends equally and when they pack food for them, there is immense love in it and I have sensed it in my case , during college when my bestie and her mom, packed dosas for me all the time because of my love for dosas. My case was equal to my friends when my mom made something for them. Every mother’s love – cannot be measured but can be appreciated.

This holds true to every other human being. Learn to appreciate their efforts. Every appreciation gives a big boost to the relationship. Try it in your case, see how the magic happens. Even in the case of our kids for that matter – think of Taare Zameen Par, where Darsheel, the kid sparks magic with his paintings and art but his parents never appreciated that and when Aamir did, he build a great bond with him. Appreciations definitely go a long way. Even in corporate life. Do not allow your employees feel unnoticed. Appreciate their efforts and acknowledge their contributions to the team, then see how they go an extra mile to put in more and more dedication and hard work (experience speaks).

Om Shanti om – the movie though too filmy for anyone to digest the reincarnation, but I fell in love with one dialogue – “Happy’s endings. If it’s not a happy ending, then it’s not the end. Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost“. For me, life’s every moment is a movie scene on its own. Learn to cherish your relationships. Feel people close to your heart. Have good bondings, spend good times to make beautiful memories. We meet many people in our lives, everyone leaves an imprint in your life for good or bad but there’s always a learning. I cherish my relationships, though I don’t get to meet in person I try to keep in touch through my messages, I keep flipping through photos and feel nostalgic of old memories. Frankly I’m really helpless in times of being in touch but I try. Another point to highlight is – it does not mean that if a person not in front of you, then he/she is not important. You can be on the person’s mind so much that he/she could be thinking of you but never got a chance to express it to you.

My best end has to be Kal ho na ho’s dialogue – (translated version) – Today … today share one more smile … today pray one more time … today drink one more tear … today live one more life … today see one more dream … today … who knows, there may be no tomorrow :).

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