Sunday, January 31, 2016

Show some love - Part 2

We watched the movie Airlift yesterday and liked it very much! And I am sure, so many other people share our sentiments, which I believe is a good good thing. At some level, all of us belong to a common identity, a nationality which is above everything that we stand for. While, I am in no mood to give a sermon and I am sure, whoever is reading this right now, does not need a prescriptive lecture about the identity that I am talking about, this is more to do with a dialogue that is an absolute must.

Day and night, we talk about issues with our country - corruption, pollution, crime, just everything that is depressing and dirty. I rarely ever come conversations that are positive and talk about the good things that happen all around us. For example, I had no clue about bringing back of Indian nationals from Kuwait, during the Iraq invasion, however I have read and heard so much about the Babri Masjid issue. The point to be noted here is that both events took place within a couple of years of each other, one lead to so much hatred and blood shed and the other was the quiet reassurance that being Indian gives you an identity to belong to wherever, whenever.

How difficult can it be dear blog, to accept that there are hundreds of acts of kindness, of humanity, of love that take place all around us. How difficult can it be to talk about them more often, how difficult can it be to write posts and make documentaries and movies on events and issues that have brought about a positive change, however small it may be. While, I see social media increasingly taking our mind share everyday, I also observe how it is used for making our unpleasant experiences known to the world. Like a rude driver's pictures, like a delayed flight status, like a defective product, like long traffic jams etc, I rarely ever across someone posting, way to go #indigo or that #flipkart  almost never disappoints or that #trafficpolicerocks.

Let's be a little more kind dear blog, a little more humane, a little more happy. By the way, just as an after thought, I love the reverberating sound of national anthem that is played in Mumbai cinemas, how nice it would be if it was played across all the screens in our country. A little love, and a lot of respect can never hurt.



Good night :)





Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mid life crisis or what!

Can you believe dear blog, first post of the year and I am going to write about experiencing mid-life crisis cum career issues! It is slightly early, I suppose for having such ideas, but then can I help it! Not really, so I will rant till my heart's content. As you know I love my job, on most days that is and today was not one of those love-hate days, it was in fact a normal, unassuming kind of a day, nothing which can have an impact positively or negatively but still I was getting these weird, absolutely non-practical kind of ideas. Hence, I thought, what can be a better idea than typing it down, to create a day-memory just in case I get serious about changing my career some day.

You know what my problem is, I am not satisfied with the ordinary, I like everything with a little more. Like these days I am feeling, I am not doing that little more outside of work and hence the need to look at alternate career choices. While discussing and thinking about a range of career options from being a pilot to being a failed software engineer, I realised I am not as smart as I think I am. Infact, there is hardly any real job that I can do, except what I am currently doing. But you know, there are a lot of non-real jobs, the jobs that don't pay for the lifestyle, that I may really want to do some day. Like teaching, teaching children who don't have access to good quality education, like being a project manager for health and sanitation somewhere in the rural part of the country, like starting an enterprise to encourage the small-scale artisans somewhere in interior Rajasthan. I mean, there are real people who do these non-real jobs right. Only, if I had some encouragement, a lot of courage and no desire for this big bad city life that I almost love.

Oh dear God, why can't I have it all :) 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

M for Men!

It's beautiful coming back to my blog, I always say that and I always mean that because it's this blog that makes me feel at home. Isn't home that only place which could be messy or small or big or palatial but it will make you feel good, it will make you see the world with rose tinted glasses. Well I could go on and on, about how I feel about my blog right now but that's not the point, because I want to write about something that I usually never write i.e men.

Apparently it is Men's day today but that's not how I got on to this idea of writing about the wonderful men in my life. It actually struck me when I was chatting with a colleague at work about this adorable movie - The Intern. We talked and talked about how the movie was so warm and fuzzy with real people and real relationships. The one thing that really stood out in the movie was the character of Robert De Niro. He was that quiet, mature man, who always knew the right thing to do and the right thing to say. That is the class of gentlemen, that may be rare but surely not extinct. Take my dad for example, he is amazing, intelligent, supportive and always a thorough gentleman. Then there is my husband who is charming, smart, caring and humble. I have a good boss too. And I can bet, how these men, make life so much simpler and sweeter. The slight challenge with today's women including myself is that we think we can do it all by ourselves. And may be we really can, but then do we want to. I mean I know for a fact, that I don't like driving,  I hate paying bills, I can't change a tube light, I can never reach the top of my wardrobe and the list will never end. But more importantly you know, I need a strong, broad shoulder to cry on, a big hand to hold while crossing the road and someone to call my own.

Like everyone else, men too need to know, how much they are valued and loved. How life wouldn't be the warm, comforting life that it is if it were not for them. So, all the wonderful men out there,please don't change and continue to be who you are.

Hugs ( only to dad and hubby :))

Monday, August 31, 2015

People :)

It’s weird where and how you meet people, its weird how you meet them for a little while but they leave you with something - a thought, a moment, a grudge or just a smile. Last month, I was in Delhi, yes, yet again, and I was in a cab heading home. A young boy, not more than 5 years old, came and pressed his little hands and nose on the window pane. He mumbled something to the effect of being starved. I reached out to my wallet and handed a 20 rupee note. Just before he fled away, I screamed from the window Khana khanaThat was it, suddenly my well behaved Uber driver got upset with me. He told me, that what I just did, was unethical and is encouraging the menace of begging. He further added, that it is the day job for these kids, to find people like me, get their sympathy and earn a quick buck. I smiled lightly and commented, what is a quick buck – getting meager 20 rupees for food? He didn’t let me off the hook and went on to talk about begging, the parents of the street children who force them to get money for alcohol et al. I tried reasoning with him, on how it is difficult to say no to young, shirtless child, asking for food. My driver was not convinced and told me about his life, his struggles. He said, he married and has two children, both of whom study in school. He mentioned how his wife insists if he doesn’t go to work on a particular day. He said that today, he is able to take care of his family because he works hard day and night. Likewise, he shared that all men, irrespective of what their socio-economic status is, can if they want to raise their children, feed them and send them school, and it is only men who don’t want to take responsibilities, send their children to beg and their women to fake illness outside.

Other day, while I was heading for work here in Mumbai, I saw this auto rickshaw person who blatantly spat twice the red betel paste right in the middle of the road. I got furious and called him out, I asked him if he does behave the same way in his home the way he behaves on the road. He looked straight in my eye and said he does. I told him further that he should clean up the mess he has created, and this littering is a way of misbehaving. He growled at me and accused me of smoking, well I looked straight in his eyes and said “I don’t smoke so he might as well leave the argument”. The traffic light turned green and I went off. I was also in Ludhiana for some work and chatted with an Ola cab driver. (Don't know how I end up chatting so often though :-)) You know dear blog, he was so excited to know that I work in Mumbai. He told me how he was going to go to Canada once, but then family responsibilities held him back. He had this little that he could never move out of his small town life.  May be all he really wanted from his life was to live in a big city and not drive the cab around in Ludhiana. 

I guess I like talking to people, to people who aren’t even friends or family or acquaintances. I just like the way you become a part of their life by sharing a story, by listening to a story. I am a HR professional and sometimes the best part of my job, is to be able to talk. I can talk and I can listen, and mostly it is about how people from different backgrounds, interests and thought processes have traversed different paths to reach where they have. Many people in fact most people have simple, non-descript kind of stories but that is what makes it special, makes it endearing. Simple stories, simple people!

I am dear blog, in a breezy, reflective kind of mood. You get it, don’t you? :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#Brave and Beautiful

It is such a wonderful time to be born in, dear blog. There is so much to know, so much to admire, so much to be inspired from. The other day, I was randomly surfing on Youtube when I found a beautiful campaign by Dabur Vatika. The video showed a cancer survivor getting dressed for her first day at work after recovery. She looked at herself with apprehension, for she had no hair now. The video ends with her husband and friends showering her with a lot of love and affection. The tag line was something like, how some people don't need hair to look beautiful. I was moved to tears, partly because I have seen cancer patients in my family and partly because the video was an amazing tribute to the strength and courage of a woman.

While what I have described above was a campaign to be showed on television, there were other videos too. The videos had stories of women from eclectic backgrounds, describing what they went through during their fight with cancer. An 18 year old and a hairdresser, both talked with tears in their eyes, about the pain, the treatment and the agony of losing their hair. Fact of the matter is that hair is an integral part of how a woman looks and to lose them can be quite traumatising. It is a surprising fact, that while there are hundreds of campaigns on being fair, flawless, thin, having long hair etc there are hardly any on being brave, kind, courageous!

Anyway, campaigns or no campaigns, there are people enough and more who lead the way. Couple of days back, results of the highly coveted Civil Services exams were out and guess who made it to the top. A differently abled woman, Wow, I mean, such a stunning victory it is. I read and read more articles about her, on where she studied, what she likes, where she worked and so on. There may thousand of congratulatory notes now, but when she was in her struggle, she was alone. When she was turned down in 2010, she fought it out by herself, for herself. Hats off to the spirit and more power to Ira! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#WeDon'tLoveSalmanKhan

Haven't I made my stand clear dear blog with the title that I have given to the post. I am appalled, aghast, shocked, all at the same time. There is this one actor, celebrity, whatever he may be, killed a person due to his callousness and there is a sympathy wave for him!! Like really, are we losing it collectively as a society. When I saw the NDTV snippet on my phone which flashed that Salman Khan has been convicted, I thought, finally at last, after all these years at least he is proven guilty.  Little did I realise, that the same NDTV snippet, evoked so many different emotions. People feeling bad, coming out in solidarity, showing sympathy, hash tagging in his support. What kind of society does that, what kind of people show sympathy to someone who killed a person and gravely injured four others in his drunken revelry. How insensitive can it get when Bollywood comes together and comments on how people should not be sleeping on footpath, how it is equivalent as commuting suicide. I fail, and fail miserably to see reason in any of the argument that has been given today in support of Salman Khan. 

There are other people too, who vociferously argued, that "it doesn't matter" because even his getting convicted won't change anything. He will get bail, he will appeal in higher courts and thus nothing will change. I don't understand such deep rooted cynicism, he may get bail and he may go and appeal however, what will not change is that he indeed is convicted in a long pending case. What doesn't change, is that even after all these years, justice has been delivered. There can be debate on the quantum of punishment and the long delay but all said and done it is a step in the right direction. 
The more I see, I read I am convinced that there is hope. And hope is the only thing, that keeps the belief in life alive. 

Before I go to sleep in my cozy bed, a silent prayer for all those who will sleep at the footpath tonight, for all those who are less fortunate, for all those who live and die without sympathy. They won't hashtag today but I am sure, many will. #WeDon'tLoveSalmanKhan. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Women! Amazing women!

I can never get enough of women, like never ever. Aren't they absolutely amazing, wonderful creatures. Selfless and jealous, beautiful and self critical, cruel (not as much) and kind, angry and warm all at the same time. The more women I meet, the more I know them, the more I think, this one is special, that one is truly remarkable and this one, an absolute charmer. I don't think our society does enough justice to them but then, do they care. I think not, their ability to rise, rise above what seems impossible, what seems insurmountable is not a virtue but a character in itself.

The other day, I was invited to a Women's Day event, which was hosted by AD's organization. I thought much about spending an entire evening for "some" Women's Day event. But then, AD insisted and I went. Such a wonderful, incredible evening it was. I got to meet and listen to ordinary women, extraordinary in their own special way. Two of them truly touched my heart, one who at the age of 55 filed for a divorce, took up a rented flat and started working for the first time in her life. She started writing poems and articles and soon became a journalist. She says she is a content person now. The marriage was a failed one, it only took her 30 years to realize, and the day she realized, she walked out. This may be easy to write for me, but her voice quivered when she narrated, her story. The other woman, graceful and self assured was a cancer survivor, who runs her own coaching institute. She gave herself 6 months to recover physically and mentally and she did. Her enthusiasm for life never died and she truly exemplified living life queen size. These women are like hundreds and thousands of other women who have been fair to themselves and are proud of it.

There are other women too, who I meet everyday, who I think about often, who may not be as fortunate, but are nonetheless superstars. Like, I can never forget, my grandma, who died of cancer. She did not live to see my wedding, but she tried, she tried real hard, to live through her last days. She was strong and smiled often, she thanked God innumerable times during the day. Isn't that incredible, isn't that called faith.

The other day, I was talking to my new cook, she told me she has 3 daughters and 2 sons whom she has raised all by herself. Her husband, could never get enough work to feed 7 mouths. She, took it upon herself, and today, she manages to meet the ends. She cooks from morning 6 am to night 9 PM, so that her children could study and settle for a better life. I really hope, that happens for she deserves each bit of it.

On a lighter note, I watched this movie "Dum laga ke haisha", and I absolutely loved the lead actor, for she had self worth, and no self pity whatsoever! :)

That's all for tonight, dear blog. Night.

Posting a picture from the super event!