Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year Resolutions and much more...

Happy New Year to everyone! This blog was originally supposed to be called 'Year End Musings' and was to be published on 31st of December, however, couldn't even start typing it on it. Since I am writing this three days later, its the 'New Year Resolutions and much more'.

Resolution for this year aren't very different from last years, and I intend to follow through with them, unless the world comes to an end (which looks likely the way we are progressing). Career wise - its more company centric - turnover, expansion, new projects etc. Personally - Work life balance, to paint and write more, health and fitness, happiness, more travel is what I look for this year (Other micro stuff i did rather not mention). 2014 was an interesting year, managed to do stuff I hadn't thought I would, started something I thought I never could. Checked off a couple things off my bucket list, one of which is paragliding (what a wonderful experience) and the other is Shhh! from the secret bucket list ;).

One thing that I have noticed over time is how we all like to believe that we have evolved as a community/country, I believe we are still there. I am meaning to point at the very basic nature of being judgmental, I do that too sometimes. However, I try to, very consciously, not judge. We still judge, typecast, comment and basically dissect an individual and/or their act.

We keep thrashing the mindset of the older generation about how they judge us, how they judge what we do and what we say. But are we any different? Have we really progressed in our thoughts? Arent we still the same, maybe our playing field has changed. But we still stand there pointing fingers at anything that seems slightly any different from normal. I mention this as I read about the unfortunate suicide of a teen struggling with her identity, that of being a transgender. We judge people not only basis their sexual preference, we judge people on something as menial as taking an ice bucket challenge - 'She/he took the ice-bucket challenge, she/he is an attention whore.' We judge people on a whole plethora of stuff including religious beliefs.

As I always say, being modern isn't about wearing modern clothes or traveling the world, its about being more tolerant and open to people who are different from you. Who choose to do different things, express themselves differently. Modernization will truly happen when we open our arms and accept our differences, as people, as choices, as communities. The idea isn't to agree with someone or something, it is to accept to disagree and yet live in harmony. Well, the whole point of bringing this up in a post of New Year resolution, is to try and be less judgmental. Resolve to be tolerant. Resolve to be accepting.

Hoping for a brilliant year!! Wishing you all the best.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Innocence massacred!!!

Yesterday when I returned from work I was glued to the television set, watching the news of Taliban's' revenge against the Pak Army. It was a sight I never thought I would have witnessed, but I did, we all did. The mother in me cried watching the news, small innocent children were annihilated in the name of religion.

Which religion teaches you to kill unarmed innocent kids? None I believe. You want to fight for your religion? Fight with honour. Fight with equals. For centuries men have fought for they believe is righteous as taught to them through their culture and religion. But they have fought as equals. History tells us that the women, children, aged and unarmed were spared. They were allowed to live. What honour is it to kill people who can not even defend themselves.

That's what makes you terrorists, you are not fighting with honour, you are sneaking up behind the back of the most innocent people and murdering them. There is no honour, no respect in it. You are insulting your religion as well, although I haven't read it, but I am sure the Kuran doesn't tell you to slaughter children.

Many people believe what you sow is what you reap and since Pak is considered to be the terror hub of the world, they deserve what they got. But honestly did the children deserve it? The Pak Army fights for what their country and government believes in, they fought Taliban, but did their children deserve to die like this? Certainly not. The perpetrators of terror and terrorism deserve to die like this, but how many of those Army School students could be identified as one? None I believe.

My heart goes out to all those who lost their lives and all mothers who lost their children. No parent must be subjected to loosing their children like this. Although I am a patriot, but at this one time, I mourn the death of these innocent children who were targeted for religious extremism. I also mourn the death of innocence and childhood of all the children who are indoctrinated into religious extremism at a very early age. Inhuman. Irreligious. Evil.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why I dont wear the same clothes everyday yet make it simple!

Ok so some of the most successful entrepreneurs/leaders wear the same clothes everyday. That is for two main reasons: One - cutting down on the time taken to decide what to wear and Two - creating a brand identity. I agree with both points and wish I wasn't conscious about clothes and shoes. (Not very 'fashion conscious' because I believe is wearing what is relevant and comfortable to what I do) Wearing the same clothes/style everyday for me would be pure blasphemy.

Women (and some men) would concur with me when I say it is a time taking and brain wracking decision to pick out what we have to wear everyday. So I have devised some simple rules to make the decision faster. Since I work in two distinct line of professions, I have style coded my clothes... For my business meets its formal wear (Western/Indian) and for art related events/meets its arty/boho chic (Western/Indian). For non work related days... its a jeans or shorts and a tee. Simple. 

Further I have colour coded my days of the week, this reduces the choices I have and makes it easier to pick something to wear. How I arrived on the colours? My mom told me. Its also part of some ancient Hindu scripture and each colour has vibrations with each day that denotes a planet. Works as a great colour therapy as well.
  1. Mondays - White/cream
  2. Tuesdays - Red/Pink/Orange/magenta (That family and variations)
  3. Wednesdays - Green 
  4. Thursdays - Yellow/Lemon
  5. Fridays - Blue (works wonderfully as casual Friday and blue denims)
  6. Saturday - Black
  7. Sunday - Whatever you want to wear man!!
For the footwear - if I have to walk a lot on that day, its flats and if the walking is lesser then heels. 

(Disclaimer - I am no Fashion editor or stylist, just a style conscious working mother who doesn't have much time to select what to wear in the morning!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Women in India violated!

There is this latest article by an American student doing the rounds, about how she felt violated and traumatized during her study tour in India and how she ended up with the PTSD. Refer article here:

This post would seem like a continuation of my previous post about India. India is all about rich history, beautiful architecture (whatever is left of it), variety of cultures and all of that. I love this country no doubt, but the only way to be safe here is to rise above the 'common man' status. Which again would mean probably joining politics and other illegal means. Sigh. Coming back to what I really want to talk about here, women in India. Its not about having fair skin and coloured hair here. Its about every woman that gets out of the house.

I am born and brought up in India, with a fair share of exposure to foreign countries. I have been brought up in a fairly modern family in the armed forces. Majority of my childhood I lived in NOFRA, colaba, Mumbai. Very secured, very safe. And its nothing like the typical 'India' you experience outside. In my early teens, we had to move to this city of Indore, because dad had taken up a job there. Thats when the cultural difference gave me a heavy jolt. One incident where  had worn shorts and went for a walk with my dad in the colony attracted eve teasers and hooting calls. My parents had restricted me from wearing shorts, spaghetti tops, short skirts, anything that was 'inappropriate' as per the culture there. That's when I began hating the place. Any place or culture that objectifies women, doesnt let them be, isnt worth liking anyways. There were many such incidents following this one that only increased my disdain for the place.

Cut-to youth. The Real world. Back in Bombay. Working. I was back in Bombay and working. But no more in the security of Colaba. I was traveling in trains and meeting new people. I was scouring the common man's markets looking for work related things. When I connected with my Bombay again. It had changed. Although it is miles ahead of the cultural shock that Indore was. It was still different. I didnt feel safe. I had hit men at station for trying to grope me. I was reporting men for eve teasing. I was being stared at. Not only stared, there is a very crass term that men use when they look at women, its called 'chakshu-chodan'. I am sure all women here would have experienced that. There were men looking at women and pleasuring themselves in full public view. All this without any apprehension or the slightest of worry of being inappropriate. Sadly, in India only women are inappropriate, not the men.

Walking around in India with the common public, women feel like fresh meat, amidst hungry dogs. unless you are traveling in an AC car, doing rounds of an upper crust mall, and going back home, you will be subjected to everything that the article above says the student went through.

Again, I am not generalizing 'all Indian men'. But c'mon whom are we kidding. How many of Indian men are gentlemen. A fraction few in India. A very small percentage. Those men that wont eve-tease, that wont comment, that wont stare, that wont lust when they look at women. Men who would step aside when a woman is passing by, and not try to stick their elbows out so that it brushes her breasts. How many? Not many Indian men I am afraid.

The student also mentions attempted rape, that I agree happens in other countries as well, and not only in India. But what happens post rape is another story here. The women are further victimized, they let the men get away with it.

I would think all Indian women should have PTSDs cause we go through this every day, every bloody day. But we have grown thick skins now. We have learnt to hold our bags to our chests and walk. We have learnt to keep our head down and stare at the road, We have learnt to wear headsets listen to music and not hear the lewd comments. We have learnt to compromise and learnt to be victimized. We get sexually harassed everyday and don't even realize it to that extent. The saddest part is that, this has become second nature to us.  We are ok with it.

For women in India sexual harassment translates more into embarrassment, as we are made to believe time and again that its our fault and not the other way around.

I hope more mothers teach their sons to respect women. But then, will the labours, street and slum dwellers ever learn that? Maybe not. Maybe in some years the educated and learned people in India will stop existing and just move out. This co-existence is becoming more and more diificult.

Cheers to a new India. Sans the intellectual class.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Kidding!

This article about the trend where couples choose to remain childless for various reasons, triggered this post. You can refer to the article here:Why Indian Couples are not Having Kids

I have a few friends who have chosen to be child-less, mostly for not wanting to take the responsibility that comes with bringing up a child. I dont judge them. If they think they are not ready for a child then they should not go for it.

Here's my story. I got married very early. One thing I was very sure of was not to have a child immediately. But I did want a family eventually. I always hoped that I was in the family way before I hit the 30 mark, and the 'un'planning made sure of it.

Parenting isn't a joke. It takes a lot of patience and understanding to raise a child. If you think you need an active social life and need vacations and want to buy all those glossy stuff in the market, and you are not ready to give up any of the above, then my friend, you are not a parent material. There are times when the kids just drive you up the wall and you wonder why do people have progeny at all. But believe me, its worth it.

When you are vacationing in those snowy peaks, I am here changing diapers. When you are gyrating to the latest house number in the most hip-bar in town, I would be mostly cleaning sticky puke. And when you are ordering pizza after a hectic day at work, I am making garam garam phulkas and green veggies. I would happily give up all that you do to be with my child. Because that's how I think. One smile from him is worth giving up all of that. Its worth getting restricted to 'house parties' when you know the little one will doze off on your lap while you are discussing Indian Politics. Really, its worth it. You want to give the best and all that you can to your little one.

I lived the 20s the way I did. I have partied, watched movies, traveled to my hearts delight. Now is the time to make sure the kiddo gets the education he deserves, to make sure he is eating right and sleeping well. I have always wanted a family, and now that its there, my wish is fulfilled. I would gladly take the plunge and have a second one if I could afford to (time, attention and money).

Having said all of the above, and despite being a dotting parent, its essential that you balance your individual personality with that of being a parent. Because a happy parent, bring up a happy child and raises a happy individual. Also, being a parent needs a lot of commitment, take the plunge only if you know you can do it.

P.S. I used to role my eyes whenever a mother would say the sacrifices are worth it when the child smiles. If you are rolling your eyes right now, I will understand. I have been there.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

India and all that goes!

Its been a while that i wanted to blog about this brilliant country I live in. India. However, a discussion on the school friends whatsapp group really pushed me to writing it.

I am not unhappy personally. I love this country. I love that I come from a rich culture and strong heritage. I love the fact that my family and friends are here. I guess I wouldn't like to live in any other country apart from India. The sheer diversity and easy-going pace of the country attracts me and keeps me glued to it. Also, coming from a fauji background the inherent patriotism is another reason.

Having said all of the above, I have serious concerns about the country. My unhappiness, or dissatisfaction stems when I open my eyes and look beyond home. I have complaints as a citizen. The infrastructure sucks. its bad. Really really bad. Monsoons is a nightmare in Mumbai. There are potholes everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Even on the so-called newly constructed roads. There is lack of emergency services. After an accident u will die bleeding on the road but no one will come to your rescue. The authorities will argue and bicker about jurisdiction. Even of u get an ambulance, the sheer lack of civic sense and laws will make sure it wont reach the hospital on time. And we have all seen numerable incidents to corroborate these statements. I dont need to tell you how ambulances are treated on road in India.

Talking of Civic sense. I am ashamed of Indians in general. They liter. They spit. They break traffic rules. They are basically ill-mannered. Then again you would think, y should one blame the govt for this. Because of lack of education. Literacy is one thing. Education is another. We lack both of these in our country. We need better schools, better teachers, better curriculum, stricter adherence to schedules etc etc. We need responsible representatives that dont kill children with mid-day meals.

We need Population control. For my reasons and concerns regarding this, pls read the previous blog:

Poverty is a concern yes. I can not say much about the rural sector, but in urban space it is more lack of will to rise than lack of opportunities. Having worked partially with NGOs as a volunteer I know how things move around. I realize I am not supposed to feel guilty to be privileged (thats what the 'well to do' are, right?). Infact, its our taxes that pay for a lot of these people. Not sure if that money is used correctly. There are more NGOs that are doing good work than, any govt. run/affiliated organization in the field of up-liftment of under-priviledged.

If you point at me saying what have I done as a citizen to bring forth change? Here's my list - I pay taxes, I don't litter, I don't riot, I use all govt provided (whatever minimal) amenities with care, I do community service, I am not party to Brain Drain. I don't have time to do much more cause the life here doesn't allow any more time.

Today what I am or what I have made is purely by sheer hard work. There is no govt. supported  infrastructure or financial framework that helped me. I bust my ass everyday to make things work around. All I ask from the govt is better roads, 24hrs water, Safety & Security and better medical/emergency services. Rest we will manage. We have been managing for donkeys years.

But Alas! That's not to be. Everyday new scams, new controversies, debates on voting points. The citizen of the country gets lost in between all of this somewhere.

I have hope, still have hope, that maybe, just maybe, things may get better.

PS. My personal happiness quotient is very high, cause that does not include any govt provided things. It includes family and personal well being which is in optimum condition. (Again! all private players not govt. support there ;))

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I watched this movie 'Idiocracy' a 2006 Hollywood movie some days ago. The movie is stupid. Literally. But that's what its meant to be. From a movie stand-point not very interesting, and no surprise if it bombed at the box office. However, the movie stirred some thoughts in my mind.

I am a strong believer in genetics. We know for a fact that certain traits, talents, personality types, phobias, manias, intelligence and stupidity are all carried in the genes, from parents to children. The movie takes this basic fact and builds the story from there. What they show in the movie, the seed of which is starting in the US, in five centuries the whole of US will be dominated by stupid people and intelligence will be long gone. India is well on its way to this prediction. 

Couples in higher income groups, with higher education, better jobs, higher IQ are not having children. They either don't want any children or are delaying it to the point where nature may not support them anymore. On the other hand, couples in the lower income groups, when I say lower income here, I am referring to below poverty line, are having children till their women can bear them. 

The ratio of children with higher IQ is seriously dwindling as compared to lower IQ children. For a society, or country to run efficiently there has to be a balance of individuals, with whatever special skill sets they can offer. Even if everyone becomes a scholar then who would do the hard labour, or if no one is a scholar then who would lead/guide/manage/organize the labour.

Just imagine, for each couple who can provide better education, better medical facilities, better lifestyle to their children who are not having kids: there are many couples who are having 4 kids each on an average. I believe if things continue the way they are, in another few decades the ratio of intelligent people in India versus the lower IQ will seriously dwindle. 

Infact to think from another point of view, the situation in India doesn't purely depend on the genetics issue (though its a major influence), it is also influenced by the lack of administration in terms of providing education opportunities and awareness to the public with limited means.  Or maybe its a concoction of low IQ genes with lack of opportunities or will.

It scares me to think that people with low or no education will largely outnumber those with higher intelligence and proper education. And not to forget the issue of 'brain drain' that India faces. 

Adding that to the situation of the quality of population that is increasing, I wonder where our country will head in the future. 

Note: I do not support the Indian caste system, neither does this blog refer to India's caste system in any way. This is a note purely on what I feel about genetics and how it will influence the ratio of India's growing population. Although the ancient Indian system of caste was largely based on genetics, I strongly believe it does not apply anymore. My thoughts on that are reserved for another time.