Monday, March 8, 2021

Happy Women’s Day to ME

Some of us question the need for a special day dedicated to celebrate Women’s Day. Some of us say we don’t need to celebrate it because we should celebrate everyday. Some of us say there was no such day during our times, these are today’s gags. Some of us are neutral about its existence and celebrate if we get a chance and do not, if that’s not happening around us. Some of us just forward the “Happy Women’s Day” WhatsApp messages and feel good about it and some of  us are really proud and happy about being a woman so want to feel happy and pampered on Women’s Day. Whatever we feel about this day, doesn’t matter. This day exists and it is celebrated mostly on all parts of the world to celebrate the existence of womanhood. 

I would like everyone of us to cease everything that we are doing for a moment today and ponder the meaning of being a woman, the wonderful things that we are capable of doing as a woman, the way we carry ourselves, the amount of empathy and love we have within ourselves and the feeling of being beautiful inside out. For me the meaning of women’s day is to remind myself  of these beautiful things. To remind myself that I am capable of these and much more. To remind myself that I am proud of giving my best in everything that I do. To remind myself that my beauty is not defined by a flawless looking face or body rather it is defined by the beautiful heart I have which carries beautiful thoughts which I pass on to the next generation to make them beautiful. 

It shouldn’t matter to us if someone wishes us or not. It shouldn’t matter if someone does something special for us or not. It shouldn’t matter what other’s think of this day. It shouldn’t matter to us if others are getting much more importance on this day than us. It shouldn’t and it doesn’t. Because for me it  is a day when I should make myself realize how important I am. This day is for me to celebrate myself and treat myself the way I expect others to treat me. Because I believe when I treat myself specially I do not depend on others to treat me in a certain way to feel good about myself. When I am doing special things for myself I do not depend on others to show that I am special because I already believe I am. 

I know most of us fail to acknowledge and appreciate ourselves and have never thanked ourselves enough  for being what we are and doing all that we do in spite of our conditions sometimes. So this is the day to do so. Let’s try to celebrate this women’s day by being “Thankful, Happy and Proud” for being the kind of woman I am and you are.  By being our own best friends. By being kind to ourselves. By treating ourselves the way we want others to feel about us. 

Remember when we treat ourselves “BEAUTIFULLY”, we give everyone a reason to treat ourselves “BEAUTIFULLY”. 

Let’s say this again and again today “Happy Women’s Day to me because I am beautiful in my own way”.

Thank you to all the men who wished us and tried to make us feel special on this beautiful day and who believe that women are special by trying to appreciate them not just today but in their everyday lives too. Does it mean men are not? No we never said that. Celebrating a gender doesn’t demean the existence of the other. It just means we are celebrating ourselves unconditionally and when men join us in celebrating Women’s Day, it just means there are men who appreciate womanhood in true sense. 

 Happy Women’s Day! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Being a Woman of Substance

Being a woman in itself is a feeling of completeness. A woman plays multiple roles in the form various relationships in different phases of life. In these roles we are omnipresent in the minds and hearts of those who value us in the roles we play. Being able to be born on this earth as a woman in itself is a boon and being able to justify the purpose we are here for, would make our existence even more worth.

It would be a great feeling to be able to chose what we want to do as women. Being a woman of substance does not always mean to be a woman with a successful career, having a high position in a corporate or having a presence which the world can feel and see.

For me, being a woman of substance would mean being able to live my life in my own terms. Being able to do what my heart desires. Being true to myself and true to others who value me. Being able to respect others equally. Being responsible enough for your own thoughts and actions. Being non judgemental about others because they think, do or say something which you do not approve of. Being empathetic towards others. Being a good listener. Being a good adviser.

Among all other important roles that a woman plays I feel the most important one is the role of a mother. Women naturally have the power or should I say feeling of motherhood. A mother means a source that introduces a life to this world and nurtures it in every possible way, in every possible occasion. It is needless to discuss the role of a mother. What is important today is to understand the importance and significance of a woman by a woman herself. The need of the hour is to understand your own worth and feeling that within ourselves. A mother's main intention undoubtedly is to provide a healthy life style to her child. But it is primarily important for us as women to understand the importance of practising healthy life style ourselves. And with healthy life style it just doesn't stop at your physical health, it definitely includes your mental health too.  A mentally healthy mother would undoubtedly make a mentally healthy child who would grow to become a mentally healthy adult in future. Mental happiness is a process. It can be acquired with time. It happens with time. Mental happiness is never assured. We may have to work towards achieving it. That ability of a woman to keep herself mentally happy in midst of the chaos that life throws at her, is being a woman of substance. Again a healthy mental state is not something that only a mother should strive for, it should rather be the state of every mind. A mentally healthy woman is a woman of substance to me.

We have had enough discussions about who is better men or women. We have derived numerous equations on how women were deprived of her rights and suppressed in the past and even now in some cases. We have seen false cases against men where they were victims of cruelty by women. We can always keep arguing about the  about the inferiority or superiority of one gender over the other. But according to me what matters is, to be able to respect both genders equally without being biased. In any given situation, being able to stand up for the right, even if it involves disagreement with your loved ones. This does not need you to be in any public forum or any corporate organisation to practice it. This needs to be your belief and you should live by this as an employer or as a common citizen going out for shopping or as a homemaker who is one of the pillars of a family. A neutral approach to life and all genders in general is what makes you a woman of substance.

We cheer for feminism. We call ourselves feminists. But to know the actual meaning of feminism and to respect feminism is real sense is what makes us a woman of substance.

Being a woman of positive influence is what makes us a woman of substance. A positive influence to the person who helps you in your household chores; a positive influence to your husband, child or any family member; a positive influence to your team, a positive influence for your friends, a positive influence for yourself. Being able to be of meaning to everyone, being of help to everyone, being nice to everyone is being a woman of substance.

Being a woman of substance is the best gift you can give yourself. Being able to wear a smile which melts those tension lines from your forehead is the best look you should carry always.

Be a woman of substance and be proud for being a woman.

Smile, Sparkle and Shine

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A lie that destroyed every tie


She woke up horrified, picked up his phone while he was sleeping and quickly saw his messages. She started trembling with anger , with fear, with disbelieve. "How could this happen to me?" she murmured. She ran to the washroom and started crying uncontrollably. She felt sick, she hated him, she hated herself. She hated her life.

Sheena and Gautam were married to each other for 10 years now. They met each other in college and the cupid played its role. Soon after college, once they were comfortably earning enough to start a family; they tied the knot. It was a fairy tale love story where everything seemed so perfect. They were professionally reaching highs and were very happy with each other. For others theirs was a perfect love story and everyone considered them to be the perfect couple.

Sheena was bold and beautiful who loved talking her heart out. Gautam on the other hand was a quiet person who was social but took time to mingle. Always surrounded by friends, they had fun and ensured their lives were fulfilling enough in midst of all the running around and stress in the office.
There were times when they fought but it was a thumb rule for the couple to clear it up before going to bed every time.

With passing days, the relationship started to feel the stretch of time.Professional responsibilities increased leading to huge pressure at work and less time at home. Intensity of fights started increasing and slightest of disagreements would turn into huge fights. Sheena didn't know what was happening. Gautam never bothered to think about it. But conflicts led to crying, shouting, blaming each other, but finally patching up. Yes, the string attached between had began to weaken.

Gautam went on to become more busy with work to keep himself away from everyday fights. Sheena also started to concentrate on work and other hobbies to be busy and to calm herself. During this time, Gautam started talking about a colleague of his with whom he was working in his current project. As a habit he used to talk everything about his office with Sheena and many times during his talks these days he would talk about Ramya his new colleague. Sheena took it normally initially and ignored. Ramya was married and had a very loving husband Manoj. Gautam and Sheena many times met Ramya and Manoj outside office and at their respective homes for dinners and parties together. Although it was a friendship but something about Ramya's behaviour always disturbed Sheena and hence she confessed this in front of Gautam that how she felt Ramya to be artificial and selfish. Gautam ignored and just termed this as jealousy as Ramya was a female friend of his. Gautam pulled Sheena's legs for being a typical jealous wife and said Ramya was a good friend that's all.

Sheena thought she was overreacting and never expressed herself even if she disliked something between Gautam and Ramya. With time Gautam and Ramya became more close and the way Gautam always spoke about Ramya in all his topics irked Sheena to the core but she refused to express her feelings because Gautam would take it in a wrong way. But somewhere within herself she knew something was not right. Often in the night these days whenever she would wake up, she found Gautam awake and doing something on his phone. On being questioned he would say he was unable to sleep so he started playing game. Many times Gautam would hide the phone the moment Sheena would move, thinking she would see and comment on him for being awake so late in the night.

This disturbed Sheena, she had all sorts of thoughts in her mind. She decided to ask him if he and Ramya were more than friends to which Gautam reacted a bit rudely and they had a big fight. Gautam thought Sheena was overreacting and Sheena thought Gautam behaved unreasonably. But they decided to keep such fights aside and continue their relationship. Sheena was hurt, and always tried not to think much about this topic but she was unable to. She just knew that something wasn't right. She probably trusted Gautam but she was sure that Ramya's intentions were not right. Sheena didn't like her almost from their first day of interaction, yet she couldn't make Gautam understand her feelings probably because he never wanted to understand.

One night as always she woke up and saw Gautam still with his phone, she decided to stalk him and check what was it that he was hiding. That night when she ensured Gautam had dozed off, she quickly picked up his phone and scanned through all his messages only to feel the numbness in her hands and feet. She became lifeless for a while. His phone was full with messages from this girl whose number he saved as Bliss in his phone. There were messages which said she missed him, messages which said she loved him, messages where she expressed how happy she was to have him in his life, messages where she said she wanted to hold him and walk, messages which said she wanted to kiss him. Good Morning and Good night messages were shared. Everyday's activities were shared of when they reached office, when they would meet again, when they reached home. She quietly kept the phone and tried to calm herself up but she just couldn't. She just couldn't stop crying while Gautam was calmly sleeping.

The next morning was usual for Gautam, but Sheena was fighting a tornado within herself. Finally she confronted Gautam but to her surprise he denied having anyone in his life. He quickly deleted his messages and kept arguing that there was no one other than her in his life. After 5 days of fights, arguments, and proofs Sheena gave, Gautam confronted that it was Ramya who used to message him but he didn't have anything from his side. He said Ramya expressed herself and said she did this to every friend she met.  Gautam agreed and thought Ramya might be telling the truth. Sheena said she wouldn't accept these things and would want him to end this here right away. Gautam took his phone and messaged Ramya not to message him ever again.  Ramya agreed without any questions.

Ramya though hurt thought she could probably give her marriage a second chance. That night Sheena and Gautam spoke about everything under the sky, about their differences which were growing and discussed what went wrong between them that Gautam couldn't come and discuss about all these things. Gautam said he loves only Sheena and he couldn't think his life without her by his side. Sheena believed Gautam and they hugged each other and slept that night.

Back to Present:

She woke up horrified, picked up his phone while he was sleeping and quickly saw his messages. She started trembling with anger , with fear, with disbelieve. "How could this happen to me?" she murmured. She ran to the washroom and started crying uncontrollably. She felt sick, she hated him, she hated herself. She hated her life.  She just saw Gautam had written to Ramya "Darling do not worry, sleep well... My earlier messages were just to calm Sheena as she was very upset. We will meet and talk tomorrow.' Probably he forgot to erase that message after sending it to Ramya or probably he thought Sheena wouldn't check his phone again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Do intuitions Lie?

Your heart knows what your mind cannot explain. Have you ever noticed this? Sometimes I guess it's important for us to listen to what our intuition says but often we can't hear it clearly as our head wouldn't shut up shouting. I believe in talking to god while praying  and always thought god is talking back to me with intuition. I do not think I am a very religious person but I have always felt a strong connection with the supreme power which has guided me throughout my life. I sometimes understood the signs and sometimes ignored but have always felt the presence of the guidance.

While walking the path that was laid for me in life, I wouldn't say I was always right and never made any mistakes but I can say this for sure that I never regretted trusting my instincts. I found my instincts never lied to me. Many times I chose not to listen to the voice within me that probably didn't have many words. Many times I chose to ignore the few signs that I got. Many times I couldn't explain with words what I could decipher what was being communicated to me by my intuition. Many times I was helpless and had to go with the flow.

But one thing which I realized was that if something isn't feeling right then probably it isn't.. Just Listen to the inner voice coz I guess your intuition would be the most honest and loyal friend that you can ever have. Probably an intelligent person would use his/her intelligence to prove his intuitions right but sometimes it just doesn't register in our minds even if deep down you know the truth. Probably intuition always tells us what we need to understand but we humans are tuned to always listen and know what we want to know and listten. May be that's one main reason we never think much about what we do, what we feel, what we listen and sometimes what we see. Logically it might take years of experience for the mind to sort out things which the intuition can intelligently convey to the soul and our part is to trust it and probably the reason will follow with time.

I am no expert in this but I have felt the power of my intuitions and have understood that sometimes I do not need to justify or explain my feelings to anyone, I should just follow my intuition. I guess it's the thing with everyone. We just need to connect to our inner selves to find out our next course of actions. Probably the one who listens to his/her intuition can easily connect to one's soul. Your soul is the representation of you, your thinking, your knowledge, of your existence, and he who can connect to the soul can never lead a life in disaster coz the soul connects us to the supreme power. The power which is there to connect us to the roots.. connect us to ourselves.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Helping women in getting the right foundation for their career growth

In this progressive world, it has become a  ritual to be a part of the race knowingly or unknowingly. Even if we intend to sit back for a while, we just end up finding ourselves few steps behind our counterparts. In this fast track life, women are constantly trying to juggle their personal and professional lives giving utmost priority to whatever is required at that point of time. We are doing well;  no doubt on that and these days the male partners have become quite aware of the said situation so mostly men are trying to help their partners in whatever way they can.

But there are situations which many women face that might force them to keep their careers at the back seat for a while and proceed in life even if they do not want that to happen. We can take examples like pregnancy or marriage in a different city, after delivery care for kids. There are many situations in life where women have chosen family over their careers, sometimes wanting that whole heartedly but many times not wanting to do so. Even if few women have chosen their careers they have ensured they are doing justice to their families by being extra cautious and eventually have ignored their own well being and health. I agree, the decision to work or not to work is totally personal but if we decide to work isn't it fair to get the same kind of support a male counterpart would get?

My intention to write here is to bring to the notice of many what I have personally observed in the corporate world where men and women are working together. Yes we have come a long way from being a society which didn't allow women to work to a society which  allows and gives women equal rights to work. But is this enough or there are few more steps that we have never explored in giving women an equal and fair chance to compete with the world? Can we take out few moments to give a thoughtful view on are we giving women equal opportunities like men?

Yes statistically speaking,  when I google it says a shocking reality of the number of women leaders the world has today. So I don't see any point in giving numbers here as we can all Google and get the data handy. We all know, it is the truth that when it comes to positions at the top women are way beyond their male counterparts. Does it really mean women are not capable or does it mean that they have actually not got the podium to stand strong when they were in a position to chose between career and family. I may want to focus the discussion on why women ever have to stand in the path with bifurcations of career and family?

Just to take few examples, I have seen many times married women being denied a position and a male counterpart being selected only because the hiring manager thought it would be troublesome if the woman plans for a baby soon in future. I have heard HRs asking this question during interviews whether or not a woman is planning for a baby in the near future. I am sure men can raise their hands in agreement that they have never come across such questions during interviews. I have seen many girls denied leaves for marriage and eventually had to quit. I have seen many girls leaving their jobs only to go and get settled in a different place where her groom was and eventually struggling a lot to get a job in the new place due to many reasons.

I am not hear to discuss on whether or not these thoughts are right or wrong coz I have been a part of ample number of such discussions and have never seen any outcome. Rather have seen a lot of friends becoming foes because they didn't think it was wrong. So coming straight to the point, we know its business and so we would talk from the business point of view, also keeping in mind that corporate world has got some social responsibilities and how a corporate can actively contribute towards making the society more friendly for both the genders and of course the next generations.

1) Women are eligible for paid Maternity leave of 3/6 months which was defined for a good cause but may be 30% of the times a married woman is denied a position because she is eligible to avail it. Can the organizations come up with paternity leaves as well for more or less the same number of days? This will not only ensure to omit the fears of the recruiter but also help in father-child bonding. Speaking business, we can always have bench resources trained and qualified for the role of the person in leave and since it's a long process the backup can be planned well in advance.

2) After delivery many women are unable to join back because they do not have anyone to take care of the kids at home. Wouldn't it make sense if we can actively motivate such women and facilitate them to be a part of projects that can support working from home. This can be availed by women who really need it and this can also be planned well in advance. This ensures women can work without a break in the resume and can contribute to her family without hampering her career.

3) For few women the organization can arrange for some online trainings related to work or certification programs that would be helpful when women after maternity leave join back for contribution towards the business. Women can be at par with the newest technologies and terminologies and their new found knowledge can be used for the benefit of the organization.

4) There can be policies within organizations giving preferences to spouse hiring so that getting married in a different city ensures a smooth transitioning in jobs too.

5) The questions like family planning can then be directed towards both the genders in the interest of business, mandating selection based on interview results.

The above points or incidents may not be true all the time but we cannot deny the fact that these do not occur. By taking few steps towards helping women in strengthening their base we can bring about a small revolution. By just being there as help, I am sure a resource involved in training or some kind of work is always better than having a resource in sabbatical leave. This not only helps the company but also helps women and society in general.

This would ensure women who would have left their jobs at some point of time otherwise can continue their career without a break which will be helpful for them to grow to the next level. Leadership qualities and multi tasking can be nurtured in this manner which will surely be helpful as women grow up the ladder of success.

Surely this move doesn't ensure  increase in number of women leaders, that anyway depends on capability but it would definitely lay a foundation so that women do not lose the race due to constraints which are not in her hands. Utilizing the benefits for the betterment of self and the organization is solely the person's responsibility and yes those to take advantage of such policies and misuse the given opportunity should definitely be dealt with in a proper manner.

By building a system that doesn't differentiate between the genders, rather help in building a better society and better employees, the organizations would directly help in upliftment of women in general and make things equal in real sense.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

That sound of Dhaak.. That sound of Conch... That sound of Ulu Dhwani

Its again that time of the year... when happiness sees no reason
Its again that time of the year... when sorrows take back seat
Its again that time of the year... when your heart just pounds, your tears just flow from your eyes and your faith reaches its peak. For some reason you feel the pride and strength from within to see the epitome of power standing with the head held high making us believe in the victory of rights over wrongs, the good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair!!!!!!!!

Its time when you open your eyes with the sound of the Dhaak beats, the hurried last minute selection from one of the new dresses to be worn and the mirror sessions before getting  ready for morning Pushpanjali. The smell of the new Saaris... the freshness of the wet hair.. the beauty of the red bindi..
Trying to list out the wishes that needs to be read out to the goddess... Trying to concentrate on pronouncing correctly each time we repeat the pushpanjali mantra... Thousand stares at the numerous trendy attires... Confidently flaunting your own collections selected cautiously to suit this very occasion. The evening Aarti and the sound of the conch... The goosebumps on hearing the Ulu Dhwani sounds and the happiness in the smiles of the countless Mas and Kakimas...

It time again to experience the happiness in each heart, the twinkle in every eye, the jingle in every lips, the butterflies in every stomach. Its time for the writers to write, the singers to sing, the dancers to dance and every other soul to just flow with the wind that blows the cultural wave.

Its time for small chit chats, the long addaas, its time for ghostly laughters, its time to shout out all that the heart ponders... its time for the kids to paint their lives with the colors of culture, its time them to rejoice and wonder. Its time for new toys, its time to spend no study days.. Eating all that you resisted all this while, meeting people whom you missed with a smile. Its time to embrace the joys that little things bring along and to let go of the antagonism. Its time to shower love and seek blessings, its time to just being yourself and not being anything else.

Its time to play the happiness game and wish it remains in our lives forever.

Its time for Durga Pooja...  Ma Ashchen :) 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Refurbishing Relationships

We are all aware of the fact that after a point of time in our lives, things get old. In spite of our efforts to keep them shining like new or in spite of the regular maintenance and dusting, the old look cannot be suppressed for long. Some things age faster, somethings take some extra time to show the signs. But everything does age and the signs are not difficult to notice.
Likewise, relationships too age. Although we believe in the fact that relationships become stronger with time we cannot deny the fact that signs of ageing show up as our relationships grow old. Different people handle the ageing in different manner. Some become grumpy with time, some choose to ignore the differences, some work towards making it work by doing various suitable things and hence in the process the relationships either die or become stagnant without any hopes and excitement or sometimes flourish; depending on what we chose to do.
By relationships I am referring to every kind of relationship. Be it a husband-wife relationship, or a Parent-Child relationship, or a sibling relationship, or friendship of the same/opposite gender, or relationships made through marriages (in-laws). Every relationship has its own highs and lows. Some relationships are important and some are not. Some relationships make us happy,  some bring tear to our eyes. Some relationships we hate to have but some we die to have. Every relationship starts and then ages and the signs are almost clearly visible with time.
Sometimes I wonder, like how we try all treatments for our ageing skin or like how we renovate our ageing buildings wouldn't it be a wonderful idea to renovate our relationships too? Would it actually help us in maintaining it better or is it an idea to be laughed at? Would it help us live a better life or it would add burden to our already busy lives? Have we ever thought about it? Another point to ponder at is; do we need renovation and when do we need it? How do we decide that? Well, I leave that part of judging whether or not we require to renovate and when to renovate, onto our own judgement and understanding of the relationship that we want to renovate.
Here's listing down some ways which according to me would work best to make relationships flourish.
8 ways to refurbish your relationships:
1. Analyze and conclude that a particular relationship needs refurbishing and bring it to the notice of all the stakeholders as soon as one identifies it. All the stakeholders should agree for the refurbishing task to begin with and after mutual consent start the whole process.
2. Once agreed upon, each stakeholders should give themselves enough time to understand what according to them should be changed/modified in other stakeholders and what each one of them think about themselves. Please keep in mind while preparing the points that this entire thing is done only because you value this relationship and want to invest time in it and hence things like ego, hatred, insensibility, like feelings have no place and every point should ensure that it has been prepared by keeping in mind respect for self, respect for others, love for self, love for others, and most importantly trust in each other.
3. Pick up a time or a span of time over which all the stakeholders discuss what needs refurbishing and what is the expected model of relationship post refurbishing. This part is the most important part as this will ensure how the final refurbished relationship will look like. So here a lot of work needs to be done with great care and we have to understand that if expectations are not conveyed correctly it might not lead to expected output. Please note this meeting is only to listen to the complaints and expectations and it should be ensured that no counter replies or explanations are given as self defense.
4. Now after listening to all comments and requirements, take out one hour each day for a week to understand each complaint and requirement of the stakeholder. Try to understand why in first place these points have been put forward. Make a comparative analysis on "what was conveyed" Vs "what you actually wanted to convey" for certain actions that led to the ask for the modification or change. Analyse whether or not according to you the ask is valid and feasible and if you feel they are not, prepare counter responses as to why you think they are not valid asks. Please remember again that ego, hatred, insensibility etc has no place in the discussion and all points should adhere to the basic requirement of love, trust and respect.
5. Time to meet for the second time to discuss the defense points prepared and put forward opinions with the point in mind that two opinions may differ. If there is any difference in opinion park it for a while and continue with all open points. Finally prepare a list on what is agreed and what is not and disperse.
6. Yet another exclusive time to understand and rethink on points that had differences in opinions and understand each other's point of view. At this stage, if differences in opinions cannot be agreed upon mutually its always good to take expert advice on how to resolve the differences. The expert in this case can be a professional or a friend/family whom every stake holder trusts would give unbiased solutions. Once this is resolved only then the next steps should be followed. Until this happens life should go on normally without the mention of each other's point of views and points. Resolve differences and proceed with the list of the requirements.
7. Point number 7 according to me is the most important point because this step is the one where the actual refurbishing happens. If possible take a break and don't see each other for a period of time, don't talk to each other for that period too. Speak to yourself. See yourself through the stakeholders eye and implement the changes or modifications asked for. For situational asks, analyse how you are going to implement when the situation arises. Start to make a strategy on how and what you would change and ensure to think of all possible scenarios and all possible options to stick to what is asked for. The list should be prepared in such a way that it doesn't leave any room for complains.
8. Meet the "changed" each other gracefully and share the experiences and relive life happily ever after.

Please note that after this transformation, if you still have complaints and want a change you need to understand that its now not possible as there is no time to be invested in the whole process again. So please ensure the analysis of the requirements are made with high accuracy and leave no room for further complaints.
Enjoy a Refurbished Relationship :)