Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mundane Milestones

The issue that's bothering me is the incessant prodding of Mundane Milestones. Milestones - unfortunately for most, are socially dictated.

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Be born, grow up, study, marry, reproduce, grow old and die. The cycle of life. Within this cycle, you're expected to earn money, save, travel the world, enrich your children, be materialistic, opt for a regimented career ladder and finally retire with a lump sum for the rest of days.

How linear? Why can't we curve our own experiences? Choose our own free will?

As I was growing up, I had seen a friction between pursuit of American shows vs parental control. Most shied away from SEX - the biggest sin on earth. I always wondered what truly had been the bone of contention - was it only as trivial as sex or was it something more?

Today when I think about it, our concept of America is entwined with free will implicit in their culture. Hence a corny notion of culture gap.

Free will or freedom to choose your own life for most of us is a holy grail not a habit loop.

Let's get down to some examples of the 'free' mindset - 

  •  I was once discussing about my hopeless future with my mother. Her idea of life is simple - marry, be a parasite, rear children as the only duty of the womankind, die with child's hard earned money honeying her embers. I wonder how I came out of her womb - we are such polar opposite creatures. Anyway, I had the misfortune of once telling her that I would be later adopting a child - to me the idea had been rooted in shades of my own childhood (another blog someday) and the dream of enabling a young soul who could have had a sordid past. There are plenty like that. Being a Cancerian I am naturally maternal - but practical too. Yes any girl would love to see the chemical compound a child would be of both parents - who's nose would s/he get, who's eyes etc. - but somewhere I had always known I had my own architecture of thought that bordered on giving a life but not of my own flesh and blood. My own flesh and blood would also involve gaining nearly 20 kgs - no difficult a feat as losing it would surely be a nightmare for a depression prone patient such as me. I know instinctively I could never deal with the post partum blues. But the moment the truth of my dream crept out of my lips, my boorish mother bounced back on me with her bearish self. She could not fathom how I can be "irresponsible" (I clearly am at a loss of the use of the adjective here as adoption is one of the most responsible dreams that I could ever harbor!). Her facts were drawn out of 100s of my friends who are happily married with children to which I calmly pointed out that out of that 100, 50 are already divorced and bearing brunt of a bad decision. However, she persisted with the imaginary 100 figure as her yardstick of true womanhood - they had the courage, passion, dream and a behaved version of a settled life to have children with a loving spouse. I did zone out soon after as I felt my recounting of the side where the grass isn't as green - but before that I did point out the example of Sushmita Sen living it up with boldly and beautifully with her two adopted children. She in fact broke many a fear paralysis at one go - adoption, no marriage, no child of flesh, blood and fat and both to be girl children. To which the maddening woman, her Bengali ego hurt along with her kinship with other Bengali women stinging, cited example of Bipasha Basu who was a 'waste and lost in life' before marrying or Sushmita Sen could have done better had she settled down. I mentally shut down my case with the prayer of QED silent on my lips - but my point was fairly well made. Free will to live, free will to think of your own life in your own way and also free will to decide what happens to your body. It does not belong to your parents, society, to any man or anyone - save your own self.

  • My Facebook photos show many images of my friends happily getting hitched. Claps and Bravo for taking the plunge.Where I beg to differ - and this is my personal opinion alone - is the use of shenanigans to express celebration. Why would the code of celebration be linked with food, revelry, costumes and performances. Why can't simplicity be a way of life - register marriage if you may and get done with it? Are we socially pressured to follow the doctrine of how a marriage ritual should be or how much money should be sinking to keep the couple afloat on their personal Titanic? 'Society' itself has led us to be so micro eyed about every issue in life - forgetting the larger picture. Our basic rights are expensive to us, we do not know where the taxes we pay go, India is still touted as an emerging or under-developed economy, jobs are uncertain - given all this why not simply save money and spend on more fruitful adventures? In fact I love the travel pictures of the same Facebook friends - travel is a worthy expense - so is marriage ceremony a conduit?

  • Rushing to office to be on time and working till late. A very slave driven mindset and philosophy. Everyday I see hundreds of commuters cursing the Bangalore traffic under their breath, otherwise on their phones apologizing for running late. That's good - punctuality is a disarming quality of the human kind. But today, where the work primarily runs on technology, why not simply work from home? Do we really need an office structure and physical presence to report into? Are we not adults who could be responsible about our own deliverables? Free will exists in the way one perceives his / her work life balance - in this case commute too. Working from home for most could also save commute money, commuting pains of navigating their wheels through to the nearest spot to escape traffic and also boost up productivity. Another problem with most rigid corporates I find is the culture of leaving work late. Why? Is there a point to prove? There could be aberrations but not a daily crisis one has to solve. There must be equal emphasis placed on me-time that leads to strengthening one's EQ.

These are some of the top thoughts that I rattled on. Let me think up of some more to prattle on. Till then do comment with any after thought. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Shakti- wo:man

As we grow up, the children become the center point of conversations. How each is growing up and what are the typical traits developing. As the many meets and the conversations flowed on, I realized that somewhere there was a new pattern emergent.

Accepting the feminine side of you - a sea change from the testosterone heavy atmosphere we have grown up in. 

Patriarchy had directed that there is an LOC between males and females : each form must adhere to his or her own traits. That is anyway how behaviour was simplistically segmented. Hence the popularity of Raymond led ads of "Feel like a Complete Man". What is a complete man or what completed him : few questioned. The symbology of controlled power, grace, compassion and the 'father' archetype was promoted as the benchmark of manhood / masculinity. Anything below would be an 'effeminate male'. We turned down our noses at the 'queers' : never respecting their courage to being who they were.

For females, the same Patriarchal dogma imposed on virtues and deeds of being a 'good woman'. Every semblance of her was dictated to fit the stereotype. Deviance raised eyebrows and silent toasts. 'Like a girl' became akin to a curse phrase. In fact the Nike ad brings this pain point out beautifully.

The change now is seen at 2 levels :

1. Androgynous styles or the Gender Bender
2. Rise of femininity

1. Gender Bender  or no difference between males and females. Rooted to the spirit of equality and frankly speaking not a new trend. But what is new is the embracing and celebration of the same. Fashion circuits are abuzz and agog with this new trend.

While, to some, it appears that it arose completely out of the blue, this trend has actually been around longer than many might think. The “unisex” clothing movement began in the United States around the ’60s, and had already began spreading throughout Europe long before the trends when one gender would wear the others’ typical clothes. High heels, for example, were originally worn by high society men to set themselves apart from those of lower classes.

Though as time passed, women began wearing high heels and eventually men stopped, and the rest is history.
Recently a report - Andrej Pejic is part of the new femiman trend in fashion. He’s one of a new breed of androgynous models who have risen to prominence in the past few seasons

Now both on the runway and daily lives, we see more women dressed in a masculine fashion and more men embracing hair styles, colours and accessories. This has more to do with shedding gender constraints personally and professionally. Women on top - pun intended - is the new normal that has seeped into the post modern age. Women started accepting this new normal with cropped hair and masculine power dress code to work to make a statement than be the statement.

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What tilted the scales towards the unisex dress code is men adopting to heels, skirts (kilt hangover?), jewellery and accessories. Interestingly, men adopting to 'feminine' clothes raised far more eye-brows termed as deviance - mainly because of the innate fear of loss of masculinity / shedding of masculine power. The power equation has been the biggest barrier to androgyneity. Social media dubbed this new man as the 'femiman'.

In India, Ranveer Singh has been touted to having brought the post modern androgynous culture to India. His flared skirts, colorful ensemble and stepping out of the codes that prescribe and bind men's wear made all of us sit up and take notice. Some thwarted him. But most admired the flamboyance.

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In India, androgynous clothing soon crept up the popularity or at least awareness ranks. Dhruv Kapur of DRVV fame started crafting a new era in men's fey wear - with tunics and skirts making waves in the man's wardrobe. "For me, it is more an expression of power rather than gender. Power has traditionally been associated with men. Through androgynous silhouettes, there is a sense of power being transferred to women. Making women look more masculine than men — not only does this change gender stereotypes, but it is also an empowering gesture. It is not a fad, it is here to stay. Something as simple as a skirt can look androgynous, purely because of its cut.”

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Image result for dhruv kapoor androgynous collection for men

However, androgyny in India is nothing new - in fact its the rise of the Phoenix. The Maharajas had long sported the androgynous look -with jewellery, colourful clothing, angarakhas and achkans. Floral designs and fauna motifs are not unknown to men's fashion. 
Today the androgynous fashion is more about just clothing - its about expression of a bold statement of equality - where men too crave for the colours so long held into the female territory. The blurring of boundaries, gender bending and the rise of unilateral codes of power and expression point out to the macro cultural equanimity that most have come to expect and accept today. The deviant only rapes / molests / is regressive towards the females : mainly because in "the survival of the fittest" trend of today which is pronounced more strongly than ever before - the men feel threatened by not only the women's rising power and status in the society - but also, majority men's acceptance of the new social code. 
Let's now come to the second observation - 

2 Rise of Femininity - The observation comes at the back of observing my baby sister and another girl of almost the equal age. Both are almost 6 and extremely feminine. At 6 I would have expected most of the girls would be gender neutral in terms of outlook or dressing. But to my surprise 6 year old is not completely child-like anymore. They are adulting earlier today - be it their lifestyle, appearance, outlook towards relationship or even their own self-perception. 

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For instance, the 6 year old today easily knows and uses the language of having a boyfriend / girlfriend - to them the difference is clear from the viewpoint of the emphasis placed on the distinct status of either. The way they see their elders speaking to their significant others on phone or 1:1, is the pathway for them to emulate and bring the nuances in their own conversations.

In terms of appearance, there is a special craving for make-up and feminine accessories - viz. bindi, dupatta, jewellery : the mother's wardrobe becomes the raid point as it symbolizes femininity. This is in stark contrast to my own childhood where at 6 I was seen playing cricket with the boys in shorts - a defiant attitude towards being typecast into a feminine mould of playing with a generic kitchen set or the Barbie doll.

Today, its the opposite. There is a deeper inclination to the 'codes' (or so we see it to be) of femininity - or maybe its the adulting of children that is more noticeable and we term it as femininity. Adulting would have been a phenomenon that could have been related to teenage years - instead it has rapidly progressed to start early - now from the age of 5 or 6.

Rise of femininity also includes the overarching attitude of there is nothing wrong in being a female - indeed there is nothing wrong in it but so long we were made to believe that certain aspects of femininity were wrong to be embraced at a certain age / life stage. Now, there is no boundary. The men too do not have an expectation benchmark - instead the mere need from life is to flow without borders, demarcations and markers.

Rise of femininity is also rampant therefore among the men - ergo their own contribution to it by their androgynity.

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In fact, this brings to mind the original reason which is a question that started off this rant : are we headed for a world that is supremely feminine? Is patriarchal archaic hold slowly fading away to a more feminine society (equally applied for men and women?)

Food for thought? Would love more examples and observations - as well as accounts for the impact at micro and macro level to the socio-cultural melting pot we live in today..

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Thursday, October 19, 2017


Image result for #metooIt was twilight when the Man and I went to walk our dog. We walked in companionable silence till dusk settled into a velvety starlit night. Our puppy trotted by happily - seemingly affected too by the same spirit if magicality that shrouded that evening.

As my eyes turned star-wards, I asked the Man what he most liked about the our complex. He rattled off a list of facility based benefits that was otherwise amiss in other places he has lived at. For him the woe was the lack of an easy access route to a market place - the act of hopping into the local grocery or stationary shop within the locality. 

When he switched the question to me, it was one word that summed it all. SECURITY. I feel 'safe' at the campus - with its security guards everywhere and light at every nook and cranny. 

As we discussed, the Man marvelled at the simplistic need of the woman-kind today - the longing for a safe and secure place to live at. 

I spoke about the many experiences that I have faced - in fact girls / women have faced all over. The staring and the spontaneous breaking into a song by men at any place you walk into - I do wonder how men are hard-wired to do that? Is Bollywood ingrained in their veins that when blood rushes to the head from the below-belt region, a song with the occasion - specific lyrics pops up on their sinewy lips? 

There have been times when I have taken the public commute to find men bursting at their seams literally to graze past - the frequent 'accidents' seemingly a normalized routine curve. As a woman in India - may be globally too - you are socially conditioned to give men the benefit of doubt - keep giving them as a process and lose your own self-respect in your eyes. 

Everytime I wear a short dress or a short skirt - men leer. Funny to notice that more than men, women too objectify critically - I understand : its a primal instinct of survival of the fittest (albeit the sexiest). 

Many a times, when I am at a coffee shop or a restaurant, men casually pop up at your table (when they see that the chair opposite is empty as they cannot fathom that a girl can like her own solitary company) - and say "Hi!". You may choose not to answer to which these men say - "Why don't I have the right to say Hi?" - Question : who on earth gave you the right? 

At Gurgaon, I have been chased from my way to home from gym by the men in cars - the testosterone hit from the weights and the thrill of 'exploring' is the adrenaline rush for the men. It comes to the girl then to keep cool and outsmart. Question is : why? 

It seems a normalized pattern - that girls day in and out have to live through. It may scar or scare - but we must always bow down to the patriarchy. After all men are stronger right? They can disarm and harm and that's why parents always condition their little girls not to 'lead'. 


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I am amazed to see the magnitude of sexual assaults against women today - my social media pages are flooded with the accounts - some gory and sickening while some a mirror experience of my own. It somewhere classifies men into segments -

  1.  heart ruled 
  2.  mind ruled
  3. dick-ruled. 
The descriptors are obvious for the segments - but the alarming factor is how one man can be all 3 all at once. 

I am happy to see women across the world stepping up to simply voice out - it's a movement that calls to attention how a micro-trend can actually be potentially leading to a macro change (and not vice versa). 

#MeToo campaign deserves an applause - it cannot be measured by the action standards of the government. In India, where inflation cannot be curbed, its a far cry to curb more #MeToos. However, what the campaign did is to bolster confidence in women like so many of us - to simply echo the most obvious but the most hushed. 

It also brought to light " A few good men " who somewhere too get suppressed in the stereotyping of men as "xyz". What the movement needs are more men stepping up, more women speaking up, more women in power today taking the corrective action steps. Till then, the movement will just be another WOM. Hope it doesnt bite the dust. 

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Dare to Love

A rainy evening with a filter coffee in hand my pensive mind processed the current events pathologically. Too many things have been said and done - some never done but thought aloud about.

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Flashback - a little furry puppy came under the wheels almost. No mother, no litter nearby.  Orphaned at 35 days. First thought - stray, must have run atray. Second thought - let's find it a home.

We grew up and grew tired of the teething woes - her teeth seemed incisive enough to make us decisive about giving her up. Marks, cuts and bruises on my skin seemed a tell a gory tale - but nothing as bland as pup-teething!

Couple of times, when the pick-up was finalized, the last minute back-outs soon started an alarm bell. I had wondered where did she land at my abode with furry paws - the 5w-s and 1 h of her existence / co-existence with me. Now, when we almost parted ways, why she never let go. Even in shadows!

Now she is firmly entrenched in my being and the 4 walls of my humble abode. Never will I ever think of giving her up - no matter the penance the growing up days impose on me or shoot me in a mellow daze.

She comes as a blessing - to relieve me of some of the past gloomy days : showing me the yellow rings of sunshine. Her slow acceptance of the human kind - may be kind human remains a question in her mind - and co-existence with a kingdom unknown of her own, seemed a joy to discover.

Dogs had always fascinated me. I had always wanted one. When the little one came into my life, I had been unprepared for it - defenceless too to her animal instincts. Giving up was the easy escape route. Yet when I looked deep into her soft chocolate eyes, I knew she was my home if not the other way round.

Jimmy's eyes tell their own story - expressive canvases they reflect her mood and security at shelter.
Her eyes turn woeful on the rainy day when she sits pensive staring at the footfalls of human life below. She is happy when cuddled - though 'to love' is not a language she yet knows given her tender life stage.

The Facebook pages I am a part of, tell appalling stories of dogs abandoned. When owners cannot take care of their dogs, given illness or the other excuses, they resort to the cheaper option of abandoning them on the streets. Few wait for a better home for their furry friend. What I have realized is to have a dog seems to be norm de plume of a well-off lifestyle : breeds of dogs a status symbol. But when the caretaker realizes the folly of ambitions, the furry friend is abandoned with haste and no backward glance. Nowadays, you see German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers or Labs - unhappily roaming around with the decorated collars but emaciated selves and hungry eyes.

Question - why take responsibility of another life, when you cannot give it a life?!

So many times, my parents or grandparent has urged me to give up my bundle of joy. They are scared of joy, I feel. Or are scared of consequences of joy - the corollary that brings bucketful of sobs. Most have grown up with pets of their own - trysts that tell their own tales but for their own child, that tryst must remain a chapter in a story-book and not real life. Real life must be walked only on rose petals - not shards that raw emotions can leave one with.

I remember couple of phone calls which have shaken me up - primarily because they woke me up to the ocean of differences between generations. I was told to put up my furry baby for adoption because when her time is over, I'll cry. I should not hence invite that sorrow into my life.

The words left me bereft of words. It seemed odd a life- lesson to exchange hands - how could one tell a younger one to avoid sorrow. Is that not a part of life that makes you grow up? Is that not how you turn into a realist?

The lesson shared should have been of celebrating each day of joy - and being sad when the time comes : the strength to fight the sorrow would be the moments of puerility shared ahead. They alone would sustain the dark days - the memories made and laughed at would greet every tear that would form at the corner of the eye.

Death - of a pet / partner / self - is an eventuality that cannot be escaped. The lesson shared should be of courage to love - #DARETOLOVEANDBELOVED

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Second Fiddle

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A contemplative post - on the nuances of being a Second Fiddle. Recently I have been binging on Netflix - addicted hopelessly to period dramas. The Crown Season 1 finished in a day for me - and then my hungry eyes clapped onto Versailles.

Versailles - talks about the Sun King and his ambitious rise. Each and every frame captures the grandeur that Paris is, was and forever shall be. The glamour that formed the golden halo actually arose from Louis IV's golden period.

The actors are as illustrious as the set and setting. The director is able to take the creative leap back into the past - enlivening History and my own perennial love for European History.

However, when all shines bright, a rather 'queer' character creates a curious headline for himself. None other than the King's brother, Phillipe.

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Phillipe - played by Alexander Vlahov - is an unfortunate case of chance going in the way of change. A cavalier at heart with Chevaliar in his heart - Phillipe makes a strong argument of how the Second Fiddle in fact is the fulcrum to the head.

Phillipe - a couple of years younger to the monarch who is famous for his line "I am the state" - had been a brilliant strategic oversight - purposely left to enact behind the scenes in the King's Palace. His sulk is encapsulated in all its truth - he is but a mere human being, puppeted and parodied on by his own sibling and the rest of court

The brotherly ties appear infrequent - the bond spoken of only in dire straits. The King appears to merely tolerate his flamboyant brother - taking for granted his heart of gold.

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Phillipe - lost in the shadows, however chooses not to be overshadowed. His colourful interests make homosexuality the cover story of the court - his courting of Chevaliar despite heterosexual marriage is carried on in aplomb. His love-hatred for the King is evident through the words he utters and the words he hears back from Chevaliar. To make a mark and strike memory, he even dresses up as a woman and willingly is the laughing stock of the court.

Very seldom do his actions meet approval or thoughts find resonance. Yet he carries on with his life and duty towards the court - his latent desire to always be seen as a leader, at par with the Emperor.

In truth, Phillipe is a better war strategist - a decorated Army General and a clear headed pragmatic director of the battle-fields. His valour and astuteness is the talk of the town - much to the chagrin of the King who is seen as more of a "King on the chess board"

The Sun King does not like to be eclipsed - no matter the ties of the blood or the might of the brain to serve the State.

On reflection, I wondered. in our daily lives, how much do our lead roles need the support of the likes of Phillipe - the behind the scenes victory craftsmen.

Here are some of the common daily life scenarios 

1. At workplace :
You slog like a dog on the slides - the final report credits the seniority. Hours spent with a hunchback and 2 decade old eyes crowfeet-lined : yet there is a hapless joy or a joyless sigh. Why - is the question that's TOM.

2 In a relationship :
Face it or not, the woman plays second fiddle when it comes to decision making. Men are perhaps hardwired into under-taking all major decisions regarding HOME - finances, design, layout, hygiene, - you name it, you get it. The more you harp on "independence" or "equality" men see that as femi-Nazism and instantly look down through their flared nostrils. No matter the degrees, when it comes to life-partner, there is a degree of 'second fiddle' playing up its sad tune. Of course that builds up as a grudge and wham - the household war erupts. Wonder why men are not tagged as "home-maker"!

3. Within the  Famil(iar)y 
Sometimes the age wizened age, when they reach a certain age, they cross the 'ok-plateau' of naked joy on seeing the dominant many. Mostly its the father, the oldest friend or the brother. Its also the mother who by power of the womb places stake on the central decision making nerve of your body. You listen - if you don't go their way - you're branded a rebel.

4. The Autowalas
Driver's seat redefined - GPS proves directionally purposive but when it comes when it comes to ethicality : you're shot to the back-seat (literally and pun well intended!)

I am sure the world over there must be so many such scenarios. Playing the unc-credited for 'second fiddle' can lead a Grudge or the Fudge -

a) Grudge - lots on mind, nothing on lips except the smile crease. Pent up emotions - volcano like. Crows feet and forehead creases. Suppression and submission. Till a point. The main reason for this many of us who are coerced to playing the second fiddle, do so in conflict of their own base nature. The base nature cannot lie low or still for long.

b) Fudge - Lack of ownership and the happy passage of responsibility from one's shoulders to a more dependable one. Happiness at not being in the driver's seat but only a pillion. Not consultative - but an executionist. Key reason being the disengagement of mind from task or lack of alacrity. Such beings rate mental contentment higher : waste no energy on forming or holding a grudge.

The second fiddle thus has his or her own motivations, needs and expected benefits from the role. The role brings no glory - instead figures as more challenging as its multi dimensional and quite layered. Complexity of its existence and enforcement brings to light the poor inter-personal understanding and the main gap of treating one another on equal footing. Eye to eye can avoid the stye.

Monday, May 8, 2017


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It's a hot summer day when the lady of the house enters the silent abode in a pensive mood. She takes her steps slowly and settles her sweaty self on the bed. She flips the AC button and switches it on the coldest temperature.

Its yet another defeat after a disgruntled work-day - now, quite her usual serve but still not her cup of tea. Of the fiery spirit but the dejected heart - she lies still as the hot tears fall. She tastes the salt in them and tries to wipe them away. Yet her hand seems to be powerless - as helpless as she.

She finds herself a misfit - a misfortune who dont understand the shades of corporate (or corporal?) politics - her naivety erodes her of her own positivity

She used to be a believer - a foolish hopeless soul who believed in the radiance of the career ladder, in the unequivocal ferocity of honesty and also in her own dreams.

But reality soon robbed her of any mirth - she lived away in her own state of exile, remote to the closest even. Her mind had become a numb conundrum - frail to the sounds of every dream crashing with a deafening roar. She found no voice of her own.

She saw all, happy and elevated. Her partner too seemed to be flush with joy - only blushed when comparisons lay stark,

She thought them all and thought them through - chased away the tail of of all thoughts and brushed away all hopes. She now preferred a blank space, where her mind was - she had killed the chatter.

She longed for a renewed chapter - to fill her with a rekindled vigor for life. She was ambitious - but the lackluster ways of her organization, failed to live up to her expectations.

Strung on the tight-line, her reflex seemed to pause her own acrobatic joy - she who dreamed to somersault and waultz into new professional highs - now pressed the brakes too hard and too fast.

All day, all month and all year - she found the empty notifications of someone else's good luck - of someone's new position / designation - yet she found none of her own making. She found the professional app to be a stranglehold - to serve as a reminder to her own folly or perhaps a mirror to ask the hard questions too.

The networking philosophy seemed to ridden with narcissism - the social media site had the noiristic under-belly of selfishness and individualism. Humanitarian ideals of helping others seemed to be amiss from its constitution.

Day after day, seeing others celebrate - made her celibate her own drive.
Her pale skin, lifeless eyes and cold around her heart - made her sickly in mind and soul.
She found no way out - stuck was she like a spider in her own web or womb.

Slowly she reached out and uninstalled the app.
She could not much help herself to change her destiny overnight - but at least enable herself to delete a sign of negativity in her life,

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

India -> the Auto-wala theory (copyright the coinage)

A couple of days back I read an article that cited stats on how India was the saddest country compared to her neighbors. The article brought a smile - for the citizens of today, you don't need Stats to verify what you feel and live through everyday. 

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Onto its 70th year of Independence, I wonder what all has the country done. My thoughts have been mirrored in the questions / thoughts raised by LSE as the panel too sought to answer the same maze-like venomous thoughts. (https://scroll.in/bulletins/54/as-india-turns-70-london-school-of-economics-asks-some-provocative-questions)

I am no Economist - I am merely a "General Class" citizen in a country where being a "GC" will land you nowhere. Reservation policies and privileges act against you. 

I live strata-ed in the middle class segment too - however the bulk of the population bears the brunt for the lack of vision the country shows - infallibly everyday! 

Taxes eat into salaries - so that eating OOH / at home seem a luxury. A water-stressed market now, the country shows remarkable finesse in being constipated in thoughts as well. 

Ergo selection of certain officers in the high post despite the Progressive Role Models of the country now. 

We have Virat Kohli - who  is globally known and acknowledged as India's youth icon. His aggression on and off field, the way he stands up for his values / beliefs as also his love for the opposite sex - tells a lot about the shape of the thoughts here today in our country. His social media accounts and the comments only testify the mindset of the youth today and his influencing power. 
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There is Farhan Akhtar who actively stands up to reshape age old patriarchal thoughts through his fervent public speeches and impassioned stance for equality at instances of the Vagina Monologues and his MARD campaign. 

Stand up comedies today exemplify the satirical outlook the citizens have started imbibing today - the humor is refreshing because they bring to life daily stress points caused by our macro structures stunting a progressive thought flow.

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Instagram is visual rendition of the how the people today are rising up against stereotypical thoughts - you only need to look at Saloni Chopra's account to understand the stigmas she is trying to debunk.  

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Bollywood now is ripe with examples of citizens standing against the normative thoughts or the constipated structures - e.g. Dangal, Pink, Udta Punjab among others. There are social messages being evinced through films such as Ki and Ka, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil or Dear Zindagi - that espouse the love and respect for the softer shades of life. The whole of celebration of individuality is so clearly apparent in the mass media platforms - with Bollywood playing a pivotal role today. 

Despite such thought movers and soul shakers - we only need to look at certain mismanagement examples -  the over flowing frothy lakes, polluted potholed roads, incessant honking at roads and junctures, lack of pedestrian walking spaces, improper planning of infrastructure with the commuters spilling onto roads and just about being saved from being run over - to understand that despite the thought progression, the country remains myopic ; unable to internalize the actual "winds of change". 

The question therefore remains in all its perversity - is our country not really reading the though trend or listening to its citizens? And if that be so, where is our Democracy? 

Despite the apparent progress we witness in our role models, why is Regression setting in with flares of communal-ism? 

A part of it was answered the other day I took an auto ride to Koramangala. As my eyes roamed around the traffic signals, a thought struck at how the autos / auto walas represent the core of the Indian mindset today. If you look at auto-walas today, you know the barriers to progress of our land. 

How we see autos today - (specially in Bangalore) 

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  1. Untrustworthy - an unusual alacrity to over charge beyond reasonable means
  2. Insect-like - crawls into any spot in the traffic without regard to other commuters and crowd around in hoards. Just like insects or the moths to a flame. 
  3. Jugaado - the quintessential Indian word to describe the mentality. Squeezing for any benefit from anywhere and anyhow. To get what you want is the goal - the short cut is not even a backward glance. 
  4. Malefic - accidents are only a "touch" away as the autos try to out-maneuver traffic to its whims
  5. The "kuch bhi chalega" mentality - least effort placed at being ethical but most at con-conviction
The article is meant to make people think - though the article also wonders what happens when citizens think? Does the country take note of the citizens thoughts and needs? Where are we living and what is the future? How can India become a super power when it has slipped from Developing to an Under developed world? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Lost Woman

Indian mentality and mindset is always anchored to a man - for a woman. There is no place for identity or self-confidence. And sadly, the docile meekly but firmly try to impose the same "civilian" codes on other women.
Image result for radha krishna

Here is the Pretty Story of a character called Radha. Her name semantic of the pedantic joy she spread as she poisoned her Krishna.

Radha met Krishna when they were mere children - innocence was more part of Krishna's story. Krishna was idealistic, filled with notions of clouds, wonder and magic. In his shape of a woman, he never sought a form - rather completion. A reader, a leader yet a voice never angry - Krishna chose the might of the pen over the sword in most cases of his life. Ergo, the spiel of a spiral.

Radha on the other hand lived in disillusion and denial of her own self. Her folly was further misguided by her aimless but a conniving mother and a sisterhood of no shame. Her animatics had no action point - reason saw no fruition because there was no base. Radha lived in the world of signs and notion - love meant the man chasing her, relationship meant her assertion over the man and motherhood meant her complete control.

The children in these two wanderers soon grew up - Radha a more vicious and a vivacious self, Krishna a nomad but curiously a shelter-seeker.

Radha and Krishna remained steadfast friends - both awed by the dissimilarities they brought to each other : as a stark grey in their rainbow worlds otherwise.

One day, the story of Adam and Eve caught their attention - and funneled down to a union. But one was prepared to dominate while the other saw no means of escape.

Marriage was always about the wins and losses, the gains and spoils and the hits and misses. Full of oxymorons, the stature of marriage between the two souls became a bondage : one aware the other unaware.

The aware one sought passive means to escape - technology afforded a convenient world. The friends made over social media suddenly seemed more real, the sexting became the pleasure principle while the digital flings the course of corrective action. For the unaware, ignorance remained bliss - as she lost her own personhood in the miracle of her being.

Radha, felt her womanhood with every passing day. She asserted her illusioned omniscience on the more knowledgeable soul - drawing wonder at her courageous folly. She fought for attention - around her there were shards of glass for others to walk on as they meekly tread her path in life. She remained joyless - full of spiteful dreams and made others lose any spark of life too. Yet she never woke up.

In their blissful ignorant world there were two sudden occurrences. One was the dawn of cherubic innocence - and the other a Game of Thrones. As random has no play in  this world - so did the Theory of Coincidence wreak havoc in Radha's image of a perfect life.

In a day, stripped off her colors, she remained stranded - feeling her own self-pity mocking herself. Her womb felt heavy - yet she remained untouched by remorse.

She found flaws in everyone, argued without a base, wanted to crush all with all her force and be the Kali. She never ever was the Creator, anyway. She felt the fumes of the blue murderous rage awash her dark soul, her charred eyes burned red as her heart rot away in jealousy. Insecurity ate her vision of life - she dug her claws on every back she found : regardless of child or adult.

Radha was a function of her hatred - she spread no love even to her own flesh & blood. Krishna, lay at crossroads of his own way to Life and at the Destruction of a loveless life. He prayed for the smile while the tears poured all around him. His idealism lay shaken, his belief in Radha's maturity lay broken.

Both were at opposing ends : Radha's insecurity her barrier. Yet she saw nothing of it, the supremacy of her conceit found every vein capricious in Krishna. The battle ensued and exited with Krishna on his path to victory and Radha stranded on an island of self-woe : still blaming others for her own state of negation.

As days passed, Radha grew lonely : her need for a man proliferated to choosing Tinder over the reality of life. In her definition of love, she had sought to impress upon Krishna, her tattooed presence. She had wanted to be his Manna - but all she did is break his own Mojo. She sought for a world of passion, instead she brought bitterness into every household she stepped into. She wanted security of a man, as her mother had taught her - but instead, she made the man insecure of his own self. She felt unwanted, unloved, dejected - but never really questioned her own self and the tears she brought others with her own unethical life-path.

The story of Radha and Krishna - inverts the reality of the mythological story we have grown up with. The root of the story is love and blind faith - the germ is the concept of unconditional love that made Radha blind to any man.

My story here, is metaphorical of the modern day relationships : where the Saas-Bahu serials fueled the stereotypes of a relationship which find followership in even the most progressive.

The mindset of a woman towards the man in India / or maybe outside, then becomes a case of ownership and pawn. Her pride lies in domination of his spirit - unknowingly she herself buries the relationship though in her crude uninformed mind, she begins to believe that she is the Saviour. There is no "Lover" in people like Radha here - they only seek to be loved but have no knowledge of how to impart love. Such women, are lost and "loose" - they are the moles that turn cancerous. Their perennial islandic worship of their own selves - never ever being perceptive to the man's emotions - makes them critical of every blessing. The man is the Provider - not the Partner. The man is the Caregiver - but not the Friend.
It's still a sad world and women like Radha deserve a sad ending.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The urban poor floor mat

There must be a universal syndrome in the fast changing corporate world - of the disparity in the pace of lifestyle, lives and livelihood. It could translate into differences of years of experience or the qualification certificates one may possess as skeletons in the closet.

Image result for urban poor girl

The increasing pressure to be "one" or "at one" in every possible way - makes you reach out for decision bench-marks much against your will.

In the end, all you have is a blank space where your heart is supposed to be and a plastic smile plastered on your face. You have to be happy - else myriad probing questions by all. No-one can really understand the depth of emotions that run awry in you.

A drawback in the quantitative ability makes you run within concentric layers - never to find an escape. The work-life is a curse-land - as it gnaws away at your time on earth. You know that there could be other avenues to shine in -  but again the certificates seem to have a say of nay on their own!

Everyday, you face the mirror to see the face and presence you slowly start to hate. Depreciation of respect earmarks your presence in public quarters as well.

You see the other batch-mates - living lives self-made. Where happiness is allowed to filter through too.

And then you see your own shadow - no silver linings there!

There are moments when the body is a dead-weight force retarding your own life-acceleration. You may feel the urge to get up and run amok - lose yourself in the crowd of the unknown - never to return back to the same place ever again.

But you are stuck - in chains to the place you don't belong to. With people you never can associate yourself fully with. You slowly romanticize your own melancholy - citing it as depression.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Flu-Id - the term came to my mind when I had started to think about the cross-roads that currently strae back at me as I look upon my roadmap of life. Today, with 5 years into the job life, I can safely be called a mid-senior employee! But is that all / part of it?

So far, I have seen the booms and slumps in career - gone up the money ladder and savored the fruits of hard-worked patience. But sometimes, the persona that greets you every morning from Monday to Friday - somewhere seems distant to your core being.

The question of conflict arises then - who am I? Am I the one, presenting at the board-rooms or over face-less telephonic conversations - am I the stuttering / the so-called uber confident being that graces with the e-commed fashion avatar-ian attires? Am I the one who keeps smiling to all the vagueness around - luxuriating in a selfish minute to laugh at the folly?

Or, am I the one treated so special to some - parents, siblings and better halves? The one that can err but can be forgiven with whole heart and spirit?

As I sit pondering, this duality plays into my mind and I wonder why we exhibit two sides to us at every situation? Or, for a recipient of an action.

Laterally, as I ponder deeper, watching the plumes rise up from my coffee cup - I wonder should there really be two sides to us. Are we intrinsically Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde - but may live in denial / frustration of its awareness?

In essence, if there be two sides to us, then a divide must exist between the two / more than two selves. Immaturely we keep terming this the work-life balance.

Frankly, there is no divide - no L.O.C. It's all a seamless journey we traverse through daily and encounter a new shade each day.

Life, is one flow - perhaps unidirectional - perhaps flowing in myriad streams. It's more like a river, with many tributaries and dis-tributaries. It flows. On. And on.

Maybe this life as we know - we tend to live it in fragments, knowing perceptibly there's a divide in all spheres. But what if we change our thinking? What if we think that there is no divide - and that it's all connected into one-way-road?

In that case, there really is no work-life balance - and you can only feel as special as you allow yourself to fee. Here two thoughts are evinced co-laterally. One is raising one's own self-worth in one's own eyes. Self-perception is a key ingredient to confidence and happiness.

Second work is a sub-set of life and not life itself. And neither can life distance itself away from work. Neither are hydra-headed monsters fighting between themselves - both are harmonious and symbiotic.

Recognition at work leads to a happier you and a happier life - it's a cycle.
Being content leads to a more productive work - again a cycle.

Our effort should not be to separate the two - but treat them as twins. They are the Yin and Yang of our Flu-id.

Being self-reassured enables you to glide through both the hemispheres of work and life - leaves you lighter. A clutter in either, leaves you disenchanted from your own life. The trick is to then love yourself and your life - to move on harmoniously at all aspects of life. Each is a shade and a reflection of your life, the river!