Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Words and actions- what speaks louder in my head?

It’s probably easier to not compromise when we are younger. That’s a sound argument for always staying young at heart.

When I decided to study English at graduation, that was when I stuck up for what I believed in. People said it doesn’t pay, it’s for self satisfaction, it has no career prospects.

I thought I’d become a journalist, but I actually wanted to become a better writer. I did. Not become a journalist, but a better writer.

Somewhere along the line, our dreams may change. Reality impacts them, so it is but natural that they do. Still, if we don’t dream, how will we live?

Even when I finished graduation, my love for literature remained. Unconsciously, I still approach art the same way we were taught. What’s the sub text?

My MBA taught me about a different kind of sub text. What’s the agenda? Just another word for sub text. One that isn’t academic, a little more menacing.

Magic realism
The two have fused. I use both today, whether it is at work or at home. Both talked about people. Negotiation involves understanding what makes people tick. Negotiation was something I learnt practically at b-school, but used as a term in College.

Foucault’s words on the relation between power and knowledge- first came across them in College. See their truth around me everywhere.

The production of fiction as a commodity- popular fiction- was again something revealed to me in my second year in College. Studied its marketing at b-school and am now trying to practically do it at work.

Even if one sticks to a pure ivory tower, it’s difficult. It will get polluted. The atmosphere’s not the cleanest. Why not then control what influences our thoughts, and act keeping reality in mind, not just idealism?

"This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with GilletteVenus"

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What makes me, me

With circumstances I’ve changed. But there are some things I’ve always held dear. Writing poetry. My love of nature. My passion for learning. Labels are easy. They tell everyone at a glance what’s inside.

All that’s inside may not be on the label

The jar may not be transparent. The label may be one thing, but the contents another. Or the label may refer to one thing, but the jar contains more than one. People stereotype because it makes it easier for them to react to others.

Men don’t make passes at women who wear…
Glasses means you’re studious. Now I wear lenses. Does that make me more fun loving? I always had a wild side. Toppers are no fun. I didn’t study to top, it just happened.

Yes and…then
It was liberating when I stopped topping though. I met difference first in b-school, when fellow students thought that I took English because I got low marks. When they heard my marks, they were zapped. I tried to tell them it’s possible to get good marks and still want to follow your heart.

Yes and…now
Today I’m a wife, and a friend. Still a friend to my gal pals. A daughter, and a daughter-in-law. A manager and a poet.

Ah, poetry…
Painting the world in black and white would be so dull. Shades of colour make it fun. Expressing myself through poetry helps me cohere my world and whatever’s happening. Rhyme gives it structure, which the real world may not have.

Mama nature
Writing about nature, or simply gawking at it in its always varying moods, gives me a sense of peace. Strong mountains seem to shoulder the earth, giving me the confidence to leave things in God’s hands.

Learning lights up new pathways in my brain, much like when I exercise, which sadly, is not as frequent as I would like it to be. The Internet’s great for learning. I like trying out new dishes occasionally. The appreciation, both by the diner and online gives me a fuzzy warm feeling inside.

"This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus".

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fear Fantastic

Fear is a very visceral emotion. It grips your gut before you know it. Even when you know it, it’s too late. Your body’s already reacted sharply. You break out in a cold sweat, you become breathless, your heart starts racing and what not.

I studied in Psychology class in school that there are two basic fears- fear of the darkness and fear of heights. I’ve never been afraid of the dark. Metaphorically, that aligns to fear of the unknown.

As Anne of Green Gables says, I like bends. One never knows what lies around the corner. It’s only when things don’t go your way that you start to worry. I took a risk in changing my field of study from English to MBA.

Many people tried to dissuade me, including someone who had done exactly the same. I was apprehensive too. I hadn’t studied math for five years. Still, I thought it would be exciting.

Well, it was too exciting. The naysayers were right. I was a fish out of water. I took a while to grow shark fins, but they did sprout eventually. I’m glad now that I took the plunge.

As Nietzche said, what does not kill you , makes you stronger. Well, it did come near to killing me emotionally- the difference. Still, I survived. And felt the fitter for having done so.

More than the alien subjects, it was the alien environment. People with different priorities, different worldviews. Immensely practical people. Well, I like to think a bit of me rubbed off on them and a bit of hem definitely rubbed off on me.

There were days that I cried. Days I couldn’t sleep. But with a little help from my friends, I scraped through. Even did well in some subjects, inside and outside of class.

Sticking to one’s strengths is important. So is being true to your USP. That’s how I remixed the Bard’s line, To thine own self be true. Too often, in playing it safe, in staying in our comfort zone, we get bored. We don’t grow. We don’t challenge ourselves.

Being in an adventure might seem glamorous while reading about it in your armchair, but it can be nerve wracking actually being in it. Still, that’s living.

B-School may have lasted for a couple of years, but the lessons lasted longer. Not the ones in class, but the ones outside. How to make a CV. How to present yourself. How to get work done. How to adapt. How to assert myself.

That confidence helps me even now. Any time I feel fear, I take a deep breath and remind myself, if I could get through that, I could get through anything.


Saturday, December 06, 2014

Top 5 Places in Europe I've got my Eye on


I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. I even went to the UK, but because of  visa issues I couldn’t go to Paris. Someday…Now, when I see London in Sherlock, I remember those places. Even though I’ve seen Paris in the movies, I want to feel it. 

This place looks like a good one to stay. I want an entire place for privacy. The checked floor is really cool. Paris is small- so will have fun walking all over the place to museum hop! La Giaconda, I’m coming J

I love history, and I’ve grown up on Greek myths. I recently went to the Elephants caves, which are 1.5 times the size of the Parthenon. Still, I want to see the Parthenon.
The sea looks really blue. Would be great to dip my feet in, or loll on a deck chair inhaling the sunset. I like Greek food too, even though it’s got a lot of baigan!
This stone house looks different. Would be great to be like the little pig who lived in one.  Looks like a great romantic getaway! The night view with these soft lights would be out of the world.

This treetop apartment looks so inviting, I may never leave. I love nature, so would be great to have a view and be able to touch a plant while sitting next to it. Would love to see the Colosseum. Would also love to go leather shopping. Wonder whether Italy would look like a boot from the air, or is it just on the map?

Mmm…Swiss cheese. Swiss chocolate. That blue picture post card lake view. Skiiing. Or at least trying to ski. Snow. The Alps. Train through the mountains. Basically Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Fondue. Yes, back to food. I like rooftop apartments. Some of the best times of my life were in one. The view, the air- everything’s just better up there.  Hence, this is a good bet.

I had a diary with photos from Germany when I was a child. Bee-yoo-tiful scenery. German cars. Bavarian Gentians. Had a poem on those mysterious blue flowers when I was in school. Would love to see them in reality. And the Black Forest which I love to eat. So this looks like a good option, amidst the forest.

The good part about holidaying in Europe is that one can easily hop from one country to another. Still have Disneyland on my to visit list, an island where I can see water all around- not like the UK! Would be awesome to go trekking in all these places, stay for a few months in each and just let them become part of me!

Here’s my referral link. Use it so that we both get credit! Here’s my Wish List of places I’d like to stay at on AirBnB.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What is needed to clean India?

Cleaning your house is easy. Well, not really. You probably outsource that to a bai. What happens when she doesn’t come? You either wield the broom yourself,  grumbling all the time, or you resign yourself to a dirty house for a day.

Sare Jahan se Acha- par Swacha?
Let’s extrapolate this to India’s situation. That’s our home too, right? Those countless Hindi film patriotic songs, that we hum come every Independence Day? There are no bias to clean India. We have to at least take care that we don’t dirty it, even if we don’t clean it.

Would you clean up after others?
I remember reading a Reader’s Digest article when I was a kid, about a man in Bangalore who would sweep the footpaths outside his house.  If we have a problem picking up after other people, at least we should not be one of those people.

Why aren’t we clean?
So let’s examine why people don’t think it necessary to keep India clean. What’s one more wrapper? What difference will one person being conscious of not littering make?

Court to the rescue
Just read that the Delhi High Court is pulling up municipality workers for not keeping the city clean. It is taking the KITA or Kick in the Ass approach. If they can’t keep the city clean, they should be fired.

The judiciary has always been one of the hands on arms of the government. Seen as impartial, it is perceived as an organ that gets work done, rather than dither due to political motivations.

So, if this judgment catches on, it can have far reaching implications. It can set a precedent. Other cities can follow suit. Accountability is key. As it rightly points out, if there is a cleaner appointed for each area, then why is the city dirty? By demanding details of the area cleaned, work will get done.

We who work know that the only way to get work done is to keep following up with the person concerned. Naturally the worker will have to work if he has to give details of the work done.

India Inc is cleaner
Cleaners in the private sector clean all the time. It would be great if we also had workers round the clock for this.

Swach Bharat Abhiyan is catching on
What seems different about Swach Bharat Abhiyan is that it has captured the imagination of the people. From school children to celebrities to courts, everyone is pitching in. So, we might very well see a clean India.

That would be great! We can finally then tell snooty foreigners who whine about India being dirty to take a walk. Literally. And those Indians who go abroad and then turn up their noses when they come back home? Them too.

So let's speak up like Montu, of Strepsils. It's a pretty cool campaign to make people think and share about this issue. #AbMontuBolega #AbSabBolenge #AbSabKarenge