Friday, October 30, 2015

Koshish – A Try

She saw behind and he wasn’t there…
She searched everywhere, but it was despair
She called for help but could find no one to care
She was left with the green trees and darkness to stare

She welcomed the dawn with her lips quivering for water
Rain it was, which kissed her as if God had the answer
Slowly and steadily she stood up as the day turned brighter
Her eyes hovered trying to find her lost shelter

It was a bad night and everything’s gonna be alright
She said to herself trying not to remember the fight
How her partner had hit and stamped her last night
But after that he left her here and that she thought was not right

She started to walk endlessly with the hope to get back
And to her joy she could feel she was reaching her track
Here she pondered and something held her tight
Which way to go was it the time to decide?

One led to the world which didn’t want her
The other went to a journey she always dreamt for
Quickly she covered her face with the silk scarf she wore
And started walking towards her dreams to never return she swore

With sky as the limit and confidence her friend
She started running without even knowing the end
Life had so many colors and yes she was ready to blend
She decided this is how her entire life she was going to spend

“Koshish” she called herself and erased her past from her mind
Her talents were enough to help her win and surely people were kind
Work was her worship and happiness her solace and both she twined
To keep herself alive from within and like a star she shined…






Monday, October 5, 2015

Life from the Bird’s Eye

In this world we come, to see our parents’ twinkling eyes;
They hold us tight and love us right, to make us all well and wise.
The first crawl, the first stand, the first run and the first fall;
Our sweet smile, our loud cries, makes everything around us stall.

The excitement of running to school for the first time;
The fun of having best friends to fight and play all the time
The first crush, the first love and the first rose for the special one;
The first no, the first heart break and then the repeated sessions of sad songs

The hard work in school and then in college, to excel in life’s unseen battle
The pride to have the first offer, “Mom-Dad, I’ve done it.” Waving it like a rattle
The first day at work, and the huge shopping before that
The first salary, the first award at work and the first appraisal

Yet another time the heart falling for one and this time I know it’s a budding love
Hand in hand, theatres, movies, eateries and gardens- like the lovely two little doves
The most important day to celebrate, the day when the two souls met to be one
Begins the journey of life with flavors of love, responsibility, and a lot of fun

The late hours slogging, the overflowing work, no time for party, no time for fun
One day to realize, it’s time for the little one to come, the heart wonders it’s a daughter or a son?
Tired and exhausted with work, life’s trigger lies only in the little one’s smile
Struggle is on, to make the future bright for the little one to shine

One day to see the little one is a self-made and successful soul
Having a new found world with dreams and sensibly defined goals
Eyes filled with pride and heart in peace, I declare that’s my beautiful life’s fruit
Taking with it, my values and ethics to live and play life’s beautiful flute


Content with life’s offerings, holding hands and finding solace in each other’s lap
We close our eyes to embrace the other world and take a long, rather longest nap
That’s the cycle of life, the beautiful life, the gift from the goddess herself
Live it, Love it, Laugh it, Play it, Sing it, Dance it…… Coz you are priceless yourself.

                                                                                                                                                               

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Gender Biases: What needs to change?


Gender Discrimination had remained a very important yet ignored or I can say suppressed topic so far but it is good to see that today people are talking about it in open forums and getting support from the masses which definitely gives a ray of hope to believe things would change in the long run. To start with I would like to pose a question to myself and to others reading this: “Is gender discrimination a Corporate Concern or actually it is more of a Social Concern?”

I would like to give few examples of how we react to some of the things we see in our daily lives.

1) A female rider in a Royal Enfield on the road: “Wow see the girl, she’s driving Royal Enfield”
2) A female driving a car fast: “Look at the girl she’s smart to drive the car so fast”
3) A Stay at home Daddy: Rolled eyes! Or Probably How lucky is his wife!!!
4) A man cooking his own lunch to office: “You cook at home? How lucky is your wife”
5) A man changing baby diapers: “Wow he is so cute, how lucky is his wife”

I can go on. But let us ponder to shake our heads in agreement to have one of these thoughts cropping up every time we are spectators of any such situation. None of the comments above are wrong or hurting but they are all biased. Is there a rule book with definitions such as bikers can only be males? Or lucky is the girl to have a husband who shares the responsibilities of the family equally? Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are being biased towards a gender when it comes naturally. And that is the problem in itself.

Yes we all know males and females are two different genders and their characteristics are different. But who decides which gender is better? Or which gender is more important? Or which gender is more efficient? Or which gender should be paid more? I know these questions remain unanswered always and will lead to a lot of debates which can take ugly turns. But my point here is; it is not a question of how bad it is to be biased or what causes gender biases. The point I would like to make here is let’s try to be fair, fair in our actions and in our thoughts, without giving a chance to someone to question our ethics. It doesn’t need a body to decide that gender biases are wrong and should be stopped. But to my greatest surprise this is happening. To make the highly educated class understand the fact that giving more to someone just because he is a male is wrong. Isn’t that strange? We claim to be the CEO’s and are seen heading many Business Units in many successful organizations in the world, but we have failed to judge a very basic fact of life that a person is good or bad at his/her job not because of his or her gender but because of his or her capability. It sounds quite weird to me that the corporate giants with such knowledge and success rates have failed to figure this out which was going on from so long; but that’s the truth. At least the statistics say so. And so we are raising our voices and signing petitions and what not to make ourselves vocal so that we are treated equally to our male counterparts. It is indeed disturbing to me at least to realize this.
I have been in the IT industry for more than a decade now and it would be wrong to say I haven’t experienced this. In most interviews I have been asked about my marital status and family details to decide how many hours I can give to office. While as an interviewer, I have found it difficult to convince on more than one occasion as to why I wanted to select a girl because she was technically far better than her male counterpart in the interview just because my manager thought the girl would be getting married soon and would need leaves. When the organization decided and to roll out a policy on girls not staying at office beyond 7 pm in the evening without manager’s approval due to security reasons I have heard my male colleagues  commenting  how being females we try to exploit the rules yet demand for equality. When I took a month’s break between job shifts I have heard from my male colleagues on how it doesn’t matter to me as anyway my husband is working and I work only for pocket money. On occasions when I have shared my view of missing my 1 year old daughter while I am at office, I have heard my male colleagues comment on how I am not a good mother for having decided to continue to work leaving my child at home. All these have made me react at times and ignore most of the times. Can someone tell me for how long can we be quiet?
Nothing can be done about changing it until the mindset changes, the mindset that stops employers from hiring females because they might get married and have kids and reasons like this. None of us come with a guarantee when you recruit us, be it a male or a female. Yes when a female employee gets married there is a chance that she leaves the place and goes in order to be with her husband if he is in a different location. Yes there is a chance that once a female employee has a kid she leaves her job in order to be with her kid. But that doesn’t mean we cannot hire her. Rather the organizations can have policies to help her retain her job, policies which encourage a couple to work in the same organization which might give an opportunity to the male counterpart to shift bases to where his wife resides. Organizations can make policies that give woman full support during her post pregnancy days; by working in shifts, from home, take more leaves, by funding few day-cares or pre-schools near office premises.
 But solutions can only be thought if only one realizes that there is a problem. Since most organizations are male dominated and they think only about the P&L at the end of the day, it’s a difficult job to have everyone come under the same UMBRELLA which says “SAY NO TO GENDER BIASES”.
Let’s first try to understand the plain and simple fact of life that there are males and there are females and just because you are a male doesn’t mean you are better. You need to exhibit certain qualities to be better that benefits the organization and society as a whole. And one of the qualities that make you better than others is when you know and understand the fact of respecting an individual for the qualities he/she has and not based on his/her gender.




Thursday, June 25, 2015

COUSINS

Before I start writing anything on this topic I would like to tell everyone that MY COUSINS are the best J


Cousins!!!! God’s greatest gift ever to us
Cousins, without whom life will have no drive
Cousins, who make your lives full of smiles 
Cousins!!! The reason behind your best times in life

The late night gossips and the secrets shared
The whole day games of truth or dare
The songs sung or shall I say shouted and screamed
The laughter shared and the heroic games played

The memories to cherish till the last breath
The happiness filled lives to cherish always
The family bonding that makes us proud
The “we are there” attitude in all grounds

Waiting for every vacation to be together again
Collecting short stories to be shared within
The smiles to see our partners in crime
And the minds planning for a bigger one this time

The sorrow when days of fun were over
Praying the night should never get over
Hating every moment to say goodbye
That small twinkle that drops from your eyes

Retrospect and you know for sure
How lucky you are, to have these memoirs
I know cousins are the best friends on earth 
And I know my cousins are the best in the lot. :)

3 cheers for our crazy crazy cousin gang :) Love you all :)






Wednesday, June 24, 2015

When you decide to Live Happily Ever After.....

  
Be it a love marriage or an arranged one, the 7 pheras or the marriage vows are the same. We meet someone, like him/her, and finally decide to get married. We think/assume/expect the person is the best match for us and we would live happily ever after. :)

As we grow up, we see many definitions of marriage, some marriages having the male counterpart more dominant, some having the female counterpart equally dominant which leads to numerous clashes, some having a very dominant female partner. In many relationships we see both the partners taking equal responsibility in everything and managing everything so well.  I have heard many people saying marriages are made in heaven, or marriages mean compromise, or many other similar things. I have read many articles on the internet on tips for happy marriage; have spoken to many friends and acquaintances about their ideas of happy marriage. I value many couples for the kind of relationship they share between themselves and empathize many who are in a marriage because they have to be, due to various factors in the society. In my opinion, it is very difficult to judge whether a marriage is happy or not, even for couples who celebrate their 70th anniversary together.  I now understand the fact that happy and successful marriages are difficult to find in the society because my definition of successful marriage is not the number of anniversaries you spend together but the number of times you have laughed together.

American author Fawn Weaver had said "Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice" and I somehow totally agree to this one thing. I feel if I have decided to get married, I also have the responsibility to make it successful. Successful marriage is one that dwells in the hearts of two happy partners. In my honest opinion the two most important things for a happy marriage are respect and acceptance. No human being is perfect and hence none of us come with zero drawbacks. So it is important to respect each other’s like/dislikes, qualities/drawbacks and accept each other without any ifs and buts. Half the battle is won because you are now a team which is constantly working for a better life together, which in turn proves to be the guiding factor for your relationship. All of us are the kings/queens of our lives before we are married. We do whatever we want and live life in our own conditions. But as we walk the path of marriage we become two very different people coming from two different backgrounds, having two very different upbringings, trying to set up a four walled cemented structure and call it our home. We have various visions, very different tastes, different beliefs and definition of a happy life. But our mission is same and that is to live happily ever after. Hence we should not forget that at any point of time in life and have to equip our minds to understand that there are good days and there are bad days too and bad days need not necessarily hit both the partners at the same time. So if there is a problem today, then it is a passing phase and good days are on their way. So even though we are worn out and tired today, the trust in each other should never fade away. Our belief in the supreme power should not be shaken. Our marriage should be our primary focus and the most important asset that needs to be saved. Positive thinking and having friends and acquaintances who think alike would make our journey smoother. I feel if there is something that you can build with your partner on a daily basis then that is friendship and try to make it stronger with each passing day. Finding a friend in your partner can never go wrong for any relationship, its in fact a blessing. Finally all said and done, it is the love that holds you together, so love love and love. Love like a child who smiles when you throw him up in the air because he loves and trusts you so much that he knows you will catch him if he falls. Love with your arms stretched and shout I LOVE YOU and mean every word and every feeling of it. Cause loving each other truly is the basis that makes you dream and decide to Live Happily Ever After.....

To cut the crap here's the list of spices to a cook a great marriage and trust me it is in our hands :)

1. Respect for each other
2. Acceptance without any conditions
3. Team work
4. To know that bad days are passing phases and it will go
5. Believe in each other, in yourself and in the supreme power
6. Think positive
7. Be friends 
8. Break free and Love each other and Laugh often.

And if you want to make it a little chatpata then add the spice of being silly, add humor and be adventurous to make the monotonous things a little more pepped up :)  

And you will really really live happily ever after :)




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Some Games for the lil ones enjoyment

1. A Book that shows Nature:

I would love to go for a nature walk with my preschooler Aankhi and while on our walk, we would collect leaves, stones, flowers and bark, etc. I would probably let her pick up different objects that represent the nature in my area and put one of each nature item in a small freezer bag and seal, label each bag with a marker pen (for example, "Yellow flower").

Tape the bottom side of all four bags together with coloured masking tape. So here's a book where Aankhi reads and "opens" or unzips the pages. This would help in building her vocabulary and reading skills,and also learn about all the different trees and flowers in the surrounding.

2. Paper Tennis Racket with Balloon Balls:

This is a simple yet fun balloon activity that is sure to bring out the tennis star in your little one! Take small paper plates and tape them to the ends of wooden sticks to create your tennis "rackets". Blow up a balloon for the "ball". Use a skipping rope to divide the "court" in half and see how many times you can volley the balloon across the line before it hits the ground. You can also use the plate racket to keep the balloon aloft or you can play a tennis game of doubles or triples, depending on how many children there are.

3. Animal Freeze Dance

You can play this with or without a song. Pick an animal and say: "Dance like a rabbit!" After a little while say: "Freeze." Then stop moving and call out another animal to imitate. Between animals say: "Freeze."

You can take turns with your child picking different animals to imitate. Pick animals that cover a variety of movements such as frogs, snakes, monkeys, elephants - or even dinosaurs!

This activity teaches children to listen to directions and encourages imagination.

4. Homemade Twister

Create your own twister game for you and your family! Get coloured construction paper and tape it to the floor. Then, make small cards to pull out at random to give the directions. So your child can call out the directions himself, you can simply draw either a hand or a foot and colour it the appropriate colour. For example, when your child selects a card with a yellow hand, he can easily interpret that he should put his hand on a yellow square. For more advanced children, you can add a "right" or "left" into the instructions.

5. Sink Soak

 This will keep your little one busy for a long time. Fill the kitchen or bathroom sink with some water. Then give your child plastic cups, spoons, and jugs to play with. She'll have a splashing good time! You may want to put her in a short-sleeved t-shirt so she doesn't get too wet. Make sure she's standing on a sturdy stool too.

6. Complete the sentence and repeat

This is a good memory game for car journeys, restaurants, or anywhere that requires you to sit still. One person starts the game by saying, "I'm going to the beach and I'm going to bring my..." Fill in the blank with anything you want, "flip flops", for example.

The next person then repeats the first line and adds another item, "I'm going to the beach and I'm going to bring my flip flops and my sun lotion".

Play continues around the group with each person repeating the items mentioned and adding their own at the end. Each player must begin with the phrase "I'm going to the beach..." and must list all items in the correct order. The game starts over when someone forgets an item or gets the order wrong.

It's also fun to change the opening line. Instead of the beach you can go to the park, the market, grandma's house, or wherever you choose.

7. Indoor Picnic

For those long winter days when you can't get outside, your little one will love having an indoor picnic. Your child can help you pack up a basket full of food. Together, you can then lay out a tablecloth or a sheet on the floor and put out plates and silverware. Then sit down and enjoy a wonderful picnic together. For extra fun, imagine all of the things that you see around you, things that you would have seen had you been having an outdoor picnic.

8. Eat the colors

Encourage your little one to eat fruit and show off her knowledge of colours. Cut up a fruit salad with strawberries, blueberries, oranges, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi etc. Then call out, "Eat something red... eat something orange". She'll love picking out the correct fruit and eating it. You can try this with vegetables, too.

9. Giggle Belly

1. One player must lie down on his back. The next player lies down with her head resting on the first player's belly and the next player lies down with his head on the second player's belly. Arrange all the players until everyone is zigzagged across the floor, each with his or her head on someone else's belly (if possible, make the line into a loop so that the last player can put her head on the first player's belly).

2. Then, the first player shouts, loud and clear, "Ha!" The second player responds with a vigorous, "Ha, ha!" then the third player chimes in, "Ha, ha, ha!" Continue until all players have shouted out their "Has" or (more likely) have dissolved into uncontrollable laughter, with heads bouncing on the bellies of giggling friends, uncles, cousins or grandmothers.


10. Guess the toy

Play "I Spy" with your child using a selection of small action figures, balls, stocking fillers and items received in party bags.

Spread them out and take turns giving hints about the toy you're spying.

"I spy something you wear on your face." (Sunglasses)
"I spy something round." (A bouncy ball)

11. Body Paint

Paint your Body with all colors you want :)

12. Creating Collages

Gather a stack of old magazines and catalogues. Choose a theme with your child and go on a hunt for pictures connected to the theme (food, farm, family, animals, seaside, etc.). Cut out any pictures you find related to the theme. You can then spend time classifying and sorting the pictures (for example, for food, sort by food groups or by vegetables and meats or by meals). You can count the pictures and talk about what pictures you didn't find. Once you've finished sorting, glue all pictures down on a piece of construction paper to create a collage and a great poster for your child's room.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guess its better to be content to excel :)

As kids we always enjoyed every moment in our lives. We were so happy with only one channel in TV, very few toys to play with, eating food cooked at home by our very own expert cook called Ma :)... The list can go on and on of the limited choice that we had and still we were so content and happy. Yes we belonged to an age where things were few but options were many. I don't remember getting bored as a kid as I had so many things to do in life.

As I grew and started to take my own decisions, started having ambitions, started setting goals for myself and started dreaming big, I started feeling the pressure. A pressure created by me for my own self. I started having expectations, from myself. The reason can be many - may be peer pressure or the pressure of the ever increasing competitive environment, or it might be because I had set some goals and ambitions for myself which had very strict deadlines. I kept running in this track for long. I appreciated my achievements, grieved at my failures and learnt from my mistakes but kept going, We all do and there is just nothing special about me. I saw people who were achieving more that me in their career and always analysed their achievements versus mine and tried to draw a conclusion as to why they were there and I was not. I also analysed people from whom I thought I was doing better and felt proud about it. I made deadline for myself, deadlines for salaries, deadlines to reach certain positions in career, deadlines for creating assets, deadlines for growing and kept analyzing myself. Sometimes I wondered whether I was competing with myself or with my peers? Sometimes I wondered where would it lead me to? Sometimes I was excited to do it all and get it all.. Sometimes I would be laid back and would want to give up everything and go away somewhere. Sometimes I laughed at the journey so far, sometimes the memories made me cry for various reasons.

In midst of all this, life went on and I completed schooling, then graduated, started working, got married and now I have beautiful daughter. I changed companies, I stayed in many places in India and few places abroad. As I said, I always had some expectations from myself and I either outperformed or under performed the goals I has set for myself. I never performed satisfactorily according to my self appraisal policies, which resulted in a all new battle of goals and deadlines and tasks. The whole cycle would be repeated and it just went on. And this is what the quotes on success say don't they? There's no stopping, we have to overlook failures, learn from them and keep going until we reach success.

At all times in my life, whenever I achieved something, as I said I created a whole new set of goals and started again, until one day when I questioned myself, "And then what? Till what point would I be running this rat race and what's the end to it?" Then, I pondered and gave it a thought, which made me realize a very interesting fact about my very own life. Success was always achieved but never realized as the concept of being content was not in my dictionary. I was just accelerating and breaking when necessary, I was never breaking at will to enjoy the destination reached.This time I decided to pull the hand gear of life, at every signal, at every coffee shop, at every destination as per my goals. Not because it was the end of my aspirations or ambitions, but because I wanted to enjoy every phase to celebrate every goal achieved and understand the fact that - every road crossed, every hurdle met was a success and I should be content with what I just achieved.

This doesn't mean I set no goals for myself now. This doesn't mean I set no deadlines for those goals. I do. All I do post this is, celebrate what I have,  analyze the achievement and its effect on me, analyze the next set of goals and tasks in mind and then set the goals if and only if I feel its worth it. Not influenced by the environment, not influenced by my peers, not influenced by what others think is right for me, I choose to walk the path that gives me a sense of fulfillment. I don't care if people thought I was a fool to take a certain decision, I don't even feel like giving it a thought. I do what I think is right for me and before doing that I definitely seek advice from people who matter to me.

Not that I am the most successful person and doing extremely well and better than everyone in life. But I claim to have found the way to be successful because I define my successes and failures without worrying about the world. I have decided to be content and celebrate the achievements for a while before moving on to the next. I have decided to be happy about the achievements that I make given my current situation and not compare myself with anyone. Ultimately success is what makes me happy and if an achievement cannot make me happy then that is not success for me. If I am unhappy because my mind thinks someone else is doing better than me in life then I am a failure as I am comparing myself with someone in whose shoes I have never walked. And more importantly I am who I am and I cannot be compared to anyone not even to my siblings :)


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Are we working just for pocket money???

After having spent so many years as a working professional, I have seen a common mentality among few people that women/girls work just for their pocket money and they have an option of quitting to work any day. I don't know if all my female friends would agree to this or not, but I have been hearing this statement many times by different people, at different places of work and at different situations.

When I joined work as a fresher, I heard few people saying "Sohini, you have a choice of quitting after marriage, anyway your husband would be earning right". Once I got married I heard the same thing about having an option to quit post having children. Now that I have a child and still continue to work, and sometimes discuss about the issues in getting a help at home for taking care of the baby while I am away, or if at times I am irritated with my boss, or I don't like some policies in office, I hear the same old sentence "Sohini, you have an option to quit, but we cant do that". And all this from some of my male colleagues to be precise.

I am not sure of the reason for making such a sentence by anyone but I am surely not in favor of hearing such a thing at every step. Being a female doesn't snatch away the right of being career oriented. Being married and having children doesn't take away the right to aim high in your career. Just because my husband is working, it doesn't take away my right to have a professional ambition in life and gives me an option to quit any day. If I have a problem with a person in office or the office as a whole I have an option to join a different one which suits my professional as well as personal requirements and ambitions, but quitting to work is definitely never in my wish list.  I believe in doing what I love and letting people do what they love.

I am sure all the lovely ladies who decide to be home makers are doing so because they love doing it. If at times, they are irritated because they have too many things to do at home, how many of you would go and tell them anyway your husband is there to take care of the household chores so you have an option to quit doing these?Or for that matter, many of my friends who are working, have to go back home and do everything on their own, and when they are tired and worn out after work, how many of you go and tell her that anyway you have your husband so you have the option of quitting to do all these any day, he will take care.

I guess what lacks here is the respect for the gender female in the minds of many. Yes I agree its a taboo to believe that the Male earns the bread and Butter and the Female takes care of the house. But people don't you think we have come a long way from all these and we have explored a lot? So having such thoughts not only makes you look like an idiot in front of many but shows how inferior you feel when you compare yourselves with the female counterpart who is able to manage both with the same efficiency and without complaints. :)