—— thy name is woman

Women’s day week is always interesting. All of a sudden, there is so much attention to the fact that you are a woman. Secretly I gulp it up all, but it’s a bit too daunting with so many different views and messages around it.

Anyway, this year, I was part of this campaign about balance for better, and a picture of mine, along with a progressive quote was posted online as a representative of savvy, achieving woman, who can balance personal and professional lives (this post is not about how I do it all- or do not at all). But, I got more comments about how I have put on weight rather than the actual message, or my path to being part of such a campaign in the first place.

Then there was this whole world of ads, stories, and social media posts on a variety of topics: stretch marks-anti-ageing- Botox, pregnancy-weight gain, weight-loss-anorexia, body positivism-body shaming, best dressed-worst dressed lists, gym-yoga-meditation-diet, married-unmarried, stay-at-home mom-working mom, femininity-anti-femininity, motherhood or not. It was everywhere the videos and stories that people share to mommy blogs and posts. There were also women boosting women, men boosting women, women shaming women, and men shaming women thrown into the mix in fair measure (rather not get into details).

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But it must have gotten into my subconscious or so. Because I was watching a series and all I was caring about was how good the protagonist looked. It must be catching during the season, because a colleague shared she felt the same, and told me the story of a girl trying to shed few 100 grams before a client meeting (this was a very capable high-performing person) and was on a liquid diet that day. In my mind, I pinkie swore to go on a diet or exercise or whatever. Apparently numbers that matter is not just those in an excel file or your bank account.

And, even the car-ride that day to the mall was not easy. The radio ad for a popular shopping outlet screamed in Hindi- behen kuch bhi pehen (which translates roughly into sister wear what you want). Well, for a person in a “behenji” (cultural slang for matronly) slot, it gave a low blow to my already battered ego.

But, do you know of all, what was the most unforgiving of all;  the feeling that rose in pit of my stomach when surrounded on all four by the trial room mirrors.

And, my mind reeled back to a dialogue from the series I binge watched this weekend “It only takes a moment of courage to break centuries of stereotyping” (Courtesy: Made in Heaven)

We do not need campaigns or feminist propaganda for empowerment.

All we need is a bit of self-worth.

You can fill the blanks whatever way you want, but you have to believe it first.

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A (Silly) Rain Theory

Today it rained.

Growing up in a monsoon-blessed part of India, rain was no big deal. That’s until I started living in this parched city about ten years ago. Rain here is celebrated. On the few occasions that it got out of hand, and things had to be shut down, and we had to stay indoors, no-one was really feeling bad about it, you know.

Anyway, this morning as we were getting ready for office/school, my son wanted to watch Teletubbies for a bit, and randomly, I kept this episode on rain. And, only when we stepped out, I realized it had rained in the morning.

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It had rained, and I had not known. I was watching a show on rains.

Then, on the way, my son said roads are clean and pointed me out to a few puddles of stagnant water.

I was still stuck at the fact that in my small bubble of a world, I had not realized it had rained. And, this is reflective of my life in a lot of ways. Always chasing stuff and not realizing when things that actually matters happen.

I wanted to tell:

Some rains are like that; it washes over you, while some just leave behind marks.

But then, I looked at him and went with the easier version of water, vapor, clouds, rain, soil, and water again.

Both are vicious cycles anyway.

Hypocrisy of Human Heart

All I want is a bit of courage, to look people in the eye

Tell this is my life; Live and let live

I do not know what is bigger

The fear of having to do things that I do not want to

Or worse still,

The fear of not wanting to oppose, justify, explain or deal with situations

A Japanese proverb I once read echoes in my head “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down”

So let’s just deal with the suppression and ignore the depression

Tugs of heart, swept under the rug

I am supposedly dealing with the hypocrisy around

What about the hypocrisy of my heart?

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Give to Receive / Ask to Get?

It is the season I think!

I am all for reflection and introspection this time of year.

This year I have been thinking a lot about what should I/anyone do?

Should we give in order to receive or ask in order to get?

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Someone told me Give and Receive is old school, and new age is Ask and Get

I have been taught to do both, was more for the former earlier, and the latter until recently

Now days, it is more of a don’t care, don’t think, just do and move on

I have been wanting to make this a social experiment of sorts/ crowd sourced blog at its best, however, I do not have enough connections to get this done, but could not let go either, so here goes a humble attempt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Traditions

I am a very ritualistic (not religious, more like repetitive behavior with some meaning) person. I do things in certain way or order or during certain times of year; basically there is a method to my madness. It is special to me and it matters or so it was, until recently. That is what this post is about.

Growing up, an uncle of mine and his family used to send us holiday greetings with family pics on the card (it is not very common in India to do that, not back then at least). And like a planner I am (even as a 10 year old), I wanted to do that when I have a family. First few years into marriage, I used to make lists of people to send greetings to (non-picture ones). In a time when everything is digital, I believed in my vision enough to get actual cards (always from Smile Foundation), make handwritten notes and resorted to Indian Post/ courier to send them. I had wait; some will say they got, some wont, and thanks to our great postal system; some never received any. In my head, I wanted people to cherish it when they receive it and reciprocate that to me, but barring a few, it almost never happened. And, it lost its charm. I stopped after 4 years I think. Every new year I feel the urge to do it all again, but then I feel no one is missing it or anything, why bother!

I used to send emails every year, like a snapshot of what happened that year, and I just stopped, and no one realized. I saw this quote- If you love someone, set them free. It is a lot of B.S. No one ever comes back and it does not do well to your self-worth.
Basically I gave up doing a lot of things I used to do because I did not get anything back. Now, doing it for self and for our own happiness, I have a set of things for that, but after a point even that gets lonely. It is not selfish. I have a big problem with people wanting something to be called selfish. Everyone wants and everyone expects something; it is not wrong! I mean things that are supposed to be mutual, always needs more than one person in the equation. Or, you will end up with 4 different journals containing monologues after monologues, you will be caught smiling by a co-worker in a stairway laughing at your own joke (which later gets entered into a journal), or you will be talking to yourself while folding clothes.

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And, as to rituals, I have some new ones like binge watching, organizing the wardrobe every two weeks, cleaning up office desk every quarter. All things that sound like chores, but actually very productive and gives reasons to be happy.

One of my Christmas traditions is watching Hallmark romantic comedy movies (run-of-the-mills-and-boon) and I saw one this week about this woman going back to old Christmas traditions. It is all hunky dory; she suddenly miraculously finds happiness, writes a book on it, you know the drill.

I thought I should get inspired and do the same. Write about breaking traditions.

To new beginnings!!

P.S.

This is a light-hearted take on how things are in general, written in first person because I identify with it and not going through it. I am perfectly fine, never been more at peace with myself ever!

Corner Table

Am I there, or not there?

Depends on what the need is

To lean on, give a boost or drive a wedge

Opportunistically dragged to the center foyer

Only to be shoved into oblivion as moment passes

Days pass by unnoticed, yet I will be standing my ground

Becoming a cornerstone is any day better than being in someone’s corner

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Voice from the next-door balcony

Every morning as I am getting ready for work and prepping my son for school, I hear her.

Sometimes she’s singing to her daughter. Mostly rhymes, but it must be on difficult days that she puts on the videos on phone. And, I hear an old lady chiding her for that.

Once or twice I heard her husband joining the ladies and they all laugh out loud. One day, she was very angry that the old lady wanted her to do some chores and not spend too much time feeding breakfast to the kid. And, what started as an argument, ended in tears.
Sometimes my son asks- what is that sound? And, I tell it’s mommy of a little baby. Then, when I have bad days where my little one throws a fit about not wanting to bath, I tell see the baby next door is all ready; I use the “wheels on bus” that they are playing to distract him.
Often, I feel there is a time when both our kids are taking a nap or so; I am in that room to run washing machine or fold clothes, and I can hear her catch up with some friend or cribbing to someone that I assume is her mom or sister. I don’t need to know what she’s speaking, the tone says it all.
And this has been going on for a while. I wonder if she can hear me hum a song or convince my son that water is warm in the bath or does she smile when she hears me play monster or when we count to ten for hide and seek.
Then, one day we were cycling just outside our buildings. She came down with her baby girl and we both said hi to each other. My son was too shy to say hi to them, and her daughter looked at us amusingly. We could have talked more, but the old lady appeared and they walked away.
To this day, we hear each other out in a way, without probably ever having to talk and I feel we know each other.