Scared of success

Scared of success.

Couldn’t agree more with this. Have a read.

Its “NOT” a part of being a WO-man!

SCENARIO 1

Lunch time at the office pantry

Male Colleague: Why is the table so dirty? Who has left all these tissue papers?

Myself: (Already having lunch) Excuse me? That comes from the person who doesn’t clean up after himself after lunch?

Male Colleague: Who says we leave it dirty? It’s always clean.

Myself: Yes it’s clean, but you aren’t the one who cleans it. It’s your female colleague “B” who cleans the trash and leftovers for all of you.

Male Colleague: (With a very matter of fact attitude) So? She is a woman, and it’s a part of being a woman. You should learn as well.

SCENARIO 2

On the way to a party

Female Friend: I need to be back home by 9 PM.

Myself: But it’s already 8 PM and we haven’t even reached there yet. How are you supposed to be back at 9PM unless you de-tour right now and go back?

Female Friend: I don’t know how, if required I’ll “fly” but I must somehow be back.

Myself: Is everything alright at home? You have an emergency?

Female Friend: Oh my husband has to go to work (night shift).

Myself: Umm…okay so?

Female friend: So I have to take out his clothes, heat his food and accompany him during his dinner.

Myself: That’s your emergency?

Female Friend: Yes. He doesn’t like it when I am not around when he has to leave the house. Its inconvenient for him. He is going to be very angry if I don’t go back before he leaves.

Myself: But its just one night. Does he not know where his own clothes are? Can he not heat the food himself? Its not rocket science.

Female Friend: No you don’t understand. He doesn’t like it.

Myself: Does he ever stick around or come back early when you want him to or genuinely need to?

Female friend: No.

Myself: So then?

Female friend: Oh well, I am a woman. That’s what we do. You cannot question them.

SCENARIO 3

At home, in the kitchen after a large-scale housewarming invitation.

 

Mother: I am so tired. I have a headache. But I have to do the dishes and clean up the house

Myself: Why don’t you just leave this and go to bed.

Mother: No I can’t. If I don’t do it, who will?

Myself: I don’t think I can ever do this when I have a house of my own without any help.

Mother: Of course you can and you must even if you can’t. It’s what women do.

Myself: What? They cook, clean and care after the men? That’s all we do?

Mother: No that’s not all we do but it’s a very significant part of what we do.

Myself: But I don’t think I can do it myself. Why can’t the men help?

Mother: If you have this attitude, you are never going to survive your marriage. You must compromise and adjust in relationships.

Myself: Sure, I understand compromise. But doesn’t compromise consist of both parties? What you are talking about is one sided, so how is it a compromise?

Mother: Oh don’t argue again now. Just help me with the dishes will you. I have other things to do and give dad his medicines, I am sure he is tired and he’ll want to sleep.

I am not participating in male-bashing and I know I am bringing up an very clichéd topic on equal rights on gender, but I can’t fathom how in this current generation where women and men practically are capable and also do everything at an equal level and have the ability to do, how is something still “a part of being a woman”?

 I am not asking for men and women to reverse roles. While my outlook is modern enough to believe in equal rights and sharing the load, I am traditional in a way that I wouldn’t like to see the man reverse roles with the traditional typical woman and do the chores on his own while the woman puts up her legs and watches TV while painting her nails.

No.

In a way I blame women as the cause for men to have a false pride and ego over their gender. Because women let them have it. They let them believe that they are superior. We let them believe that it is the duty of women to cook, clean and nurture.

Sure I understand that a part of this ideology has developed because traditionally men were the bread earners while women stayed at home and hence these activities came but naturally.

But in today’s world, where majority of working men “prefer” a working woman to help share the financial load, why can’t they accept that maybe the working woman would like to have their “working” men to help share their household chores?

How is acceptance of trend so biased and partial? Men take the benefit, women take the load.

If we are to move on and accept change, why can’t compromise live up to its true meaning?  

With a very tensed family who have a never-ending fear that I will be alone all the way because I refuse to clean the leftover smacked, licked and chewed bone of meat on the plate of the man when he can very well do so himself, this is me signing out hoping that you men remember to at least flush the toilet after yourself!

Oh wait…am I asking for too much?

I am sorry…^NOT!!!

The not-so-private affair

Here is a riddle…

What is that one thing that you own but everybody else uses it?

No, it’s not your name anymore…it’s your PRIVACY.

 

This is the current definition of the term “Privacy” as per Oxford Dictionary…however, I won’t be surprised if in the revised edition is re-defined as and limited to – “A voluntary setting option in various network applications to select what you want to share with the outside world” FULLSTOP. That’s all it may ultimately be derived to….an electronic “Tools & Settings” option.

I think that is what privacy has come to at this point with the ever so prevalent social media giving every individual the opportunity to literally be an “OPEN BOOK”.

It’s ironic that irrespective of the fact that privacy is something every individual has a birth right on, it is openly being invaded and it reaches a point when everyone else has the right to it other than yourself.

In an age where everyone is so vocal and visual about every moment of their life, I think the original essence of privacy has become obsolete i.e. “a state in which one is not observed or disturbed by other people”.

And this thoroughly frustrates me, while I get it that it’s nice to re-connect with old acquaintances or sharing your wedding photos with those who care, it escapes my understanding as to why would people want the entire world to know what exactly they are doing, where, why, with who etc. be it from having a bowl of fruit salad, listening to your favorite music or to the extent of sharing your most intimate moments from your honeymoon to your delivery in the labor room (seriously – I am not joking, I know someone who has done that!!!!).

With all honesty, I hate to burst the bubble but nobody cares if your favorite shoe doesn’t fit you, or if you feel like having a Frappuccino at 4 AM!!!!

And it’s hilarious and disturbing at the same time that the social networks actually assume that everyone  is ever ready to have their information shared with everyone…why else are you not asked permission when someone decides to tag you on information/status/photos and he/she has the right to do so before you do?

While I am a strong believer that ignorance is something that should be avoided when it comes to basic common sense and knowledge, I am a strong believer of ignorance being bliss when it comes to social networks. Trust me; it’s a definite key to happiness.

At the risk of sounding like I am sour-graping, think about it, don’t you think you would be a happier person if you didn’t know that the classmate who always barely passed their exams back in high school, now has a better job/career than you, or your ex flame being in a “serious” relationship with someone you dearly hate, or knowing your colleague is going on a long dreamy vacation while you are completely extinguished at work? I am sure everyone of you would have felt that way at least once and regretted being exposed to too much information.

Call me an introvert if that is how it is perceived, but I love my privacy and am quite proud to admit that. Because you know what, my life is simple, if you don’t know what is happening in my life, clearly you aren’t that important to know and “no” my business is not your business or vice versa. 

So Sir/Ma’am….I would like to request your kind permission to have my privacy back to be able to enjoy a life of sweet privacy where I can live peacefully to myself and mysteriously to others without having to tell you what the color of my lingerie is or whether my relationship status is single or “complicated”.

You ask why? Errrmm…because it is my life….and only I have the copyright to have complete information & access to it…

So for more information, please enter username and password.

Beep! ERROR!! “WRONG PASSWORD” it says? Wonder why….perhaps it’s because you are trying to access –PRIVATE– information!

Arrange Love or Love Arranged ?

I have a serious question about love v/s arranged marriages.

We grow up watching the romantic movies and reading Mills & Boons. Rewinding and re-reading the parts when the charming handsome man swings his love and rides away and they live happily ever after.

But does this happen in reality ?

Are we all waiting for a love story that may never happen in a way that we always envisioned and expected it to be?

Being a self-confessed die-hard romantic (although not many would agree) and have always hoped for an almost “Bollywood” love story to bloom in my life (MINUS the evil parents & prospective in-laws threatening to kill you or themselves part).

But as time is flying by and I am increasingly seeing friends and family who are at a marriageable age getting engaged and married to those who they have only known for a few months, it’s a little disheartening. Where are all the love stories??

A realization may be that perhaps there is another angle to this, maybe we are all so focused on finding the “SPARK”, we don’t see the bigger picture. But is it wrong to wait for the “spark” ?

You may say I am living in a fairy tale, in a world that no longer exists, but when you hear about it so much, is it wrong to believe that such a world does exist somewhere? That someone somewhere is made for you and you just have to wait for them. Have you envisioned “that someone” to be the person who your family has shortlisted and presented to you ? Or is “that someone”, a someone who you yourself bump into, create sparks and then get married to?

We would have all heard parents and the extended family always say that “love” will happen eventually….but does it? Or is it more of a comfort level that you begin to share with that significant other because of the proximity in which you live in that you conveniently define as love?

In a generation when you fall in love with someone first and then get married as opposed to the previous generation where you first get married and then fall in love, its almost difficult to decide which one was better?

I remember this one particular sweet Indian advertisement for LIPTON tea that is still broadcasted on some channels, which so sweetly gives the message of the concept of “love” as defined by the previous generations. The advertisement which is basically a conversation between a daughter in law and her mother in law flows like this,

Daughter in Law – “Mom, have you had an arranged marriage or a love marriage ?” (with a taunting voice and an expression so sure that the answer would be an obvious arranged marriage)

Mother in Law –  “Ofcourse, love marriage” (very confidently answered)

An expression of awe and surprise besets on the face of the younger family members with question mark asking for more details on that answer

Mother in Law – “I was waiting in the balcony to get a first glimpse of your father-in-law while he was proceeding with his family members towards my house for the marriage. He happened to look up and saw me, I looked back at him and we fell in love. So…doesn’t that make it a love marriage then?”

While it seems like an arranged marriage does seem to have its pros in terms of being bound by a commitment and a “no-escape & too late to go back now” feeling, and because of that you actually may allow yourself to give the time and energy to understand your partner, I still want to have a story to tell my little ones and their little ones.

Hence may I so very kindly ask, Mr. Life Partner, I am waiting for you, where art thou? Will you cross my path or do I have to ask my family to hunt you down on matrimonial sites and make you cross my path? Let me tell you, I would much prefer the former =)

So Mr.Life Partner,

May I have your attention please?

May I have your attention please?

Will the real you please stand up?

 I repeat, will you please stand up and show yourself?

 Cuz otherwise, we’re gonna have a problem here….!!

Fairness? There is nothing fair about it…!

So I am totally annoyed by this particularly un”fair” concept that I have realized is still such an active issue…the issue of people’s obsession with “FAIRness”….. obviously more specifically when it comes to skin complexion…

An oxymoron here but there is nothing fair about not being fair …whether it comes to your hereditary color because of your nationality or because you are “blessed” with being fair skinned.

No offence meant to the above two categories because you may absolutely be the most wonderful people, but the truth is that at the competitive edge in any facet of life,  you are the ones who are actually standing on the edge whereas the others have fallen off to the deadly depths that lie below.

Take our own dear Indian community for example, the family regarded highly if their members are fair or you can take the classic example of the potential brides who are chosen based on how fair they are.

It’s amazing and disturbing at the same time to realize that in today’s  “claiming” to be well-educated world, “fairness” is actually sub consciously treated as a benchmark or a reflection of who you are as a person.

I think perhaps that is where the misunderstanding is, as for as long as we can remember white has always been associated with purity, peace and all the nice positive things and poor black on the other hand has forever been associated with the negative opposites.

And no matter how much people argue and claim that these concepts are dead and buried, the fact is that it’s not. If it was then equality would have been a common affair, and if you disagree with me at this moment then can you be “oh so kind” to explain to me,

  • Why is it such a big deal when a newly elected president is perhaps the creator of a new revolution “although” he is dark skinned?
  • Why is the supermodel who is “although” dark skinned but beautiful such a surprise?
  • How come your friends little daughter has got the most adorable pretty face “although” she is dark skinned?

Why is there always an “although” associated when you are not fair?

Why is it so much of a concern for parents even today when their daughter is not fair and they try the infinite number of things known from books, word of mouth, ayurvedic doctors and the so famous “fairness creams” etc to try and change the fate of her physical appearance?

So here I am trying to figure out, is it the feelings associated with “fairness or whiteness” that has made it so important or is it something beyond that?

Be it with jobs or with your life, how come something as petty and basic as a color makes the most over powering decision of your fate above everything else such as yourself, qualifications, experience or level of intelligence?

I hate to admit this but with all respect to MJ, the stark fact is that it DOES matter if you are BLACK or WHITE…!

.

.

The Big Blame Game

As individuals, one thing we absolutely hate is taking the blame and all of us are consciously or sub-consciously looking for someone or something to blame when something goes wrong.

I realized this today when I blamed my chipped finger nail on the late night re-run of one my favourite TV show’s. How you ask?

Virtual flashback

TV show at 12 = Up till 1 (instead of the usual 11) = Wake up at 8 (instead of the usual 7) = Too much to do in Too less a time = CONFUSION & CHAOS = Sub-consciously trying to open a drawer that is locked =
CRRA…AA…CCK!!! Ouch! There it goes! My perfectly manicured nails…Darn the show last night, its all because of that!

And just like this, we so often blame happenings on the most ridiculous things, that it is amusing.

I am sure we all would have had used atleast one of these blames,

  • Sore throat because of the chilled cold drinks we had the previous night intentionally.

Blame the Weather

  • The weighing machine shows an additional 5 Kilos (No, the weighing machine is working absolutely fine and it is manual!) because of the indulgence in KFC & McMeal.

Blame Stress and an Inefficient Metabolism Rate.

  • Bad day at work because you didn’t feel like working the previous evening and let the work pile up.

Blame the Stars and the uneven Constellations it has made thereby affecting your horoscope.

  • Late submission of assignment and ending up getting a lower grade because we were busy partying the last few days.

Blame the Printer/USB that crashed!

  • Bad eyes?

Blame the hereditary genes passed on by the forefathers and the cavemen who did not eat enough veggies so that their 1079th generation could be spared of spectacles.

 

I honestly think that we find comfort in blaming a third party for something that is happening to us just so that we are not borne down with the guilt or burden that what is happening is because of us alone (not every time though, I personally can’t blame myself for the short height, not having green eyes or for not having a natural pout!)

It’s a never ending infinite circle, the pointing fingers at never ends.

I find it amusing because we spend the longest time passing the blame rather than dealing with the problem but I have also often noticed that the beauty of the blame game is that because you spend so much time passing the blame, at the end of it, the problem isn’t the main concern anymore and several people “mutually” spread the blame evenly and sort the problem by each one of them thinking ” I am not to blame, I am only helping the one who is to be blamed sort out the problem” and sub-consciously voila! The solution to the problem may have been reached.

That is my analogy about the blame game, and in case you don’t agree with me…..it’s not my fault…..it’s the blog. So don’t blame me, BLAME THE BLOG!!! 😉

P.S. – I’d love to hear from you all what your most ridiculous blame game has been… 🙂

C’mon – It’s Common Sense!

Increasingly I have been using this term with those around me, “Use your common sense”, “It is common sense”, “Come on! Its common sense” etc. which brought me to wonder that although this sense is so commonly referred to, it is a sense that is hugely uncommon amongst common people. 

 If you ask me, I would say that the most important sense after the five crucial senses of being able to see, hear, touch, smell and taste, is the sixth one – i.e. the one to be able to use basic sense.  

So what is Common Sense exactly?

Firstly – it’s not the same as General Knowledge. Common sense is making a decision based on the obvious. And how do I exactly differentiate between the two? In simple terms, 

1. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius

2. One should use other methods of testing temperature of boiling water other than dipping their finger in it.

The former is General Knowledge, the latter is…….Common Sense! 

Inspite of this being such a popularly common term, it exists in negativity in common people.  

I don’t think it will be wrong if I say that the following equation holds true

 Absence of Common Sense = Presence of Stupidity.

Let me give some real examples to establish this relationship,

  • I place a document on the plate of the scanner belonging to my colleague. Colleague asks “You want it scanned?” (No – I was just wondering that if I kept this paper on the scanner, would it become gold?) – Hi, I am looking for a certain Common sense?
  • The elevator is going “UP” as clearly made obvious by the bright upward arrow green sign, but you still have some very intelligent people who relentlessly press the “Ground” floor expecting the lift to take a de-route and zwoop down instead. – Oh is Common Sense not around?
  • When somebody is arranging a SURPRISE birthday party, someone decides to casually mention it as a matter of fact to the birthday boy/girl and ask him/her what they will be wearing for the party. – Hello, is it Common sense?
  • You are specifically given an invite for yourself and a companion for a wedding, and you think it is a good idea for a mini re-union with your family and you bring members of your family tree along for the same. Jeez…where are you Common Sense?

 Jokes apart, on a more serious note, there are people around us who are affected regularly because of this absence, such as; 

  • Its common sense to not lock a child in a car when you have some errands to run – And then you blame the heat?
  • Its common sense not to eat food that is expired – And then you blame the food?
  • Its common sense to put a bar on a low balcony in a house where you have frolic kids – And then you blame the structure
  • Its common sense not to leave the ATM machine carrying money in an obvious manner – And then you blame the people around you?
  • Its common sense not to take a lift from a stranger – And then you blame the consequences on deprivation and desperation?

If only everyone starting making a slight increase in the use of their basic sense, it would only make their own lives better and the world could definitely do with more people with common sense. 

What? You are still scrolling down and reading? I just made a very complete statement above; it means that that this article is OVER. You didn’t figure that out yet? 

Come on…..its Common sense!!! 

Just having some fun! J Cheerios till the next sudden strike of “realization”! J

A choice of no choice !

 Following my own advice of bringing variety in regular life, I decided to try a new coffee shop today and this is a transcript of my conversation with the barista that stretched a little less than 10 minutes (Barista in italics);

One Cappuccino please.

Sure Mam. Small, Medium or Large?

Small please.

Hot or Cold?

Hot.

Full fat or skimmed milk?

Skimmed milk.

Any added flavoring?

No thanks.

Whipped cream?

No.

Would you like chocolate powder on top?

Okay.

(And the suggestive selling begins)

How about some cookies to go with it Mam?

(At this point, although I was hungry, I was fearful of asking anything more)  

Umm…okay sure.

Double Chocolate or Cookie fudge?

Double Chocolate.

Heated or normal?

It’s okay, Whatever !

Mam, that would be 23 Dhs.

I don’t have change, I have to give you 25.

Mam we don’t have change. But we can give you a chocolate here that costs 2 Dhs, if you don’t mind?

Uhh..Okay, I don’t have a choice do I? (*Pun intended)

Which one would you like? Dark or milk?

KEEP THE CHANGE!!!!!!!

And at that moment I thought, its just a cup of coffee that I wanted and I was offered trillions of choices in each millisecond, while you may think that having choice does no harm, it doesn’t necessarily always do a lot of good either!

It complicates simple things, and makes basic things complex, and the worst impact it has is on DECISION-MAKING! Because no longer is it making a choice of Yes or No, but also about why, how, when, where etc. Instead of making things simpler by having a choice which by the way I think is one of the most well hidden illusion, it only leads to more entanglement.

And even if you manage to take a decision and make a choice amongst the galaxy of choices, once made, you are confused and unsure whether the other unchosen choices would have been a better choice..Perhaps? Just maybe? What if?

Whether you go to the restaurant to have a meal and while having Paneer Makhani you think, maybe the Butter Paneer would have been better? Or while shopping for a phone, you spend half an hour each at 3 stores, 5 phone calls, several hours on internet research trying to make a choice of the right phone, and even you after buy it you think, maybe the one with the red case would have been better?

While completely appreciating that we live in an age when we have the luxury of choice, don’t you think life would be so much simpler if we had limited choice?

I would know exactly what face cream to buy without thinking about whether to take one with Aloe Vera, or the one with Jojoba oil or maybe the cucumber extracts? Or should I choose the perfume that has the fragrance of Jasmine, Musk or Orange orchid? All I want is a cream that keeps skin soft and a perfume that smells nice….who would think choosing would be so difficult for these? Think again..!

But there is something that I am glad I have a choice to choose from, the choice to watch Grey’s Anatomy over Bengali TV serials! 😉

The “Variety” spice…

Today when I went to my usual coffee joint to get some work done, I decided to be adventurous and stir something different in the otherwise monotonous life, and I decided to ditch the usual favorite flavored cuppa and go for a caramel & nutmeg spice coffee…feeling elated about taking a taste risk, I took my first sip and instantly spit it out! Boy! Was I disappointed or what?

There goes my adventure for the day and there goes my “ironically” variety spice for the day, I just traded a McDonalds juicy burger meal for a cup of coffee that was supposed to be the only incentive for me to be able to complete my work. Now what?

That’s when I thought, is variety really the spice of life?

At the risk of being hated by and being the biggest enemy of the concept of “BRAND LOYALTY”, I do agree that unless you have this attitude, you might never be able to know the “others”, its more like your attempt of breaking out of your comfort zone. It’s a risk alright, but how often do you get it right?

My take on this is that it’s a win-win situation. If your “risked variety” is a success, a big applause, if not, you are surely going to cherish the comfort option.

And thinking about it, it is so important to sprinkle some spice in our otherwise monotonous life. How much variety do we all incorporate in our daily life? To start with most of us do at least some of the below,

  • We eat almost the same breakfast everyday
  • Lunch from the same place
  • Wear the same type of clothes
  • Hang out at the same coffee shop
  • Party at the same club
  • Meet the same friends
  • Shop from the same stores
  • Have a hair cut from the same salon
  • Buy the same branded skin care product.
  • Watch the same TV shows.

Agreed that some things suit us more than the others and hence we stick to it, but how many OTHERS have we tried? Amongst the others too, there may be a couple of more things that suit us better.

Its decided, I will make a conscious effort from this very moment to add a bit of variety in my life on a daily basis be it having a Clorets chewing gum instead of Extra or wearing a skirt instead of a pair of trousers. How about you? Oh before you go ahead and do that, there are some terms and conditions that very essentially apply.

Terms & Conditions– This concept does not apply to your husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend or your fiancé 😉

Everything happens for a reason…

Further to my last post about the Air India crash in Mangalore, I personally came across a few people who have lost their dear ones in the crash and I said to them that everything that happens, happens for a reason.

I truly believe in this. I also believe that if you are destined for something, nothing can stop it from happening.

The nephew of my colleague who died in the crash was stopped several times by his family members and they were on the verge of cancelling his ticket, but because he had a cricket match that he was eagerly waiting to play in his college, he forced his way out and left.

Those that were destined for something else, bought their tickets and didn’t show up at the airport for the flight for whatsoever reason.

The survivors of the crash, were not destined to an early death and hence their seats were at a position in the aircraft where it had split open and given them an opening to escape. Perhaps, these seats were not as per their choice and they may have attempted to change these seats at the check-in counter and grumbled about the seats that they eventually were given.

Everything happens for a reason, we may not realize it at that instant moment, but eventually we do.

Perhaps some of the reasons for the no-shows could have been that on the way to the airport, he/she may have met with a small car accident, another one may have lost their ticket, and there could have been another passenger whose daughter may have suddenly taken ill.

 In other scenarios, there are “bad” things to happen and we would curse that it has happened to us. But maybe these are the things that eventually have happened for a bigger reason.

My mother always says that there are two ways in which a disaster can unfold itself, either in the form of one big horrendous and impactful disaster from where there is no turning back or a series of smaller troubles that will spread itself out over a longer period of time… and obviously when you think about it this way, the latter would be a better way to face the disaster.

Hence, the next time you are cursing the airlines, for closing their reservations, think again; when your car breaks down on the highway, think again; when you have missed your train, because you had an argument at home and left late, think again…Think again because everything happens for a reason, and the reason may be to save you from a bigger disaster…