30 June, 2015

From Manpower to Wo-manpower

I recently read this article by Gloria Steinem called If Men Could Menstruate. Though I don't entirely agree with all that she says, the nerve she has touched upon is very relevant.

We (and it is true for both the East & the West) belong to a male dominated society, where most terms and things, from "mankind" to "manliness" get their term from the male counterpart. Language, unknowingly has a tendency of creating a bias in our minds.

Even more ironic is the way the Modi supporters have lashed out at Kavita Krishnan for her showing why she disagrees with the #Selfiewithdaughter movement. Though I don't agree entirely with what she says (yes, again !!), the essence of what she says is spot on... 

There are innumerable people, from Sunitha Krishnan to Malala Yousafzai, who have nearly lost their lives on multiple occasions, fighting for women rights.... but the root cause of the problem is closer home than we realize... 
The treatment is the function of how we don't flinch when someone calls a friend a bitch, or looks across the street to lech over some extra skin that is visible or refer to her as sexy.... Most women don't say much of fear of being treated as an outcast in a group.. nothing else can be reason enough to tolerate someone using maa ki aankh and behenchod as a part of regular daily lingo. Otherwise how can anyone in their right sense of mind say such things to anyone.. needless to say the repeated usage of the words just undermine the gender...

It's scary.. the underlying bias... and the silent acceptance of it all....

28 June, 2015

Mind Out of Control

Have you ever encountered someone with a neurological condition in your daily life...
It makes me wonder how anyone can cope with something like this... physical disability is one thing.. but mental imbalance due to things beyond your control is scary...

My workplace had one such person who is a Schizophrenic, who was recently fired... I have not worked with him ever in close quarters, so I can't say what the "output" of all his work was... but to think that one would suddenly be deemed useless is very scary..

As if to reinforce the emotion, I happened watch Still Alice, an movie nominated for Oscars, for which Julianne Moore, the protagonist, went to win the award for the Best performance for 2014. 

It is scary to think that one can slowly (or is it too quickly) lose memories, thoughts, speech and eventually control over our own life... I wouldn't wish a neurological disease on even my worst enemy, leave alone a friend. 

But are we doing enough... 
With our changing lifestyles, diets and work-life-pressures, we are all moving towards unhealthy lives... anyone can face such a disease... and we don't seem to know what to do... We don't even empathize with such people and often make fun. It is important to understand that it can happen to anyone, and it is even beyond their control.

I understand not accepting mediocrity in work... but is there no time and space for humanity and emotions in this world  ????

20 June, 2015

Making a Name

We glide through life.... not realizing what is zooming past.... 
We want to make a name, but don't realize what we are loosing in the process...

In the hope of making a name, we loose the people who would actually remember our name...


One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.
~ Antonio Porchia 

18 June, 2015

Black & White

There was a time when I believed a person is either Black or White... with no Grey.... Good or Bad, with no ambiguity in that thought...

But over time, and space... .and the few years that have gone bad... my theory has now evolved... to maybe conveniently accommodate the grey's.... a person is both black and white... we just chose to be a certain way in a certain environment... 





PS: For those who still haven't encountered Escher till date, the above is one of his many hand drawn masterpiece sketches.... This one is aptly titled Day and Night

16 June, 2015

Arbid Thoughts

we Plan, we Do, we Conquer..
Plan......Do... Conquer...

But when this flow of events occur one too many times, I begin to worry..
Call me a pessimist... call it paranoia...

But it keeps nagging me, till there is atleast one quirk in the track... like a hiccup once in a while... to know that it will eventually fall in line..

30 May, 2015

One Fine Day !

It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. 
We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.
~ Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

It is funny how we want to plan everything in life... and yet, no thought is given to the one definite eventuality. I don't mean that we should live in the fear of dying. But maybe we'd enjoy what we have in hand more if we are cognizant of the fact that this is all going to end some day.

18 May, 2015

Fire in the Mountain.. Run.. Run.. Run..

Zillions of thoughts flying around..
creating the spark needed..
milestones, many, in every direction...
several unheeded....

I run, with the hope catch it all
And touch whatever I can before my breath runs out
Gasping for air, I stop to find...
I have missed more than I have found..

And then I sit and wonder
if it was all worth it..
and then when my final breath is drawn
it comes to me, I nail it...

It wasn't to catch or just touch
It was all mine to feel..
but I kept running in all sides
thinking what is important is the turning wheel !!

13 May, 2015

Seeking the Goal

All of us, or atleast most of us, have an ambition.
For some it is a physical goal, for some a career related goal, and for a philosophical one.

Whatever the goal might be, till be make an effort to advance in the direction, it is futile to just hope for fulfillment.Besides what is the point of a goal if one doesn't try to seek it.
After all, the fun is in the chase :)


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.
~ Nora Roberts

12 May, 2015

Rage of this Age

The levels of aggression and anger that most people are walking around with nowadays is almost scary. I often wonder if I will get beaten incase I accidentally scratch someones car.
People now don't have time for words and explanations... they only want an end result... even if the end result is just ending someone's life.. 

One of the related aspects is also that people have stopped giving it another thought, when they wish to start taking the law into their hands... maybe if there was a fear of punishment, or someone holding them responsible, the incidence might reduce...

Such policing  is needed, because our moral compasses are Dead !
We don't think twice before abusing someone.. one mistake by anyone, and we wish to give it back, one way or another...

It's just sad how things are shaping up... for all of us.. In all of us !!!

26 April, 2015

Life

From being mortals
to lesser mortals
to becoming photographs on the wall...

Life just ticks along... and we just realize how time takes us along with it..

02 April, 2015

A Void

Staring at the blank page for hours
I know not what to write
Trying to string words together in my head
Alas, i don't know what to say

This void.. has filled me... and left nothing else inside...

26 March, 2015

Random thoughts

Have you ever 
Stared at vacant spaces
and wondered what your purpose in life is...
Looked at the innumerable faces
and hoped that you'll find some more friends to be with...
Smiled at strangers endlessly
hoping life will smile back at you...

Some would call me to be an eternal optimist...
But isn't this the reason we are here ?

16 March, 2015

Corporate Governance ?!?

Was recently reading an article in the Guardian by William Dalrymple, on how East India Company efficiently moved from being a trading company in Bengal, to one with the largest armies of its times... how a Corporate managed to establish governance....

It is interesting to note that this is a problem being faced by all times. Like he puts it very aptly...

"Corporate influence, with its fatal mix of power, money and unaccountability, is particularly potent and dangerous in frail states where corporations are insufficiently or ineffectually regulated, and where the purchasing power of a large company can outbid or overwhelm an underfunded government."

As we move towards privatization in all sectors, not because corporates can contribute more, but because the public systems and departments have become very inefficient, it is interesting to note that we are increasing the control of private firms in the working of basic facilities. Though there are many governing bodies, to ensure quality standards, the bottomline for any corporate is atleast breaking even if not profits. This invariably will lead to the same problem.

Without taking away the positive impact of privatization on our society and economy, I feel we should, for a change, focus on reducing the ineffieciencies in the public systems for change. That will be the true challenge for a government in power - Proper governance in all realms, be it public or private departments.

16 February, 2015

Sar Uthaa Ke Jiyo

Interestingly, in a short span of 2 weeks, I've encountered 2 ads which I really liked... Incidentally, both are promotions from Insurance companies (I guess it's that time of the year when Insurance companies peak their ad time)..

The first one is from HDFC Life - Apno ko Apne Dum pe Jeena Sikhao, from Leo Burnett... the ad is spot on, because it aptly communicates the need for Life Insurance.... almost like LIC's punchline Zindagi ke saath bhi, Zindagi ke baad bhi, except in a very soft and subtle way... 


The second one is from Birla Sunlife - Khud Ko Kar Buland, from Taproot Communication... the ad, through the relationship between a father and his autistic son, touches on the need for insurance, not just for yourself, but those dependent on you..



Both communications have been brilliantly crafted, and leave you with a warm feeling, and an after thought... and the understanding about the necessity of such policies.

However, ironically, both these ads have touched a raw nerve for many policy holders who have dealt with these insurance companies... Both ads seem to have covered illnesses/predicaments which are not covered by such policies.... whether we talk about expenses pertaining to psychiatric/psychological illnesses, or those pertaining to prosthetics these policies don't cover them... very few insurance companies are now opening up towards the same... Infact run a random search on google, and the answer will be loud and clear...

So as much as I wish to appreciate the sentiment being conveyed in both the ads, I think the campaign manager seems to have missed a core issue... unless that's the change they are wishing to highlight !!!


01 February, 2015

The Delhi Race

The run up to the Delhi Elections is on... 

For the first time, we have 2 highly qualified individuals running for the post of Chief Minister... both with their set of deeds and misdeeds...

No matter who wins, I hope they use their intelligence and administrative experience to good use, for the benefit of the capital.

And finally, (in continuation to the previous post) someone raises their voice, and the court acts :)

21 January, 2015

Delhi Governance

Suddenly Delhi Municipal Corporation and Police are abuzz with activity. After all THE President of United States of America is coming to town... which is why, all of a sudden, all pavements are being painted, all roads are being cleaned, bushes are being trimmed and garbage removed. I guess what meets the eye, is what one remembers in these visits.

But what is their explanation for the State to suddenly find funds to rent around 15000 CCTV cameras (some with face recognition as well), which have already been posted in various locations around the city. Clearly, it was a security issue for Mr Obama... However, all the requests from citizens who have been asking the authorities to ramp up security in Delhi seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

It took the Asiad Games for improved roads, the Commonwealth Games for improved sports infrastructure... and looks like we needed a US President's visit to improve security. I hope his visit to Agra will give the local authorities a reason to finally clean up the city !!!

The following post i recently read on FB sums up my thoughts...

People in Delhi should vote for Barack Obama as the Chief Minister; he is getting 15000 CCTVs installed in the national capital - a feat which no other CM has been able to achieve...... and if he remains the CM, the CCTVs are more likely to remain there - and functional.

11 January, 2015

Control Me to Control You

Was recently reading an Article on how tears know no gender... however society has always tried to associate tears as a sign of weakness.... I remember mentioning this in an earlier post, and somehow, the thought evokes the exact same emotions... 
I am all for privacy of emotions and especially tears. But that doesn't deny anyone the right to shed a tear.. whether in memory, or in heartbreak...

On a different, yet somehow related note, assuming all household face the same music, every house takes a certain effort from all members... expecting one person to manage the show is not only difficult, it is unfair... Having said that, each person has their own way of pitching in, which needn't necessary the way you'd want/like it... Also, more often than not, household chores are on a higher priority for women as compared to men.. so while men seek control elsewhere,  women seek control in household issues...
I am not sure who is the controller, and who is being controlled... or rather if there is a subject and an object, but I am yet to discover a mid ground on this one...

It's a tricky ground, I agree...

It's not that you should never love something so much that it can control you.
It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled.
It's not a weakness.
It's your best strength.
~ Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer

03 January, 2015

Accountability

Being responsible for someone is tough, but taking responsibility for someone is, i think, tougher... No wonder so many of us think a million times before taking the leap of starting a family....  But it seems to be a natural step, a kind of progression of life... from being accountable to someone, to being accountable for someone.... one must complete the circle....

And what does it imply if one begins to look forward to it ?

28 December, 2014

Job Well Done ?

All of us work... some on our own free will, and some for the corporate world, and a lucky few who manage to achieve both...

While I am pondering how to best do the work at hand, I often wonder about the choice to be made... whether to the best I can do with the one opportunity I have to prove myself, or to do a good job leaving some space and energy for other things lined up...

Some might argue that every job should be done with an attempt to achieve perfection, and only then do we come close to achieving something worthwhile.... at the risk of sounding lackadaisical, putting your heart and soul into everything at hand is very exhausting.... 

So I am always left wondering where to give in my 100%... but the balance will get nothing at all.... So much for work - life balance !!!

20 December, 2014

Responsibility

All of us like to feel that we are responsible beings.... responsible about our family, friends... responsible about the work we do.... there are almost infinite facets....
And each, has a unique sense of satisfaction, almost irreplaceable...

But what happens when you've bitten more than you can chew... how does one face the consequences.... when you feel you are duty bound and responsible, but all you want to actually do is run away from the scene.... 
Is this just a moment of weakness or your gut suddenly giving you signs ???