Thursday, November 19, 2015

M for Men!

It's beautiful coming back to my blog, I always say that and I always mean that because it's this blog that makes me feel at home. Isn't home that only place which could be messy or small or big or palatial but it will make you feel good, it will make you see the world with rose tinted glasses. Well I could go on and on, about how I feel about my blog right now but that's not the point, because I want to write about something that I usually never write i.e men.

Apparently it is Men's day today but that's not how I got on to this idea of writing about the wonderful men in my life. It actually struck me when I was chatting with a colleague at work about this adorable movie - The Intern. We talked and talked about how the movie was so warm and fuzzy with real people and real relationships. The one thing that really stood out in the movie was the character of Robert De Niro. He was that quiet, mature man, who always knew the right thing to do and the right thing to say. That is the class of gentlemen, that may be rare but surely not extinct. Take my dad for example, he is amazing, intelligent, supportive and always a thorough gentleman. Then there is my husband who is charming, smart, caring and humble. I have a good boss too. And I can bet, how these men, make life so much simpler and sweeter. The slight challenge with today's women including myself is that we think we can do it all by ourselves. And may be we really can, but then do we want to. I mean I know for a fact, that I don't like driving,  I hate paying bills, I can't change a tube light, I can never reach the top of my wardrobe and the list will never end. But more importantly you know, I need a strong, broad shoulder to cry on, a big hand to hold while crossing the road and someone to call my own.

Like everyone else, men too need to know, how much they are valued and loved. How life wouldn't be the warm, comforting life that it is if it were not for them. So, all the wonderful men out there,please don't change and continue to be who you are.

Hugs ( only to dad and hubby :))

Monday, August 31, 2015

People :)

It’s weird where and how you meet people, its weird how you meet them for a little while but they leave you with something - a thought, a moment, a grudge or just a smile. Last month, I was in Delhi, yes, yet again, and I was in a cab heading home. A young boy, not more than 5 years old, came and pressed his little hands and nose on the window pane. He mumbled something to the effect of being starved. I reached out to my wallet and handed a 20 rupee note. Just before he fled away, I screamed from the window Khana khanaThat was it, suddenly my well behaved Uber driver got upset with me. He told me, that what I just did, was unethical and is encouraging the menace of begging. He further added, that it is the day job for these kids, to find people like me, get their sympathy and earn a quick buck. I smiled lightly and commented, what is a quick buck – getting meager 20 rupees for food? He didn’t let me off the hook and went on to talk about begging, the parents of the street children who force them to get money for alcohol et al. I tried reasoning with him, on how it is difficult to say no to young, shirtless child, asking for food. My driver was not convinced and told me about his life, his struggles. He said, he married and has two children, both of whom study in school. He mentioned how his wife insists if he doesn’t go to work on a particular day. He said that today, he is able to take care of his family because he works hard day and night. Likewise, he shared that all men, irrespective of what their socio-economic status is, can if they want to raise their children, feed them and send them school, and it is only men who don’t want to take responsibilities, send their children to beg and their women to fake illness outside.

Other day, while I was heading for work here in Mumbai, I saw this auto rickshaw person who blatantly spat twice the red betel paste right in the middle of the road. I got furious and called him out, I asked him if he does behave the same way in his home the way he behaves on the road. He looked straight in my eye and said he does. I told him further that he should clean up the mess he has created, and this littering is a way of misbehaving. He growled at me and accused me of smoking, well I looked straight in his eyes and said “I don’t smoke so he might as well leave the argument”. The traffic light turned green and I went off. I was also in Ludhiana for some work and chatted with an Ola cab driver. (Don't know how I end up chatting so often though :-)) You know dear blog, he was so excited to know that I work in Mumbai. He told me how he was going to go to Canada once, but then family responsibilities held him back. He had this little that he could never move out of his small town life.  May be all he really wanted from his life was to live in a big city and not drive the cab around in Ludhiana. 

I guess I like talking to people, to people who aren’t even friends or family or acquaintances. I just like the way you become a part of their life by sharing a story, by listening to a story. I am a HR professional and sometimes the best part of my job, is to be able to talk. I can talk and I can listen, and mostly it is about how people from different backgrounds, interests and thought processes have traversed different paths to reach where they have. Many people in fact most people have simple, non-descript kind of stories but that is what makes it special, makes it endearing. Simple stories, simple people!

I am dear blog, in a breezy, reflective kind of mood. You get it, don’t you? :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#Brave and Beautiful

It is such a wonderful time to be born in, dear blog. There is so much to know, so much to admire, so much to be inspired from. The other day, I was randomly surfing on Youtube when I found a beautiful campaign by Dabur Vatika. The video showed a cancer survivor getting dressed for her first day at work after recovery. She looked at herself with apprehension, for she had no hair now. The video ends with her husband and friends showering her with a lot of love and affection. The tag line was something like, how some people don't need hair to look beautiful. I was moved to tears, partly because I have seen cancer patients in my family and partly because the video was an amazing tribute to the strength and courage of a woman.

While what I have described above was a campaign to be showed on television, there were other videos too. The videos had stories of women from eclectic backgrounds, describing what they went through during their fight with cancer. An 18 year old and a hairdresser, both talked with tears in their eyes, about the pain, the treatment and the agony of losing their hair. Fact of the matter is that hair is an integral part of how a woman looks and to lose them can be quite traumatising. It is a surprising fact, that while there are hundreds of campaigns on being fair, flawless, thin, having long hair etc there are hardly any on being brave, kind, courageous!

Anyway, campaigns or no campaigns, there are people enough and more who lead the way. Couple of days back, results of the highly coveted Civil Services exams were out and guess who made it to the top. A differently abled woman, Wow, I mean, such a stunning victory it is. I read and read more articles about her, on where she studied, what she likes, where she worked and so on. There may thousand of congratulatory notes now, but when she was in her struggle, she was alone. When she was turned down in 2010, she fought it out by herself, for herself. Hats off to the spirit and more power to Ira! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Haven't I made my stand clear dear blog with the title that I have given to the post. I am appalled, aghast, shocked, all at the same time. There is this one actor, celebrity, whatever he may be, killed a person due to his callousness and there is a sympathy wave for him!! Like really, are we losing it collectively as a society. When I saw the NDTV snippet on my phone which flashed that Salman Khan has been convicted, I thought, finally at last, after all these years at least he is proven guilty.  Little did I realise, that the same NDTV snippet, evoked so many different emotions. People feeling bad, coming out in solidarity, showing sympathy, hash tagging in his support. What kind of society does that, what kind of people show sympathy to someone who killed a person and gravely injured four others in his drunken revelry. How insensitive can it get when Bollywood comes together and comments on how people should not be sleeping on footpath, how it is equivalent as commuting suicide. I fail, and fail miserably to see reason in any of the argument that has been given today in support of Salman Khan. 

There are other people too, who vociferously argued, that "it doesn't matter" because even his getting convicted won't change anything. He will get bail, he will appeal in higher courts and thus nothing will change. I don't understand such deep rooted cynicism, he may get bail and he may go and appeal however, what will not change is that he indeed is convicted in a long pending case. What doesn't change, is that even after all these years, justice has been delivered. There can be debate on the quantum of punishment and the long delay but all said and done it is a step in the right direction. 
The more I see, I read I am convinced that there is hope. And hope is the only thing, that keeps the belief in life alive. 

Before I go to sleep in my cozy bed, a silent prayer for all those who will sleep at the footpath tonight, for all those who are less fortunate, for all those who live and die without sympathy. They won't hashtag today but I am sure, many will. #WeDon'tLoveSalmanKhan. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Women! Amazing women!

I can never get enough of women, like never ever. Aren't they absolutely amazing, wonderful creatures. Selfless and jealous, beautiful and self critical, cruel (not as much) and kind, angry and warm all at the same time. The more women I meet, the more I know them, the more I think, this one is special, that one is truly remarkable and this one, an absolute charmer. I don't think our society does enough justice to them but then, do they care. I think not, their ability to rise, rise above what seems impossible, what seems insurmountable is not a virtue but a character in itself.

The other day, I was invited to a Women's Day event, which was hosted by AD's organization. I thought much about spending an entire evening for "some" Women's Day event. But then, AD insisted and I went. Such a wonderful, incredible evening it was. I got to meet and listen to ordinary women, extraordinary in their own special way. Two of them truly touched my heart, one who at the age of 55 filed for a divorce, took up a rented flat and started working for the first time in her life. She started writing poems and articles and soon became a journalist. She says she is a content person now. The marriage was a failed one, it only took her 30 years to realize, and the day she realized, she walked out. This may be easy to write for me, but her voice quivered when she narrated, her story. The other woman, graceful and self assured was a cancer survivor, who runs her own coaching institute. She gave herself 6 months to recover physically and mentally and she did. Her enthusiasm for life never died and she truly exemplified living life queen size. These women are like hundreds and thousands of other women who have been fair to themselves and are proud of it.

There are other women too, who I meet everyday, who I think about often, who may not be as fortunate, but are nonetheless superstars. Like, I can never forget, my grandma, who died of cancer. She did not live to see my wedding, but she tried, she tried real hard, to live through her last days. She was strong and smiled often, she thanked God innumerable times during the day. Isn't that incredible, isn't that called faith.

The other day, I was talking to my new cook, she told me she has 3 daughters and 2 sons whom she has raised all by herself. Her husband, could never get enough work to feed 7 mouths. She, took it upon herself, and today, she manages to meet the ends. She cooks from morning 6 am to night 9 PM, so that her children could study and settle for a better life. I really hope, that happens for she deserves each bit of it.

On a lighter note, I watched this movie "Dum laga ke haisha", and I absolutely loved the lead actor, for she had self worth, and no self pity whatsoever! :)

That's all for tonight, dear blog. Night.

Posting a picture from the super event!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Abundance or none

Its been so long dear blog, that I wrote to you, but not without a reason. I was keeping quite busy, busy in the usual sense. And I am glad about it, I think being busy with the usual keeps one going, keeps one on the toes, happy toes that is. We moved to another house and I moved to another job. So you know, a whole lot of new things, job, boss, cook, house, that's about everything that consumed me. Now, having settled in the larger sense, I have found some time to write, to tell you what's been going on in my mind.

Last month, we traveled to Jaipur, for AD's cousin's wedding, we had an early morning flight, which we missed, in a bizzare first time ever. Alarms did not go off, cab guy didn't turn up and the flight people didn't care, so we missed it. I was hugely disappointed and so ended up checking all possible flights from Mumbai to Jaipur. The lowest fare that we got was about 38000 and it did seem a tad too much for a 2 day trip, hence we checked trains! Oh Boy, I was so excited, train travel would be fun. But, as it happens in our country, we couldn't get the tickets, we still went to the railway station and to our pleasant surprise, some agent gave us confirmed tickets at a premium price. So, we started, enthused and joyous about the journey. Little did we know, that our enthusiasm would fade soon, for the tickets we had in our hands, were for only for a quarter of the journey. As soon as the train reached Baroda, I was made to get up from where I was sitting in an unceremonious manner, I got up and thought, big deal, we would get a berth. We didn't, my optimism faded, and I looked like this helpless sleep girl, who was not used to the ways of a train. When the TT, confirmed that he couldn't give us any berth, the helper boys, came rushing to us and whispered to AD, take our place and give us money. You know dear blog, which place, they were talking about, their own sleeping place - small, narrow, wooden plank which is indescribably close to the washroom and the gate. Can you believe that, those men were ready to sleep on the floor and give up that little place for some measly amount of money. That was the first time, I realised what is it to take a flight and reach anywhere without having to worry, about anything. First time, I realised what is it to sleep on a bed, well cushioned to your comfort. Anyway, the train reached Jaipur on time, the next day and we did get a berth, journeys I tell you.

The other day, we were in office discussing about, various organisations who have tied up with crèche services, so that working women, can just walk over or log in to a link and watch their little ones. We thought, how great it is, to have such services available in today's world. Few days later, I observed that the person, who comes to pick up our trash gets his entire family along, wife, and two little children. I asked AD, the kids also come, strange, it is. He said, what choice do they have, They have no house, kids have no school, no crèches and so they tag along wherever their parents go. It broke my heart dear blog, such little kids, going round and round on each floor, watching their parents collect trash. The kids father, once told us that we could tell him, if we need any kind of help. We called him once, to clean our balconies, the children came and sat in our house, watched TV and thoroughly enjoyed the cake I had baked while their father cleaned. If only, all children had a childhood to cherish.

Strange are the ways of this world dear blog, while there is abundance that it is difficult to measure, there is dearth that is hard to imagine.