Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sorry Kate Middleton!

A few days back, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge was here in India and there were reports that went on and on, about what she wore during the trip. One such report in the leading Times of India mentioned how her skirt billowed when she paid respects to our martyrs at the India Gate. The English daily posted a picture of her and remarked that she had a Marilyn Monroe moment of sorts. A few people ridiculed the daily and there was outrage in some quarters while others just looked at the picture and said that she should have chosen her outfit more carefully! If this was not enough, madam Shobhaa De went out of our way to advise and criticize, her body, her outfit, her style. I mean really, are we living in stone ages? She is a visitor to the country and she carried herself with grace and poise, little we could do was to not shred her to pieces.
 


It is always a matter of debate, what a woman wears, how she looks, is she fat or thin, dusky or fair. We rarely talk about what she says. I have at least not come across one report about the things she does or the things she believes in. All I know about are the prints and the lengths that she chose to wear. How difficult it has become to separate a woman’s clothes from her character and her beliefs.

We have women from all walks of the society, accomplishing feats that have been unheard of. From Dipa Karmakar to Chanda Kochhar, from Priyanka Chopra to Arunima Sinha, all these women proved that they have substance and strength to reach wherever they wanted to. But no, we will continue to remark and criticize guests and students and just anyone who doesn’t fit the bill. 

Last week, I chanced upon a video by the Pepsico CEO, Indra Nooyi and what should change in the corporate sector so that there is better women participation. She categorically said, that women don’t help women enough. They compete with other women and pull them down. She said young women hope for male bosses and colleagues, because that would be so much simpler.

We need to really become better sisters and friends and bosses and mentors. One day we may reach there, but right now, will have to stand up and say, this is not done TOI!

 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mangoes, memories, magic!

I just had a sweet, juicy mango dear blog and how I relished it! There is something about mangoes that touches my heart, you know. Because mangoes were not there all the time. They were special, reserved only for summers and always served with a whole lot of love.





Like everyone else, I love mangoes but every time I have the first of the season, I am reminded of my school summer vacations. The long, hot summer months, a good part of which I used to spend in Roorkee, my grandparents place. I remember how my Daddy Ji, used to get cartons full of mangoes so that I could have as many as I wanted. I remember how, my Badi mummy would make a lachha parantha which also I used to have with a mango and if there was some boredom during the day, I would leisurely sip on Frooti kept in the fridge. I never thought of that mango eating as anything extraordinary or anything that I would miss a few years later. It was as normal as it could get. Anyway, today during lunch my colleagues and I started discussing Mata ki Chowki, which is quite common in the northern part of the country and how as a little girl, I was made to dress up like a Mata, and bless everyone who had come with my tiny hands. To give full authenticity to the setting, I would also mount a lion, usually some uncle or cousin who would be dressed in a lion attire and take rounds of the pandal. I mean honestly, how cool was that. I never thought that I will ever think or even vaguely remember that but here I am, blogging about it, creating a web memory of sorts.

Today, like any other ordinary day, I woke up, got dressed, went to work and came back to have a mango. May be today will also become extraordinary some decades later. You know, I will think about how I used to look, what I used to wear, how I used to write, what songs played in my head and I will again laugh and warm my heart by recreating what was here today, in this moment, in this day.

Aren't all of us dear blog, just made up of memories and experiences and feelings and songs and fragrances and food. Isn't just everything else too trivial too bother, too small to be important, too irrelevant to be ever relevant. I don't know, may be it is, may be it isn't, may be I will know when the time is right, or may be I know it now, just while I write this.