When I crossed the oceans to be in the United States, I did not just bring back memories, I brought my own East with me. My perception of the cultural and social mores and the belief system that defined me—all came with me.
Read more at
Feminism only calls for gender equality in social, political and cultural aspects of a society! That is it – nothing more!
Posted in lifelong impressions, short stories, lifelong impressions | Tagged Brown girl magazine, fairness cream, farhan akhtar, Kangana Ranaut, katrina kaif, kiran gandhi, kiron kher, MARD, period shaming | 3 Comments »
After all those years as a woman hearing ‘not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough,’ almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought, ‘I’m enough.’ -Anna Quindlen
Gone are the times when women in their 40s were considered matronly, dry, unattractive and past their prime; the 21st century women who are in their 40s wear layers of experience, have curves of confidence and shine with the softness gained from being content in their skin.
The foremost reason why a woman in her 40s can be a force to reckon with is because she is confident. The four decades that she has been on this planet as a girl have taught her how to speak her mind. At that age, the need to please is replaced by a need to be true to self and saying ENOUGH doesn’t seem like a feat.
•She is more interested in flaunting her attitude than her looks. And all men know that a woman with attitude is more alluring than one with the prettiest of faces.
•The 21st Century woman in her 40s is proud of celebrating her successes yet humble enough not to boast. She has the lines of intellect to guide her on how to handle her success. She is appreciative of others’ achievements but not jealous as she is aware of her own worth.
•Because she is a woman, she is passionate but because she is mature, she exercises rationale. She doesn’t unleash her temper anymore; her fury is tempered. In an argument, she is a fair and worthy opponent and not a teary eyed princess whom you can pity. She is also more willing to listen than her younger counterparts. But don’t think for a minute that you have her in your net. She no longer believes blindly in you.
•Been there, done that…wait, not yet! A woman in her 40s may be starting to explore her interests or develop new ones. Lethal combination of experience and the fact that she is not done yet. She is ready for more challenges, new projects and unexplored adventures. There is no end to what she CAN DO.
•She is fiercely independent, yet is capable of giving her all to a relationship. She doesn’t mind doing your work for you, but be wise and don’t confuse her benevolence with toadyism.
You can’t understand a woman fully but neither can you understand the vastness of space.
There is a new app in the market called ‘class Dojo’, a behavior tracking app that lets the teacher know who was paying attention in the class or who was showing respect. Parents can also keep track of how their precious ones are doing at school using this app. Do we need to track everything, everyone, all the time? Like I said in my previous post, in some ways we are becoming an Orwellian Society;always monitoring, constantly vigilant, all with the use of technology. And then we wonder why we our eyes are glued to the screens!
Parents send their children to school and trust the judgement of the teachers regarding their progress and their character development. So if the teachers are going to have to make use of technology to figure out who is paying attention, where is the human element/interaction? What will happen to seeing your kindergartner with that heart warming smile when he or she receives a golden star for good behavior?
Not to mention, what would happen when the students see their teacher periodically using his or her iphone to check on them. I would much rather he or she would go round the class many times and meet a student’s eye, talk and listen.
Teaching is not an easy profession. Teachers deal with all kinds of students: attention seekers, attentive ones, disrupters, quieter ones, but as a parent I would like my child’s teacher to know my child. Not track my child’s behavior using an app.
Not too long ago, when the internet and telecom boom enveloped us all, consultants, marketing folks and bankers began to travel more than ever. The Monday through Friday work at client sites away from home increased, and a new species, ‘Friday fathers’ was born.
Friday fathers are visitors who get to come to a familiar bed after sleeping in different hotels, only to leave again on Monday mornings. While the families enjoy the fruits that the labor and career of Friday fathers bring, all the luxury comes with a pretty high price tag. The financial cost of all the “stuff” can seem dislocated from the true cost, which is, time away from home.
When these modern day hunters and gatherers come back home on Fridays, the only outward signs of distress they show are the results of jet lag. Never mind the two hour delay in boarding at the airport or the wailing infant in the six hour flight back. They generally do not crib if they are asked to buy liquor at an airport duty free shop, en-route home, for a house full of friends and family. Friday fathers are expected to keep a cheerful appearance when the limo drops them at home and the wives and kids are waiting for a hug, and guests are already digging into the hors d’oeuvres. When someone asks them how their trip went, these tired but selfless souls are supposed to come up with a witty answer whether the inquirer is listening or has already sauntered away for another glass of wine.
Sometimes upon arrival, there are no guests in the house, and the families are waiting anxiously only to whisk away the Friday fathers to attend some social gathering. Some Friday fathers do arrive home to quality family time, warm hugs, and homemade food and to cute expectant faces. But these Friday fathers make the mistake of pleasing the family too hard and make their arrival home a kind of Christmas celebration, getting gifts for the kids on the way back from their trips. The grand entrance home is always a big event. What kid does not like Santa Claus coming every Friday evening?
At other times Friday fathers are given that “special” treatment that makes them feel like guests in their own homes. They long for the kids to ask them a solution to a problem or hear demands from their wives which make them feel important but since the family has learned to fare all right by themselves for five days, the wives and kids leave the Friday fathers alone, making them feel unneeded. They are also given greeting-card-style sugar coated niceties that visitors get. It feels like the family has conspired secretly to give the raised part of the soufflé or the more tender part of the meat to the weekend visitors, only to make them feel extra special where they just want to feel normal.
On Friday nights it is also a struggle to coax the little kids out of their acquired beds as they have become so used to snuggling with moms on week nights. Saturdays fly away in birthday parties or soccer games, because some stay-at-home bosses think family bonding is better than sitting around on the weekend. Sometimes Friday Fathers seek out the golf course as a way to relieve the work week stress but by the time they come home, the wives are ready to go for yoga classes or there could be another weekend outing already planned. There is hardly a time for them to chill at home with the entire family. They do however; get the privilege of taking the kids to birthday parties where they end up enjoying cheese pizzas in between yawning and beaming at their kids.
With those happy memories, of a very hectic weekend, Friday Fathers are too-soon back at the grindstone, preparing for their next client meeting and yet another trip to the airport where the employees now greet them by their names. Back on Monday evenings, it is usually a Skype good-night from the family along with a summary of the day.
The lives of Fridays Fathers provide their families with both opportunity for success, and grand amenities. It is a sacrifice that demands time away from home. Even with a chaotic and busy weekend at home, they do enjoy the warm hearth and a kitchen with familiar smells; kids running around, and the house in a cozy mess. All this is unlike the chemical smells of hotel rooms and commonplace formalities of board meetings which rejuvenates them. The pressures of the work week melt away with the soothing complaints of their wives and innocent demands of children. The taste of cookies cut unevenly and the chicken served without any garnish gives a satisfaction that the perfection of restaurants can never compare
Posted in lifelong impressions | Tagged airport, banking, board meetings, consultants, cozy mess, finance, greeting cards, hotels, hunter and gatherers, jobs, marketing, parties, pizzas, skype | 2 Comments »
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four was published in 1949. The novel talks about official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history. In the novel, all of this happens in another realm. Orwell seems to be prescient about today’s society. Our realm is being constantly monitored by either the government or Google or many others. Our movies like Divergent and Hunger Games show constant surveillance and official deception, and our politicians are relentlessly manipulating language and using propaganda to mislead people.
In Orwell’s novel, all citizens of Oceania are monitored by cameras and we, by Google. The company knows the brand of our computers, shows a picture of the cars that are parked in our driveways and tells us what we should be searching based on the ONE word that we type.
London, representative of Oceania, the closely monitored city in Orwell’s novel, is considered the most spied-on city in the world with its omnipresent surveillance cameras. North Korea’s patriotic indoctrination camps, considerable media control and strict monitoring of its citizens’ activities are unbelievable examples of regime control in the contemporary world. The Big Brother phrase introduced in Orwell’s novel is blown out of proportion by some countries in which the leaders seek power solely for their own sake.
Someone once noted that we will either master words or be mastered by those who do. Political manipulation of language is another Orwellian concept that has been mastered. “War is peace” is a slogan drilled into the citizens of Oceania to make them feel that being in a constant state of war is being in peace. Nineteen Eighty Four could just be the inspiration for our lined up preemptive attacks on other countries.
An important example of language manipulation in our own country is this: Believing in the sanctity of heterosexual marriage is a mark of backwardness, while favoring legalization of same-sex marriage is a mark of broadmindedness.
Misinformation, denial of truth and misleading propaganda are deep subjects with universal archetypes in today’s somewhat Orwellian world.