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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Gender Bias Be Gone!

Mine is a nuclear family, comprising of Mom, Dad and me. I have been brought up in a very congenial atmosphere. I have never seen a real fight between my parents. They do argue sometimes, arguments turning to heated ones but then those have never created any serious rifts between the two. I was quite a social butterfly right since childhood. A friend or two would always be there at home most of the time. At times, my friends would come to my home straight from school. We were used to spending time at my house. My parents ensured to provide ample space for everyone at home. I was never restricted to anything right since the beginning. Probably that brought an extra ounce of maturity in me ahead of anyone else among my peers.

My mother is the Principal in a government college. My father is a businessman. Both have entirely different time schedules. On one hand, my mother has fixed timings mostly. Hardly ever has she observed a shift from routine owing to unexpected workload. On the other hand, my father has long and unpredictable timings right since the beginning. It has happened many times that when Mom is at home, Dad is away and when Dad is at home, Mom is at work. My mother’s work doesn’t require much of travel outside the city. My father’s business required a lot of travel right since the start. One thing that is admired by my friends about my father is his emotion, affection, and love towards home and family.

Right since my childhood my friends have seen my father working in the kitchen many-a-times, preparing food. Earlier I used to see him speed-dialing Mom asking how much salt is to be put in the vegetables he is preparing, for how much time they are to be boiled, how many whistles of steam cooker are to be observed etc. But gradually he became an expert, as expert as a Master chef. He never hesitated to do all this in front of my friends when we were kids. In fact, many of my friends would go home and tell their parents about this. On one occasion, one of my friend's father tried to make a mockery of my father openly saying he does the work that the lady of the house is supposed to do. My father, plain-faced, asked him a question that silenced him with shame in his eyes. My father asked, if one's home, family, spouse, kids and the likes belong to oneself, how come the onus of household responsibilities falls on the women of the house, solely? That day onward my friends’ admiration and respect towards my father grew leaps and bounds, as he was firmly questioning the notion of gender bias and adopting a praiseworthy practice to #ShareTheLoad. ​He has never shied away from lending a helping hand at home and I am proud of the fact that my family is one of the few to realize and object to such silent prejudice being practiced against the women of our nation amid closed walls. This too, is a burden which needs to be shunned and it is of utmost importance to let Gen Next observe what must be supported as right and what must be discarded as wrong.

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I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Prejudiced Towards Duality...

Rahul is soft spoken and a cheerful boss at office. He always encourages his subordinates to work in a team by usually telling them the story of a bundle of sticks. If you break each stick individually, it will not take much time to destroy all the sticks. But if all sticks are tied together and then someone tries to break the bundle from the middle, it is impossible. Everyone praises Rahul at his workplace. He has been an exemplary individual for his colleagues and juniors. The head honchos would praise him in one or the other general meeting. He is the guy who believes in team work. He is the guy who believes in equality. He always tells his team leaders to make sure they involve each team member in the ongoing projects. In fact, he always emphasizes on the senior employees to contribute and set an example for their juniors. He always ensures that no female members from his department is to stay beyond office hours. If they have to, someone from the HR appoints a 'pink cab' which would drop them at their respective doorstep. This constructive attitude from Rahul's side has continued for almost a decade. Rahul has built a great rapport with all in his office.

Rahul’s wife Smita has been working as a consultant to an American firm. She works from home. Since most of their clients are based in the USA, hence Smita would be seen working in the wee hours of the day - late nights and early mornings. She would hardly get any time to sleep at night. During the day she had to also manage the house. Her duty, in fact, was never-ending during the day. She was working, as if for two organizations. Right in the morning, a reporting to the second firm would begin. Getting their two children to wake up, ironing their uniform, preparing their breakfast and tiffins, polishing their shoes and dropping them to school was just the first set of duties. Coming back, ironing Rahul's clothes, preparing his breakfast was just the second set of chores. Then it was about keeping an eye on the maid and supervising the prevalence of hygiene at home. But, she was always energetic and never complained. This routine had prevailed over the past decade.

There came a day for their eldest daughter to be engaged. Rahul's boss had asked for his daughter’s hand for his son. His would-be son-in-law was working in an MNC as a Marketing Head. Their daughter was working in the same MNC as Associate Manager - HR. It was Sameer’s first visit to their house after his engagement with Ramya. After the customary greetings, they all gathered together over lunch. Sameer started praising his to-be father-in-law's attitude in the office, elucidating the praises that he had heard from his father. It was news for Ramya and Smita. Both were wondering how one person could have maintained a harsh duality for so long. Rahul's positive attitude had never been seen at home, towards his wife and kids.

Such issues as equality and team work had been small talk at home, whenever Smita used to urge Rahul to lend a helping hand in the daily chores, but it was music to the mother-daughter's ears when they heard of him being so considerate towards his female colleagues at the workplace.

If only, Rahul had been considerate enough, towards his better half, to #ShareTheLoad, Ramya would have held her father in high regard. Her brother was also so accustomed to their mother breaking her back over routine tasks around the house that even he had learned to assist her by contributing in his own small ways like helping in slicing the veggies for meals, putting out the washed laundry on the clothesline or even volunteering to preparing quick-fix meals like Maggi when Smita used to feel low. However, Rahul, contrary to his exemplary professional self, used to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to Smita's efforts on the pretext of being a busy professional!

If only, as a kid, Rahul had witnessed his father volunteering to assist his mother in homely responsibilities, that he would have grown empathetic towards his significant other.

Listening to Sameer's false appreciation made Rahul wallow in guilt and self-pity, as this image of his, was but, a mirage. He had realized his folly and promised  to lend a helping hand to Smita and applaud his son's gesture of sharing his mother's and sister's load of household chores.

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I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Tea, The Elixir of Life...

The world has forever been divided - over the love of beverages - Tea and Coffee. While Tea is sourced from a plant and Coffee from a bean, both being natural powerhouses in their own right, this week, an invite was extended to me on behalf of the former.

Tea is known as the elixir of life, to the extent that they say, 'Every time is Tea Time'. Some of us associate fond memories to Tea, coupled with Rain, while I, as a kid, used to play with biscuits as a tea dip! :)



Typhoo, one of UK’s finest tea brand invited me to a panel discussion focusing on Tea as a timeless beverage and its various advantages. A three-member panel, consisting of noted Journalist Sharmila Chand, who has authored "Cheers :365 Cocktails and Mocktails", Nutritionist Dr. Neelanjana Singh of "Our Kids Eat Everything" fame, and Mr. Subrata Mukherjee, representing Typhoo India. The talk revolved around the 'miracle beverage', with its multiple benefits across numerous fields of application.

Mr. Mukherjee, spoke on how Typhoo's teas and infusions were suited to the millenial generation, while breaking the news that Typhoo had come up with an innovative caffeine-free organic range, consisting of Chamomile and Peppermint variants.

While Dr. Neelanjana made known to us that Tea was indeed a stronger contender over Coffee as it worked as a calmer rather than an energizer, Sharmila Chand moderated the panel discussion. Also, Dr. Singh was of the view that homemade remedies involving Tea were preferred as opposed to their pre-processed or ready made counterparts.



Concluding this terrific Tea Tale, we had a variety of Tea mocktails from Ms. Chand's book "Cheers: 365 Cocktails and Mocktails" coupled with Typhoo's fruit and herb based Fruit Infusions.

My personal favorite was Crimson Glow, that was based on Typhoo's Orange Spicer Infusion.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

In Order To Break Stereotypes...

Only 62% of women believe that working women have to face more judgements on their looks or their appearance or their clothes than housewives. Only 70% of women agree that the maximum number of judgements on women come from the men in their family or among friends rather than strangers. Hardly 64% of women agree that the judgements passed on them during their lifespan have affected their abilities to reach their real potential. And only 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks, appearance and what they wear. These statistics conclude quite clearly that a majority of men and women agree that men and their judgemental outlook towards women based on their looks are not less than a crime. It is a crime because such things inhibit women to excel in their life. What right has someone, to do all this? Just because someone is born as a male, does he obtain a lifetime visa to be judgemental about a woman on how she appears to them?

Why do men not have the guts to see women equalling them? In fact, a woman is always far better than a man, in all respects. But in general, a woman never competes with a man. She never tries to boast about her talent, her capabilities and her real potential. Otherwise, a man also knows that a woman is always supreme because she is a mother, home maker and a true companion in life. It really hurts to see when a woman gets judged based on what she wears, what she looks like, how she talks, how she walks etc. Rather it hurts more when her work, capabilities and talent are ignored. It has been devastating to see why women bother about looking presentable to others rather than to live for themselves. Why is a woman always worried about how men around her will perceive her?

I had faced such a judgement for the first time in my childhood. It was one of my uncles who commented on my dress when I was too young. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t let in the concept on how someone else was getting affected by what I was wearing. I shared those remarks later with my mother. Thanks to her for giving me a lifetime advice. She gave me a valuable lesson. I understood it and after that I have never bothered about how I will be perceived by others based on what I wear. The valuable lesson that my mother gave me is that we have to live our life not to please someone especially men, but our own self by setting the bar for our aspirations.

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“I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Midas Gold Mornings!

Good Morning, folks! 
That's the first phrase most of us utter every morning, don't we? 
As a kid, I remember myself taking 'Gold' for 'Good', when I had first learnt the phrase from my elders. 

Perhaps, this 'Gold' was not just about the Sun's golden rays lending a shiny appearance to our veranda's marble flooring. It was more about me hopping around the open space, admiring the various hues of the potted plants, observing the now nowhere-to-be-seen sparrows and crawling along with slimy snails who had made the plant soil, their homes. 

I guess there was an inexplicable charm about being so curious about Mother Nature and her many manifestations all around me as a child, which are now gradually being engulfed by the monster made of concrete. Besides, my mantra for 'Good' to 'Gold' was realized by being one of Nature's comrades, without doubt. 

I now see those sun rays struggling to make their way through the towering heights of apartments, with the hues of blooms duller than before owing to pollution. There's another type of 'Gold' I observe in abundance now. It's not hard to guess which one. 

Besides, I have observed a shift in my concept of a 'Good Morning' being 'Gold Morning' by observing some 'Gold Rules to Gold Mornings'. They are as simple as resolving to waking up early in the morning and not being a sleepy head, brushing my teeth twice a day with my Colgate 360 Charcoal Gold toothbrush - after all there's no competition whatsoever to #Colgate360GoldMornings, and after that going for a jog in the community park. 

Thankfully, we have preserved the green cover in our locality. As for breakfast, a hearty toast and a glass of milk are able to usher into me, the vitality needed to witness the day's events. 

This mantra keeps me hale and hearty and has managed to transform my 'Good Mornings' to 'Gold Mornings'. :)