Posts Tagged With: Change

Double standards

Many people in India lead double lives, have double standards, and use words which often have double meanings. There is nothing different or unique being a Marwari, Gujarati, Bengali or Marathi (and other castes which exists in India). The women have been subjugated for centuries to lead a life of secondary status and denied the freedom to pursue their own interests. This article could well be applied to any one of these with equal ease, without the tag of being a Marwari or Gujarati or Bengali. Why should we become judgemental on a particular community and feel ourselves superior?

I don't speak for others or for any community. All I know is that each one has to decide where the limits to hypocrisy and double standards as well as freedom are in one's way of life. It is not fair to paint a picture of a few instances and make them a general representative of an entire community. Mind you, I am not disputing the truth of these incidents; they exist. I know several families where older generation is far more liberal and tolerant in its attitudes towards dress, religious beliefs and food etc than expected by the younger newly married daughters-in-law in the family but they are not written about as they are not representative of the entire community.
It takes time to get rid of hypocrisy in a conservative society and accept everyone on an equal basis, particularly in our country where prejudices and restrictions against females are deep-rooted in several aspects of their life.

But it is happening…one day at a time!!

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Women CAN and DO dream, achieve, inspire, celebrate, EXIST, LIVE, ENJOY around the world. And they do all this without any assistance from men.

This post is for all those who think men are superior than women. The truth is simple. Apart from them being biologically different from one another, and leaving physical attributes aside, there is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE in the way they think, act, react or what they can do. 

They’re equal. They’re independent, they’re strong, they’re very aware of their surroundings and they’re not ready to be bogged down by regressive ideologies. The world would cease to exist if any one of them would cease to exist, then how can we not treat them equally?

Women command respect JUST like men, and they WILL get that respect. NOT just on this day. 

Let’s pledge to give everyone equal respect, equal opportunities to grow and prosper, so that the world grows as one unit and conquers as one unit.

And irrespective of these hindrances & many more. Some of us still conquer. Imagine what we could do if we had equal rights in society..!!

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Anxiety is hopelessness..

Anxiety is thinking you have everything under control,It’s feeling like your on top of the mountain,
Today you can handle anything, today you will conquer it all,
It’s assuming that everything will be okay because it is,
It’s getting out of bed, taking a shower, getting dressed doing your makeup,

It’s being prepared to leave the house,

You practically skip to your car,
You get in, close the door, and you glance in the mirror,
Anxiety is the rapid and sudden loss of control,
You slipped and now your rapidly spiraling back down the mountain,
It’s smashing into a brick wall that goes on forever,
It’s a flip of a switch and it doesn’t always make sense,
..I was just okay..I am okay..
It’s waking up with your heart pounding your breathing rapid,
There’s a golf ball in your throat,
You can’t breathe around it,
It’s the shaking hands,
Can’t look anyone in the eyes,
Begging someone to come help,
But praying no one comes near you,
It’s a sudden reeling loss of control,
And you just don’t know what to do,
And there’s nothing anyone else can do,
It’s the tears you won’t let fall because they won’t help,
It’s begging god for a sedative. 
You are okay but you are absolutely not okay,
There is nothing okay about how you feel,
If you don’t have anxiety you cannot understand what it feels like to have absolutely no idea what to do,
Regulating your breathing but your fingers and toes are tingling.
A war in your head you don’t always understand.
You know you need to breathe in for four hold for seven out for six,
You know you need to breathe all the way in and in again,
You know it’s just a panic attack,
You know you are okay,
You know it will be okay,
But you don’t know what to do.
Anxiety is getting your breathing under control,
Regulating your heart rate,

Plastering on a smile,

And pretending everything is okay,
Even though there’s a thundercloud behind you that you just can’t escape.
Pretending you aren’t barely holding on, to what?
It is wanting to claw at your skin and crawl out of your body because there is no reason for things to be this overwhelming and wrong.
Anxiety is the pure joy of feeling like you have control,
And the depression of being thrown back to the sharks,
Constantly trying to balance your racing mind and react the way you should if you were okay,
It’s learning how to smile just right, laugh just so, tilt your head and nod like your listening but you just can’t focus,
It’s so desperately wanting to just be normal, 
It’s knowing you should be enjoying something but you just aren’t,
It’s choosing not to go out, not to get up, not to move forward.
It is your mind creating irrational fears of things you don’t need to fear,
Anxiety is hopelessness,
But it’s not hopeless.

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slave over a Stove!!

It really annoys me when people want to jump down my throat because I don’t do what they think I should. Cooking is one such art form for which I am always asked “Why don’t you cook for yourself?” – the question for which I am yet to master a response for it. I raise quite a few eyebrows when people learn that I have hired the services of a cook who does that for me. I cook or don’t cook based upon what works for me, individually. So, to each it’s own.

Indian society give a lot of emphasize for home-cooked meals – wait for it – prepared by women. Maybe cooking and cleaning was considered the “traditional wife role” in the 50’s but it’s 2014. Gender roles aren’t implicit, inherent things, they were created by society and I think that people are afraid to step out of them or just have simply grown up to think that way. Even in this century, when everyone seems to be talking about women empowerment, there are quite a few men who still reason out by saying cooking3My wife works but I pay most of the bills, so if I can’t get a hot meal every now then what am I getting out of this?” Really?? Ugghh! Do we now ever meet a woman nowadays who doesn’t work or want to work? Men sure don’t mind their partner bringing home a paycheck, but they do not hesitate to pull “traditional wife” trigger to force woman into the kitchen. Some men even don’t know how to fix a damn thing in the house so they pay someone to do it for them, and that’s considered totally fine. But a woman who won’t/maybe can’t cook and decide to pay someone for it, she is judged for her capabilities. If cooking skill should be used as some measure for spouse value, then admittedly, I would like a man who knows how to cook while I will clean, wash the dishes, and every thing else on the good wife list…

If all it took to get a ring was cooking skills then why are there so many single ladies who can cook up delicious meals? None of my male friends settled down because their girls cooked, but they settled down because they wanted to…with her! Simple as that! I know quite a few men who would prefer a wife with a career of her own to a wife staying at home cooking dinner.

Lucky me, my family never suffered from ‘gender-role’ syndrome. Besides few  of my cousins who tried every trick on their plate to  get me to learn cooking but I seem to have been born with a magnetic chip which repels me from the kitchen. And when I did enter – over the stove, mixing ingredients, high, medium, or low * head starts to swim*. I will not blame them for being judgmental about me as they are experts in dishing out something slurp-I-ciously amazing with whatever lies in the fridge. Now this is talent and an art which I firmly believe one is born with!!

For me, cooking is a form of art. Some tend to appreciate it while some enjoy performing it everyday. For past so many years, my grandma and mom are enjoying the best tea I can vouch for in the world, prepared exclusively by my dad…every morning. Prior to my dad, it was my grandfather who did so thus starting the ritual. And this was timed well. As my grandmother would return from the temple and later sit in the balcony, hot tea would be served to all. Ah, such a romantic gesture which expressed love subtly but strongly! Anyways, I asked my dad if tea-making responsibility was asked from him, his answer was simple: “I love doing so for lovely ladies in my life” while he secretly enjoys the praises too!! 😉 This leaves me with a thought – although one might grow up assuming certain activities to be gender-specific, however its upon one’s own self to not accept and do in order to comply with society norms. Do what makes you happy even if it means taking up those activities which might make the other fall in love with you each time…like my mother as she sips her morning tea every day. Btw, both the ladies also get to have the luxury of enjoying dinner prepared by my dad…every Sunday.

Instead of dictating the traditional role each should play, it would be wonderful to learn to be the back up for each other so that once a while, either one of them is allowed a breather without being a slave over a stove. Until of course…

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Disconnect to Reconnect

Today’s blog title is inspired by the punch line Disconnect to Reconnect of Digital Detox. Not only is the title, but my post is inspired by them too. I stumbled upon their website when I was frustratingly searching ways of how to be digitally disconnected in this wired world…guilt-free. Technology has given us the freedom to be connected anytime and anywhere, thus leading us suffering with Nomophobia or Internet addiction disorder (IAD). Did you know about this? I didn’t until I read it in a newspaper article. I bet half of us are suffering with IAD without realizing that we do. One of the symptom is when we disconnect from people around us to virtually connect with people.

Wow, the impact technology has on our everyday life is so amazing that it interferes with daily life without letting us know. It always seems to be in such a NY_Familyconstant state of flux that we run to keep up! Some of these changes require very little of us. For example, when our computer notifies us of a software update, most of us just agree to it, and the machine does all of the work. However, it is not always that easy. Sometimes the learning curve for even the simplest things can overwhelm us to the point we wonder if it’s actually worth it! Look at all the latest cell phones in the market. If you or any one in your family have shopped for a new phone recently, you maybe aware that new phones have many more features than most of us will ever need or use. My point is that although this sophisticated technology makes many things in life easier and faster, but if we are not mindful, it can become more complicated than we need and can even isolate us from one another.

I was struck by something the other day while sitting in a coffee shop with my girlfriends. I noticed a couple nearby who seemed to be deep in conversation, but oddly they weren’t making eye contact with one another. I could see them talking back and forth, but instead of looking at one another, they were each staring at their phones and tapping their fingers on the screen. This incident stayed with me because the couple seemed to lack human contact. Probably they were breaking up and didn’t want to make eye contact, is how I am reasoning the incident. I couldn’t help but wonder if technology is interfering with our lives and intruding on our ability to be fully present with those sitting with us.
My girlfriends and I discussed about this incident and before concluding the incident to be a direct reflection of technology interference, we thought of trying an experiment. We decided to make an effort to maintain eye contact with one another and to be fully present with everyone we met for the remaining day. We thought it would be an easy challenge, but interestingly, that wasn’t the case. Yes, it turned out to be a good exercise and a reminder to strive to be in the moment and to try not to get lost in a virtual world.
Next day, we met and shared our experiences to discover that once we become aware of our habits, we realize how much time we spend lost in our thoughts or digitally connected, even while interacting with others. I am glad I did this because it really reminded me how easy it is to isolate ourselves from our surroundings and from people around us in an attempt to be digitally present in a virtual world!
Friends, are you up for a challenge? Pre-define a certain time during a day, say few hours in the evening when you are likely to be digitally active and surrounded by family or friends, and be mindful of your actions and the people around you or you meet. When you are greeting someone, try to connect with them through your eyes or with a heartfelt sincere smile. These are interactions that can never be replaced by technology. And who knows – You may be the person who brought a smile on their face that day! And on the other side, you may also find yourself feeling more content and fulfilled having really connected with them!
If you did try this exercise, I would love to hear from your experience 🙂
Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dance with Lady Luck!

Don’t we sometimes find our self fantasizing about being lucky? We get excited and fantasize about what we would do if we were to win a huge jackpot ever. In truth, at the start of such a jackpot we are all equally potential winners, even though the odds are definitely long shots, and we can better our odds by purchasing more tickets. However I don’t think we are equally lucky, and the way we feel about luck proves it.

Many people find luck elusive and capricious, and it’s true that while some people seem to be naturally lucky, others seem to have no connection at all! And what about those people who consider themselves unlucky! In my opinion, luck is much more than just a cosmic whim. I feel our luck is strongly aligned with our own attitude toward it, and the choices we make can actually go a long way into creating our own luck.00976-funny-cartoons-losing-weight_thumb

For example, some of the successful people have actually created good luck by looking at problems and stumbling blocks as opportunities. These people just don’t give up when things look bleak or walls seem un-movable. It is true that when trying to tackle a problem, there is always the possibility of not overcoming it. That said, if one quits before one even gives it a good try, that person is most likely eliminating any chances at generating good luck in his favor.

My feeling is that being aware of the pros and cons of opportunities that come our way is a very important part of creating our own good luck. Remember the saying “You gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them.” A good card player knows when to stay in the game and when to fold his cards. Often what we mistake as luck, can be simply the fact of having experience and using good judgment. People we may perceive as lucky could just know how to pay attention and to do their research. In this way, they have become good at judging when to move forward and when to step back, thus improving their luck.

Many people we think of as lucky are just very good at preparing for success and they are not afraid of hard work. Preparing for success also affects how often one enjoys what we perceive as good luck. If you want to become an actor you take acting classes, have portfolio taken and look for a good agent. You don’t sit around passively waiting for luck to come your way.

So. if we want to dance more often with Lady Luck, we need to take luck into our own hands. We need to be proactive, prepare our self by working toward our goals. Then when an opportunity comes, we will be ready to shine. That’s how we make good luck happen.

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Why not YOU?

Dreams are my favorite getaways – but I feel crushed when dreams don’t come true.  It’s those simple dreams that are often the most painful because they seem so personal, so reasonable, so attainable…always close enough to touch, but never quite close enough to hold and it’s enough to break my heart. Steve Maraboli, the author of Life, the Truth, and Being Free, has beautifully captured the essence of what I feel inside everyday…

Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you?

Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you?

Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?

Today, for many the burden of self doubt and insecurity will be lifted by the security and confidence of empowerment. Why not you?

Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to live free of conditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you?

Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you?

Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices and they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you?

Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives and make positive changes. Why not you?

Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you?

Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you?

Today is a new day!

Many will seize this day.

Many will live it to the fullest.

Why not you?

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Which direction is weighing scale pointing to…?

I always was a thin girl…not underweight or skinny. And I still am quite slender. During my growing years, I was called a stick and thus I wore either loose clothes or layer them to look ‘normal’. It was disgustingly saddening – hell yes! I tried everything which anyone told me – increased meal portions with spoonful of butter, exercise, banana-shakes, etc. You name it and I might have done it. I was so desperate that if someone would have told me to do a hand-stand, I would have done that too. However, somewhere during my college days, MTV and Fashion TV became a rave and I started loving the way I was. Gawd, the infuence they had on me!! When someone told me I was thin, I slyly told them to watch Fashion TV. With time, I realized that no matter what I tried to gain weight, I will stay the same as my mother’s side of the family is thin. Eureka! Now, when someone compliments me on my thin waist, I confidently say ‘I am genetically blessed’ (fluttering my eyes). Yes, I am as I never have to diet or count calories. I learnt that I would achieve more with a change of attitude that I can with a change of my physical appearance. I accepted myself!! Woohoo…

In India, a curvaceous figure is a sign of a healthy woman (read: child-bearing) and when I see body shaming coming from the adults, especially under the guise of a body image crusade for looking pretty or beautiful, it really rubs me the wrong way. I was under the same myth but oddly, when my ‘thin’ friends got married and had babies…that last myth broke too.

Underweight people are often trying to find ways to gain weight. Similar is the case for overweight people. Presumptuous statements like ‘You obviously don’t eat that much’ or ‘You must work out all the time’ are so ignorant. I have met people simply struggling to change what they eat due to their body structure – overweight or underweight. I have heard overweight people say, “but I don’t eat that much,” and I used to say, “but I eat a lot”. It’s because it’s biologically difficult for me to eat more, and it’s biologically difficult for them to eat less. We (from ANY size spectrum) may not have eating disorders, but how our nature dictates our appetite varies – and that sometimes makes us bigger or smaller than some defined ideal weight.

Today teenage girls are influenced with fashion, entertainment industry and peer pressure, I feel sad to see them struggle with their body-type and suffer from self-esteem issues (I went through it too!!). The women that we see walking down the ramps or advertisements promoting weight-loss in 2 weeks by having a bowl of cereal in the morning and one at dinner to look curvy in a wedding – truly are not “real women” They are photo-shopped women or who belong to an industry which pays them to look a certain way. The Dove Ad promotes ‘all-size’ women are beautiful earns an applaud. I was totally hooked!


I definitely think models of diverse body types would be a good step in helping to send that message to younger girls. I must say that I feel like too much emphasis is put on fat, skinny, etc. Instead we should be focusing on body acceptance. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot better? Media is trying to define what a “real woman” is. The term is “real women have curves”. I don’t have “curves” but I am definitely real.

This is what people need to understand. I don’t know where the judgment of other people’s bodies comes from…but we can try to diffuse it when and where we can. We shouldn’t promote a weight category or body shape by saying the other is ‘not worth it‘. Because this means we are doing the exact same thing as the people we are trying to fight.

So to the girls with their sizes – who have curves and to those who don’t – YOU are beautiful and nobody should tell you otherwise. Don’t disparage someone because of media or industry defines as “real”.

Why, though, is such body talk targeted at women?

I imagine that for a man the opposite is true because society says they are “supposed to be” bigger. Suppose to be SO!! In actuality we are “supposed to be” how we are made. Objective beauty is related thing like symmetry and proportionality. The rest is personal preference and social construction.

Dear friends – No matter the direction in which the scale is pointing to, be happy in your own skin and celebrate difference until it becomes normal.

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Truth of Womanhood!!

An intense monologue act (in English) about Truth of Womanhood which had a solo performance by a reputed actress Kalki Koechlin.

Intense,meaningful,powerful yet feminine. And no, I would not call this Feminism!! You also should not…

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I read: Parallel by Lauren Miller

“The delicious, semiconscious, edge-of-wonderland kind of sleep, where I’m awake enough to control my dreams but asleep enough to forget that I’m doing it.”

First thing first – I was attracted to the book cover…truly captivating. Isn’t it gorgeous? If I ever get around to writing and selling a book I really hope that my cover art is as gorgeous and as intriguing as the cover of Parallel. What is there to not like about it? Parallel

I love the show Fringe and the idea of parallel universes fascinated me. The idea that your life is constantly changing because the past hasn’t happened yet is so unique and fascinating. The idea that there’s another me, existing somewhere, making choices and taking a path that I wouldn’t take myself, generally makes for a lot of fun what-ifs scenarios. This past year the idea of parallel lives seems to be one of the trends. Instead of sprinkling the world with a little bit of every topic under the sun we seem to be bombarded with books that are very similar in nature. Oddly enough, it is such a cool topic to think about.

**No spoilers here: Don’t worry!!**

The story weaves back and forth between the past and the present to unravel some of the mysteries of parallel universes. Though complex, the story isn’t confusing and the author discusses complex scientific theories like a pro which normally would confuse an average person. She also makes them incredibly entertaining and fascinating thus creating an entire scientific reason behind them. That’s what we tackle here in Parallel, the possibilities of certain actions, big or little as they are, as well as the consequences of it.

Sounds intriguing yet spooky, eh!! Have you ever wondered if there is a parallel you in a parallel world? I am not too fond of mysteries of parallel universes, however Lauren Miller, the author, tied things together without confusing and made everything easy to follow so much so that the ending was something that I predicted, since it just tied everything together neatly. I liked it, but I also thought it was too easy. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a really interesting twist that would have sold me on the book alone.

I really enjoyed the character-making and how they changed with each decision that Abbey (protagonist) made. It’s intriguing to know how new decisions made in the past affects Abby’s present in an entirely new way, almost as if it were being overwritten. It is enjoyable to get caught up in and allow yourself to think about how many ways your own life might have turned out. Just the thought of how one seemingly small decision can alter the trajectory of your life made my mind race.

Can our destiny be altered by one simple choice or reaction to a choice? Or are we born and confined to one true destiny regardless of the choices we make? These questions are addressed by an awesome scientist character, Dr. Mann. He’s a really interesting character, because he’s a scientist who has written theories about parallel worlds and how they might collide.

My Two Cents: I was not disappointed in the least but not impressed either. I am not a great fan this genre but I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a light Young Adult Sci-fi book with a lot of mystery and a bit of love!

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