Sunday, March 14, 2010

Women's Empowerment. Are we really there??

The Women's reservation bill finally got passed in the parliament amidst a lot of hue and cry, and above all resistance from the men folk. I felt thrilled and empowered that day and really wanted to celebrate. But, come to think of it, are the women really empowered in India? A country which boasted of a woman prime-minister and now flaunting its only woman president, and the men folk in the parliament create so much of hullabaloo about a bill which reserves 33 % of the seats in parliament. Isn't this sheer hypocrisy? Are we not cheating ourselves. And surprisingly the same man who made his wife sit in the post of a chief minister for a full term was the center of this ruckus. Shameful.
Today we happen to have a festival in Tamil Nadu, where the wives pray for their husband's long life and it is said that Savitri brought back Satyavan from the jaws of death by doing sheer penance on this particular day. Something akin to "Karva Chauth" and "Teej" in the north. Fantastic people.!!! Wives have to sit and pray for husbands but why not the other way round? If a man is being taken away by the God of death, the woman has to do severe penance to bring him back to life. Why not the other way round? Why don't we have a day where the husband's fast for their wives or why doesn't our mythology contain stories where a husband brought back his wife from the jaws of death? So where does the true power actually lie? It definitely lies with women and we are the ones who have empowered them. As I write this blog, I feel I am one of the biggest hypocrites. Ask me why? Well I too did the pooja because I am bound by tradition. Maybe my thoughts are rebellious - but I don't seem to have the guts to oppose the practice hands down.
This is what is happening to millions of women in India. We are being conditioned since childhood to behave in a certain way and we finally become that. Those of us who are able to oppose the practices openly are called rebels and are branded as "evil". How funny. :)
Coming back to women's reservation in the parliament -- are the women in this country really going to wake up and take this opportunity to go ahead and stand for elections? I really don't know. Have been sincerely hoping that we do not have those puppets like the former chief minister of Bihar, or the like of Mayawathi who have given a completely third dimension to the dirty polictics of this land. Actually I was commenting to someone that hope we have more of Sushma Swarajs or Vasundhara Rajes or Indira Gandhis - when someone commented why not more of you? I really don't mind becoming a member of parliament provided the system allows me to and I get enough votes.
However, I am still going ahead and celebrating the passing of the bill. Anyone is welcome to join me. :) So long folks till my next blog.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Of Awards and Recognitions......

Success, Failure, Power, Recognition, Fame, Money - these are some of the common words that we tend to limit our life to as we grow older and older. When we are children none of these words seem to exist for us. We live life to our fullest, do what we please and are happy with the smallest of joys. Then some incident happens in our life that kind of seals our fate and then on life becomes a never-ending race. School life is a race to excel in studies and get good marks - and as per Indian education system the upper limit of good marks is 100 %. People would be happy if it could be 110 or 120 % also.Then comes professional life and here it is a race for fame and recognition. All of us run behind this one question : "What is it that will make me the favourite of the management?". Everyone wants fame, recognition, and power. If a fellow colleague is complemented for a job well done then all the gossip windows open up. It goes like this : "He/She must be partying with the boss" or "He/She must be a close friend of the boss that is why.... blah blah blah" and it continues. I read somewhere that "Success is just a matter of luck, just ask any failure." --- and its so true.

How many of us really look into ourselves and ask these questions: "What is lacking in me?" "Where have I failed where this person succeeded"? "What can I do to improve myself?" Success and failure are nothing but two sides of the same coin. If we put in our 100% in anything we do, we succeed, and if we don't we fail. It is as simple as that. So it is all within us. Hardwork and committment are two words that seem to have completely vanished from our dictionaries. We have to generate ourselves every single day and put in 100% of ourselves in everything we do - be it cooking, having a bath, going to work, and sitting in office to start our work day. It is difficult task indeed but it works wonders if we really manage to do it.

I was recently given an award at my work place for a work in which I least expected any recognition - let alone getting a "Director's Award" which is like an 'Oscar' in our oprganization. When I looked back, I realized one thing - I had put in my 100% in that piece and as a result not only helped myself but helped my team in my own small way. I never bothered or cared for the result. But there it was- when my name was announced along with the other team members, it came as a complete surprise package to me. I was thrilled to be recognized by someone outside of my team and my management. Amazing indeed. The secret was application of the lessons taught in the Gita. Do your best and don't bother about the result. 99 out of 100 times the result is really sweet. And I get this recognition after 14 years of hardwork and committment and constantly regenerating myself every single day. And just as they would say in the Oscars -- I owe this award to you Mom and Dad for making me the way I am :), you my dear hubby for constantly being my guiding light, and you my dearest mom-in-law for giving me all the support possible on this earth to give my 100% to everything I do.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Walking down the memory lane!!

Ah! Nostalgia - It is such a wonderful feeling. I was lazily browsing the net and as usual logged into Facebook to play my favourite game "Farmville" when I saw this friend request from a very familiar name. The name was that of one of my classmates and the moment I connected with her it was a "Blast from the Past". I connected to many many more friends through her and we all became extremely nostalgic about our school days and about all our teachers. All of us could recognize each other very well -- which means the names and faces were all etched so well somewhere deep down in our cerebrums - and with a slight stimulus the memories came gushing forth. Speaking of the good old days, our naughty escapades from the teachers and giving the teachers a hard time in class have been the hot topics of all our discussions. The best part is that we have all opened up so well to each other - not holding back anything about our lives in the years that transpired in between. The foundation for true friendship probably lies in our childhood and our school days.
Speaking of old times, I was watching the idiot box and switching channels as nothing seemed to ignite my interests. I was reminded of the Doordarshan days. The very first soap opera was "Hum Log" -- the concept of a serial came into being and it was such a wonder to watch - a far cry from the "Saas-Bahu" tear jerkers of modern times. It was so middle class and we could relate so well to each character that appeared. Then there was Chitrahaar. The only filmy program that used to be aired every Wednesday for half an hour. But we used wait anxiously for the songs and even though some were old, it was fine with us.
Moving on to the late night films that used to be aired every Friday -- every movie was a classic and we learnt to follow the sub titles so well. Another of my Friday favourites was "World This Week". I was a die-hard fan of Prannoy Roy and come hell or high water would ensure that I watch the program. These days the news channels air only controversies - a mere show of "masala" and gossip. Everything goes by TRP. The only reality shows then were the quiz programs by Siddharth Basu and probably a musical program. How I wish those days would come back again. Does anyone remember the Bodyline Series, Great Expectations, Sherlock Holmes and some of the classics from BBC? I would say that my hold over "Queen's English" came only because dad insisted that I watch and follow these serials. Today the "Idiot Box" truly lives up to it's name. Barring a few educational programs there is nothing that it has to offer the younger generation. Looking back, I feel really proud to have had "little" but yet "too much" -- little of so called luxuries, but lots of childhood memories to cherish for the rest of my life. Ah! Nostalgia -- Indeed a beautiful feeling. :)