Thursday, August 22, 2013

Another column

So the good people at The New Indian Express have invited me to write another column for them. This one is for students at high school and beyond. This is a motivational column. I likes this as I likes to jibber jabber with the young peoples. This love was found at Dainik Bhaskar during Quest and Yo! days. Some of the kids have recognised me in the market places and at other old offices and I have felt like a star.
So here is wishing more motivation to the writer and the reader!!!!!!!!!!
Plenty gloating done, go read the article here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To compete or not to compete is the question

I would like to think I am not competitive. I don't even know where and how to compete. As I begin this post I am trying to state things where competition happens but I am failing miserable as I hardly know the arenas. As a child I was least bothered about who stood first and who came second though I was a fairly good student. I don't think I ever considered myself in the queue to get nominated for the rank in the class. It did not matter who wore what and who flaunted what stationery sent by some uncle/ aunt living in States. What mattered to me was how many words could I spell and could rattle the exact dictionary definition. Also maybe the number of books I borrowed in a month. (I can imagine a few smirks here and there)

The trend continued during the college and then university years. I was too laid back to be hurried in and out of classrooms and projects in the name of competing with the classmates. I am slow. I move slow. I often speak slowly and I think very very slowly. This was mirrored in the times when competition could have breathed a new life in the way my life eventually turned out to be.

Anyway, now as a mother to a 6 years in bad times as these, I see parents competing and egging their kids to compete. Yesterday I raised heckles when a friend mentioned her daughters report from a PTM and was ruing the fact that the child had managed 3 out of four stars. Poor thing! I did not let her continue and charged with a 'bloody' moralistic lecture. Intelligent girl that she is, she kept nodding at all the right places in form of empathy or maybe that was sympathy. I rallied on the importance of competition killing the child's spirit, how it was synonymous with comparisons and what good were comparisons at all were; for a good half an hour. Eventually the look on her face made me relent. The same look- sympathy mixed with a fair dose of pity- made me wonder maybe it was important to be competitive. It made me stop in the tracks, literally, as I worked in the kitchen. May be I have been wrong all this while. Maybe I should compete and make my child too.

But the next moment a bigger question faced me. Whom should I compete with and on what parameters? I have almost given up trying to find an answer to this as I am not finding an motivation here to even try. As far as the child is concerned, I will be looking for answers, even though with a wrinkled nose.

Do you have any thoughts/opinions/answers on this?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Beautiful Inside Out

Shagufta Ahmed Jawed. and I got to know each other at the YWCA in New Delhi where both of us were learning the ropes of the world after being ushered out of our respective universities. A few years my senior Shagufta worked hard at increasing and improving her educational qualifications besides holding a full time job. I did not know it then but starting her own business was her dream and all her efforts were aimed in that direction.

She went on to establish herself in the field of commodity trading and after years of hard work and today is a name to reckon with. While she was at it, life gifted her two beautiful daughters and a son. She is raising them along side raising her 'first born' as she likes to call her business. Shagufta brings with her an old world charm and set of ethos that are becoming difficult to find in this fast paced world yet she believes in marching with the times and keeps herself updated on the technology front as well. She extends warmth and love to her employees whom she treats like an extension of her family. She organises parties and picnics for them and pampers them on their birthdays. She brings unmatched zeal to the table as she loves what she does and in her own words 'her work gives her an unmatched rush'. She works to ensure that it carries her stamp of finesse, grace and experience.

Shagufta Ahmed Jawed is as beautiful person inside out, just as lovely as her work!

This is an entry for the As Beautiful As You contest, by Tanishq and Women'sWeb.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Worrying about the chicken

I am worrying. 
About the chicken I have taken out of the fridge to cook, which I don't want to cook. 
I don't want to cook it today being a Thursday and this piece of religious sentimentality lodged in my head about cooking and consuming meat on certain days. 
I can't leave it as it has been now lying in the fridge since Monday and the husband fears it will rot. I also share the fear and so may be I will just get cooking.
But I also have two submissions.
There is no lunch ready for Netra if she comes home early today. So I am worrying about that too.
I have not even started on one of the submissions. I have no ideas even.
It is 11 already and the day is running ahead with its own plans and un-kept promises.
A broken tap in the kitchen.
Dinner preparation.
Clothes strewn around the house.
Unmade beds.
Cluttered side table.
Dust on the study table.
Clothes that have been on the rope for the past two days

I think I will just go cook the chicken.