Month: July 2013

The day I stopped drinking milk

What I learned from this book is that the world has become a place of personal gain and selfishness. Sudha Murthy recounts two of her experiences in which she helped two youngsters complete their education by providing monetary aid. After these two people completed their education and became successful they do not acknowledge her help. When they meet her after a few years by chance, they pretend not to recognize her.

Women on Wanderlust (WOW)

Why do women live longer than men? I found the answer from an article that one of my friends forwarded it to me. Women live longer than men because they have a healthy support system of girlfriends. They gossip from most trivial to complicated issues. They laugh and cry over their troubles, criticize other women, give free advice about personal problems and discuss about latest trends in movies and fashion and move on. The times they spend with their girl friends rejuvenate them and prepare them to tackle bigger issues. During my Ph.D days in Chicago, we were a group of five girl friends who hung out together; we would go for shopping and sightseeing together. Our first trip was a fishing trip. We went to one of the camping grounds close to Schaumburg, which is a suburb of Chicago. It was the trip in which we spared the fishes and photographed ourselves in weird poses. I always call it, ‘the fishing trip in which we never fished’. Our last trip was to San Francisco. We visited …

Adieu Telegram

After 162 years of service, the telegram took it’s last breath on July 14, 2013. The last telegram was sent to Rahul Gandhi. Such a waste! I would have been happy if it were sent to somebody like Dr. Abdul Kalam. I never used a telegram but I read about it in one of the stories in my middle school English text book. A simple minded old man in a village receives a telegram. In good old days, the telegram used to be a harbinger of bad news. The old man will be scared to open it and he sits with the telegram in his hands in front of his house. The village folks gather around him and start speculating about the news in the telegram and scare the old man even more. Finally, one sensible guy suggests, ‘Why don’t you open the telegram?’ When the old man opens it he finds out it is some good news regarding his pension. I did have the privilege to write inland letters in the later part of …

Money grows in ATMs

Taco Bell opened up in our neighbourhood. My husband and I went for lunch at Taco Bell. The restaurant was very hippy; the walls were covered with portraits of people who were enjoying life, skydiving and what not. The music was loud. My hubby went to place the order and I sat at one of the tables to hold it. At my next table there was a group of kids between 10 -12 years old, enjoying their nachos. They were almost done with their lunch. One of the senior waiters from the restaurant came to them and asked, ‘Did you like it?’ The bravest or the most well-mannered kid in the group answered, ‘Yes’ ‘Are you going to come again?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Please visit us again’ All the little heads in the group nodded to that statement. My husband bought over the nachos and the quesadilla’s dripping with cheese. I looked at my cheesy fatty food, looked at him and said, ‘Kids of this generation will grow up very differently from us’. He replied, ‘Yes, it’s …

Trip to Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills is about 67 km from Whitefield. We started at 8’o clock in the morning. The drive through the city was pretty insipid with overtaking vehicles, honking horns and the bumpy roads. After crossing Devanahalli we saw some vegetation by the roadside.

As we approached Nandi hills road, we saw the two hills from a distance and the road was lined with Eucalyptus trees on either side. The weather was cloudy and the touch of the cold wind was refreshing during the drive. I wished we were not locked inside the car and went on a bike. The smell of the fresh earth, the playfulness of the wind, the scenic views and the company of a loved one, made this journey very special.

Jiah Khan’s suicide – Who’s to blame?

Actress, Jiah Khan committed suicide on Jun 3rd. After that there were a few speculations about why she committed suicide – failing career in the movie industry, inability to meet Rabia Khan’s expectations. A few days later her suicide note revealed the facts and stopped the guessing game. The letter expresses her love for Suraj Pancholi. She has dreamed of a future with him, but he has betrayed her by going behind other women. She wrote about how she loved him and showered him with gifts but her love for him was never reciprocated. She wrote about the physical pain he caused her, the rapes, the physical abuse and finally the abortion. She could not imagine a world without him and could not bear to witness his unfaithfulness so she ended her life. After I read her letter, I felt really sad for her; sad for loosing a meaningful life for a worthless person. It also made me ask the question, ‘Why did she choose to undergo such humiliation? Why couldn’t she just walk away from that relationship? …

Environment friendly fashion

On the occasion of World Environment Day, our company has called vendors to set up a few stalls inside the campus. There were stalls of plants, solar heaters, jewellery and Tupperware. I did not understand why Tupperware would be considered environment friendly, but it was there. Among all the stalls, I was fascinated by the jewellery stall (being a woman that should not come as a surprise). The woman at the stall was selling jewellery made with rice grains. They were pretty and did not look delicate at all. The jewellery is perfectly recyclable. After you are done wearing it you can eat it if you are hungry. That got me thinking what kind of recyclable jewellery is out there.  The website, ‘mode’ had a few DIY projects of food based jewellery. I loved this simple necklace made of pistachio shells. http://modemalaysia.blogspot.in/2013/01/5-amazing-jewellery-made-from-food.html There were also earrings made of pasta on the same website. Wearing pasta earrings would look kind of weird.  My search for recyclable fashion led me to these earrings made of coffee beans. …

What gets posted and liked

Facebook (FB), the social media giant is in the news again, regarding non-moderation of posts which denigrate women. These posts glorify rape and domestic violence against women. The posts show women who are drugged and are unconscious and there are sleazy comments which encourage rape on the pictures. It is surprising that these posts were not deleted by the moderators. As per the moderators these posts were in the category of humor and free speech. These so called posts of free speech are in the true sense hate speeches against women. These hate speeches were brought to the notice of FB by several feminist groups but FB did not remove these posts. It was only when Women Action & Media (WAM) launched a massive campaign against the maligning pages and posts ( http://www.womenactionmedia.org/events/take-action-to-end-gender-based-hate-speech-on-facebook/) did FB care. The activists of WAM sent more than 5000 e-mails to facebook advertisers and more than 60,000 posts on twitter under the name #FBrape and prompted companies like Nissan, Dove and a few dozen other companies to withdraw their ads …

Are you leaning in?

About four years ago, I attended Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) session on personality development in Montreal, Canada. To this day, I follow what the speaker of that workshop told us, ‘always sit at the table, sit in the front row during the presentations and speak up to get noticed.

Four years later, I read a similar thing in the book, ‘Lean In’. The author of ‘Lean In’ is Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Face book. The book starts with the question, ‘Why don’t we have women leaders? What is stopping us from filling half of the leadership positions in the world? In this book, she discusses various issues that prevent women from aspiring bigger roles. Below are few of the interesting things I learned from this book

Of Men and Household Chores

Men are also a part of the women’s world and we women interact with them on a day to day basis. I got married in August 2012 and since then I am living with an adorable man. After our cooking maid went to Ooty for about 10 days, my husband has been helping me cook every day during her absence. On one of the days he cooked some rice, thawed frozen chapathi and also made peanut chutney using the mixer. I was so excited about my husband’s culinary developments that I elatedly told my mother about all that he made. My mother also got excited and she remarked that, ‘I am proud of my son-in-law’. A few hours in the kitchen and my hubby earned a great deal of praise and appreciation. My husband’s cooking act sparked a discussion between me and my mom. My mother said, ‘Men do not mind doing household chores as long as they are linked with technology and do not take a long time. For example, chores like cooking rice …