Cultivation

C gets me to introspect a lot, a lot more than I want to.

Today’s Q: “Why do people blog?”

I rambled on about how blogs were a good way to promote brands, talk about beliefs, a personal journal, etc etc….

“Ah, self expression,” she nodded sagely.

Hmm, yes, absolutely I said.

Earlier in the day, a colleague asked: “What’s your pet peeve?”

Even before I could  think of a politically correct answer, Coll. continued, “Well, you know what’s mine. I do not like being dis-respected. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m snooty or conceited. It’s just that I don’t like people who are unable to keep their commitments or call only when they need some work done or expect everything done but never reciprocate.”

Later in the day I sent a carefully-worded missive that would have even put an intelligence wing to shame with its cryptic content because I was too scared to say what I want.

Then the two striking conversations floated through my mind. What struck me was the clarity of thought and their self-awareness.

I realized that blogging is my attempt at imbibing this self-awareness and clarity of thought that will give me the courage of my conviction to be the best that I can be. It is this self-introspection that will help cultivate a honest relationship with myself, before I can even strive to have an honest connection with someone outside.

………

It is easy to cultivate relationships with colleagues, acquaintances and strangers because it is the best foot forward.

For this secondary circle: Exemplary behavior, Others before self, Common courtesy,  Rapt attention, Inordinate Patience, Civilities and a myriad other qualities straight from the ‘Dummies Guide to being a Gentleman’ is practiced.

Now how easy is it with family, close/childhood friends, yourself?  Should be easier than eating chocolate, eh?

Not quite!

For this primary circle: Impatience, Judgement & Prejudice, Disrespect and a myriad other negative qualities straight from a kindergarten playground where kids turn bullies.

Why?

Lack of awareness of what triggers reactions to situations; to people

Lack of understanding of what motivates/drives/spawns actions

Superficial knowledge of the self

Self deception

Self aggrandisement

……

Perhaps some day I will conquer at least some of these demons but for now I’m consciously cultivating a relationship with the self. I’m learning to love a little more today that what I did yesterday, and perhaps a little more tomorrow than what I do today.

……

Moral science classes in school always focused on imbibing moral values, of good vs evil, of right vs wrong, responsibilities vs rights but they never focused on finding oneself or creating self awareness. Perhaps, it is time our education system included a subject on development of the self!!

Staying Unconnected

I have practically lived in a cocoon these past 3 weeks strapped to a bed with a white ceiling and a whirring fan for company, if I don’t count my family, the reliable i-pad and books.

Cut off from the outside world the internet was my gateway to the world since the daily paper brought with it the daily dose of rape and mayhem, corruption and petty politicking.

Predictably, I have piled on the pounds.

I have also been hit by the need to know, a child-like curiosity about everything.

How the concept of time came to be?

Why is it I remember anything related to movies but nothing with maths?

Why do kites come out only between 10 and 1?

Why is it that my neighbor’s baby quietens when it is wrapped in her bosom and starts yodeling when he goes to his dad?

How technology has evolved? Where once I used to dial in to numbers whirling the numbers around the phone now I touch a contact and the dear one is on the other end, both audio and visual and as live as virtual gets?

Why Linkedin brings better job openings than a monster does?

How a chip inserted into the skin can track and monitor your vitals? A boon, considering that we will in less than 2 decades become a fast aging population and geriatric care will be the need of the hour. Scary, if this same chip can trace my every move; know my DNA structure; the number of times I have donated blood or visited hospitals for illnesses; the mind boggles at the possibilities.

How children staying in very remote areas can still get access to quality teachers thanks to initiatives like Skype in a Classroom and Coursera? Surprisingly, high speed connections are not even required!

How is it that initiative not experience lets you surpass your current economic or social limitations?

How the world is filled with infinite possibilities?

How the world is limitless?

And it all starts in your mind……..

 

Angst

A pow-wow over breakfast is healthy and stimulates you to be sharper on your feet, more than breakfast itself. Now I’m sure most people would disagree with this and argue the merits of having a healthy breakfast for healthy living. But that is not the topic of this post. And perhaps this post won’t really strike a chord with male readers, but here it is.

This particular morning our pow-wow digressed from corporate life and gossip to women and the lack of support there of in every aspect of living the day-to-day. Whether it was middle age angst or .. leave it for you to decide.

“All I want at times is for some one to get me a cup of coffee when I go home. I do not want someone telling me you – don’t need to work- I’m here for you- or take up all my burdens for me- just that thoughtful gesture will give me the strength to wake up to another day of struggle,” said this lady.

Feisty, driven, caring mother of a teen, considerate and duti-bound daughter of two aging parents (80+) this lady is the one we look to for support and direction when we get lost in the corporate quagmire of processes/politics/what-have-you. To have her voice such a thought seemed ludicrous. After all wasn’t she a super-woman?

Before anyone could react another lady chipped in, “I know what you mean. Every day I wake up to a day of chores and I have no complaints coz this is what I have been doing every since I can remember. But there are times when all I want is for someone to say thank you or just show they care or appreciate my efforts.”

And these thoughts found an echo in all of the women. Which brings me to this post?

None of the women are whiners. They shoulder more than their fare share of responsibilities. Each one is accomplished and successful, both on the professional and personal front. Their wants to be appreciated was not directed at the male sex but were generic.

Leading me to wonder :

  • Why women are not as quick to claim credit for anything they do
  • Why are uncomfortable at praise or complments showered on them
  • Why societal approval is still important
  • Why aren’t women as good at vocalising concerns compared with men
  • Why women are still hesitant in reaching out

 

 

Abuse of Power – II

Torn between writing about OTHER side of Ghetu’s coin and a post on OPTIMAL use of SM. Just hope I’m not going to hotchpotch as I set about writing both in one sitting.

Ghetu’s comment on the other side of the coin had me ponder. Yes, education has empowered the girl child at least in urban areas – Tier I and II towns and cities and what have you.

BUT, I also know of quite a few girls from so-called small towns like Meerut, Jamshedpur, Chipurpalli and Aska (for those unaware as was I, the last two are in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa in that order) who would give any metro-brought up girl a run for her Scooty!!

Bold and fiery, these girls have moved away from home and (familiar) habitat to make a life for themselves in alien surroundings bereft of familiar faces and fond memories. Most of them haven’t returned home permanently preferring to marry ‘broad-minded” boys they have met either through a matrimonial site or elsewhere, while some others have continued to pursue their career, interests, freedom and whatever they choose to do.

So what does it tell us? Education and Financial Freedom empowers women and makes them independent. Unfortunately in a few cases, such as those Ghetu inferred to: this also leads to Aggressive feminism when chivalry is misconstrued and a Helping Hand ripped off. Thankfully, these are but a few cases. Women do have a fine sense of balance, what say?!!

And what about those instances when there is ABUSE of POWER. At times when you are having to stay back at work or college or tuitions much later than the usual time. Felt wary asking yourself why?

  1. Ever felt wary at having to deal with a superior or peer who was lil’ too familiar for comfort?
  2. Who probably leaned into you or on to you on the pretext of showing a diagram or explain a presentation better?
  3. Who made personal remarks about you, your sense of dressing or the beard you sport?
  4. Who insinuated that you were an object to be leched at and not work/study?
  5. Whose gaze started with your boobs and ended there?
  6. Who prompted you to keep books as a clothing accessory?
  7. Who gave you a sinking feeling in the stomach at the mere thought or sight of him/her?
  8. Who did not know and refused to understand NO meant NO, and was not an invitation to repeat innuendos for dinners, lunches, breakfasts, anything at all!!!!!

Worse, I thought such type of men; yes they are a TYPE – the slug type- you find in dark, smelly corners existed and I personally did not have any in my circle, until someone decided to ‘fess up. Unrequited love had for a while turned this person into one of those DARRanak characters who did not understand NO. Fortunately, good sense prevailed and though turned a Gloomy gus the DARR isn’t there anymore!!

Exam Malpractices: IS PAPERLESS THE WAY FORWARD???

IIMs have roped in Prometric to ensure glitch-free exams, but what about examination malpractices?? What do you think??

Has Technology brought down examination malpractices or given more room for smarter ways of cheating?

Should Indian universities/professional colleges including IIMs & IITs go paperless?

Are students using smart gadgets like iPhones/smart phones to cheat on exams?

What technology r Unis/B-schools, Professional colleges using to conduct exams?

Can folks give instances of exam malpractices they are aware of these days?