Dec 29, 2018

Infancy and expectations - ParenthoodDiaries #4

Infancy is probably the only time when children expect nothing but love from parents. As they grow the expectations grow, like parents like children.

Parents expect quite a lot of things from children from day one. About their appetite, about their smiles, about their sleep, about their various milestones like turning, crawling, walking and then the peak of expectations begin on the day the child starts schooling.

Like parents, like children. They learn to expect from us, parents. We cannot stop expecting and they never stop learning. And this cycle would continue for generations.

There is no specific solution to this by all practical terms. No one can stay without expecting anything. However, we can control what we expect; and that can happen when we know our children well enough. We can also control how we express our expectations to children; and that can happen when we know ourselves well enough.

Dec 22, 2018

Infants know and do things better than us - ParenthoodDiaries #3

Infants know and do quite a lot of things better than us.

They know when to drink milk and they know when to stop drinking milk. Unlike us, they don't drink for joy rather they drink just enough to live life. They know when to start playing and to stop playing as well. They enjoy their play, probably better than the bestest of the professional players. Their sleeping pattern, it's extremely better than that of ours; there is lot of peace in it and joy too. Their communication is exemplary; there is a deep intent to make us happy or smile and they never intend to hurt anyone.

That's a lot of stuff to learn from them, not just to live our lives happily but also to give wonderful memories to the people around.

Dec 14, 2018

Female foeticide: Kill the reasons why people do not want a girl child

Food, knowledge, health - Considering the "basic requirements" for the survival of any human being, there is no reason for #FemaleFoeticide to happen.

The other "imposed requirements" such as - girl's parents to give dowry, women to leave her parents after marriage and stay at in-laws' place, women cannot lit the pyre, girls to be given lots of gold at the time of marriage etc make some of the parents kill the female fetuses.

And some of the "assumed thoughts" such as - girl cannot be an asset to the family and is a liability, girls cannot earn high, girls must not study well because it will be difficult to find a groom, girls need to be safe-guarded more etc make some of the parents take the extreme step, before even the baby girl is fully developed in her mother's womb.

Restricting the gender-tests is is not the solution for this problem and that has been proven in time and again. Its rather wise to kill the reasons why people do not want a girl child.

The basic requirements need to be prioritized irrespective of the gender. The imposed requirements need to be eliminated. And the assumed thoughts need to be corrected, so that #FemaleFoeticide can be prevented.

It takes one generation to welcome the change. One generation of parents, when they become in-laws, can change the "imposed requirements" for their daughter-in-laws. One generation of parents,  can change the "assumed thoughts" about a girl child.

Hope there will be a day when 'India' will not be automatically mentioned, when searched for Female foeticide in Google.

Being in present - ParenthoodDiaries #2

There are days with highs and lows. With infants, it's nothing different either. They smile, cry, shout, play and all at once at times.

They smile at us and don't think why we smiled back or we didn't. They cry, we ease them and they get back to play without thinking about what made them cry. They wake up crying from sleep due to colic pain, we burp them, they burp and get back to sleep without thinking about what just happened.

They be in their present without thinking about past or future and that helps them become efficient learners. Imagine we learn doing this and practice in reality; how blissful life feels and how productive we all become!

Dec 6, 2018

Two things to learn as parents - ParenthoodDiaries #1

As parents we must learn two things.

First one is not to get either super excited or too worried about what others have to say about our kids. Every kid is special in his or her own way. We must observe and know our kids well enough so that no one else's judgement can be more correct than that of ours. Comparison often makes its way through other's words. We must never let the comparison reach our kids, through us especially.

Secondly, our neighbors or friends or relatives may go by the gender of ours kids. But as parents, we must not get biased by their gender. Unless for the obvious things, we shouldn't be letting the gender-thing prevail in upbringing. Equal opportunity is still a long way to go in the contemporary time. It might be achieved when our kids learn from us how not to go by the gender. 

Nov 20, 2018

Oct 25, 2018

Doing what is necessary... Take Home #672

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Doing what is necessary, rather than what we want, makes life easy and meaningful not just for ourselves but for everyone around us.

Jul 15, 2018

Enjoying the rains!

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Stretch your arms 
Enjoy the rains
Welcome the droplets
Cherish the moments

It's been raining since a few days here at Pune. Though rain is neither new here nor new for me, this time's experience for me is really new. From our new home, watching the rain has been my day-time hobby these days. Cool breeze fills the rooms. Drizzle comes down every once in a while, making the rains more and more enjoyable. Learnt that it's been raining in many states in India this time. It feels great that farmers are really happy about it. Looking forward to yet another great, exciting and memorable rainy season. 

Jul 14, 2018

The more we accept our children the more society will accept them

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The more we accept our children the more society will accept them. It is and must be never the other way round! Every child is unique. Unfortunately, society's acceptance levels are not unique to every child. They can never be. So parents must never see their children from society's eyes. Parents must have their own vision for their children, which must be unique to each of their children, rather than having common expectations. Children may have been brought up by same parents, but each child sees and learns from the circumstances/people in his/her own way. Each child develops his or her own perspective about a given situation, about people around. Parents must understand this and have to accept the children on individual parameters. Setting common acceptance levels for children is not just being unfair to all of them but also being ignorant about their individual strengths. 

In the contemporary Indian households, many of the decisions about children are taken by considering society first and the child's interests next. Be it about their education or be it about their marriage, decisions are taken by parents consciously or unconsciously by considering the societal trend and thought process. When decisions are taken based on the understanding parents have about the given child, the decisions go right in most of the cases. Also, certain decisions must be left to the child; parents just need to guide the child in that scenario. Overruling the children's decisions or making decisions on behalf of children do not help, also they can work against in most of the cases. 

Individuality and independence are critical parameters that define the personality of the grown ups. Letting the children understand and maintain their individuality helps in a big way when they grow up. Giving the necessary independence to children lets them be more responsible about themselves, about the decisions or choices they make. Nurturing these two aspects in children is a lot important. By doing this, parents also learn to develop good acceptance levels for their children, instead of getting influenced by the society's common acceptance 'rules' that are never written. The more this acceptance level is, the more society will also accept. At least, parents perceive the acceptance of society in a better way, which makes both parents' as well as their children's lives peaceful, blissful and meaningful

Jul 13, 2018

Reader's View: INDIRA - The life of Indira Nehru Gandhi

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Author: Katherine Frank

Its fascinating to know how Indira Priyadarshini became Indira Nehru, then Indira Gandhi and then the Prime Minister of the biggest democratic country, India. This book presents a gripping story of her patriotism, ruthlessness and political savvy with guts. Indeed, this is one of the best written biographies I've read so far. 

As I turned the pages, I got to know a lot about the parenting of Jawaharlal Nehru and his influence on Indira. The most exciting of all is to read the letters regularly exchanged between Indira and Nehru. Always wondered how could she make it as a Prime Minister in the times when women were seen more as home makers. Breaking all the rules, she not just became the Prime Minister but also maintained to be there for a number of years. Her ruthlessness, as responsible leader to stay her party stand, has been explained in the book with the details of a few incidents. 

Another misconception of mine got cleared as I read through the chapters explaining the story of Firoze Gandhi and Indira's marriage. I've understood that Indira'a marital name Gandhi is nothing to do with Mahatma Gandhi or his family! 

Its always inspiring to know about the 'women in power'; how they build the aura, maintain it right through and bounce back when needed. One must not step back from responsibilities when in power, especially when someone is in such a responsible position as Prime Minister of a country. Decision making is key for any leader. How and why Indira took the decisions that she took, be it about the emergency, be it about the fight with the terrorists, have been explained in detail in the book. While reading, it didn't feel as if the author was trying to back her decisions. Rather, it felt as if the author just placed the facts, that she knew based on her research. 

All in all, this book is a great read. A five hundred pager but the way its written is so gripping that I managed to finish in a mere four days. Going back in time and knowing about the sequence of incidents that lead to the assassination of the first and the only female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. Must read for everyone, who is and isn't interested about politics. 

Farewell message and the effect of it being unsaid for long

Farewells are always hurtful, no matter how strong is your wish to leave the place or people. Even though we know it prior hand, when the moment arrives, it tests one's emotional balance. Memories of the place and the people attack us from all directions and try to destabilize us. Its not difficult to stand strong against that attack. However, its challenging how one perceives the whole thing and reciprocate. 

Farewell messages are usually on positive note. Everyone recollects the good moments they had with the person leaving and share with the group. I have been part of number of farewells. Each time people speak about the strengths of the person leaving, including my own speech, I feel all that could have been said at least once when the person did not decide to leave  the organization. When we keep things unsaid for long and at once when we say them during the farewell time, we as well as the person leaving realize the effect of all that unsaid. It gives great feeling to heart, both for the speakers as well as the person about whom its all said. Even though the effect is not generally to a decision-changing level, it certainly to the level that for a moment it sends across strong nostalgic waves. When the message is delivered on the day of farewell, the decision may not be impacted. But when the same message is said to the person when he is around, there may be are chances that the decision is slightly impacted, provided the message is genuine enough and said with a genuine tone. 

We cannot forever stop people from leaving organizations. However, as along as people are around, being appreciative and expressive in good terms definitely helps, both personally as well as professionally. Personally that we all feel good about ourselves and make people feel good about themselves. Professionally that there is increased outcome and contribution from the individuals as well as teams. 

Once in a while, we must try to reach out to people and share our frank feedback to them. Both positive and negative, in a way that reaches them. It really helps. Keeping anything in mind and not saying it only derails the spirit around. 

Jul 12, 2018

The Lenyandri Caves - PramsPhotography #151

#2017 @Lenyandri caves, Maharashtra, India

Lenyandri caves are located in the western ghats of Maharashtra, near Malshej ghat. The caves are not as big as the famous Ajanta-Ellora caves, but they are tactically made. There are a few steps to climb before reaching the caves. There is a temple inside hence we see many elderly people as well climbing up the steps. Few of the caves are not accessible, mainly due to the damage caused by rains! Views from the caves are beautiful. There are fields in the surroundings, and with all village views. 

The beauty of Malshej Ghat - PramsPhotography #150

#2017 @Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra, India

Malshej Ghat is one of the most beautiful and the must-go weekend getaways near Pune, Maharashtra. Visiting this place in monsoon is the ideal thing to do. The ghat covered by the clouds and surrounded by greenery filled mountains gives awesome feeling to heart. Drenching in the drizzle while enjoying the water falls is one of the previous experiences one can have! The above pictures are clicked when we visited Malshej Ghat in last year's monsoon. Superb experience it was! 

Can we ever fully prepare ourselves for what to come!

A lot of things in life are inevitable, including the life and death. We know certain things happen, anyway. We know farewells happen. We know break-ups happen. We know fights happen. We know unfair happen. We know crime happen. We know good and bad exist. In spite of  knowing all these, we often are taken aback when the situations occur. That's because knowing and realization are two different things. When we know, we know. When we realize, we half-experience. 

Can we ever fully prepare ourselves for what to come?

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We all like to prepare ourselves in a better way for anything to come. We all try as well. We prepare ourselves to an extent too. But we often fail at the face of the incident even though we prepare ourselves. That has become as of its the way of life. Not because of lack of strength or planning. But because of lack of experience at hand. First hand experience is the hard to deal with. Its always difficult rather impossible to be ready for anything to come in life. Reality gets hard at us even though we know it would occur to us some or the other time! 

We cannot fully prepare ourselves for what to come, not at least in a way that we stay untouched by what happened. Nonetheless, we can prepare ourselves in a way that we stay balanced emotionally, at the face of the incident. We can truly prepare ourselves to stand strong against all the odds, even though we may not be fully ready with solutions on the face of it. We can prepare ourselves to have a stronger determination to face anything to come. Doing this is half of the job. Rest of the job to be definitely done at the face of the incident, no matter what. 

Jul 10, 2018

Reader's view: For the love of India

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Author: R.M.Lala

Working for the Tata group has been one of the best chances I've got in my career. I've been longing to know about the envisioning of the group, what founders went through and how all this has been created. A friend gifted me this book "For the love of India", the life and and times of Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the group. This book explains the major envisioning Jamsetji did, majorly about the establishment of Tata Steel, Tajmahal palace hotel, Tata hydro electric power plant and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I've learnt that out of all these, only the Tajmahal palace hotel was completed when Jamsetji was alive. He had left such a strong legacy that the rest of the projects were completed successfully by his successors. In the book, the author explains what all Jamsetji had to go through to deal with the then East India company and the British generals of those times. Whatever Jamsetji did was for the land that gave him birth, India. Knowing about his strong will to serve the people of India is the most inspiring part of all. A industrialist he was and not a businessmen. The generations that followed him in the Tata Sons has been great industrialists too. Such was the legacy a man's strong will could leave! 

Great vision makes great people. 
Great conviction makes great history. 

Jamsetji was the man with great vision for the people of India. Also, the level of conviction he had was unmatachable. A true legend. A great founder of one of the greatest groups in the world. I'm sure, after reading this book my conviction towards the group has been up by a step. If you admire the Tata Group, do not miss to read this book. 

Discrimination... Take Home #671

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Facing discrimination is the most hurtful of all because 'who we are' works against us. We cannot change who we are; but we can change the way we are so that we can face the discrimination with grace and stand strong through the consequences. After all, discrimination does not and cannot happen all the time! 

Women have a bigger responsibility at work - They need to break a lot of stereotypes!

Women of today are making an entry into every possible field. Be it corporate, be it entrepreneurship, be it arts, be it the national forces and you name it, they are right there, representing not just themselves but the entire women sorority and the womanhood itself. Having said that, I cannot deny the fact that this is all the beginning. Although women are performing their best in their own fields, there is a long way to go before  we say that 'women are performing the best'.

Women perform their heart and soul, but not in a 'no matter what' way. There are a lot of reservations women have which are easy to be met by the organizations but are often not met, majorly because women, who are otherwise expressive, do not express what they 'expect'. They have patience. They wait. Not too far though. They perform their heart and soul until the 'reservations' start troubling them real badly. Apart from expressing what they expect and be a go-getter, there is something that women need to understand and accept. 

Women have a bigger responsibility at work. 
They need to break a lot of stereotypes. 

Woman is woman's worst enemy
More than behavioral, I think this is something to do with cultural thought process. Women have been seen in multiple roles at home for centuries. Certain women, while performing certain roles do not gel well; rather they stick to their beliefs and hence fail to accept the other perspective. Since they generally have this conflict with other women at home or in the neighborhood, because they have to deal with other women for household tasks, they have been often seen as each other's enemy. Men deal with each other too. Men have conflicts with other men too. Men have enmity with other men too. But never its explicitly said that man is a man's worst enemy! Again this is largely cultural. 

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At work as well, women are perceived to be the enemy to other women. Women rivalry is often misunderstood as enmity. Rivalry is good. Healthy one of course. Women must understand that having rivalry with other women is not the reason why women are considered worst enemies to each other. Rather, the way rivalry is projected and perceived is the real reason. While a little can be done about perception, a lot can be done to not let the rivalry get projected as enmity. Whatever is said and done in the moment of heat, being in regular communication with each other, in private and in public, will help in a big way. Appreciating the strengths of each other is yet another way. When the way its projected changes, the way its perceived is bound to change.

Women do gossip a lot 
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"If you want to spread something, say it to a woman". This is a very common perception and practice considering the way women do gossiping. There is no topic which can be exempted from women's gossip. Women gossip with women as well as men. Men gossip the same way as well but they know how not to get noticed about it. Women lag in this. They get noticed instantly when they gossip. Women need to work upon their curiosity levels. Curiosity is the basic thing behind being addicted to gossiping. We cannot entirely blame women about this. They love maintaining their relationships. In that process, they are curious to know about others. While knowing about others and maintaining relationships are important aspects, they must be approached in a bit different way. Women must not spread the news which they are not sure of. They must put forward their sincere opinion when they hear about anyone, instead of succumbing to the impression the gossips create about a person. They must consciously think before talking about anybody in front of another person. If there is any suspicion of the authenticity of the gossip, better it must be cut off there and then. Women need to come out of the gossip addiction and behave as par as their male counterparts. 

Women need to be a role-model for other women
Image result for role modelRole model's role in anyone's life is important. It, at times, changes a person completely and can turn around the things in a great way. Role model can be anybody or any trait of any particular person. Its usual understanding that women need to be the role models for the fellow women. This is not true. Every person's life is different. Every women's life is different. There is no point a woman need to behave in such a way that the rest of the women can follow! Every situation needs to be handled the way it needs to be handled; not always necessarily in the way that someone can look up to.

Women put pressure upon themselves with an understanding that they need to behave in such a way that inspires other women. With that, they fail to do the simple things that can set the situations. They attempt some tough paths and may fail. Women need not be the role models for other women. Not necessarily. They just need to be themselves and handle the matters. Rest is taken care by the way life happens, to the fellow women as well as men. 

Women are emotional
Often, emotion is mistook for crying. Tears may be perceived as weakness. But, that's just a myth. There are strong people who cry for small things but may succeed greatly in dealing with huge matters. Women are no exception. They may cry, they may become sentimental, they may shout, but ultimately they are generally stronger from within. They expressed emotions make them even stronger. Controlling emotions is not any option and there is no point in doing so. Rather, women must work with emotional intelligence at every given opportunity. That needs a little bit of tweaking and balance. Both can be achieved if a woman wants to.

Image result for emotionWomen need to keep the cool from within and must believe that its absolutely fine to shout once in a while at the deserved. They must observe and accept the fact that men shout and they feel absolutely fine about it. No regrets as such. Women, when they shout, feel the regret after shouting at someone or scolding someone. This is an unnecessary regret which disturbs women in a lot of ways. Relationships become stronger when genuine feelings are expressed. Whatever people think or talk about do not decide who is good or who is bad. At the end of the day, good and bad are naturally subjective. So, becoming emotional is perfectly fine as long as women do not let the regret attack them. 

Women's career is uncertain 
Career itself is uncertain. Be it for men or for women. In case of women, uncertainty plays a higher role. Career decisions are not easy for women considering the child birth and child rearing responsibilities mainly. There comes a stage in every woman's career when she must decide between career and her personal responsibilities. While career can wait, personal life cannot. Things need to happen at a certain age in a certain way. Women must mentally prepare themselves by accepting this fact in complete grace. They must be happy that only they can do certain things that give meaning and a reason to a lot of lives involved.

While executing some responsibilities, women involve themselves so much that they fail to come out of that responsibility and take up the next one. A lot of women take their career's easy post child birth. Which is not an ideal thing to do. Women, once the responsibilities are fulfilled to an extent, must join back the workforce. They must believe that economic and emotional independence is a must in life which can be assured by joining back the workforce. It may take some time to settle back in the workforce, but one must try her best to be back as soon as possible. This is not to prove anything to anyone but to realize themselves that they can get back to work, that they can get back to contributing to the organization as par as any other colleague does.

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There are many other stereotypes that women need to break. Which leads to having bigger responsibility at hands for women. Its time for an effortless attempt. This will improve the way women are perceived and will also help the generations to come. Women's contribution is important not just for organizations but for society's development as well. Every woman who breaks the stereotypes and creates a new story must believe that she is scripting the growth path for the women from next generation. Every woman must believe that the day is not far away when women's contribution is equally recognized as that of men. Women must enjoy this bigger responsibility and must break as many stereotypes as they can! For a better future. For a better place for our children.