Sunday, December 6, 2015

Our missing Women

This post is not about female infanticide and skewed up sex ratio of India. That's for another day.

This is about a section of females that is getting extinct in India... Females who had the luxury of time.. Females who were available... those with knowledge of things passed through generations.

The mummy, aunties, chachis of our generation. Usually house wives, the elder generation knew how to cook, make pickles and papads, stitch clothes and make sweaters. They knew what to do when you have common cold or eye infection... generation of dadi maa k nuskhe passed along. Home remedies and easy help available without google. They would add charm to all family functions... From weddings to festivals, they would take charge and add colour to the world. Expecting a baby... Is your mother coming or are you going to her place. That's the default question. Help and time are not a question. Elders are unwell... bring them home and they would be taken care of.

I wonder what will happen when my generation has to take the baton. I don't know any folk songs... something I love during the weddings. I don't know any skill worthy enough to pass along. My kids will have everything readymade from food to clothes and sweaters. Most of my friends are working and we don't have the time or skill needed to look after others. We are going to be the generation that did not pass traditions and made everything a bland colour of market made stuff and short cut celebrations.

Would I trade my independence and carefree world for all this? Probably not. But, I certainly do feel a tinge of guilt everytime a see a century old tradition that my generation would be last to enjoy...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

No courtesies please!!

I have worked with Danes for a long time. And there are few awesome things they teach you, one being courtesy.

I have worked for long at a place where work stopped at 7, no one worked on weekend and calling people out of office hours was acceptable only when sky was falling. It was a place where people had all the luxuries in terms of time.
No hurry... smell the flowers... smell the coffee... talk a while. You also had time for sorries, thank yous and pleases.

Now, I am working at a place where people are working at full throttle for long hours. Things are fast, frantic and flying. There is just so much happening at the same time. I am being told this is the real world!!
But, when you have 10 different things that you should be doing and 15 where you are delayed, the first one that slips is courtesy. Initially, I thought people are rude. Only to realize its not so, its just not the highest priority at that time. The realization was a sad relief.

One good thing that comes out of being this busy, is that there is no time for dirty politics. You don't have any time to breathe, let alone talk and plot! You don't care if anyone takes credit, if they take some bit of load too. Its a lot cleaner. I would say better with confidence too, had it not been so draining. I guess that is the price of peace of mind.

I wish with all my might that there was something in between, but, guess perfection is just a myth!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

TOW Friends

Courtesy technology, its so darn easy to stay and make friends. Over 500 Facebook friends and 200 in phone book, we are rich in friends or so we believe!
And it is true as well, depending on your definition. People on your Facebook Friends list are your friends, isn't that the definition?

I believe I am fairly, 'Friendly'. I do not come out as hostile or arrogant, I am easy to talk to. But I hardly believe I make new friends. 
There is an inner most circle, reserved for friends cherished over years. People who I can crib and bitch to. People I can drop by unannounced and not think twice. People I would not fuss about, those I can and would go to great extent for. My 2'O clock friends. Those who know me inside out and still like the real one.
I hardly think there would be too many new additions in there over years.

In Hindi, there are three words to define 'You':
Aap: The most formal one. Used out of respect and distance.
Tu: The most informal one.
Tum: The one in between.

Over the past 4-5 years, there hasn't been any addition to people I refer as 'Tu'. Its still for family and friends I made years ago. Rest all are 'Tums' and 'Aaps'.

I have made several mistakes in past. Foot-in-the-mouth disease is something I have suffered for long. Its still there, just a lot more controlled. And probably its the fear of this disease that I suffer more from. I say something which is rude or arrogant or not taken in the right spirit. I should much rather not say things that don't offend me too much.

I very conveniently claim that its not easy to make good friends in the corporate world because of all the politics and pressure. You say something in confidence and next thing you know, its floating around in air. But then I wonder, would I even trust myself or my clone in nature if I met her? Am I the same person, I was 8-10 years ago? Yes, I have had many experiences, several pleasant and some unpleasant. 

I have built a thick guard around myself in office, one which is not penetrable. So much so that now I don't even realise I am not laughing as much as I used to. I am not talking as much as I do outside. There are no PJs, no comments, no sarcasm in my talk. Things which are (were??) my defining trait.  Often, I do not understand them as well. Like there is a switch which gets turned off and in comes a mask. 
Yes, I still can't deceive or lie. I still have my conscience in place. I still don't like petty games.
I still have the same characteristics. I just don't let anyone come close enough to know that.

It may be a need for survival. But, I don't like the fact that I would not befriend myself in the office. I would not bitch to someone exactly like me. And I miss someone like that :(