Saturday, August 09, 2014

Gender Discrimination..continued

Discrimination is prejudicial treatment .. So a when a baby is born, if its a girl, she is swathed in pink, if its a boy, he is swathed in blue .. Already decided what colours the kid should wear.. anyways they cant choose, but lets decide for them ..
Little Girls are always presented with toys of fairies, Play house, Dolls.. and Little Guys - Guns, Cars, Robots.. Very rarely I see it vice versa.. So far, I havent.. Even I havent gifted any kid otherwise ! Isnt that as well prejudicial treatment ?

Its churning up a lot a thoughts - I am suddenly reminiscing a conversation with a friends mother- who is a professor in Engg College in one of the tier two cities in Maharashtra a few years back. My friend's younger sister was in 12th Std. , a point of her education where she has to decide which field she wants to study further.. Her interest was in Medical , her mother insisting on Engg or any other Sciences - Reason ? if she went into Medical, it would be difficult for her to find a husband !!  Being a hot-headed college student, I tried to protest, but you cant protest much in the confines of respecting the elders.

There are other cases I remember, where the son was sent out to Hostel for studies, but the daughter wasnt..on account of her not being mature enough.. ( as far as I know the girl, she has a mind far mature than a lot of people of my age)

Workplaces - A male project manager always discouraged addition of female resources to his team, if he ever got one, he would by hook or crook pass the team member to other teams. His reasoning, Girls create more fuss about work, have issues staying back late, etc. etc. Although his reasoning was shared in confidence with his peer friends- you cant do it officially or openly..A sideline discussion, if I have to retain one out of girl and guy, I would retain the guy..

I have had juniors who did not like me leading the team ! A complete peacock he was ..

I dont even have to talk about a lot of other places..

I am not of the opinion that Girls can do everything a Guy can or even vice versa.. But That is not applicable to all..I simply dont like the typecasting that this is Girl's work and that is Guy's.. Identify and Recognise individuals , individual strength and weaknesses and let them develop..

I am going to take Cars for my nieces.. and not dolls and fairies .. My nieces will love them ..

Friday, August 08, 2014

Gender Discrimination..

I wanted to write about this one today.. but just too many thoughts and all jumbled up.

For starters, here is a video - Again focused on Indian issues, but I feel Gender Discrimination is a Global thing.. Starts with Pink and Blue and continues .. 

Rapes are not always about Sex

Need some research too to make sure I am opining on facts.. Not just experiences..

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Discrimation.. Gender, Racial or otherwise

Very heavy and loaded topic.. One slip and I will be boycotted from this world.. But then again, these are my personal opinions - You can argue, discuss, comment. You have no right to Force me to change them. If I agree with you, I will rethink on my opinions. Still, it is my choice.

First thing is to define.. So here is the definition from Google. I dont care for the third one.. and I am not sure why the first one comes first and why not the second one. I think that is the problem. Instead of recognizing and understanding the difference, the prejudicial treatment of categories is being given more importance these days. Dont we see it everywhere ?

I will talk about Gender discrimination separately- that is much more pronounced and global phenomena. 

Take Racial Discrimination - Its the top news these days.. Two countries fighting over a piece of land to prove their race has more right over the land and the other is unjustly creating terror. Lot of sensationalised news is plastered on Social Media when any altercation happens between two different race/religion based people. If they were of the same race/religion, it wouldnt have been a news item (sounds like a item number, doesnt it ) Killings in various countries due to racial discrimination or hatred is a monthly news item. But then does it really exist ? I have seen it in subtle ways in Foreign countries, where the Cafe counter person smilingly takes the order from a previous and next person and stops smiling and becomes very professional when I stand in front of them. I have seen Property Agents who try to go by book when it is me and lax the policies for others who are of his own country/race/religion.  Thats why I say it subtle..Its not outright - its simply 'You are an outsider, you get completely professional treatment, I dont want to be friendly or helpful with you'. But is it only foreign countries ? It could happen in your neighbourhood. No offense meant: but walk in a Hindu area in a burkha- some people cross the road to be away from you. Vice versa, walk in a Muslim area with a large bindi - same thing happens. Or you get stared at -"Why is this person in this area"  You see it trains- I have seen it in Mumbai Locals.. either fought out or whispered or just through facial expressions of dislike towards each other.

Workplaces are supposed to be professional places. But If your Lead /Manager of your own religion/caste/area - you tend to get the vibes from other team members "Ahh Favoritism" even if you are a superior at your work any praising act done to you or scolding act done to your team members is looked through the same jaundiced, prejudiced eyes. Or it could go other way too.. The Lead/Manager my treat you poorly in spite of the quality of work, just to ensure nobody is tagging him for favoritism. I am not even getting into the Gender Discrimination area yet. The point is we are already prejudiced.. We have already decided that the race/religion/caste/creed are a Discriminating factor - Not in the sense of the Definition 2 but in the sense of Definition 1 .. and since we are prejudiced, we have also somewhere decided in our mind that My Race/Religion/Caste/Creed is superior than yours. This is where the root of the problem is..

The whole post started based on another type of discrimination. I read a post on Facebook about a well-educated Sr. Citizen trying to get a person sitting next to him to stand up only because he did not look sophisticated. That I believe is Class-based discrimination . Sort of the ones which when get out of the hand become something like the French Revolution. I am taking it to extremes.. But isnt it just similar ?

The one I want to mention is Skin colour. And this again is not country specific. In our own country, the lighter shades of brown feel superior than the darker shades.. the cosmetic companies make money happily based on this one by selling products that promise lightening your shade of brown for guys and girls alike. Dont believe in discrimination based on colour ? Try creating identical profile for Matrimonial for two guys ( forget girls) of the two shades and see the response. The discrimination is subtle but its there.. and the darker shades also possess an unnecessary and unhealthy inferiority complex over their shade.

Cant we just simply revert back to Definition 2. Recognize and Understand the difference ? Race, Religion, Caste, Creed, Class, Colour are a part of what we are. But then do we NEED to apply prejudicial treatment ? Cant we just take a person on face and behavioural value ? Do we need to typecast them? or do we need to make others feel inferior to feel superior ? That sounds more like Chatur from '3 Idiots' - Agar exam me top karna hai to khud acche marks lao ya dusron ke kam karo.. 
Cant we Simply treat the next person as another human being ? When I think back, I feel even I am not so clean.. there might have been occasions when I have discriminated amongst people .. I need to change my mindset as well.
Actually it is conditioning of mind that will take time to change.. but can we start one step at a time. One person at  time.. One barrier at a time.. It will be difficult, tedious but not so impossible.

Pls Note: My contexts are India based. So anything outside India is Foreign.(Putting it lightly duniya me ek hi des hai , baki sab to Pardes hai :) )

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


All of us have these hangups.. If such and such thing happens, I can make some future plans.. If I dont get increment this year, I will start looking for a job.. If this happens, then I will start on that..

Do they really make sense ? Not always.. Obviously there are certain dependencies that need to fulfill before something can be done. But havent we seen completely independent things linked together in this hangup manner ?
Lets look at this one closely- as this is the most common one - "If I dont get increment /promotion this year, I will start looking for a job" So everything else is fine, like my boss is a wonderful person to work with, my work is absolutely interesting, only thing missing is a promotion or a satisfactory increment.. Really is it true ? I believe, if someone am happy with my work and boss, the new job search will not even touch your mind. Because if your boss is really good, you will be sure that you get the deserved promotion/increment. If the hangup is only on increment, I guess the job search will start only if you got the lowest increment in the team - again if your boss is good, he will take care of you. So it really depends on others increment ;)
If you are unhappy in your job, you look for another job. Period. An increment or promotion is not going to suddenly make you happy. 

I think, when we put in a If-then-else loop, we really don't want the else part..And most of us have these hangups for lot of activities, decisions and tasks.. I cleared one of mine yesterday to take a decision.. Do you analyse your thoughts this way ?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Can I write ?

Yes, I am blogging since a long time..around seven and a half years.. But still I wonder, can I write ? I shared my blog with my cousin's group on Whatsapp. Except for one or two, nobody bothered to respond :) Only on Sis-in-law mentioned its just what I think and feel. True, a blog is my online diary so my thoughts and feelings. But then is this called "Writing" in real sense ? I think not..

When I planned this break from my fulltime job, I had a lot of plans! Blogging a little more frequently so as to improve the writing practice, start a technical blog, try writing stories, learn something new like knitting, etc. etc. I have just started on one of the plans.. blog a little more frequently. Will slowly pick up on the rest :)

Writing short stories is next thing I want to try out. Checked out a few websites too on how to write a story. I am sure to do it in next few days.  Need some motivation and inspiration.

Because everyone of us can do anything and everything that we want to very strongly !!

Monday, August 04, 2014

The Boss Ad

So I just saw this Airtel ad about Boss assigning some work to team members and them slogging out and then she goes home and cooks. The team-member then gets a call from his wife to come for dinner, and on a video call shows the dinner how it looks and then you get to know his Boss at work is his Boss at home ;)

I also saw a NDTV discussion on if this ad was demeaning the females or progressive or trying to encourage the Superwoman tendency or set expectations that whatever you are at work, you still have to cook at home. I also came across a few more tweets ( I did not understand what some of them intended to say - but may be because I do not understand the definition of Feminism, will have to google it out)

About being the boss and wife-who-cooks-at-home at the same time, Possible scenario, every individual is different. I feel, as a boss, she should have probably helped out with the work and not left the team in office- atleast should have made some offer/arrangement for their refreshments. She does say call me if any help is required, but still.. But then how would the network strength be depicted :-P
Going back home, freshens up and cooks for her husband. So one who has reached home first has started cooking- does it imply she has to cook daily ? or does it imply what she has made is tasty or that she/they cant afford to have a cook to help. I know one of my friends has two cooks, one for morning and one for evening. But on days, she gets late from office, she has to cook.. Maids/cooks don't wait for you at your doorstep till the time you come back home. They work only on their schedule- there could be exceptions, but then they are that.

My two-pais (maiden surname and after married one too) on it.. I found the ad interesting.. No reason to outrage, Why even compare or draw conclusions from an Ad ? Do we really live like the people in Ads or Movies or TV serials ???? I think even in remote corners of India, where TV is , they know things arent as shiny as they see in TV -be it ads, serials or movies.. None of the detergents really can turn a yellow or offwhite shirt into white, no family members keep plotting against other family members, no Munnabhai can easily become a doctor (thats a residue from a movie watched yesterday but did not find any other anecdote here) So stop giving any real life connotations.. 
Is the ad suggesting something or expecting something.. Yeah, they just want to say they have calling facilities as well as Video calling. If the network really provides that level of clarity or not-cant be determined as they have not specified which cell tower area or city they are talking about. I have only used a airtel broadband data card for a very short period, but dint find the speed interesting or superfast, Never tried video calling -BSNL broadband was the one for me and my husband :)

Note-All brand plug-ins are contextual and no real advertising is expected.. I don't even have AdSense or anything on my blog yet, so I am not benefited :)

Sunday, August 03, 2014

What's cooking today ?

Cooking has been a love-hate relationship for me.. Some days I like to and some days I dont..

Earliest memories are from Sr. called UKG or just Kindergarten .. Oh I did not cook per say.. but had helped my aunt make tea for herself and her husband.. Its an incident they love to narrate .. My Aunt (Mom's eldest sister) and Uncle had come home for a visit and I was home alone locked in with the window open (those were days when we stayed in Chawl and the neighbours kept a watch on me). I recognised my Aunt and Uncle and asked them to get keys from neighbour to open the house and get in. The only hospitality I could do was bring water from them. Then -as they say- I asked my aunt to make tea for her :) got on to the Kitchen platform and gave the tea powder and Sugar dabbas , showed her where the milk was.. Eventhough being a guest, she made the tea for herself and her husband.. By the time they sat down to have their tea, Mom was home .. and she was I think embarrassed that the guests had to make tea for themselves.. My aunt and uncle still enjoy those memories..

Then it has been more of on and off helping out in everything.. Cooker setup, roti rolling, Dosa making (not the atta preparations), cleaning /cutting vegetables and any thing that came out of packets that needs following instructions like Maggi, Gits Gulabjamun etc. On days Mom was not well, my father takes over the kitchen, then the assistant is more constantly required :) It was only when I went to US had to cook completely but that experience of 3-4 months is different post ( I might have already posted) then again got great roommates who decided I dont have much of cooking skills - I always missed the proportions for salt masala by a mile - so delegated me to the roti making role for 2 years :) So now I have the capacity of making good rotis from any kind of atta -coarse, medium, fine- and upto 30 rotis at one sitting..
Then once a while I was allowed to experiment , but those days my roommates would go half stomach - as they couldnt eat what I made..

Over a period of time I have improved in the proportions.. Australia stay was a great cooking learning experience.. I went on to bake a cake, throw a pav bhaji party for 10-15 people, Misal pav party etc.

But when it came to post marriage, I am still stuck. I am still not good at the traditional konkani cooking. But coming to Malaysia has been a boon in disguise.. My husband doesnt expect me to do it completely traditional way. So I keep experimenting. So much that I am thinking of starting a recipe blog page. "Optimized resource based Recipes" ;)

Lets see how it goes ..

--Yaayy.. Day 3.. I can register for NaBloPoMo now ..

Friday, August 01, 2014

Mobile Memories..

As I am struggling with the fact that I do not have a handset on me right now..or should I say working handset .. I am just trying to remember my old handsets..

I bought my first Nokia 3310 from my first salary way back in 2004.. I think I used it for a long time and then handed it over to someone from my family.. Then I had a Reliance number and so a reliance phone as was the trend those days. Dont even remember what model it was ..
Then in US I remember getting  Nokia Flip phone--I was very fascinated with the flipping action then :) ..Then a Samsung Red one when I was supposed to get a plan and a phone with it.. Again dont remember the model but it was locked to the operator.. That was another nice one ..
iPhone - another dream model came into my reach in the last few months of my US stay.. I simply loved it and used to quite a lot extent -Maps, various apps to do multiple things and so on..Then on my return journey -when I had already researched how to Jailbreak and use it back home in Mumbai- iLost iPhone in transit.. It was a 2 mins before I realised I had dropped it andby the time I retraced my steps inside the airplane..I had lost it .. I was in shock for a week after that..
I think I went for a simple phone then ..Sony Ericsson if I am not wrong.. Something with minimal internet, some games, not too basic , not too advanced.. It took me a few years to warm up to smartphone and Androids and touchscreens again .. I got a Sony xperia mini pro..something with a Keyboard and palmsized .But before that I had a Nokia C6 I think..touch with keyboard.. Both were quite lovely phones and at a point of time I was carrying both of them on me.
Both the phones met their end in washrooms :) .. Nokia at Delhi Airport when a lady pushed it into Basin.. and Sony when I dropped it in Australia and the screen had cracks same as they show in cartoons when any glass breaks.. It still works.. but very dangerously for the fingers..
After all this I went for a budget phone ..Micromax Canvas 2 - was very happy with all the features and stuff and gave me no problems for a year and more .. and just a week back.. it just hung up on me..The Screen has frozen and doesnt respond to my touch !!

Now got a new one ..unfortunately it too has got stuck in few hours.. I feel I am running out of luck with phones.. Hope my new one gets fixed today at the showroom..

Well's like that.. Not that I cant live without the phone ..but its my constant companion.. I think I spent one day getting frustrated over phone and gave a hard time to my hubby over it too :) But since a few days I got used to it .. I am ok ..

Isn't it always like that .. we find someone ..get used to them-hate them- but want them around..and one day they just leave ..then we get angry, frustrated, sad .. and then get used to not having them .. Its a cycle ..cycle of change..cycle of Life.. Okay..I am talking philosophy now ...But yet .. What comes ..has to go ... Only thing we have with us is to enjoy the moment we have with the person, with the stuff and with our life too..