Monday, October 20, 2014

A Monday Morning Brawl

Monday mornings. Tell me how do you feel about them?

You wish to know how I feel about Mondays first eh?

Honestly not good at all! Let's just say the week would have been a lot better without Mondays in it! Too much? Maybe. But I could certainly have done without this very Monday.

You know it began with our stand-by Manager, (yes better to call him that!) sitting in the comforts of Melbourne, shooting a number of mails to us here. Let's just say they were such that we all just wanted to stop working altogether.

You would have come across people who don't listen to anyone but continue living in their own concocted universe? Yes? I thought so. You know as much as I'm for 'to each their own' ideology, it becomes a tad harder when the person refusing to listen to any argument turns out to be your manager. So here we began our Monday with a mail exchange which, let's just say, was our version of fighting off a school yard bully. How successful we were? Well, only time will tell. Bullies don't change within a day, do they?

Enough of that though. Why should I give him so much space in my blog? Right? Mails over and done with and so he's done with too, for today at-least. Tomorrow will be a new day. Tomorrow we'll fight another battle.

But the bitterness certainly lingers. Is the concept of being on the same team, even though spread across two different continents, so hard to grasp? I've seen on many occasions, in my not so long career, that once people move to the 'coveted onsite' they seem to treat those back in India very distastefully. Now I find that very hard to understand because I never quite understood the lure of onsite in the first place.

Of-course, these are hardly discussed. We are expected to deal with it. That's the elephant in the room you could say. We know it's unfair but we are supposed to bow to every whim and fancy of those sitting at client locations. But that doesn't work for me. So on occasions like today, when I see an unfair rebuttal of a sincere request, I end up having arguments. With a liberal dose of sarcasm I should add. After all, I'm doing the same work hence I ain't keeping quiet, also knowing that I'm in the right.

Life would have been so much easier if people were understanding. If only they listened, don't you think?

I wonder what happens when people move up the ladder. Do they forget the issues and struggles they had to face daily as beginners? Or, do they take out their frustration purposefully on subordinates? Sometimes I feel all this is done with spite. Exceptions aside, I've hardly seen a manager actually helping his or her subordinate. It's almost as if they want to say that 'I have suffered and so I'll make you suffer too'. Some kind of payback, is it?

I don't know what kind of a manager I will become. Only time will tell. But I don't think I'll turn into a bully who doesn't listen to his own team members. Yes, I know I won't be that.

Tell me your experiences with a manager or as a manager? Don't you think a manager who bullies his team or who turns a deaf ear to the team's issues is an out and out failure. I certainly feel so and it would suffice to say that our stand-by manager is one such soul.


Pointers to keeping a Child Healthy

Health, they say is the most precious asset of all. Certainly true. We can’t really enjoy life if we are in the shackles of some illness, can we? Our future and the future of the world at large depends on our health. Yes, it’s as simple as that. And talking about future how can we forget children? They are after all the flag bearers, the ones who would take forward the legacy of the world. So it’s imperative that they are taken care of, that they are nurtured in the right way.

Now I’m not a mother yet so forgive me if some of my points are wrong. But just hear me out on what I think are necessary in terms of the health of children.

So here goes.
  • Healthy diet. This is obvious, isn't it? Pizzas, burgers and chips, even though I have a massive weak spot for these, need to be limited in case of children. Or, why only children, the intake needs to be limited for all of us. But that’s not the point here. Growing up, children need nutrition for the foundation of their health to be strong and thus we can’t let them swing solely towards junk food.
  •  Supplement a good diet with something like Dabur Chyawanprash, health drinks and more. Trust me children need all of it. It’s like providing nutrients for a plant to grow and ultimately flower.
  • Milk. As a child, and even now actually, I hated milk. I would throw it out of my window. Didn't really do me any good, my notoriety with milk! And hence I understand how important drinking milk is during growing up years.
  • Play outside. I know times are such that parents are often scared to let the children play outside. I don’t blame them. But they need the time outdoors, it's healthy.
  • Limit the time they spend on computer or any other electronic devices. Children these days are so tech savvy that sometimes even I don’t understand the things they speak about. But I do feel that spending long hours with a laptop, iPad or even television for that matter is harmful. At-least to their eyes if not much else.
  • Regular checkup. We often forget to do that, you know? It’s always good to monitor health. Height, weight, eye sight, appetite and more. Prevention is ,after all, always better than cure?

I hope it made sense, these points. I'm sure parents will have many more ideas for what needs to be done. My mind has only been able to conjure these. I now realize why my parents would be so concerned with what I eat and with my health in general. They knew, just like any other parent I'm sure, how important it was to build the foundation for health. See I was so wrong in not drinking milk. Today one of the reasons for my brittle and falling hair is definitely my long standing antipathy with it!

So all the best to all the parents. Keeping doing the good job that you are in taking care of your children after all a healthy child makes a happy home.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sepia Tones: Diwali & Shillong

It's that fascinating time of the year where everything seems to be painted in the colors of euphoria and cheer. Festival time!

This time of the year has always been my favorite, you know? Durga Puja followed by Diwali, what can I say, always brought along a sense of belonging and warmth that I cannot quite describe in black and white.

It's not really the traditions though that make these festivals special in my mind. The memories, yes those that we make on these days, year after year, every year, those are what I cherish. These make up for those yarns and anecdotes that become topics of heart warming conversation many many years down the line. Not the things we ought to wear, make or do on such festivals as ordained by society!

Today curled up with a book, the last weekend before Diwali, I can't help but reminisce about those countless Diwali evenings I spent with my family in Shillong. The lights and decorations in our cottage nestled in between hills. The countless candles we lit around the garden turned the atmosphere into something magical. I have Goose Bumps just thinking about those days. Nostalgia does that to you, you know? Makes you want to find a worm hole and go back in time, relive those beautiful moments again. In this case, those wonderful Diwali evenings.

The more time passes by, the more I find myself yearning for those days. The soul searches for familiar scents that bring back those festive times in my memory lane, fresh and vivid. Sometimes, when this kind of longing hits, life seem devoid of the mystical touch and being a grown up hits me like a chilly dash of air in icy winters.

Well, never-mind. I guess memories always have a mischievous way of latching on to the positives and magnifying them manifolds.

So as I was saying Diwali in Shillong was extraordinary. It would fall just before our final exams with our small hill station already in the grip of winter. It was our welcome respite from studying. Of-course it also helped us get over the anguish of having bid farewell to Durga Ma for the year. Diwali was like a surprise gift that we all knew about but would still wait for eagerly every year. Sounds ridiculous to you perhaps but we just couldn't shake of that feeling of excitement thinking about it. Leaving the warmth of our homes, leaving the heaters and sweaters we would dress up and run outdoors to celebrate. Yes, CELEBRATE in the real sense.

Great food, Kali Puja, visiting pandals with family and bursting crackers with dad, sis and my childhood gang, I think that's what I miss about Diwali these days. I remember my sister and I would wait for dad to wake up from his afternoon siesta and together the three of us would light candles all around our garden. It would get dark very soon there and we would wait with baited breath just to see the town dressed up in lights. I wish I could describe to you how beautiful it looked. On the balcony overlooking the valley the candles battled cold winds but strangely kept burning. Divine intervention perhaps, surreal. We could see the lights on homes spread far and wide in the hills as if the stars had descended just for the night. Right out of a children's fairy tale you know?

We along with the other kids in the compound would gather to burst crackers. It was fun sharing and spending an evening together while the parents kept watch. And now I cannot even think of such an evening because the connect seems to have been lost in this race of life. I don't even know who my neighbors are!

I think the sentiments associated with childhood also adds to the allure of those memories. Today my parents are in Guwahati, my sister and I have office on Diwali instead of having a holiday. Leaves are scanty and all I'm looking forward to do this year is perhaps curl up with a book, burst a few crackers and cook! In fact somewhere I seem to have lost the enthusiasm for it. Maybe that's how life looks on the other side of childhood or maybe I'm just lazy.

I know for a fact that there will never be any Diwali like the ones I spent in Shillong. Those were about joy, about being happy with the family. Of-course, not having any responsibility apart from perhaps studying for the imminent exams, made it sufficiently easier. Those were celebrated exactly how festivals should be, with fervor and purity. Yes, I miss those days. I miss how I celebrated Diwali or any other festival for that matter when I was just a little girl.

But hey don't get all morose after reading this. I will celebrate Diwali this year for the first time in my own home with my husband. I wish some of his eagerness rubs off on me too. Yes, he brings in the excitement to all festivals now.

So, as I was saying this year for the first time in my own home. Sorry our own home. (The husband will be reading this you know!)

Sounds incredible really. Our own home! Big words Ms. Dhar eh? I know!

Hopefully the magic of those wonderful years will pay a visit this year! Wish me luck so that I make some beautiful memories as I celebrate Diwali with my husband, decorating and cleaning our home, attending office, yet celebrating it with fervor!

Well with that I wish you all a very, very Happy Diwali! Have fun, enjoy and stay safe!


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