Posted in close to heart, Interesting Reads

I am woman

Every year, people all around the world celebrate March 8th as women’s day. Every year I wonder whats the point? I mean,  a day for women? Do we really need one day? And what really happens to us women on that day? Do we have to work less or not work at all? Do we not take up the responsibilities we do everyday? Do we just put our legs up and let the other species do all the things we do or dont do? Does the men..every man give us a leg massage and cook abd do the dishess abd take care of the baby(s) abd head to work and treat us special? Is that what the day is meant to be for? Such a lot of hype. I think if one really wants to have a day for women, then on that day, women everywhere should be able to walk on the road without any eyes oggling at her, she should havw tbe right to decide whether she should or shouuldnt wear lingerie, she should be able to hold a drink in her hand without being stared at n the likes. Above all.. here’s a note to the men.

Every woman has a past. Some were physically abused. Some had violent parents. Some had pubertal issues. Some had sexual abuse as a child from their own family members. Some had messed up love stories. Some had been forced into sex in the name of love. Some had been drugged. Some were date raped. Some had been viciously photographed on bed. Some had been blackmailed by their ex-boyfriend. Some were in an abusive relationship. Some had menstrual problems. Some had a broken family. Some had a divorce. Some had an obesity issue. Some had financial droughts. Some had drug or alcohol addiction. Some had a few unsuccessful suicide attempts.

If you see a woman, who went through any of these but had already wiped her tears, tied her hair up, masked her sorrows with a divine smile, stood tall and strong, started walking towards her future because she still has some hope left inside her and has not given up on the concept of love that still exists in this world, do not stab her with her past. Do not confront her. Do not slap her with more abuse. Give way for her and walk beside her. Make her believe in the goodness this life has. Teach her to trust. May be hold her hands and walk for a while. You’ll know how sweet that soul is and how strong her hopes are! You’ll be amazed at how she carries herself after all her energy has been sucked out.

She need not always be only the woman next door or from a different home. She could be your own friend, your own sister, your own girlfriend, your own wife, even may be your own mother. Do not judge her by her past. Gift her the peaceful future that she deserves. Hold her hands against the world, which knows only to judge. Give her the love that she always yearned for. Most important convince her thay what lies ahead of her is much better than what she left behind.

Men, most of us dont want to be superior than you and it really isnt what we are after. Give us the space to chase our dreams like you do. Taking care of the family, helping you realise your dreams and making you go after them will all be taken care of even if we do have a job! Give us the respect we deserve and stop treating us like your own-unpaid-butler/maid. Give us the love. Hold our hands. Hug us. Stop thinking about what the world will say or think. Let us, women too, live.

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Posted in Interesting Reads

The “Ittotte” Story

First things First. “Ittotte” in Malayalam(My mother tongue) means shall i put it here. Trust me, this one is a nice read for anyone who is looking for opportunities.

“As we waited at the signal for the lights to turn green, a lottery ticket seller approached the car and pushed a bunch of tickets in front of me. I tried to shoo him away but he would not go. Muttering under my breath, I waited for the light to turn green and so that I could just speed away. I hate people, esp youngsters begging and selling things on the street!

That was when I heard the ‘Ittotte?’ story for the first time.

Once upon a time, on a tree by the roadside, there lived a wizened old madman. He would threaten passers-by, with a heavy sack in his hand, asking, “Ittottee?” which in Malayalam means, “Shall I drop this on you?”

The passers-by would all hasten away, fearing that he would indeed be mad enough to actually drop the heavy sack on them.

Until one day, a boy took on the old man and agreed that the sack could be dropped down on him.

The old man in surprise asked the boy once again, if he was sure that he wanted the sack to be dropped.

The boy nodded in affirmation.

“Are you very sure?” The old man asked repeatedly “It will hurt you”.

“Very sure, very sure. Drop the sack down”, the boy said categorically.

The old man dropped the heavy sack. Very carefully though, ensuring that the sack did not really fall on the boy and hurt him.

The boy was a bit surprised that the ‘madman’ had not thrown the sack down on him, but let it down so gingerly.

“Can I open it?” he asked the old man.

“It’s yours” the old man answered and smiled wryly.

The boy opened the sack and found it was filled with gold and precious stones.

Not sure of the wrinkled old man’s intentions, the boy looked up quizzically.

“Take it take it” the old man said “I’m glad that I found at least one person who has the good sense to receive what I have for him, before I die.”

This is what the story taught me, as I complained about the nuisance of the vendor – that we are only what we see, and that we get only what we agree to receive. Where everybody else ‘saw’ a threat in the unexpected sound of “Ittotte?” from above, the boy saw an opportunity

Many of us similarly, choose to flee from our good fortune, because success too often appears scary.

We are all hearing the question “Ittotte?” loudly and clearly in many different ways, everyday in our lives from equally unfamiliar and odd circumstances or moments.

What does it take to learn to say yes and not run away from our ‘Ittottee?’ ?

Opportunity does not come before us with a placard reading ‘your opportunity’ written out in big fat bold letters. It most often seems quite threatening like the ‘Ittotte?’ man in this story.

Thinking about it today, I wish I knew from which little book was this little thought revealed? Or was I destined to hear it, because I often run away from the opportunities life presents?

I wish I knew…”

Posted in Interesting Reads

If men could menstruate-Gloria Steinem

Living in India made me understand that a white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking a white skin makes people superior, even though the only thing it really does is make them more subject to ultraviolet rays and wrinkles.

Reading Freud made me just as skeptical about penis envy. The power of giving birth makes “womb envy” more logical, and an organ as external and unprotected as the penis makes men very vulnerable indeed.

But listening recently to a woman describe the unexpected arrival of her menstrual period (a red stain had spread on her dress as she argued heatedly on the public stage) still made me cringe with embarrassment. That is, until she explained that, when finally informed in whispers of the obvious event, she said to the all-male audience, “and you should be proud to have a menstruating woman on your stage. It’s probably the first real thing that’s happened to this group in years.”

Laughter. Relief. She had turned a negative into a positive. Somehow her story merged with India and Freud to make me finally understand the power of positive thinking. Whatever a “superior” group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever and “inferior” group has will be used to justify its plight. Black me were given poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “stronger” than white men, while all women were relegated to poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “weaker.” As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, “Oh no, that’s women’s work.” Logic has nothing to do with oppression.

So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.

To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- “For Those Light Bachelor Days.”

Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.

Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat (“You have to give blood to take blood”), occupy high political office (“Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priests, ministers, God Himself (“He gave this blood for our sins”), or rabbis (“Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean”).

Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights (“Everything else is a single issue”) or self-inflict a major wound every month (“You must give blood for the revolution”).

Street guys would invent slang (“He’s a three-pad man”) and “give fives” on the corner with some exchenge like, “Man you lookin’ good!

“Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!”

TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)

Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.

Medical schools would limit women’s entry (“they might faint at the sight of blood”).

Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics– or the ability to measure anything at all? In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?

Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly)

In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here’s an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)

The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.

If we let them.

Posted in Interesting Reads

After a while

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

                                      – Veronica Shoftshall

Keep this in mind but don’t forget to enjoy!!! And with this my dears, I wish you a very happy weekend. For those on the other side of the world, like my man, whose weekends have already started, hope you are having a great weekend 🙂

Posted in Interesting Reads

Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers :)

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers . 

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’  The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.’

Posted in Interesting Reads

Salary negotiation-Do’s and Dont’s

Keep this in mind when you attend your next job interview or when you are due for your next appraisal. Either ways, good luck!

The EHS post

salary-negotiation-tips-for-nonprofit-professionals-300x204All work and No pay makes Jack a dull boy.- Anonymous

The overwhelming reason candidates decide to explore new options is to get a better salary. At the same time most candidates are not sure – as to how to approach this tricky topic. Some are upfront about it and risk loosing their candidature. And there are some who are too nervous to even discuss this topic.

How does one go about managing this delicate issue of negotiating ones salary ?

Here are a few simple tips, to overcome the butterflies in your stomach and negotiate your salary in a clear and confident manner.

Homework helps.

What is the likely salary for the position you are applying for ? You must keep in mind that organizations base salaries on what they pay currently to fill similar roles. Some homework to find out the going rate for the position can be…

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