Utopian movies can be what is listed in Tossing it out OR can be the real drama where the main characters are so idealistic that the whole movie feels utopian. Here is the letter U for A to Z challenge.
Kalki is a 1996 tamil regional movie directed by one of those famous directors of south India, K.Balachandar. While the movie is a drama, the main character in the movie was portrayed so differently, it made the whole movie utopian. Almost 17 years since that movie, I am still looking to meet someone with atleast 10% of the idealistic heroine’s character in real life. Ofcourse, the heroine’s boyfriend who waits and accepts her AS IS adds to the flavor of utopian movie!!
While the movie revolved around women and their rights and the challenges of a patriarchical society, I still felt that this movie is more of a wish of the director than of a reality! I may be sound sarcastic, but that is how i feel!
Tossing it out gave a reason on choosing such a strange topic for letter J in A to Z April Challenge. In the regional movies, the circus movies will qualify straight for juggling movies. In addition to ezham arivu (2011) which was featured already under circus movies, there were two additional circus movies - apoorva sagotharargal (1989) and mera naam joker (1970).
While Ezham Arivu had a positive drama as theme, both the other two movies were the hero is part of circus and good at juggling had a sad theme - a drama which was in line with my expectation . Nevertheless, both the movies did very well in box office and also got enormous accolades for all quarters (forget this one soul who only likes romcoms!).
Beyond movies, Juggling immediately brought me the thought of theses “so-called” multi tasking career focussed mothers!! Sometimes, they are so very much into multiple things, it looks like they are the best jugglers in the world around. What was so surprizing for me is the fact that whether it is the most advanced Western culture or the most conservative Eastern culture, women all over the world juggle things efficiently - finances, health, family, career, friends, hobbies, social contributions, etc… they amaze me!! Starting from the iron lady Margaret Thatcher from East to that many tribal women in the remote villages of African forests, there are lot of efficient jugglers who ensures the world is as beautiful as it can be to many folks around them (ofcourse, there are some exceptions, but those are aberrations to the natural law!!)
While every time management tip ask us to avoid multitasking to be more efficient, I doubt if any women will subscribe to that fact and lose any time by sequencing activities !! We see women on the move and checking their make-ups, we have women in the kitchen and taking those conference calls for work, we have women working on the fields and singing to keep their crying babies soothed, etc. Can you add into this list??
When i think of helicopter in movies, what comes to me was the awe I went through when I saw the helicopter ride in a song in one of the Tamil movies - Guru (1980). While the theme was more of robinhood styled hero and drama, that one song (very regional!) in that movie where a hero gets on to a glider and tries to stop the bad guy in the helicopter was something which stuck to my head and popped up when i saw the helicopter movies title today.
Guru is a 1980 movie which had the leading pair of tamil cinema - Kamalhassan and Sridevi and the right ingredients for the drama - rich father, principled son, lost grandson, hero acting like a robinhood, beautiful heroine who mistakes the bad guy as the good guy (Films always had heroines who were naive and innocent and the smart hero was always there at the right time to save them from evil!! ), etc.
In real life, the first time when i saw the helicopter, I was indeed thrilled - that big noise, the dry red sand dust which were thrown around and the security guards asking us to stay behind the white security line, it is still vivid in my memory (including the secret discussion among the little girls about the wind when helicopter lands - we all feared that it will be strong enough to fly our skirts and we all wore long skirts instead of our regular short ones - trousers were something which boys wore in those days!).
We hardly had any airport near our campus - they built a temporary helipad to accommodate the need for our then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to fly into our district to campaign for the upcoming elections. Infact, from the time they selected a place, the entire gang of children from the campus made it a routine to visit that site and check on how the helipad is coming up and when the D-day arrived, we were at that place hours earlier to witness the helicopter touching down. Apparently, the moment the helicopter touched down and the doors opened for the primer minster, I was STUNNED. I still remember that white saree with a red border which covered her head with a powerful smile and a very upright posture and a waving hand…….she indeed has the charisma and i remember that saying in those days “the only man in the parliament”. Till date, I think Indira is a role model for many and she had the charisma which impressed even the small girls in the remote villages across India much more than a powerful flying machine like helicopter can!! This is what I blogged years ago - http://ireach.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/indira/. I still feel the same about her!!
It is 100th anniversary of international women’s day !! I still feel the same about this…what i felt years back….that wish still seems to be a secret wish!!….especially when you are in the realms of corporate world where you continue to work through the daily chores of everyone’s psycho maps and get things done and still love those few nice moments (a small note, a text message, that little fluttered morning wish from a security staff, the little smile from a junior staff in the elevator, the big laugh in the cafeteria over ginger tea) - life for any gender is by and large influenced by that first circle of folks who we constantly meet or interact with and most of the time it is just that handful…
The factors which seem to be different for a women arises majorly due to couple of reasons
- people/society just see her as a women physically than as a fellow human being!
- mother nature still holds to the fact that only women can bear children!
Every other factor tends to fade in the background if these two are handled well! Just being constantly aware …. Constantly aware of Self , Environment , individual rights and one’s own values helps!
The understanding that there is really no right and wrong when it comes to gender diversity views is another step for us! - being financially dependent on her husband did not make any difference to my grandmom’s freedom of thought hundred years ago! She never knew the existence of women’s liberation - she was born and also married into families which were traditionally patriarchal – still she was the decision maker for the family at large - men folks wanted to listen to her – she managed huge weddings - she was there for everyone! There was no gender bias coming in!!
While the modern world brought the humanity lot of advantages, it also brought in its own challenges - while it is nice to have those focussed groups to support and encourage gender neutral practices in various walks of our daily life, the fact still remains that the individual (be it whatever gender) mostly decide their own destiny! As a man thinketh!! (a good debate topic for those feminist forums to find why James Allen did not write “As a woman thinketh!”)
Ofocurse - wishes to all those great and lovely women around the world - world is what it is today becoz of the different roles you all play - daughter, sister, mother, friend, boss, subordinate, etc…etc… you make a difference in the lives of every one around you!! Take care of yourself! Be aware! Be blessed!
It was always in the back of my mind - a small throbbing of uncomfortable feeling! From the time when I heard about Nithyasri’s personal incident, I was more concerned on when she will come back - I never had any doubt about her coming back, but was not sure of the period she is going to take to get back with confidence.
When I came to know that she was back on music academy with the support of her dear friend musician Sowmya, I had stop my work and google to get more inputs on her comeback. It indeed was so heartening to see her back in her normal avatar..
While we will never know the real reasons of why and what caused this talented woman to face such an incident in her life, I only want to say that it is extremely important for many women to know that Nithya came back to get on with her life and her life’s purpose! Her comeback exhibits the courage of an individual, a woman who wants to put the trauma behind her! She indeed will be a role model not just for the budding musicians but also for those scores of South Indian Women!
WELCOME BACK, NithyaSri - God Bless!
When I saw the invite for the book publishing event in my mail box from Anitha, I wanted to go. Two reasons - Anitha is one of the persons whom I can just sit for hours together without even talking much and feel completely at ease; two of Anitha’s prize-winning short stories are part of the book which was published that day.
While I had never been to this kind of event before, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I reached the event little late (they had already published the book which Anitha said is the main event!), I think I was present for the best part of it - reading the extracts from the stories which were published in that book.
I was mesmerized when one of the women rendered a paragraph from Anitha’s story - I could not believe that such a voice modulation, clarity and emotion can all be brought in by anyone - especially a frail looking women. I just wanted to sit there and listen to her reading all the stories from that book for ever.
Anitha updated me that it was Jyoti Makhija, one of the famous theatre personalities in Bangalore. It also stuck me later that majority of the participants (including the audience) were women - women who gave a feeling that they are intellectual, who are matured and mostly over 50. It again reiterated the fact that women have more interests in life as a group and still want to believe in fiction.
ps-I was highlighting that I was impressed that lot of women are interested in english literature. I got an immediate response “Women do all the running round. Men sit and write” I liked the intended pun from Anitha on this!!
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Category - Drama-Comedy ; Rating - 4 ; Comment – Women ensure changes come into society!
Another aimless TV browsing Sunday lazy evening…and then I see this scene where a young girl is talking to an African women - who is dressed as a maid of olden times - something in that maid’s expression is so familiar - may be the anger or the big expressive eyes or her overall presence on the screen……..i just got stuck to that channel and checked what is this movie - it was “THE HELP”
I continued to watch the movie – the settings was 1960s civil rights movement of America and the theme was about the hardship the underprivileged went through and the support they got from the good souls of the privileged community - major part of the narration was from the view of African-American maids. I get intrigued by the fact that in all society, women really bring in the change at grass root levels. (call me a feminist!) While it is true that majority of civil rights leaders across the globe were men, I believe that women ensured that the change happened - be it Rosa park or the African-American maids similar to the ones portrayed in THE HELP.
And the maid community across the world have a common thread connecting them – they are underprivileged, most of the time left to themselves to fend for their families (the husbands are hardly supporting the maids or their children), emotionally connected to their employer’s children when they are nannies, have that basic grit to sustain life, appreciate small joys in life, support each other….of course, there are this small percentage of greedy not-so-honest types too. Maids are such an important part of parcel of any society and seeing this civil rights story through the eyes of them was indeed captivating.
Almost towards the end of the movie, my elder one peeped in to check what happened to me (true to self, forgot about the sundry works to be completed over the weekend including the dinner preparations..) . When she saw me watching this movie, she remarked – “Oh this is a Oscar movie – the supporting actress is Olivia Spencer and she got the Oscar for this role”….. Wow! Explains why I got stuck with her expressive eyes in the first instant.
A movie to watch and appreciate!
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I just did an informative post for women before this …Women leaders and self-confidence. So, am justified to post this satire actually (God, am i feeling guilty to make fun!? and trying to be defensive and justify this post?). This mailer definitely made me laugh!
Disclaimer (oh, yes…..I can put a disclaimer!!): This is not my writing - it is a forwarded mailer with a bold note “send this on to a lady friend. She will get a big chuckle out of it!” If you are someone who cannot stand the jokes which border sarcasm and if you are a guy ..…..i strongly recommend to “you skip this post…”
GONNA BE A BEAR
In this life I am a woman. In my next life, I would like to come back as a bear.
When you are a bear, you get to HIBERNATE. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with it. Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with it too.
When you are a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of the walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to a partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If you are a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.
If you are a bear, your are expected to wake up growling and have excess body fat.
Yup, gonna be a bear!!
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While self-confidence is the basis for any self-improvement, a recent article in Harvard Business Review (HBR) was very specific about the need for women leaders to be self-confident. Leslie Pratch is the author of this article – she is a clinical psychologist who helps companies identify whether potential executives possess the psychological resources and personality strengths needed to succeed. If you read the 16 page research paper referred in this article, it can become a long read….so i consolidated the key messages which I found helpful …….
You can read the HBR article here…..
- Before a woman answers a question in the corporate scene, it may help to stop and ask yourself a question “do you think a man would have ever answered that question that way?”
- You got be very confident, even though we are so self-critical inside about what it is you may or may not know. And this will lead to taking risks
- Gender based expectations for behavior influence the styles and evaluations of leaders
- Men are freer to carry out leadership in different styles without encountering negative reactions because their leadership is ordinarily perceived as legitimate
- The findings indicated that women have to have high self-esteem and high self-confidence so that they can cope with the constraints placed on their leadership styles.
- Why Women Leaders Need Self-Confidence (blogs.hbr.org)
Couple of my friends have special children. This has given me some insight into how much additional care is required for the special children. Whatever little I could understand, it made me realize on how critical it is to their parents to constantly look for help to support and coach few basic life skills to their special children. The biggest fear they go through is “how my special child will face the world after me?” and “how much I can coach the child on the basic life skills so that the child can atleast sustain independently”.
I hear the facilities and support for the special children and the acceptance from society is comparatively better in developed countries in North America and Europe. In India it still needs a lot of improvement when it comes to bringing up a special child.
I recently bumped into this smart lady, who use to be my neighbour couple of years back - she is an engineer by profession and it is almost couple of years since I met with her – on that evening, when I met her, we were exchanging the regular pleasantries and checking about each other’s life - family, work, children, time management, festivals…….and what I heard from her was very inspiring.
She has completely shifted her field from engineering to teaching - as a special education teacher in one of the best schools in Bangalore. She has done the required special courses to qualify as a special education teacher in the last two years. I could see the passion in her - she said “you know what is difficult in India? It is still lack of awareness about the need to handle the special children specially – lack of awareness to consider them as a child who needs some additional support in their development and seamlessly interweave them into the regular curriculum…believe me, it takes lots and lots of effort and challenges even with well-educated crowd - even the teachers in the school need lot of coaxing to make this happen - I read a lot, I fight for the special children’s rights at school and I keep looking at what the other countries are doing for them - it takes a lot of my effort - my spouse keeps telling me that I am stressing myself on this ……….but, I want to do it and make the difference in whatever small way to these kids…..”
I was so touched by her passion and for the right cause - I congratulated her and said that it takes lot of courage to do the right thing and stand for it. It honestly makes me feel so energized to see such determination in woman and I am sure she is going to make a difference for the special children and their parents! All the very best and God bless!