Category Archives: Society
Society at Large
Florence Nightingale is one of the women who made a strong impression within me during my school days – she is for alphabet F in #atozchallenge.
Without doubt, the quixotic nature of contributing to the well being of the wounded war soldiers will draw the attention of any little girl across cultures. This explains on why after so many decades, her name pops up in my mind when I think of a person with name starting with alphabet “F”. You can read about her life in Wikipedia here – Florence Nightingale
As a generation, we had the advantage of schools preaching the importance of empathy and helping people-in-need – In my school, there was a dedicated one hour class time for MORAL STUDIES. At that time,we thought of it as a class where the teacher tells stories of quixotic nature. And incidentally these stories exposed me to a world outside the quiet convent classroom. Looking back, it dawns on me that these one hour MORAL STUDIES class was indeed accentuating the core values which was taught and practiced at my humble home. It also establishes the fact that value system based of humanity transcends the boundaries of geography, culture, religion, caste. Empathy and support-to-the-needy was established at my Hindu orthodox family home in a small town at the south of India with the same vigor as how it was established at a large western Christian household at Europe for Florence Nightingale. Probably that was the piece which influenced me as a child when I heard her story at the MORAL STUIDES class. Now years away, I fondly remember her as “Lady with the Lamp”.
When you are born in a country which was a British colony for many years, you obviously are intrigued by the British monarchy being run by a Queen and not a King which is typical. The strong impression the Queen of England made me in my childhood is one of the reason she is for alphabet E in #AtoZchallenge.
For you to read more about her early life, we can check on the official website of The British Monarchy
While the kid inside me is upset that the largest Indian diamond Kohinoor is still with the Queen of England , the admiration and awe for a British monarch is no way diminished. The current queen (Elizabeth) is not just a figure head, but one of the most fiery band individual in her life – that made her sustain this political war and establish monarchy as a permanent feature in England. If you lived in 20th century, she is one indomitable person you have to acknowledge!!
Hail the Queen!! :)
When you think of Diana’s story, there is always that romantic feel to this story – the feeling you get when you watch a nice fairy tale which ends beautifully with the honest princess getting to marry her right prince!
Just that Diana’s story did have a twisted ending later – nevertheless, there is no second thoughts about Diana being a princess and living the dream of millions – she was lauded for many things including her simplicity, her beauty, her dressing sense and her ‘down-to-earth’ approach even after being the princess of Wales. I always wondered how challenging it would had been for her to make this transformation from a normal girl to the princess and then become the most wanted person by the paparazzi! She lived a dream! God bless her soul!
All three women with names starting with C – for the #AtoZchallenge – they are excelling in their own career sphere. They all hail from a very humble background and have reached the pinnacle of their career. They continue to be humble about what they have achieved and still strive hard to give 100% to what they do. What else you need to be a role model !!! It is easily possible to write a book on each of them for their achievements in life….though, i want to post these videos
Life continues to throw its challenges – every time you think you are in deep doldrums, there is something which makes us stabilize and bounce back. For me, most of the time it is the people around me who gets me back up to my crest. I thought I can use this #AtoZ challenge to list them for a month. The first ones in the alphabet A are
Ayan Rand is a Russian American novelist who lived between 1905 to 1982. More than the novel, her philosophies are what impacted me the most. If there is one book which any career oriented individual MUST read, then it is FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayan Rand. Her philosophies are extremely spiritual in nature – one of my favorites quote from her is “Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values”
Avvai Patti is a famous Indian Tamil poetess who lived in the Sangam period (13th Century). While i still have my own doubts about whether she is a mythical or real character, anyone who studies Tamil is bowled over by her simple profound quotes. I will always remember Avvai Patti and Aathichoodi for life
|Uyir Ezhuthu||ஆத்திசூடி||English translation|
|அ||அறம் செய விரும்பு||Intend to do right things|
|ஆ||ஆறுவது சினம்||Anger is momentary; do not take decisions during times of anger (in haste)|
|இ||இயல்வது கரவேல்||Help others based on your capacity|
|ஈ||ஈவது விலக்கேல்||Never stop aiding|
|உ||உடையது விளம்பேல்||Never boast|
|ஊ||ஊக்கமது கைவிடேல்||Never give up enthusiasm|
|எ||எண் எழுத்து இகழேல்||Never degrade learning|
|ஏ||ஏற்பது இகழ்ச்சி||Begging is shameful|
|ஐ||ஐயமிட்டு உண்||Share what you eat|
|ஒ||ஒப்புர வொழுகு||Be virtuous|
|ஓ||ஓதுவது ஒழியேல்||Never stop learning or reading|
|ஒள||ஒளவியம் பேசேல்||Never gossip|
|ஃ||அஃகஞ் சுருக்கேல்||Never compromise in food grains|
Another women’s day just passed by! Lot of attention in media – everyone did their bit! The private sector, the public sector and the individuals – all played their part in promoting the awareness about celebrating womanhood! Nice messages were pouring into my whatsapp, twitter, fb and mails. Everyone seemed to be enthusiastic about sharing their wishes with me – colleagues, friends, family…. and I reciprocated. In addition, I did my bit by joining a walkathon organized at work for the sake of girl child. It was a win-win for me – I could do a long walk and also make sure that I did my bit on women’s day.
And then, this interesting conversation happened during the walkathon. There was this senior person from a well established industry association which aggressively promotes “Diversity and Inclusivity” and in that context women. This gentleman was sharing his views on women leadership and the need to support women during their child bearing years. Typical of someone who is passionate about what they do, this gentleman was describing and analyzing the various initiatives to support women in IT sector.
During the course of this passionate conversation, he highlighted that employers should appreciate the needs of the women during pregnancy period also. He gave an example – if a women has morning sickness, she should be given the option for flexible timing. I was mentally absorbing this fact of including pregnancy period also to provide flexibility to women and wondering what it means to run a project and accommodate these requests – in reality, IT sector struggles a lot to provide meaningful flexi timing even post pregnancy as the work demands overlap timing with US time zones.
And suddenly he adds the spice ” you know, I was told that it is the senior women who are not very supportive to implement these small changes to take care of the women’s needs. They say, “we have gone through the pregnancy period and managed work without any concessions. Why can’t the current generation do this?’ That is where people say that men are different and take care of women better”. My thoughts were stilled and i was taken aback for a minute – alas, once again, i was reassured that women never get it easy!
My experience tells me to subscribe to the concept of “when going gets tough, the tough gets going” . With this new perspective shared by this gentleman, my subscription can easily be construed as a senior women not appreciating the tough situation which a junior women is going through??!!! Am aghast – should i patronize the younger generation to be a considerate senior or continue to goad them to cross over tough situations by being tough?? So, patronizing women is what they call as taking care of women??!!! where will they get this right?!
These…. Idiosyncrasies of being a woman!!
On a dull Saturday afternoon, I compulsively was checking twitter, though ended up checking my inbox (established symptoms of OCD, I suppose!) – and then I saw this note from Shiva “Is this referring to you? – http://www.youthconnectmag.com/2014/09/27/13-rare-personal-stories-about-rahul-dravid-will-make-your-day-today/” – It indeed took me just a second to realize what this was about….and it was a squeaky feeling to read about yourself as “one Mrs.Srividya Ram!”
Nevertheless, I was thrilled that someone actually read it and referred it!! Later i realized, that because of this reference, the blog had booming statistics for a day! So, I am now wondering if i should thank the youthconnectmag or the simple humble real life hero for inspiring me to write this note ?
It is letter P for the A to Z challenge.
When i clicked on “Tossing it out” and saw P is Prison movies, I know this one was easy. Lot of regional movies has prison in its main theme.
But the first thought when to the movie called Chirai (Prison) – It is a Tamil regional movie of 1984, based on the story written by a Tamil novelist Anuradha Ramanan. Apparently, this storyline was very progressive – it handled a sensitive topic, where an orthodox traditional married women makes a decision which is beyond the tradition! This movie brought in the stunning logic for the then traditional society (it is still the same in many parts of the world). When the married women gets assaulted sexually, her husband disowns her – now here is this lady who already is a victim and also being held responsible for being a victim! She makes a bold decision to move into the house of the assaulter himself, who already has realized his wrong-doing and supports her till the end and gives a very decent quality of life! The story ends where the lady decide to live as a widow of the assaulter than her husband who deserted her ! What this movie portrayed was the biassed outlook of a society – which is way off from being a gender-neutral society!
In general, even today, many parts of the society look at the victim of sexual assault condescendingly – the victim itself is considered partly responsible for the crime – when the infamous Delhi incident happened as recently as December 2012, there were unprecedented supporting voices for women safety from every corner of the world. At the same time, there was this view of “can one hand clap?” from some parts of the society !!
While there is lot to be said about this sensitive topic of women safety around the world, it goes without saying that we not only need stricter laws but a sweeping mindset change, where every human being is looked at as a human being than as a women or men…!
Am sure we are progressing as a society, but have still a long way before we say we arrived! Till then – for those lovely women folks around the world – TAKE CARE, BE BOLD & STAY SAFE!
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!
When I found that many are cutting short the three-day conference to two days and getting back home earlier, I was upset .. Upset because I prioritized the third day at the conference over my little one’s annual music day at school. I still could have done a replanning – aversion to last-minute replanning, late nights at airports and to some extent my laziness overtook (I also had an iota of sincerity quotient towards participating in the conference) – I decided to continue on the thrid day.
It was still haunting to remember that expectant voice and little face “amma, can you come on Friday morning atleast for the music day?”. I decided I need to give my little one something which will to some extent compensate my absence. It struck me then that I can take something which is unique – an autography from his favorite cricketer Rahul Dravid – it is almost two years since the little one got Dravid’s autograph on a two-inch paper and I was impressed by this cricketer. Rahul exhibited that he is a true hero – read the detail here.
So, I had updated my colleagues that I am going to manage to get Rahul Dravid’s autograph during the valedictory session on the third day – while I was extremely aware that it is a formal forum and I may look a bit out-of-place asking for his autograph, I was encouraged by my desire to compensate my absence on my little one’s school day back at home – ofcourse, there were other colleagues who really were fans of Dravid’s cricket skills unlike me who were also planning to take a picture or an autograph from him
I literally grabbed the opportunity when Rahul was waiting at the first row corner to get into the stage – I dashed to him with a notebook and pen and showed this notebook telling in a low voice that it is for my son and his name his karthik – I saw a momentary shock on his face and also probably some irritation (when he is focussing to get to the stage in an official forum, sure he did not expect this!) – that was just momentary – he took the pen, wrote my son’s name and gave his autograph. A minute and it was all done – true hero obliging to his fan’s request.
His session started and I was once again in for surprise – his humble nature and the ability to laugh at himself were quickly taking up the audience by fire. While you can watch the video here
Few quotes which captured my attention are
- Aggression is a mind thing
- Stay at the cocoon of the moment and do it again and again and again – ability to put your mind to the moment needs skill
- Cricket somehow brings you down to the earth – all of us are hardwired to deal with failure
- Emotional energy which is lost due to failure is very important to deal and then get back
- Coming second to Sachin or Laxman is NOT such a bad thing. Coming second to someone mediocre is something bad
- Few things I ticked before a match – : physical fitness, technical capability, mental routines, and emotional energy
- Great teams are built on great bowling attacks
- If u got the bowler’s angry, then u r closer to winning – anger takes away focus
My surprise indeed continued when i saw him in the same flight back home – in the economy section, two seats in front of me…again being that same humble, polite, wanting to establish that feeling of “I am one among all of you!” – still accommodating the fans who were asking for an autograph or a picture with him – through the flight, on the ground near the baggage collection area – ofcourse, I was satisfied with the elaborate autograph for the little one which I got in the evening!!
Once again, it was witnessing the real hero – is it just being humble OR is it being Rahul Dravid – looks like it is Humble and being Rahul Dravid!!