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Idiosyncrasies of being a woman

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!!

Women forums in IT industry – hype or real?

I have had very interesting conversations with many on the need to start a Women’s Forum  in  IT corporates –  It ranged from “This is a long felt need”  to   “why only Women’s initiative – why not Men’s initiative? call it gender equality!!!….”

Over the years in IT industry, I hardly saw any situation where women can operate differently because they are women. When we assess someone’s capabilities to fit into IT industry, we look for standard traits –  Zero-defect project deliveries, vast domain knowledge, excellent communication and team management skills, client-facing capabilities ……..  all these are gender-inclusive expectations in our industry.

Research has also proven that women have a higher EQ (Emotional Quotient), which in today’s corporate world is rated higher than IQ – this actually gives women an edge over men in problem solving.  The recent trend analysis also concludes that corporates which have women as part of senior management have done much better than those who do not.

Ideally, with the above two facts, the women workforce in IT industry should be at a minimum of 50%.  In reality, statistics show that women workforce ranges between 25% to 30% and less than 15% of senior management in most global IT companies.

The reason for lesser percentage of women is mostly attributed to women’s extended role in family and childcare – this is true globally. Surveys have concluded that in households where men and women work, women still do twice as much housework and thrice as much childcare.

How do we enable women workforce to sustain their career aspirations while they manage their housework and childcare responsibilities   –   this is the major trigger for many IT corporates to start  corporate programs supporting women –  Ideally, from my perspective, these forums/programs need to

  • enable women workforce with additional skills required to multitask
  • leverage women’s potential for furthering organization goals
  • retain women talent
  • establish the IT corporate as “employer of choice” by women workforce

So, what can women do to with the support from these forums??

  • KNOW YOURSELF – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” – James Allen.   With understanding themselves, comes the wisdom – with wisdom comes the personal power.
  • DEVELOP SKILLS – Ensure they develop skills which continue to give them the financial independence.  This is very critical – with financial independence comes a lot of responsibility and with responsibility, they grow as an individual
  • BE AWARE AND EMBRACE CHANGE –   Continuously challenge their limits – every archiver (Gender inclusive!) has done this!

We need a whole lot of committed change agents  who can make this change……and be part of the change!!   Till then, the debate on the need for  women’s forum will continue…and probably the cheeky lot will continue to check about the need for men’s forum!!


Category –  Drama-Romance ;  Rating –  3.5  ;  Comment  – Taking care of those who need that care is an esoteric experience in itself!

A lazy Sunday evening and aimless channel surfing –    I ended up watching “Adam” for an hour and half…a heartening realistic romance drama. It was a realistic ending with big emphasis on pragmatism!

The theme is an underlying romance between the budding writer and an Aspergers ,   For those, who is new to the term Aspergers,can read it out here…The movie tries to define love –  love is to whom you  may feel connected and about what.

Nevertheless, the challenge is always in the difference it makes when you know you are being loved Vs being in love.  No doubt that being in love is a great feeling, but I read somewhere that the most powerful force in a woman’s life is the need to be appreciated, loved and cherished for what she is… –  that kind of laid the foundation on why Beth feels that way…

What caught my attention in the movie is the challenges the caretakers of Aspergers  go through –  while it gives a great satisfaction to manage someone who has aberrations at psychological level (there are so many undefined mental states outside Aspergers, some even undetected!)  it is so tough on an individual  –  there are millions and millions of those individuals around this world who go through those emotions and pursue towards the greater goal of taking care of their loved ones…and many-a-times without any recognition.  This movie is a dedication to those lovely souls of mankind who care for others…God bless!

ps-if you are an Indian movie watcher  –  “My name is Khan” in Hindi  and ” Swati Mutyam” in Telugu (Sippikul Muthu” in Tamil) have similar story lines!

Utopian movies – Kalki (#atozapril 2013 challenge)

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!

Juggling Movies (#atozchallenge 2013)

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??


Helicopter movies (#atozchallenge)

So, it is a new hash tag for this challenge at Tossing it Out and following for the letter “H” for the A to Z April Challenge.

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 intoimagesCAPG1L3E 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 –  I still feel the same about her!!

International Women’s Day 2013

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

  1. people/society  just see her as a women physically than as a fellow human being!
  2. 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!


Nithyasri – God bless!

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..

 Courtesy -
Courtesy –

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!

Women and Literature

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!!   :) :)

Related Post:  Congratulations

The Help

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!

You may also like: Pati, Patni and  Rs.10,000 scheme!!   || Indian Women  – Addendum to Chetan Bhagat’s article!!


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