Quote of the day


Originally posted on Candles Online

“Leaving a fight is not defeat every time, sometimes you are just conserving energy for a bigger battle”

FACEBOOK GAMES NOT SO USELESS AFTER ALL!!!


Candles Online

Lockdown or no lockdown we spend a considerable amount of time on social media. Some derive useful information and enhance their knowledge while some use it purely for entertainment purpose. And I fall somewhere in between. And the penchant for entertaining ourselves has gone up a notch higher during this pandemic period because media houses are anyways busy scaring us with numbers and what not. Let’s not talk about that. So as I was pacing up and down my Facebook page I stumbled upon a quiz shared by one of my friend on her page. It was about testing the English vocabulary of a person. And my friend captioned it to be boring. I can understand her saying so as she is a pro at the language. There might be nothing surprising for her in that quiz. So I thought why not check myself and where do I stand in…

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Please Understand!!!


businesswomen businesswoman interview meeting
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

“Pink Slip” that left many employees pale.  A heart felt / heartbreaking saga of every employee who gets / got laid off in the wake of of disastrous economic turmoil making employers think only about “costs incurred” and ways to “Cut” them off:

“Spend time with us” parents urged and I said “Not now, please understand”.

 

“We need a change” wife requested and I said “Not now, please understand”.

 

“Play with us” kids pleaded and I said “Not now, please understand”.

 

“Let’s relive moments together” friends demanded and I said “Not now, please understand”.

 

“When would you live” questioned the mirror and I said “Not now, please understand”.

 

“When would you pause and relax” begged my body and I said “Not now, please understand”.

 

When appraisals and appreciation eluded time and again I said to myself “May not be now, please understand”.

 

I rallied against time only to be in time in the chase of never ending deadlines, explaining to myself “This is how it is, please understand”.

 

When you ceased to care for me in your merry moments I still stuck around as a loyal hoping that you would understand.

 

But when depression engulfed in the times of distress you chose to severe and chuck me out and asked me to “Please Understand”.

 

For you it was always a relationship of profits and dividends but for me it was a cushion to my dreams which you would never understand.

 

Now I am left with questions to answer, hunger to satiate, battles to be fought, life to be rebuilt which you would never care to understand.

 

Still I would give you a benefit of doubt as I understand the mechanism of markets but how far will this log of rules go to dictate human relationships and humanity, can anyone make me understand?

 

Has the world been reduced to just a slump of Demand and Supply theories? A balance sheet of losses and gains? Just plain black and white and nothing in between? Why is this Pink scaring me today? Can anyone please make me understand?

 

 

 

Lock Down Has Actually Opened Us Up – What Say?


From March 16 to April 3, 2020 Belgium is under lockdown. And now extended till 19th April which will be reviewed at the end of the period bringing the lockdown period to 5 weeks in total.  First reaction “Oh crap! Oh China what have you gifted to the world! My kids losing out on school and vacations.  Kids at home + Husband working from home = more hours in kitchen with additional cups of tea. Headaches, panic attacks concerning how things would shape up, constant fear for the family here and overseas are definite bonuses of this quarantine period and pandemic Coronavirus.  And it’s a same picture everywhere irrespective of the country we live in.

But gloom brings negativity, so thought of wearing those witty glasses on to just lighten up the mood and since everything thing under the sun has a flip side so does this quarantine period.  Why not assess them once 😁:

  • No “alarm”ing mornings for a while. Getting up at 8 AM is also a bliss.
  • You can be you, no need to doll up. Pyjamas and flip flops would do and the comfort they provide is the ultimate.
  • Since restaurants, malls and other non essential shops are closed surely you would save a lot . Don’t believe me? Check your bank statements from the time of lockdown 😁.
  • You can surely dedicate few hours revisiting the forgotten shelves of wardrobe. Our old favourites do motivate us to work out to fit in them again.
  • Sitting at home do make us hungry perhaps a little more often but then the free work out sessions in absense of the domestic help will surely make a difference. Trust me it works😁.
  • Marriage albums and CDs bring the nostalgia moments back and never underestimate their entertainment value, mind you! Why the fourth cousin to your twice removed uncle was sulking throughout the marriage, why the cameraman was obsessed with people dining in the marriage, the over excited friends of the bride and groom, the repeated plastic smiles on the dias when the guests come and say Congratulations but they actually meant “Abhi toh party shuru hui hai” (The party has just begun, just wait and watch) – to recall those moments and stare at your partner and going back to your chores is superb fun.

Oh I am witty at it’s best 😁😎. And here comes the flying pan and BANG!!!! Bringing me down to the earth😁😁.   Let’s talk some serious stuff. No I am not going to  repeat what our news portals  and WhatsApp universities are churning out day in and day out since the outbreak of this pandemic. I am not here to present the skewed graph of economic activity during this period or the economic impact of this inactivity.  Neither I am talking about the soaring numbers of people affected directly by the virus nor I am discussing how the governments of different countries coping up with this situation etc. That anyways need a deeper introspection which I am not capable of.  This lockdown period has actually opended up different viewpoints to look and tackle a situation  at the hand:

  • At the end of this period (hopefully soon) many of us would be a better person who understands the concept of Dignity Of Labour. Our domestic helps, drivers, security guards – they are working to feed their families with the utmost respect.  Poverty hasn’t made them take up wrong ways. This is what we should respect. They do work for wages but they do help us make our lives little more comfortable. Isn’t it? Treat them with respect, they aren’t our slaves.  And no words of praise are sufficient to hail the great work our frontline workers – doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police and army. A big salute to them.
  • We would be better managers.  With services and supplies limited to essentials during this lockdown period the sense of responsible spending is something which I see getting imbedded and inculcated. Leftovers can be turned into recipes but not wasted. While people are facing cuts in salaries due to many reasons wise spending is definitely on cards. And as they say any thing repeated for 21 days becomes a habit, some positives are in offering.
  • For people who are during the normal days far away from the kitchen and just fire away orders will now come to know how much hard work it takes for ingredients to be turned into an sumptuous meals which they dismiss without blinking an eyelid. Respect for those who work tirelessly at home to give us those moments of leisure and comfort – hopefully.
  • Bringing us back to the roots.  As we moved to the cities and got acquainted to the fast moving lifestyle we are accustomed to the words like “automatic”, “instant”, “readymade” and gradually alienated ourselves from our roots that required patience and preparation. This lockdown period has surely stopped us to give us sometime to ponder over many questions pertaining to our lifestyles. We are gobbling up and stopped eating; gulping down but stopped drinking; showing off and stopped celebrating. Have you ever thought why our previous generations (especially our grandparents and even earlier) were happy despite of meagre comforts at their disposal? Why we are raising up our kids with supplements to boost immunity which we never heard of as kids? Our education (read mere literacy) in the wake of being logical and questioning everything has actually made us mock everything we didn’t get a hold of. We mocked our culture, age old traditions (not all traditions are primitive and illogical), simple lifestyle of limiting the needs because scooping out more is our mantra. And this race has actually put us in the line of fire of mother nature who surely has her ways of setting the spoilt brats straight. Her warning to us this time : “Slow Down A Bit, Go Back To Your Roots”. This lockdown period is bringing out positives as now we have family meals together, cooking and eating healthy instead of buying in a jiffy, bonding between generations is building up, the importance of our traditional practices (one petty example : every house in southern India have turmeric laden doorsteps, started decades ago to check various infections from entering the house) is being realised. Surely it’s time to realise the difference between price and value!
  • When we would step out of this confinement period clear skies and waters would greet us. Ozone layer is self healing. Our race to earn has hurt the heels of mother nature really bad. She is cooling her heels now, please wait inside.
  • And yes this would actually open up new avenues of opportunities to those who can think differently. New business ideas are surely going to mark their arrival. Mark my words.

I can come up with numerous ways how this critical moment is working the right ways for us. The prism through which we look at an issue at hand matters.  Human race has witnessed many more crucial and defining moments in the past as well – world wars, famines, catastrophes, viral outbreaks like the current one. This isn’t new and isolated. And everytime human bounced back strongly , this shall pass too. For that we need to be selfishly responsible for ourselves and our family, in that way we are serving multiple number of people and the country. And when this time passes we need to strive to bring out the better version of ourselves – compassionate, empathetic, considerate, rejuvenated!

Amidst all this chaotic tense atmosphere the irony of human nature that has come forth is : when people were supposed to go to their works they strongly wished to stay back home and relax. Now when they are supposed and obligated to stay at home for a greater cause they want to loiter outside. Not to abide, not content define us pretty much. On contrary we must be thankful that we have a roof over our head, we are safe in our haven and with people who care for us.

A Request: Wait for sometime to quench your thirst for adventure. This is not the time for all you would buy is pain and suffering in wholesale. And for the rest this quarantine period is no less than a challenge.

Are You Ready To Take Up This Challenge Thrown At You?

Let Me Be Good My Way


silhouette photo of woman holding lights
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Originally posted on Candles Online celebrating International Women’s Day

“Don’t climb the trees, you will break your bones and no one will marry you.  Being pretty is very important.

Learn to cook, otherwise you will bring shame to the family.  Your degrees won’t feed the hungry child.

Taking care of children is the responsibility of a mother alone.

Marriage, motherhood everything has a right age.  Everything else can wait.

Don’t laugh out loud, stop giggling. It isn’t good for your image.

Put your family first, your husband and his family is your ultimate destination. Learn to solve your issues or learn to endure.

Answering back, having strong opinions – are big NOs”

Few of the many suggestions and expert advices handed over to us from times innumerable by our well-wishers none other than our society including our own family members.  In short the onus of looking and being good, being responsible (as deemed and defined by the society) always rested on the shoulders of a woman. The placards of a family’s pride and shame are by default under the custody of a woman / girl.  It doesn’t mean that man has not been assigned any responsibility.  But in comparison to those entrusted to or rather forced upon a woman they are frail and fragile. If a man is earning and feeding his family a major chunk of his duties are met. His behaviour and attitude go off the radar of questioning (not off the radar of back biting though).  And this has been the case no matter which country, which culture a woman belongs to. In fact I used to feel that societal pressure of as to how a girl or woman should look and behave is a norm in India which is predominantly a conservative and patriarchal society but when one of my readers suggested me to write about how girls were supposed to behave a certain way in her growing up years and might be even now and she doesn’t belong to India, few of my misconceptions cleared. http://www.corneliaweber-photography.com – reader I was referring to.

Sexism is so deep rooted and far fledged.  Even the creativity of media is not left untouched by it. Few simple examples –

  • A father applies for a loan to send his son for higher studies and to marry off his daughter.  Marriage thus is the highest goal / achievement of a girl’s life.
  • A dusky coloured girl is no good. Fair complexion on the other hand is a matter of pride for the family and she is a winner already.
  • Our movies show how the protagonist will always fall for the docile and coy dame whereas the outgoing, strong, opinionated girl will always be good as his friend only.  She won’t make a good life partner.  Thereby encouraging / suppressing a certain type of behaviour so as to be in good books.

This is pretty much the cycle of one impacting the other. And sadly it is still working.  Though things are changing to an extent that more and more girls are being given a chance to get educated, to voice  their opinions, to choose their career paths. More laws and perks chalked out to ensure better environment for girls. The average age at which a girl gets married is definitely getting pushed further with every passing decade. What is used to be 18 or 19 now stands at 25 -27 (in metropolitan and major cities of course). A welcome change giving a woman a little more opportunity to shape up things how she wants them. (* note: excuse me for bringing up “marriage” numerous times in our conversation but sadly still the parents feel it is the ultimate motto of their lives 😁).  More and more women taking up careers and  making comebacks, giving their contribution in strengthening the economy is a fresh breath of air.

But one thing really bothers me very much. The tag of a super woman, as defined by the hypocrite side of society (read jobless neighbours, always jealous relatives, ever unsatisfied in laws)  – a woman who is educated, cooks well, earns for the family, looks great, keeps the home spotlessly clean, takes care of the kids, serves everyone in the family with a never ceasing smile on her face and most importantly she never complains or has mood offs, never says NO most importantly. Even the super man has to fight of less number of villains than donning so many hats. As a society we have to overcome our fetish for “Tags of Super”.  This could induce excruciating pain for the person (talking about every woman) with whom expectations are tied up – I meant both physically and mentally. Who are we to judge  someone’s capabilities? This is an important question to be asked at this very moment.  As a society we need to rethink our stand in matters pertaining to a woman / girl (let’s not leave boys our of this 😁):

  • Raise kids equally : it implies two things, mother and father both should be held responsible for a child’s upbringing. And kids of both the genders should be given same set of tasks at home without any bias. A boy can cook and a girl can take care of accounts. Such upbringing would ensure a complete person in the making.
  • Don’t tell your boys that boys don’t cry. Such suppression can be dangerous as they find infliction of pain on others as an outlet to their emotions. Many domestic violence cases have this psychological disorder behind them.
  • Marriage / bearing kids is not the end of the world. Stop thinking about other’s personal decisions.
  • Accept the fact that everyone have their own strengths and flaws. A fish can’t fly and and a monkey can’t swim in water. Your constant critical judgement may fail them in things they do best. They need space, so back out please.
  • Stop making people believe irrespective of the gender that their lives will be meaningful only if they are able to please everyone and fit the “normal” bill. It is the peer pressure many a times that can stop a husband from participating in the household chores lest he will be called a hen pecked husband.  It is the same pressure that makes a woman to continue her broken relationships lest she will be tagged with numerous tags for she decided to think about her freedom.

A woman needs equal amount of respect and space as that of love. She deserves it completely, period!! And I salute to everyone who are leading the path in giving complete support to the women in their lives.

PS: I am not a supporter of third wave of (toxic) feminism that completely distorted the meaning of space and freedom for women and wrongly influencing young minds.  Boozing, doing drugs, having multiple physical relationships, using swear words, manipulating situations and using sympathy / victim card to settle scores with every man in their lives in the name of empowerment is only polluting the already fragile fabric of the society.  Empowerment is about educating and emancipation.  It’s about getting equal opportunities, equal pay, equal rights.  If something is wrong for a man it is equally wrong for a woman too, just because she does it won’t make it right.