Sunday, March 29, 2015

A woman’s choice – #MyChoice

I have always adored Deepika Padukone. A beautiful actress, who knows how to act, is uncommon in Bollywood. A timid actress promoting Om Shanti Om alongwith Shahrukh Khan, to the bold woman answering all possible questions from media, yet living a spirited life. She has come a long way.  She stands out to be a lady of grit, integrity, and self-confidence.

Just a couple of weeks back, she talked about a phase in life, when she was depressed. With pots of money, beauty to die for, success and fame, she was depressed, seeking consultancy. Many viewers said this was for publicity. Such people are common in the Indian context - whatever an actor does is for publicity. I disagree, because out of everyone, atleast Deepika doesn’t need publicity. I take it as she said it – it was about awareness.

“If I can impact one life in this entire process of speaking up and letting people know that it's something I have been through and something that I could deal with because I had a fantastic support system."

While browsing last evening, I came across another of her powerful videos. This video is collaboration between director Homi Adajania and Deepika. Its title reads 'My Choice' and is dedicated to #VogueEmpower, Vogue India's social awareness initiative. It is written by Kersi Khambatta, and shot by Tassaduq Hussain.

I watched it several times today. A black and white, no flash, no noise video, yet powerful and emphatic. It has several shares on social network sites.The message is loud and clear – women should have a right to have their own choice. My Choice. Good work Deepika, good job team, good job vogue.

My question.

Will this video achieve what it wants to?

No, a part of the world will not be affected by the video.

This big chunk of population of the world will include men and women both. They are the ones who strongly believe that women are meant to be objectified. They are born to follow certain rules set by the society, and take up a set of responsibilities including bearing babies (number of babies could be decided by godmen). They are born to be quiet, to be submissive, to be tread upon. They have to live for others. They are groomed to have no self-respect, no self-love, no self-compassion, and above all, no identity. And they live with it. And die without it.

Yes, if the women watch it, get inspired and wake up.

This video will be a truth, if all that I wrote above, holds untrue. It is not very hard to think that it will reverse, if and only if women want to. A woman has to realize that she is a human being. Like all other human beings, she can have emotions and feelings. Like all human beings, she can have her own choices. She can feel happy, satisfied, content or joyous. She can feel hungry, exhausted, bored or exasperated. She can feel pain and pleasure, love and hatred, respect and contempt.

She can have dreams and objectives for her own life. She can nurture her reasons of joy, be it writing, flying, building, driving or raising a child.   She can disobey and defy the rules of the society, living your own dream, if that is what she thinks is right. She can think, she can talk, and she can have her opinions.  She can be identified instead of being objectified.

If at all, she wants to live her life, and not her kin’s, a woman will have to stand by herself and has to focus on her well-being and love herself. She has to fight the world, for the world will definitely try to trudge upon her. This is not going to be easy, but it will definitely be more pleasurable than living a life of other’s choice. Placards and slogans will not help, videos and talk shows will not help, others talking for you will not help. You who can do it for yourself. Be self-compassionate and self-loving.

This is the link for the wonderful video, thanks to Deepika and all the 99 women. You make us think.

For the second time in a row, this April, I will be posting everyday. Due to hectic professional schedule, I did not do a theme reveal for my challenge. As an informal reveal, I will be writing about compassion, which will revolve around women and children. This series will be a part of the 1000speak – 1000 voices for compassion as well as A-to-Challenge

To begin with, I would like to take this self-compassion test. Please note your score, put it in the comments section. I invite you to read my posts this month. At the end of the month, do take the test again. If the score changes for good, you will succeed in making yourself happy.

This is an inspiring site, by Dr Kirstin Neff. You may like to look at the videos and read more.

I hope to have your support during the month of April, when I follow my heart - write. #MyChoice 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Little hearts - fill them with joy

My mum always says – “Nanha sa dil hai, zor se dhadakta hoga”. (Kids have a tiny heart. When they get hurt, emotionally or physically, the heart must be beating so fast). 

Whenever I see my 6 year old son doing something I wouldn't want him to, I remember mum’s words. A normal 6 feet wooden door is like a giant gate for him. He has to use his full force to push it open. A community park with one sand pit and  a couple of small swings, is a big playground for him. A bus is a wonder for him, the tires are like big tractor wheels. The different time zones are amusing for him. 

“How can Australia be sleeping when its day time for us?” “The world is round, and we still do not fall?”

Today morning saw him playing with a stick (he is a stick collector, all sizes and shapes. I have a corner in my house dedicated to sticks, a feet to 4 feet long). He had placed it on the wooden floor, almost digging it in, and rotating it continuously. I was getting late for work, and he was getting late for school. But all he wanted to do is tell me something he was keenly observing looking at the shadow of the stick. I was getting agitated – getting late and worrying about the floor – not a good combination. But I listened to him (remembered mum’s words J )

“Mom, look at the shadow, its twirling and whirling smoke making its way to the sky, arising from a bakery’s chimney. I can tell from the aroma that the baker is baking yummy cinnamon buns.”

For a minute I was awestruck. His innocent imagination overpowered my worries, and I hugged him and smiled. He was a happy boy. This is how the kids think. Their imagination runs wild. All they ask for is love, patience, and compassion.

I would definitely add a few words about bullying. My son faces it, almost every day. The stronger kids in his class laugh on him, naming the things he cannot do – cartwheels, football goals, run as fast; things he doesn't know – superhero stories, movie characters; places he has not been to – Disneyland, Legoland, USA. The list is endless. But he knows how to handle them, he is strong at his words, he communicates well, and knows how to deal with this kind of bullying behavior. 

But he does feel sad, very sad, and feels low about himself. I thought of helping him. I introduced him to Justin Beiber’s song – “Never say never”, and now it’s his favorite. I asked him to relate with it. And then I asked him to list down all the things he can do, all the things he knows about, and all the places he has been to. Trust me; he filled a full sheet with those. I was a happy mum, and he was happy boy, tapping his foot on the "Happy" song. 

Today over a 1000 voices raise compassionate awareness on the topic of bullying.  Building From Bullying… finding positive ways to inform, enlighten, and change.  I am not knowledgeable enough to write about bullying, which was this month’s topic of discussion. Instead I wrote about compassion towards our children. 

To join the movement you can:
Visit the 1000Speak blog
Follow @1000Speak on Twitter
Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


मेरे देश की होली, मेरे घर वाली होली,रंग भरी होली, गुलाल से भरी होलीमाँ के किचन में बने पकवान वाली होलीथोड़ा बहुत भांग चढ़ा लेने वाली होलीजोगीरा गाने वाली होली, राधा कन्हैया की नटखट सी होली
टोली वाली होली, दिल जोड़ देने वाली होली
सुबह पक्के रंग, दोपहर भर रंग छुड़ाने वाली होली
शाम को गुलाल भरी होली, रंगोली सजाने वाली होली
कान्हा को याद करने वाली होली, भैया दीदी केसाथ खेली होली, दोस्तों को कीचड में लपेटने वाली होली, अपने प्यार संग छुप के खेली होली
प्यार भरी होली, मेरे यारों के संग खेली होली
अब यादों वाली होली, पुरानी बातों वाली होली
आप सबको मुबारक हो!