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Showing posts from May, 2009

Shuffling through the Rush Factor

Have you ever thought of a sentence that sums up your existence at one go? I didn't till I stepped into another one of our interesting team meetings.

Shambhawi, one of my colleagues quoted a few lines from Cecilia Ahern's latest book Thanks for the Memories. stating,"Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Never have enough time here, always trying to make our way there. Need to have left here five minutes ago, need to be there now "

The funny thing, or maybe the serious thing, is that all of us could identify with that concept of rush as something that dominates our lives. One colleague said that sentence sums up his daily life. Another person stated that it pertains to all our lives. See what I mean?

Talk about relaxing and I remember an old treehouse in Malawi, where I grew up. I had a friend called Sophie. She was the prettiest girl in our class, so I was always in awe of her. Beauty isn't dished out by God to all and sundry as I very well know. She ha…

My Son's First Summer Camp

This is my son's first summer camp, with all its first time apprehensions, worries and efforts to learn and unlearn things, is more than just another camp. I realize that it is my son's first independent step toward independence from the tyrant in his life - ME. Seriously, I have seen Adi's happiness when he is about to enter his summer camp place and it educates me a lot about letting him go the way he wants and not choke him with rules. The camp has a lot of kids and maybe he loves that too. After all, being a kid without siblings, he may really be wanting some company. Adi has a fine mind too and he doesnt really need my rules to take him forward. Its tough for me to accept it but being responsible comes naturally to my three year old. He has traits that are really ones that grown up have. I am not saying that he is superior at all. I am just trying to understand his strong points. I dont know whether to feel happy or sad that my son's mind is far ahead of mine. Yes…

Family Albums

Family albums are a great way to preserve moments from the past or present that are truly special to one's life, which is why I have a huge collection of family albums. It is not spectacular but it takes me back to moments that mean a lot to me. It could be simple, like a day out with my friends, a shopping event, a new dish that I tried out or a day out with my son. It is just a way of awakening to the fact that every day is a new beginning to do something differently and experience it differently.
When I was growing up, my dad took a camera with him everywhere we went. Our home was full of albums with photos that Dad clicked right from the day I was born. There's me flashing a toothless smile, there's me trying to walk, there's me looking displeased about something, there's me having spilled something, so many beautiful moments that I can go back to anytime I want.My dad says its the best way to stand back in time and see your babies again and relate to that very…

Sharing the Past, Learning from it

I realize that most of what I convey to my three year old son, Adi is borrowed from my own childhood. As I grow older, I feel closer to those memories. By sharing those experiences with Adi, I feel that he will understand who I am and why I believe in certain things that root me to my identity and view of life. Growing up in Africa was like being alienated from my motherland in every way. Initially, it was tough to survive in school because of obvious differences. Some girls would pull my hair and ask, "Why do you have such hair?" or "Why is your skin color different from ours?" or "Why do you worship weird looking gods and not Jesus?" It wasnt just non-Indians who had questions to ask. If I spoke with African friends, I had Indian friends who told me, "Listen, they are blacks so dont mingle too much. Their culture is different." No offence meant, but I've lived all my growing years with African people and I believe they are really warm, car…

When HR became God

I hate to say this about any profession but my experiences with HR professionals in India have been disastrous. It has always left me wondering whether I speak Latin and they speak another language. I just don't get why HR say one thing and do another and when it comes out on paper, it takes a lawyer to read between the lines and charge a hefty fee to determine what could have been plain, good old English.

In my first job, HR was very posh, well spoken, suave, the wonder stuff that made you melt. Once I got into the rut of corporate office details, I got the point: beneath the suave stuff, there lies the danger of pitting one team leader against the other by leaking out details of pay packages, who got the laptop over whom, that sort of fiery spark that can get bitchy women become even bitchier and it works all the time. Whatever happened to HR confidentiality, I dont have a clue. Really sucks.

Yet another organization I went to had a very pretty HR whose lipstick looked fresh all t…

Happy Mother's Day

It was Mother's Day yesterday. Twitter was full of greetings and I had never felt so close to memories about my mother like I did yesterday. I thought a lot about the concept of 'Mother' and felt thankful to God that I have a wonderful, loving mother who helped shape and ignite my ambition to excel at work. My mother had spent most of her time with us till I was a teenager and then she realized that she wanted to do something very meaningful in her own private space. It was not about leaving her duties but about discovering what she was good at and working to hone those skills. I really admire that about my mother.

I went to a school full of rich kids. They carried foreign chocolates in their bags, carried expensive perfumes and accessories and showed off their lifestyles. It made me feel quite plain. At the time, I remember my mother telling me, "Being beautiful or rich is not as important as believing in God and doing the right thing. Those who are proud or arrogant …

Mommy Guilt and 24 Hours a Day

Having a job that I love, staying in sync with amazing people and friends on Twitter, Facebook and Blogger itself takes up all my time. That's why I can understand Barbara Miller's statement when she says, "As a mother of five active children, an owner of a growing business and a habitual volunteer I find myself testing scientific theory and bending and stretching time to unheard of limits. " (resource:The Impossible Stretching Woman: Prioritize to Return to Normal Size http://tinyurl.com/co9w28)

Let me talk about this in the context of an Indian woman whose way of life is radically different. A typical contemporary Indian woman cannot come back home and expect to relax, read the newspaper and watch TV or just gossip on the phone or simply idle away time at the end of a very hard working day. In my world, it doesnt work that way at all.

Countless details need to be checked that requires focus, commitment and detailing. My mother is a working mom. I've never seen he…

The Day I shook Hands with the President

(President Kaunda Dancing with Margaret Thatcher, resource:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5099962.stm)
If there's one thing I love doing apart from writing and listening to music and dining out, it's shopping for gifts, especially for loved ones. It can take me a whole day to do that. Of course, whoever has the misfortune to accompany me is ready to jump off a cliff by the end of the day but I'm ever ready if and when it is shopping we do.
Today, I went shopping the whole day and thought why not write about it. On the way, I picked up Outlook magazine which featured an exclusive interview with India's most talked about dynastic icon, Priyanka Gandhi, grand daughter of the late Indira Gandhi. The interview excerpt was very interesting. She talked about how she tries to live an ordinary life with her kids by taking them shopping or going to Khan Market to buy them cupcakes. Somehow, reading that reminded me about two incidents when I was growing up in Africa.
Lookin…