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30 Sep 2009

Defraud the frauds

A humbling experience.

Somebody told me the story of a professor who solved 10 math problems, got 9 answers right and 1 wrong. All his students save 1 pointed out the error. The one said 'Sir, you got 9 right'.

Now, most people would think that the one guy is positive while the rest are negatively biased. Yes? If you're one of those, I suggest a paradigm shift.

Most people will spot the error & point it out because we expect the teacher to be right. Pointing the error is not about finding a fault but aiding in getting the wrong corrected. What is the problem with that? The one remaining guy was willing to compromise and accept a mistake. No good.

Another one. Young girl gets molested. She says nothing. No one knows. Life goes on. One day she decides to raise her voice against the molester. What happens? Everyone knows she is screwed. Her friends dwindle in count. Some people do not want to associate with her for she is a victim, some because she spoke of it, some just to stick with the others... the reasons (excuses, if I may) are aplenty. The family and society ostracizes her. The guy walks away unmoved, helped further by the delay in the girl's response to his act.

What should she have done? Which is right and wrong here? Of course, she would have her share of supporters, most likely most of them strangers (NGOs?) willing to take up her cause. Would that make her happy? Will that change the quality of her life?

Who gets to decide what is right and wrong?

Colleges do not want girls to wear jeans. Offices expect employees in formals. Each has their own reasoning, moral ideologies in making rules and defining ethics suitable for them. What if someday someone slipped? How bad is that?

If I said something I thought was wrong and I used harsh words, would you fix my issue or punch me for my strong reaction?

I pay my maid for her services. Does that give me the right to tell her what to wear, what to say and how to spend the money I give her?

There is no one thing that is right for everyone, no one way that is good for all. Yet, we like to control not only our lives but that of others. We justify it with "Why do you do this to yourself? I am doing this for your own good". Also, "You have your whole life in front of you. Treat this as a learning".

How do I know what is good for you? Why am I teaching you what should your best is?

20 Sep 2009

Akshara

I had a fabulous evening today and I can't stop raving about it. Touchwood!

I played 'Let's shop', Junior Scrabble, House with babies , vegetables, snacks, monsters, picnics and a fairy godmother with a cute little 5 yr old. She has a messy room, all pink & white and pretty as pretty can be, I just love spending time there. We had a lot of fun arranging 'Opposite Words' and then messing up the whole bunch of cards. After that, we played the funny ball-going-round game which went crazy soon enough. I felt like a 5 yr old and am so proud that I could match her energy levels... well almost.

It's amazing how much of an imagination a pretty young thing like her could have... so much creativity, just building the story as the game went on. I love the way she speaks English, with a cute little accent, either picked up from her earlier days in the US or from all those movies she watches.

Sometimes she comes up with these quirky one-liners that seem to embarass her parents but is so hilarious I end up laughing & clutching my tummy as I do. Then, she tries to make up for it in her sweet baby manner & makes you want to hug her real tight.

I'd forgotten how much fun it can be to be around little ones. I can't wait for the day I might hold one of my own!

I had a dream

Remember the episode in Friends where Monica says Ross used to see a therapist because he used to have this recurring dream that she would eat him up? Well, I had one of my recurring dreams last night. It was nothing like Ross', of course and it kind of tied into a longer dream.

I've always had this dream that I left home to work one day and decided to take a shortcut, so I went via the roof (terrace, as we call it). Once up there, I got lost in a group of partying teenagers, lost my way and ended up on the road. Once on the road, I have no idea how to get to my work place and all my neighbours are laughing at me. And I'm running, not fast enough though! This ends the recurring part of my dream.

Somehow I ended up in an apartment complex (in Mumbai), met this lady who is my mother's friend who offers to drop me at my workplace on her moped. She is huge, mind you, and I can barely manage to fit onto the back of her moped but something's better than nothing. I was clinging to her for life as she flew the two-wheeler across, roads, fields and speed-bumps!

I don't know what happened later but I found myself in an auto, nearly drowning in the rain, racing towards office. On the way, I meet dad on his way to work, in another auto, totally unfazed by the rains or the water in which his own auto-rickshaw was 'floating'. Finally I reached office.

How I landed on the 4th floor of the office is something I cannot recall. I meet the girls on the fourth floor who tell me that the managers were playing a joke on us. We finish breakfast & head down to our seats.

As I reach my cubicle, I find a crowd of boys around a new guy in a crisp white shirt & jet black hair. I am annoyed because he has nearly hijacked my seat for his little 'training' room arrangement! He turns around and oh boy, is he cute! He's a friend of mine, only 15 years younger. So, I say 'hello' and get started. All this happened and it is only 9.30AM.

I don't know what happened next but I woke up and yes, it was 9.30AM! Freaky, if nothing else.

8 Sep 2009

Why did you hurt me?

The most common thing to say to someone who's hurt by a close aide is "It's the ones most close to us that hurt us the most". It's obvious why. It's as cliched!

In fact it's so cliched that these days it almost doesn't make sense. Hurt doesn't necessarily mean being touched at heart anymore.

All day long we meet people who hurt us - some hurt our pride, some hurt our feelings, some hurt our false confidence, and so on. All day long we let other people's attitudes bother us and we end up being 'hurt'.

Why did our lives get so stressful? How did we learn to be so detached from everyone yet allow one and all to hurt us?

Fish out of water

Finally, nearly 10 years later, I decided to go for it. To fight my fears, to fight the resistance inside of me. Cost me more than what it might have had I done this a while ago. Money was not the problem here. The battle was a bigger one, as was the goal.

My first day & I sucked! I couldn't get past the 'breathe' with my head under the water, whereas the remaining dozen people or so moved on to float and fared pretty well. It was so disappointing, I nearly wanted to quit. "Screw the three grand, I quit!", I thought. Pride wouldn't let me. I kept trying and I kept doing badly. At the end of the session, I nearly got the 'breathe' right. Phew! Nearly there.

I left with a determination that I'd come back the next morning. Dampers around, it's the rainy season, what can I expect. It wasn't to be. Not one to give up, I've decided to go early tomorrow & practice. When I start at 8PM, I should be where the rest are. Let me see why that can't work out. Let me see!