Do different this women’s day

International Women’s Day is coming up. Well, there should never have been a need to have a day for celebrating women. But until we develop a time machine, we will live with our history. And so it does make sense to have days like these to make people aware of the different challenges people of different genders, abilities and communities have faced. And how, over hundreds and hundreds of years, many of them have suffered silently, may be not even knowing they deserve better. And how those who refused to believe they were inferior have given up their comfort, peace and lives to rise above the norm, the expectation. And it is good to celebrate them, and all those who are doing their bits and pieces to make the world a more equal place. And to hopefully make the rest aware of what the person next to them is, in terms of hopes and dreams and capabilities.

I would urge all to celebrate this day in the best way they can. Show more appreciation for the women in your lives and for others who have championed women. This day, give up at least some of your stereotypical expectations from women. If you are a man with women in your family, learn to cook, to clean, to take care of household chores. If you are a man walking in the street, don’t whistle or cat call a woman. Let the women be able to walk the streets any time of the day or night without feeling the need to have their father or husband or male friend or brother or son walk beside them. If you have a female boss or colleague or employee, don’t assume that they do not have the required skills, qualifications or abilities, that they didn’t give it all they had all their lives to get where they are, that they can’t do the same quality or quantity of work as their male counterparts, or that they do not deserve the same pay and respect. And let this day be not a single day in the year when you respect and celebrate women. Make it the day when you started doing it everyday.

And if you are a woman, break your boundaries. If you want to celebrate this day by dressing up, or partying, or getting pampered, go ahead. But also do something you’ve always been told you can’t do or shouldn’t do because you are a woman. Or don’t do something that you have been told you should do because that is what women do. Maybe don’t dress up. Don’t bother looking beautiful. Don’t cook, order in, or make the men cook. Play football. Lift weights, and if they tell you that women do yoga and zumba instead, show them your muscles. Ride a heavy bike. Take the front seat in a cab and the men can sit at the back. Maybe learn to drive a truck. Buy hardware. Fix some furniture or plumbing in the house and don’t plead to the man to do it. Walk out alone. Do something different. Anything you’ve learned over the years as things you can’t do. Think hard, figure out what you’d be most scared of doing, and if any of that has anything to do you being a woman, do it.

Happy Women’s Day.

It said to enter title here. Title.

Life is 🧐🧐

lifey, I guess

Is there a better word for how life is?

Not for me, at least not right now.

I feel a calm, quiet 🤔 🤔 🧐 something.

It’s a good feeling.

It’s been a good time

I feel happy. It’s like I’ve found what makes me feel good. I’m happy especially about the past some time. I’ve felt great other times as well. I’ve had my moments of elation. But right now, this feels so strong. Maybe u could feel better. But this is good enough. In fact, it’s awesome! I feel so serenely and yet so wildly satisfied about every minute I spent in the clusters. CMU, u did good by me! 50 hrs, 1 am, 3 am, the colors of Hunt, that view, the vending machine, the chips, the stress, the panic, the relief, the company… I could go on n on. Every minute was a hellish heaven. Even those I didn’t realize. They’re gone, and yet they r in me! I guess it just happens some times. U don’t realize what something is doing to u, doing in u. And u just feel a quiet, calm, peaceful and yet so tumultuous ecstasy. I love this. Like the love u lost but hold dear deep inside. Or the love u found never to lose.

U could achieve what u set out to. Or u could lose it all. And come out winning! Sometimes the best part is in the worst. It’s like the time I slept with the fountain pen I won at a debate/speech program at school – the feeling was enormous. It was indescribable. Like 🧐🧐can’t find the words! I’ve had those moments, but never out of the worst situation. I guess u just don’t know what’s best for u.

It’s been over for over a month. And it still only gets stronger. U get thrashed n beaten and tortured n, n u try and u cry and u die, n yet u lose. But then u win! I m so glad about everything. Even I don’t know how deep this feeling is. But I hope it lasts. Coz it’s awesome! And I don’t know why all it is awesome. But it is. I guess I never knew me.. I guess I have a new me.. I like what I m. And I love what I did.

CMU, u did good by me.

Why am I?

What is life?

And who am I?

Or rather, what am I?

 

I was thinking all over again today

Where will I go, and what’s the way?

 

Where was I before?

 

I am but one little being

In this vast vast land

Amidst the even vaster waters

 

And all this land and water

Is but one tiny drop

Not even one tiny drop

In this whole world

 

So, how big am I?

 

Or how small?

‘coz I am not small enough to disappear

To be no one, no where

 

Again today, this thought crossed my mind.

Why am I?

Why are you?

Why is this all?

 

A question without an answer!

Yep, without an answer!

“टाढा टाढा जानु छ साथी”

“टाढा टाढा जानु छ साथी एक फेर हाँसिदेउ”

दिन महिना वर्ष गर्दै कहिले जुनी बित्छ थाहै हुँदैन। यो माथिको गीत सुनेर त्यसमा भुलेको पनि एक जुग नै बितेछ। स्कुल मा पढेको खेलेको हिजो जस्तै लाग्छ। साथीहरुका छोरा छोरी ले स्कुल पढी सक्न लागे। अचम्म छ समय कसरी बित्छ। क्याम्पस पढ्दाको फोटो हेर्दा आफैंलाई चिनियेन भने पनि सामान्य होला अब त। अरु बेला त वास्तै हुँदैन। तर जब कुनै पुरानो गीत पुरानो सिनेमा पुरानो कुरा सुन्छु देख्छु, अनि सोच्छु यो त मैले एस एल सी दिइ सके पछिको सोह्रौं सत्रौं वर्ष। ओहो फेरी एक पटक एस एल सी दिने उमेर भएछ।

स्कुल मा शिखर ले “समय पंछी हो ” भन्ने गीत गाएको पनि धेरै दिन भए जस्तो लाग्दैन। तर त्यो त एस एल सी भन्दा पनि ४ – ५ वर्ष अगाढी को कुरा हो। साँच्चै समय “बाँधिएर बाँधिदैन”।

जिन्दगी को गोरेटो मा हिंड्दा हिंड्दै धेरै कुरा पाइयो , धेरै रमाइयो , कति कुरा मन परेनन् पनि। …। अझै जिन्दगी बाँचिन्छ , अझै हाँसिन्छ। अनि बेला बेला मा यस्तै गरी सोचिन्छ – कोहि भनेर गए, कोहि नभनी गए, धेरै जना टाढा गए। कहिले भनेर गएँ , कहिले नभनी गएँ, म पनि धेरै ठाउं बाट टाढा गएँ। अब त्यो स्कुल जाने बाटोमा मैले कहिले साइकल कुदाउँछु होला ? अब म कहिले विकल विवेक जुना सँग भेटाभेटि लुकामारी खेल्छु होला ? कोपिला चारु सँग तिहार मा भैलो अब कहिले खेल्छु होला ? कलेज मा किताब भित्र कमिक्स राखेर पनि फेरी कहिले पढ्छु होला ? दशैं आएको छ अहिले। म टीका लाउन लामो कच्ची बाटोमा हिंडेर पथ्थरभिटटा कहिले जान्छु होला ? त्यहाँ त बाटो पनि पक्कि छ अब ।

हुन त समय संगै परिवर्तन हरु हुन्छन नै – अनि जीवन झन् झन् रमाइलो हुँदै गयो भने त अरु झन् के खोज्नु ? तर कतै न कतैबाट कसै न कसैबाट टाढा त भईन्छ नै।

Qualifying for a woman?

A teacher once said “Be like a woman. Walk slowly and gracefully.” One ‘gender equality worker’ said “Indira Gandhi did not have womanly traits. She was too bold and decisive.” Someone told a woman “Why are you so buttoned up?” (literally). “Open one more shirt button. Look like a woman. Show some skin.” Ridiculous.

Why do women have to meet so many criteria to qualify as women? Beauty, grace, softness, tender emotions – these may be good attitudes, but why are they essential to women, and to women alone?

(Hey me!) Stop waiting. And live.

 

People don’t get jobs.

Then we don’t get good pays.

Then we don’t get gratifying responsibilities.

Then we don’t get authoritative positions.

So, we resign.

 

Again, the job search cycle begins.

 

Then, we get a job again.

But we get tired of working.

We wish to retire.

Then one day we are too old for the office to keep us.

Then we wish to be working again.

 

Wishing and waiting for the next thing to happen, always.

 

No, really. When will we be happy?

Will we always wait?

For the next thing to happen?

Because, ‘of-course’, that is going to be better?

Do we ever find the best?

The perfect?

Do we ever live the dream?

 

I doubt.

 

But no matter how much I doubt, I still wait.

Even though I know that waiting after waiting, I only get older.

Until it is that time.

 

Will I ever learn?

These days, I seem to have learnt.

But how long will I remember the lesson?

 

Life is beautiful.

But only if you look at it that way!

Think of the movie Life is Beautiful. Does it show the lives of the family as beautiful? Do they have many happy moments? Do they live happily ever after? No, they don’t. But life will end anyway. If you can maintain the spirit of the father in the movie, maybe you find life beautiful after all.

All of us want happiness in our lives. Loving friends, caring family, understanding partner, good job, nice pay, modern amenities – you name it, and we want it. We all do. And until we get it all, our lives are not beautiful, which means, our lives are never beautiful – ‘coz we can never really get all we desire. As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows, our desires never stop growing. We can never truly be satisfied. With one need met, we move up in the hierarchy and ask for more. One day we might be happy with a job, but the very next day it seems boring. One day a salary might look attractive, but the next day it seems paltry. One day a friend might mean the world, but the next day,  needs and wants fill our world.

Well, this is human way. As people, we have this ever-increasing-desires syndrome. But if one can break free of this never ending chain of “I want this next”, we will attain happiness.

And then, life will truly be beautiful.

PS: I wrote this to myself.

Cucumber (sesame) salad for the lazybones

If you are like me, you are usually on the look-out for tasty food, but most days you are too lazy to do a lot of cooking (to the extent where you stare at a fruit for a little while and let it be, because you don’t have the vigor to wash and peel and cut it).

If that sounds like you (definitely like me!), you will benefit from quick recipes. You can find a little bit of energy. Or better yet, get somebody else at home prepare the recipe for you – because the recipe is quick, they won’t mind that much.

One quick recipe, or rather one modification of a popular recipe, I tried recently is cucumber salad (the nomenclature particularly intended to make the recipe sound really quick and simple). However, the recipe is quick only if you have roasted-powdered sesame in stock. As this is usually the case in our home, I could make the salad the other day.

Other things you will need for the salad are cucumber, and the basic ingredients of cooking – salt, chilli (powder) and lime/lemon/any edible souring agent.

The method: slice/dice/grate the cucumber (basically, cut it whatever shape/size you like), add the sesame powder (around 2 heaped teaspoons sesame for a cup of cucumber), and mix in the salt, chilli, lime/lemon (quantity: according to taste). Done.

That sounded quick – didn’t it? But beware – it is definitely much more time consuming if you need to start with shopping for the sesame. And yes, call the recipe cucumber-sesame salad if you want to.

A more time consuming, but popular, version of this recipe entails adding diced boiled potatoes to the mixture, adding some fenugreek seeds and turmeric powder to heated oil, adding the oil mix to the cucmber-potato-sesame-salt-chilli-lemon mix, and mixing (kneading actually) it a bit (usually also adding some water to give it a good texture). This item and its variations that add radish, beans, peas, etc. are particularly good as accompaniment to rice meals.

Well, I hope you’ll get someone to make this for you to munch on while you are reading, watching TV or just lazying off.

A must read – “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis

Cover page of Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

Well, actually, a book to “work with”.

If you haven’t already done so, read the book “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis – and read it the way the author has suggested.

It is a really good book; and it will surely be of tremendous help if you are looking to enrich your English vocabulary.

I read it recently; actually I haven’t even finished reading it all. I’m going through the list of difficult words at the end of the book. And really, even this plain word-meaning list, which isn’t even the main focus of the book, is much better than many other similar lists.

The main focus of the book is simplifying the task of learning new words by exposing the composition of the words – by showing what roots the words are made of, and which other, even seemingly different, words are built from the same root. Thus, by showing a few words built on a root, the book opens your mind up for assimilating many other words that utilize the same root, but in different ways.

The book is very well structured too. With distinct chapters and even distinct sessions within each chapter, the book makes it easy to pace your learning effectively.

And the touch of motivation and inspiration and helpful tips that the author includes are simply good.

So, try the book – I know you’ll like it. And you’ll definitely be grateful for this legacy of the author like I am.

The life you relinquish for the love you keep – Aashiqui 2

image

Watched Aashiqui 2 today.

A friend, Swantina, had recommended this movie. She’d said I’d like it, and indeed I did. Seems she does know me quite a bit.

Four of us watched it, and I was the only one who liked it. And I liked it so so much.

I don’t know if I can say I enjoyed the movie. I was sad almost all through it. Swantina had already told me what would happen in the end, so there wasn’t much inquisitive awaiting either. But I liked it, I loved it. I like love stories. And a beautiful love story this one was. Not as well presented as some other movies. Ok. But, chaltaa hai.

Love is not about what you get but what you give. It’s the sacrifices you make naturally. It’s the big things you do that seem so little to the world. It’s the life you relinquish for the love you keep. The only regret is – you cannot always maintain your sanity, you cannot always control yourself, and the only way to save your love seems to be that you make the ultimate sacrifice.

As I watched the movie, I remembered another musical from quite some years back – Sur. It wasn’t a very hit movie, but I had enjoyed it too. Probably I like the subtle expressions of emotions and personality, in a way others don’t. Or, probably I ‘notice’ these subtleties in a way others don’t.

Personalities, ego, pride, habits, weaknesses – they come in the way of love and happiness. Only if you could push them away, life is there. But alas, we aren’t always that strong. But no matter how weak, you will hold high the place of love. Sweet!