Thursday, 24 December 2015

(Har Har) Byomkesh – This and that…

My Kolkata trip this winter has been studded with visits to movie theatres lusting after Truth, so far. First, Jisshu (not Jishu, anymore) with contextual disappointments though with no fault of his other than agreeing upon it (A passing mention -  I actually ended up watching that because I had misjudged the timing of release of This Byomkesh which was my actual aim). While he did what perhaps he was asked to do and well - yet, I couldn’t but wonder if it’s is about copyright issues (lack of that, that is) or something else but somethng was positively wrong for sure. I also didn't quite see how Bengalis are (or presumed to be) suddenly on a spree with this dhoti-clad shawl-wrapped thick-frame adorned bhodrolok… and then I reasoned it with – well, one Bengali is no more a poet, he is now a film director – you see!

And with such magnanimous liberal and open, welcoming, non-cynic mind I went – today again – to give This a try! And whoa… This!!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Because I cannot; so "she" can...

This is for that day when I'll really board a train only to get down at a random station, and then let life take its own course just as it should have let have been long back itself...

She had had a rather late night last night, having walked out of her hut after dinner, after well into an hour into what would be time she’d be off to sleep on any other day. But the night – by her measure of things - was special. 

No, it wasn’t a full moon; in fact, to think of it, full moon nights weren’t exactly her personal favourites, though for a long time she had thought that she ought to think more of full-moon nights than she does. The mere fact that philosophers and poets would always put their bet on full moons than upon the darker ones... But no! Since the time she’d arrived (arrived – yes, that perhaps is the right choice of word?) she’s been falling more in love with the dark, quiet times that some nights offer when they don’t quite let the moon explode into its full blast.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Book Journey: You are the Best Wife (Ajay K Pandey)

A quick foreword in confessional honesty: This is my first ever commissioned book-review, and my approach was, well... As much as I was eager just before turning the first page, I was skeptical no less once I had done so, actually. It is someone’s first (only?) book, and is about – no wait, IS – a personal, live journal, a journey of existence till date. And more, it was a story of loss a loss of life, of his wife. And it reads like… it does! You see my reasons!

The book opened and began in a very five point someone style (Oh yes, I read it!). It spoke about the high school career threshold - the dreaded tug of ability and aspiration, moving on to the gateway - the admission process into Engineering college, warming up to ragging in hands of almighty seniors, et al almost in a similar way. Thereafter too, it quite follows the same, worn out in use trail – boy meets girl, fall in something they then call love, move along in life - together. A couple of years of hostel stay followed by a brief while of long-distance, marriage suggestions, caste differences and adequate scoops of “2 States” to a happy ending later, the story (and language too, almost) bears a very strong connotation of… well, you know what (rather, who?). It rises, falls and paves its path over the surface of incidents that are very, very commonplace - taking place just like they always do.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Of December and other good things in life!

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before its afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness, how the time has flown! How did it get so late so soon?” – had said Dr. Seuss!

A very good morning, dear Toastmasters! Today I am going to talk about the time of the times, the month of the months. I am going to talk about – The Delights of December!

December brings with it sights, sounds and sumptuous tastes that are unique to its nature.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

A guide to CC4 (How to Say It):

CC1 | CC2 | CC3 | CC4 | CC5 | CC6 | CC7 | CC8 | CC9 | CC10

While the objectives of CC4 are plain when laid out, as I had sat to draft my speech, it set me wondering as to how we have really left behind such basic concepts of High School Grammar lessons. So, as an annexure to my CC4 speech ( which is HERE) I am also presenting an elaborate discussion on the crux of CC4 - the refresher that we much need to give an edge to our day to day communication skills. To keep the discussion strung to a theme, I've used examples in shape of telling a story along the theme of Diwali in India.

Without much ado, let's dive into it!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

“The Guitar” - A fling that turns into a Lifetime affair, and how!

That she is dying and has something from a month to a two to go, was spelt out to her in a professional, perhaps slightly compassionate and yet disengaged tone. The verdict had been handed out, clearly and unambiguously. She was further explained how she'd first lose her voice, then her sight, and then, decay, not quite slowly.  And yet, as funny as it may sound, this is not but the only verdict she was handed out on the same day. As if she wasn’t yet quite done with! And so, the next two follow: that, she has been "downsized" at her job, and unloved by her lover.

Three verdicts - each unknowing and indifferent to the other two; each, brutal times more due to the other, and yet oblivious; each, each alone, having the power, proved over history, to easily crumble and perish a soul to dust but not before mercilessly tossing it aside into a nothingness safely and surely unknown to one who hasn't walked that road or died those deaths that she was about to, starting that day.

So well, you tell me! What do you do when you’re handed out such a destiny, and you know that they happen, for sure, and all you might do is to accept them and know, tell yourself, in capitals, bold and underlined, that – Very well, girl. This is it!

Know what? Idea!

You… accept.

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

This had also been published in The Huffington PostWomen's Web and MyCity4Kids!!

"How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness, how the time has flown! How did it get so late so soon?” – had said Dr. Seuss!

Right! Before you barely get used to the new digits at the end of the date, it’s time to change it again. That time of the year is back. The Time of the times, the Month of the months!

Look! It’s December, again!!

Working Women's Pregnancy - A running thought!

This has also been published in Women's Web and MyCity4Kids!!

I just watched a small video which is being shared widely in social media, which is below:

And, here's my reaction to the same (I am copy pasting, actually, directly from what I just wrote in the "comment" box of the video, without any edits.) -

I loved, and more loved the fact that somebody thought about it and made it, and yet I cannot but wonder…

Is the only way to prove is to deny your body the changes, the rest it demands, those morning sicknesses and hormonal upheaval... and the only way to women empowerment is just to HAVE TO put up a strong brave face and make sure to be around as if it's all absolutely the same?

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Still Alice - a Film Review!

This article has also been published in Women's Web!

This is going to be a rather morbid post, I promise you!

When I had sat myself down to watch this movie, I was uninitiated, totally uninitiated. Of course, I had chosen it only because Julianne Moore, who played the protagonist in it, won herself the Oscar for it. Little did I have a notion of what to look for, what to think of it. But, having watched the gripping tale of “Still Alice”, all I can say is – it truly has been a lesson, at least. A lesson that, one, can really never learn!


Friday, 4 December 2015

I cannot get to the point!!

The project objective said: “Get to the point”. Well, let’s be honest here. I tried. I insist, I tried, and tried and tried very hard. But yet, as you have it, I could not do it. I could not “get to the point.”

Often, when I am desperate, logic leaves me and philosophy takes over. It happened the same way this time too. After spending a clumsy confused hour in despair - thinking about how to, if at all, get to the point - I was very close to giving up. And then, just at that very moment, philosophy struck me. And I cried – Eureka! No, I assure you, I was not in my bathtub at that time!

And bingo!! I got my answer!

What? That, there is not, perhaps, any much point in the objective to get to the point.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

About Gender Neutral Parenting

(This one, in terms of its contents, is particularly close to my heart as I had written it our a while back before Toastmasters happened to me, and also this was published in quite a few web-magazines. You can find my original article HERE!)

Dear Toastmasters and Guests –

Gender discrimination forms one of the most gruesome crises in our lives. While gender crimes are more objectively defined, they are only but the tip of the iceberg. Gender discrimination, which is the root-cause of this social evil, is however much common. We are so accustomed to gender disparities in our society that it often becomes a challenge to even identify them as a problem, leave alone combating them in a constructive manner.

Today I am going to talk about a specific area in parenting. I will talk about gender discrimination among children. I will argue that socio-cultural conditioning at young, formative ages form the foundation stone of gender discrimination. And, as a call to action, I’d offer a few handy tips which can help us develop a progressive parenting approach, to raise more gender neutral kids for the future.