Monthly Archives: June 2010

I like who I am when I am with you


I’ve noticed I need positive people around me. I do much better when I am not beating myself up over money being made, weight being gained or lost, or general futility of life. I sense of lightning of spirit when I leave the company of some people. People who will always point out mistakes, obstacles and faults. People who always see the bad, the unhappy, the shortcomings, the less, the not haves… We aren’t perfect and there is no requirement that we should demand it always, around us too, is there?

I need someone who encourages me to do my best, believe in myself, encourages me not berate myself, not belittle myself, not constantly compare but do my best and help others do their best.

I read a post on selfishness today morning and realised we really attach a lot of stigma to thinking of ourselves and ours before anything else. I know if I become a person who helps bring out the best in others, it will be very liberating and, in a way, my way of helping others get where I am. Letting people trample over me in the effort to be selfless is not really cutting it for me.

I didn’t think I was a positive person but I have to come realise, it is a precious balance. The slow steps you take towards your goals and the glimmer of achieving them can be easily destroyed by a  careless comment, by an insensitive soul, who thinks their unheeded advice is what you need. Sometimes you are required to just let things be. Why is that so hard?

The bigger question is how do I tell the people who pull me down, that they can’t be a part of my active life? Or how do  I become strong to carry them forward?

Do we truly use all we have and get?


I remember a discussion after watching Sardar some years ago.  Someone remarked how we don’t really value the freedom we got because we don’t know what it is like to live without it. I remember thinking that was such a typical statement to make.

But when you look around and see how one tends to take everything you have for granted — from expecting the government to do without participating, shrugging and blaming without trying, pulling others down for trying.. all manner of things, I realise maybe we truly don’t realise the vision our leaders had when they fought for freedom.

On a more personal note, even freedom as women today is quite different from our mothers’ times, as is the case with every generation. Discussions I often have with batch mates and friends are often peppered with phrases like — “Thank god we don’t live in the times our mothers did,” or  “We didn’t have to fight for our right to education,” (in most cases these women are  largely urban), we could do what we wanted, marry whom we wanted, when we wanted..and many such “coulds and “haves”.

But what we forget to discuss is do we really know and use this freedom and independence (political and personal)? Did we ever stop to think are we truly free to do what we want? And since I think it is a yes, do we really do what we want..?

Most of the women my life (no surprises) are in my age group and effectively single. But very of them want to actually remain that way. Very few are single  not because they choose to be that way but it’s happened to be such. They are almost always trying to change that. Willfully and consciously or at least in gestures and wishes.

I realise most don’t want to be alone, women included, but we are so conditioned into believing that living alone is equivalent of the worst possible hell that we are expected to do everything in our power to change that status.

Most want to eventually be a part of another whole. While am sure it is somewhere lurking inside me, I notice it has become another level of achievement in our generation of women. Yes, you studied and worked for a few years and had the requisite exciting flings and affairs, but now, come on, how come you aren’t still married!

Oh, you have done this that and the other but how come you aren’t married?

Oh come one, now you are in your 30s, you must settle (for) and get married.

Among the different versions said, one person even said to me.. the only reason everyone always wants you to get married is because they are unhappy that you are not.

It’s so deeply ingrained that party invites from spouses of school friends say, “please feel free to bring your husband”

.. or your seniors who assume you are married say, “ so sorry I thought you were married..”

But all these tedious lines apart, even everyone my age,  seem to want to come to marriage and stop. That seems to be a finishing line or the medal, something I can’t decide.

Am not entirely sure whether or not I will or wont or do or don’t want to get married but I know it won’t become my life’s goal. I don’t want to go after “eligible men” who are not “divorced” and feel smug that marrying in my 30s has “netted” me such a nice find.

This is not marriage bashing or man bashing but, funnily, about doing what you want, even if it’s not something everyone wants. Why is it so difficult to digest that?

PS This was a nice article I stumbled upon..

and Humpty Dumpty came falling down..


A software professional, at a social gathering, recently pronounced a dire warning for the Indian It industry. Albeit he was a few pegs down and I didn’t know him very well but what he said held some merit. He gave the industry only 10 more years thanks to ever-present need of everyone to become a boss.

Forget the fact that being boss should not mean forgetting your core competency. He was taking about coding and the lack of it and bloated middles (much like us Indians) and the need for everyone to be the boss. He mentioned a big company in particular, which every year, found new posts and departments to promote its middle management to. It was slowly leading to fewer and fewer people ‘coding’ or writing software (is how I understand it). Coding has been, incidentally, the Indian IT industry’s claim to fame.

This entire disucssion started with project managers and why were they so inept. Typically in a group of 8-10 project managers, at least 6 would be under-performing (and yes I remember Pareto’s rule). But I cannot explain how difficult it becomes when PMs make a hash of things.. it’s a mess worthy of any cleaning liquid worth its brand name. That’s how he and I got talking. Apparently PMs mismanage and under-perform everywhere. Following the trails of conversation, we got to a point where he mentioned the aformentioned company. How it has so many bosses now and fewer and fewer workers. “Top heavy” became his favourite phrase.

Is that happening to other companies too? I’ve experienced it in the media industry. Seniors become expensive and stay put (as they are unable to find jobs to hop), creating and engineering new positions (and rarely any new value) But media is a diffierent bargain… the industry rarely mentors or encourages juniors. It’s a raging turf war so I can understand. But IT companies usually have a very complicated procedure of rating, appraisals, discussions and ratification. At the end of it, what happens usually is, more queen bees are created and some more worker bees quit. In an industry supposedly driven by the people, whose talent runs the company, they are the last asset to be cared for.