Category Archives: Willpower

Gaining independence but losing ground


I have always loved and read this blog. And no, this is not a feminist blog. It is a blog with strong opinions. But if being honest and having strong opinions means a feminist, you need to read up on what feminism today has evolved to. I read the earlier post  and a girl’s email to it some days ago and it got me thinking.

It is true. We are slowly gaining a lot more ground in terms of economic independence and the capability of making decisions.  I look around and see most of my colleagues and friends who are single which is fantastic as they are taking their time and exploring various nuances to find the right person. When one says right person, I assume, that person means right in nature and thought. Someone who would not want to change you. Someone who would respect your space, especially in a economic context and so on. The manifestations of these (what should be normal but are quite rare) thoughts are things like respecting your parents, not patronizing you, considering your input while making a decision, not forcing  to do anything you wouldn’t want to do. This should also hold true for women I assume.

But what I see instead is that women want all these fabulous traits in men but can rarely spot them. Not because they do not exist but because women might not like how the wrapping looks. Women still want rakishly good looking men who were bad boys till they met these specific men, then, the women would change them and make those men what they want. That is worse because, at least, earlier women were clear on what they wanted and went after what they wanted. They spend their lives changing men (muttering about wars and battles) and that was life for them.

For a single woman, in a society not ready to handle single women after a certain age, this fake  feminism and liberalization can be cloying. Because, then every year someone who knows someone is getting married at (Oh my god! lucky her) 34, the predominant sigh of relief is “Thank god, HER search is over”. Because there are liberated women, as a friend calls them, in control of their shakti, but reduced to all manner of pandering for finding that divorced man, because she herself is now divorced!

Because brides, now, in the midst of their mehendi, turn around and announce that feminism is bullshit, forcing other potentially strong and speaking-their-minds women cowering into a corner. Women who run businesses but struggle to lose weight and achieve the shape they think they should be and wonder why are they unmarriagable. Women are labelled divorced (likening it to something bad) because ‘she feels so strongly about men’.

Have you ever encountered these women?


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 they want customer loyalty or not?


I have never been comfortable with salons. I go there only when I can’t deal with the problem myself. And since I am not so hirsute, it hasn’t mattered (to me at least) that I am not very regular.

Recently I did need to go into a salon. Now I picked this salon because I had had a good experience (overall) in another city and after a few bad moments of stinky armpits poised over my face and filthy floors in other salons, I decided I would stick to a brand I was familiar with.

Two minutes after settling down into a wait for my appointment, one lady asked me if I would be interested in weight loss. I know I am fat but I would also like to believe that if I was interested in a product, that is what I would ask for. I said, no I wasn’t interested. She thankfully left it that.

Five minutes later, another executive spots me. Zeroing in like prey spotted, she waltzed toward me and without any background, asks me “Weight Loss?” I make a production of looking up from the book I am reading and say, “No.”

“Why” she asks me back. I am little stumped. “None of your business” is a response I almost give but instead say, ” I am already on a regimen and would not like to switch.”

I almost cancel my treatment at this point. Now memories come flooding back where, even in other salons of this brand, they were forever trying to sell me their weight loss programs.

At that moment, I get called in for my treatment. I tell myself  this once. Just get through this treatment once. You don’t have to come back. Ever again.

As the lady prepares the equipment, she starts the spiel again. So I go through the motions again. She grins, congratulates me on my weight loss and I start to feel a little better.

But as she starts working on my face, she starts pointing out how my skin is sallow. How it needs this treatment, that treatment and all those other treatments. In my mind I am telling myself, she is just trying to sell the brand’s services and she can’t help if I have esteem issues. But she goes on and on and on about how my skin basically is crap.

All through the treatment it went on and on like this:  my skin and my weight. Alternating. I think a couple of teeth came loose due to all the clenching and unclenching.

And no it isn’t only me. Turns out these places aren’t very receptive to people who actually come there for the weight loss program. They start off making it sound  like such a ghastly state to be in that it inevitably makes the customer’s hackles rise. It seems to be a favourite method: Criticise and that’s what will get me to improve. Whatever happened to encouragement? Does everyone have to be slim with polished, fair skin?

Am a little curious. Is this a known method? Keep criticising… and the customer will spend on all possible treatments so that they think  they go out not feeling like shit?

Be careful what you wish… you may just get it


How okay is it to be rude because you cannot be honest? Is it okay to be rude to distance yourself because you can’t actually tell someone, in so many words, that listen ‘I can’t stand you’. Instead you are cutting and mean and say things unprovoked and expect the other person to slowly and hurtfully, withdraw. Which, the person on the receiving end, usually does.

It’s always easier to get someone else to do the dirty work for you.

In the last few months I have been encountering more and more rudeness in various forms, and from various people. It’s usually seemingly unprovoked and leaves the other person floundering, wondering what did I say/do wrong.

It usually happens because it’s misplaced sentiment. Everyone around can see that and most times you make an excuse for the behaviour and move one.  Because you don’t think, this person who, at one point, professed to like you, today is being cutting because he or she actually hates you. (Wouldn’t that person tell me if they did?) So it must be because some other area is troubled and because we are friends, we are on the recieving end.

But after a while you just get tired of making excuses. Sure, I know why you are unhappy but that doesn’t allow you to trample all over me, whenever the mood strikes. Unless I have actually caused you that unhappiness.

One expects behaviour like adults — responsibility for your actions, weighing your words as you say them — and not passing them off as moods, temperaments and troubles from another world.

But if there is one thing I have learnt in the last 10 years (or more) of interacting in the adult world, is that no one truly behaves like an adult, me included. This extends all the way to my dad’s 75+ year old aunts who still behave like ill-tempered brat because something did not happen as she thought it should or my 50+ mother who perceieves an insult in something my aunt said so keeps huffing and puffing. Our petulant behaviour from school often comes along with us, cleverly disguised as an adult.

So you there… if you want to be mean to me, just don’t say anything.

Katti Phoo