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Crave Some Lazy Time?

It feels like ages since I put up a post – I told you cricket and work is occupying my time currently. MDH and I were having crazy weekends for the last 3 months. There was a continuous flow of guests at home and on weekends we were busy playing tour guides, once they were off it was my birthday, friends’ birthday or friends meeting up after long time. There was not a single weekend I remember where we just stayed home and relaxed.  But this one was a contrast to the hectic 3 month period.

We just relaxed, sat at home, made some amazing Maggi for lunch, evening dinner was sabudana wadas, read some good books and watched some awesome movies. The channels played some great movies on the weekend after ages – Mississippi Burning, Anna and the King, Devil Wears Prada, Incredibles. We have seen them before umpteen times and enjoy watching them again. I actually did not hit twitter and Facebook as constantly as I would during normal days. I caught up on my much needed sleep and lazed around  – it just felt good to not do anything for a while.

MDH had to be in office for some important work today but was back in time to join me for lunch. So in the morning I went out and got my hair pampered at the parlour . After much thinking, got the Keratin treatment done, wondering how the hair is going to look:-). Then headed out for a nice Keralite lunch with my best friend here. I have not felt so relaxed in months and though I absolutely love having people over – I start craving that lazy me time.

The match was washed out today and I felt like I had loads of time on hand. Burnt a few long pending CDs, reached mid-way through Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and wondered why I had kept away from his books so far; they are absolutely brilliant!

Opened my Google reader and realised it is getting impossible for me to keep pace with offline and online reading plus all the work-related reading I’m yet to complete. As I keep pace with my life and to-do lists I really wonder how people manage to be so glued into twitter, Facebook and their offline lives. I doubt if they have any offline life at all – we have only 24 hours – how on earth are they managing the time 🙂 Me on the other hand enjoyed the last 48 hours – I need to do this more often and blog about life a bit more often!

Life in 55 words over the last 2 months

Guests, touring, delicious food, best friends, parents, grown up nieces, reliving childhood & teen years, laughing all over again at the past, night-long chats, cricket podcasts, blogs neglected, RWAs, RoEs, SVA, portfolio management, falling in love with my work, minimal online life, watching my 10 month-old niece grow up fast, exhausted, tired but still rejuvenated!

The Year End Recap & Resolutions

Have been less frequent on the blog owing to concentrating on getting this blog up.

I’m back to do a quick recap as it is that time of the year when you get nostalgic. It was a much better year professionally and personally than last year and my best moments of the year were:

Undoubtedly MDH’s biggest surprise on my birthday

The arrival of my little princess Ira – my sister’s little angel.

The amazing self-planned Swiss-Austria Trip. I fell in love with Europe – especially Salzburg (And that reminds me; my Austria chronicles are still pending)

My kid brother’s wedding where we 8 cousins got together after ages.

The podcasts with Ayaz Memon – to be able to get back to blogging on cricket and to get this opportunity was a great feeling. The podcasts will continue into the World Cup.

And finally, the much awaited shift at my workplace – looking forward to the new role in the coming year.

New Year Resolutions:

I’ve been hopeless in my reading habit for the last few years – so it’s time to cut down on the online addiction and get back to all the pending books on my shelf

Learn new cuisines – maybe take up cooking courses or classes – craving to learn more about my new love

To  the one thing I’ve lost over the years – my love for research – I need to get back to it.

Find time for everything – cut down the laziness and that means the first thing I need to do is get up early and take my walks!

Let me see how the new year shapes up!

Have a wonderful new year all of you!

I’m done with my new year resolutions and don’t intend to break them – tell me about yours.

A New Abode

Time to begin something new. From the rented home to self-owned.

Lots of posts held up as I was doing up this new place or rather this awesome gal who helped me decorate it! Suja what would I’ve done without you!

This is my space – my crazy world. Welcome.

Have you ever wished that people…

  • Kept their egos aside and realised the value of relationships in life
  • Stopped being two-faced and had the courage to show their true colours
  • Appreciated intelligence and smartness over dumb ‘chamchas’
  • Had the courage to stand up for friendships over professional relationships
  • Got over their silly insecurities which would cost their loved ones their most treasured relationships
  • Realised that covering up for others mistakes will only worsen matters and drive away the perfect workers
  • Realised that basic courtesies in life are important and matter in all relations – personal and professional
  • Bought themselves a better upbringing for theirs sure did not do a great job
  • Just grew up!

How do we restore our faith back?

What part of your life do you treasure the most?

Which friends make you comfortable the most?
Who are the people after your parents you look up to most when you are growing up?
Which are the days you wish would come back more often?

For most of us the answers relate to a place where we spent most of our childhood – our school.

It is not as if school days were perfect, there were teachers I hated – especially my principal (we could never stand each other!) and some fellow classmates I did not quite get along with (am I being shallow when I say that I still cannot go back to being normal friends with some?). The place reminds me of things I’d like to forget –
My weaknesses – my stupid ego, my false pride, my competitiveness
My miseries – my drawing and craft skills- (The teacher told my papa that she cleared me in the drawing papers cause she could not fail a topper, yeah I’ve lived with that all my life!)
My biggest regret in life – being a terrible athlete (I’d run away from all sports and this when I loved to watch all sports! Weird!)

Despite the above, for me, school memories are fun memories about my best friends, my classmates and my teachers. The teachers who taught me so much in life – to love, to respect, to be courteous, to put self-respect and dignity above all, to share, to enjoy life and be yourself .

The school is in the heart of a city with a campus as beautiful as can be – a fine blend of tradition and modernity. The old building made of black stone adorns the main gate. It has classrooms and halls with wooden flooring, dark alleys, secret passages, the scary science laboratory, the huge upper hall where we staged our performances and showed off our “acting skills”, the place where we discovered a new door or passage everyday, and the lovely 8th standard classroom that overlooks greenery and the huge court.

The huge play areas – basketball, volleyball, throwball courts, the lovely cottage that makes the entry of pre-schoolers to the school a memorable one, the canteen which served the world’s delicious pav bhaaji for a mere 2.5 bucks, the garden between the 3 buildings(2 new ones & the old one). The open stage -the arena for flag hoisting and major functions in school. Remember the Lejhim performances!

After spending 15 years in a lovely school and 15 years since passing out – only the good memories of the place and the people remain. For a city school and one established in 1832 – the first ever girls school in Mumbai – St. Columba Girls School was an institution we were and will always remain proud of until this bit of news hit us.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/St-Columba-beats-retreat-takes-back-palsy-student/articleshow/6064696.cms

Darshana Ramgiri is a 9 year old child in the Primary Section. A time where you don’t understand the world at all. It is defined by what your parents and teachers tell you. So when a teacher tells you that you are unwanted, how are you going to feel about yourself? How will you ever develop dignity and self-belief? How will you garner courage to fight your battles with a disease that is not your fault, hell you don’t even know what it is and its implications are! You are not looking for sympathy – you are looking for acceptance, you are seeking your right to lead a normal life and even God has no right to deny you that – so how can a human being even think of doing it?

Worst, the school continues to employ this teacher and instead of supporting Darshana has supported this teacher’s actions! I question all the teachers in my school – are you all not mothers? Are you not mothers to your students? How would you feel if Darshana was your child and meted out similar treatment that your fellow colleague has dealt to her? Would you have stood by your colleague then? Would you support her actions? The parents leave their precious flowers in your love and care for 8 hours a day and this how you justify their faith in you? You derogate the kid and make her feel unwanted – probably making her feel she is worthless, does not have a right to education or worse to live? Thank god for Darshana’s mother who seems to be made of steel – the fact that she stood up to this injustice and won. Shame to my institution for not standing by the child – don’t forget, it is these little girls who will bring fame and success to you in the future. They will proudly look back on the foundation you laid for them when they were taking their first steps. Have you forgotten what importance a school and its teachers hold in the life of these young impressionable minds?

My school memories are good memories and I’ve consciously erased the bad ones. My experiences are nothing compared to what Darshana or some of the less blessed girls in my class have had.

But here I’m going to talk about them and why a few handful teachers this school needs to do away with – for they are terrible examples of what a teacher should be. They have managed to survive cause we girls were either scared to speak up against them or maybe most were like me who simply did not care or let their words or actions impact what we did in our lives.

I still can’t get myself to take their names except the one mentioned in the report. I’m still not sure if it is the right thing to do – I had a bad experience with them, maybe others did not. I leave it for the school to decide if these teachers need to be still around – maybe some of them have left already.

If the main culprit in this piece of news is the same teacher we had in our primary days, I will not be surprised. She was a bad example even 25 years back. She was our class teacher and extremely partial. I was fortunate to be in her good books, but she imposed some awful punishments on girls of age 5-9. She would pinch the cheeks hard, one of my classmates’ cheek tore, she was derogatory in her comments and would make them feel like scum of the earth. She crushed the self-confidence of many and I appreciate my classmates who overcame her horror and turned out fine ladies today. Ladies you will look up to and want to emulate.

If you are not good at studies it does not mean you are some deplorable person, similarly if I don’t like drawing it does not give you the right to insult me. Try telling our art teachers that, both in primary school and high-school. Aren’t creative people supposed to be more liberal, more easy-going? But here we had opposites – both were absolute terrors – I’ve bunked many a drawing classes cause I did not want to encounter their wrath or insults as I was horrible at art and simply did not like it. It’s a different story that the high-school teacher was a different person altogether when she became our class-teacher in 8th we came around to like her – but she still needs to do away with the scolding and insults for students who are not in her class.

The principal during my secondary years was equally disrespectful not only to us girls but also to our parents, she had the opinion that she was doing our parents a favour by allowing us to be in her school! Tell me how would we learn to respect her? She was mean, insulting and outright egoistic. We are taught to worship our gurus, but with teachers like her you’d only nurture hatred in your heart.

Walking in her footsteps – were two other teachers – one was my PE teacher and another who taught Marathi medium and was in charge of Girl Guide then. If you wish to learn to play politics, learn it from them and yes they will also coach you on how to do blatant partiality. During our final year both were responsible for sabotaging our prefect elections. It did not impact our life later but then it did deprive a lot of deserving candidates what was rightfully theirs. They carry with them a book of insults and how to demean a child. If you are not good at their subject you are lousy – even if you maybe a school topper. You did not choose Girl Guide so you must be lazy, you are not athletic so you are to be insulted. You don’t give me importance so you must be too proud. As you are every other teachers favourite, I need to show you your place even though you may be grounded and polite with all.

Who the hell gave you that right? I have the freedom of choice – I’m a geek, a bookworm so what? Did you ever have 10% of the intelligence I was blessed with? I don’t like outdoors – it’s my life and it’s my choice. You have no business determining how lousy I’m just cause I do not choose what you like. I have never ever disrespected my teachers and I’ve never sucked up to anyone – you need one you find someone else, stop demeaning me. I may have been a topper in school throughout but my parents ensured I stayed grounded, you have no business insulting me for being a favourite with other teachers.

There is a fine line between punishing students for the wrong they do and insulting them to the point they feel worthless.

I just happened to have some amazing teachers in school and fantastic parents who never let my confidence be affected and helped me ignore these exceptions. But what if not all are as lucky as I was – what happens to them? You think they will ever blossom and gain confidence to lead their lives.

I’ve refrained from naming or blaming people in my life which is why I’ve not mentioned names above – maybe they have realized their misdoings and rectified their wrongs. There is no intention to dig graves – I buried those incidents long time ago. But when I read this incident, all those memories came back. Some teachers have not changed and continue to be cruel. Which is why we need to speak up, I was deeply hurt after reading about Darshana Ramgiri. I feel helpless that we ex-students could do nothing to help her cause. Wish we had known earlier – we would’ve tried our bit.

I don’t know how the school is doing anymore – culprit for not being in touch! Used to visit my teachers and school every year until my graduation. Some stupid principal stopped ex-students from visiting the campus, I last heard. We have a right to that place in case she has forgotten – it’s our second home and you cannot stop a person from coming home. We love the place, it’s our shrine, our faith, our belief-system and we love some of our teachers there.

Maybe they were not perfect and they had their respective flaws – ego and favouritism we girls termed them as – but they were not cruel, they were not insulting towards us, and when the time was right they kept aside everything and praised our little achievements. We were a mischievous lot but they never held that against us. As long as we did well in our fields they were only proud of us.

I keep with me the good memories but when incidents like Darshana’s surface, it reminds me of those bad ones. Life is not perfect , with the good we have to deal with the bad. But no school or teacher has the right to do what it did to Darshana – discriminate and deny her the right to education. What message are you sending out to people? She is a normal child with a normal IQ, why was she discriminated against owing to her illness – do none of your teachers or students ever take ill? On one hand you preach equality and were pioneers of women education in Mumbai and on other hand you commit such a heinous act?

How we will deal with this I do not know – when the one place that built your life’s foundation begins to show signs of crumbling – tell me how do we restore our faith back?

Mini-Break

The blog is on a small break. Short vacation to Mumbai which means no time to login & then 2 weeks official trip! Will try to be back fast , if not we meet in April. Hope you all come back:-)

Takeover of memories is not possible!

I know and fully understand there is a certain reason for the takeover. Let’s not get there, the next few days we will see loads of stuff being written by the investment analysts, economists and the business barons. So a novice will not venture into that territory.

For an MBA grad, this will go down in the syllabus as another case study. I do that analysis a lot in my offline world and have studied numerous business cases during my B-School days. Objectively assessing M&A impacts – marketing strategies, the way forward, re-branding, goodwill value, brand value, balance sheet analysis, asset growth, debt obligations, impact on personnel, job losses, etc. My post is not about the technicalities – I leave that to the experts.

My post is from a common man’s point of view.

One who has been an ardent fan of this brand, the products and the adverts.

One who never stopped admiring and was in awe of the famous office at Peddar Road. That lovely CADBURY name embossed in purple-coloured huge letters on the building. I watched it every single day when I travelled to school and later to my B-School.

One who was elated when Cadbury returned to her B-school campus for recruitments after ages; but was completely heart-broken when it had positions open only for marketing buffs and not her chosen finance field.

Yeah, Cadbury had a huge influence in my life. When I was happy, I would go down to the store and grab a Rs5/- mini-bar. Sheer pleasure in simple things! Guess youngsters these days may not identify with these little joys we experienced while growing up. Memories that stay put in your mind even after decades pass by.

Even today, every single time I go to the hypermarket or grocery store, MDH finds me looking at it so lovingly that he cannot help but pick it up; despite my big claims of going off chocolates and cakes. When we were dating he would get me one every single time. He still wonders how this mini-little thing brings so much joy to my face.

No occasion in my life has gone without the presence of this amazing chocolate bar. I love its basic form. The simple plain Cadbury Dairy Milk bar in all shapes and sizes – the mini-one which had different animals and the medium-sized one with mini-cubes. I loved the amazing Cadbury Nutties too. I never shared them with anyone, it would pinch to spare one to anyone – it still does, though now I’m courteous enough to ask others when I’m hogging them away to glory.

There used to be times in college when I used be so hungry, tiffin was empty and trying to resist eating canteen food, I’d hop over to a grocery store or my canteen, pick up a mini-bar or the nutties pack, and it would help! Seriously help. The tummy would be full and I’d be relaxed.

I don’t eat foreign chocolates a-la Ferrero Rocher, Toblerone, Hershey etc. I know Cadbury is a British Company but it does not taste the same everywhere. So for me it was the company’s India arm that made those products with delicious taste.

The reason this chocolate charmed its way into our hearts was because of its remarkably simple advertisements. They depicted emotions – emotions of real people, like you and me. Situations you and me found ourselves many a times. We identified with them. The ads had the most hummable jingles – jingles that remain memorable and will never be forgotten.

For the people behind the brand and the company, the creative heads behind those amazing commercials that touched our hearts – A Big, Big, Big Thank You. You have assured that even though Kraft gets ready to takeover the Cadbury Brand , it will not be able to takeover our memories of you.

Yeah all you finance geeks and M& A experts try valuing our memories of Cadbury, we can bet that Kraft cannot afford them, at least in this lifetime because they are priceless.

Leaving you with some of my favourite Cadbury moments:

  1. This is my ultimate favourite of the ads that ran over decades. Obvious reasons – pick my first love and combine it with my favourite chocolate. It remains ‘Bahut Bahut Khaas’ (Very Very Special). Video
  2. Whenever I saw this ad – I identified with Omang Kumar – numerous times when I was walking home alone and eating my chocolate bar- the exact same thing happened with the exact same expression! Video
  3. I did not try this on my mehendi day – there were no chocolate bars lying around! Thank god for that – I agree with her, you cannot resist it! Video
  4. Cadbury replacing coconut for auspicious occasions – Yummy. Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye. Video
  5. The delight of reaching school on a rainy day and discovering it is closed for the day! Video
  6. And as a gift for Rakhsha Bandhan – why not. Rishte Yeh Pakne Do! Video
  7. When the postmen visit our homes for Diwali we think of the ‘special bonus’ we need to give them, this ad showed the reverse – how they gifted us an even more special bonus – a bonus of double the joy that comes from being together and sharing happy moments. I love Sulabha Deshpande’s reaction though! Video
  8. If this one won’t bring a smile to your face, tell me what will? Tell me secretly weren’t you elated when the grandpa managed to rip the young bloke apart – literally! Video
  9. You will always need a reason to be sad or angry, you will never need a reason to be happy, just happy. Think of the million times when you were happy without a reason and thought “Mein Khush Hoon Aaj Khamaka Yaaron! Video

A friend’s FACEBOOK status said – “CAD-BURIED”. He is right about the company but not the memories associated with it – those will never die and be buried.

Swine Flu and Aids – The Irony!

I really liked this forward I received in my inbox today. The pic says it all – I’ll keep mum for a change

swine

Forgetful and Me?

I can be really forgetful about the important items like mobile, wallet, car park access card , car keys, my office i-card and even my office laptop. Add to it I’ve butter fingers so clumsy is my middle name.

MDH is constantly on the lookout if I’ll topple something or break something or forget something. I dread to look at him if I commit any of the above crimes.

My closest friend in office N says she can’t believe her luck that she had to meet me who is an exact replica of her husband in terms of nature & habits.

I press the panic button the moment I can’t see my important items in their regular places. I have not lost them cause the mobile has slipped under the keyboard, the card is in some other pocket in the purse, the wallet is probably in my office drawer and the keys are buried under the pile of papers on my table. But since I cannot see them when I need them, I get extremely hyper. Earlier MDH and N would get worried but now they do not even react, cause they know I’ll find it later.

Well, last week the entire team decided to go out for a quick lunch. I did not want to take my handbag hence dumped my mobile, wallet and i-card with N. I must’ve confirmed and re-confirmed with her thrice till we reached the place. While we were getting out of the car I realised one of my footwear had gone missing in the car and started looking for it frantically. I asked N if she had seen it and she promptly replied,

” No, Sadly I did not keep that in my Bag”

Yeah, my sarcasm is rubbing on her fast!

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