Sunday, September 20, 2015

The tale of a stilettos

So, it all begun that day when my proud and excited owner decided to give her first workshop on Communication wearing me. Little did I know, the admiration with which I had been worn, in that same intensity of self-conceit I would be thrown away in a trash bin. Poor me! I still think I should have been better treated.

The day was bright and sunny, as agreed by my owner too. I just heard her replying back to someone "You know this is the day I have been waiting for ever since. What a perfect weather! , just as bright as I wanted it to be.  I was breeming with pride when her colleague told her, "Anushree, that's a lovely pair of shoes you are wearing. She corrected it's stilettos, actually! 

The workshop went well, but at night, with her swollen and pained feet she couldn't sleep. I heard her saying to the mirror "You are a fool, Anu! Kisne bola tha to wear such sky touching heels."

Sabine bola, she confined, a lady must be groomed. She must be well-dressed. She mustn't look her age. She must dye their hair.  She must be thin. She must wax all that bodily hair off. And , of course, she must wear high heels. 

All the while, she has been forgetting what her father used to tell her ever since she gained worldly senses. "Who made up these rules, anyway. And why, way into the 21st century, are we still sticking to the old notion of how a woman must present themselves to the world? Why do we agree to suffer in order to look good. Why should pain be the price we pay for being admired?"

She thought over it further, "Why do we accept that we must suffer to look beautiful. Why should uneasiness and discomfort be the price we pay for being admired? Why do we fall into Beauty Trap?
The monthly routines to the parlour, attempts to erase a single line on the face; be it laugh lines surrounding eyes or frown lines on the forehead. No, no, no. They must be removed by whatever means applicable. Be it any medicine or for that matter, even laser treatments. Moving from jeggings to boyfriend jeans and back again, just because the trend says.  Saris only work well with trendy blouses (if you don't want yourself to be called a behenji), open-toed sandals if you just had a pedicure, and palazzo pants are out this season, for God's sake.

Yup. She decided she will not suffer at the cost of looking good.

Take her experience.  JUST SAY NO. To all of the above. All you have to lose are your special creams, your stilettos( like she just lost me) and annual subscription to the fashion glossy. 

In return, you will rediscover your self-esteem and worth. Now, that's a trade-off worth its price in golden stilettos. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

A day in the life of a Teacher

"Surendar bhaiya, jara coffee lana."
"Aur, newspaper kahan hai?, aaj client ka coverage aana hai, regionals main."
"Sir, lagta hai aaj phir server down hai. I have to check an urgent mail from the client, aa hi nahin raha!"

From conversations like these in my usual mornings few years back to now when I work as a teacher, my mornings have taken a 360 degree turn. When you work as a teacher, the first one hour after arriving at work is mostly spent waiting for your daily dose of coffee. You are still adjusting to being awake and out in the world. Your social skills aren't really ready yet. And you don't have that luxury of sinking in the comfort of a chair checking emails, right at the start of the day. Intense are the mornings, what with greeting children and trying to welcome them in a manner that they feel that their school is the most exciting place to be.

Well, children' life are no less chaotic! For those who just left the warm embrace of their parents and home, the comfort of their beds and assuring hands of their folks seems like a distant dream. Suddenly, they find themselves in a bustling area full of competitiors for applause and attention. Now they are just another face in a crowd! They hesitantly scan the classroom for their friends, some are happy to find their mates, but others may find the transition little less joyful. They hate it, and won't accept it. Atleast for another few years.

However, amongst all this settling in, the best part of the routine and my favourite one remains the CIRCLE TIME. That's how we began our day at the school. It is almost impossible not to feel pleased  when you look around and see a bunch of growing people pouring their hearts out to you and to each other. Circle Time is the real meat and potatoes of the day, as the experts say. For someone who is unaware, Circle Time may appear to be nothing more than constant blabbering, singing and dancing, but in actual, it's a perfect head start of the day.

My day moves on,  sprinkled with what I would like to call "gems" like these: 

"When I grow up I'm gonna be a doctor and a dad and a slingshot. Basically, I can be whatever I want."

"You can't stop the weather because the weather just keeps coming back!"

"Let's play real life."

And as I relish my students' figments of imagination everyday, I also realise that they are special - people who years later will sink into the bitterness and inhibitions of adulthood.

Being a teacher or a parent is one of the toughest job. But an important one, so if you have chosen this - thank you. The world needs people like you to keep it going. It's often tiring. You have to take a breath before you react to most of the things. Easier said than done, at times, I know.

We can learn a lot from them.

....and that's what I told my husband the other day, " You know, I love this feeling of being surrounded by young curious minds at work."

He smiled.

He had heard this often from me.

Saturday, January 3, 2015



Don't pretend you don't agree. It's everywhere, just almost everywhere! BuzzFeed is talking about it, people are spoofing it, in fact, everyone's been talking to you about it.

Exploring it a bit further, I thought, does selfie limits itself to just taking and posting pretty grins, guffaws, arched eyebrow, pout. I researched. And, well, actually yes! Most selfies grins and guffaws and pouts.

But, one fine night, when I took yet another selfie , I thought it to be imperfect. There has to be more to me than just a face. I didn't struggle much to think further and slept.

Next morning, while reading newspaper, a print commercial caught my attention which somewhere in between said" Do what makes you happy inside. Do what makes you jump out of bed. Be real. Be yourself. It was of Jabong. (cannot help sharing) :-)

Then, I realized, this is what my selfie should say - selfie which changes with each passing day on a colourful canvas called life.

The day when I feel the bursts of bright red, flaming hot and high, appearing from the unseen depths of the heart, urging to conquer the world.

And, as this red colour retreats as fast as it comes, there would be days of dark, somber grey- weighing down on the heart, for a humdrum existence. But I would go on anyway. And as reward  of the determination to carry on, this grey fades, shade by shade, to a steely grey and then voila! - daffodil yellow!

The kind of yellow - of warmth of thousand splendid Sun-  making me feel thankful for what I have and for days to come. The kind of yellow that shows that the world may be blushy pink, envious green, gloomy grey, icy blue, but it could never ever be an impenetrable black!

So, today, one more time, I had dipped my brush and took a selfie. Canvas of life exploded in a rainbow as usual.