Cheeni kum

8732d8f6055db0399ec521695c74b311I am so ashamed of myself. And not because I did something as clichéd as uploading the picture of yummy dessert from last night on Instagram, but because I actually had it. The whole of that mouthwatering, yummy, delectable, delicious blueberry cheesecake.  As of now, I am supposed to be on diet, and hence eating anything that even remotely tastes good is criminal!

Like most people, I can always say that fitness is my first priority. I don’t miss my exercise unless there are more pressing issues like sleeping, working, reading, watching a movie, sleeping again, trying that winged eye-liner for the hundredth time, failing at it, looking like a panda and then sleeping…you get the point! If it weren’t for these distractions, I could have managed to fit an entire Bangladesh in my thigh gap.

And then sometimes I get tired of all my excuses, and decide to rather get tired at the gym. There is a lot to lose, you know! Earlier gym were simpler. There was stuff to pick-up and then, heavier stuff to pick-up. Now it is much more complicated. Now, to upmarket themselves, they sell sauna, spa packages, aromatherapy (not talking about sweat here), yoga, Zumba or aerobics, nutrition counselling – if it has a taste, spit it out. But the great thing is, you lose weight as soon as you join the gym, because they charge both your kidneys as fees.

Staying fit and healthy is a community service, because everyone around you is trying to stay fit as well. Knowing about fitness can be of great help to avoid awkward social interactions. One day you go to the gym, and the whole world is trying to tell you – don’t eat carbs post 7 p.m., and even if you do then team it with a high protein salad, which for him right now is my brain. I generally have wheat bran chapatti – which my grandfather tells me was by-product in their times – and now are “imported” and sold in a better packet than wheat. And of course blah blah blah green tea.

The beauty of the whole thing is you don’t even have to be fit to advice other people. The other day, I saw someone with so many potatoes in the market, that I couldn’t control telling them if they have any idea how much starch does the thing has. Turns out, he was only trying to sell them!

Well, it is going to be challenging, but I am going to keep at it. Having said that, I feel there is too much hogwash regarding this topic, and people are talking more than they are following. I think it is so exhausting to even think about it, that you already need a big piece of anything unhealthy to recuperate. Nevertheless, I ain’t missing my protein-packed dinner for anything. And of course, green tea.

I wrote about this topic because how can you go to the gym and not announce in the newspaper? I would be such a waste.

WeMen

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Happy Women’s Day, Ladies!
That was last week, I hear you say!
Ain’t it our day any other day anyway? I can hear some laughter. Oh those are from the men, women giggle! Some of you are agreeing. Some don’t mind it, since you are anyway availing to a weeklong women’s day offer almost anywhere you go! While others so busy calling themselves WeMen that they forgot to celebrate their womanhood! Wohoo to you, feminists!
Which of the above are you? Or are you like me, who wonders how can people not see the hidden mock that women’s day is all about? All round the year we cry about feminism, want to be equal with men, but don’t see how off the track women’s day is!
Anyway, there are various ways in which people celebrate women’s day! Apart from the fact that it is a very corporate way of approaching something to hide your views about the same (that you practice all round the year), it also formulates a great marketing strategy. Amidst various rallies, get-togethers, kitty parties, award functions, felicitations, and discussion, I was a part of a women’s day program held at NEC, Nashik.
The program constituted of various panel discussions around the plentiful hassles and numerous aspects in the life of a “working” woman.  It is just sad when even today we have to classify a woman as per her daily schedule, and there is not even an ounce of acceptance of the fact that they are at par with anyone or anything, and that this discussion needs to rest for a bit!
The topic of one of the three panel discussions was Work-Life Balance of a working woman, or a working “mother” so to say. As if a working man is not a working “father” at all! There was a lot of discussion, ideas, and life-hacks, et al. on how all of them on the stage and a few people from the audience tackled this society-induced problem! Few of them insisted on prioritizing, a few spoke about marrying a “supportive” husband (ha!); some were of the opinion that “one cannot have it all.”-which, by the way, is saddest and the most oh-I-am-so-victimized kind of a response that I know of!
Amidst all this mumbo-jumbo, I couldn’t help but think how all these women couldn’t notice what the real issue was and who the hidden culprit was:
It is WE WOMEN as mothers, or as grandmothers, who have raised our sons to succeed in life, and our daughters to multi-task housework while succeeding in life!
Isn’t it?
If we have taught our son to differentiate between “worldly” responsibilities, and “household” responsibilities, how can we expect the husband of our daughter to have an open mind about it? A few recent advertisements on TV have really tacked this issue well, and I cannot emphasis more! It is only when we change our teachings, our upbringing, our lifestyle, can we imagine living in a place where there is no different concept of a “working-woman” and a “house-husband”! I hope to see that day. Amen.
P.S. – Happy Left-handers Day today! Point-less? So is Women’s day!

50 shades of Ban

No one told me when the Make in India was replaced by Ban in India. It is not even funny the number of things we have banned in the last one week.

The only thing that is common in all these bans is our inability to tackle sensitive issues. Banning is running away from the scenario. It is a reflection of our hypocrisy, narrow-mindedness, bias, and cowardice. It shows that we have no faith in our thousands of year old culture and value system, that we are questioning its sustenance.

Having said that banning does not deter the fact that we are what we ban.

I mean if we have to ban anything, implies that it exists, that it is our value-system, a trend now. And banning a video doesn’t change that! Whom are we kidding? Do the policy makers really believe that banning products, actions, videos, and words really curbs their use?  In fact, all it does is people looking for more illegal ways to do “it”, eat “it”, watch “it”, and all this while saying “it”.

Seriously, don’t we all know where to find alcohol in Gujarat? And by now, beef in Maharashtra? Don’t we all use cuss words? Haven’t we seen the AIB Roast or the documentary? In fact, banning the video gave it more popularity, and all the people who did not even know AIB exists, have access to the aforesaid video. And don’t even make me question banning 50 shades of grey.

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I think this simply shows the power of the words don’t, no, ban has. We just have to do it. Cannot explain the psychology more simply. That exactly is how it works, government! “Ban” is not the solution.

There are 50 shades of our mentality to be tackled, and putting even a fraction of our energy in that direction will get a lot more achieved than banning these things.

PS – Let me know when we Ban Janata Party!

Womanhood or Woman-hudd?

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A friend of mine, recently, shared a status on a social networking site (whom am I kidding? – Facebook) outraging about a page – Charming faces in Nashik. A lot of comments posted below suggested, that are is not one but many such pages, only for Nashik. I am sure there are enough for each corner of the world.

It got me thinking.

Frankly, I found it really stupid. It did not stir strong emotions in me, unlike many others, detesting the existence of such pages. Also, some others said there is no point in fighting a battle you cannot win – so ignore and move on!

I think it is a deep-rooted mind-set, that is common in every nook and corner of the world. It manifests in different ways, subtly sometimes and boldly most times. While woman are not entertainment packages, the need to be universally liked, the longing to be “longed for”, the kick that one gets on appreciation leads to them themselves exhibiting their “beauty”. While such pages must be administered by few, I am sure they work and exist because they have a demand from so many subscribers and supply by equal many “charming faces”.

Outraging over it, means fighting for people who don’t want you to fight for them. It’s like a forced service. These are the same people who celebrate Woman’s day! How can one not see the hidden mock that woman’s day is all about. Point being, we need a major attitude shift. How many such pages can we remove? How many songs can we ban? How about beauty pageants? How many jokes can we ignore, or not forward?

But just that one change in our thought – collectively, and making the whole idea of rating uncool, will do the trick! Amen.