Friday, February 27, 2015

Why O life...why?

Each day it thinks of a new scheme,
A plot it never played ever before;
I am not sure If it does so with everybody,
When I look around I feel I must be extraordinary,
For there are smiles around,
But I think of the moment I last smiled,
Not the one that you stick on the face to appear normal
But the one that starts from the heart and ends in the eyes;
It seems like once upon a time tale,
And I ponder...why is life testing me so much?
What have I done to it to make it put a challenge on every road I turn to,
Why is my path not relatively smooth?
I don't mind challenges, I have been a fighter,
I am neither cribbing or crying,
I am just a spectator of way things work,
Why is there always a challenge, one more difficult than the last
Why is there no reward somewhere
Why is there no time where one can sit back and enjoy the fruits of ones hard work, the victory...afterall
I continue to beat life and I continue to ponder,
If it wants to be my enemy or just a strict teacher.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

She Is A Woman And A Wife And A Mother And An Iron Lady Entrepreneur

She clad in the simplest Gujarati saree will not strike you as any different or special in a crowd. Walking in the heat of the sun all alone delivering lunch boxes in offices is how I have seen her since a very long time. This is the story of my friends mother Kavita aunty (name changed for anonimity). This story is not uncommon in India. Parents get the children married early, especially girls thinking they won't find a better match later and then leave it to luck, her entire life. If she had the right destiny she will get the man of her dreams and if not, then she has to live it the way Nargis struggled in Mother India the movie. She will have to still look after the family that mistreated her and bring up the children of the man who uses her for child bearing and as a maid that maintains his house. He believes he supports her by running the family and has all the freedom to do what he wants. A woman being economically dependent cannot do anything for her honor. She rather wishes her parents killed her the day she was born to save her from this. 

Kavitaji's story had two characters without whom her life wouldn't be this; a tyrant mother in law and a drunkard husband. As a young bride Kavitaji had dreams of a happy family, crashed the day her mother in law physically abused her for dowry. She endured it thinking her husband was okay and tried to find a little corner of satisfaction in his existence, but alas that wasn't to happen. After the initial days of marital bliss, her husband started it too with whatever he could find. That wasn't all he was a drunkard and a gambler. He would win big and drink it out or loose and drink out of loan. There was barely money for food. The mother in law taunted her that her bad luck brought it all on the family. Even when she was pregnant twice she could hardly get food, her mother would come to give her some food and money or neighbors fed her feeling pity, but not once her husband or mom in law would though in that womb was the DNA to their lineage and would carry their surname.

She endured the pain even with two children every now and then, smiling through tears, operating through neighbors who would often feed her children. Then her mother in law took to bed, She did her duty with grace though there was no money she borrowed, but for how long. Then a friend suggested she work for a pencil and sharpener companies who would give raw work like putting on labels and she could do it. She did it when her husband wasn't around. When he would discover he would burn every little thing that she brought home to generate some income and feed her children. Then the husband took to cancer (courtesy all the bad habits) and there was no money. She decided to take on her age old love for sewing and started that. He complained he couldn't endure the noise. She worked for someone else while the elder daughter (my friend) not so old enough (only ten) would take care of the father and the little son (five) cried for the mother or clung to his sister. Her efforts couldn't save the husband who went through a worse hospitalization phase generating bills and one day took a safe exit from this world. It was a momentary relief for her if at all.

After the respects were paid to the undeserving yet departed soul (then suddenly becomes deserving) as people he took loans from, she had no idea of started demanding money. They has barely managed hospital bills. there were little children to be educated. So then Kavitaji requested them all for time. She started cooking and sending lunch boxes, making snacks on contract and would go and deliver them herself. Some she paid with money, some with food and some with both. She was generous and as word spread about her food so did about her story and many women with similar problems joined her. They started the first "Mahila Gruh Udhyog Bhandar" of the town. 

Its 15 years now since her husband passed away, she has started smiling recently. The business is running well and she also go her own house, her little son is studying engineering at a reputed college and daughter married after completing CA to a well deserving gentleman. She managed it all out of her business that started with a small kitchen and now has a hall like working space where I go when I have to stock up my khakhra's for hostel life. When you walk in there you see women who are beaten up, mistreated, abused in many ways and have no money get a new life while working there. It isn't easy for Kavitaji, many a times she has been attacked by husbands and families of these women she tries to save. She is strong, nothing scares her and that scares most. She stands brave when someone comes to fight and attack. She has rescued many. Being alone in her darkest days, she knows what its like and tries to be that support for the other women (she calls and means sisters). 
She inspires many and is invited to speak in public at many gatherings.

You see a short woman in a while saree speak in Gujarati and when she does you know this speech will make you conquer every darkness around you like she did. It is said every adversity is opportunity but complexed with pain, you can only imagine the magnitude. She was a good daughter-in law, a good wife, a responsible mother, a successful entrepreneur and above all an iron lady.


 'This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus'.

Here is what you should do, reject the OR and embrace the And with Gillete, watch this not to miss inspiring video:


Three Things I Wish To Do Right Now

We the human beings on planet earth have formed societies that we chose to operate as. The doings of these societies collectively has helped us evolve from being animal-like to what we are today. That is what they say when you got what you wanted in life "give back to the society" and its true,for its this society that sustains and helps those that weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I a person who has traveled from living a small town sans any facilities even today to making it to doing a doctorate with United Nations wouldn't have happened if there weren't those that made me believe that it was possible. Those that fueled my imagination. Those that helped me with books in their collections for we had no, correction even today have not even a single bookstore or a good public library. I owe it to those who started small astronomy club where we for the first time saw the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. My interest in science developed because I had the right kind of teachers who would work hard for a meager salary to get our concepts right and wont mind us disturbing them with our doubts. Where we didn't we never loved those subjects and don't have the hang of it till date. The place I belong to till today doesn't have an internet connection good enough for you to buffer a TedTalk and watch it. So people are its only resources. 

Everyone has intentions to give back and time and money are huge factors there. I haven't been able to do things to the scale I wish to but would definitely do it once my education is done with and I have the economic resources. So here are the things on my list:

1. Setting Up A Public Library: If you take a tour around the content of this blog, its facebook and twitter handle, all you will find is book reviews and interviews. Yes, I am one of those bookworms who buries their face deep into them and can live with books alone. Books have motivated me more than people sometimes and hey have been with me in every stage inspiring me to go on. The sad part however is I developed the hobby very late. It was in graduation that I touched my first novel and started backwards to Famous five and Hardy boys which was much below my age. Reason I never had access to those. As a child I just read the fairy tales book my uncle gifted (each one still safe with me) when he came from Australia or the few encyclopedia's my friends dad's would lend me. I never went to more refined reading but today Paulo Coehlo is my Guru and its his book the Alchemist that inspired me the most when I failed most miserably so far. Had I not got that philosophy to stand there longer till I changed my starts, will I be the fighter I am? Not sure, I therefore wish to set up a public library for even today the books I donate have a minimum reach (the people I donate it to). A library however can be accessed by so many children and it would be amazing to see those books in little hands that I never got and those little eyes wide with suspense when reading Enid Blyton. 

2. Setting Up A Non Virtual Science Club:  If you read the first paragraph well, you know that practically showing a scientific principle at work or a planet inspired me. I would love to do the same by going into school and demonstrating these to the children. Theory is boring, sometimes too difficult to imagine. What is inspiring is looking at the onion peel or your own blood sample under a microscope and see the world beyond our imagination and reach come alive. That is the only thing that can motive children towards doing and understanding Science.

I being a student of Biology feel that there is a huge gap between people who do Science and those who don't. For example most people do not know the generic alternatives to expensive medicines that can save so much money doctors wrongly make. Many people in India still believe in myths that have no Scientific basis like "A black cat crossing your way is a bad omen". We are a country full of such nonsense. Science is rational and the only weapon to gap the religious, caste and creed and any form of divide and logical reasoning by science, the fact that its not Lord Vishnu or Jesus that created the world, the big band did can avoid humanity and lot of wars and save a lot of lives. In the era of artificial intelligence it is only a paradox that these extremes exist even in developed nations who can kill for their God. Imagine all these barriers vanishing if we connect the long gap between scientists and society.

I run an online club called Science Matrix on Facebook but I would like to expand it into doing all of the above soon. 

3. Take A Short Break And Write That Book:  Its not uncommon for an avid reader to love writing. I started this blog for the reason and writing has helped me evolve too. Like the books that inspired me I wish to tell stories around me that can inspire people, I wish to write popular Science that can make it more interesting for people who find textbooks boring. I have also tried writing character sketches an Indian Voldemort or a super villian, a robotic super hero( way before I knew about Optimus Prime :P). I love when I gave to the little children in my family and they asked me wondering where I found such a man and then what all could he do, etc. endless questions. Thoughts when put on paper gives peace, inspires people and sometimes entertain them. I wish to be a part of someones life journey like Paulo Coehlo or Brian Greene is now of so many students. But writing cannot happen for me without isolation. So as soon as I submit my thesis with my savings I shall take a sabbatical and go to a calm place like Dharamsala and write that first book and do it till I think its worth a read. 

 “This post is a part of the #SecondChance activity at BlogAdda in association with MaxLife Insurance”.

No Fikar Shop with Quikr

Women love to shop and unmistakably I am one of them. Online shopping has its own merits and so the busy 21st century living forms are now online to do even that.  Quikr a new platform in this arena helps you buy and sell your products online. The best part is they have an equally efficient and well designed mobile app that helps you shop, chat and sell with the comfort of a device as small as your mobile phone. There are a lot of reasons you should use it especially because you can chat before you buy and sell. Thinking about it? Well check out why I find it the coolest one:



1.  Saves Time:  You would ask me how is chatting better? Since you have to type it out. But think about this, a situation especially with 12-14 work hours of your ambitious early life when you also have to get done with shopping that most important commodity you direly need, you will have to do it in between assignments. There is no other choice? Haven’t you faced it a lot of times? Your family cursing or even you yourself for you didn't just have the time to get the simplest screen guard for your phone. Trust me mine is lying with me for two months and I haven’t had the time to go and get it put on my phone. This is you sometimes too isn't it.

Now think about selling, when you wish to sell your old mobile phone, will you have all the time in the world just for that? Certainly not and that’s just lying with you. So now you placed it on a website where you can sell and people keep calling you at all odd hours, disturbing every significant aspect of your life not just work. You are working, there is a query. You are in a meeting, you would miss that call. You are with your boyfriend watching a movie, you have to miss many calls.

When you say why chat, I say why not? The only way to manage time is to multitask and if that is possible with me chatting occasionally with a potential buyer or a seller in between assignments it just makes me relax a little. I am anyways on my laptop, so two things at one time. Meanwhile as you can choose when to reply, you can shut it off when you do important work and carry on when you are doing something less important like downloading a movie :P.

2.   Saves Money: Now think about all the phone calls that you will have to return because you missed them when you were doing something important. It will cost you time and a lot of it (trust me I tried doing it) but it will cost you money. Now if I spend 5000 RS in calling people back when I have to sell a phone where I may settle for even lesser than that amount, what do you think is wise?

3.   The Chat is Saved:
While dealing a lot of times it happens that what you thought initially wasn't that good, might become your only great existing offer and you want to take it. It’s difficult to do so when you have turned someone down on the phone. Also people forget, you make hundred phone calls, you might not even have saved his number, thinking it wasn't working out anyways but as opposed to that a chat is great, its saved

But here you can always get back to the original conversation, refresh your memory and when you ping again you don't have to update the person on the Ramayana again, he just has to scroll up the chat and begin from there on.  The same applies if the other party needs to renegotiate the terms.

Well save efforts and time isn't it?

So next time you think of shopping, buying or selling without wasting too much time, get quicker with Quikr ;)

You can check the site here: http://www.quikr.com/.

This blogpost is a part of Indiblogger Happy Hours with Quickr: https://www.indiblogger.in/happyhours/quikr-nxt/