Wednesday, August 29

August Rush

Hiya!

So well, to take off from where we left last, after a lot of agonizing and wondering, speculating and criticising, I have finally made up my mind that Aaru Baby will be going to Phoenix. 

My reasons are myriad - top of the list is an unpleasant episode with the Admin head that got me biased against Kothari, as well as the fact that they do not allow eggs even in kids' lunch boxes. I mean, what the hell? Does the school have a right to interfere in the child's diet as well? Not to mention parents who do not have time to pack more elaborate meals for their kids... But the final nail in the coffin was that Phoenix is affiliated (and mentioned clearly) on the CBSE website, whereas Kothari has indirect affiliations through its sister concerns, but not for itself independently. 

A lovely apartment has been chosen as well to be our next abode - I am moving houses every few months, and I'm now a pro in packing up and moving, it seems! It's not fun really, but it doesn't appear very hard either, after having done it so often. The view and location of our new nest more than make up for the bills we're shelling out, and we hope to call it home for upwards of 2-3 years now. Time to kick up our heels and settle in. Touch wood!

This month has been pretty chilled out in terms of work as I wind up my current activities and handover to the team in prep for my exit in 2 weeks. I'm not really sure what I'll do in my break, to be honest, possibly spend time with the fam, sleep, watch endless Adam Sandler and horror movies on Netflix, catch up with buds with buds, read, eat, repeat. Jordan beckons but I'm ok for a short escapade somewhere closer, too. My just-turned-60-yet-looks-16 mother and I could set out to relive our Andaman holiday last year, with the minor in tow, obviously. You will surely hear about that, once I know...

But what I've really had on my mind for the last few days is that we focus too much on the heroes and protagonists at the cost of the side-heroes, villains and cheerleaders. I don't just mean this in the movie context, although that makes for a bright analogy - people watch and applaud the sportsman, the cheerleaders go unnoticed and unappreciated (watch "Death Note" for reference). The hero stands out in movies, but the people who make it happen remain unknown or unliked or unnoticed - this includes the villain and side roles, the makeup and costume guys, spotboys, etc. 

And where am I going with this? When you look at the success of one person, don't forget that it is always team effort - be it the mother/housewife who keeps things in order for the man to shine at work, or the backend team that makes the project manager look like a star - give credit where it is due. If your pride is your winning alone, then you're not looking hard enough. All those speeches when someone wins an award, are true - your family and your support systems must be acknowledged. Not once, or twice. But ongoing. Let your victories not go to your head. It could all collapse without the support of those that love you and vouch for you.

"Gold" - the movie that I watched most recently - a mix of Gadar and Chak De! The wife gives an idea that helps the man get a gold for the hockey team. The junior manager who could not have proved his mettle without the supportive Mr Bhatia. The star centre forwards who could not have shone had the team not worked as one unit. The message has been drilled umpteen times, and that's a great reminder, even if the film itself was not outstanding. Waiting for some fun in the form of "Stree" now... and hoping to finish "The Curse of Bramha" before then.

Adios till then! And peace to Kerala in these troubled time...

Cheers,
Anuja

Thursday, August 2

Balance your Accounts

I actually wanted to come here today and talk to you about something educational and developmental - the Leadership Challenge, a book by Kouzes and Posner, and about how it gives you useful practices to become a more effective leader. 

But then, real life crises and harder challenges inundated me - something that I must share now, and something that requires the Leadership Challenge to wait for next time.

I love horror flicks, but what really got me in a frenzy were two movies : Udta Punjab and The Butterfly Effect. The films freaked me out, about how helpless and desperate some lives become, for little or no fault of theirs. Bullies and pricks mess up your sanity and innocent people suffer for the dastardly acts of monsters in human disguise. Have these creatures got no bloody conscience? 

Sorry if you have no context as I rant, and it's okay if you haven't seen these films. If you're as sensitive as me, their effect will stay on with you long after you watch them. Life suddenly becomes too real, and unbearable. Which it actually is. After all, when you read in the news that 8 men raped a pregnant goat, and young girls are paraded naked and abused, then you lose whatever little hope you have in God and humanity. Really, how did we manage to fuck up so bad? Is this where our intelligence has led us? Did God really plan all of this to turn out this way? Is this what was described eons ago as Kal-Yug? 

And apparently, we're not even halfway yet. There's still a lot more decades to go before Kalyug attains its full g(l)ory. I shudder at the thought, and I'm glad I'll be gone long before then. If the final Kalki avatar is going to set things right, then it's no mean task that we're setting out for him. Shiva's Tandav is definitely going to be welcome to end this madness.

We're evolving, they say. Industry 4.0 is here where artificial intelligence and automation will make our lives easier. We're creating robots and machines that can do things for us, giving us more time and luxury. In my opinion, all of us need to get back to constructive work, and stop fooling around. Idle mind is devil's workshop. Which is where people get ideas to loot and cheat others, abuse and wreck those that they think are lesser than us. Lesser in age, or status, or level, or other criteria that doesn't matter one bit in the long run. 

"Dharma Kshetra", one of the shows on Netflix, is a drama on how everyone in Mahabharata was summoned into Chitragupta's court to account for their actions and accusations. Everyone, right from Draupadi (episode 1) to the Pandavas and Kauravas and even Krishna, were asked uncomfortable questions to justify their intent and acts. 

Think of your life, and this trial in your final journey. When you are interrogated about what you are doing and what you've done, to yourself and to others, will you be able to explain? Would it sound acceptable and respectable? Will you be able to earn awe and empathy with your answers or will you be condemned and ridiculed? What you tell others is important, but what is more significant is what you tell yourself. You can't fool your own conscience. And that is why some of us achieve enlightenment and peace while others keep running like headless chickens, suffering and failing in life. 

Know yourself, know your purpose in life, know the means to these ends, and do what you got to do. Not coz someone is watching, but because your final accounts will be scrutinized and your final rating will be a mirror to all that you've been and done in your life, intentionally or involuntarily. Watched mutely as someone was harassed? Participated (through direct action or complete inaction) in embarrassing someone? Hurt someone with your words and deeds? Exploited someone or never acknowledged and valued those that were there for you? Lived and laughed at others' expense? Nothing will be forgotten, nothing will be forgiven. Not unless you acknowledge and repent, change yourself and be a good person, deserving of being called a human. Like the popular joke claims, a priest was sentenced to hell and a driver to heaven, because people remembered the Almighty when the driver drove, but they yawned with boredom when the priest gave sermons. 

Jokes apart, time to get less sombre. 

Something else that has been on my mind like a puzzle I'm unable to decipher, is finalizing a school for my kid. Yes, we're going to be moving (again) which calls for a change in school, daycare, home and neighborhood. My friends and family are trying to wrap their heads around our constant movement, but I take it as a test of adaptability and flexibility - a level of maturity and readiness that God desires us to attain. 

While I am quite excited about the move, the hassle of getting Aarush admitted in a good (CBSE) school with daycare facility is getting to me. I've shortlisted two options - Phoenix and Kothari, both in Kharadi, but their overall resemblance is confusing me. While Kothari has many positive reviews, I found Phoenix more spacious and airy. They're both charging a bomb to raise my child, but that's an obvious consequence of choosing to pursue a full-time career with no help at home. Once this decision is made, it will stay for at least 5-8 years, and that is why it is all the more critical that I make the right call for my bundle of joy, affection, energy, creativity, wisdom, talent and intelligence. I don't believe in burdening the child and making him grow up too soon, but I also want him set on the right track for success and satisfaction, to be a good person with the right skills and emotions enabling him to lead a happy life and be an effective, worthy individual in society. 

... And it's time to wrap up! 

Keep smiling, you.

Love,
Anuja

Out and Not Proud

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