Train of thought.

July 26, 2007

Mumbai local trains are infamous for more things than Paris Hilton. For years I have heard friends, who have been travelling in local trains forever, rant and rave about how pathetic and sometimes dangerous it becomes just to get in it. I have heard the most harrowing stories of how people who have died or even worse, mutilated from falling off the trains, because they didn’t have enough space to get inside the train and had to careen on the edge of the door like superman or woman for that matter.

These bloodcurdling stories were enough for me to readily opt for a “First Class” (which costs more than 3times the cost of second class) pass to travel to and fro from my college, which by the way is in Churchgate and it takes me 1 hour and 15 minutes just to get there by a fast train, longer in a slow one. I have evening classes, which mean (read:I was told) the trains would be fairly vacant, even more so in “First Class”. This thing turned out to be true when I first boarded the train in the noon on my first day to college. I was elated, to say the least, to find that I could very well literally sleep till I got to VT, but this happiness was to be short-lived. My dream of sleeping in trains to and fro from college was shattered to little pieces when I boarded the train at 9 to get back home. To my dismay, I saw women, working, educated, sophisticated and dressed-to kill women, jostling and fighting each other just to get inside the damn train’s tiny “First Class” compartment.

It’s been three days now and I have had to stand for 1 hour and 15mins on the train back home, which is no easy feat. There are times when I think and feel like crying of having wasted so much money on the “First Class” pass which is no different than the Second Class, except that women here will curse you in English rather than in Marathi.

With the amount they charge for the “First Class” the least they can do is add one more “Ladies First Class” compartment to the train which will relieve the effect of clautrophobia that this tiny compartment has on the hundreds of women who try to squeeze into it.

“First Class” or Second Class, to travel in Mumbai local trains you have to be a contortionist. It requires you to bend yourself in the most unusual ways ever imaginable. I can think of one good thing that comes with this though. If you have been travelling in local trains all your life you will save up a lot of money that would have otherwise been used to pay the medical bills for joint pains.


Blame it on the “system”.

July 18, 2007

I graduated recently in a subject that I am good at but not really interested in. So, I finally thought of taking control of my life and decide, once and for all, what to do with it. After much soul searching and many discussions with my friends and family, I landed on a decision to pursue Copywriting. Having made “the decision”, I embarked on the next obvious step. I spoke to people who knew about this field.

I was told, since Copywriting is an Art, I wouldn’t have to have academic training in it which means, no studies (yay!). I was advised to get an internship, like all other aspiring copywriters do. Internship is basically where you work for some company without them paying you any money or respect. Since it’s gives us first-hand experience on what exactly goes behind-the-scenes, it is the best way to learn.

Having thoroughly done my research, I started to hunt. Since everything in life is easier said than done, I was in for a big surprise when I traipsed into the Big (B)ad World. After spending 2 months sending my resume` to people and having made countless phone calls, here I am, nursing my deflated ego and ranting on my blog about “the unfair system”.

Apparently, these people don’t want “free labour”. The worst part about this whole thing is that they don’t even know how to turn you down. The most famous and the standard dialogue is “we’ll let you know” which roughly translated means “Yeah, right. In your dreams” and the second best, “there are no vacancies currently”. Vacancy for interns??. Things would be easier for us if they just tell us “NO”, then we wouldn’t hang on to that filmsy rope of hope.

Desperate situations call for desperate measures. I am all set to gate-crash now! TAKE THAT!!!

An Added Obligation.

July 13, 2007

“21st Century Woman”, this very phrase conjures up in our minds the following picture. High profile corporate executive donned in a chic suit lugging around an attache` and most probably struggling to juggle housework and her profession.

It seems to me that the so-called modernity has dumped another obligation in our list of never ending ones than provide us with the much talked about freedom of choice that it is supposed to provide us with. Now-a-days, it is expected that almost every girl from our generation will grow up to be a working professional or a businesswoman. Girls whose aim in life is to be good mothers to their children and good wives to their husbands are looked down upon by the “working women” as some good-for-nothings who don’t have guts or an ambition to go out and actually do something with their lives.

I am not one of those conservative types who harbour the notion that there are set roles for males and females, rather, I am as liberal as one can be. It just seems to me that in this modern world things for women are no more different than they were back in old days when girls had no choice but to grow up to be housewives. Today, in addition to looking after our families we are even expected to earn by working.

I have more often than not sensed that well educated women tend to look down upon housewives who give up their whole lives to take care of their family. Why is it so hard for us to grasp the tiny fact that being a stay-at-home mom is just as hard or maybe harder than taking strategic decisions for a conglomerate. As Oprah always says, “Being a stay-at-home mom is the toughest job on earth”. Truer words were never spoken. It is a job of a chef, teacher, counsellor, marketeer, etc all rolled into one and do I even have to talk about job saticfaction here?

I say its about time we gave the stay-at-home moms of this world their due respect and give the girls freedom to choose what to do with their lives.

Deep Impact.

July 11, 2007

The first 5 years of our lives are possibly the most crucial ones. They mould us into the persons we grow up to be later in our life. Incidents, good or bad and mostly the bad ones, during those first 5 years drastically affect the decisions that we take for the rest of our lives.However trivial maybe the incident but the impact that it leaves on the young wax-like minds is anything but insignificant. These so-called petty incidents maybe seemingly forgotten in the later years but they are preserved in some secluded corner of our brain for the rest of our lives and they will crop up at the most unexpected moments.

I have been victim of one of these ugly incidents when I was young. No, I wasn’t sexually or physically harassed, my torture was more mental and subtle. As insignificant as it may sound, the wounds left from them are still alive in that corner of my mind. I think I can trace back the roots of almost all my insecurities to those series of events that happened when I was young. They weren’t really incidents per se, they were usual things that happen to almost everyone of us but they left a long lasting impact on me.

Being the youngest of all my cousins I was not really loved or pampered by them as normally would be the case, I was rather made the butt of all their jokes. Any festive occassion, be it weddings, birthday parties, etc brought all my cousins together to ‘celebrate’. I think when they all got together a kind of mob mentality took over and they chose the weakest among their herd (read: me) and started picking on me, ridiculing me. It was all in the name of having ‘harmless’ fun but no one suspected the consequences it will have on my self esteem. I don’t think they even intended to hurt me but that doesn’t change the fact that it did hurt. A lot. To this day, I vividly remember a number of incidents where I was laughed at and made fun of. I think they made me feel worthless and I think I still feel that way. This has crushed my self-esteem.

And since everything in life teaches you something, this thing gave me a bit of wisdom too and today I make it a point to respect my young brother and I refrain from laughing at things he cannot do. I am glad to say that the things that have taken away my self-confidence have made me a better elder sister.