Friday, April 17, 2009

My nephew Dhruv

It was a special occasion yesterday – my nephew turning 2. Such a joyous moment for all of us. It was 2 years back my wonderful little sis Sheetal gave birth to this little angel named Dhruv. Life has been so much fun since then. Amit and I have this little one to pamper and shower our love on. Dhruv took us back to our childhood and brought back all the good old memories. I have to confess though - I was never into kids. For me kids always were these little pricks making mess everywhere and creating more work for us 'adults'. Basically whenever I saw kids I always saw this big W ( for Work and may be for Worries) and I ran away from them. I thought, may be God didn't give me those parental instincts which are supposed to help you unconditionally love kids inspite of all the work and the tantrums they throw. But things changed after Dhruv. Of course, they didn't change immediately. They changed within last one year when he started expressing more, playing, laughing and reacting more. Yesterday on his b'day he fed me cheesecake and I was about to cry experiencing that moment. Basically, I hate sweets (I know I am in minority...again), so I was refraining myself from all the dessert section. He observed that and from nowhere he came running to me with cheesecake in his hand and fed it to me without even me noticing that I am actually eating the dessert. No convincing, no pleading - just pure innocence and love worked it's magic.

Dhruv is my nephew and I am his what we in marathi call 'mama' (mother's brother -uncle). I value this relationship because I believe it is a special one (and may be because I never got to experience the real one from my own mama's. Hey, what's wrong in calling a spade a spade). This one relationship is one in which kids have full right and access to their mama - they can ask or demand anything from their 'mama's' and still get away with it. It is a relationship filled with trust, friendship and unconditional love. It definitely has the 'friendship' angle more to it than any other cross generational relationships. It is a relationship that is endorsed by most of the regional songs from India ( I know in marathi we have a song 'mamachya gavala jau ya'). May be that's why I adore this relationship much more than anything else.

So, here is my and Amit's heartfelt wishes and immense love for you Dhruv. May you grow up as a fine human being who is loving, caring and wonderful to be around. May you get all the happiness and love this world has to offer. May you make your parents proud and make this place a better place to live. And finally may you always remain the angel of all of our eyes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan's Got talent

I am writing after some time. Have been sick for last one week. So got a chance to rest up and read some wonderful books. Will definitely write about those as well as other experiences while being sick in detail in another post.

I just saw Susan Boyle's performance on youtube where she performed on Britain's Got Talent. Susan Boyle is just an ordinary person, just like you and me but with extra ordinary confidence and extraordinary talent. She participated in Britain's Got talent show as a contestant and hoping to become a singer. She has been singing at her church for last 20 years, she is 47 years old, lives alone with her cat, never been gone on a date or never been kissed (in a romantic way). She tells all this on this show in a very firm and confidant voice. Everyone in the audience looked at her physique, face, personality and literally made assumptions about "what can she sing?" Even the judges made some snobbish comments challenging her talents and dreams. But they gave her a chance and asked her to sing. And what a miracle. As soon as she started singing, within a second she got applauce from everyone. Her voice, her talent touched everyone and people realized how wrong they were in judging her based on her appearance/looks. It was literally - she came, she sang, she conquered. I was personally into tears while watching this performance. You can watch this on youtube. It got me thinking. How many times we make such judgements based on physical appearnaces? Answer is most of the times. Based on how people look, how people present themselves, what people wear...list just goes on and on about external appearance. Unfortunately we operate and compete in a world where more emphasis is given on what you wear and how you look than what your inner talents are and how beautiful you are from within. No one has time boss. Susan's performance was a wake up call - for everyone. It showed that there are these underdogs out there who might not know how to dress up or present themsleves or talk in a most precise way, but when it comes to the real talents, they are by far superior. You need to hear them and you need to appreciate them for what they are bringing to the table.Their talent and their confidence is what takes these underdogs well ahead in the game. I could somewhat corelate with this situation because I felt I was a underdog at one point in time while growing up. Being short, underweight and completely unaware of how to dress well, I always had this inferiority complex. And growing up I never saw role models on TV or in movies who were like me or who fit my profile. But people like Susan inspire the underdogs out there. They tell us that it's ok to be who you are. These external factors don't matter. Main thing is be confident with what you got and face the world with your talent. People better will listen to you then. I know I am always for such underdogs - people coming from lower socioeconomic strata, or people who are completely unaware of how to dress or people who have been socially disadvantaged because of their gender, caste or any other factor. When it comes to talent NONE of these things can and should matter. Thank you Susan for showcasing your talent and making us realize that talent comes in all forms, shapes and sizes.

Here is the link.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The break Up

The other day while watching news they talked about a new book that's coming to market. The book focusses on how to break up with people with whom you have platonic relationship. Like your hairstylist, your doctor, your maid or your daughter's friend's overbearing mom - anyone with whom you do not have romantic involvement/relationship and would like to fire them. Initially I laughed at the subject and was very skeptical about how it might go. But it clicked for me. this book and it's author who was interviewed talked about the real life examples or 'what to says' while breaking up with these people. Key was to break up in a professional yet very dignified way. Care has to be taken to maintain the other person's dignity but still letting them know the reasons for your moving on. Theses gals even role played some situations where the author helped with 'what to say' during break up and 'how to say' kind of things. I thought it was really cool skill to have. When you think about it we struggle about these things. Especially Indians are really bad about this. I remembered a situation from childhood when we changed our family doctor of 15 years to a more competitive and well known doctor. We felt guilty, we felt bad, we felt that we are cheating someone. Now, when I think about it I wonder why did we feel that way? We were not cheating anyone. We have full right to hire and fire any doctor that we want based on their competitiveness. Somewhere we think " oh, what will our doctor think if I tell them I am switching to other doctor ". It's the guilt that accumulates within us and so we try to do anything- we try to avoid that person, try to take another route away from his office or if we meet him then instead of confronting the reality, we try to sugarcoat things or tell the doctor that we haven't been sick for long time. Yeah right !! We were always taught that confronting directly is a bad thing. We are more about saving face in the public instead of facing reality. Is that productive? I don't think so. Nobody wins. Having clarity about how you feel about their services and stating them the reasons of your moving on might help them improve their performance. Competition always keeps people on their toes. So, why are we afraid to confront people with the reality. How many days, years and generations we are going to sugarcoat things and keep underperformers in dark? So, if you have such relationships, instead of facing the guilt syndrome, confront them and move on to a more competitive service provider. I think it's a win-win for both the parties. Isn't it?