Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Drake, before plunging into water with his surfboard asked me, “Hey mom, do I resemble you or father?” Unsurprised by my son’s obvious question, it is natural inquisitiveness of any five years old to knowing his similarities with parents. I suddenly realise that the feeling is inexpressible to watch your child grow up resembling you and more thrilling when he/she resembles both the parents -- I feel thrilled because I don’t resemble my parents. His question left me clueless and suddenly reminded me how I constantly nagged my parents leaving them unanswered with such questions. I was adopted…I, therefore did not understand how do I answers to my son’s innocent question!

I was two year old when my parents adopted me from an orphanage in Russia. And it was not until I had the capacity to understand the cycle of birth and death, did they unravel the truth of my adoption. I thank my parents to have brought me away from that abysmal dwelling, which kept me undernourished – they (mom and dad) made me plump after taking me home. Obviously, being a Russian, my hair was blonde yellow, my eyes were blue and my face was round and high cheek. My parents were both brunette with hazel and bigger eyes but not blue and long straight nose; my appearance nowhere resembled them. I still remember, as a six year old when I first time questioned about my origin, disturbed my mom enormously. Both some how brought me into confidence that I resembled dad and always treated me as their own baby to never let the fact of adoption come in discussion. But it was me who in spite of constant verification of belonging to them, every third day I would come up with the same doubt. I desperately wanted to match myself with them. “Why don’t I resemble you both, whereas all my friends do match with their parents”, I once wept saying this line. The day, when I was finally informed that I hail from the Ural Mountains, I could not but stop crying at the generosity (they were generous to bring me with them) of my parents. But who were my biological parents? This was the unquenchable quest for which I travelled all the way to the dingy Russian orphan house. My search was all in vain. But today, if I find them, I would never go back, after all I was abandoned only to be away from them.

My son calls out to me, “Mom, look, with my wet hair, I am really looking like you. Isn’t it?” I kiss his forehead, “of course you are like me son, and afterall you are ‘my’ child.” I thank him having answered his query all by himself. Now I feel relaxed knowing there is someone who resembles me, has blue eyes, blonde hair and is chubby cheeked!

Mind Your Etiquettes...

Whoever says beauty is skin deep, must have forgotten to change its relevant meaning with time. Earlier, no matter what a working mother’s dress sense was or her office etiquettes, priority was given to who possessed right skills with her work profile.

But, time changes; so does office etiquettes. Today, office etiquettes are not only about proper dress sense but also about various factors that a mom must avoid in the office. ‘A woman is’, most men feel, ‘god’s creation who can’t stop talking.’

From Paneer tikka to Politics… the talks are never ending. And if this continuous ‘talk talk’ happens in a workplace, things can become edgy, particularly if it violates the tolerance level of some employees working at the same place.
So, here are few things one needs to keep in mind:
Discussing about the personal life in the office is a strict no. It shows lack of interest towards work. Besides, lack of professionalism crops up and it may cast a wrong impression on the seniors. It’s always better to chat at places like cafeteria or canteen; lunch break is the ideal time to get across to the colleagues. That helps to harmonise working relations as well as doesn’t disturb anyone.

“But, I would say that even here, some kind of restrictions must be administered.” says, Internationally acclaimed Corporate Trainer and Motivational Speaker, Minocher Patel.
Being a professional, one must respect timeliness. It’s a virtue that has a positive impact on a person’s professional life.

Coming late to office spells a bad impression and deprives one from being regarded as professional. Many come late or leave for home early and give excuses that they have a family or a baby to look after. Or keep calling her hubby or children ten times a day, spending most of her day --- this looks unprofessional and people think that there is lack of interest in her. Always keep in mind, if the boss or senior has asked to wait after office hours for some work ---- avoid frowning faces and stop frequent phone calls (it also saves time). Remember, punctuality counts and one has to be perceived as a professional.

A new mom must keep in mind that office will not pay heed to her issues and problems that she faces with the newborn child. This is truly distracting on work front. Either leave the job and take a break or manage to keep ‘care giver’ or nanny for the child. Adds Minocher, “I agree with this, but I have seen certain couple who earn Rs 70 to 80 thousand and still feel that they can’t afford a nanny, because its too expensive. They tend to juggle with baby and work. Is spending Rs 5000 really difficult for them? In foreign countries, people take break from work for their child.”
So, the bottom line is: There will be problems related to the newborn, but never combine it with professionalism. After all there is professional protocol also. Dividing life into compartments is essential.

Dress sense is another problem area that a working mother often faces. Friday is the day where sporting tight jeans and tight t-shirts define comfort (which is untrue). Clothes are either too tight or ill fit to the body. Skin show and transparent dresses is equally distracting. Even in official meetings, proper dress is a must be it Western or Indian formals.

Wear what suits the body and never follow fashion blindly. Avoid a dress that leads to unwarranted attention and could be distracting for others in the workplace. Therefore, explosives stuffs must be avoided for the office and think about area’s sensitivity.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Left Right Politics

“What do you think about the Left and Right in Indian politics?” I asked a friend of mine.
“No, I care a damn and anyway, it’s none of my business to worry about such useless topics. Politics is wastage of time!” She replied.
I again asked her, “Ok, don’t be bothered about it but how can you be ignorant about the various political issues, at least you must keep yourself updated with the latest and current political topics.”
But like any other, she ignored me, believing that my involvement into political matters is useless, I am stupid and not so cool. But it’s not their mistake being politically ignorant either, they have perceived politicians image as deceivers and also due to big time corruption in our bureaucracy and politics. Yes, youth these days notice everything that involves corruption but at the same time, ignore the architectural mind behind it.

Bureaucracy corruption is omnipresent and can be found in the land of rising sun to Uncle Sam’s country and from cold desert to sand desert. Yes, the amount of corruption does vary from country to country. How can we forget satirical sitcom ‘Yes Minister’, where the minister’s various struggles to formulate and enact legislation or effect departmental changes are opposed by the will of the British Civil Services, his Permanent Secretary. Well this is what exactly happens in real politics, typical politics. The factual masterminds are behind the scene but equally enjoy perks with the ministers, thanks to these bureaucrats to sully our image as the worst place to ‘play’ politics. Not that I am only blaming bureaucrats for playing spoil sports because they are only present in the much higher ‘plays’ (positions); but even the local corporators or politicians are jam packed with corrupt instincts. This corruption is at low level of hirearchy; imagine the height of corruption amongst higher officials/politicians. Here at least the ‘netas’are provided with the civil services officers because no matter what position a politician holds, he will always be a pea brain in front of those massive bureaucrats. Politicians have limited ideas to go beyond their miniscule brain, so for enhancing corruption level, there comes a helping hand from these mastermind ‘babus’, truly they define corruption in true sense. Yes, in actual practice, it is these bureaucrats who enact legislations and implement them upon us. Well, no wonder they also act as government servants by showing their minimal necessities but believe me, most of them acquire massive properties and money (illegal) stashed in ‘n’ number of places that are ambiguous, for example, under bathroom tiles’ floor, walls, ceiling, etc and beyond thoughts.

Though, not all civil officials are corrupt, there have been several few exceptions who are powerful enough to shake the most authoritative people by fight against their corrupt nature. Arun Bhatia is one person who, working for the very system has exposed its shortcomings and corruption. He stepped into it even after being aware of the level of risks involved for being truthful and principled. Had he been so vary of corruption and loathed it then how could get the offenders punished? Avoiding social evils at bureaucratic system is fighting against corruption, so people who really oppose it, must be in it to eradicate from its roots. Arun Bhatia who has withstood several transfers in his career for fighting against corruption could have enjoyed cakewalk like other bureaucrats do. Even after retirement he has chosen to remain active in politics by becoming Member of Parliament. He hated corruption therefore he became a bureaucrat and is still fighting back it to eliminate it from the society. So to avoiding corruption, the only way is to fight back. And I do not see any harm in honest people joining politics or civil services.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Unsual Pet

It is often preferred to own a pet as it works as a reliever of all the worldly tensions. Well, I had one unusual pet; no my pet was no dog, cat, horse or a bird but a cheetah! Since my father’s job involved transfers every three years, we once had chance to explore South Africa. And something unusual happened with us on my birthday, which changed my perception towards life. My home was situated nearby the jungles and on my birthday, this cute creature came crawling in, purring in a curbed voice and barely two weeks old. I thought that it’s a cat but when I went a little further, I saw a cub trebling with utmost fear. My mother was reluctant to provide shelter to this innocent baby fearing that agitated and angry mother cheetah might come looking for its baby and prove dangerous for us. But I wanted to provide this cub with some shelter so that it stays alive, if its mother came to search him.

Days passed by but no sign of his mother, then I made up my mind to make him my pet. Finally my obstinate nature got approval from parents and I was successful to shelter him. I named him Bruno! Gradually, even my parents developed fondness for Bruno and our house seemed empty and incomplete in his absence. He was very mischievous, but clever at the same time, this was his nature. Sometimes behaved like a human too. He had the habit to sleeping next to me and whenever I came back from school he pounced upon me out of affection. Initially I enjoyed it, but when he began to grow in size, my body could hardly handle his heavy frame. Phew, he almost weighed twice my size! We also made sure to instil hunting skills in him, but since he was our pet, he never needed to hunt for food because he was always provided with a ready meal. Ah, life for him became so leisurely that all he could do was laze around. He never ever made us realise that he belongs to predators’ lineage and behaved loving and caring. One day, our worst fear came true; my father received his transfer orders back to India. We had to leave Bruno behind, as it is illegal to pet such animals, he was about to complete three years too. We never wanted to leave Bruno but with a heavy heart had to send him to a zoo due to his incompetence to leading life in the jungle.

Today, Bruno is eight year old and after long stint in training, he will soon be released into the lap of nature to where he belongs. I really miss him, hoping for his long and good life.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Selfless Love

Being selflessly loved by someone is one thing that we always want. No doubt this love is omnipresent as selfless love given to us by our parents. But, what happens when you move out of this dwelling and start looking for ‘another’ love (outside), does it guarantee you with the promises of the unconditional love that you may gain? Chances are almost slim.

Well… I had a friend who shared a special relationship with her boyfriend and both really loved each other unconditionally and selflessly. They were a couple inseparable by any situation, very much into love. I know that theirs was real love because she was my best friend and used to tell me minute detail about their daily activities (I would call that Love Advancements or budding love). And I knew everything about the steps that both would take in the future because she narrated every episode to me and I had the feeling of being present amongst them. They spoke over phone staying awakened all night, just to know each other more or meeting secretly under a bridge only to have each other’s glimpse. Their love story was very sweet just like a fairy tale that every one wants to listen to before retiring for bed. But similar to any other fairy tale, this story didn’t have a happy ending as they had developed their own share of problems. Even I learned that his parents had decided him to get married and were searching for his possible bride. Both were very disturbed and went for a major decision that might seal their chances of marrying and separate from each other forever. So it happened and decision was to part ways was the only solution, the peculiarity was that neither ever decided to elope from home. How ironic, they both wanted to marry but had little guts to take chances because she feared to not disappoint her parents, after all she owes them something that cannot be repaid by any means, not even for seven lives.

I feel that we all owe a lot to our parents as they bring us into this world and it doesn’t end at this point, they take pain and curb own dear wishes to fulfil our every incessant wish we make right from the time we are born. I am not against lovers, who elope away from home to lead a new life together. And I respect their decisions. But I am unable to understand, how do they forget their parents’ gratitude with a blink of an eye! I am no one to comment on personal decisions; it’s a matter of situations and choices. Hope I haven’t mentioned anything objectionable to anyone. No offences meant!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Life Time Journey...

Sometimes, relationships exist only for hours or days and this might result in a relation with a stranger that may last for lifetime. Well I happened to make a special friend while journeying, and the memory of it is still intact within me like a photograph captured at a momentous period. I was travelling to Delhi via Jhelum Express in a two-tier AC compartment with other co-passengers; when suddenly a dark haired fair and handsomely built man enquired from me about his seat number. Hesitant though, I answered and the vacant seat opposite to mine turned out to be his. And since I was a lone traveller I was reluctant to speaking with him thinking of the horrible consequences that he might misuse my solitariness. Until now I had this hitch in my mind to avoid foreigners, as they all are considered druggists, at least firangs in India are. He introduced him as Francesco from France, who in spite being a French had fluency in English. Initially I ignored him, then he put forward more questions and eventually I succumbed to his queries by answering all that he wanted to know.

Though my initial disliking for him was unreasonable, I found him interesting, soon we were engrossed in our discussions getting to know each other better. I didn’t know what was happening to me, I knew I was certainly attracted to him but I kept denying to myself. We both quickly developed a sense of understanding in each other in mere two days of journey and an intense friendship developed I ever felt for anyone. It is surprising even for me that having a suspicious mind for almost every thing, I ended up becoming friend with a foreigner! Although it was a small journey it felt like we both have been together since years. There was compatibility in our company. On our way to Delhi, we shared our food, life history and part of our occupational hazards, as I say. A part of Discovery Channel was he, which was the most interesting part about him; his occupation had taken him to all over the Indian sub continent. When finally we reached Delhi, he was supposed to leave for his country and with me all alone, he promised to ring up once he reaches home. Generous and kind by nature, he almost stole the air in me and made me realise that people cannot be judged by boundaries. He stuck to his promise and then after a year he returned to India only to take me along to his motherland.

Timing is essential and everything is destined,
today I am here, happily married bestowed with a year old baby. I sometimes start wondering that if my parents were not to call me back in Delhi, would I meet him elsewhere and be blessed with such a loving family that I have?

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Music -- My Soul

I love English (western) music, when I was a teenager I loved Backstreet boys, Boyzone, Westlife, Britney Spears, Christina and etc. This was then (though I’ll always love Boyzone), now I have developed liking for songs that belonged to 60s, 70s and 80s era – they are called retro songs. But I don’t understand why have I suddenly switched over to Michael learns to rock, Elvis, Cher, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Beatles…and many more. May be, switchover to another music indicates that I am growing up with time or rather I have really matured over a period of time. Yes, our taste in music do change as we evolve over the years and probably this has lead me to switch over from pop to R&B (Rhythm & Blues), Jazz, Classical, Rock.

Now whenever my younger brother (a teenager) switches over to latest pop music, I just leave the room to let the unnecessary music to pass by. He often complains, “What has happened to your musical taste buds?” I am left mum yet my simple answer to him is, “you’ll know when you grow much older”. Hey it doesn’t mean that I have passed ages, I am just 21 but sometimes think that I matured early, however all my other friends still enjoy pop! Huh, I really do not care! As long as I am enjoying my musical journey I have no regrets. Life is meant to experience change and that’s what I do – changing my likes from pop to R&B, which will possibly change its course again once I am content with current product. My resources in English music are unlimited but I believe one must keep digging for more. Who knows may be I end up setting a record of highest music collection (my collection will be of each genres). Wow, I’ll be so glad!!!