Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Sexes

“The men in our office are treated like the men in our serials – they are mere props!”

This quote by the pioneer of the Indian soap opera revolution, Ekta Kapoor, got me thinking. How would she have felt if she had been working in a male dominated office instead and some male colleague had passed this comment about the females in the office? And how must the men in her serial feeling about this comment? Popular male characters in the ‘K’ serials like Mihir, Anurag Basu, Rishabh Bajaj, Om and Kamal Agarwal,. ………these characters (and the many others) are not props, they are as important to the story as their female counterparts!
I wonder how many women share this opinion that men in their office or life are props. I hope there aren’t a lot many more. Because it is difficult to imagine a world with only one sex, either male or female. Men and women are meant to support each other, not destroy each other in the race for one-upmanship!
There was a time when men considered females the weaker sex. But today, attitudes are changing; the ‘feminine man’ (read the ‘metrosexual’ man!) is in vogue.
Now, women are achieving success in hitherto male dominated fields like the Armed Forces and IPS. But with it is coming the unhealthy attitude of male bashing. Why?
Does independence or feminism literally translate to life without a man? Why this thought? I mean, look at Brinda Karat. Or Suhasini Mani Ratnam. These successful women have their own identities, they are never referred to as so and so’s wife! Women like them really epitomize feminism.
The success of a woman lies in the balancing act. An educated woman who successfully balances home, family, work is the real feminist. Not one who feels that she has managed to get the men bow to her and do her bidding!
It is the law of nature that the sexes are meant to co-exist. Any attempt to disrupt the status quo can spell disaster. So pseudo - feminists and even MCPs, BEWARE!!


Friday, April 15, 2005

Future Secure!!

On the 4th of April I received the GD/PI call from SSTM, an institute considered the best in Kerala after the IIM at Kozhikode. GD/PI on the 11th. But preparations were put on hold till the 9th, as I had my internals from the 6th to 9th.
Internals done, I immediately switched over to GD/PI preparations. VAT, Union Budget, check. Wen Jiabao visit, Sino-Indian ties, all check. Who knows what they might ask?
11th April, 8:30 am, SCMS campus, Muttom, Alwaye. Around 50 students registered for GD. Just 50 students for 60 seats? Before my mind could travel for long in that direction, I was in for a surprise, 30 seats have already been filled in the first session; today’s GD is only for 10 seats!! WHAT?!! I wanted healthy competition, but this, no!
10:30 am, GD. We were a group of 9. 2 topics were given of which one was to be selected by the group. ‘MNCs are devils in disguise’ (frankly, what is that?) and ‘Foreign channels are destroying Indian culture’. We chose the latter. Though all of us opposed this presumption, we managed to have a wholehearted discussion.
GD over, we were led to a room to wait in before the PI. ‘Srilaxmi’, said the announcement and I went into the room for my first ever PI.

[The Panel: Mr.1, Mr2, Mr.3, Madam 4]

Mr.2: Which part of Kerala is your native place in?
Me: Malabar, Sir.
Mr.1: What is your ambition?
Me: Someday, I would like to be a decision maker in a company.

[Then discussion about decision makers and about the life of a computer engineer.]

Mr. 3: Do you know about the Coca-Cola Company in Palakkad?

[Here, I was surprised. After all the preparation that I’d done, they ask me this?]

Me: Yes, Sir. The Coca-Cola Factory is said to be destroying the eco-balance of the environment in Placchimeda, Palakkad.
Mr.2: I think you are unaware about the High Court order?
Me: [thank you for reminding me!] Sir, I’m aware that the High Court has granted permission for the Factory to continue there. But I personally feel that the voice of the people should’ve been given importance.

[Then discussion for 5 minutes regarding the Moral Responsibilities of Business, pollution watch, employee welfare, etc.]

Madam 4: Your birthday is on the 11th of September? Ha ha! [Everyone laughs.]

[Then some discussion regarding my interests, house activities in school and the like.]

Mr.3: You may go now.
Me: Thank You.

Phew! In the office around an hour later, waiting for the results. Surprisingly, I’m pretty cool.
And the result is announced. The students selected: Manoj, Hari and SRILAXMI!!
I am so happy and relieved that I can’t speak. Dad congratulates me. I immediately call mum and give her the news. I thank God.
This is a real dream come true for me!!


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Scaredy Cat

We’ve had such hot and humid weather recently that we’d been wishing for rain for quite long. But when it came, it came lashing down, like a thunderstorm.
I stay alone on the top floor of my house, and the last time I’d spent a sleepless night was when Meetu used his ‘Voodoo’ on me!
[; - (].
But yesterday was different. Just as I decided to go to bed, the whole locality was plunged into darkness because of a sudden power failure. And to make matters worse, the lightning and thunder started, making the setting similar to the kind we see in Ramsay movies! [: - (]
Keeping my wits together with great effort, I managed to crawl into bed. But the lightning and the otherwise pitch-blackness of the night meant that sleep would be long in coming. Tossing and turning in bed, all I could do was to screw my eyes and stuff my fingers into my ears every time lighting flashed, hoping that the thunder to follow would not be too loud.
Suddenly, mom called me aloud from downstairs. The unexpected call startled me and I ended up letting out a scream instead of answering mom’s call!!
Anyway, it rained the whole night and I didn’t remain awake for very long after all. As the day dawned, the light wiped away all the fears that I had in the night.
I woke up feeling foolish, thinking, how ever could I have been such a Scaredy Cat!!


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Kerala – Zimbly!

Kerala is supposedly God’s own country. Tourists line up to visit the state to enjoy the sea, backwaters, nature, and the greenery. And it has close to 100 % literacy, a balanced sex ratio, things that many states are still just trying to achieve.
But when it comes to the people of the state, they are possibly the most joked about people in the whole of India. Forget Santa Singh, the Bihari Babu or the Tamil anna. The Malayali accent, the Malayali dressing, everything is the new joke nowadays. Just watch Lola Kutty on Channel [V]! This evening, I saw another VJ doing what he thought was an imitation of the Malayali way of speech. Is poking fun of people of some state entertainment?
My ma’am in school used to say that accents are a kind of gravitational pull of the place where you live. So, if in Kerala Prakash becomes Pregash, in the North, Prakash becomes Parkash!! Then why single out the poor Keralites?
While chatting, I always notice people ask me incredulously – You know hindi?! You watch hindi films?! Some ask, how much oil do you put in your hair [;-O]? Just shows the ignorance that people from other parts of the state have about Keralites! Kerala is just another state in India, with its own customs and ways, like all other states. Isolating its people for the very same reason is just not done!
So try to remove preconceived notions from your minds. Lola Kuttys should not make you think that Keralites are just a bunch people who look and talk funny!


Friday, April 01, 2005

Get Set !

Exactly one month to go for the D-Day – the final exams. One month - seems like a long time. But so did four years!! Time to really BUCKLE DOWN and STUDY! Especially since I need a min. of 73 pc to still make the cut off of 70 pc overall. (chhe! Sorry state of affairs!)
But with Gudi Padwa around the corner, every holiday is being utilized in cleaning up the house. Diwali is always odd sem exam time, so no time to do much. But this time, mom’s pretty clear she wants the top floor to be completely spick and span before the 9th. Ok ok! I’m working on it……..
By the way, the CS awards or titles were announced in class yesterday. Cool!! Since the farewell party doesn’t seem anywhere in sight, it is ok if we cook up some fun by ourselves [>:-)].
Huge surprise that Byju got voted PJ King of the class. I mean, humorous guy would’ve been ok, but PJ King [:-O]? And Vini was the runner up in the PJ category (no surprises there!). Jaisha was runner up of the ‘I-Think-I’m-Pretty’ title [;-)]. Rithin rightfully became BBC of the class and Mr. Foodie. And me? Ah! [;-)] Well, I was voted MISS CHATTERBOX! [: -)) ]
Hee hee, believe me, it is not unexpected [;-)].