Friday, 23 August 2013

And yet another one...

I was just reading the story of a photojournalist rape in Mumbai and yet another outrage in India. It is  a horrible news article, however it did cheer me up a bit. The thing that cheered me up about this whole affair was the prompt actions of doctor and then police followed by public outrage.

There has not been any victim blaming. Yet. I understand there will be more than one person who will question the victims character and her presence in the isolated mill. But it hasn't happened yet.

The way NDTV has reported it, and I quote:
The Shakti Mills compound is isolated, but it is in the middle of Mumbai. It is close to the crowded Mahalakshmi station and has a busy road just 50 metres away. At 6.30 in the evening, there was still daylight. 
I like the tone of this report. Rest of them are not this supportive, however, they have managed to keep the victim blaming out of the picture. For now.

Is this the start of the change we have been hoping for? Fingers crossed...

Sunday, 18 August 2013

BBC Documentary: India A Dangerous Place to be a Woman

I finally found the you tube video for the BBC Documentary about daily sexual harassment in Indian street. A must watch, I must say:

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Is he really innocent?

So this news article has been making round here. Its about a girl kicking an elderly Asian man down to pavement and spitting on him. 

Somehow, I am not sure it was an unprovoked attack as they claim it to be. I am fairly sure by the conversation in the video that this was a case of street sexual harassment that's so prevalent in India, which Indian arriving to this country think they can continue here as well. Oh yes, you heard me right. They continue it here as well, especially in London. I have had the displeasure of meeting fe of them while travelling in tube and bus. 

So this girl, being brought up here, gave it back to him (in my version of events, which I am pretty sure is accurate). Quite vehemently, I must add. Instead of taking it like good little Indian girls are supposed to. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of those harassments/molestations would understand the powerful rage when you want to kick and punish these criminals since no one else seems to do anything about it or even believe you or tell you that you are making mountain out of a mole. 

Again all of this is my version of what I gathered from the video. Please do watch and see what you think:

Thursday, 15 August 2013


So I met a few of my ex-colleague who, have now joined my current company. Okay, let me start again. A decade ago I used to work in India, I left my job to pursue my PhD in the States. And now by shear luck, or unluck (yes, I made up that word), they have joined my current firm in London. So I met with them today afternoon for Independence day tea. 
We talked about a lot of things including how our previous company ended up paying quite a high salary to its employee after I left which was locked for about 3 years. All of them stayed with company till end of that period and then left for greener pastures (namely, my present company). They are considerably richer than me now, having stayed in that firm for that long.
And yet, I can't help but feel thankful for leaving that company when I did. Honestly. I might not be as rich as them in financial sense but I think I have a richer life than what India and my previous firm could have offered me.
In this past decade, I have gotten a chance to discover myself, my life. I tried out a lot of new things without fear or apprehension I might have had in India.
For example, sports. I have taken swimming lessons, tennis lessons, martial art and badminton, along with quite a few classes in gym which I would have never tried in India.
For example, being part of various clubs and participating in club activities which included promoting the club, talking to complete strangers, arranging club trips and taking up various professional photography gigs.
I have lived and survived in four different countries which amounts to three different continents.

Most importantly, being out of India and that environment has given me a chance to explore myself, be comfortable with myself, discover the things that makes me happy and not what people say should make me happy.

I have a feeling of living my life to its fullest that I never had when I lived in India. As I said, I have a richer life now even though I am poorer than I could have been. And I love it.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Love-hate relationship of Economics and me

Once upon a time....I was in 9th grade. We had introductory economics as a subject to be taught that year. I was fairly excited about the prospects of learning a new subject. But as luck would have it, our economics teacher, who coincidentally was our class teacher as well, liked to be popular with her students. The way she achieved that was picking on the students and making "hilarious" comments about them. 
Source Link

May be it was a lack of sense of humour on my part, or may be the fact that I got picked on quite often in her class that I didn't like her. To be teased by the teacher and then got picked up by the rest if the class (some of them still mention those "jokes"), no matter how harmless that humour was for all of them, was not a big confidence booster for me. The consequence, apart from low self confidence, was my hatred of the subject economics and anything even remotely related to it.

But as luck would have it (mystery music playing, Dun Dun Dun...), 'the Girlfriend' is a B.Com. who, of course, loves economics. After much resistance, a bit of tantrums to go along with it, I eventually picked up the book on Investment Banking. The reason was to teach the girlfriend the mathematical concepts involved. However, given 'the Girlfriend' is changing job at the moment (didn't I tell you?) and will no longer require to learn about Investment Banking (IT is a funny field that way), I no longer have that excuse. And yet, every evening after I return from work, I have been picking up the books, searching the net (and finding more material to read) and reading through the concepts of Investment Banking. I have now even progressed and found some pdfs on 'valuations'.
I am not sure how, and if, I will ever use this knowledge in future (and trust me,  I have been trying to find excuses), but I can't seem to keep down the books. Its like a mystery novel that beckons me each evening and I resent any time I have to spend doing other things, including exercising, taking shower or cooking dinner.
I have been trying to convince myself that I will use this knowledge to invest in share market etc., but I know that  reading basic concepts of Investment Banking doesn't make you any smarter about such things. Its a classic concept of more you learn, more you know how little you know. And yet each evening, I am reading the basic concepts of Investment Banking and few other books are now on my wishlist on amazon.
Yeah, yeah, I know. No need to tell me that I am an incorrigible geek. However, it has been a long time since I have found a subject this interesting that I yearn to learn more.
Anyway, time for some more night time reading....

Monday, 12 August 2013

Will you name your baby...
Link to source
...4Real or Cholera Plague or even Comma? Apparently people do. The worst one in the list is, I guess, Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. No, seriously. What is wrong with these people?

Growing up in India, I did hear few weird names in India, like name of one of my mom's childhood friend is Chinta (meaning worries). She was the fourth daughter in the household. But that was, I guess, parents discriminating against the girl child. These parents, however, have named their children because they thought it to be amusing, I guess. Imagine the plight of the child called Cholera Plague or Comma. What were they thinking?

No, seriously. Can someone please explain to me how and why people can name their kids like that?

Saturday, 10 August 2013


So the other day I was booking my tickets to India and for some reason, it ended up in being my credit card being blocked. May be buying tickets to India is a suspicious activity now or it may simply be the horrendous amount of money they charged me for the ticket. Either way, I had to call the fraud department of my credit card in order to get it unblocked. 

Of course, the call started with me giving them my credit card number and few security questions. One among them was about my age (haven't they yet made it illegal to ask age of a woman). I was completely baffled by that question and it has nothing to do with me wanting to hide my age. I have been completely lost when it comes to remembering my age ever since my late twenties. Seriously, I haven't been able to remember my age ever since I passed the age of 25. I usually round it up to my nearest multiple of 5. So for past 3 years I have been telling people that I am 35, which was exactly what I told this lady from fraud department.

Now it being the question of security and all that, she asked me again, "Are you sure that you are 35?" "Oh well," said I "I am somewhere around 35. Let me think. I was born in 78 so I will be turning 35 this December, I guess." There was silence on the other end for few moments and then the lady proceeded with my request. I guess the idea  that someone has been telling everyone that she is 35 when she isn't 35 yet was a bit too much for her. I am so glad she didn't know that I have been doing that for past 3 years. 

I think the reason it never bothers me is because, for some unknown reason, I look quite young for my age. People usually don't believe that I am past 30, let alone nearing middle ages. This, on contrary to what most people believe, is quite disadvantageous, especially at work. It is so hard to make a first impression of someone who knows what they are talking about (which is usually associated with experience and hence, age) on most people. They take a look at me and usually patronise (and antagonize) me.

The other day I was explaining this to a colleague, and friend,  and he suggested using anti-botox treatment. It was quite funny to him. A woman who is complaining that she doesn't look old enough. And please don't tell me that it is a good problem to have because it does affect my promotion and the salary I get.

Anyway, that's the rant of today for me. If you have been wondering where I have been for past few days, I have whole another set of rambling but I am trying very hard not to put it here. I don't think anyone will be interested in my petty office problems...