Monday, October 30, 2006

Fair:yet not so lovely

Man was talking to a white man and said: I’m black. When I was born I was black. When I grew up I was black. When I'm sick I'm black. When I go in the sun I'm black. When I'm cold I'm black. When I die I'll still be black. But you, when you were born you were pink. When you grew up you were white. When you’re sick you're green. When you go in the sun you're red. When you're cold you're blue. When you die you'll be purple. And you have the nerve to call me colored.

So true.Colour of the skin is purely God's decision and not our's.In this racist world, people tend to judge others by the color of the skin, not realizing that beauty is after all only skindeep.Its a terrible misconception that only people who are fair,are the ones who are goodlooking.This is very common in the case of matrimonial alliances where the common expectation of the bride/groom is that she/he should be fair.So are all fair people the only ones who are goodlooking?Or are all the fair people the only ones who are the nicest? Not true.

This ignorance of people has resulted in bring about complex feelings among the individuals who do not possess a whitewashed look. Millions of women and men have suffered from a complex of being dark/wheatish for the fear of being rejected as prospective life partners. Not FAIR is it? A lot of upcoming Indian fashion icons like Bipasha Basu, who are not fair complexioned are still considered very beautiful.

The advertising field has also precipitated this feeling amongst the consumers by creating ad films, emphasizing the need to purchase fairness creams. This has thereby created a misconception of the fact that there exists a positive correlation between fair skin and success with regard to anything, whether its getting a break in films, attracting alliances, receiving approving glances from work colleagues or even a chance as a female commentator for a cricket match.

So let this message erase the false beliefs of people and open their minds into a broader perspective stating that beauty isn’t about the color of the skin and it isn't judged by one's skin alone. It isn't about having a few freckles on a white skin, or being dusky. It’s all about the way one carry's themselves with respect to their style of comminication, their confidence levels, their comfort in what they are wearing, their nobility, and good thoughts. And lastly, the famous saying goes” Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder."


Friday, October 27, 2006

The fall of the wall

The wall-a protective, steady, and a solid fence of security that safeguards us residents from the external threats outside the comfort of our homes’. It is the perception of reliability and consistency that is rarely shaken by any force.

It is also a popular nickname given to one of the most sought after Indians, a brand icon of the hutch and Reebok, the right-handed batsman and the skipper of the Indian cricket team-.Rahul Dravid."The wall" as he is called by millions of crazy fans across the subcontinent was once the factor of turning tables in the most crucial of matches.

The “as cool as a cucumber”, steady, diplomatic and passive captain of the Indian team was a marked change from the aggressive, passionate and the volatile former captain,the Bengal Tiger,our own Dada as he was fondly called- Sourav Ganguly.The latter under who’s leadership, we reached the finals of the world cup was the one who shaped the players to what they are at present and has emphasized his tremendous contribution as the most charismatic leader.

However, in the recent times, it was observed that essence of team building has been forgotten by the Indian players. The concept of group dynamics and playing as a collective force seemed alien to the men in blue. A team which had the best brought out from each individual in his contribution to the game has lost its charm. An irony that a wall which in other instances binds buildings together is unable to do so with the human clan. The mighty block structure which withstands the forces of nature like the sun, hail and the storm, is unable to withstand the spinning and fast movement of the circular object hurled with a pace by the opponent players.

The deterioration of the performance and the winning spirit of the Indian team have been apparent over the past few months. The standard in the ICC champions’ trophy taking place at present has made India’s lack of fighting spirit evident. The game against the West Indies which saw a clear case of flawed selection,by bringing in a fast bowler instead of a spinner emphasized the tactical blunder made by the Indians even in their home grounds. In spite of the wickets taken at a crucial stage, the victory still managed to slip out to the Carribeans.An earlier match against the English emphasized the poor margin of success with which the men in blue still managed to hold their heads high.

There is a continuous inability of the batsmen to retain their wickets, lack of pace by the bowlers and the misfielding of the entire team in the series of the past matches. This has invoked an anxiety factor amongst the public; especially with the world cup around the corner. The effect of captaincy on the team is another factor to be looked into. Are the motivation and the psychological morale of our players diminishing due to ineffective leadership? Are the mental pressures of the new role affecting Dravid’s stature of the wall?

In other words, is the great wall of India crumbling?


Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Dogmatism....a term used in management schools and the corporate world to emphasize the rigidity structure and the lack of flexibility with respect to leadership and manager's views. Is dogmatism always good?Or does it curtail the free and creative juices flowing out of the human minds?

Certain firm beliefs such as corporate social responsibility and ethics demand a certain dogmatic tinge in them to ensure the code of conduct followed by every employee.It emphasizes the consistency and stability of the functioning of the organization that makes it saleable to the foreign investors.

On the other hand,it could also lead to a stifling organisational climate,where rules that need a flex once in a while arent to be broken.A rigidity in the communication levels could severe the lack of direct contact of the lower level employees to the higher levels of management.It is a time consuming process that works in disfavour during emergency situations.

However a certain amount of dogmatic views in ones personal life....emphasize on their disciplinary actions and firm beliefs.It enhances ones ability to stick by something and stand by their beliefs even if it means contradicting with the majority.It requires a great amount of integrity and sincereity to practise what one believes and is far from the wavering monkey like minds of the human clan.

Instances of sticking by ones decision in terms of their marital and professional life,is a positive effect of the rigid glue like beliefs.Certain ideologies in contribution to the society,such as preserving nature or fighting against the employment of children for manufacturing any product at the cost of risking their lives,facilitates the need for dogmatism in order to fight for a social cause.Is it so difficult to stand by what we believe in order to show compassion towards our fellow humans who risk their lives to produce items that give us a few minutes of pleasure?

Something,definitely to ponder our minds about!


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Matheran:A hilly encounter

Far from the maddening crowd of Mumbai is a hill station situated at an altitude of about 800mt called Matheran. A two-hour train journey from Mumbai till Nerul and another adventurous exploration via a two-hour toy train ascent takes you through the shady, evergreen forests of this magnificent hilltop. Possibilities of a tough 11 km walk or an exciting ride on horseback are alternatives to reach this hilltop.

Choosing the latter option, I rode along the steep cliffs that provided stunning views of the lush green valleys. An adventure from there began as I looked forward to encountering with the unknown wild, enchanted woods. A common sight of monkeys jumping around, vendors pulling up their carts along the roadside and the mysterious jungles with trees so close to each other made me wonder if they were sharing secrets with one another.

Curious to find out more about the place, I engaged in a conversation with the locals there. It was a destination ruled by the British making horse riding a popular means of travel. As I cantered along, I managed to get a glimpse of the much-talked-about, charming, British and Parsi Bungalows tucked deep inside the forests. I could not help pull the reins of my horse to stop by and cast an admiring glance on to such ancient homes with creepers growing up the walls. A series of sightseeing points like the Porcupine Point, Echo Point, Panorama Point and Mount Berry indeed give a breathtaking view of the Sahyadri range of mountains. I viewed the vast village side, lakes and dams that left me spellbound and my eyes became moist. I couldn’t help admiring the superior aspects of life that has withstood the love as well as the trying times of nature’s fury bestowed by its own creator.

The shopping facilities provide a range of bags and paintings displaying human artistic talent. It was the most beautiful hilly experience I’ve ever had in my life. The beauty part of nature is preserved and left unpolluted by restricting the entry of motor vehicles. Being an ardent nature lover, this has been my closest encounter with the forest world, amidst several monkeys scrutinising you with their curious and keen eyes and riding through the untampered pathway between the mountains. Trees tower you all around, birds call out to one another in their own musical way and serpents crawl by silently. Horses found in plenty mesmerised me with their gallop and mane.

It was a learning experience about ecology and animal psychology. It seemed like a visit to paradise making me forget everything else around. It also brought about a realisation that industrialisation has not yet engulfed the whole world. One lifetime visit to this place will tell you that ‘‘You will find something far greater in the woods than you will find in books. Stones and trees will teach you that which you will never learn from masters.’’
Written for Indian Express