Random musings

Disclaimer: These are just some random thoughts on a matter and I may or may not make sense.

Recently the talk of marriage came up with a friend. As one of the discussion points I told her that we don’t need rings/rituals or a paper to tell you that you are married to a person. All you need is a strong bond between the people involved. And that comes from companionship, trust and love (rest can be added later I think, at least these three are more important to me and also I wanted to keep the list small and simple to begin with). The rest of it is just the logisitics. That lead me to the quote I had once posted. Here it is:

You may have heard the word ‘marry’ as a nautical term. It refers to the sailors’ practice of matching two ropes together to give them greater strength as one.

Now having said that I wondered if I told her because that is what she wanted to hear or was it something I believed. After a little more thought on what I did in my life, I realized that I believd what I told her. That is the main reason I didn’t want a grand wedding or anything like that (but still ended up doing it for other’s sake). Registration was required for other logistical purposes by other interested parties. Trust me, if I had had my way with what I believed, I would have saved 5 years of my life. I never believed that my ex-husband’s life was bound to that holy thread. All those years we were involved, I did believe that I was sort of married to him in a way. And to think that an event (called wedding) which was supposed to seal an existing bond (aka marriage) would end up breaking that very bond is a sad thing.

So in a way, I was proven right. But only to myself and I didn’t need any proof for my belief. Sad state of affairs? It is. But that is life and it’s totally fine. I got to grow up as a person a little more after that. That doesn’t mean I am against those rituals or beliefs etc etc. To each their own. But yes, I do still believe that a ring or a holy thread (I am not including that piece of paper because that creates a lot of issues later than anything else) don’t matter in a real sense if the people involved  are willing to make their bond work (probably forever. Side note: I love happy endings). And my friend bought that thought too. 

What’s the big deal?

Too many people have recommended Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead to me. I also have the book along with Atlas Shrugged which I got together in a deal some time back. Actually a long time back, to be precise. And I am yet to start reading them. Recently there was a very very heated argument (they call it constructive discussion, but I disagree because I was the lone spectator to that incident and it felt like an argument to me) between three of my friends about the Ayn Rand and her ideals, or especially one particular one where she was saying something about being selfish and that being perfect fine or something like that. I don’t remember the exact quote of hers that triggered that argument but it was based on why she should not be preaching something like that or why it is OK to say something like that because it is the truth etc etc. You get the point right? Since I don’t have a clue about her works, except that I have got her books with me, I kept quiet and was observing the exchange.  And now, I am tempted to read her work. It is just that I am not sure if I will have that much time at hand for some serious reading now. I did that during Game of Thrones last year and I had some serious deprivation of sleep at that time, because that is how I read. I just get immersed in it and don’t come out until I am done with the book. So I am little skeptical on this book too. But since I have the paperback, I can pick it up anytime this year and I hope I get the chance to do it. Its been pending for too long.


Part of Linda’s Just Jot It January Post and prompt till 10th is Reading.

Wordless Wednesday

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Choices R Us

I come from a culture where , at least for women, the choices in life were very less. I mention it in past tense, because it is so for me and lot of people I know. But it does still exist for quite a prominent population down south. I had less choice when it came to a lot of that pertain to myself. Not that I regret it now, but yes that was a fact. For e.g. I did not have any choice in the college that I would have liked to go to. I was sort of forced (due to my good rank actually) to check out one college which my parents wanted to (and in fact I wanted another one, even though both were women’s college) and sadly that one , which my parents chose, offered me computer science and was happy to take me up (and I wanted mathematics) and since I got accepted I was left with no choice than to continue. Now because I did not get a choice doesn’t mean I could perform badly. It is not in my nature. So I did good and well I am happy to be where I am, even though things would have been different if I did choose the other one. But I am not sure if I would be writing this post then ! So yes, in the Western world when people have so many choices especially in the matters of education I always felt that we were lacking behind. We still have a set of subjects that you have to study till you complete your board exams. There are no choices there and then there is a choice of which stream you want to do and all that. So when I came across this  Ted Talk by Sheena Iyengar about ‘The Art of Choosing‘, it got me interested. In case you are not willing to watch the video, here is the transcript of the same.

It gives us the various ways we perceive the choices and the assumptions we make related to choices and how it matters in various cultures. Its interesting to hear her speech. Especially when she is blind and her set of choices are rather limited but in a way , as she says at the end, she is able to analyse it much better than the people who are able to choose with all those visual distractions.

I prefer less choices, because, as she says in that video, most of the times its just variations of the same thing, like the soda. Irrespective of Coke or Pepsi, it is still soda and I refrain from them unless I am dying of thirst. But I wouldn’t say no to the opportunity to choose. We should be given choices at least in the matter where it directly impacts us. We do have the freedom now, at least I do. But that cannot be said for a lot of people out here. Those choices define us as a person and we learn a lot about ourselves from our choices , if they are bad then we learn about what doesn’t work for us, if they were good we know what works for us.

The hand that rocks…

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Cannot Rock the Boardroom 

I came across this session / debate in iqsquared. I had my doubts on this video when I started watching it, but it actually went well 🙂 and had a surprising twist in the end, especially a question that came up from a view at around 30 minute time frame if I am not wrong. Because that was the question that crept in my mind when they were laying down their points against the motion.

Since they had women on both sides to talk about for and against, it was nice to see how they pit themselves against each other. In fact all of them are well settled and surprisingly women of my age (at least 2 of the 4 are from whey they proclaimed). Why does that matter? Because, for me, I could relate with them a little at least from what I see, what I hear and what I go through. Sadly, I am not a mother yet, but I don’t have to be one to know how it feels. I have seen my colleagues, my friends, my family go through it enough to know where I stand.

It is not that the hand that rocks the cradle cannot rock the boardroom. They can, if they have the determination, the support (from family, from workplace, even from the society) and it does help to have enough money too to help you out. If they do rock both together what will be consequences on both parts of their lives ? How does it actually affect your family and your work. Are you able to give only 60% to your work if you more involved with family ? Or does your family suffer because you give your 90% to work ? Where is the balance ? Or rather what is the balancing formula ? I don’t think there ever is one. Just like everything else, the balance varies from person to person depending on where they are, what work they do, their upbringing, their individuality. What works on one person doesn’t necessarily have to work for the other.

In my work, recently I have had women in top positions taking sabbatical for a year or two because they felt the need to reconnect with their family which they feel that they have ignored. Some women have stepped down from the management position because they felt that they couldnt manage both and do justice to both of them well enough. That doesn’t mean they are not capable, they just wanted to get their priorities right. Some of my friends and colleagues work too hard to manage both that we do have separate what-the-hell-am-i-doing-here sessions to just vent out the anger on co-workers, husbands, fathers, managers , who ever can be blamed for it 🙂 I know women who are my friends, trying to struggle to manage their kids and the work without any external help , none whatsoever but then I also know women , again my friends, who are able to do it with their family support.

I have refrained from choosing the management side of my work because I know what it entails and I know what I want in life. I had a strict 9-6 working hours but now that has changed because I could do flexible working hours. My organization allows it to a large extent unless you are in support or in operations which then gets tricky. And I know I am not a manager material. I simply am not (irrespective of how many women leadership sessions they keep scheduling in my organization and I always skip them). I love my life outside of work too. I love to spend time reading, cooking whatever I can, or just lazing around. I don’t want my life to focus mainly on my work. That is why I don’t have a career even after 15 years of working. I still have a job. I am OK with it. That works for me and my sanity and I find peace. But when a kid is involved, I almost inevitability give more attention to them. That is why my productivity goes down when I visit my brother or sister. Because those kids seem to be always around me and I can’t help but give my maximum attention to them.

What I feel is , yes the hand that rock the cradle can rock the boardroom, provided they have the support system in place for that, which is not the case at least in my place and as far as I know. It takes a lot of compromises and sacrifices, but how much of them are really worth it ? There in lies the decision. And last but not the least the passion and determination to really do it.