Sunday, February 24, 2013

A dream job ? !

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by 

I gave up my job reluctantly about five years ago.Since then ,every moment ,I have felt useless for wasting my education & experience of working for more than 15 years.It has been quite painful.I am angry with everybody & with my own self to have squandered away a job in the Government.I am nostalgic about how I was assisted & pampered by so many while I was on duty.I crave to dress for office & leave hurriedly as I was doing while I had that job.

Hence ,I joined some sites which were offering  part time jobs & work from home options.I applied for one in  a company which was involved in online networking.I was recruited for posting comments on various sites as the interviewer felt that since I was a blogger,I would find this job a breeze.I felt it too.I asked time before I could say yes to the job offer.My heart was saying "Yes " but my head was saying "No".My heart was in the  mood to take the job offer as I felt that at last, I was getting this opportunity of working & that too from home ! What wonderful piece of luck ! I would get paid for doing it though the pay was not much.Moreover ,it was part time work - just four hours per day.This was going to be easy as I would get enough time to take care of my kid & even cook & do other household chores.I just couldn't believe that this was a win win situation.

My brain was in a cautionary mode.It reminded me that often the offer is too attractive & then things go downhill.It was an online job- suppose ,my laptop went kaput.What if the net was down, when I must be online ? Moreover ,I was not on any job since I had left work & so was I ready, to take on a job after a gap ? I was getting unsure about accepting the offer.

In this tug of war between the heart which said "Yes" & the  mind which said "No ",I let the heart win.I accepted the job offer.I went after the job with loads of enthusiasm.

I worked hard.I commented as I was told & penned very positive comments.I enjoyed reading new blogs .My boss seemed fine with my work initially.Slowly & surely ,she expected more.She increased the workload.I took on another identity as I did not want to leave my imprint on many sites where I commented on behalf of my employer.Moreover,I had to complete an excel sheet about my work.Very soon,my boss was getting cross with me.Then it was time for payment.She went back on her word & paid me less as she opined that I hardly knew anything about working online.I took this in my stride.

Next month onwards,I started observing that the four hours of work had slowly stretched to seven hours.Moreover ,my boss was finding fault /s with my work.Then she asked me about a blog post she had to do for a client.I gave her some ideas.The same ideas were later posted  in the blog post. I felt cheated.She could have told me to pen down that blog post & I would have done it willingly.No ,she asked my ideas & wrote them as her own.I felt, that I had had enough.

The salary was due & I talked to her.I said that I was neglecting my kid because of the job & would like to quit.She was not pleased & did allow my resignation as she felt that I was too slow a learner.She told me that I am not inclined to learn.

I learnt the hard way that my head was right.I have kept away from online & work from home options after that offer.I am wary & would like others to be aware of such offers.Do research & then only accept the offer.Also have no expectations.Moreover slaving at such jobs is worse than slogging at home for the family ! At least, there is love & respect at home ! So listen to  the head & let the brain decide.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review : Chanakya's New Manifesto

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books !

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Pavan K Verma ,author of several books like Krishna :The Playful Divine,Ghalib: The man,The Great Indian Middle Class, has penned this manifesto so that all is set right in India.This is a book of 248 pages. There are seven chapters preceded by Prologue & succeeded by Epilogue,Notes & Acknowledgements.The language is great though more simple vocabulary would have made it an easy read.

The author has been inspired by Kautilya or Chankaya who managed to unite large parts of the erstwhile India into one State under Chandragupta Maurya.Kautilya wrote a treatise on Statecraft titled Arthashastra.Pavan Verma's manifesto is the new Arthashastra suited to the present day turmoil going on in India.

The book starts with the problems facing our nation today.It lists them as Governance,Democracy,Corruption,Defence, & Egalitarianism.There is a problem with this listing.Our nation has just witnessed  the horrific gang rape .Maybe this book was written before that crime.Still ,women & their problems are not the problem of India as no mention is made of the rising crimes faced by women- trafffiking,foeticide,rapes,molestation,bride burning ,etc.If we brush aside the sense of insecurity felt by nearly half of the population ,how can we expect to solve any which we refuse to even admit as troubles ?

All the five chapters dealing with the problems begin with a long quote from Kautilya's Artha shastra.
 In each chapter,the author lists the various facets of the problems stated.He then goes on to suggest solutions to the same, as per his Manifesto -the new Arthashastra.The solution is presented neatly in points.

Readers will agree that the Government of today, is only interested in survival - all others things can wait till the next election.All parties depend on money power to fund elections.Money is offered to buy off voters,candidates ,in fact ,anybody who is willing to name a price.Our nation has no security policy- terrorists & naxals are bleeding out nation.Our neighbour hood is teeming with nations who seize every opportunity to fish in our  troubled waters.Moreover ,all would like the world to believe that India is the big brother in South East Asia & must behave magnanimously. Corruption is the factor, which is all pervading - defence deals,coal gate,PDS ,etal. In our nation ,the haves turn away from the have nots.Many believe,that  this is the prime reason, which gave birth to naxalism.

Verma suggests sweeping changes to solve all problems.He suggests making changes like pre-declaration of the aims of the political parties.Anti defection law must be changed as in its present form ,it has hardly any teeth.No supporting party can withdraw during lock in period etc.The Election Commission must be made stronger than what it is now.His suggestion that the President must exercise more powers is bound to raise eyebrows as it would be seen to be against the tenets of parliamentary democracy. He suggests that DRDO must be overhauled as it has failed miserably to deliver anything.Private -Public partnership in defence production is a valuable suggestion.The Lokpal bill recently passed has many shortcomings. Goverment ought to make it more stringent if it believes in tacking corruption.NGOs & government must partner to make our society egalitarian. Aadhar cards would go a long way in delivering cash incentives to the needy.UID scheme is in its infancy & we have to wait till any comments can be made.

Pavan Verma has done extensive research .He had access to many people & statistics which other writers may not have as he had worked  with the Government in various capacities.He suggests that many committees be formed to oversee & supervise working of many institutions.This would lead to lot of red tape.He has made no mention of some other problems like rapid urabanization which is leading to choked cities with teeming population,rising crimes,traffic snarls etc.

Still ,his listing makes a beginning .If a start can be made ,then perhaps ,we could start  looking for solutions as well.This could lead to next steps & surprisingly ,we may be a  Nation State as envisaged by Chanakya.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Writing is sharing.

In college,I wrote an article for the college magazine.Later, I wrote to the press, some  letters on some topics .They got published.Naturally ,I was on the moon ! Seeing my name in print was so overwhelming ! The two minutes of fame, just spurned me on !

After I left my job,I took to blogging.amidst cooking & caring for my little daughter . Initially ,my blog posts were just about readable.As time passed,they got better.This is my opinion.I would like to believe, that I have improved or rather, my writing has improved though readers are few & far between .Most of the times,I read & re read - not to edit - just to increase views of the blog posts ! I have read many other blogs & they are indeed better than mine.With such people around,I know I have to continue viewing my blog posts as before !

I joined some blogging networks so that some one will read my blog posts .And yet, my blog failed miserably.I am not the one to give up easily.Slowly ,I started taking part in blogging contests.I haven't won a single blogging contest so far. I believe, others need those prizes more than me -that way, my magnanimity is limitless.I was quite impressed by the food blogs & started one of my own.Still success has eluded my blog/s or rather my writing on food &ampfor quite some time; for that matter ,even on any topic.

And its hilarious to admit ,that though my near & dear ones love the recipes that are  posted on the food blog, my teenager has yet, to warm up to the food cooked by me !!!!! And as if that was not enough , I have competition at home .My  teenager's skills are way above mine much ahead of me ! Though, I would love to, take credit , that her writing skills were inherited though   honed by herself !

I have links on my blog through which the readers can connect to NGOs like Akshaypatra,Sunitha Krishnan's Prajwala,etc.This is purely for selfish reasons, as I feel ,that those who search for the said NGOs may, by chance, stumble on to my blog once in a while !

Writing helps me stay calm & reflect on my thoughts.That is why ,I continue writing though others seem  hardly affected by my ideas.Writing to me is  being #MomAndMore.Writing is  sharing  my viewpoint ,my ideas & my creativity with others.Writing is a vent, through which I express  my anger,angst ,happiness, joy, et al to the world at large.

Writing on a subject means ,I must know something .This means, I must have read about that topic.So writing keeps me connected to reading.Unless I read much ,I don't think I can write.Yes,I know,I need to read much more ,before my writing can catch eyeballs.

I have made some inroads now .As my writing and blog posts have been published  online on ,Better India ,Counter Currents ,Women's Web , et al .This means that my writing is getting visible though it is as yet ,honorary.To make it pay, I need to work hartder & write even better .

I will continue writing till my hands are willing & my mind wants to.In this age of social networking ,I must continue"Like"ing,'Comment"ing & "Share"ng .This liking ,commenting & sharing sums up writing !Whenever anyone likes my blog posts,I  know my ideas have struck a chord.Comments on my blog posts inform that readers agree & sometimes disagree with my thoughts .Sharing of my blog posts means that the readers felt that my blog posts ought to be shared .For these reasons alone ,I think ,I need to continue pushing the letters on the keyboard !Because I am #MomAndMore 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by 

I had met her through my cousin sister.She was working for a sister concern of the company wherein I had got employed.She was my senior.She was a simple girl who loved to dress in hand woven clothes & khadi. Slowly & surely ,our friendship blossomed  Perhaps,we had much to gossip about our office cultures which were similar.

We would both go for khadi & handicraft sales together & buy stuff which we admired.This was on holidays.Other days ,we would exchange notes on telephone & as & when we met on the way to our offices.We would catch up on movies together & yet it was rare.

I suggested to her that I was eager to watch the black & white movie " Tere Ghar Ke Saamne " .She had a VCR.She opined that she will get it & we could watch it at her home.I was unsure about this, as she told me that she had seen it before.I felt that I would enjoy watching it & she would get bored as she had seen it before.She saw that I was reluctant ,"You want to see the movie- so I am going to get it home & you are coming to watch it ."I was overwhelmed.I said ,"I love you." Our friendship became stronger by the day .

She always found time to spend with me, no matter how she was tied up.Once, my parents went to another town to attend a wedding.My friend  came & stayed with me for a whole week till my parents returned.

She got married & left for abroad.When I realised that I will not be able to meet her as before when she goes abroad,I sat & cried my heart out.

We no longer meet as much as we would like to .Yet , memories linger & my eyes get moist.I feel so loved & so cared for ! We keep in touch by email.She makes it a point to meet me as & when she visits India.Distances hardly matter when hearts are just a heartbeat away !

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Manifesto for change.

This post is a part of Weekend contest at in association with 
Chanakya's new manifesto.

Our country has a huge population which makes it very difficult to govern & even administer.Whatever facilities are provided,they  hardly reach anybody as the ever burgeoning populace makes every thing insufficient & wanting.Hence,one area of utmost concern, is to  curb  population growth.There can be only two kids per couple-Hum do ,hamare do should be revitalised. All who have more than two kids must be bereft of any government benefit schemes be it employment ,subsidies, accessibility etal. Quick ,easy & safe birth control methods available in all places will assist in keeping population steady.Sex education is a must, in schools so as to curb unwanted pregnancies.Condom usage  will be a two pronged weapon-check population growth as well as prevent AIDs which is spreading alarmingly in India.

The recent horrific gang rape in Delhi has shown how unsafe our nation is for women.This ought to  be set right.The Justice Verma Committee report must be implemented at the earliest .Fast track courts to try offenders & certainty of punishment for the accused, will go a long way, in curbing rising crimes against women be it stalking , voyeurism,molestation,rape etc.A data base of criminals involved in crimes against women will  go a long way in making them social outcasts .This in turn, will act as a deterrent for wannabe offenders.Moreover gender sensitivity must begin at home .More women at police stations & in courts will assure female victims that the State means business.

Our disputes are clogging the courts.Courts have a paucity of judges.At lower levels of judiciary ,many women can be appointed as judges - this will help immensely.Women are better at listening & will be able to amicably bring about settlement.There are many women who are law graduates & they can be appointed as judicial officers at the lower rungs.Double shifts in such instances , will mean faster disposal of cases.Double shifts means more women can be employed.This will curb unemployment of women to certain extent.As disputes get disposed off at lower levels ,many will not appeal & so less disputes will go for appeal to higher courts.This will eventually lead to de clogging of higher judiciary.Many man hours will have been saved .Hence justice will have been served by delivering it in time.

Vehicular traffic in our country is terrible.All seem to believe, that they have arrived only if they can flaunt their cars.Roads are terrible & yet people are buying cars not just one but in huge numbers.Rising fuel costs is not dampening this thirst of buying cars which guzzle petrol & diesel.Moreover ,we have no social conscience- so drunk driving is rampant .So are accidents which maim & kill thousands .Vehicular traffic jams lead to delays which can be avoided.Moreover crude imports are draining away our foreign exchange.One way out is to auction cars  as it is done in Singapore.So very few will be able to afford cars.Public transport must be made more accessible  & safe.This in turn will reduce air pollution as also noise pollution.Even commuting woes will come down. Insurance costs will stabilise. So easing vehicles out of roads, is a win win situation for all  !

All the four concerns listed above will come to naught, if corruption continues unabated.The Lokpal bill must be made into law as fast as it can.The officers of the State as also the politicians, must be brought to book if found guilty of corruption.No one must escape, if found to be indulging in corrupt practices due to gender,caste, religion etc.The law  must apply equally, to all offenders.A data base of those found guilty of corruption must be available on all government sites.The property of such offenders must be attached & used by the State to provide relief to the victims of corruption ,in building infrastructure ,etc.All offenders must be awarded a mandatory minimum sentence in jail .This will prevent others from becoming corrupt.

All the aforesaid concerns are interconnected.Tackling one will lead to curbing the next one & so on.There are many other concerns like cleanliness,environment degradation,female foeticide,honour killings etc to name a few.Yet if we can address the aforesaid five problems,we would have made a honest & humble beginning in making our nation a better State.

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