Skip to content

Life in the time of bywords



Mindfulness is the current favourite byword.

In todays’ times of high levels of stress everybody is looking for solutions. Anything which even remotely promises help is quickly latched on to. Some find relief but most find it hard to practise the tenets being proposed.

So why is everybody on a short fuse, waiting to explode? In what ways is life today different from the previous century? How did people deal with stress or were there no ‘stressors’ in life then?

Was life without the internet, jetplanes, rapid metros, mobile phones and credit cards very easy? Why aren’t we happy after having invented a million ways to make life easy?

How could people stay happy when there were wars, famines, genocides, diseases and slavery?

No, life wasn’t easy then, it just seems so in hindsight. People struggled to meet basic needs. Freedom was an unknown concept.

So, how can we make life easy today? Mindfulness?

The answer is Mindlessness. Yes, Mindlessness.

What is mindlessness? Less thought and more action (thoughtmotion, to coin a new word). The focus has to be taken away from thinking; thinking of stress, thinking of work, thinking of success, thinking of others’ success. Turn your focus to movement. Work more, travel more, write more, paint more, sing more. Pick up an artistic hobby which resonates with your inner self.  The simple act of putting your thoughts to paper will lighten your head. It will reduce the stress of carrying around thousands of thoughts with you, because it is the multitude of thoughts jostling for your attention that lead to stress.

We are neither happier than our predecessors nor more stressed. Each generation comes with its blessings as well as problems. It is up to each one of us to pull out the answers from within, because that is where it lies, within us.

Wear a Burkini

I have an idea. It is to make a face mask attached to sunglasses. It will prevent sun damage to skin. Also prevent acid attacks.

Change your attitude

As I grow older, I find that my professional services as an Architect are required less and less. With lots more time on my hands, I wonder what I should do all day. I often wonder what the purpose of my life now is. Then I turn my focus towards my daughters and realise that they still my guidance in many spheres. So that gives me some purpose. I am going to live life as a support to my parents and children. And I shall travel.

Dump the heels

As I crossed 50, the first change I required was to dump all my high heeled shoes. Being prone to arthritis and obesity, I find it increasingly difficult to walk in my high heels. I favour soft soled suede shoes now. They help me maintain my balance, keep the pressure off my knees and my feet totally clean all day.

Moms Should Be Friendly Moms Not Friends

Moms Should Be Friendly Moms Not Friends

The debate has been raging since decades – How should parents relate to their teenagers? Should they be friends or parents? The vote for friends has been winning. Today I propose a new term – Friendly Parents.

My experience with my teenagers tells me that being only a friend with your teenagers leads to disaster as does being parents only.

When my daughters celebrated their 16th birthdays, I gave them equal rights; their rights were equal to their parents since we were now friends. And wrongs….quietly forgotten.

For a few months everything was fine. We had fun times. We had girlie nights. We shared our secrets.

Then they started college. They discovered a new freedom. They made friends, they went for trips, they built a new life and new confidence. They learnt to drive. Their grades started falling.

They got upset when they saw their grades. But remorse lasted only one day. Their dreams and aspirations were forgotten in the morning. By evening they were back to friends and parties.

Now mom decided to step in and play mom. The teens didn’t like it. How dare mom be tough with us. They gave it right back to her, “Mom, you are out of your mind. This is what every teen is doing. You mind your business.

Mom was shocked. Very shocked. It was as if she was struck by lightning. My babies are talking back to me! They are talking back to me! They are refusing to listen to me. Just yesterday I gave them the right to question me, as an equal, an adult. Today they have taken away my right to question them. Not accountable to anyone and racing ahead on the wrong track! Where did I go wrong? Will somebody tell me what went wrong? How do I get them back on the right track?

Little Girl, Instinctive Mother


The Girl Child in India

Part 1

It started even before she was born. Some aborted her, some allowed her to grow. She came into this world to meet disapproving eyes. Few celebrated her birth. Soon she started assisting her mother while her brothers played in the fields. She looked longingly at her brother’s books, strewn round the room. If she was lucky, she went to Govt. School for Girls while her brother smoked cigarettes outside the boundary of his expensive public school. She was quickly married off to a man who looked at the goods she had brought before looking at her. The goods sealed her fate. She was either to be burned or persecuted or live the rest of her cloistered life taking care of the children and the household.
It happens to others, not to my sisters and daughters……HANG ON….That day is not far away when it is going to be the darling little daughter whose picture you lovingly put on facebook. We have been sleeping for a long time…wake up…ITS ALL HANDS ON DECK.
This is not a war. This is not a war against crimes against women. This is not a women’s war against men. IT IS ABOUT HEALTHY AND HAPPY HOMES. IT IS ABOUT TREATING THE GIRL CHILD AS AN EQUAL HUMAN BEING. We have to get inside each home, educate atleast one member in each home about the importance of treating The Girl Child as an Equal Human Being. YES, IT IS ALL ABOUT EDUCATION.

Part 2
Let us start with a few statistics outside our country. Our own statistics are a horror story.
Peru: Crimes of passion: Hundreds of women murdered in the name of ‘honour’ and ‘passion’
Close to 70 percent of all the women killed in one year in Peru died at the hands of their husbands, partners, lovers or boyfriends, and the murders were committed at home or in a place that was frequented by the couple. Source: IPS

Jealousy, a natural reaction to a real or imagined threat to an intimate relationship, has become a problem in one-third of couples seeking marital therapy, says “Psychology Today”. Extreme jealousy in a romantic relationship may cause a person to become emotionally or physically abusive. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 49 percent of nearly 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members between 1998 and 2002 were committed against spouses.

Aggression is a human emotion which has been used in an uncontrolled and negative way. Negative, since all acts of crime have been committed when there is a surge of aggression. Aggression needs release.

Men have become used to seeing women as easy TARGETS FOR RELEASE OF PENT UP ANGER AND AGGRESSION. Be it inter-personal rivalry, hatred, gang wars, caste wars—women end up bearing the punishment for excesses perpetrated wholly by men. They are beaten up, molested, raped, paraded naked, burned, killed in the name of revenge. Those very men, who feel outraged when such crimes are committed against their women, do not waste a milli-second in doing the same to their rivals. WHY…WHY…? Why do men see sexual abuse of women as the easiest solution to all their problems? Why does one human being see subjugation of the weaker one as proof of his might? The fact is in this way THE PROBLEM REMAINS, THE WOMAN DOES NOT.

Somewhere down the ages this has lead to the women being seen as THE PROBLEM. They have become labeled as the genesis of all problems, sexual or otherwise. Immorality is totally her domain. Slowly, the line between woman and child has also disappeared. So can we say– A GIRL CHILD IS IMMORAL? She is to be blamed when she is abducted and raped by her neighbor, or the Uncle who takes care of her molests her in her own home?

THE SOLUTION IS SIMPLE, LET HER NOT BE BORN. Kill her if she survives. Starve her if she grows. Humiliate her when she gets married. Stone her till she dies.