New connections…

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Last night was great. So was the night before that. I had a 2 hours conversation with someone I disliked immensely 10 years back. I thought this person was shallow, vain and superficial. This person thought I was brash, arrogant, rude. There were other things added to the mix and it was a disaster.

But life has changed, we have changed, we know people can be complicated, life can be dreary and we do what we can to survive. We envy people whose biggest problems in life are (more) money, status, perception. How simple are the battles that we wage outside vs those inside us. There are people who go through life never doubting or questioning themselves. There are people who are content with who they are. Their discontent is external. What an amazing life is that.

Many great conversations last only through that dinner or lunch. There isn’t enough depth in the connection for a next meeting. Sometimes, there is.

Sometimes, all night conversations (till 11 pm because we all have to hustle the next morning) last for more than one night. I have had quite a few of them in the last 1 year and am grateful.

Sometimes, the differences will crop up anyway.

Sometimes, you will lose touch and reconnect once a year through Diwali wishes.

Sometimes, there is a connection but not enough time to explore them because social media cannot bridge physical distance. WhatsApp cannot replace a face to face conversation.

But other times, it can. The luxury of replying at leisure depending your moods and making it easier to express deep and dark thoughts.

Sometimes, you have to call and speak to someone to confirm the person on the other end is who you think it is. It isn’t a prank. They sound so different and unlike what you know about them.

Sometimes the connection is felt both ways in equal measure. And that is rare. That deserves a post even if it is a one time thing.

Sometimes, losing a friend makes space for new people. Or maybe destiny works that way. You are supposed to connect with a finite set of people and when one person is dropped, another person will be provided so that you feel anchored at all times.

Let’s face it. We are all lonely and recognize it more than ever. It isn’t the loneliness of being alone in a city or a house. It is just the loneliness within. It is within us, at all moments. Our day is spent being distracted by a job, kids, partner, daily hustle to avoid the feeling. But at nights, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, it refuses to go away. And if you aren’t exhausted from the gym, sleep will be miles away. You can turn and twist and wait for the morning to bring the diversions.

 


Empty days…

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Now that I have brought my (personal) laptop to Kolkata I will TRY and blog daily (!!!).

Since am old fashioned,

Writing on paper with pen >>> Typing on laptop >>> Typing on Ipad/Phone.

The writing has been slow recently not because of lack of intent but once I come home, I like to chill. Work, followed by gym, gets exhausting and all I want to do is not think at all at night. Writing needs lots and lots of brain activity which is why I may not be upto it on a weekday. Weekends are spent travelling to Mumbai and catching up on chores, not to mention unpacking + packing.

In short, life is quite busy and “me” time is a luxury. It will get better in a few months. After all, if I can’t have a work life balance in Kolkata, which other city on this planet will be able to offer it to me?

Some days are a mixed bag. You may come across a bit of good luck and a bit of bad luck. Today was one such day.

Anyway, adios.

I will get better at this in a few days so stay with me while I meander through an empty mind for now.


Ugh festivals and ugh year endings

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The year is coming to an end. This is generally a happy period with lots to look forward to, count the blessings for the year and hope for better things next year.

But am not in the mood. I don’t want to count any blessings because the shit of 2019 still rankles. It still hurts and feels humiliating. It feels unfair and am not in the mood to forgive, forget or be generous. I would like to sleep off the next 2 months and wake up in January.

It is not ok that I wake up every morning questioning myself and being aware of everything I do every moment of everyday. It is not ok that the fear of screwing  up is always with me and from an overconfident person am now someone who barely has faith in herself. It is not ok that I have to go through this struggle when it could be the circumstances or other people who brought me to this point.

This year has not been ok. Period.

I don’t want to pretend like am not jealous of everyone enjoying their Diwali. This is a weird time for me and any Diwali when we haven’t taken a trip (usually to Goa) has been fucked up. I look forward to and dread this festival in equal measure. I should be grateful I get to escape it and there was the option of taking a day off despite my first month end in a new job. But am too worried about how much I don’t know and how much I have to do at work to relax. The entire holiday would have been spent making “to do” lists and really, who wants to travel with such a freak. Ok, maybe my partner does or maybe he is good at ignoring my freakiness. But even I don’t want to be around myself when am like this.

Ugh!!!

I hate y’all.

 


Diversity at the workplace

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I was having a discussion on how to bring in diversity into my team with someone. Let’s call him Mr X.

Disclaimer: Before the women who’ve never called out a man for his misogyny, get offended by this post, I must mention a few things.

There are 3 kinds of men on this planet – those who are misogynistic and don’t give a shit, those who are misogynistic but have been evolving over the years and those who are misogynistic and pretend to be feminists. Basically, all men are misogynists and it will be decades before even one man can considered a feminist.

I can monitor and control a man’s behavior around me but what he does with other women is beyond my scope of influence. My husband is the only man am accountable and responsible for. His behavior with other women and evolution from a misogynist to a feminist is what I have been sent to this planet for.

This discussion is with someone who has evolved over the years and is open to being challenged for his views. The fact that we have a great personal and professional relationship despite being on opposite sides of every issue is proof of that. He is also one of the men I don’t have to hold back with. I can bring all my passion and aggression to the table without scaring him off. Hell, it makes him respect and like me more.

Moving on… this is not the verbatim discussion, I have added 2-3 hours of internal debate to this. If you planned to argue with me over this topic, am well prepared.

Me : I would like to bring diversity into the team

X : Gender shouldn’t be the first priority, competency should. There should be no bias.

Me : The objective of reservations for oppressed and backward groups of people in India is to bring people to the same level and make up for the lack of opportunities that the privileged class enjoys. Is that bias? Similarly, as women we have and continue to face oppression and discrimination in all spheres of our lives. Till we are not guaranteed the same freedom as the men, we need to be given priority to bring us at the same level.

Example, the organization decides to hire people with special needs. Would they focus on competency and hope one of them is also disabled or would they shortlist candidates with special needs who also meet the competency? It is the same for women.

Men get hired for jobs because

  • of merit (rarely)

  • they know the hiring manager (very common)

  • they know someone who knows the hiring manager (very, very common)

Men rarely get recruited or promoted because of competency. Mostly, it has to do with everything else but that. But as soon as you want to give gender a preference, it is not kosher. The hackles go up because how DARE women get preference at the workplace. In these men’s homes, women shut up and fulfill the role of a mother, daughter in law, a wife and a whore in bed. They don’t ask for anything more. Why do men have to deal with this kind of crap at work? Why should men have to adjust, change, evolve and pretend to be decent human beings around these inferior beings?

1.5 years back I was in a room with 3 other men. 1 was my manager, 1 was a peer and 1 was a grade below. They were all nodding along and appreciating the handful of women (1 per person) they know in sales. These mediocre men with below average intellect had the balls to judge another woman who am sure is far, far better than them. Every female I have worked with in sales (atleast 5, if not more) is excellent at her job. Basis my experience, I should hire only women in sales. Right?

Rant over.

Goodnight!!!


Lame attempt at a poem when exhausted and sleepy

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Isn’t it wonderful to just BE with someone?
No masks or insecurities.
No measuring your words.
No fear of judgement.
Just lay your heart bare about what a shitty year it has been.
No need to hide tears that threaten to spill.

No facade of optimism or hiding the disappointment at the failure.
No shame at wanting to sell out because the price you pay to be yourself is too high.
No worry of imposing during a traumatic time.
Rather the feeling of warmth for the privilege of being there.

Sharing words.

Sharing silences.

Sharing the books you’ve loved the most.

Snatched moments in a year.

A year’s worth of conversation compressed in 5 hours.

And a feeling that you belong.