Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why women should work? – Here are 30 good reasons

If you thought “(S)he loves me /loves me not” was one of the most difficult questions to answer in life, you probably got it right and wrong. 

Why? Because there’s another question which is equally (if not more difficult) to answer, i.e. “Should she work or not? – especially if she is married / mother”. This topic is much discussed and debated in almost every circle I know. No matter his / her age, almost everyone I know has a strong view, opinion and perspective on the issue – from my neighbor’s grandfather to my mother to my mother-in-law to my friends to my colleagues to my daughter to the family friends dog to the long distance uncle / aunty who saw me once as a baby...all and sundry. But of course! We live in an era where we all have freedom of thought and speech, and so literature and stories galore!  

Here’s the thing…
I know what it takes for most women to answer that question and make peace with her answer.
I know what it takes for most women to share her answer with the world, and deal with all that her response entails
I know what it takes for most women to action her answer on a daily basis, and deal with all comes her way
Because I’ve been there, and done that! And like with everything else in life – It has its good, bad and ugly.

And yet, anyone who listens to my voice knows that I am a strong advocate of #WomenAtWork.
A lot of times I'm asked and ask myself “Why women should work?” Here’s my response
1)      You earn. Financial independence and freedom can be one of the most important variables that influence the quality and quantity of a woman’s life. It can also be one of the most liberating aspects for a decent quality life and respect.

2)      You learn. Learning is one of the foundational pillar to personal and professional growth and life, and sky (rather your view of the sky) is the limit to what you can learn when you work.

3)      You have an identity of your own – independent of your personal relationships and associations. There’s no telling how important it is in your own self-confidence and self-worth

4)      You are a better employer as almost all working women hire more help at home / on the domestic front – in terms of home-maintenance services, like driving / cooking / cleaning / ironing, etc. You provide an opportunity for more women to work by being a working woman yourself and make a significant contribution to improve the life of all your employees
5)      You are a part of diverse life experiences and that enriches your own understanding of yourself, people, the world and life

6)      You connect and interact with people from all walks of life / diverse backgrounds  and that opens your mind, views, opinions and perspectives

7)      Your general knowledge improves – just by being part of a world out of the 4-walls  you observe, listen can comprehend a lot lot more

8)      You appreciate the differences and nuances of the world within the 4-walls and outside the 4-walls. Trust me, this bursts your bubbles in terms of what it takes to be a working woman!

9)      You understand human behavior and how the real-world really operates

10)   You get to see how fair / unfair life is beyond the 4-walls – It is Kalyug for good reasons. And that changes the way you view your own life and the way you live your life

11)   Your own self-esteem increases significantly – you just feel so much surer of yourself

12)   Your family views you in a new light – many times, this translates into more respect and value they associate with you

13)   You are better enabled, equipped and empowered to make decisions – simply because you know that you have a choice

14)   You can “buy” things for yourself – yes! You’re a good prospect for (m)any businesses. You pump  money into the economy and boost money circulation

15)   You can be a role model to someone – I know many of my role models are everyday working women who balance it all every single day

16)   You learn a lot of key “life skills”. Top among them are time management, communication, negotiation, saying NO and

17)   You tend to let-go of a lot of excess baggage – many times it is simply because you don’t have time to delve into the past or worry about the future

18)   You can inspire someone somewhere – just by being a live example of “It is possible, you can do it

19)   You can “buy” things for others – with fewer questions, and no / few answers

20)   You see life with a new lens

21)   You realize the value of all that your mother and father and teachers and supporters / advocates a lot lot more

22)   You value time a lot more. You recognize just how little / much there is

23)   You feel more independent

24)   You are in better control of your life

25)   You teach your family independence / inter-dependence

26)   You contribute to the world economy by being a productive contributor (in the economic world)

27)   You understand and appreciate the value of money a lot more

28)   You “genuinely” appreciate how life is for “him” – as he is the one who is usually working for the long haul

29)   Your work will directly / indirectly play a significant part in your off-spring

30)   Chances are you will leave a richer legacy (financial and otherwise) for your forthcoming generations

It does not matter what works she does
It does not matter where she works
It does not matter how she works
It does not matter how long she works
What matters is that SHE WORKS
Today, tomorrow and the day after

What matters is that her work makes a difference to her / their life
This post is dedicated to any / all women who have “worked” at some time in their life. May the tribe expand, flourish and prosper

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Her" life .. In short

To cry or not to cry
To ask or not to ask
To eat or not to eat
To play or not to play
To study or not to study
To learn or not to learn
To share or not to share
To love or not to love
To speak-up or shut-up
To say yes or no
To support or not to support
To look or not to look
To choose or not to choose
To work or not to work
To marry or not to marry
To try to not to try
To persevere or not to persevere
To decide or not to decide
To procreate or not to procreate
To let-go or hold-on
To give-up or stay-put
To believe or not to believe

Is this her life?
Is this your life?
Is this our life?

Is this everyone's life?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Being among Twitterati - What it takes and what it means?

First the good news.. The team at SheroesIndia wrote a post on "Must Follow Woman Influencers on Twitter" . It was a pleasant surprise to feature in that list among august company like Tanvi Gautam @tanvi_gautam , Ankita Gaba – @ankitagaba , Lakshmi Rebecca @lakshmirebecca , Kalki Koechlin @kalkikanmani , Gul Panag @GulPanag , Meeta Sengupta @Meetasengupta and Kiran Manral @KiranManral

The post starts off with "There are tons of women on Twitterati making their mark. SHEROES list down a few Indian women who are impacting the space in a massive way". Being included as ONE among 20 Indian woman is indeed wonderful. I do follow many of them on Twitter, and I know that they are doing their bit and best to make a difference in their sphere of influence with their tweets.

Personally, this is the second time I feature in a list among Twitterati. The first one was in 2012 when Dr Tanvi Gautam create the first 'epic list' of 50 Indian Woman to follow on Twitter Her list in her own words was about "A dedication it to all women thought leaders from Asia, not just from media and film, not just the corporate world but all the ones that are making a difference in their own way." Even today, the list is as relevant as it was 2 years back because the women from that list continue to make a difference in their own way.

Some of the women who find a mention are
Kiran Bedi ‏ @thekiranbedi
Sairee Chahal ‏ @Sairee
Sania Mirza-Malik ‏ @MirzaSania
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw ‏ @kiranshaw
Sagarika Ghose ‏ @sagarikaghose
Azmi shabana ‏ @AzmiShabana
Anupama Chopra ‏ @anupamachopra
Rashmibansal ‏ @rashmibansal
Barkha dutt ‏ @BDUTT
Jessie Paul ‏ @jessie_paul
Naina ‏ @Naina
Sucheta Dalal ‏ @suchetadalal
Rujuta Diwekar ‏ @RujutaDiwekar
Being featured amidst such amazing woman was indeed a a great honor and a humbling moment. It makes you happy, get attention (both in the real world and virtual world) and is extremely gratifying. Being in the spotlight makes me happy. Recognition is a great motivator in Social Media and in life.
Interestingly both the lists have several common names too!

But that's not what this post is about? It is about my views on Why such lists are important? Why these women find a spot on these lists? And what it takes to be here?

So first.. Why such lists are important?
(1) They bring together in one place some awesome women so anyone can follow them, read and hear their views, opinions and perspectives on one / many subjects. I know I've connected with many of these women and learned immensely from their tweets / personal interactions
(2) They put 'women' in the spotlight and that is extremely important because it motivates, it inspires, it sets an example to more women
(3) They enable fostering networks and relationships amongst women and that is indeed a powerful force to reckon with - which can be the catalyst and harbinger for the cause and voice of many women's issues.

Why these women find a spot on these lists?
(1) They are genuinely inspiring in what they share and do - Just follow them, and you'll know why they're on that list
(2) They are genuinely trying to make a difference with their words / tweets and shares on Social Media
(3) They are passionate about specific causes - And continuously support them

And what it takes to be here?
(1) Time - In today's day and age, the most precious asset is "time". And any serious Twitter / Social media user would know that being active on Twitter takes time and energy (which many times comes at the cost of letting-go many other things in life - specifically if you are a woman!), especially if you intend to be on Twitter for the long haul. Almost all these women are regular, active and serious Twitter users, so they are giving it time, focus and attention
(2) Willingness to share and speak up - Almost all these women are not shy to honestly share their life experiences, personal stories of success or failure, views, opinions, perspectives on one / many issues. So they speak up and share when given the opportunity, and that only helps the cause of women in terms of inspiration and bringing to the fore-front many critical and real issues
(3) Positivity - Again almost all these women are extremely positive, optimistic and hopeful (most of the times) while being conscious of the realities of today - especially in the context of women's issues, empowerment and endowment
(4) Value - At the end of the day, Twitter is a free social media platform. While being free to use, any Twitter user has complete freedom to choose whom he / she will Follow / Unfollow. So your tweets should be of "value" to anyone who is reading, and almost all these women continuously share valuable content / tweets

And yes, before I forget another pleasant surprise came my way a few days back. The kind folks at Femspiration sent my way a #FemTribute . FemTribute
As I sign-off, I'd like to say Thank you to all those who create these lists, and to all the women who continue to make a difference in their own way , in their own sphere of influence! What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Where can I find options to buy online Birthday Return Gifts for kids (India)?

As a part of the Kiddies Birthday celebrations, many parents are looking at online channels to buy / order / explore return gift options.

I was pleasantly surprised to find so many options available. Sharing on this blog so it may help you sometime somewhere...

NOTE: I have not used the services of many of these, so I cannot vouch for their service quality

Gift Design Co
Mumentos India
Tip Top Plastic Stores
Tattva (Home made soaps)
Choco Frills (Home made choclates)
Aaisha Creations
sparkling ideas
Handmade with Love
Gift Design Co

Have I missed any link which you used? Leave a comment to let me know

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Ultimate List of Birthday Return Gift Ideas for Kids | 50+ Options

Return Gifts in birthdays is a definite new trend. I mean when I was a kid every birthday party would have a cake, some decorations, new clothes, party snacks and some games.The birthday boy and girl would give you a gift and you'd all enjoy the food, games and fun. End of party!

Today, birthday celebrations are just not so simple. They are large, grand, more commercial, more hype, more stress, more "deep in the pockets"..

And the one thing that is a 'highlight' in almost every birthday party is the 'return gift' - Basically, it is the gift that you (as the host) give to all the kids who attend the party.

Now almost all new-age parents I know break their head over what gift to give.. From some it is about the cost, for some it is about utility, for some it is about a 'unique' gift (that is much the topic of discussion over the next few days!) and for many it is just a 'tick-mark' in the 'To Do list' for any party celebration

Anyways in this post I am sharing a list of return gift birthday ideas for kids

  1. Water Bottle
  2. Lunch Boxes
  3. School bag
  4. Puzzles
  5. Activity Games , between 50 Rs to whatever your budget is
  6. Stationary Box
  7. Pouch
  8. Crayons
  9. Paints and Brushes
  10. Piggy Bank
  11. 3D Drinking glasses
  12. Table Mats with coaster (cartoon characters)
  13. Fridge magnet
  14. Photo frames with instant picture of kids
  15. Home made chocolates
  16. Home made soaps
  17. Printed umbrellas
  18. Wall clocks or table clocks for their room
  19. Dinner plates
  20. Milk mugs
  21. Kids accessories
  22. Kaleidoscope
  23. "Glowing" bedsheets / bedspreads (which glow in the dark)
  24. Clothes / T-shirts
  25. Baby magnifying glasses
  26. Baby binoculars
  27. Globe
  28. Sling bags
  29. Story books
  30. Coloring books
  31. Personalized journals
  32. Activity Kits for children
  33. Name stickers for labeling their stuff
  34. Personalized sketch books
  35. Sipper bottles
  36. Wall art
  37. Deoderants
  38. Key chains
  39. Named wall decals
  40. Amar Chithra Katha book series
  41. Sipper glasses
  42. Utility Pen Stand
  43. Worksheets for children (To write / draw) 
  44. Personalized Clock (with name / photo of the kid)
  45. Personalized Towel (with name / photo of the kid)
  46. Personalized Photo frame (with / without photo of the kid)
  47. Personalized Milk mug (with name / photo of the kid)
  48. Personalized Books (with name / photo of the kid)
  49. Personalized Keychains (with name / photo of the kid)
  50. Personalized Customized pouch (with name / photo of the kid)
  51. Personalized Named bead chains / bracelets)
  52. Personalized T-shirts (with name / photo of the kid)
Any ideas I missed? Leave a comment to add to this list