Myths and Stereotypes- I

Pause for a minute, and look around. It’s not difficult to notice the stereotypes which are defining nearly everything around us, trying to outwit basic common sense even. Here’s a random list of some-

1. On an average, women never get frisked properly at security checks. At some places we could probably walk in with a gun and the security would think it’s a toy gun. Okay okay, don’t sue me yet Security people, I am exaggerating, a bit. But let’s face it, the average Indian perceives terrorists as heavily bearded, kohl-eyed, capped, loose robed individual. A six pack abs guy can only be a hero. A fair, buxom, soft spoken woman can only be a bride-to-be, or convent educated as most matrimonial ads advertise.

2. Men smoking is bad because it’s bad for health. Women smoking is worse, and unthinkable for some. Why? Simple, they are ‘Women’. How can they smoke? It’s against the society and culture. Yes, dear people. Men need not give a damn about their health, and the social image they are creating, because they are “cool” that way. But women smoking is as cool as…Himesh Reshamiya (Where is he these days?) Also, readers please note- I am not supporting smoking here. To each his own? So it should be ‘to each HER own’ as well. If girls smoking is looked at with distaste, then so be it with the guys as well.

3. “Mr. Bunty’s son is so intelligent, he tops his class always. Bade hokar zarur doctor ya engineer banega.”, Mr. Chawla’s daughter got 98% in her boards, her life is set. Look at our daughter, what will she do with her 85%?” Sigh. I could probably go on about the stereotypes which exist in the world of education today. Maybe a separate post? But these marks-obsessed generalisations go beyond my comprehension. Agreed the ones who topped must have worked hard, and are in all high probability intelligent but no, they are not going to get success guaranteed in a silver platter. Nor are the people who didn’t score in the Super95 League deemed to lead average lives henceforth. And not all toppers need to do science or some “professional degree”.I don’t even know how to begin to justify this. It all comes to down to belief, knowing your strengths and consistently playing at it. It’s sad that not even the famous drop out stories have been able to remove these stereotypes.

4. Divorcees are social outcasts, irresponsible and playing around with the sacred concept of marriage. Agreed that these “marriage rules” have been passed on to us by our culture-laden and God fearing ancestors, but did they forget to pass on some common sense? Isn’t ignoring a huge, unfortunate yet circumstantial crack in a relationship, and fooling oneself and the others, a bigger joke to play with the sacrality of marriage? What happened to all those vows about being truthful to one another? Gone with the wind? Just like our common sense and logic which flies off at the advent of dear old culture and tradition.

….To be continued.

More to come! Society never stops stereotyping…

Diary of a Whiny Intern – II

Dear Diary,

I guess I am finally over the guilt-satisfaction I got as the result of finally doing something ‘constructive’ during summer break. Now I have moved on to satisfying my little ego by proudly proclaiming (and cribbing) that I am “busy at work.” Which means I like using words like research, early morning shifts, and meetings. My love for these words in action is questionable of course, as they say- every coin has two sides.

Doing research work is a great office-feel-lifter, especially after endless rounds of packing work in the initial days of the internship. The bubble wrap is still present in my work routine, but the occasional research-rounds in front of the desktop is a pleasant change. Getting to sit more is an added advantage. Let’s come to the other not-as-appealing side of the coin now. This is what I call, re-search work. This is basically searching for stuff which the previous interns/employees have kept away safely, too safely to locate. From tapes, DVD’s to knives and cutlery. It’s in a cliché that I find some respite- no work is small. And I have to admit, I had a big grin on my face out of pride (and joy) when I finally found the knife set out of 100 odd boxes filled with more boxes.

Early morning shift is a one-sided coin. It is only, sad. No, wait. I might see the other side when I’m done with the shift (and sleeping). The only song which plays in my head a night before, is “Wake me up, when September (read: shift) ends…”

Meetings can make your day. Just to be a part of a lively discussion, even if you’re just nodding your head, can make you feel so professional. It adds to your active day dreaming of what the future beholds (or must behold). Quite like early morning shifts, you see the other side of the coin post the meeting, when you sit and do the work assigned to you, constantly hoping it is up to satisfaction and they don’t end up thinking that they called a stupid person to be a part of the ‘meeting’.

Now that it has been more than half a month at ‘work’, I guess there is some truth in the cliché- Everything gets better with time.” I am no longer Alice in Wonderland, I have successfully graduated to being Cribber…in Workland. I have learnt the tricks of grabbing a chair (and keeping it for more than 10 minutes), made friends, finally know where what is, given an excuse and left early, sauntered in a bit late, enjoyed free evening snacks, and most importantly, started to crib more. Blame Human Nature- once we settle in, we start cribbing more, as we start seeing the ‘finer details’ of life, or work in this case. But it’s the type of cribbing which makes you feel busy and good, deep down.

After years of hearing my Principal ask us all to use our summer ‘constructively’ (assuming he didn’t mean studying), I finally see his point. Internships are guilt-free, constructive, and good for lazy egos!

Yours Cribbing-ly,

Whiny Intern

Intern-Tips!

Yeah, yeah. It is a highly inspired post, and it caught my fancy through the Bro-tips, DU-tips, School-tips..frenzy on Facebook. But having said that, I think it remains a brilliant idea to get the meaning across in a crisp and witty way, great for a quick read in this fast paced world. Of course the content and it’s wit composition matter a lot, and differ from tip to tip. Here’s my take on the Tip-world, with what I call “Intern-Tips”, little tidbits on my internship experience.

 

 

  1. A fresh intern on his/her first day is like Alice in Wonderland- excited, scared and lost.
  2. A confident intern gets past the guard and gets lost soon after; a lost intern gets guided by the guard and gets found soon after.
  3. Ringtones are best kept as secrets. Don’t know about Munni, but you can definitely get badnaam.
  4. No internship is complete without active day dreaming about being the boss, strutting in formals, and earning big bucks.
  5. No intern can escape at least a few trips to the photocopy machine and back.
  6. You can never be too sure who the intern is and who the employee is on Day 1.
  7. What may look like donkey work in the beginning ends up helping you become a smart ass in the end.
  8. Interns go in warned about the existence of office politics, and come out assured that it does.
  9. The jobless moment on day 1 when you have a book inside your bag but can’t get yourself to read it. Awkward.
  10. Keeping a random word document or book open is a common trick to appear employed and to keep the chair to yourself.
  11. Flexible timings only seem good until you feel the stretch later on.
  12. The awkward moment when you do not know how not to look like a jobless intern when people walk past.
  13. Other interns’ work always seems more interesting. Intern Nature.
  14. Days which start out slow and boring, usually bombard you with work by evening, to your not-so-pleasant surprise.
  15. Internships can teach some people how to sit alone. With mouth shut.
  16. You know the internship is coming to an end when you have to dig through your bag for the ID card.
  17. Cribbed about school timings? College timings got worse. Cribbing about college timings? Work timings get worse.
  18. Chances of non coffee drinkers getting introduced to the world of caffeine is high, thanks to regular breaks near the Nescafe machine.

Diary of a Whiny Intern

As the title suggests, I am interning this Summer. ‘Where’ is a question best avoided, in case I get sued for libel, one not-so- fine day. Not that I am going to write much against the organisation, but prevention is better than cure, a million bucks in this case. Actually the day I get sued for libel would actually have a positive flip side to it, because it would mean that my blog would have reached a super awesome level where thousands of people (including the “organisation” people) would be following it. Irony strikes yet again. I guess that’s what they mean when they say there is no bad. If you remove good from a situation, what is left is bad. Just like my flourishing blog which will be a fact well removed along with my bank balance at that time. Bad.

Why do I sway off track each and every single time?

Dear Diary,

Firstly, my apologies in advance. I am not what you would call a daily diary person. Weekly, or moody, would describe me better. But the way things are appealing to me at work, you might just see a better side of the procrastinator in me. First day at work, I walked in with my newly purchased official looking bag, dressed in formals, and with the confidence of Alice on entering Wonderland. Whoever said that attire helps build confidence, please note that it does not always work on Day One. All interns-to-be out there, I would suggest a quick walking pace, as it always helps to zoom past the inquisitive eyes which follow you as you enter. Then, of course came the customary wait period to meet The Boss, who then introduced me to the boss(es) in the department I would be interning with. I am interning with the Food Desk, and no that is not a polite way to say I handle the snacks and food served at work. I am in the production team for the food shows the media house produces. It’s a polite way to say I am the quick errands girl with the production team. Here comes the first awkward thing I came across. I have no fixed seat. There are three computers/chairs for the Food team, and definitely more than three people who  would need the chair. Especially when there are interns to boot. So when your AP’s (Assistant Producer- Boss) come, you are faced with a dilemna whether you really want to give up your hard earned chair or not. Also in semi formal to informal work environments such as in media houses, there is a ‘Pull and Grab’ policy, or putting it in other words- finders keepers, losers standers. That was my first taste at awkwardness, and on day 1 I think I stood pretty much the whole time, standing up each time any senior looking person approached. Funnily as it turns out few of those seniors were fellow interns. First day went, without much work, just looking around curious. I found out about all the coffee vending machines, food provisions and made a couple of friends. Second day began on an awkward note. I turned up before any of my team people. 9-5 clearly isn’t a concept known in the media circle, where you have people sauntering in around 12, and trudging out straight 12 hours or more later. Good thing, I had a seat to myself for a long time. Awkward thing, I had no work. And however cool it is to sit at home jobless, to sit at work jobless isn’t half as cool. Also time, which generally whizzes past my jobless sitting around, decided to slow down. Not many people get happy when they see their boss. But that day I was. So much so, that I had a spring in my steps as I went to collect the print outs from the machine. I saw a bit of editing being done, stared lovingly at the Mac at work, had some cups of coffee, enjoyed the free evening snacks and headed back home, feeling oh-so-independent to be travelling to and fro work in the Metro. The first week went by pretty much in the same fashion, with little work here and there, friendly banter with fellow interns, day dreaming about working (officially, as an employee) in the organisation, among other such things. As life loves playing ironic with me, the journey to the office which should have taken 1 hour to and fro, takes me 2 hours, thanks to the metro (which was made to make travelling easier, and faster). By the end of the week, even after doing the little jobs here and there, I actually felt tired. Either my stamina has gone for a toss, or a working person’s life is really that tiring. Both have me concerned. Looking at how things work in a media house, I am half fascinated and excited about taking up the path, and I am also half scared about how hectic life gets each passing year. It’s so much easier to ask for money from your parents, than to make that money. Everything is always easier said than done. Just like me saying that I don’t want to grow up, and want to go back to the crazy, carefree days of school, isn’t going to stop anything.  I never knew I would say this, but I guess how much ever school kids deny this fact, the fact remains – school life is the best! College life comes a close second, and work, comes a distant third. “18 till I die” suddenly makes a lot of sense.

Yours,

Whiny Intern

P.S.: Is that how you sign off in a diary entry?

Defense Against Guilt…

I am back. This time no explanations whatsoever. The more I rely on justifications to quell my guilt, the more prone I get to getting used to the whole concept of guilt. I guess years of experience has given me a strong defense mechanism against it. Wow, all these years on Earth and I pick up skills such as Defense Against Guilt, instead of more productive skills such as Time Management. Proves one theory though- Practice makes Perfect!

A lot has been happening past few weeks! Boards or no Boards, March always turns out to be super hectic. A pile of assignments, internal marks threatening quizzes and my sister’s wedding decided to clash. And how! Let’s forget the college aspect of it for now, lest my mind flies to the impending exams and my lack of preparation. The big news is, my sister got married! (Note to self: Refrain from Aunty jokes. Your sister is your only regular, committed reader.) And another big news is that I am done with my first year in college! Yes! Exams and two more years to go (and with that statement my excitement saw a dip).

Here’s hoping that my bad internet connection cooperates, and allows me to hit Publish more often. All those saying defense mechanism, or blame game right now, I really do have an atrocious net connection. My friends would vouch for it (and also say that I am a lazy procrastinator who hasn’t been able to change her net plan).

 

 

Observations from the week that was.. (and some meandering)

I’m faced with two possibilities. Either I am having memory issues, or I have more passwords than I can handle. Let’s ignore the memory issue for now, since my mum always reassures me saying that I have perfect memory when it comes to myself and short term memory issues only when it comes to her wishes/orders. It took me nearly 7 crucial minutes to figure out what my WordPress password was, 2 minutes of which I spent deliberating the “Forgot Password” option. Shouldn’t it be on my fingertips ready to be typed out as soon as I see the W-Page? Just like my Facebook, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Android market, App Store, Skype, Gtalk, eBuddy and PingMe passwords. Wait a second, why do I have PingMe again? Or 3 mail ID’s for that matter? If the list of my password protected web-gifts (excuse me for the self conjured word) continues at this rate, then I think I’ll need a password protected app to store all my passwords. There can actually be a separate category for non web-gifts as well, which an incoming SMS just reminded me about. How? Because I had to type out my password to read the message. We can add the laptop user password to this list, and even the wi-fi password. Phew! Listing all this itself took 15 minutes. You can do the calculations for the time we actually spend using these services. Yes Dear Readers, welcome to the big world wide web of technology! Also welcome to a very distracted person’s blog. Because I hadn’t intended to write about the influence of the internet and technology, and still ended up with 270 words about it. I guess this explains why my English teachers were always after my life to stick to the word limit, maybe it was a polite way of asking me to stick to the topic.

So coming to the main point. I came up with this idea to post my observations from the week, every sunday! So here’s this week’s observation report.

1. If the week starts off extremely lazy and jobless, beware, a mountain of work is about to crash on you.

2. Never complain about being jobless, the Work-Gods are listening (and so are your teachers!)

3. The art of controlling laughter is a very important art to master. The sooner we learn it, the lesser the enemies. Especially if you live in a PG/Hostel.

4. We live in a delusional world.

5. I have more passwords than I can handle.

6. A single genuine compliment can make your week.

7. Never go on rides which go left right and very rapidly so, when you have recently got an ear piercing. OWW.

8. In water slides, it’s best to keep your hands linked together, in order to escape the wrath of friction. Double OWW.

9. Mothers enter Hyperactivity mode when your sister’s wedding is around the corner, they are best either left alone, or helped in the way they want (and it’s hard to figure out what they want).

10. Always leave your room doors closed, you never know when a cat might enter and comfortable sleep off on your bed.

11. You start respecting your mother 100 times more when you finally get sick of worrying about what to do for dinner.

12. Complacency is the best medicine for tension. The last minute is the only minute of actual work.

13. Sometimes daily horoscopes can be shockingly accurate.

14. Murphy laws are funny to read, but they are unfortunately true, and hence not so funny when proved.

15. Bangalore’s weather is going through acute mood-swings.

16. I don’t have a very good memory. It’s high time I accept it.

Rambling on…

In Murphy’s Law(s), I trust. Forcefully so, thanks to its frequent interventions in my life, which more than often shake me from my blissful reverie. So I shouldn’t be surprised at how it knocked at my door today just when I was happily musing about the utter joblessness in my life (fine, I was cribbing more than the happy musing). But as The Law says, “when anything can go wrong, it will.” And so, when things were all fine (with the occasional human complaints), the Law decided to prove its existence. One after the other my plans of a lazy, fun, introspective weekend was shattered, with work piling up by the hour. “If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.” That explains my HOD’s decision in choosing my team for the debate when she could have chosen from 6-7 other teams. “If things can get worse, they will?” True story. So while I cribbed about that one assignment due on Monday, two big ones added themselves to the list to make things worse. Ta-da! Law proved. Bye-Bye Weekend. Welcome back sleepless nights.

Life is a mystery, but human nature is a bigger mystery. The jobless me wanted work, the amount of work in front of me wants the jobless me back. And wait, weren’t Capricorns supposed to be workaholics? Why am I devoid of this one quality which would have made things easier right now. Instead I have been given an extra dose of calmness and coolness when faced with pressure. As cool as cucumber? Nah, more a case of, as complacent as an idiot! Why else would I be typing out random, haywire thoughts whizzing past my head when I should be worshipping the mighty, Google? Dear Astrology, you make me feel good about myself, if only it wasn’t a temporary respite which dies with realisation of true characters. It would really help if you would be as faithful as Murphy. Yours truly, Battling Human.

All those wondering if the main point of this blog post is yet to come, sorry to break the news this late, there is no main point. There are too many points competing to get the spotlight, for me to choose the winner, and so I choose to rant instead. But it’s not me alone, or so I like to believe. Often we find ourselves so piled up with thoughts, plans and emotions that it’s difficult to figure out what exactly is going on. We like to term it as a busy hectic phase and try to walk ahead with the jumbled thoughts intact. But do we do justice to the work in the end? Not really. Because somewhere in the midst of getting done with the thing, and getting rid of the busy routine and thereby hopefully the potpourri of random thoughts, we lose out on the real essence of the work in front of us, we lose out on many important realisations. Because we don’t reach realisations, realisations strike us at the most random minute. It’s important to pause, stop and reflect. Just as important as it was for me to justify my mindless bickering in the above paragraphs by stating what I just did. Which makes me realise two more things about human nature. It’s always looking for justification for its often inexplicable behaviour. And secondly, it’s difficult to let be, as cool as it may sound. On that random note, I think I should get back to the google tab waiting for my attention. Until next time…smile, tomorrow will be worse. Thanks Murphy, for the optimism based on pessimism.

P.S.: I write under stress. Hence Proved.

Resurrection?

Dear Unconscious Blog,

Accept my heartfelt apologies. I stand, like always, pleading guilty in the court of Time, but, far from being condemned in the court of Complacence. But such is Life. Always contradictory, contradicting our plans under the shield of Challenges. So it’s no surprise how, we tit-for-tat loving people return the favour by indulging in more contradictions. Result? Rut.
I hereby stand sentenced. To a period of unexplained blues, and nagging thoughts, all hidden to the world, under the blanket of our wordly existence.
Welcome to my state of mind. I can’t even explain what I just wrote above. 😐
Agreed I am not one of those clear headed people, and being perpetually confused is an important trait, but entering a very visibly monotonous rut is not helping matters. What am I doing with my life? This question tops the list with the maximum amount of pondering, so pointless, that it leads me to think of myself as pointless. Trust me, it isn’t a very pleasant feeling. Once you enter such a rut, like a domino effect, everything around you seems frivolous. From my ambitious yet unattended blog, my new year resolutions lost with the sheet, plans steamed out, to something as trivial as a pile of unwashed clothes (mothers are free to disagree on this), everything seems to be pointing its guilty fingers at me, accusing me of wasting Time- the ever precious, never to return Time, which pretty much dictates as well as defines Life. Which brings me back to the same old question, albeit framed differently (more threatening, this time) – Am I wasting my Life?
If I try finding a satisfactory answer, the chances of me wasting Time, solving an endless riddle, is far more. And if I waste Time, the chances of me wasting my Life increases. So now, only one question remains. What exactly should I be doing in order to escape this vicious cycle?!

Whenever I have found myself trapped in a rut, sooner or later, putting down my thoughts, more tangible in the form of words, has been my only escape. Hence the blog, hence its resurrection. Like they say, dear blog, the key to happiness is bad memory. Let’s forget that I let myself get defeated by Procrastination yet again, shall we? 😀

Travelling the distance…

Time flies? More like time just vanishes into thin air! It seems just like yesterday when I boarded the plane to Bangalore (I refuse to call it Bengaluru). Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit about the yesterday, but I seriously can’t believe that I am done with one semester already! And I am going to start the next semester in a week. What?! Wait, where did the holidays go?! Holidays definitely started yesterday! Time, should be sued, for playing mind games, conspiring against us procrastinators (who are always striving to change), and for simply flying past like a silent hurricane. I could probably go on whining about my adjustment issues and apparent enmity with the non cooperative time, but I shall dedicate a separate post for that, later. For now, I choose to ramble and grumble about my journey from Delhi to Bangalore.
As I sat on the plane, I could hear the silent rumbles of the engine, about to kick-start. Little did I know, that my own little engine would suddenly blare up as soon as the flight took off. In those two minutes, all doubts, questions, insecurities bombarded me like never before. For a second, I hoped I could just pull some lever, make the flight land, and go back to my dear old home. That of course couldn’t happen, unless I suddenly stood up and screamed “bomb”. The flight became linear, and my clashing thoughts showed small signs of becoming more stable. What ensued was a 3 hour journey (yes, delayed flight again, which for a change I didn’t crib much about) wherein I tried to convince myself that I’d made the right decision and that it was going to work out. Such self to self conversations are seriously awesome! (though it’s better to avoid being ‘seen’ mumbling to yourself) By the time I reached Bangalore, and was welcomed by my sister, I was convinced enough to not start weeping into her shoulders and asking for a ticket back. I guess, I had never been more satisfied to see her.
Was it worth it, to move away from the safe confines of my house to a totally new place? Agreed, I am not what one would call a Delhi-lover, but Delhi irrespective of its nagging issues is where I spent my whole life, it has a lot to do with what I am today, it is…home. Yes, I have always wanted to be independent, but everything comes at a cost. Was I ready to pay that cost? The cost of staying away from mom, dad, my best friends; moving away from my comfort zone? These were the obvious things which I could already picture before I left. Who knew about the others which struck me as the days went by? Who knew washing clothes would be such a pain in the neck (and the back, and the legs), who knew I had to endure dirty kitchens, who knew college could be so hectic, who knew I would feel so lost? I didn’t! It’s definitely been one character building semester. Just that character building things aren’t exactly fun. And learning never stops! Truly said.
First day in college, I felt as lost as Alice in Wonderland. Okay, nearly. To see girls all around, thousands of them, wasn’t exactly something I was used to, being in a co-ed (same) school all my life. It took at least a week (or two) to get used to it, though I still get a tad bit scared when I see a sea of screaming, talking, groaning and impatient girls in the canteen during lunch. Obviously, queue system never works. The crowd seemed even bigger when I realised that no one knew me, and I had to start from scratch. But then, didn’t most people? That helped me get over the lost feeling, temporarily at least. And then, I met people, I made friends, and the lost feeling started receding considerably. It’s true when they say you just make friends, there’s no effort involved, you just meet and click. Thank God it was as simple as that, because friends make life so much easier. College became more bearable, more fun, and finally I can now say, I feel settled. Having last bench sleep partners definitely makes classes more interesting. Yes, staying in a PG, without the luxuries of home (good food, washing machine, wifi to name a few) is tough, but it is also loads of fun! Especially if you make great friends like I fortunately did. You learn to share; your worries, your pains, your food, your thoughts… everything. After a while, you just wake up and you know that it’s your family away from home. After a while, you just lose all sense of formality (read fights, teasing sessions, playing pranks, water fights, drawing on people’s sleeping faces, etc.)
Bangalore isn’t that bad either. Though it could do with a little more life. But I guess the city just grows on you (though I wish my hair also grew with the growing attachment, I hate Bangalore water). Why else would I be missing it while I sit here in Delhi?
Yes, college is hectic. But I chose this for myself, I wanted to do the course, so I guess I might as well try to like it! And then, it’s not that bad either honestly (and besides my human ego has no one to blame). Also, I am trying hard not to emphasise much on my dying interest in literature and a few other issues, because I still remember the elaborate way in which we were told NOT to bash the college (even post pictures, HAHAH) on a public forum. Agreed, my blog isn’t exactly what one would call public, but who knows? On second thoughts, I would also like to give the college one more semester to prove its “shine” before I write about it (I believe in fair chance).
Travelling all the way from Delhi to Bangalore was a big decision, something I wanted, because I really felt I needed a change in the atmosphere (But being the perpetually confused me, I keep getting hit by bouts of doubt). As I look back, I guess, it wasn’t a bad decision after all. Agreed, I miss my life back in Delhi a lot, but then right now I also miss my life back there!
Here’s hoping that in the next 2 and a half years (one semester down already!) I pat myself on the back (I hope I remain flexible enough to do that and all the ‘hogging-no activity routine’ doesn’t start showing) for taking a decision, worth travelling the distance.

On a different note, is it just me, or do I write a lot in brackets?