Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Living for Today.

Neither Buddha or his followers had time for notion of an afterlife.  Normally we are compulsively picking over the past in order to learn lessons from it and we delve into a hypothetical future so that these lessons can be applied. The present is never there. Zen Buddhism is living fully in the present. I think most of us are grasping this culture well  and living a full life with what is important to us.  The  Gen X is doing it more handsomely by holding on to a few personal possessions and being happy with that. The present generation choice of carrers is also aimed at freedom and the present generation are choosing  whatever makes them happy without thinking about the future. Following the happiness project and the  Zen philosophy we are having more musicians, artists than ever before from well educated backgrounds.  Students are taking to the arts very well. Education is giving us more clarity to do what we want out of life.  So we are focussing hard at our goals while being Zen Buddhists. Traditions are being trimmed. We are trying to focus on our essential supplies. We are holding on to technology as that is something that is helping us to move forward in a civilized way.   This broadened vision of us as Zen Buddhists is sharpening our horizon and we are marching ahead with advanced nations and making great strides.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Money values.

As my daughter leaves for the United States we realize we are going to be in both the continents in and about. Its been fifteen years since we left the United States. Speculations and how it is going to be living there once again. So I have been fervently catching up with friends and watching the news. A new president is certainly going to change things for the better or worse in the United States. The race between Trump and Hillary seems very interesting. Catching up with friends on what my daughter has to face when she touches home ground again. I realized things have not changed much. Out there, I would say people lead  lives of integrity, valuing money and resources. Here we seem to be utterly spoilt and our genX even more so. Americans are using their money wisely. There is no job security and so they have to put some nest egg away for the future. Culture wise we seem to be spoilt  and maybe we should think better and bring our children  to conserve the world resources so that we are unified globally in achieving the same goal. With global  recession still looming large it is important to teach our children money values.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Rocker Banker.

Rocker banker! That surely defines Raghuram Rajan. India is certainly going to miss his good looks and financial decisions. A man with strong leadership skills who has been a good economist. During his tenure he has been conferred the title "Governor of RBI". He has controlled inflation but speculation has been on high interest rates. The rupee has been volatile during his tenure. India will once again face the winds of change as Raghuram wants to go back to the Booth School of Business. It will certainly be hard to replace his intellect and sound decisions. The Booth school is lucky to have him back. The five thousand rupee note with Raghuram on it is a good souvenir. A man who has been truly indispensable these last few years. It's time to say " Adieu" and wish him good luck.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Looking ahead.

The media and globalisation has left the world at our doorstep.  We are trying to savor more nutritious meals than before. Nutrition bars, quinoa  puffs and ragi twists. Some of us have supplemented white rice with brown rice since it has more bran. We are almost savoring spinach like Popeye. We are getting more of the good old sun and we all conscious of its good effects. We have adapted to fitness in different forms right from yoga, to Taichi. I love the  vigour that I feel when I take my ten rounds at the park everyday.  We all seem to have our bread buttered on the right side. More so with the age limit crossing the eighties it is important to keep our grey cells alive. This we can do so with playing crosswords and  sodokuTo keep Alzeimers and Dementia at bay we have to keep our brain active. We cannot depend much on the support system or the genX so it is even more important to keep ourselves mentally active. This is important as there various catches in the insurance packages. Old age homes and crèches have mushroomed everywhere but independence always helps.  So it's time to put our right food forward.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Nature's Child.

My children spent their childhood years  playing with  Mattel toys. They played with Lego blocks, Barbie dolls and clay as we spent a few years in the United states when they were young. This has indeed fostered creativity in my children. But on second thoughts I feel children brought up to play under the sun fared a lot better. Children who are not utterly spoilt and left to play with their mates  and  simple board games seemed more competent, Teenagers who helped with the household chores and involved themselves with the family affairs and decisions certainly seemed to ace over the others.      Therefore for all round development of the child I think we should have a little bit of both. More so children of nature are more gifted and use their cognitive skills better. Teenagers  should take part in financial decisions in the family and taught the value of money. We Indian parents spoil the child. By eighteen a teenager in the United States takes care of his college expenses and also works partime. There is dignity of labour. Eyebrows are not raised if a student works in Macdonalds or in the gas station. I think it is high time we stop spoon feeding our kids and  allow them to be more independent.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Wedding vows with a difference !

The wedding organ sounded and the bride looked beautiful in her white wedding gown. The bride walked down the aisle looking calm and composed  resting on the shoulder of her father. A beautiful ceremony that brought tears to my eyes. Than it was time to say " I do". In love, in sickness and happiness I will be by your side. That's the oath that most married couples take at the altar. For Hindus the couple are sanctified in front of the fire. In India we really take our wedding vows seriously. So far it has been a patriarchal society and the women have been peace keepers, sometimes even pawns of successful marriages. Adjustment was the key. But the twenty first century has changed all that. With gender equality marriages have already and will take on a new meaning. With education the women do not want to be doormats and they want their partners to recognize them. The couples are being very savy and are giving each other space. They even have two bank accounts, interact with different set of friends and even go on different holidays. During important decisions they join hands. This seems the trend of the day. This  may be in due course be the magic to more successful marriages. Yes it is time to say "I do" with a difference.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Artificial Intelligence

Twenty years back, I remember the television blaring in our living rooms. Soon computers came to our lives and there has been no looking back. We are to the technological era like never before. I remember nostalgically my first email sent from the United States to a relative in India. Since then technology has taken vast strides. If the internet does not work, we are at a total loss. Much of our work is done online. Right from our flight bookings to any domestic requirement, is all digitally savvy. Our students use the internet for all their applications and are totally depend on it. The government is trying to improve things by providing wifi connectivity in railway stations and airports. Our smart phones are making this digitization easier. I think it is important to be digitally savvy as total digitization may take place in all areas. Artificial intelligence is being used more and more and it is important for the layman to be conscious of this change.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Education at what cost?

The parent is the first teacher of the child. The literacy level in our country has certainly gone up. The effects of the British rule is still seen in India. The Indians are known for their excellent knowledge of the English Language and communication skills which takes them far and wide. We have progressed a lot in the field of education. We have some excellent schools catering to different boards. We are going overboard in our expenses over education. But is it really going to pay us back? People from middle class families are sending their children abroad for undergraduate studies. It certainly seems unbelievable! But are people thinking with their heads! Education in foreign countries leads to heavy student loans which can even last a lifetime. This in turn can upset the financial stability of the country. Harvard, Princeton. Yale! Its time students woke up and realized that flaunting degrees from these Ivy Leagues is useless unless we dream really big. It time people wake up to the fact that a moderate education is sufficient. Emotional intelligence is what makes organisations work. There are success stories of start ups run by people having sufficient emotional intelligence. It has become almost the pride and fashion of every other household to boast that their child is at a foreign university. So its high time for us Indians to think before going with the tide.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

The Happiness Project.

Every day life is becoming increasingly stressfull specially in a country like India. For the parents t stress starts from the preschool level. Admissions are hard to get in schools and we want the best for the child. In a country like India its mostly 'Survival of the Fittest'. There is competition to the core at every level. Though the country has progressed there is still issues like water scarcity which make life hard. People are falling prey to diseases like Bp and diabetes from a very young age. More so increasing levels of stress are creating mental health issues early in life. With competition being high it is also important to keep our head so that we can keep anxiety at bay. Follow the happiness project to a certain extent. Do more things that keeps you happy and stay with positive emotions. Mathieu Ricard is the worlds happiness man and asks one to deal with positive emotions so that we can keep away from medications. I think positive emotions and holistic wellness will take us far. Yoga and other forms of fitness like zumba,and, also laughter clubs can ease our every day stress. Though materialism is bringing us pleasure than ever before it is more important to find solace in human relationships.

Friday, 3 June 2016

My First Test Drive

Though I am a working woman, I shied away from driving; So long that even my son started talking about driving. This pushed me into action and I soon learnt driving from an institute and got my license.

I shared my husbands car for few months but soon realized I needed my own car to make my commute to office more convenient. I discussed with my husband and he promised to take me out to test drive on Sunday after lunch but wouldn't tell me which car he had in mind. I got up early on sunday and prepared coffee and breakfast for the family. While drinking coffee we decided to gout for lunch and then go for the test drive.

After lunch, we drove straight to the showroom where I was amazed by the look of Datsun-rediGO. Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback. As soon as I saw it, I said 'YES'. While my husband was talking to the salesperson I went closer and was amazed by the exterior look of the car.

It had a Yukan design. I liked the curves, the robust stance as well as its compact and sleek look. It was stylish, sporty with premium appeal. While I walked around the car looking amazed, I saw the stunning bold and classy Datsun character grille. Its chrome bezel and honeycomb pattern looked luxurious. I could feel that its stance will keep me elevated and high above others around me giving me a good view of the road and the surroundings. Its iconic headlamp design differentiates it from the other cars. The stylish tail lamps turned my head. 

While I was finishing up my walk around the car, my husband came to me and whispered. If you liked the exterior so much, wait till you see its comfort features. He was right. When I opened the door and went inside the car, I was amazed by the spacious, roomy interior as well as its comfort features. As I sat comfortably in the drivers seat and turned the ignition, I felt like driving a toy car. The drive computer provided a whole lot of information and not just the mileage. The shift indicator was telling me when to change the gear for maximum efficiency. You can't go wrong with a teacher around you. As soon as the AC was turned on, I could feel the efficiency of its large 89cc compressor by the coolness of the car.

I also liked Datsun PRO – Safe 7 features. I checked brakes and it worked smooth and had a short breaking distance. My husband explained it had reinforced crash protection shell. I understood it was crash performance compliant with UN94. We went over some bumps but the car sailed over it smoothly and I couldn't feel even the jerks. It was so well absorbed by the suspension system. I loved the easiness by which I could steer the car. I loved the test drive and literally fell in love with the car. We then paid the deposit and came home. I made some bajjis and sat down with the family in the balcony discussing my first test drive.

Where will I take it for a spin?

I would like to take this car to Ooty. This is such a compact car with a short turning radius that it will be fun to drive in the mountain slopes. When I return to Chennai, I would love to drive it in the narrow streets of the city and taking U turns in such small roads will be real fun.

Share the Load

A boy for you, a girl for me! Donning up the boys room in blue and the girls in pink. Our society has always been so gender biased. Culture also has something to do with this. Our Indian culture always defines the woman as a soft spoken individual and the man the more adventurous and the bread winner. In the last decade with globalization we see a lot of changes in our society. With education more women opted for careers. The women are better than the male counter parts in the workplace and earned better pay packets. Women are emerging out as better leaders. At home it is important to see that there is no highhandedness and there is an environment of gender equality so that the children grow up healthy. It is easier if the family did not stick to strict gender stereotypes and every body did everything. Let the men share the laundry and other household chores equally. Let the children grow up seeing the mother as intelligent and capable of making equally good decisions as the father. When the lady of the house is late from work,the husband can keep the dinner ready. Women good at numbers can take the financial decisions. Let there be no gender bias. The person who is good at a particular chore can do it. With the women getting busier daddies can be the close confidantes of children. My husband even takes my daughter to the hair saloon without grimacing. Actually he loves doing it. When I am taking the dog for a walk he gives the cook instructions. The children discuss politics with me. With more women doing better in the workplace and exhibiting their intelligence chauvinism is slowly disappearing. That changes the whole mind set of the population and we see a lot of gender equality. The winds of change of gender equality is seen now everywhere in society. So it is very important to break stereotypes at home With education and globalization all of us are heading in the right direction and heading successfully towards gender equality. With breaking stereotypes we are going to see a very healthy generation X. By sowing the seeds of gender equality there is going to be a healthy rapport between the sexes. Technological advances and success in the board room can only be made if there is gender equality. And we are striving towards it.

Note: I am taking part in the #ShareTheLoad Challenge with Ariel and Aksharaat BlogAdda.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Post baby boomers.

We Indians are such good parents. Right from childhood we coodle the baby and love spoiling it. Till the beginning of this century when women did not take their carrers so seriously all they did was parenting and We Indians make great parents. It started with the gripe water and cloth hammocks and goes on and on The grandmothers also join in and it is a great family affair. With carrers zooming  our parenting values have dimmed  a little and we have resorted to creches, Most carrer women have a single child. The present gen X seems even more adventurous in wanting to have no children at all. My mother fondly put away the jewellery for me. I want to pass on the coveted lego blocks and my experiences to my grandchildren. But looks like the present generation is in no hurry to create progeny. With the life expectancy crossing eighty it is important for the parents of this generation to lead fuller lives to keep themselves occupied and keep Alzheimers and Dementia at bay.