Twisted Interpretations of a Campaign

What happens when a Women-friendly campaign comes up?

Well, there is a lot of mess. Some misinterpret the campaign, some read in between the lines and twist it grotesquely, some look at the positive side, some try to quash it some accept it as it is and some don’t care at all.

Ariel introduced its #ShareTheLoad campaign and interestingly, I came across some mind-blowing interpretations from some places. While the campaign was introduced to spread awareness about the high stress levels in working women today due to their job and the work at home, people have dissected every other aspect of the campaign except this one. That is when I realised that people’s mindset is twisted to an extreme point where they are unable to see things as they are. Here are some things that got me thinking:

1. The campaign is anti-men and it shames men– Since the campaign talks about men helping women and since it doesn’t talk about women sharing men’s load, it is anti-men.

I was totally wonder-struck seeing the reasoning here. If a campaign talks about A doing B a favour and if it doesn’t talk about B doing A a favour, it can’t be considered anti-A unless it explicitly states that B shouldn’t return the favour.

I think people take it this way because, some find the campaign accusatory. They think the campaign blames men and they think it makes it mandatory for them to help their wives. Many have taken it as an insult to the gender. How could an outsider shame them by asking them to share the laundry, was their question.

On the contrary, the intention is merely to spread awareness. Over-thinking is unnecessary.

2. Women will find an excuse not to work due to this campaign – Women who have the tendency to find excuses to not work, do they need the help of a campaign? I am not biased. I know women who’ll go to any extent to shun work. They don’t need this campaign for support.

While, there are the other women who have been doing the work. I doubt that they’ll suddenly stop working seeing this campaign. Whether they think that it is a woman’s job, whether they are employed or unemployed, if they have been doing it, they’ll continue doing it. The campaign is so that men help. Not so that women stop doing the work. There is a difference and a rational woman knows it. For all I know, almost all are simply seeing the campaign and forgetting it.

Besides, it’s just a campaign. Not a Law.

3. Women don’t contribute financially, then why should men share the chores? – A very relevant question. It is implied. If both are working, both contribute financially as well as towards the functioning of the household. If one doesn’t contribute financially, he/she must do it some other way.

These days, in matrimonial ads, there is demand for employed women. This implies that the family is also counting on her income. When that is the case, in majority of such cases, the woman will be contributing financially (exceptions always exist). So, the situation widely exists in the current scenario where women contribute too. But in all those cases, are the house chores shared? The answer is no and this is what the campaign is aimed at.

4. Nowadays there are maids. Then why should men share the chores?

If there are maids for every job, leave alone sharing, the work itself doesn’t exist. The entire topic gets invalidated. So obviously, it talks about the case where the women do the chores.

5. Let the men decide for themselves

The underlying assumption while fighting against this campaign is that it is mandatory. They assume the campaigners are deciding how rest of the world should live.

Ariel or anyone supporting the campaign haven’t ‘made the decisions’ for anyone. It promotes the idea of sharing the work. And yes! Ultimately, it is left to the discretion of the husband and wife. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t spread an awareness right?

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Earlier, all the women were housewives and so, they took care of the chores at home. The division of responsibility was clear. Our parents and we all grew up watching things happen in this manner. Father earning, Mother doing the chores at home. It seemed perfect and well defined.

Then came our generation where women are career oriented too. Some of them, both men and women, have the thought embedded in their genes that house chores are a woman’s job. They normally do it after work and while many men help them, many don’t. They can’t be blamed because for them, wife doing the work just seems normal. This video will give an idea:

What the campaign actually is –  A summary

It is aimed at couples who are both employed and are contributing to the household financially. In such cases, women get super-stressed doing both job and household chores. Here, if men lend a helping hand and share the load, ultimately you are the ones who’ll have more time together.

As people argue, no one can decide your life. No one can order men to share the work. (Do keep in mind that no one can tell a working woman that house chores are hers either.) So, each of you could do as you please. For those who understand that too much stress could be unhealthy for your wife, I suggest that they share the load. This isn’t me deciding your life for you.

Those who prefer a stay at home wife, you don’t really have to bother about this campaign. There are women who aren’t career oriented and love being a housewife. I respect this choice too.

Where you want to spread awareness about something, for instance women sharing financial responsibilities, start a campaign to spread awareness rather than trying to quash another. Because, if you quash this problem, even your problem will go unanswered. We need to wake up and listen to understand rather than listening to argue.

PS – I know many men who understand the essence of the campaign. I know many who help their wives and mothers in house chores. I am aware of the problems that are caused due to women too. This write up is definitely keeping in mind that every coin has two sides to it.

I’m joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.

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To The Knight Who Has Lost His Way

Dear Knight who has lost his way,

Now that you – The Knight in Shining Armour – have fallen off your horse, lost your armour and broken your leg, it is up to me to find you. And honestly, you don’t need the horse or the shining armour. You are my knight no matter what. While I am on the hunt for the Knight who has lost his way, I thought of leaving some trails here so that you will know it is me, when you come across this blog. You will know it for sure. And when you do, here is the final chance to escape or stay. Read what follows next and decide.

  • Promise me a Diamond Ring – When you find me, and decide to confess your Love, ensure that you approach me with the right souvenir. There wouldn’t be a better way to express your love to me. Get me the most Purplest flower you could find. What diamond rings are for others, Purple is for me.

    purple-flowers-images-and-wallpapers-3.jpg

    Source: Newflowerwallpaper.com

  • Promise me an Expensive Date – Candlelight dinner, expensive restaurant, fine music and finer wine, I like them all. But, I need more than that. Yes! I am greedy that way. Promise to get the most expensive evening reserved for me by sitting beside me somewhere secluded, looking into my eyes and pouring your heart out. Your time is the most precious and entertaining gift that I could ever get. THAT is the most expensive date for me.
  • Read me Poems like the characters in books do – Come on! You can change that bit of you right? You may not like reading poems. But you can choose some and read them for me like the sophisticated literary characters.
    My favorite poems are the words that you speak. They need not rhyme, they need not be garnished with ornamental words and poetic parfaits. I’d like them seasoned with your love and topped with your earnestness. Simple words from you are deeper and more meaningful than poems.
  • Promise me A Long Vacation to my Favorite Places – Definitely, flight trips, expensive restaurants and resorts and super awesome adventure activities! The best flight trip would be a walk with you or a ride on your bike. The most expensive restaurant would be where we’d first meet, and then meet again and again where a haven of memories will be made. Those resorts which will be our hangouts now and forever, each of the places having vivid memories and moments.
  • Promise me Lots of Gifts – Um… if you’d be interested, I have a way with things. In the sense, I am prone to accidents and breaking or dropping things. Hence I might need a copy of everything around us. (Sheesh! Not you :P) But the breakable stuff, you know? So that we’ll have a substitute in case my talents of being accident prone  begin to show.
  • Promise me yourself – If you have found me, and if you think you could manage all the tantrums, greed, selfishness and the entire capital expenditure, promise me yourself. I repeat, I don’t need the knight in shining armour. Many search for him and many find him. I want this knight who has lost his way. That is how we are compatible. Lost you and messy me!

Love,

The Accidental Lady.

 

I’m blogging about the kasams I want from my man this Women’s Day with the #SadaSexy activity at BlogAdda

Check out this video of Ranveer’s kasams this Woman’s Day

Redecorating My Room

7 years ago, we moved into our new home. I was asked what color I wanted my room to be and obviously, I said lavender. When I pointed at the lavender shade, the painter suggested that it will make the room look dull and so, the lighter shade will be preferred. I agreed to it. The room was painted lavender, stars, moon and planets were painted in the ceiling and my own beautiful room was ready.

I came back after completing my graduation and settled in Cochin. Gradually, I felt that the room looked like the Ujala shade rather than lavender. I tried sticking posters and make it beautiful. But since cello tapes and glue obviously did not hold heavy posters, I tried scotch tapes. They didn’t help either. I had ugly marks on the walls and to cover them up, I stuck posters around. Our room is a mess now!

It has been a year since my sister and I have been planning  a makeover. And  here is what we have in mind.

There are four walls in our room (obviously). The biggest wall will be painted and then, we will fill colored/painted glass bottles with LED lights and arrange them as though they are arranged in steps. Around 5 bottles will fit in that area. In the remaining space, we will stick a wall art which doesn’t make it look too crowded. Just tiny designs.

Image courtesy: craftchristmaslights.com

On the wall facing our heads, the portion is very small. We want tissue work done there with a tinge of a metallic color.

We have our table against the wall opposite to the biggest wall. Hence we can only do our artwork in the area above the table. We will fix the paint color, buy matching cloth (preferable something ethnic like brocade or even something chic), wrap it around thermocols and then arrange them parallely. It gives a super peppy look, doesn’t it?

Image courtesy: jandofabrics.com

There is a corner in our room below the window which we intend to make our reading cove. We’ll buy bean bags and quilts and make a throne of our own where we could sit & read. My idea is to decorate the area with yellow rice lights. This way, at nights, we will have ample lights and it will give a cozy yellow hue to the room.

Things to be careful about is that, the lights in the bottle shouldn’t make the paint on the wall look grotesque. That happens at times. Besides, the cloth on the thermocol must match the background color obviously! Now, comes the toughest part. If all the right colors are found, the paints on the adjacent walls must match each other. Phew! Too complicated right? Precisely why it is taking so much of time. Ultimately, the purpose is to sleep, write and make the room livable. I’ll have to think this through.

Meanwhile, if you have plans to redo your room, you can take ideas from here and let me know how it looks. Maybe, I could use some tips from you all. 🙂

 

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

A Lunchbreak That Remains a Lifetime

There’re some things in life which stay in our hearts forever. They may not mean so much for others. But for us it’ll always remain close to our hearts.

One such day in my life was at the age of six.

My UKG classroom.

Every class has got a ‘Don’ and many followers. My class wasn’t an exception, but I was! – neither the follower types, nor bossy. Leave me to myself; I’ll not interfere or come your way. That was and is my policy.
(Except in certain cases where some of them have taken huge risks and become my friends – closest ones I mean. Must say, very courageous 😀 )

So, we had a Don (A ‘Doness’ rather if you know what I mean) who had many followers at her command. If she commanded to ‘put set out’ (A term used to mean you won’t talk to a person) to somebody, all in the class invariably did (I wondered and still wonder why! Maybe they never were so ‘thinky thinky’  like me 😛 ). I too did at times and sometimes  I didn’t.

Normally, our class teacher (Whom we call Miss) used to sit with us in the class during lunch time and have food. One such day all of us were having our lunch when someone asked her;
“Miss Miss! Who is the best student in class?”
( ‘Miss Miss’ used to be the beginning of every sentence when we spoke to Miss. It was like, ‘Miss Miss water!’, ‘Miss Miss Toilet!’ etc).

Miss (Forcing the food down her throat): All of you are the best.

Someone: Miss Miss! Noo… who is the best. We want one name.

Miss: Ok who do YOU think it is?

Class: (Aha! Time to please the Don. All in chorus including Me) Don! Don! Don!

I said Don’s name not to please her, but because all will say so and as a kid I used to think “If all said so, it must be so”.

Miss nodded her head from left to right and right to left meaning to say No.

Class was baffled. How could that be? Don is supposed to be the best. But since miss said No, that’s it.

Someone gave the next Dons’ names [The 1st Don’s assistant(s)] and all got the same reply. The class began throwing random names. All were rejected.

Since I had no idea who it was, I kept concentrating on the war between myself and my food. 😀

At some point of time (after a long list of names, noises and chaos) someone said my name along with many other random names when Miss pointed at that child and nodded her head meaning ‘You said it’.

All began shouting

‘Who? Who? Who?’ And so did I look up from my food. Finally I was about to know who the best student was.
To my utter disbelief she was casually chewing her food, pointing at me and smiling.
I heard vague murmurs of my name but didn’t know what they said. I was blank- oblivious to everything else around me. That moment when she said I was the best student meant a lot to me.

Being an introvert, the impact was huge. Every time I revisit that memory, it gives the same happiness like that day.

It was just another day at school for all, just another lunch time, just another comment.
It was just another UKG class for my Miss, just another best student in the class.

For someone as simple as me it was a magical moment.
Those classes have been demolished and we’ve a basketball ground in its place now. But that classroom, the arrangement, the lunchtime, the heat, the noise, my sitting position in class, and my class teacher’s face still remain etched in my heart.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Malayalam Melodies From the 90s

1990-2000 is a golden period for me because, I was born in late 1980s. So this span of time was my childhood. I grew up listening to plenty of Malayalam songs and some of them never left. Here they are, just a random few that came into my mind while writing.

Nilave Mayumo – This song from Minnaram reminds all the Malayalis the chemistry between the legendary actors Mohanlal and Shobhana. Rendered beautifully, this song will be in the favorites list for the 90s kids and elders alike.

Aaro Viral Meeti – All the songs from the movie Pranayavarnangal were loved by the mass. While Kannadi koodum kooti was considered a dance number, Varamanjal & Aaro Viral Meeti were listened to over and over again. The minor chords and the lyrics ensured that we had a special place for this song in our hearts.

Vaalkannezhuthiya – From the movie Paithrukam, this song is still on the evergreen list for many. With Yesudas sir’s deep voice, the music takes us back to the early 90s and the temple visits then. The lyrics mention Gandharvas, music, raagas, mansions in Kerala etc. Overall, it has an old Malayalee feel to it that nobody can miss. It reminds us of joint families and the culture then.

Etrayo Janmamai – This was one sung that went unnoticed. They played it everywhere, sang it everywhere, it was THE song for the hardcore romantics. With the enchanting music, Sujata’s husky, sexy voice and the lyrics that would make anyone listen to it twice, the song had all the Malayalees running for it.

Shot in the cold, misty high range areas and supplemented with creative visuals, they ensured that this song gives us the essence of romance; whether you are in love or not.  Even now, when the song is played, the familiar feeling of ecstasy envelops me. There is no other song like this.

Kilukil Pambaram – From the famous movie Kilukkam, this song is sung when the heroine who is mentally challenged is attacked by a bull. Well, to know about the movie, you have to watch it. It is one of the legendary movies Mollywood has ever seen. The part in the song ‘chanchakkam’ is a sound used to talk to little children. Here, it is used to put her to sleep. It is a beautiful song in an adorable context.

Kalli Poonkuyile – I love the music, but more than that, the lyrics is what amused me. It says,
cunning cuckoo, whisper in my ears,
when you laid eggs in the crow’s nest,
why did you fly around the forest and tell lies?

It has been worded so beautifully that in the contest, you know no other song could have replaced this one. It is sung by the protagonist when he gets cheated by someone he knew.

Paathiramazha etho – A classic! It is the type of song that tops the list of collectors of old songs. Words elude me when I try to express the bliss I feel when I listen to this. I love singing in this song for the path the tunes take. Another song like this is Aalila Manjalil from the movie Soorya Gayathri. The song, like the movie, claws our heart.

Endowed with umpteen number of gifted musicians and lyricists, Malayalam movie songs are as vast as an ocean. To be honest, I cannot call these my top favorites. There are a hundred songs I love and I can’t pick just a few. But these are the ones that came to my mind and as most of them belonged to the 90s, I completed the list with 90s songs alone. 🙂

 

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Awaken Your Force this New Year

All the star wars fans must be exhilarated about the HP Starwars special edition Notebook.The moment I saw it, the tag-line of the old Onida TV came into my mind; Neighbour’s envy. Owner’s pride.

 

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You can see for yourself the design that would make your eyes glow and those horns atop your head pop out! If you are someone brimming with creativity, #AwakenYourForce of creativity! Qwning this would suffice to take your creativity another step forward. I loved the fact that it is as sleek as sleek can be and the keyboard. Ohh the keyboard glows a deep red due to its back-light and man! It looks pure evil. Erm… in a nice sort of way. 😉

This isn’t all. When you switch on the notebook, you will notice that the icons, wallpapers, sounds etc take after the Star Wars theme. For instance, I was thoroughly entertained by the fact that, the icon for recycle bin is the Death Star. It is all so well thought of that, even the features would inspire you.

The moment I came across the special edition notebook, what came into my mind was that New Year was around the corner. I’m sure you are wondering how the two are connected. New Year means party! Party means planning. The idea of the Star wars notebook ignited the idea of a treasure hunt. Yes! The entire party could be planned using this little genius. This is how it is going to be:

1. Invitation: You don’t need the notebook to list out the invitees. But you need him to print the invitation. We could take it one step forward by printing it in Aurebesh, but let us admit it. We want people to turn up. 😉 So, we could write out the words using the lines from Star Wars and to quote them right, is where my notebook will come in handy. After a bit of effort, we will end it with a triumphant, ‘May the force be with you.’ Tadaa! The invitations are ready.

2. Listing all the Star Wars accessories: We need the decorations and lighting to be just perfect. Also, all the accessories from the light saber, jedi robes to the Death Star MUST be there. What is a themed party without them all. Lest we miss any of the items, we could do our research and ensure that everything has been listed out.

Also, we could research on the most economical and easiest way to acquire all the stuff.

3. Music: Thankfully, the notebook comes with sound files of Star Wars and hence we could choose the appropriate music for the party, games, events and also the special moments. Play them as they are or remix them add a spicy twist to them and entertain your guests.

4. Treasure Hunt: Here comes the exciting part. We need to prepare a map of the house or the party hall the hunt will be conducted in. We then decide the places to hide the treasure and the clues leading to it. These places should be marked on the map so that we have a control over where each of the items are.

5. The Cameras to track: Taking it one step further, if the party is really huge and the hunt is very complicated, we could install camera in the places where the clues are kept and monitor them from the notebook. This would give us a control over the series of events and ensure that the clues are found in the right order with no interruptions or frauds.

6. Food: The food shouldn’t seem out of theme either. Find the right dishes, design them well, list out the ingredients and ensure that they are all available. We could do all this in our Star Wars notebook and then, take the next steps to acquire or prepare them.

This will be a phenomenal party the city has ever seen. Once the party comes to an end, I will be known as the Party Queen for hosting the best party ever and my notebook will be my accomplice forever.

 

Do You Love Traveling? It Comes With Responsibilities

Until a couple of years back, I did not have this craze for travel. I like travelling. But not too often. During the last couple of years, many people have taken to traveling. Apart from the tourism departments advertisements, umpteen travel blogs, those travel related posts on social media have become the catalysts. I have come across n number of posts that conclude, if you don’t travel, you haven’t lived.

Frankly, I do not believe in the mantra. Each person’s passion differs. My point is, in this process, almost all have taken to traveling without even considering how it affects them, the people around them and also the places they visit.

Many of us (including me) are irresponsible about our surroundings and the habit grows and goes with us. To become a responsible tourist, we must first become a responsible citizen:

  1. Avoid Littering – I have discussed about my endeavors to stop littering in this post and I still stand by my words. If we are used to throwing garbage anywhere and everywhere, we’ll tend to do the same if we visit tourist spots, no matter how clean they are.
    Responsible Tourism – Always carry extra covers. Whenever you have to dispose waste, put it inside the cover, carry it until you find a garbage can. A few hours of trouble carrying these bags will leave a better Earth for the next generation.
  2. Respect their culture and laws – We grow up in a culture of our own and when we come across someone who doesn’t respect our culture, or someone who misbehaves, we get offended. Remember that it is a universal phenomenon.Responsible Tourism – Understand the basic etiquette of the place you are visiting. Ensure that you do not disrespect their culture. If their customs require you to behave in a certain way, as long as it isn’t harmful to anyone, act accordingly. Know about their religion, their rules and if possible a bit of their language too. This will only improve your relation with them and make your trip more memorable.
  3. Avoid Destruction of Property – I have noticed writings, scratches, obscenities and etchings on the public transport, public places etc. Too many of them. Anyone who has done it will have the tendency to do it again. With time, it becomes a habit and whether or not you are in your home town, you will continue doing it.Responsible Tourism – Start from home. Start now. Try to consciously refrain from etching or drawing on benches, walls, buses, near urinals or any public places. If you are so fond of scribbling, carry a notepad and a pen. Scribble your heart out. Parents, please watch your kids and stop them when they damage any public property. If you stop them now, they wouldn’t get habituated to it.

  4. Do not let your liberty get in the way of others’ liberty – When you are on a tour with friends, your voices tend to raise. You might have some drinks with them and forget your surroundings. You have the freedom to enjoy. But you must ensure that your enjoyment doesn’t cause any nuisance to the residents of the place. Or your home laws shouldn’t be in conflict with theirs.Responsible Tourism – Point 2 holds good here too. Learn about the place you are visiting. When the matter concerns about any tricky laws, do your research. Keep your voice and actions in check always.
  5. Photography – It is the era of selfies. We take selfies anywhere and everywhere. A trip – selfie. A get together – selfie. Washroom – selfie. Messy hair – selfie. No hair – selfie. Sad – selfie. Fever – selfie. We are so habituated to pulling out our phones every now and then that we don’t consider, even for a moment, whether photography is allowed in that area. There are many places around the world where photography is prohibited and we must ensure that we don’t violate the rules.Responsible Tourism – Be aware of your surroundings. Lookout for boards that prohibit photography. If there are none & if you feel that photography might be prohibited, have the courtesy to ask the authorities.

     

  6. Be Aware of the Pollution Caused – Globetrotters and those who travel on a constant basis might be aware of the carbon emissions caused by their travel. But, the ones who use airplane on a constant basis may not be aware of the pollution that airplanes cause. It requires a huge amount of fuel for hurling the luggage, people and the airplane in itself at high speeds. Though not visible, the resultant emissions are highly toxic.Responsible Tourism – In case of road transport, use public transportation as much as possible. This reduces the resultant pollution at least to a small extent. While going on international tours, plan trips in such a manner that you use airplanes minimally. For instance, instead of visiting three countries during one vacation and then visiting all three again in the next, ensure that you visit one place at a time, go to all the major tourist spots therein and then return. You will have more time and better knowledge about that country. This is what we call Responsible Tourism.

Finally, take a pledge to be a responsible tourist. For this, one must begin at home. Vow to be the change and practice these little things while you are in your hometown. Gradually, you will get used to it and the good habits will resurface while you are on tour too. There are many others who watch you and sub-consciously imbibe lessons from your action. Let the lessons be good, motivating and inspiring. Be a responsible tourist not through words, but through your action. For actions speak louder than words.

Image Courtesy: zedge.net

I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda