Diwali 2020; such an apt name for a fun fair on a local ground where people would love to loiter around and spend time with family, eat the most unhygienic pau bhaji and curse the excess chilly the next morning. Although it’s sad that this year it’s not the same. Diwali came in and left like the winter morning heat… just enough but not satisfying. The corona virus has visited more homes this diwali than that box of soan papdi that travels its way to various relative’s place during all festive seasons… you don’t want it but it still arrives and you pass it on to others with you own hands! Both, Soan papdi and the virus.
Even when we know no one is visiting our homes this year, we still clean the cupboards and mandatory storage rooms like every year. Pulling out the young black and white memories, wrapping the home with its warmth and laughter and putting it back in the storage. Many things rest in that store room, in that same position and is removed for an annual cleaning only to be put back again in that same position.
That beautiful leather boots that were bought in sale but never worn because there was no perfect outfit for them to be adorned with. So you think it’s time to use it, like wear it in an all different way, and pair it with various outfits for a quirky look like those instagram bloggers do. The pair of boots are cleaned with that 3 for rs.20 washcloths you bought from the local vendor and neatly piled next to your other footwear. It now stays in a new promising space but slowly is forgotten as it gets piled under a new pair of walking shoes or party heels and the dusty lines on it try to console the boots that it may not be totally forgotten like the entire last year…
The boots have promised to stand tall and shine just like that blogger who wore hers with a sari, skirt and even pajamas. The boots has dreams of being worn and praised by that group of freaky teenagers who would ask for the url but it would be all sold out by then, such an envy it will be for them. The black matte color still so smooth and unwrinkled; it still takes pride to be picked up from a store shelf that read ‘vegan and cruelty free’. What a new stride of fashion… it thought!
A few months later as the summer precedes the boots go back to its old space in the store room, they will meet the eyes again during the Diwali cleaning; for sure. Under a neat mulmul string bag it goes back to the long hibernating slumber, hopeful of being waken up before the festivity begins that year.
I have somehow concluded that people are shit scared of everything in life. They are scared of loving, they are scared to commitments, they are scared of dying early and some are scared of not being able to live life the way they envisioned. The real struggle starts only when you are in deep shit. Until then the sky is pretty and the path is flowery. Motivational speakers fail to bring peace and courage in troubled souls. Friends fail to shower support and spouses fail to stick together in the most delicate times. Our traditional society and mythological stories have also weaved yarns where the weaker ones are losers and the stronger ones win… Where even the most charming and confident person may still require a super power induced superhero to save them from the goons of future. Why must a woman or a man wait for a hero to come and save them wearing spandex and lycra? Superheroes are all those who also feed the needy. Superheroes are all those teachers who must have encouraged hundreds of students to speak up and topple down the fear of public speaking and stuttering. A little help, a few pushes, an empathetic talk is all one needs.
I can recollect a very famous mythological story when both the Pandavas and Kauravas were about to begin the battle of Kurukshetra and had approached Lord Krishna for His help. Lord Krishna was asleep when both the brothers, Duryodhan and Arjun reached and planned to wait until He is awake to seek his help. Duryodhan sat next to Krishna’s head so He would wake up and see him first while Arjun sat near Krishna’s feet. When the Lord woke up He saw Arjun first and asked for his reason for a visit. Duryodhan was so angry with the Lord’s behavior since he arrived there first. Arjun was asked what he wished for and Arjun asked the Lord himself to aid by his side during the war. Duryodhan asked if he could have the Lord’s entire army and ammunitions. The Kauravas thought they had everything, the mightiest of men and meanest of ammunitions leaving the Pandavas with Nothing… This is where they went wrong. The Pandavas had nothing but the Lord by their side. Those who think they have nothing have The Almighty by their side but they are seeking something materialistic that can be measured acting as an assurance of not being in a void. Nothing is nothing until nothing becomes nothing… until then Nothing is still something if looked within. As Nicherin Daishonin mentions, to attain buddhahood, one has to surpass various devils but it isn’t impossible. With faith and determination we can make a Nothing feel like everything… The Pandavas had everything when Lord Krishna decided to side by them even when the Kauravas had the entire army with them. Always always keep this in mind… Nothing isn’t nothing unless you think its nothing. Stay Strong, Stay Positive. #NMHRK
I don’t want to post a mother’s day picture if it means more on a particular hot day of May and not enough through out the year. Honestly, I have nothing against all those beautiful mom pics on social media the entire Sunday. It helps… those pretty happy faces and writings.. it helps! It seriously does. Because for one day my mind was derailed from the COVID lockdown news and the deaths and the boys locker room reports and the daily DIYS and recipe pics. It was a refreshing change before Monday happened.
I know moms are strong, its not an easy to dilate 10 cms and get that 3kg pushed out finally after so many months or live with those few CS stitches for the rest of your life. But moms are also weak. Weaker than anyone knows. These aren’t random personal thoughts but careful observations of moms I have seen… Moms of all ages.
A mom cannot teach her daughter to go punch the mohalla ka bully boy; she is expected to go talk to the brother or father of the family to handle the situation. She handles the entire house and its occupants for free every single day, why is it that she can’t handle this?
A mom cannot teach her son to cook for living, she is expected to cook extra meals and remind her child that she can re-heat and serve if her son has mid-meal hunger pangs.
A mom cannot encourage daughters to count herself as equal to sons, because, hello! The entire nation has dirty things to say to women who enter boys locker rooms. In real or virtual.
A mom cannot encourage her sons to play with dolls or wear pink, because, hello! The entire nation has comments to write and say that pulls down the kid’s confidence which shall now take years to build again.
What can you as an individual do for your mothers to make her feel special?
Don’t just let an international date tell you when to celebrate all that your mom has done for you.
Don’t let your spouses decide what you want to gift your moms (both the moms) on birthdays and special occasions. Pick up something yourself with a careful thought.
Do your own chores. She will be more happy to see you be independent.
Bake her a cake not on mothers day and birthdays only… bake her something nice when she has menstrual cramps. That is when she needs comfort the most.
Be friends with her friends and let your friends be her friends too. Let her feel she belongs in your circle of happiness.
Follow her advice if you can. She says so by experience. If you cannot, explain your point of view to her. I am sure she will understand.
Let her choose a holiday destination, her Sunday meal restaurant, her choice of movie and go with her. She has the right to choose for herself after all these years when she chose to do what you would enjoy.
Call her everyday even if you are in the same city.
I remember giving my first ever interview… this was way back in 2006; i had only cleared my 12th class, a common thing here where I live, one got to finish school and then maybe do an internship or gain some small experience. I had done literature as my major subject in high school… so I was pretty confident I would be perfect for a tutoring class who needed some freelance teaching help for literary studies. I reached the place on time and gave some awesome answers when asked about Chaucer to Shakespeare. Little did I know I had totally messed up by going there in a pair of blue jeans and white tee with sneakers and hair up in a bun. I have super frizzy curls, but never knew how to maintain the mane back in those days. I never got a call back from the tutoring class and I am glad I didn’t get that job. Few months later I was sitting in a vibrant LIVE studio and hosting my own show on radio. I had dressed similar for the radio interview and made it to the shortlisted ones with a team comprising of freshers and experienced people, with me being the youngest one ever- at 19 !
the right-most one
It was only later when I had some grooming classes that were a part of my mentoring did I realize I didn’t get the tutoring job because I was never dressed for the interview. It never crossed my mind that every job profile requires one to dress up for the occasion. Our corporate world revolves around much more than the degree certificates you carry in a file. With the new age methods of interview rounds, one is expected to be well dressed every single minute. You never know when you receive a telephone call saying they are video calling you in the next 5 minutes for your dream job profile and the 5mins are also allotted so you can find a disturbance-free zone with good internet connectivity. So what exactly do I mean with being interview-ready all the time??
Let’s decode what comes under formals and casual dressing that can be part of your wardrobe staple
– suits : if you are appearing for a senior profile job in an official environment like an office or any company premises
– blazers : if you are appearing for a senior profile job but meeting your interviewer in a cafe or over coffee at a club
– formal trousers and shirt : for all job profiles; suitable for all premises. infact, a well ironed pair of pants and full sleeved shirt ( preferably plain) makes a good impact
– Kurta and straight pants : for women who are not very comfortable wearing pants & shirt. Also, if you are appearing for a teaching job or a nursing assistant
– Dark colored Straight Simple Denims and Plain Block-colored Collared tee when meeting the interviewer very informally at their residence, for a media house as a freelance, a writer with the publisher at a cafe or any informal situation.
one from the picture bank
What needs to be strictly avoided
– ragged or narrow jeans and round neck/v-neck tees : definitely a no-no. reserve those for your relaxed weekends and fun night outs with friends unless you want a job for a disc jockey or a drug dealer
– simple anarkali and heavy duppata dresses : simple dresses would still be ok for a banking job or as a sales staff; the heavy dresses and flowy anarkalis shall have to wait for personal occasions and not the workplace… the interviewer is looking for an employee and not a light bulb who can light the entire office
– bright prints and colors : these aren’t your fancy thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, an interviewer needs to listen to your answers and not count the number or colors and prints on your clothes
– golds and silvers : well, include bronze as well… no medal shiny metal colors in clothes please! keep your Diwali clothes at far distance
Accessorize it well
– metal watches/straps : its fantastic to have a luxurious life but certainly no right to go bling and cling with metals on your wrist
– too many ring-a-ding : one finger ring is just perfect, do not stack them all in each finger; no-rings at all is also cool- just don’t go wearing a fake one! more importantly , no one would be interested in seeing anything chunky
– formal footwear : proper formal shoes if wearing trousers-shirt and plain block colored bellies for women wearing Indian outfit
– hair accessories : just enough to look tidy, a neat haircut and a cleansing wash before the main day is advisable
– socks : if you are wearing formal shoes, a pair of fresh socks is mandatory. If you are wearing bellies or front closed flats I suggest wear socks that do not show. Trust me, stripes and polka dots peeping out from strappy sandals pisses off the interviewer
– handkerchief : carry a clean one and use it wisely
– files and folders : all your important papers and certificates need to be carried in a neat folder, preferably one that looks executive and best if it has a leather finish
– ties : wear a tie that matches your shirt, stripes and plain are always a safe zone. However, a fancy print with a beer mug or a simpson would be great too if you are going to be interviewed as a music show host or rap artist
– spectacles : a simple sturdy frame with clean glasses is expected
– jewelry : minimum of jewelry and maximum of confidence is a #winwin in any situation. Simple studs or a thin gold bracelet, a leather strap watch and maybe if you are wearing something for a religious purpose you would be just finely impressive
Remember, it takes only 30 secs to scan a candidate and 31st second to reject the person only from the appearance.
Following all these tips is going to help you, but certainly not going to fetch you the job for which you shall be need to answer questions with confidence and trust your knowledge and degrees. It’s like a great commercial movie… the script as well as the production and packaging has to be great to make it reach the 100cr club.
Color Scheme :
oranges, neons and bright shades should strictly be avoided unless going for staff picnics and after dinner parties
Its’s best to stick to safer colors like shades of blue, white and black, gray to charcoal paired with maroon or purple or a pastel pink… a pastel green with a creamish white would look classy as well… a hint of yellow would add a pretty sunshine and make you look vibrant and confident but promise me you won’t tag in to some office wearing yellow pants! oh pretty please; even the thought is funny.
While at my previous workplaces, I have had a chance to interview many young enthusiasts during their RJ walk-in auditions and even groomed more than 500 students for interviews, it isn’t a difficult task to find the right pair to impress your interviewer.
Here are a few tips to polish the right look:
– wear a light scent
– pick a darker shade of shirt if you are going to sweat on your way to the place of interview
– get rid of your facial hair or keep it to bare minimum for men, trimmed to shape for women and completely smooth waxed limbs would look perfect
– add a dash of red if your outfit is of lighter shade
– do not offer to pay if you are meeting at a cafe or over meals
– chapped lips are not acceptable at all
– do not be brand conscious but make sure the fabrics are breathable, no sheer fabrics and no collarless shirts
– you do not need big logos screaming from your outfit
– a stubble is good but trim it well
– keep a pair or two of well ironed outfits separate for an interview that can be scheduled anytime
– if you aren’t well acquainted with what colors to match… simply go to any store and ask the trained sales staff to help you match. they have been trained to give the best opinion