Lessons Learnt Walking Together on a Dark Road

Hold your light at an angle which helps you see best. Never copy the angle at which others are holding their light. What works for them, need not necessarily work for you.

When you are on a dark road, the best way to guide someone is to illuminate the light from behind them, not in front of them.

Life gets dark sometimes, even when you are walking with the ones you love. Find your light first, before you try and help other around you.

Why Women go to Beauty Parlours

All women are beautiful. Nonetheless, more than 90% of urban women visit a Beauty Parlor at least once a month. I did a random search on “Why women go to Beauty Parlors”. Google responded in 0.8 seconds, “reinvent our appearance, enhance our beauty, boost our morale, to relax, to pamper ourselves,….” As a woman, I agree. We go to beauty salons to feel good about ourselves.

Somehow the Beauty Industry does not seem to get this simple context right. The whole industry is directed on making women feel bad about themselves. They assume that this feeling will lead to Women spend more on clothes, makeup, accessories and of course (topic for today) beauty treatments.  The minute I walk into a parlor, the beauticians give me a look of disapproval. They will instantly remark, “Your hair has become so dull! Have you been out in the sun?” or “Your skin has become so dry. You are not moisturizing it daily?”, or “Oh Madam! Did you notice? You are getting skin pigmentation!”. Obviously, all these remarks end with well-meaning advice on how I could cure the problem at hand. Years of visits to these parlors, and thousands spent trying their recommendations has made me understand the root cause behind their concern. They are just trying to generate more business for their salon. I now firmly believe that neither am I that ugly, nor are any of their cures really going to help. Yet, each time I walk in, I prepare myself to hear a new defect about myself. Honestly, if I could present myself in public without these regular visits, I would have boycotted this whole industry by now. But alas, I value my external image enough, to bear this critical analysis of my body.

Why can’t the beauty industry focus on making women (and men) feel good about themselves? That is the reason we fund this industry, in the first place. I would love to visit a beauty salon which makes me feel beautiful, not just help me look beautiful for a day. I believe I would probably spend more experimenting on treatments, clothes, makeup and the likes, if I felt beautiful inside. What the hell? I know I am beautiful! What could possibly go wrong if I tried a new thing?

In fact research also indicates that women would tend to shop more if the seller can establish a positive emotional connect with them.

I hope this blog passes a message to the industry and enables the good things of our life to focus on the good things of our life. At a minimum, I hope the next time I walk into a parlor, I do not receive a new defect list.

Axe to School

 

Yog (playing with his toy gun): I want to take my Axe to school today.

He prefers to call the Gun an Axe. I am guessing it is something to do with his ancestral genes.

Mama: No, we don’t take guns to school.

Yog: Mama, it is OK. This is only a toy. I will not kill everybody.

Mama (wondering): Did he mean, he will only kill some?

Mama: No, if you take guns to school, Police will come and put you in jail.

Yog (thinking about it for some time): Do they have school in jail?

Mama (knowing I have been cornered): No, I don’t think they have school in jails.

Yog (beaming): Then, I want to take my axe to school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti to the Rescue

“No school today?” are the first words from Yog each morning. Even before he is out of bed, his blankets still rolled around him, he pops this question, looking expectantly at me for his desired response. I know he is already planning alternate strategies in his mind, even before he has heard my response. Deep cough from his mouth, vomit and stomach ache are few of his master cards. He knows he can call upon fever, or the bad headache from last month to his rescue as well. If none of this works, he can roll down some tears claiming trauma at school because his best friend does not like him anymore. Honestly speaking, this is the list of excuses I have encountered thus far. I am aware that as Yog grows, his innovation and imagination is only going to grow. The good news is that I have been through this phase before, with my daughter and hence less likely to worry. The bad news is that in spite of knowing what to expect, I still expect my child to be excited about going to school each morning.
 
I have debated in my mind why Yog hates school. I have spoken to his teacher and other parents and have ruled out any serious concerns about the school. Yet, each morning, his Jacqueline teacher had to lure him into class promising rhymes, games and coloring activities. As days turned into weeks, these promises have also lost their sheen. The latest motivation to get him to school is Lunch Box. I take time to decide, cook and pack his lunch box to give him a good reason to stay at school till lunch time. Typically, I take up the subject just before we reach school.
 
Today as I approached the school, I could sense Yog’s anxiety building up. I quickly exclaimed, “Yog, did you know what Mamma packed for your lunch today? (pause) Spaghetti!” His eyes lit up and he got instantly excited to get into school and open his lunch box.
 
As I drove off from school, watching Yog happily going into the gates with a sprint in his steps, I thanked Spaghetti for saving me the negotiations for today. I wondered what will have come to my rescue tomorrow. And then, I wondered, why does it have to be like this? Why do children at Yogs age not want to go to school each day? Why do we need games and lunch boxes to get them behind school gates? As parents, teachers, society, and the education system what are we doing wrong?
 
I don’t have answers to my questions, but I know for sure that this is not the way it was supposed to be. School was supposed to be fun. Learning was supposed to be enjoyable and Life was supposed to be happy. Where did we go wrong?