Please tell me why should I want to be equal to a guy?

Today I read an interview of Sonali Bendre, where she said:
“I don’t want to be equal to a man. We are meant to be
different and meant to be that way. I thrive on the difference between a man
and a woman.”
It prompted me to write this post, because in the past I
have made an equivalent statement to fellow-women. Some have agreed and some
have looked at me with contempt. Reasoning by the latter:
“Well, which world are you in? Women are at par with men. We
are on the top of every field which was male dominated. The top execs of India’s
many leading banks are women, aren’t they? Everything that a man does, we can
do it…better.”
I don’t know how better to explain this, but here is why I
think why a woman and a man cannot be at par.
  1.  If really man and woman were supposed to be
    equal, then nature would not have 2 genders, really.
  2. If a man and woman could be equal, then we would
    be at ease to come back home after a tiring day at work, and sit with a cup of
    tea in front of the TV for like one hour. (Don’t forget the elder one has
    homework and the younger one wants a blue colour crayon)
  3. If both were at par, a man would not suck at
  4. Women are at more risk at heart diseases and
    tensions. Maybe we should not take up a lot of things. Maybe we should pamper
    ourselves a lot more. Maybe we should go out a lot more with our girl-friends.
    Well it is not a cakewalk to handle emotions of the entire family, love them
    equally, juggle different demands at the same time, breast feed, go through
    labour, have a highly flexible body, eat immediately after washing the baby’s potty,
    cook after an excruciatingly painful day and have a period every single month!
    And a man cannot that. So why not let him work a little harder. It’s really OK.

If a guy is reading this, you might just be
calling me names, hang on, here is why I think you guys are better than us.
You are far less judgemental than us. It is
really easy for you to see black as black and white as white.
You are more objective and less subjective.
Trust me, that is a boon. You take decisions on the basis of the information in
front of you, not on the basis of all the emotions behind it. Decision making
is far easier that way.
It is really a bliss to get flowers from you…and
those little gifts….the surprises and all the jazz.
We really like chivalry in men. Yes, the opening
of the doors for us, holding hands when we cross the road, the protective hand
on our shoulders and the works. It just will not feel alright, if we do the
same thing for you.
So what’s right?
When I came in to the lives of my parents, my mother had a choice to
either be with me or go to work. She chose to go to work. She was passionate
about her job and did not want to compromise on any account. But what she chose
to do was give away the role of a full time mother. She chose to share the responsibility
with her mother and husband. She found it okay that she was not the only one
who would take me the doctor, or attend every single PTM, or prepare me for
every exam or the fact that there were times when I underperformed. She let my
dad take over many of the things, so that she could pursue her dreams.
While I, about 7.5 years ago had the choice to be a SAHM or continue with
my job. I chose former. It was suicidal…everyone felt that, even I felt at
times. But I chose it because I knew I wanted to be a hands on mother. I could
go on with the job which paid me well and gave me financial independence and be
a mother who frets on the aspects of our child. But I chose to embark the responsibility
of being the bread winner of the family to be M. I felt he could do a better
job while I could be a better parent. It was not about equality, it was about
prioritising. It couldn’t have been better. I discovered the passion towards
teaching and writing during that period.
Let us not mix up the need for women=men with the cause for equal
opportunity, security for women, respect for women, harassment issues. Those
are completely valid and in many cases it is a matter of human rights that that
of a woman’s right.  A woman has to feel
safe and secure at all time, for that matter even a man needs to.
This blog post is per say talking about the need for women to outperform
men at every sphere of life. There are some things which men are good at. Try
changing flat tyres. It is a much better sight watching a guy do that. How
about attending an office party when the child is sick. Please, let’s face it,
a guy can do it a lot more better. The point is that why try to be equal. Why
do we have to get everywhere? Do our job, and do theirs too.
is a thin line between independence and be a show stopper. To understand that minuscule difference is a task in itself. Do yourself a favour, take a moment and understand that fine line. 

A crash course in “Skin care/Cosmetics products care”

I am a religious Oriflame and TBS  fan. I have been using their products for skin care and make up for the past five years now, and I see myself not shifting gears to any other brand for skin care. My skin regime is pretty simple. Other than CTM (Cleansing, Toning and Mositurising), and the recently added body scrub(Yeah, dont roll your eyes…I am a mother to 2 kids. Having a head bath is luxury for me!) There are nights when I am so tired that I just want to hit the bed. And those are the days when I ditch my night cream, foot cream and hand cream. And yeah…I have done the beauty crime of not removing make up too a few nights. Shhhh..

But one thing I am extremely cautious about is binning my skin care and make up products on time. The practice I follow is that the moment I open a product, I write the expiry date, manufacturing date and package opening date (the date I start using the product, or open the lid) on the product package (the lid, the bottle, the tub). For eye pencils, kajals, mascara, liners and lipsticks, I cellotape the details written on a piece of paper, on the product. This is extremely useful as anytime I want to check, I have a ready reckoner.

As much as it hurts throwing away cosmetics, especially make up, (In the past, I have thrown almost new mascara and lipsticks) it is essential to make this a habit to avoid any chances of any infections. Not that one can lose eyesight if an expired eye pencil is used, but ya, a bad rash or an eye infection is definitely a possibility, especially if one has a sensitive skin.

I have also observed that it has pulled back my binge on cosmetic purchase. When you throw a 10%-used-almost-1000-bucks-spent eye pencil which the girl at the counter told you looks oh-so-awesome on you, it terribly sucks.

The longest (and the only time) I have kept a cosmetic is 20 years. No, it’s not a typo. It was a Poeme perfume by Lancome, gifted to me by my uncle when I was in the 5th grade. It smelt so heavenly that I was hooked to it. I was emotionally attached to it, I should say. When I threw it last year, it still had almost 10% left!

So, how do we ensure that we are using products which are safe? Most of the products carry the expiry date and the date of manufacturing. The problem gets resolved there. But some good brands are notorious enough not to mention it. Some mention it on a plastic tag, which gets removed when we want to use the product. Well, I recommend this (It works for me just right):

1. If it smells or looks funny, different, waxy or is runny, BIN it. Dont even think twice.
2. If you have not used it in the last 3 months, you will not be using it ever. BIN it. Sometimes I have skipped this rule, and given the product 6 months…you guessed it right, I did not use it.
3. If you do not remember when you bought it or started using it and the expiry date is not visible, either finish the product ASAP (provided rule no. 1 is not applicable) or if you are brave enough, BIN it.
4. As a general thumb rule:

  • Powders, foundation, blush, shadows, lipstick and lip and eye liners have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years (unless mentioned otherwise on the pack). Powdered products have a better shelf life.
  • Mascaras and liquid eyeliners have the lest shelf life of 3 – 4 months. (The product being liquid is home for bacteria)
  • Perfumes stay good for 3 years. 

The other day, I was unusually bored, and I ended up looking at my face wash more closely than normal. And I noticed a few symbols. Some I understood and some I did not. When I asked a good friend about these symbols, I realised there were other ignorant souls like me. I am just sharing one important symbol (relevant to the topic) which is most commonly found in skincare packages.

(image courtesy: google images)

The Period-after-opening symbol (PAO): The number inside the symbol signifies how many months can the product be used after opening the pack. Don’t get confused between PAO and expiry date. Expiry date is the date by when the product must be used whether the pack has been opened or not.

Eg: The expiry date says 24 months from manufacturing which is 1st June 2011. The product is usable till 1st June 2013. But if you have opened the product on 1st September 2011, and the PAO mentions 12 months. Then the product must be used only till 1st September 2012.

Using good products is as important as disposing them at the right time. After all, we love our skin, don’t we? 🙂
This ends gyaan for the day.

The Churning of the Ocean

The Hindu mythology greatly talks about the incident of The Churning of the Ocean, and many wise people still speak about its relevance to the modern world. Recently I realised lately that I have too been churning the ocean and coincidentally a book I was reading made me realise what was happening.

In a gist, the story goes something like this: In the desire of amrita (the divine drink which gives immortality), Lord Indra initiated the desire to churn the ksheer sagar (ocean of milk). The amrita did come out in the end of the ordeal, but at the cost of halahal (the deadly poison, which Lord Shiva had eventually drunk to save the world).

In the modern world too, we want a lot of good things. The list and the quest is endless. But end result is not always the good part. Along with the many fulfilled wants comes some price which we have to pay reluctantly. As an economics teacher, I have said this statement many a times: There is a difference between wants and needs. Most of the times our needs can be fulfilled, but wants are something which is endless. And this is what that has to be controlled by a controlled line of thoughts and emotions. Tough, very tough but achievable by practice.

There is another side of the coin, which I read about in the book, which I felt was more applicable to me. Most of the times I am pretty much in control to decide what I need and what I want. What I am about to mention is what I have had to struggle with.

For a lot of us, there is an unending desire to churn the ocean around us. When things are calm, composed and pretty much smooth, we want to add new things to our agenda. It’s like saying calmness is boring. During trying times, we keep wishing for normalcy, boredom and the usual. And then when things become normal, then we want a change, and we start churning the ocean to derive a newness, a want, a desire.

With that churning, comes a halahal. The forms are many. Stress, tension, sleepless nights, lengthy phone calls, body ache, heart problems…the list is huge. We are not letting our mind to stay still. The mind is put to work so much that it starts giving up, and thus arises many ailments and bad relationships.

Next time when things are normal and boring, let it be. Like I said earlier, normal and usual is fine. Ask someone who is facing a problem in his life. It is something to be grateful about. Trust me, to kill boredom or normalcy with a new want is the wrong way. Try a hobby, pick up a book, play an instrument, feed the poor, do some charity, play with your pet, take a walk, listen to your favourite music, meet a friend, have a healthy snack, make some good food, watch a little bit of TV, log on to facebook, chat with a friend. There you go…there are so many options. Look for small happiness and not churning the ocean.