Coming back soon

A Big Thank you to all those who wrote in to ask when I’m coming back. Its taken me longer than I expected, but I expect to start blogging before the end of this month. I’ll put up a note here as soon as blogging resumes. See you all there!

UPDATE: The move to own domain got totally jinxed…with some issues in site uploading etc. However, Desigirl-to-the-rescue has agree to step in and help as soon as her term papers get done. The move is therefore pushed by a fortnight or so…say, mid-May.

RECENT UPDATE: Finally, I am back! My new blog, Apu’s World has just started up! Please do visit me there! If you have me on your blogroll, please make the change in the url to http://apusworld.com/blog

So long! And thanks for all the …err…blog-love?

Well, not really, but I am on a temporary break from blogging here. I’m likely to move to my own domain shortly, and since that’s going to be integrated with some other stuff, it may take about a month or so. I have a lot of work on my plate at the moment, and with setting up the new site etc, I don’t think I can do justice to maintaining the blog too.

I hope all the readers who have supported me here will continue to visit me at the new address. Also, I wanted to thank all the readers – Amrita, Sparsh, Desigirl, The Hip Hop Grandmom, Itchy, Anindita, Shefaly, Debs, the mad momma – and everyone else – who opened up such wonderful dialogue, with your comments. I like the fact that even where we disagreed, we chose to be civil about it.

The new blog will continue to address some of the issues I blog about, but also, its likely to be a wider one where I blog on my other interests – Literature and Travel. This is also because, I’m likely to start contributing to that fantastic Indian Feminist colla-blog UltraViolet pretty soon, so I can now use my own blog in a slightly more personal way. I’ll keep everyone posted once its up and do visit me there!

Happy Deepavali!

This blog is going to be down for the next few days, while I enjoy my Deepavali (or Diwali) with family….So I thought I’d pop in here in advance to wish everyone a very Happy Deepavali, a lot of fun and much light in your lives.

Women and Family Honour

Two stories have erupted in the Indian media over the last month, both to do with young people, love and parental opposition. The first ended in tragedy, with investigation stil continuing into whether Rizwanur Rahman was murdered by his wife’s father (or arranged to have been murdered). Shocking ofcourse was the fact that the West Bengal police actively colluded in trying to separate the couple, on the grounds that they came from very different backgrounds. The second case, has a happier outcome, atleast till now – with Telegu film megastar Chiranjeevi’s daughter Sreeja leaving home to marry her boyfriend. Scary though, that she felt she had to seek police protection against her family, as she feared that they would meet the same end as Rizwanur-Priyanka.

Technically, Indian law is very clear on this – the legal marriageable age for women is 18 and 21 for men, and absolutely no statute exists that forbids people above this age to marry each other. (Well, atleast if one is male and the other is female, since Indian laws are still Victorian when it comes to homosexuality.) In practice though, as both these cases show, there is a wide gulf between law and public mentality.

Many people still view children as “property” or as some sort of owned goods who must repay parents for their good upbringing. Further instead of looking at people as individuals, there is a tendency to look at them as representatives of their families and families honour. Especially when it comes to women, their behaviour is seen as reflecting on the family’s honour. Hence, the number of insane websites where once can see Chiranjeevi fans berating Sreeja for “bringing down” Chiranjeevi’s name. (No, I am not linking to that rubbish!) Its not that sons are absolved of such expectations. Except that traditionally, society allows men a lot more leeway by giving them employment opportunities and chances to physically escape from the family network. For women, until very recently, such escape wasn’t possible, and even now, for many, it isn’t. The standards of behaviour for women are also so much higher that its easier to find fault. Things which are excusable in a son, for instance, are often not in a daughter. One hears of many families who are fine or atleast ok with sons drinking, but would be scandalised if a daughter did.

These things are slowly changing, and the tremendous public support for Rizwanur’s family and his case, is heartening. But sometimes, the change of pace is just so dishearteningly slow and the consequences so terrible.

Theory and Reality

Pamela Slim, of Escape from Cubicle Nation, has this lovely post on Theory versus Reality, and while she talks about it in the context of business, really, it can apply to just about any aspect of life. How often do we get into something with an idealized version of what it would be like, and then jump in headlong, only to start the firefighting right away. Sometimes, its idealism, sometimes its just wanting something so hard that we imagine it exists! Even veterans can’t help committing these mistakes, but ofcourse, we can try to deal with them better!

Effective Presentation

I know I linked to Rowan Manahan’s Blog quite recently, but there is just so much good stuff out there! If you are in any line of work that requires you to use powerpoint, check out this most useful presentation he has, on how to, and how not to use powerpoint.

Today its not just us management types who make presentations. Students use powerpoint, so do academics, and people in all sorts of industries. With greater use comes more misuse. I certainly do my fair share of mistakes on presentations, not being a very visual person. Its fantastic to see the kind of genuine help of this sort that one can find online!

The presentation is 128 slides long, but no way does it feel like that. Well worth a thorough read…And now to see if I can apply some of those principles in my work.

Great Reading…

I have a really fun interview coming up in a day or two on the Entrepreneur Watch series, but I am travelling at the moment. So until I get to uploading that, can I direct you to the really large Carnival of HR over at Three Star Leadership, for some excellent reading?