My daughter generally needs more time to get over her fears. I have been worried sick & even lost sleep over how easily she scares. I believe this world needs courage, especially in women.(Maybe, I am extrapolating my experience and surroundings when growing up a lot more than I should, I don’t know)
A cousin gifted my daughter a book,Good night stories for rebel girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. My daughter was too young when she got the book to understand the stories. Out of curiosity, I started reading it and loved it. The nice portraits of the women and the stories of their lives and struggles taught me humility. They brought out the privileges that I took for granted and painted me a picture of how far women have come and how much more there is to cover.
When she was ready, I introduced the book to my daughter by reading it as her bedtime story and now it is her “Brave girls” story time every night before bed. I am still not sure about how much inspiration or influence she is deriving from the book. However, I feel that my wish to show her different times and lives, how it is possible to do anything and become anyone if she sets her mind to it, is fulfilled to some extent. I also feel she is processing and sometimes even absorbing some courage from these stories as she understands them to be accounts of real women who once lived or are still living.
The book has one page accounts about women from different time periods and recounts what each of them went through to do what was considered impossible at that time. Starting from Ada Lovelace, ranging through Amelia Earhart, Cleopatra, Florence Nightingale, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Grace Hopper and many more, the book talks of a hundred brilliant women who broke stereotypes and absurd rules to do what they wanted to do but were told otherwise and were discouraged in every possible way.
It’s been a huge inspiration to me to read about these women and think of the strength they possessed. I hope these stories inspire my daughter and many more girls out there to gather their strength, the strength that they have but are not aware of. I consider this an excellent gift to anyone but more so for 5 – 10 year old girls.
Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them. may we raise them!
I watched the trailer for “Sweet Karam Coffee” and was immediately hooked. So when the show released, naturally I started watching it as soon as I could. The first two episodes in, I was completely taken over by the plot and the music. Over the next episodes, I experienced something I am struggling to articulate.
I have always been the feminist raring to go even at the slightest chance of injustice. The reason has been my childhood conditioning. Sadly, I have never been able to do anything about it. The story of Kaveri closely resonated with me, having seen my mother go through the injustice of being taken for granted. All the time. It is a long-standing guilt that I am unable to do anything meaningful about it. But watching Kaveri’s character unfold in the show made me realise more than anything that any change can only come from the person themselves. No one else can help someone who is accepting of the situation, however bad it is. To bring out the voice, to stand up for themselves, to let the world know that it’s been a long time and that it’s enough! You can enable them to see why it is wrong and why they need to find their voice but that’s as far as you can go.
If Kaveri’s character taught me the futility of fighting someone else’s battles, Sundari’s character taught me that you are never too old to go after what you want or who you used to be. If that matters to you! She had treasured that wild side of her for so long without losing the essence of it. That is something! It’s a shame that she was not “allowed” to embrace who she truly was all those years both by her world and herself. In the end, I felt that the creators have tried too hard to avoid the cliche and place a plot twist with Sundari that it left me a bit confused. But after processing her story timeline and how things could have been back then, I could understand it better. Her steady character arc was mostly predictable for me yet I still enjoyed it very much as it is something of a fantasy, something I am yet to witness in my real life and people in it.
The Nivi character was a very familiar one for me, understandably. Having enjoyed most of the privileges she has, there’s nothing new. I just feel that she stands on the shoulders of giants to have those privileges. Even her problems are privileged problems when compared to what Kaveri and Sundari have gone through but significant, nevertheless, in order to keep progressing over generations.
If you see the three women as a linear representation of a single woman over the years, it could feel like we have come far. However, it is not fair to generalise and more importantly, even with the generalisation, it is not enough. There are still miles to go before we can sleep.
Sweet Karam Coffee – Tastefully flavoured, some teachable moments, does not disappoint.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and is just my experience with a 3D house modeling website that I stumbled upon.
Sweet Home 3D lets you design a house in 3D, add interior furnishing and visualize the final look. You can take a virtual tour of navigating the rooms and view it in many different angles. It is much similar to the 3D models that interior designers might show you. After poking around, I decided to use the online version that requires you to create a login.
I started with drawing the floor plan of the 3 BHK flat mentioned in the prequel post. I drew the floor plan first with lines, as it would be in bird’s view. These lines would become walls in 3D. I was able to create the walls and rooms with almost the same dimensions as the flat. It helped me imagine how big the rooms would actually be and how much space can be allotted for furniture. I have trouble visualizing space from memory. Photos and videos help but they are not enough. So this tool was a godsend for me.
Soon enough, I had the entire 3D model of the flat as it was when we visited it. I started incorporating the custom design changes that I wanted to request the builders. I could save multiple copies with modifications from the base template. I saved a model for the basic floor plan as it existed, one with my custom changes, and then one with furnishing.
Once rooms and walls were done, I proceeded to the next step of adding wardrobes, cabinets, furniture, and markers for electrical and plumbing points. The options for these were limited but I used whatever was available and repurposed the options that I didn’t use as placeholders for the ones I wanted. I was very surprised to find out that I could add furnishings like curtains, lights, fans, and even most of the electrical appliances that a household needs.
Very soon, I had a miniature 3D model of how the flat would look if I was living in it. I was astonished at how I had completed all of it in a matter of a few days. I had not even referred to the documentation, tips and tricks that the website hosts. It was easy enough to figure out with no training. I played around with the controls and figured it out in about an hour. If you want to visualize your new home or even want to renovate your existing home and can’t yet figure out how things will turn out, try this. It definitely gives you clarity.
So after I almost lived in the flat, at least in my mind and the model, we ended up not purchasing the flat. I wrote a post – A tale of two houses, on why we didn’t purchase it after investing so much effort. The short answer is the power of destiny!
After I went through the entire house hunting journey, I formed a funny analogy in my mind about this flat that we didn’t purchase and the villa that we did purchase.
To me, the villa is like a life partner. They have their flaws and you have yours. Despite the odds, you get to know each other, work on the relationship, make a few changes to mould each other for a happy life. It lasts long and stands the test of time because you put in the effort.
The flat is like a first crush. You saw it, loved it, and wanted it. You would even spend some time on it because you didn’t know better. You will never forget it and it will always hold a special place in your heart. But in reality, life has other plans. More often than not, it does not withstand the test of time and crashes to the ground as gloriously as it began.
I had my first crush turn into a life partner already in my life. For it to happen a second time with my dream home would have been too redundant and even boring. Even in that experience, although hubby was my first crush, we met our fair share of troubles to ensure that we stood the test of time.
In the end, I am glad that I made a practical decision. In fact, I surprised myself and hubby in doing so because that is so not my style. I am glad that I was able to step out of my impulsive mind and think about the options objectively. And that is the biggest take away for me in this journey.
For many years now, it has been my dream to buy a bigger, better place to live in. Most of it stemmed from the fact that there were a lot of restrictions for me when I bought my first flat and I was neck deep in many other things to do it properly. Not to mention the fact that I was just starting out and lacked experience in building a dream home. A few years and a kid down the lane, I decided that as much as our flat was a great first home, it was not going to be my last.
So when the timing was right, we started house hunting. We just started looking casually and decided to get serious when we had options worth considering. I am unsure whether to call it luck, but soon enough, we stumbled upon some good candidates for our dream home. This post is about two of those which made the cut but were so starkly different that we could not make up our mind for a long time. One was a 3 BHK flat that, was in an apartment society, would let us be first owners, involved relocation, was very far from work. The other was a 3 BHK duplex villa that, was in a gated community, would let us be second owners, was just a stone’s throw from our current place and hence would be near to work.
To make things interesting, I had a history with the 3 BHK flat. Many years back, I had attended the house warming ceremony of a relative and had fallen in love with the flat. I loved that it was spacious, a layout that allowed me to imagine my dream home. You could call it love at first sight and I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that my dream to a better home was conceived there. When I started dreaming about a bigger and better place more often, the image of a dream home was one similar to that flat.
Years had passed and I didn’t think any new flat would be available for sale in that society but I still checked with our relatives about it when we started our house hunting. Much to our surprise, one last flat was available and it met most of our requirements. The problem was that I hadn’t seriously considered about the distance from work, the connectivity to various parts of the city and the relocation involved. Like I said, it was love at first sight. Not much thinking was involved :). We tried searching for a similar flat in our preferred locality but in vain. Either we didn’t like the flat or the price was too high for its worth. So we started mentally preparing ourselves to deal with the distance from work and relocation logistics to take the deal forward with this flat.
But we were dealt a different set of cards. Every attempt we made to purchase that flat was thwarted by destiny. Either the seller was going after another purchaser or he changed his mind about the price or he was not responsive to our interest in the house. Adit was able to accept that maybe it was not meant to be but I couldn’t let it go. I felt like I had not given my best effort as we were yet to receive a straight and strong NO. It felt like it was doable but slightly out of reach. I felt that I am yet to give my best shot before ceding.
While we were making these attempts, the lead for the villa opened up. I will be honest – I had difficulty falling in love with the villa like I did with the flat. Of course, the flat had a couple years to its credit as I had spent some time dreaming about it. My usual pros and cons list didn’t aid me much because the two options were in very different leagues. The price, the scope of renovation, the independence, the design of the house, the locality – everything was so starkly different that we couldn’t draw up a fair comparison between the two to choose one over the other. So we let the threads run in parallel hoping that when it comes to the wire, we would be able to choose.
Maybe our dilemma was too much for the universe that it intervened. Every time we would make a move forward with the flat, something happened to make us consider the villa. Every time we hit a hurdle with the villa deal, I used to pursue the flat because that’s where my heart still was. Adit warned me to take it slow and not to get caught up in it but I couldn’t help myself. However, every move of mine towards the flat triggered something and the universe pulled me back to the villa by offering an advantage that was not there before. It happened so many times that it would have been hilarious if I were not so close to the problem. And then finally, both were available to us if we wanted it and we had to decide. Adit was confused as well but he was able to look at it objectively. I had trouble doing the same. Even if one of us decided one way, we gave enough weight to the other’s vote that the original decision was scraped. Eventually we chose to be practical and decided on the villa together. Traveling long distances to work is not something Bangalore dwellers can take lightly.
I believe in karma and destiny to some extent – more in the former than in the latter. This entire experience was about the pull of destiny for me. I had sleepless nights, shed many tears out of frustration, and cursed myself for nurturing such a dream that took every bit of mental and physical strength that I had. However, I understand that when I do build that dream home of mine and move into it, I know it will all feel worth the hassle. I am definitely grateful for the experience. There is a mound of work in the form of renovation, fixes waiting for me and there is a race track full of hurdles for me to reach that sweet spot of living comfortably in my dream home, but I am grateful that I have learnt a lot and that I was resilient in pursuing this dream. Also, I am incredibly grateful for the privilege to be able to consider building a dream home, a second time.
On a side note, at some point when it felt like we were going ahead with the flat, we stumbled upon a website that lets you build a 3D model of your house based on the floor plan. I didn’t think I had it in me to do it but I built the flat in 3D using it and learned a lot in the process. Ironically enough, I didn’t do it for the villa even when the deal was done. Maybe I will try it in the process of renovation. Anyway, the 3D modeling of the flat was fun and it warrants a separate post. I will write about it in a sequel of sorts.
Today, I wrote a little something as a wish to all the men in my life.
The identity that bears a lot of expectations Self-made and imposed, to be perfect and strong Many times crucified and forced to justify with #NotAllMen
The identity that is pushed into shadows Trying to stay balanced for true equality Worries, tears, and fears that go unexpressed Because the society expects it to be so
Know on this day, if not on others, That #NotEveryone demands perfection We don’t want you to shun your fears and tears But we’d rather be a part of it For this world is a place for everyone. Happy international men’s day!
I admit that I didn’t know that there was a men’s day for a long time. But I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago and wondered the lack of hype around it. The answer was clear. Media heaps so much focus on women’s day and mother’s day but it is still catching up with regards to the opposite sex. And the reason being that there is easy attention in women’s day themes than those for men’s day.
So ever since I knew, I have made it a habit to acknowledge and wish the men I know. The responses would be mixed bag. Some would not know that such a dedicated day to men exists. Some would be astonished and feel that it is just for namesake. Some would joke about it. Some would thank me for it.
Every year on March 8 and November 19, I don’t do anything special but just remember to wish people accordingly. I don’t need these days personally but there might be someone out there who needs them. If only to stop and take a moment for themselves. If only to remember that their struggles don’t go unnoticed. If only to feel appreciated for a day – be it a man or a woman. Everyone has their weak and strong moments. There doesn’t need to be a gender label associated with it.
All the images used on this blog are from Google image searches. I try my best to use images that have reuse rights. I do not own any image unless mentioned explicitly. If you own any media/content that is posted on this blog and feel that it is not duly credited, please let me know and I will do the needful if it is a valid request.
No plagiarism, please!
Please link back when you refer/use any media/content that I own, in your website. Let’s not encourage plagiarism, there’s enough trouble in the world as it is.