Blog Archive

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The perfect skin color

So I just got back from my morning run to the Indian grocery store. That is the only place I get those cake rusks I love so much with my cup of morning chai. It was meant to be a quick in and out kind of  a trip. The Indian store was surprisingly very busy for a Sunday morning. As I entered I exactly knew the shelf where they keep the toast and which brand I wanted. Before my hunger pangs could get any worse I rushed to the check out line so that I could finally be home and enjoy my piping hot chai and these toasts.

As I stood in the checkout line waiting for my turn a couple just joined the queue right behind me. The husband was an Indian "brown-skinned" male and the wife was an American "white-skinned" female. (You will understand why I used quotes just in a bit). The wife started looking at the nearby shelves and her attention was caught by the line of fairness creams. She burst laughing looking at the advertising images on the box of the cream. She immediately pulled her husband and said pointing to the model on the cover "So do you expect her to become less brown after applying this cream? Ohh look her eye color has also changed to blue! They have it for men as well.." She continued laughing and made some more snarky remarks about the concept of a fairness cream and how Indians wanted to become "Fair" and would do anything for it. Her husband pulled a little away with an embarrassed frown. 

Now don't get me wrong, I am the last one to favor fairness creams or discriminate or judge people based on their skin color. That would be extremely presumptuous on my part. But what struck me was before entering into the grocery store I had noticed a tanning salon right next door. I wondered to myself how is applying fairness cream any different than getting sessions of fake tanning or applying tanning solutions to your skin. The desired result is the same where you want to alter the original color of your skin. I was trying to understand why were fairness creams so funny as compared to tanning on the beach or artificially.

As I thought more on this, I realized it is more of a contextual rather than a cultural difference between people coming from different parts of the globe. I learnt that you can't really judge why people do different things without knowing the complete context. No doubt that the attitude among Indians that a person is considered lovely if they are fair is kind of immature and archaic. But probably this originated centuries back from the Aryan/Dravidian racial divide. Years of the British rule and treating brown-skinned as slaves could have also contributed to this attitude. 

In the end whether you are going to tanning salon, lying on a beach to get that beautiful caramel skin, applying a lighter shade foundation cream or scoops of fairness cream every morning to get that milky white skin - It is your body! If doing any of these activities makes you feel more confident, attractive, beautiful and bold by all means go for it! Don't let anyone tell you or judge you because you would be the best person to know what makes you feel the best!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

First sight..

She stands at the edge of the sea
looking into the horizon
waves come and waves go,
splashing and touching her feet,
Warm breeze swept her face.

The sun was setting and the twilight crept in
thats when he saw her,
Her white dress flowing with the breeze
Her angelic face glowing as the sun rays fell upon it.
Her dark auburn hair were a contrast to the glowing yellow sand.

A big wave made its way to the shore
effortlessly merged into the land
and withdrew submissively 
And thats when it happened.
Her eyes met his.

a silent glance and a spell done,
the charm was too great to be undone/unbound,
this was no mere attraction or an infatuation,

something had happened,
things outside were same as they were moments ago,
but on the inside the world had just become beautiful,
the wind became a soothing breeze, smelling like fresh flowers from the orchid,
suddenly the world around didn't seem worthy enough to get any attention..

Chasing your dreams..

Chasing your dreams..

There comes a time when each one of us wonders what is our purpose in life. Something we can create and contribute to the greater good. We all want to do be a part of something big which matters or even lay down those founding bricks to create it. Increasing number of us are unwilling to trade our skill sets , thoughts and ideas for a steady paycheck working as a commodity in a giant corporation. Just a 9 to 5 job does not suffice our intellectual and our souls deep down are compelled to search for our calling.  The big question is -How?? 

I am sure you must have some people in your life who have identified their passion and talent at a very early age. They exactly know what they are born to do. Thereafter which they relentlessly work towards making that dream true. If its in fact true I will honestly admit I am jealous! For some of us its hard to even articulate our dreams. Having a clear picture of what we want is a lot harder than it seems. All we know is what we are doing in life is not fulfilling enough and does not serve our purpose. But we have no idea of what is the right path which would take to our dreams and give us that ultimate satisfaction. Yes , we sometimes struggle to figure out what we need and picture that 'unlived perfect' life. 

I just want to say its 'OK' to NOT know what you want.  All of us respect and idealize clarity. Knowing our final destination helps us carve out those exact steps which will take us there. But its almost impossible to have clarity and that is totally acceptable.  

Even if you lack clarity try to recognize your inner drive and the will to do something. Now channel this power to start with something small. Even a small step can play a huge role in the grand scheme of events. Don't let your lack of clarity dampen your spirit to do something. Do you want to be a world class photographer but have never taken a picture or you want to be an entrepreneur but have never put your thoughts down on a business model. The key here is implementation

Once you have a sense of which area in life excites you the most start chasing it with your head down and a laser focus. Even if you don't have the clarity try to enjoy the process of getting to an ideal state where everything fits together and makes sense. Often when we dream of becoming somebody or doing something it brings a great joy of claiming that dream. What we underestimate is the number of hours which are required put in to finally achieve that dream. We discount the hard work and perseverance required to finally reach there. Once you start with something stick with it at least for sometime. Give it your best shot before you finally give up on it. 

Trust me its not easy! I have been guilty of taking up a project and abandoning it many a time just because it was too 'difficult' or 'time-consuming'. Don't get  in that trap when you claim a new goal something which seems all bright and shiny. The moment you get into its  execution part all the excitement wears off due to its complexity. Try to stick with it a little longer than that. Let the effort and work which you put into define your success and who you are rather than the end result. And of course if it doesn't work you have learned something from it, and you have an interesting story to tell.

Just make sure that you are flexible. The secret is start with something but be aware of the changes happening around you. Try your best to be flexible to quickly learn and switch if need be.

Everyday we evolve and try to assess our needs. Our needs in life change, progress and expand with age and changing environment. If you are someone like me its hard to keep up chasing these goals and dreams. At the end of the day be kind to yourself and respect the efforts you put in each and every day to achieve these dreams. Know that these goals will not automatically fall into your lap. You have to sweat and reflect a lot to reach that final milestone. You might face many hurdles in the way and you will trip and fall. But during this whole process you will find out who you are and what is it that you were born to do and achieve!!

Keep dreaming and chasing!! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

A day in the life of my Dad's work!

So I was sitting lazying on the couch of my parent's cosy living room that winter morning when my Dad got all ready to leave for work. He took a final sip of his vegetable juice which my mom judiciously prepares for him every morning before she leaves for the hospital where she works as a gynecologist. 

So it is December - my favorite month of the year when I  get to spend my holidays with my family and pretty much treated royally. As my father hurriedly stepped outside to get into his car in the drive way I thought how would a day in the life of a Pediatrician be like and so I decided to shadow my father to the hospital and experience his day. 
Obviously he did not have the time to wait until I dragged my body out of the comfort of the couch and got ready. I joined him an hour later when he was already taking his rounds at the hospital. I immediately much started following him with other interns and nurses assisting him and taking meticulous notes as he completed his round. 

Now there is something about the hospitals. The place is full of sick people, where people are sad but there is an air of hope amongst all of this. At the entrance of the hospital I saw a Ganesha -Hindu god's idol standing all mighty and strong with well lit lamps and flowers decorated. Some patients sat across the idol with their hands folded as they prayed for the well being of their loved ones. The sweet lady at the reception wished us as we entered into the Children's department.  

Understanding the Baby language
 Understanding the 'baby language'. As we entered in the NICU - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, we washed and changed into scrubs. I saw a few babies supported in an incubator. The NICU is basically a special care nursery with equipments designed for infants and medical staff specially trained in newborn care. This is 

where I saw him speak and understand the 'baby language'.

 Interacting with 3 day old babies - understanding their 

cries, eye movements, breathing patterns were 

helping him understand their current state of health. Now children that age do not rant a story about any symptoms or problem they are facing other than crying and blasting their lungs out. I observed how my father would gently pick up small babies checking their heart rates, tapping on their tiny little feet and trying to gather all the information from their perplexed mothers. After which he would suggest a treatment suitable for the child. 

Doctor -Patient Relationship
Now since my dad is a child's specialist all his patients are tiny little humans with their parents on the side. One important step is to understand baby's problems but also communicate that to the parents 
I noticed this as soon as my dad would enter into a patient's room and would start diagnosing the baby. He would then very patiently explain the cause and details of what had happened to the parents. I could see hope in the parent's worried eyes as they agreed to the treatment. I noticed how my father would convince the parents and patiently answer all their questions and address any concerns. 

After his patient's rounds he went into his office and started meeting a number of people who needed his help in making decisions either about hospital administration or patient care. I proudly sat in his office sipping coffee, as I saw him making decisions and I realized how passion drives one's work. 

Hats off to a life which is dedicated to creating a healthier tomorrow for many young lives!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Top of the world - part 1

Sitara started hiking up the steep slope. She was determined to reach to the top and was not afraid of the increasing elevation. She looked on her right and saw the beautifully spread valley on one side. It was a bright summer morning and the lush green forest splashed amidst several other hills. She could see a flowing stream afar with water glistening in the bright sunlight.  She could hear a waterfall splurging somewhere. The sound of splashing water was calming and the warm breeze gently caressed her face. The path was narrow and she better be careful. She was already half way up the mountain slope, one wrong step and she would land up back to the base of the mountain - right where she started. Not just that the fall could also badly  injure her or could turn out to be fatal. She thought to herself- Isn't life also the same? One wrong step, one wrong turn and you could end up in a very uncomfortable situation, worn out, back where it all started.. Something similar had already happened to her. She could still clearly remember that day very distinctly. 

Sitara Rey - Chief Creative Director of a multinational firm in Mumbai. Her life was perfect-  a dream job, she was one of the most youngest very successful women in the city, a beach facing house and an enviable social life. She was the money making machine for her company. A young executive any company would be lucky to have. One small decision led to a complete downfall of her career, emotions and her life.. 

Sitara immediately gathered herself. The past should not let impact her present. She was here in this moment, hiking these beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains in California. She was determined and no mental setback was going to deter her from this physical milestone she had set for herself. She had trained for months now, she was in great shape, thanks to her love for running. Anytime she wanted to get away from the world she would go running, which would immediately put things into perspective for her. It was her 'me' time. She would go running on the beach every morning before work. She had a tremendous stamina. After every run she would feel happy, focussed and inspired. Maybe I am an endorphin junkie she thought to herself and smiled. She thought once she reached the Summit it would prove that she can do anything she lays her eyes on. She can conquer the world and get past any difficulty which life throws. The beautiful Mount Whitney, the most-climbed peak in the Sierra Nevada, rose 14,494 feet elegantly in front of her. She wiped of the sweat from her forehead took a sip of water and started marching ahead. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Go Running Today!

Finally, I have decided that I will leave the burdens of my laziness behind on the couch and head out for a run! Yes, today is the day when I am all set to hit the running tracks. I am all ready with my  pre-running checklist. I have a comfortable running attire ready. I got my running shoes cleaned up. I even got the Nike running app installed on my phone.  Lastly, I have an adrenaline pumping playlist ready. I located this new running trail right in front of my office. It goes all the way to the Bay. It s surrounded with fields and trees and lakes! Yes there is nothing to stop me today. 
Running apart from being the most popular cardiovascular workout is also the most underutilized stress buster. And guess what it is free! Apart from that it not only releases those happy hormones it also brings you in shape. Well of-course, you start running with a preset goal in mind like losing weight or strengthening your leg muscles to tone them. But, running contributes to the overall health in many ways.

Regular running has become a treatment option for doctors to prescribe to patients who are at a high risk, or early stages, of osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension. It reduces the risk of heart attacks, by strengthening the heart and lowering blood pressure. Running reduces the risk of stroke and breast cancer. 
Did you know that 50% of your lungs went unused when you do not work out. Running encourages the usage of those unused lungs making them healthier. Running also boost the immune system by creating a higher concentration of lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack disease).

And yes the very famous - runner's high! Running in beautiful scenic trails creates a release of endorphins that can cause euphoria (runner’s high) or just a general sense of happiness. If you are stuck with a problem what can be better than going for a long run for three hours to clear out your head and think of a solution to a problem. 

Not only does running help to tone you physically but it also trains you mentally. Reaching your mini-set goals when you are running teach you determination and focus. The determination and will you need to complete those long runs will train your mind to stronger and more focused.

So what are you waiting for? Take out those running shoes and hit your nearest park, gym or the streets. Will see you around running! Don't forget to waive back!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Creativity- a term most less attacked! Are we not living in a world which is full on innovations and new ideas? We are living in a Steve Jobs age which not only respects new thinking but makes us crave for it. Now give it a second thought

Deep down inside are you afraid of being Creative ? Why is it that new changes make us feel insecure? Why does it become so difficult and sometimes impossible to think apart from the league and BE CREATIVE? Yes, imagination does scare us.

Okay so let us start with defining the term "creativity". The word seems so broad.  Take a moment and ask yourself how do you define it? Is it a word limited to artists and designers? I feel creativity does not equal art! Anyone can be creative- designers, managers, developers , gardeners,cooks. Creativity can be a feeling too personal. It is bringing into picture what your dreams are, what you have thought for your life, how you live. There is always a creative component in all of this. Creativity can make your life meaningful by adding a desire or bringing up deep down emotions and thoughts.Creativity is how you make yourself feel spirited, make yourself  feel alive!
Have you ever been in a situation when you are forced to be creative,think out of the box?  Here is a small exercise for you for such times.
Think of answers to these questions:

1. What are you passionate about?
2. What brings you deep sense of inner peace and  joy?
3. What would you be doing if you knew you could not fail?

Answering such questions gives you a way for triggering the creative process. I could tell you Creativity can be discovering new things, ideas, innovations, problem solving. And it can be. And often it is. Everyone can define creativity in their own terms.  So when you start thinking about your creativity you are connecting yourself to a deep meaningful expression which lets you discover who you are.

Find creativity in you day to day lives, in small random things you pursue to do. I hope you discover yourself each day , every moment.