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Cinema says it all!!!! Go woman, go!!!!

You know that you are an Empowered Woman, when you know that fight is inside. When you know that battle is within, Not in the kitchen.!! The word ‘Empowerment‘ is a multidimensional word which has been realized and manifested by various women in their own unique way. The term is so complex that its boundaries are cloudy and is fading into different directions. If you ask me what is ‘Empowerment‘, the definition which I can give you is just a shade and not the actual colour. My way is just a part of it and not whole. Did you ever see a rainbow? It looks multi-coloured, but in fact is formed by splitting of white light. So, the word ‘Empowerment‘ is like white colour which manifests itself in various shades.

Though its not easy to understand each shade with precision but the closest laboratory which can give you a taste of it is the Cinema. As a famous writer puts it ‘Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out’. Cinema is like a mirror in which we find our own reflection. If one ever wishes to understand the position of Women in a specific society, one must watch its Cinema.
With a pocket full of questions regarding Women Empowerment, I went to seek help of Cinema and fortunately I got a handful of answers. The answer which cinema gives you is subtle, it is there but hard to catch. In search of movies which favoured Women Entrepreneurship or promoted Empowerment of Women, I got no specific search result. There were all pieces of puzzle, not whole in them but when combined, they stood out like a complete living picture. That’s exactly what happened with me, answer was in front of me but like a puzzle unsolved.

‘Shruti Kakkar’ of ‘Band baaja baraat’ a middle class girl, who had a vision of becoming a successful wedding planner had side-lined herself from the stereotypical life of women in India. A girl who never created a space for her but discovered it. Lets talk about ‘Shashi’ of ‘English Vinglish’, a woman next door with low education but sky reaching aspirations who expresses her uniqueness by identifying her art of making Ladoos as a new shade of Entrepreneurship. Unknown to the world of English and a source of mockery to her family, she rises as a Phoenix from her ashes by enrolling her name in an English Language course in Manhattan. She becomes an emblem of Feminine strength. On the other hand, we discover the orthodox families of Mehras of ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ who in spite of knowing the extraordinary capabilities of their daughter ‘Ayesha‘ as an Entrepreneur and thinks her good enough for marriage only. The subtle and delicate way ‘Ayesha’ expresses her desire to part away with her husband and talking about her inability to conceive in front of the entire family is breath taking and a big fracture in the framework of our stereotypical society. Last but not the least, lets talk about Piku who finds a perfect balance between ambitions and marriage. Being encouraged by her father to run blindly after her ambitions, she makes a stand and expresses that as a woman she needs to cater her emotional needs as well. Being an overly ambitious and independent woman, she never forgets to day dream and share a blush with the opposite sex. Also we have ‘Ki and Ka‘, where Kareena and Arjun switched the stereotypical roles of husband and wife with such flexibility. ‘Rani’ of ‘Queen’, a girl who never dared to put her footsteps beyond a set geographical boundary takes a bold turn and off she goes to London to enjoy her honeymoon all by herself. Imagine a typical submissive and ignorant young woman who enters an arena of unknown with such confidence! Not to forget when 3 bold young and independent women of ‘Pink’ are successful in establishing new standards when it comes to living independently and falling hard on the prejudices which dare to limit their freedom!.
These Women define Women Empowerment in their own unique way. Their ways are as unique as them and when their half cut pieces of life are blended together, they bloom and shine and only one voice comes up,
“We don’t shout to gather the crowd
To shout makes us slaves of masculine
To slay hearts with a smile
Makes us an Empowered Feminine!”

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Woman- lets create a new shade of life!!!

We live in the 21st century. We all have witnessed drastic changes in the way we live our lives.
Our society has also changed drastically and that can be seen by the change in the status of
Women. Today, women have become Unstoppable. They have Dreams, Aspirations and also possess
the Confidence to turn them into reality. They are subtle, sweet and strong headed. They know
what they want and they get it too. But, have you ever wondered what a women should have in her, so
that, when she enters a room all people swarm around her like bees? The answer to this is
‘Self Acceptance’.

Physical beauty is the first thing that attracts people but not everyone is
blessed to have Cinderella looks. But if we dwel deeper then we come across the eternal truth that
‘Physical beauty is temporary and one day it will fade away’. Most of the women nowadays are
Confident and Strong. They have immense power in them and this power comes from their inner
Self. If a woman accepts herself the way she is and does not try to hide her imperfections from an ‘Empowered Woman’. Self acceptance is the key to confidence and this confidence is what makes a woman attractive.

‘Self love’ is the highest order of love. When we accept our imperfections,
we are confident and we are unperturbed by the judgy eyes of the people, and we have no
inhibitions .We show to the society our true selves and that is what makes a woman fearless.
So its not the physical beauty which turns heads but it is the confidence that she wears that makes
her desirable. To make anyone love you, you must love yourself.

So, this women’s day,all the women out there should be the trend setter of ‘Self Love’ because, that is what makes a woman beautiful and powerful. So the key to be charismatic lies in your own hands. You just need to stop carving
yourself to conform to the standards of the society. We all fear being judged and so we try to
Change ourselves to fit in this society and make people accept us. A woman’s charm is her
Confidence, her Attitude and not in the shape or size of her body. So eat what you want,
wear what your heart says, live life on your own terms and tell the world that ‘It’s my life
and I’ve got my rules’.

Here are few habits which can transform us into a Charismatic Woman:-

  • Be comfortable in your skin. Love yourself and say no to body shaming.
  • Wear clothes which suit your physique and complexion and not what’s trending.
  • Read more because knowledge empowers us and boost our confidence.
  • Always speak less than you know.
  • Make eye contact with others and make firm handshakes.
  • Get involved in some exercise, dance or sport.
  • Nurture your feminine side by getting involved in arts.
  • Become adventurous and physically strong.
  • Listen to music, it will empower your feminine energy.
  • Avoid extreme emotions.
  • Develop the art of listening.
  • Don’t be too open or too reserved, take the middle path.
  • Be adjusting and develop sense of humour.
  • Don’t have rigid views, form flexible attitudes.
  • Make your own decisions and respect your opinions.
  • Spend time in nature and laugh more often.
  • Introspect daily, talk to yourself.
  • Accept your flaws with grace. You are not perfect.
  • Put confidence in your pocket and smile on your face.
  • Never be too conscious of your clothes, body or makeup.
  • Awaken your spiritual side.

Treat yourself as you treat your child, you are not an object which glitters with makeup, but you are the force of divine energy, God’s own creativity, you are in no way less than a man, you are life with a different shade.

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50 Shades of Love

“Not again mom, i am getting the same tiffin for past one week, i am tired of this. Look at Rahul’s mom, she always comes up with something new”. Her words reverberated in the room and Shreya with down casted eyes and trembling lips said “Sweetheart, you know I leave at 7 am and this week was a hectic one. I hope you understand“. The girl frowned and faked a smile. “You do this all the time, I think you need to be clear on your priorities, you don’t even have the time to bid goodbye when we go to school, what else can I expect”. She walked out of the room like a flash of light. Her words had pierced Shreya’s heart, she could feel a burning sensation in her head, she felt like a defeated mother. She was drowning in the pool of guilt, the guilt of not keeping the promise she had made to her daughter when she was born. The words of her daughter were stuck in her ears as if they were hitting her ear again and again. She was not feeling the floor and her did not realize that she had reached the window. There she saw a dozen of martyrs( mothers and housewives) who had killed their own passion to nurture those of their children. For a moment, she felt like a defeated mother. She closed her eyes and her eyes had refused to hold the guilt inside them and tears poured down. Rivers of pain ran down her cheeks.

“Should ambition die for care to live?” or “Should an entrepreneur die for a mother to live? ” She wanted to seek an answer outside but it was to be found inside. She wiped her tears, got ready for work and as she was leaving, her eyes fell upon a troubled neighbour-hood where a loud voice was coming out, “Mom, please dress up properly and please don’t embarrass me at the parents teacher meet. Look at Rishabh’s mom, how she carries herself.  I sometimes wish that you were a working woman“ Suddenly her eyes started glittering as if she had found something she was searching for. She had found her answer.

That evening, Shreya had come back early from work, she had prepared lots of goodies for her daughter. “Come on sweetheart, look what i have prepared for you.” The daughter ate the goodies with immense delight. “Thank you mommy, you are the best“ she said. “You are welcome my love, now since you have eaten the goodies, i want you to go to your room and study for atleast 2 hours and you know i will help you out in the process”. The daughter’s eyes twinkled with amazement as if it was a strange perception. “mom i was going to play“, she said. “Please honey just do as i say”, replied Shreya. “why are you behaving so unusually mom, you sound different. you never force me to study“, she said with a puzzled face. “But Rahul is also studying at this time“, Shreya interrupted. “What does Rahul have to do with me? He is not ‘Me’ mom, why are you comparing me with him?” she said with anger in her eyes. “When you cant be Rahul, then honey, why do you expect me to be like Rahul’s mother? Don’t you think this is a bit unfair!”

Tears ran down the cheeks of the girl as if she came into knowing-ness from a zone of unknowing-ness. She at once rushed to her mother, hugged her and said sorry. “Its alright honey, one day you will be a mommy too. If a lady happens to be a housewife, people will judge her. And if she happens to be a working woman, she would be judged too. Sweetheart, love is shapeless, it has no rules, Some mothers express it through delicious food while others express it through the work values, and the trust we put in you. Whatever i may do, people will judge me, So i do what i can do. I am not a capable cook, i don’t know how to express my love through food, i am just like Rahul’s mom, but my Shade of Love is different from hers” .

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Climbing the Corporate Ladder as a woman

Most Indian women have an ‘Extremist’ approach to life. They wish to be either this way or that, but the matter of fact is that life always happens between the two extremes.The present scenario of Indian women is that, a good number of them are submissive and conditioned as per the expectations of society, They are rigidly attached to the duties which society assigns them and to step out of that conditioned life is not taken well by most of them because it has its set of consequences like the guilt which overpowers them. Psychology believes that if an action or behavior is rewarded or received as positive reinforcement, then the repetition of that particular behavior is more likely to happen and vice versa. Similarly, when women show a certain behavior which is different from the behavior expected from them, their ego produces guilt. They become victims of social criticism even if they are totally able to manage things well. Because of this negative reinforcement, they stop showing this behavior and high ambitions terrify them. On the other hand, women who are high in need of achievement are too aggressive . They are too attacked by pangs of guilt which makes them all the more aggressive and in the process they loose their originality. In both the cases, women are being affected by society, either they are working for or against society. In both ways, they are trying to prove a statement. But in order to lead a successful life, it is important that we remain unaffected by what society thinks of us but concentrate on what our inner self thinks of us. We must not allow our own intelligence to go against us. Guilt is nothing but our own faculties going against us. Instead use your intelligence to strike a balance between the two extreme approaches. Instead of searching an answer outside, its time to go inside.

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Silent Flowers


Silent flowers!! It is said that silence is a true wisdom’s best reply, it is a source of great strength , it is the sleep that nourishes wisdom , silence is the most beautiful sound but when the same silence crushes your voice, makes your existence meaningless and when the same silence like an overpowering tide engulfs your deepest cries then there is nothing painful in the world as silence which destroys not your body but your soul.

We women have been the most vulnerable victims of this monster named silence. Through ages silence is feeding upon our voices that we have forgotten our true nature and many of us have made silence our new voice.

Then suddenly comes a time when we accidentally discover a voice within us and have started the propaganda of women empowerment. At last , in the 21st century we see women are trying to restore their original voice which is manifesting itself in the form of movements like “ME Too “ . The fundamental question which forms the foundation of such steps is how to strike a balance between the masculine and the feminine .

For this we must realize that male and female are just manifestations of either masculine or feminine being present in an enhanced way. I am a young lady but that doesn’t apply that my father doesn’t exist within me. The fundamental step towards equality is to first strike a balance between our feminine and masculine energy within us first followed by society . Masculine energy manifests itself in form of physical strength , sports , aggression , economics , technology etc while the feminine aspects of life includes arts , aesthetics , beauty , music etc. After balancing our inner energies , we need to balance out the outer manifestation of it .

We have failed in exploring our nature by attaching certain characteristics to ourselves and anything which doesn’t fits in the predefined traits is rejected and women who dare to explore themselves and bring out something extraordinary are outlined. We have stopped the dynamics going inside us and that is why life is coming back to us in the form of violent exposition in the form of rape and abuse which makes us think that how powerless we have transformed ourselves into.

We must remember that men are like vegetables which are looked upon as something useful and one who defines success whereas women are like flowers whose basic nature is to nurture life , add beauty and spread fragrance . Can you imagine a garden without flowers and only vegetables. Just like in a garden the role of both flower and vegetable is absolute, similarly in the garden of life both masculine and feminine energy plays an essential role. We must not merge the two different shades of life rather allow both to flourish side by side. Don’t let the voice of vegetables silence the sound of flowers. Don’t make a world full of vegetables. It is not our voice that is silenced but it is our feminine energy.

She was 10 years old when she got married to a man almost 20 years older than her. She suffered through an abusive married life and was thrown out of her house when she was 20 and was pregnant with a child. She somehow managed to reach her mother’s house but was rejected by her own family.

She started living in a nearby cowshed where she delivered her child and was compelled to cut its umbilical cord with a pointed stone . This incident left an indelible impact on her mind . She was shaken up by this incident to the extent that she wanted to end her life. Her new born child was the only reason for her continuing her life, she started begging and while doing so she realized that there were many orphans who required love and support.

She started adopting those kids and taking care of them as her own children. To nurture those unprovided lives , she started begging hard. Day and night she begged and whatever money she received was put into their welfare.

She adopted nearly 1400 orphans and nurtured them with love and care. The extraordinary thing which marked her life was that she adopted her 80 year old husband who had asked for forgiveness. She was not mother Teresa, her name is Sindhu Tai. Today she has many organizations running under her name. Such is the force of feminine energy. She didn’t raise a voice but her actions said it all. She was too an entrepreneur in my eyes. She didn’t allow her masculine aggression burn her veins , neither she yelled at the world but instead she tapped her feminine energy and provided it a voice of nurturing . The sound of feminine is nurturing life , delicacy forms her hands and calmness draws her face. Her life was not easy and I’m not saying that we women have to be silent , fight is essential but it’s our choice whether to fight like a man or to fight like a woman. Yes we women feel that we are weak but the reason behind this weakness is not masculine energy ruling over our feminine but it is in the silence of feminine.

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Ambitious Women -A Force to Reckon with

There’s No Force more powerful than an Ambitious Woman with a Vision.

In recent times, a lot of women achieving in their fields, but what I have been pondering upon is, is that all we have?

Most women are just as ambitious as men when they begin their careers, but become so wearied by fighting against multiple structural and experiential barriers to their success that this ambition often fades.

Most surveys reveal that there is a difference in the levels of ambition in the proportion of men and women aiming for the top. What is surprising is that, they don’t start off that way. The surveys were done for various professions and it was found that both men and women have absolutely equal levels of ambition and want to make it to top in equal numbers.

While men’s ambition increased with time, women’s decreased and the reason is not associated with wanting to have kids, or to stay home and look after them. It’s related to not having support, mentors or role models to make it to the top, and the subtle biases against women that lead to their choices. It is at times the frustration of proving oneself time and again for something frivolous. Also, society at times, labels and judges women who are ambitious. It is convinenient to walk a path of conformity.

I believe there needs to be a considerable level of awareness that needs to reach out to these women and it’s our responsiblity to ensure this happens. In a recent meet in Delhi, where the top women of Corporate India discussed on diversity and inclusion, Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, stated that women should feel proud that they are ambitious. They should not shy away from it.

And also I don’t think ambitious women should feel shy about admitting to a desire to get on, succeed, even to win – and it’s time to get it out in the open, without fear of becoming target practice.

A lot is being done to break the Glass Ceiling. The government and corporates are working towards diversity and inclusion. The numbers show a positive trend. However, certain class of companies have a women director form within the family to comply to the Company’s Act of 2013. The objective of including women to increase diversity is defeated as these women are notional heads. A number of forums are supporting  and developing women leaders across the county. The objective of these forums is to prepare women to fulfil these director level positions. Unfortunately, organizations are not willing to take in a new breed of directors and hence a few women are serving on multiple boards or someone from within the family is present.

Real diversity and inclusion will happen when women who are deserving are given the roles to ensure diversity. For that, the women need to

  • be proud that they are ambitious for themselves,
  • have a larger vision and share that vision,
  • own their achievemets  and be proud of their achievements and accomplishments,
  • think of at scaling and growing,
  • avoid walking the path of conformity and give in or give up on their dreams
  • fight the battle within.

To a more diverse and inclusive India….