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Short Take: Ladies’ bag anyone?
February 10, 2018
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Ladies’ bag anyone?

“What is that ‘sack’ you are carrying?”

That’s one of the most annoying, prejudicial questions, embarrassingly borne by every woman.

Dear Men,

Let me clear that doubt once and for all.

Mathematically:  the heavier our handbag, the more are the chances of your stay in our lives.

We women are quite emotional, I am sure you know that.

Hence, it takes a lot of courage to come up with a “NO” to your demands and requests.

Do you know what that means; we will always have to carry packets of tissues, to wipe our tears that flow in, every time you surprise us with your cold words, and sometimes with your sweet gestures.

Men are quite sensitive to smell, as per my experiences, I am sure you agree with that. Sometimes they forget that odours are natural to women too.

Do you know what that means? Just so that we don’t have to experience your cold shoulders, the emotional women that we are, will have to un-forgetfully carry a tin of mouth-freshner, a bottle of perfume, deodorants and the list goes on.

Salute to those men who follow strict hygiene, but expect their   female partner to magically provide them with a sanitiser every time their hands turn greasy.

Even if I ignore my personal necessities, a sanitiser is a must-carry item; because, if we don’t provide with one, we lose on their appreciation for our love.

Then comes a group whose eyes, very smoothly, get carried away to the pretty faces of air hostesses and waitresses. Now you know why our handbag is brimmed with a brimmed pouch, of cosmetics that MUST be worn, to guide your gaze back to our faces.

The list is as heavy as our bags are. Are you sure you are ready to take the coming blames too!
Saleha Ambreen

‘Joy’ of being uncle

It is always amusing to listen to tiny-tots’ talk. They talk about the things which we adults can’t even imagine. Our discussions mostly involve politics, cinema and family matters, but kids’ talks include none of the above.

They discuss what they like to play, their favourite toys and teachers etc. The most important topic of their discussion is always about what they want to become when they grow up.

They all have their own imaginations about their future and see themselves as their favourite superheroes. I happened to listen to what my five-year-old son was talking with his cousin, who is also of the same age.

They were discussing about their future professions. My guest’s son said he wanted to become a firefighter and would save the lives of people trapped in fire.  He said the moment he would know about a fire incident he would take his water-filled vehicle and drive it at the fullest speed possible honking his favourite horn all the while.

Once he reached the site, he would climb up the building and save people breaking the doors with his bare hands and blah...blah...

Once he finished he asked my son, “What do you want to become?”

Prompt came the reply, “I want to become an ‘uncle’?”

“An uncle?” his cousin got surprised.

“What will you do by becoming uncle?”

My five-year-old replied, “Once I become an uncle I don’t have to do anything. I will watch TV, eat, sleep and play. And will go out every day, buy whatever I like to.”

“What makes you think so.”

“Whenever my parents ask me to greet an ‘uncle,’ I see them either talking, doing shopping with their family or watching TV at home. I never see them ‘working.’ So I am sure that one doesn’t need to do anything and only enjoy after becoming an ‘uncle.’”

All of us burst into laughter listening to his innocent but smart logic.
Faisal Siddiqui

The walk-out

There was a time when I was looking for a part-time job. I was undergoing fertility treatment and wanted something that would keep me occupied for a couple of hours a day. A friend sent me to this place which was a home-school for a small group of special needs children.

Though I accepted to take the English classes, I won’t say I was comfortable with what I was doing. My discomfort was based on an accepted foundation of discrimination, except that I didn’t realise it then.

How could I? It was my first encounter with something like this.

 I was young, yet to see the world and all I knew was anything that was not “normal” had to be avoided, despised, laughed at, or even considered dangerous, this idea a result of the limited views that often go down from generation to generation without being questioned.

And then, there was the fertility thing. People advised me discontinue going there, what if I ended up getting pregnant with a child that had those afflictions? I fell for the fear that was instilled in me and I walked out.

I went on, after that, to work in “regular” stream schools and have had some great experiences too. Yet I couldn’t get over that walk out.

Over a period of time, “regular” schools started admitting students with special needs and I found myself sympathetic towards this move.

One academic year, my principal called me to her room to say she was assigning to me the responsibility of a particularly difficult SEN child because she felt only I would be able to handle him.

I walked out yet again, but this time with my head held high and love in my heart.
Vidya Shankar

Short break

“Oh, I don’t need to get up early in the morning for a few days...”

After the first semester got over, my daughter was so happy that the short break was the time to enjoy and spend with friends.

“When do you think the college will reopen?”

As she was not sure about the date, this question keeps coming up frequently, but the answer was silence.

Everyone is looking for a break in their journey, whether it is in the school or at work or being an administrator. A short break always offers an energising feeling for a strong return.

Despite all this, a long sleep in the gloomy early morning and a nap in the afternoon makes most of the day’s pleasure.

“Mom, what’s special for lunch today?” she was curious to know about the meals every day.

“Eat what is made for all, nothing special as such as you’re not a guest here,” is the common reply from her mother.

“Why are you shouting at me?”

“Not shouting but my voice turned out to be in such a way because of you.”

Such conversations are often heard when children are around, especially during weekends and holidays.

The joy is mixed with so many other things that often disappoint the children who are desperately looking for something different at all the times.

Now, when the college is set to reopen soon, the temperature changes at home. Winter is slowly disappearing leaving way for summer.

In reality, a holiday is a mood that each one creates at their own pace and convenience. 

Making the best use of it is the feat that rests with the individual.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Happiness for sale

Bobby McFerrin’s carol echoes, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

“Every man has the right to liberty and pursuit of happiness,” insists the US constitution.

“Think positive,” all great guys say.

But there is also an opposite version that says too much stress on positive thinking can be toxic.

JS Mill said it well: “Ask yourself if you are happy, and you cease to be so.”

The Journal of Clinicial Psychology mentions, “Could it be that the pressure itself to be happy contributes to some form of unhappiness?”

Reality bites. The only people who make money are authors who tell others how to make money, says my boss.

There are hundreds of books lined up on shop shelves that claim to know ways to become rich and boost happiness.

Just 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world population - or 3.6 billion people - as per anti-poverty charity, Oxfam.

As for me, I draw strength from the words: “Collaborate with the inevitable.”
R. Ramesh

Pet therapy

Those of us who own pets know they make us gleeful. It’s an antidote for loneliness. When a four-legged furry friend walks over with a wagging tail and dabs a soft tongue on hand, it has a calming effect and brings smiles to otherwise blank faces.

Pet therapy may not have complete scientific data to prove its worth, but anecdotally it packs a punch.

No matter how low or lonely you keep, a pet will always be there for you. Whether you want to pour your heart out to them or tell them your secrets, you know it’s all safe with them. Pets give you unconditional love and are always faithful.

Interacting with a friendly pet: cats, horses and other animals can help with many physical and mental issues. It can also release endorphins that produce a calming effect.

A therapy dog or cat are trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism.

It’s really astounding that how these trained pets are taken to hospitals to soothe small children battling from diseases as a hospital can be a very anxiety provoking and a very lonely place.

Such patients love being with pets and forget being broken-hearted. 

As someone who herself owns a cat, I can feel the difference!
Sakeena Banday

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