2017 Week 36 Update

This week has been a very intense week for me, especially at work. We have our signature event two days from now and the last week has been busy at work, so much so that I’ve had a chance to even think!

The place that I am now working in, is pretty notorious for doing things at the very last minute! If you are efficient and do things ahead of time, you are penalised for it because things change between the time you do it and the time it has to be ready. For someone who always (and I mean always) is ready ahead of time, this is serious anathema to me! Every time this happens, I wonder what I am doing here!

I’ve been here for slightly over three months now, but I still have not gotten the confirmation letter from them. I am going to wait until the end of this month and then check with HR to see what they say about this issue. Maybe also speak to my manager (who still hasn’t done the one-on-one with me, even after three months!) to see what is the process here.

This week is also going to be a super intense week, what with the event and then the after the event, we have to pack up the office because we are moving the very next day! No rest for the wicked here!

Have a wonderful week folks!

 

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Happy Birthday GG & BB: A Letter to you on your 14th Birthday!

Happy Birthday, BB & GG! You turn 14 tomorrow and the years between the first time I held you both in my arms to today seems to have gone by in a flash. Tomorrow is also your Hindi year-end exam and I wish you all the best for the exams (though I know you wish the exams didn’t happen today!).

GG, you are my first born (by two minutes) and as I watch you grow into a warm and confident young lady, I am always surprised you were born from my womb. You are beautiful, both from the inside and the outside, but I am glad, at this point in life, you are more concerned on the inside than the outside, maybe unlike your peers.

BB, my baby boy, who is now a whole head taller than me, you are still the sweet and lovely little boy I watched grow up. I still love the random hugs you give me now and then and the cuddles you ask me sometimes and hope you never change this aspect of your personality.

Both of you are no longer children and completely dependent on me anymore. You are already young adults who show promise of the adults you will soon become.

For both of you, the exams that begin around the end of the month are defining exams. How you in this exam will determine to a large extent your future path in life as the subjects you take will eventually determine the subjects you can take post school.

There are very few children who are your age and who know what they want to do in life, you both are quite fortunate you have been able to pin down your passions early on and to a large extent, you both have decided what you want to do in life. All I say that grow your passion and let that determine your path in life. As someone wise once said,

“When you love what you do and work in something that you are passionate about, you never ever go to work a single day in your life!”

The teens are brutal years, take this from someone who has been through it. I have always believed that teenagers are more lethal than even adults and what you learn while navigating these years will be the foundation which you can use to base your adult interactions.

The teen years are brutal, take this from someone who has been through it. I have always believed that teenagers are more lethal than even adults and what you learn while navigating these years will be the foundation which you can use to base your adult interactions.

One thing I would like you both to learn during the holidays is to learn to cook! Cooking is no longer restricted to girls and with both learning to make simple meals in school, we can take this further and learn simple meals you can make for yourself. This will make you more independent and cooking is an important life skill. You will never starve or even spend too much money on meals when you stay away from home!

Speaking of which, I am quite dreading the time when you both fly the coop – BB will start first when he starts his National Service, but I would love for both to stay and study overseas so you gain valuable experience – both academically as well as in life!

My hopes and aspirations for you both are quite simple, I want you to enjoy what you do and in the process be happy doing it. Live life to the fullest and make use of every opportunity that comes your way, be it tiny, little or big. Keep learning, it never stops and try to learn something new every day! Love each other immensely as you now do and never stop being in each other’s lives. You both share a special and unique bond, keep that flame always alive!

Happy Birthday, GG & BB! Remember I love you to the moon and back (definitely more!)

2017 Week 35 Update

This week went off quite quite fast for me and before I knew it, the weekend was here!

I had a work offsite this week which was why the week went very fast. The next few weeks are very hectic work-wise with a signature event and an office move, all happening this month!

Work has been both good and bad, and I am all the more determined that once I complete a predetermined time here, I will start looking for a new, better position. My manager sent me some ‘feedback’ which I felt could have been handled much better; maybe speaking to me first and trying to see it from my point of view. Since we’ve never had a one-on-one since I joined this organisation, three months back, this could have been a good time to sit down and speak with their feedback on how I was doing. Anyway, these are the issues which leave a bad taste in the mouth. But I have not given up completely – once the way event and move happen, let’s see if the one-on-one happens.

I will have a hectic and possibly stressed out week, but I hope you have a better one!

2017 Week 34 Update

This week was a relatively short week with the long weekend as Singapore celebrated the feast of sacrifice or Hari Raya Haji as it is called here. We are now in September and counting down to the last few months of the year!

This weekend, we went out together as a family after a long time. I needed to buy a jacket for work and so decided to make an evening out of it. We went and shopped and then had dinner. It was an enjoyable evening.

I am looking to buy a fitness tracker and am quite confused about what to buy. I looked at the Fitbit Alta and the Flex but also like the Charge. Also, I want something which is discrete, by which I mean I don’t want to advertise the fact that I am using a fitness tracker. I used to have a Fitbit Pebble (is that the right name?) and used to clip it to my clothes or even into my pockets and nobody knew I had one. Is there one like that in the market now? Anyone with more information, please comment below so I can decide soon. My current fitness tracker is my phone and I am using the Argus app to track steps, water, movement etc. The only downside to this is that I have to make sure I am carrying my phone in my hand or in a pocket all the time and sometimes that becomes cumbersome, which is why I am looking for a new tracker.

Work-wise, I am reaching my three-month mark here and this should end the probation period. I still haven’t had any one-on-one with my manager, in spite to asking multiple times, so this is something I probably will have to give up on. Maybe when the time comes to do your annual goals, my manager will finally find time for me.

Something happened this week and I realised that this organisation was willing to spend hundreds of thousands on an event, even provide tickets which are worth thousands free of cost just to fill up seats, but would not spend a few few hundreds to allow staff to take taxis home after a 15-hour work day, because the time would not yet be 9 pm at that point (which is the official policy to  allow taxi claims)! So all the posturing about staff welfare, including having staff fun clubs is just that – posturing. They don’t put their money where their mouth is.

The other thing I am excited about is my parents coming to Singapore. I  just applied for their visa over the weekend and think it should be approved sometime this week. I have also sent my list of items to buy from Mumbai and am waiting for the goodies next month!

Have a wonderful September and an awesome week!

 

Television Shows

I have never been a huge television fan. Growing up, my dad was against all forms of TV, believing it to be not very good for growing girls and so we were on a very restricted schedule for television watching. The television was only switched on in the evening and we could only watch approved channels and shows.

Of course, most of this was during the era of a single (and later two) state sponsored channels. I remember the happiness people felt when the Indian television industry was opened we got access to a plethora of channels.

I just read the above paragraphs and started laughing! BB & GG can never understand this if I ever explain my growing up days to them. Actually, they too rarely watch television, preferring to get their entertainment through YouTube and other streaming devices.

Anyway, last year when I was bored, one day, I randomly started watching videos on YouTube which popped up on the Recommended feed and I got hooked on to watching dramas from Pakistan. These dramas are in their official language, Urdu, but because it is so similar to the Indian language of Hindi, if you are fluent in Hindi, you understand around 80-90% of what is being said. The rest you can infer from what is happening on the screen. In fact, since the time I have started watching these serials, I can find myself using Urdu words unconsciously!

I now watch dramas and soaps from two channels and love most of them. Unlike the Indian dramas and soaps which were mostly formulaic and with very predictable story lines (mostly about a plucky and pure heroine and her Mother-in-law who spends all her time plotting against her) the dramas from the channels I watch have very good story lines. The best part, unlike most Indian serials, these dramas have a clearly defined story with a start, middle and end and most end in a few months so you never ever got bored of them. This is unlike some serials which have been going on for more than five years!

Stories and plots are also quite sensitively taken and I am surprised (in a good way) to find strong women characters in these serials. The story lines are varied from plots which are sappy love stories to revenge dramas, to a very well taken drama about a girl who is punished for liking a boy and who, against all odds becomes a doctor. Even at this point, she is being discriminated against and I would love to see her reach her goals and cock a finger at her detractors.

What I don’t like about these dramas are probably very feminist in nature, but it is the concept that a girl or even a grown adult belonging to the male of her family; her father first, then her husband and if she doesn’t have a father or husband, then it’s her brother who decides her life. It doesn’t really give the woman, especially those who belong to lower strata of society a voice and many dramas show if a woman is self-sufficient, then she has to endure and wade through the taunts of the people in the society she lives in. Women who are from the more economically advantaged families have it a slightly better though. This is true to a large extent in India also, especially in the semi-urban and rural areas where women are seen as mere chattels and wearing western clothes, using and speaking a mobile phone is seen as the promiscuous behaviour they indulge in. I can go on and on about this, but this is material for another post!

Another thing I don’t like is the concept of triple talaq or the concept where a man holds the woman he is married to absolute hostage because he has the power to divorce her by uttering the words “I divorce you” thrice. In almost every drama or serial I have seen, at some point or the other, a male character will threaten his wife that if she does not do <insert demand by husband> he will divorce her and throw her out of his home. It does not matter if the man was drunk, angry or not in his senses, or even if uttered between just the two of them, the words once uttered become irrevocable. I wonder if this is the real reality in such societies or is something that a director uses to create more drama. I hope it is the latter because such scenes make me as a woman quite upset!

So if anyone wants to want dramas and serials which are different from the typical Indian soaps you see, just look out for Pakistani dramas. You also get a glimpse (even if it is manufactured and not absolutely real) into this country’s culture. If you remember, this was a country I had wanted to visit before I die. Read more about that post here.

Do you watch Pakistani dramas? I’d love to get more recommendations, though these days where I am going to find the time to watch, I don’t know. Do comment below.