Saturday, August 19, 2017

The awesome Anu Aga

The Women Writers' Festival yesterday had some inspiring sessions. Anu Aga stole the show, with Rashmi Shukla coming a close second. The session where social media influencers spoke and editors had a discussion were also eye opening.



Anu Aga, who had headed Thermax, rightly pointed out that women don't show anger. In her time, the sole approved ambition of a woman was to 'marry and produce.' She talked about everyone in class had interesting ambitions, but 'when my turn came, I said I want to marry and produce, because that's the only thing I was told I could do.'

Anu spoke of work as being a means of self expression. When her father scolded her for contradicting her husband in public, her husband said that he had not married a 'rubber stamp.' He seemed to have been the wind beneath her wings.

That's how Anu, who hates math and still counts on her fingers, got the will to head Thermax after her husband passed away. Since you can't get 'apples from an orange tree,' she managed Thermax her way rather than trying to be a carbon copy of her husband.

'Never has a man brought me down,' she said, telling us of how a man she met at a dinner said 'Thermax was bound to turn around, because our prayers were with you.'

Anu's advice for women


'Make shameless use of everyone.' We have a great support system in India- mothers-in-law, servants, etc.

Her mother-in-law couldn't understand her working, as she felt that only women who needed to work for financial reasons did so.

Although Anu was into social work in Mumbai and then socializing when she moved to Pune, her family approved of her working in Thermax. Her husband found her 'more interesting,' her children called her a 'better mother' as she 'nagged less!'

Anu's advice for women at work


Be yourself. Don't be aggressive towards other women, like she often sees is the case at the workplace.
Don't make gender an issue. If you're not promoted, don't jump to think that it's because a woman- that may or may not be the case. Even men feel disappointed when they're not promoted.
 
'Even in Parliament women don't follow the rules. Instead of raising their hand before asking a question they directly shoot a question and when the Speaker doesn't allow it, they say you never allow women to ask questions.'

 Don't misuse laws for women. 'No one can rape you for years.'

Put boundaries at work. If you don't want a man to hug you at work, say no without escalating matters.

Take care of yourself, no one else will.

Learn to love yourself.

Anuisms

Husbands who say they work late to get their wives diamonds, should ask their wives whether they'd prefer quality time with husbands or diamonds.

The only difference between men and women is their plumbing.

Women often feel guilty then feel it's Ok to repeat their behaviour since they've done penance by feeling guilty.

My sh@# doesn't smell as bad as it did.

I hope at 75 I can be as vivacious as her!

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Commuter

My heart sinks when I think of you
The hour that's between us two.'
Home and work, will the twain meet?
Mine but to trudge there, rain or sleet.

Open Ola while wolfing breakfast
If he comes on time, pack the rest.
Explain everyday where I'm to be found
Still sometimes the dolt goes round and round.

Jammed in a shared cab with fellow sufferers
We wall ourselves with cell phone bricks
Now I know all the tricks
To cutting time

"Please put the radio on," I sing
Then I hear another's phone ring.
Sometimes I run my chore calls
Knowing others helplessly eavesdrop. Balls.

As the dust dives in through windows open
I wait for the others to mouths open
The air con can be a joke
Stifling. The choice? Choke.

Traffic at the University turn
Is when I check Twitter on the run
Inch by painful inch we advance
Patience is a virtue, I chant.

I shift my aching knees in vain
To find a spot of relief in chains
As the others get off at their stops
I slide across seats free now, the sun to crop.

Those detours for others do delay
It saves money, mind to heart relays
The green on the way soothes for a sec
To dissolve when the car brakes. Heck!

Walking in to work, I'm already pooped
Rush to the loo, to recoup.
With such a start to the day
Any wonder, I wanna run away?




Saturday, February 25, 2017

Worrying

Crow thoughts pick my eyes out
When I try to sleep.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Youth

I wish I could tear the skin off your face
It reminds me of mine when I was young.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

In tandem

If only
My legs could run as fast on the treadmill
As my mind does all the time
I'd have the figure I think about.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Strawberries and Cream

Red.
Juicy.
Firm.
I bite into you
My mouth
Flooding with
Sweet and sourness.
With cream
You cool me
My favourite
Menage a trois.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Reading the waters

When I begin a book
I dip my toes in it
Soon I'm drowning
Becoming the hero
The heroine
The villain
In the world beneath.
The water
Seeps out of me
When I come out
Forgetting how
To be myself.