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Manisha is a amateur art and writing enthusiast. She worked in front desk jobs and craved for reaching out to people. She likes interacting and finds amusement in every person and every aspect of life. She believes there is light in every dark corner.
The thin fingers that were keeping the pencil inside the compass box, were shivering hard. A classmate who observed this and , added to the scarlet me, and the memory stayed through the years. As a little girl in school, my language writing skills were good. I liked my national language, Hindi. I also loved English language, which was the medium of my education in my country, India. Teachers loved to read what I wrote, but sadly when it came to speaking in front of a crowd, I felt my world breaking. I would sweat, my hands would shiver, my feet went numb, and yet the worse was still to come. After a few lines I would end up breathless. My words would shiver. People around me would hear my shivering words and laugh. It was the same case everytime, infront of my class, a crowd or even a group of five friends. I grew to higher classes and my stage fear grew manifold. A few in the teachers knew about my situation. But everytime a new teacher asked me to stand up and read few lines, I would be in the same dark space, alone. At one instance a teacher asked me to surrender a beautiful essay I had written on happiness to another student as this student was a confident speaker and went on to read out my essay in a competition. She won it. She came and read out my essay in front of the whole school, beaming with joy and confidence. I stood in the assembly and heard every word I had written from her. For the first time I was not hungry that day at the lunch hours. I slowly progressed to higher grades, my shivering hands received awards for both English and hindi literature. Teachers would be astonished at my writing skills. And yet I looked back longingly at the kids hosting on mike, so comfortable as if they were speaking at home. The monster was there in my mind. Looking even more fiercely into my eyes. Sometimes I would blame myself, other times I felt it was my karma. I graduated, shying away from limelight, stage, people. It was time to do my MBA. The fear monster, was now a comfortable resident of my mind. My degree entailed giving presentations in front of class. I dodged my turn as far as I could. My nervousness made my classmates make fun of me behind me. I felt helpless. I had few admirers of my youth too in the class by now. It felt worse to speak nervous in front of them. A thoughtful friend in class understood my predicament and he advised me to practice hearing my own recorded speech. I practiced. It did help me in recognizing the words I was eating in my speech, but speaking confident was still far off. I spent on public speaking books. Strangely I knew the small nuances now in speaking, and yet feared stage. I opted for finance stream, as I knew marketing stream would mean more public speaking. This was it. The monster had won. It made me take a decision I didn't want. I hated desk jobs. Wanted to be the star, but … Done with MBA, I finally landed up a job at a small financing firm. Too much travel and work, I was in a happy space. The fear lived in me. Then there was an event at my workplace. All prospective buyers were the audience. A crowd of around sixty people. My team had four marketing guys and me. Being the only Female member, it was now my job to explain our scheme. My boss looked upon me to present. This was it. Back into the monsters battlefield. All those meditation techniques, all practice sessions felt faint. Can anything calm a thudding heart in fear? And then, I decided, something very small. This small decision which was going to effect the rest of my living. I decided that day that I woudn't bother at all. I will give my presentation the way I can. I was wary of the monster. Only I knew the words in my mind? So I woudn't let people laughing on me or looking at me bother me. I was feeling fine and anxious too in my crimson dress. When it was the turn of my company to present, I stepped forward and spoke about our schemes. I was tired and overwhelmed and just wanted to get done with the thing. I went slowly, was aware of what I was speaking, even enjoyed saying the last few lines. The audience clapped for me. I was on sweat but smiling. My team members felt I was good. My boss was less in words, but appreciative. I felt I had tasted something for the first time. The taste of a mild confidence. I was smiling all the way back home. That day and moment changed me a lot. Speaking now came easy to me. My world was changed. The stage felt friendly. The mike felt inviting. I thanked my gods and all those who helped me in their way. Public speaking became my strength. I knew the audience I wanted to boast in front of, my school and college class, was long gone. It came late. But I was happy. Today I get invited to speak at events. My perspective changed too. I now want my audience to listen to everything I say. Understand everything I have to say. I am not fearful anymore. And for me nothing in the world is as precious as this feeling.
Onion side of social media Yes, onions. Remember that colleague who's just had that potato onion sandwich...or burger or whatever. Who comes slowly closer to you after lunch to explain something. Ughh!! You flinch…only u know in the world what you suffer at that moment. You feel like scratching out the head of this colleague (So much for the formal demeanor u hold in office). You fear that if you scratch the head out, there will be a lot more of that onion smell. Onions everywhere. Your thoughts shock you. You thought of murder and only onions stopped you. Murder or onion? Which is more lethal? You got the answer my friend. Onions!! So what is it about this pale vegetable that makes it so attractive to slice and eat it ourselves, but brings immense misery when someone else has it. That stinking smell. Strong, needed to please the taste buds, but so horrible to get a whiff of. Sorry. Enough of onions. I am extremely sorry I put you through this, for no fault of yours. I could only think of this when I thought of the flip side of social media. Everytime I think of discussing a serious matter, some mundane comparison comes to my mind. And I have to hide a laugh. What will people think. I thought in childhood. There was a fear that if I burst out laughing in the midst of a serious discussion, I would be scolded and punished. At times I did bear the brunt of it. But the comparisons didn't die. They kept growing funnier, as if some giggly stuff in my mind. Slowly I gave up being fearful of peoples reaction to my hidden giggles, or rather they gave up on me! So today I am into comparing onions with second side of social media. It all starts with that one profile you make, a facebook profile, a watsapp id, an instagram account. And there you are! Like a baby crab suddenly left behind by that big wave on the seashore. You are that crab yes, for all to see. This is just the start. There is this red carpet treatment you get at the start. People coo- cooing how they missed your friendship! (?) Long standing school, college, office, neighborhood friends. Even that classmate you secretly wanted to skin alive, is crying how they missed you all these years. You wave back, like back. Small crabby eh baby steps. Then all of a sudden you are in the sea, sea of pictures. The pictures of all those people you left behind in life for good and prayed they never meet you in hell again, are grinning back at you on earth itself. That school teacher who gave you that humiliating punishment in front of all, is alive and kicking. Whats more, you have to accept her friendship request and like her entire familys pics. That childhood neighbor who is the only living evidence of all your awkward growing years is back, reminding you of each embarrassing moment with an oh! Those were the days sigh. You smile back sheepishly. Why didn't they teach to strangulate living beings in school, your murderous thoughts are back again. People are born innocent, they live innocent, social media makes them criminals. Then there are the whatsapp groups. Congratulations! Today is that day when your graduation ceremony hat and robe will be taken away from you and you will be made to sit back in class with the same hooligans who sneered at you back then. So here you are, wishing their birthdays, nice pic comments on their anniversary pics, and so on. You realize you are still bad at the things you were bad at, in school and college. These guys are still good at playing one up over you and make you feel as useless as you felt back then. Your old time sympathizers are back too, this time with cute beer bellys, they give you some solace and remind you to bite into your burger. The instagram pics, numerous of all occasions. You wonder people are going to places or only clicking pics. The beautiful foreign destinations half hidden by the familiar teeths of your friends. They are all smiling pictures. Why would anyone be straight faced on a vacation right? No one suffers from journey exhaustion here. And no one has to rush to the washroom either. Everyone is picture perfect happy. Wonderful lives, perfect homes, perfect partners, sweetest kids. Exciting lives. Interesting events. You better smile too my friend, forget the onions for now, click click. Your picture is good. You are on social media!!
Once there was a party for all animals in the beautiful city of Udaipur.India. It was the birthday of king lion. He was celebrating it in a beautiful palace hotel. Invitations were sent to all animals. A beautiful birthday card in gold and ivory. All the animals who were invited thought of themselves to be fortunate to have been invited for such a grand party. There were two horses at the door to welcome all with garlands and perfumes. Animals from all over the world came to attend king lions party. Welcome drinks of sweet and tangy jaljeera and mango panna were served, soft music played. The guests mingled and talked. There was a beautiful peacock, a lovely deer, playful monkeys and dancing tigers. All kinds of animals were present. A tall giraffe walked in, head held high. He was proud and thoroughbred. He enjoyed the Indian delicacies. All animals were too happy with the good food and wonderful decoration of the party hall. King lion said “welcome my dear friends, please feel at home. I am too happy to have you here. The cake was bought in by family members of king lion. It was in the color of the sandy desert present in Rajasthan. There were some toy camels on it covered in cream. The cake looked like a mini desert area. All the guests were curious about the cake.” what does it stand for? ” A lovely lady eagle asked the king. King lion explained that it is a representation of the place. A tall dark camel stood at a corner in the party. He was listening to all that was going on. A bunny rabbit had never seen a camel in his life so he asked the king about the toy camels on the cake. The king smiled and replied “the camels are tall like the giraffe and magnificent!” The giraffe felt very offended at this. He came forward and bowed to the king lion and said. “Sir! You can see that camel in the corner of the room. I feel we are very different. My skin is fine and not wrinkled. My body is considered good looking and photogenic. I am rare and handsome. I just feel we are very different “. King lion smiled and asked the camel if he wanted to say anything…The tall camel just waved back and said that the giraffe was indeed good looking. King lion was quite pleased with the camel's sportive reply. The guests surrounded the king and the cake was cut. The party was in full bloom. The guests danced all night and had wonderful food. The day came to an end. Next morning it was time for all to go till the airport. The giraffe and a koala bear had to catch their flight to Australia. They were slowly on their way with their baggage, with a horse who was sent by the king to accompany them. When they reached halfway. A sandstorm started to blow. Slowly strong wind with thick sand was blowing. It was difficult for the bear and giraffe to see. They closed their eyes and clung to the horse. The horse pulled them gently behind a wall to save them from the sandstorm. . The storm took an hour to slow down. When the air settled the giraffe and koala bear realized that they were actually behind the camel for shelter and not a wall. The horse returned their baggage and the camel helped them reach till the airport on time. It was time for saying bye .The giraffe was filled with too many emotions…he felt shame and gratitude too at the same time his ego was not letting him speak at all. He turned back and asked the camel “why didn't you speak of your ability to protect others in the desert in the party? You are so good at it!! The camel looked into the giraffe's confused eyes and said “You were our guests for the evening and I just wanted you to be comfortable “.The giraffe was taken by surprise. He asked if he could hug the camel. The camel hesitated and said that he had sand over him. The giraffe smiled with a little tear in his eyes and hugged the camel “never mind my sandy friend. I have fallen in love with your sand!!” all the four animals had a laugh. The giraffe and bear left with warm memories…and felt as if a part of their hearts would always stay here on this land.
Her bright radiant eyes, her tender shoulders, the long fingers, that glitter on the nails, those closed yet telling lips….relax friends..you are on the right page! We are not heading into an excerpt from a romantic novel. We are talking about the biggest consumer in the world that we live in. The clothes that she wears, the holidays she dreams of, the house she makes you buy….women today run the world economy!! This is a bit of a hurt to the egos of the lesser souls on earth…the marginalized..the species that wear the same jeans to a no. of parties and yet find it good enough for next. This species can be content with their favorite couch for light years. And holidays ? well isin't it supposed to be endless biking treks? What is the need for luxurious hotels? Yes this species got a name too, the Men. Hi! Who is chuckling there. We need silence to read the rest. Let us not be hurt, it's about the facts. Acceptance of the ultimate truth. Men like to believe, they run the states. The big units, across the world. Those board meetings, the sell and buy world. Demand and supply. Product and people. People? Did they say people? The marketing books went wrong here. It needs to be changed. Product and women. This is better. Sounds good. Works better too! Still not convinced? Aw! You are the boring statistical and facts type. Well then, get some coffee in your hand while you read the stats. And as I said before..acceptance of the truth. “Women are the most underutilized economic asset in the world's economy,” says Angel Gurría, the secretary-general of the organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. From Harvard business review. Women make the decision in the purchases of 94% of home furnishings…92% of vacations…91% of homes… 60% of automobiles…51% of consumer electronics. Since you got me in the serious statistical mode, let me play it for a while. The world is well aware, that women still largely suffer inequality in the workforce. Childcare is seen as an end to the careers of women in some states. While in rest they still struggle to make place in all kinds of work. Some states see women as just fit for rural work, farming and fishing. And the worst scenario is, the places in the world where every girl child is waiting for proper education and living conditions. What helps then? Awareness, Lets strive for women empowerment.This time for a higher GDP. Let us provide safety measures, care and concern. Smile…we are at the end of this write up…but at the beginning of a new world. A world where every country is seen as the best country for a women to work and stay in. Thanks for reading. And do shop new clothes for that next meeting Sir, just a request.
There is a beautiful world. Every new ray of the sun in this world gives endless joys. The blue sky is a happy blanket, looking playfully, down at the earths inhabitants. Every living being on earth is safe and full of joy. Every pair of eyes is radiant with million dreams. All hands here are raised to help everyone around them. Every pair of feet walking in peaceful existence. No stomach is empty here, No heart is hurt. No childhood is scarred. No teenage scorned. No contempt here. No judgments. No wars here. No gory. These people here, unaware of harmful weapons. No tears. Nothing at all! What is there then, in this world? What is that there? That thing so big and yellow ? It's a grain of corn, big enough to feed a family. Who is that? A stranger in black clothes trying to lovingly quieten a crying child. Those roofs there, they were made to give shelter from sun and rain. The clothes of people? Pale colored but warm. The food? Enough for all and delicious. Everything else, simple. Transport? Roads? Not needed here. The hearts are close. And the cold screens? The networking apps? This world here, has warm handshakes. Hugs and Kisses. Love in abundance. And the list goes on. For everything we have, this world has more. Our Every More, is a happy ‘less' here. This world is very simple and yet difficult to understand, for all of us. A tolerant world!