I am sitting in office typing away. In walks some guy (G) and talk to me colleague (C) in the next cubicle.
G – “Your African friend is in office. The entire office smells of him”
C – “My friend?”
G – “Ya, smell downstairs.”
C (lets out a laugh. She does not find it offensive AT ALL) – “Oh, the office cleaning lady was in today. She used bleach to clean the toilets.”
RG guy walks into my boss’ room to talk to him by the time I turn around.
DID I JUST HEAR THAT IN THE OFFICE?!
I could not believe that. I peeped in my boss’ room to see who it was. RG is some old friend of my boss. RG was the same guy who came to me and made dumb ass statements about Indians and India when he knew I was Indian. I am never ever talking to him.
Lately, I had blogging writing block. I had so many ideas for posts in my head but I just couldn’t write on my blog. I wondered when I would feel like blogging again. On one hand, I felt like I SHOULD be writing blog posts. On the other hand, I should not put pressure on myself to write as that would lead to more resistance.
I was also having a passion crisis. What was I interested in? What drives me? I was afraid I was becoming one of those ‘no interest in anything, no zest for life’ people. I was scared that the state of being emotionless/ dispassionate, was seeping into my skin from the people around me. Many east asians here are very uncomfortable with positive expression of passion or excitement. They tell you to calm down even if you are happy excited. Everybody has to be straight faced emotionless all the time!
Like Agent May. She is always has this expression no matter what! P.S – She appears in TV series Agents of SHIELD
And Bam! I got so riled up this week (see here) and wrote many blog posts like I was on fire!
I AM NOT DEAD INSIDE!!
Yay! I am relieved and thank people who riled me up. There is a silver lining to every cloud after all.
In addendum to my rant in this post, I have had more realizations today. That is because I am in a zen like state today ha!
People say such bull shit because:
a) They are repeating what someone else told them without thinking about it
b) That seems to be the generally accepted idea in the society and they do not want to stand out
c) They are aware of it and bitter they cannot have it.
When other societies have something yours does not, you can either:
Observe the better points and see how it can be used to improve one’s system
Try to find ways to defend yourself and diss on the other system
When you are an outsider in an east asian society, they will try to defend their ‘collective face’ by blatantly denying what is obviously wrong in their society. Given a chance, the same people would run to a country with more maternity leave/social support from government/more leave [I have seen it first hand] and would love it if their systems provided these. As that is not the case, they try to argue on what’s wrong with what they cannot have.
P.S: This is more of a reminder for me than anybody else because I can get so riled up when I hear these stupid arguments. Besides, if they choose not to change their systems, they can live with it.
It has been pouring like crazy since yesterday. Luckily, I was back at home 2 minutes before the downpour started. It is nice in way that it has cooled down a lot from the hot sweaty days before.The side effect of rainy days is that it is very difficult for me to get out of bed. Nothing is better than snuggling in a warm bed when it is raining outside.
So, when my phone rang in the morning, I sleepily ignored it. I was late and rushing to office in the rain after I woke up. Later I had a feeling sis had called me earlier because she gave birth! I saw photos of the baby. Very cute, if I may say so myself.
A rant. Venture no further, if you do not like rants.
I have pretty lame and racist colleagues as I have discussed previously on this blog. And this afternoon I
am was pissed in office. No point getting angry over people you can’t change. They still make plenty of lame statements regularly though they try not to be racist in front of me.
Colleague A (male) commented how women who DO NOT work till the last day of their pregnancy are taking advantage of the system and are not dedicated to their jobs. They are lazy and there is no reason they should be sitting at home doing nothing instead of being at their job. A’s wife is about to give birth to a third accidental unplanned child next week and she is still going to office. That pissed me off. I told him to talk when he carries the foetus. Why the hell should women work till the moment their labour starts. Why the hell should they be back in office 2 months after giving birth? As many people here are workaholics, they are all back in office in 2 months. One of my ex-colleagues was. Immediately, another female colleague jumped to his defense and said it was better for women to work till the moment they go into labor as many of her friends did.
When you have a fucking lame system, admit it and how we can change. Don’t try to defend it.
I told them it was lame and who wants to spend time in the office when they can relax at home in the last leg of their pregnancy and spend time with the baby after the baby is born. Why should the woman rush back to office in 2 months. That does not mean she is not ‘dedicated’ to her job. Why should women NOT enjoy their pregnancies and babies. Of course, a mother is going to be more dedicated to her baby in the initial months than to her boss. What is wrong with that?!
I cannot tolerate it when women also defend the argument and feel women should return to work ASAP. Like, they are not humans. They are machines who give birth and should be roaring to go to their jobs and not miss their baby. If they don’t, that reflects poorly on them and they are LAZY.
Also, talk turned to how expensive confinement ladies are. Confinement ladies are women who live with you and cook special dishes in Chinese culture after you give birth for about a month or 2. They look after the mother and the baby and let the mother sleep in the night. Again, $1000 is nothing for a month of someone cooking and taking care of you and the baby. But that is bloody expensive but spending $3000 on a branded bag and $1000 on a wallet is considered absolutely normal. Add to that, an expensive car (200,000) because you need be seen in a BMW/Merc. They NEVER complain about that!
What kind of a value system is that? Money is all that matters in this society. Money is not for you to enjoy what you want but to show off and make other people jealous.
You want to work till the last day of pregnancy in office till you can feel your contractions and want to be back in office a month after giving birth, go ahead. But do not complain about how you have no support when you defend and support the system and impose your social norms on everyone.
Note: This does not mean I feel every woman should stay home tending to her baby for a year. You are welcome to do whatever feels good to you but that does not mean you can be condescending to women who want more time at home with their babies.
I saw these 2 articles being shared on FB and am really glad that bollywood actresses are speaking up about things that matter.
1. I like Parineeti’s spunk. Here’s how she gets awkward men to talk about periods. Actually, it is not only men but women too who are ashamed to mention the word.
2. Then, there’s Deepika who responds angrily to cheap tweets – link. U told me that her response sounds like mine would!
As I walked around Hyderabad, I observed a distinct lack of women wearing dresses and I was stumped.
A little background:
Hyderabad, like all Indian cities has had an increasing number of women wearing western clothes in public places. When I was in high school, few women were walking around in jeans and now lots of them are. When I see people’s photos on Facebook, many women are often in dresses, halter necks etc. They are sitting in cafes and restaurants in dresses or hanging out with friends outside. Even the popular Indian shopping websites have many dresses. I assumed given these observations, many women would be walking around in dresses at least in certain upmarket areas like malls and residential areas.
I barely saw any woman wearing a dress. I was standing in a very crowded inorbit mall and looked searched for women wearing dresses. I saw only 2 on a crowded Saturday evening. One of them was an anchor for some show in the mall. Ditto in residential areas. I waited for over 40 minutes on a busy road in Banjara hills to be picked up by my friend. Why I wondered. Why do I see these people on FB wearing dresses while I cannot spot one in malls/cafes/restaurants?* Who is buying from online shops, if nobody seems to be wearing them? Also, barely anybody stared at me when I wore a dress in the malls. So, though safety could be cited but I do not see any issue if someone comes and goes in their car and walks only inside the mall or restaurant.
Note to myself: It is very easy to distort ground reality on FB.
None of my friends gave me a satisfactory answer. Here are some of their replies:
- They do not like to expose their legs [ Well, what about maxi dresses?]
- They wear it, take nice photos, post on FB to get likes and go back to wearing jeans ha ha.
- No idea.
Have anybody else observed this? What do you think are the plausible reasons for this case?
Read about my India trip # 1 here.