Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dear Women, Will You At Least Stand Up For Me!

YES! This is what I feel! As a woman, as a human being, as an Individual!
For all who've been shoved with stereotype thoughts
For all those who've feared Society
For all those who're raising Girls in their family
Hear Kalki out in this amazing monologue! Feel every emotion of hers!
And lastly, raise your girls beautifully coz they're meant to be loved...
If you're a mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, sister, grandma .. speak up for your lil girls at home.. encourage their liberal thinking.. & most importantly, teach them to love themselves first!   


It is preferred to read this monologue first & then watch her in the video:

In the beginning God made man.
God made man in his own image.
And then that's was it. 'Man'kind, hu'man'ity, wo'man.
Man, man, man.
What chance in Hell did we ever have?
We were sidelined from the Big Bang.
You remember Draupadi?
Draupadi married off to all five Pandavas.
She garlanded only Arjun
But they told her you got to marry all of us.
Five husbands! That can't be fun.
God know I have enough trouble with one.
Or what about Eve and the apple?
Blaming one woman for all mankind's evil?
Soorya and Kunti,
The Virgin Mary
Do you know Gaia?
The Goddess Mother Earth
She's the one we all trample on.
And remember Aphrodite
Goddess of love and beauty
Lest we forget, she was also
The patron of prostituting.
She was less known
Raped by Hades
She became Queen of the underworld,
Not even goddesses were left alone.
You might not know A'isha,
She was one of the wives of Prophet Mohammad
She challenged a Califh for power
It created quite a ruckus,
It led to war in fact,
All because of one woman's fuss,
And so was born the tradition Islamic
That women should not engage in anything politic.
But of course they did,
Thank god they did.
Women have their ways,
As somebody once put it.
The Queen of Sheba, Empress Theodora, Rabia al' Basra,
Cleopatra, The Victorian Era, The Mona Lisa
The Suffragettes, Marilyn Monroe, The sixties and burning bras,
The unpopular Thatcher and our own Indira
Et cetra et cetra and now here we are.
Here we are,
We've survived this far,
Thanks to seduction, perhaps some manipulation,
But mostly thanks to Mother Nature and ovulation.
Now look at all the queens and goddesses of history,
No prince came to the rescue,
No king ever went down on one knee,
No deity was even that trustworthy,
Yet all we've be told since we were three,
Are fairytales, adverts, and pretty stories,
Telling us to pray, hope,
And wait to be saved.
Here we are today.
Here we are,
On International Women's Day,
With some minor disappointments,
And a few little things to say.
The woman in red,
The girl in pink,
The widow in white,
The Burqa in black,
The colour of lipstick,
Viva Glam, Lady Danger, Fresh brew, Faux, Frenzy, Hot Gossip and Sweetie.
Ramblin, Siss, Crème cup, Paramount and Modesty
Fetish, Spice it up, Naked Paris, Honey love and Odyssey.
Apply, line, smack, seal, pout,
And you're ready to go out.
Sometimes I just want an oversized T shirt, boxer shorts, unkempt hair and unibrows.
I want armpit hair long enough to plait,
I want a clean face without a trace of make up
I want to look the way I do when I wake up.
I want to scratch my head,
Dig my nose,
Lick my fingers,
Stretch my legs
And spread my toes.
I want to smile with my gums showing,
Bare my teeth and
Contort my pretty face into wrinkles.
I want my crow's feet to look sexy,
Or my salt and pepper hair,
Or my sun burnt skin,
I want to be George Clooney basically,
But with breasts and a muffin.
Alas,, control!
Keep it down.
Stuff it up, bottle it in, switch it off,
Cross your legs, wear a bra,
Sit straight and smile sweetly for the camera.
I went to a party,
I went to a party where
I was looking for something real.
Glittering, flashing lights,
Sparkling clean glasses with something bubbly and expensive inside,
Stuck on smiles of painted lips and gorgeous, skinny, beautiful ladies all around,
I craved a touch, a caress,
But my senses were intimidated by cloned perfection.
I thought I could hear muffled wailing,
Nervous giggling,
Intoxicated complying.
I thought I could hear the buzz of millions, screaming out their instructions,
Sit down, stand up, stay,
This way, that way, go away
I can't breathe, I'm choking.
This room is filled with smoke
From regrets and weak, nicely packaged cigarettes.
This room is filled with luxury and fame
And false dreams.
This room is full of fat sharks
With sharp teeth
Sliding through delicate skin
Like a hot knife through butter.
God I'm so hungry.
There's nothing to eat.
No food except some frozen bits of fish
On a silver platter
I eat one. I'm still hungry.
I eat another and I'm stared at by the waiter.
No matter. I take the whole platter
Totter off to my little corner
Next to an old and and eat from my platter.
I'm stared at by the latter.
No matter. I continue to eat from my platter.
I wipe clean the crumbs from my platter.
I lick clean the whole platter.
What? What are you looking at?
Stop. Stop looking at me like that.
What? I was hungry.
Haven't you ever seen somebody eat before.
Stop it. Seriously, stop staring at me.
Hey, I'm talking to you,
Are you deaf?
Stop staring at me!
Stop it. You'll drive me crazy!
Oh god, I'm dizzy.
It's that bubbly stuff they gave me
This is one hell of a party.
I have to leave.
I'm spinning and bumping into people and furniture,
I'm spinning and bumping into everything.
Bumping into shiny lies, through living ghosts,
Past sickness,
Ramming right into anger,
Into wastefulness, nothingness,
Bad times, endless sleepless nights,
Half dead daylights,
Violent bumps from losing loved ones,
Losing innocence,
Losing dignity,
Losing looks,
Losing, just losing.
I'm craving, I'm starving,
For something real,
Something breakable,
Something tangled,
Fragile, imperfect and free.
I am starving
To be me.
What am I complaining about?
What right do I have to complain?
I have money, friends and fame.
I'm not fifteen and married,
I'm not a little girl who's been lied to that she's a woman,
Who's been told not to question
A stranger who shares her bed,
I'm not a little girl who's been
Raped before she's been kissed,
Who's been made mother
Before she's had time to play,
Does she even ask to be free?
Does she dream?
When her husband enters her
Is it Shah Rukh Khan she tries to see?
Does she feel sexy?
I don't think so.
This is her job,
Twenty four hours,
Seven days a week,
Zero pay,
Just get through each day.
Do you think she cares freedom, rights, about politics or religion,
She's fifteen.
She cares about food
And what her neighbors say.
Politics and religion are for the luckier,
The wealthier,
The stronger,
And in our country,
Politics and religion are enviable careers.
So your religion tells you to cover up,
Your religion tells you to shave your head,
Your religion tells you to be meek,
Keep your eyes lowered,
Keep having children,
Or keep your mouth closed.
What if your religion told you to hate the other,
What if your religion told you to burn alive on a funeralpyre,
What if your religion told you to do whatever you felt like,
Spit, scream, gossip, fight, lose control, make noise, pollute,
Marry a child, perform an honour killing,
Rape, torture, discriminate,
Keep breaking the law,
Keep locked up,
Keep uneducated,
Keep submissive,
Keep ignored,
Keep under control.
Does God have a say in your religion?
Has God become a politician?
Dear men,
Dear powerful men,
I know you care about women.
I know you care about her.
I know you want her to feel like a princess,
I know you want to put her up on a pedestal,
Make her a goddess,
And give her a special day
International women's day.
You want to carry her so she can't walk,
Hold her, so she can't be free,
Tell her, so she can't know any differently.
But NO!
No. That's not how works equality.
It's hard work
To change a nation's mentality
It's hard work to go unnoticed,
Change the roots and the minds
Of a people who have been too long deprived
Of education and basic rights
Who are steering towards intolerance and misanthropy
Because of shameless inequality.
Dear men,
In all this will you give me the power?
Will you let me stand in your place?
Will you let me laugh in your face.
Will you stop staring, judging and accusing me
Or will you arrest me for blasphemy?
Label me as sexy, slutty, lose or crazy?
Call me Basanti, Pinky, Sweetie and whistle at me?
And wait a minute!
Wait a minute!
Not just dear men,
Dear auntie,
Will you stop gawking at me?
Dear Didi,
Will you stop telling me to shut up?
Dear women,
Will you, at least, stand up for me?
Enough of a woman who has become viscous from her environment.
Enough of a woman who has to become a man to compete.
Who has to weaken where she is strong and strengthen where she is weak.
Enough of a woman that has to make space for child and lover,
That has to occupy what space is left over,
Enough of uninformed teenage girls
Bleeding after losing their virginity and keeping silent after,
Enough of having to deal all alone with the morning after,
Enough of the disposed foetus,
Enough of the unwanted daughter.
Enough of girls in fairy dresses,
With bulimia and major complexes,
Enough of parents in denial, gender gaps and dividing sexes.
I'm tired.
You're tired.
We are all tired.
We're tired of waxing, manicuring, excercising,
Aborting, procreating, trimming, posing,
Smiling, threading,shopping, fucking, water-bursting,
The pill, make up, high heels, stainless steels, tampons, covering up,
Nurturing, caring and crying.
Sometimes I just want to breathe,
Sometimes it's hard to even just breathe.
Like when a man is pounding incessantly on top of you in a daily routine,
It's hard to breathe
When he turns away to sleep
Leaving you completely I satisfied sexually,
It's hard to breathe
When your clothes are too tight,
The underwire of your bra is poking into your ribs,
It's too hot to be wearing all this,
And it's hard to breathe
When you want to stop being stared at but everyone always is.
The watchman, the rickshaw wallah, your neighbour'shusband,
They're all watching your chest heave,
Everytime you breathe.
Sometimes, as a woman, you feel guilty to just breathe.
Of course we are going to be hysterical
Of course we are going to scream,
Of course we're going to be unreasonable.
You think it's reasonable to restrain somebody's breathing?
Hello. Namaste. Salaam.
I am a Hindu a Muslim a Christian a Buddhist and an atheist.
I am twenty, thirty, forty and fifty.
I am single, married, divorced and half the country.
I am a mother, a daughter, a wife and a prostitute.
I am a stereotype, a trophy and a prisoner or patriarchy.
I am a woman in Indian society and I am not yet free.
But forget about all that for a moment and just look at me.
Look beyond my body, really look at me.
I am not a hardcore feminist to be very honest.
I am not a rebel as some would like to believe.
I am not even such an impressive celebrity,
I am not always made up and dressed up perfectly.
And my therapist assures me that I'm not crazy.
So look beyond all that. Look at me.
Look at what you're seeing.
You're seeing another human being.
You're seeing another you in me,
And really there is no difference between you and me.
That's all we need to grow up understanding,
To make ours a better society.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

WATSummit 2011 - An Experience...

Every new idea seems little before formulating & getting it executed. Every crazy idea seems impossible before we pause & think about it! WATSummit was one such idea which seemed impossible but working on it has made me learn & realise a lot many things in the digital world.
WATSummit 2011 – WATBlog’s flagship event was amongst the first digital events to take place in 2011 & was the largest event for the company till date. The core team was clear to have its expectations set forthright. “The Inflection Point of Digital Media” being the tagline for this first event, it actually meant to dig out opinions from thought leaders of the Indian Digital Fraternity. With a zillion digital events happening all round the year, we wished to make this one different by emphasizing on the tagline to speak for itself. 

Organizing the summit has been one hell of a cherishing experience. During my tenure with WATMedia, I found this event as one of the most ambitious projects to work on. When WATSummit was ideated back in August 2010, we began with creating a website & identifying key speakers & partners who would be apt to be a part of this summit. Along the same time, content for panel discussions were brainstormed & quickly formulated to approach panelists & block their dates.

I must admit that working on the website was a task bearing the fact that my technical knowledge is pathetic! Right from preparing the content to having it placed in the right places, from designs to banners – the website was slowly shaping up. (Kudos to Kaustubhi, Krishney & Parth who did a fabulous job on designing the website & mailers). Cut to December 2010 & January 2011 which happened to be our main month for a lot of groundwork preparations, the media kit & badges were in its initial stage of design. Making sure WAT’s identity is carried on to the DAY of the event, RD (Rajiv) came up with this fabulous idea of having it shaped in a bubble (conversation mode). Below is a glimpse of the trophies which were given to our speakers along with a WATSummit diary as a momento.

WATBlog being particular with the quality of content on its blog, we were careful about the content which would be spoken & discussed during the summit while panel sessions. As moderators were briefed about what each panel should contain as key pointers, we were happy to leave the onus of the panel with the moderator itself & treat it as his own baby.  And the bottomline for all discussions was – INTERACTIVE yet PROVOCATIVE! Our high point was receiving Mr Ajit Balakrishnan’s (Founder acceptance to be the keynote speaker for the summit. His presence gave a boost to the team & also made sure that our keynote would now do complete justice to the tagline (The Inflection Point of Digital Media).
With the final day nearing, the team was working at full capacity making sure everything is in place for THE day. The hugest relief was to get the venue a day prior to the event for the setup which would have otherwise eaten into our time on the day of the event – 14th Jan 2011. Not to forget, since I was to host the conference, a script was simultaneously being prepared!

I vividly remember the night before the event was sleepless – full of excitement & anxiousness! 

14th Jan 2011 – With the organizing team reaching early & making sure all arrangements are done, we were all set to roll. I began with welcoming our attendees & thanking our sponsors. 

All the panel discussions followed smoothly & the venue was packed till the end. The highlight amongst all the panels was our 4th panel – Startup vs VC Perspective. The moderator – Mr Alok Kejriwal (Owner & Founder - 2win group) was at his wittiest best & that gave the panel an instant uplift. All the panel discussions saw interactive Q&A sessions from the audience. It is generally seen that the audience doesn’t sit till the end of any conference but we were pleasantly surprised to see a full house till the end of our summit.  

Learnings: I wouldn’t say that we as a team didn’t face any hiccups. Sure we did but there was mostly a plan B attached to it which made it easy for the team to function. Also, three days before the event, a responsibility sheet with a timeline was prepared which sorted each person’s position at the venue to avoid confusion. Finally, no event is executed by a single person – Team Work it is! What an experience its been for all of us working on it! Kudos to all of them - Rajiv Dingra, Jason Menezes, Kaustubhi Kale, Krishney Asnani, Parth Mistry, Ruchi Mehta & Dixita Soni.

A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind.
-          Bill Bethel

On that note, here’s a preview of the snaps of the event -

Hope you guys have a good time reading this post. With the opportunity given to me of working on some of the best upcoming Digital Events in India, I shall make the best out of it & share the experience of making these events come LIVE. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Inception of Nomadic Verses

I’m glad I’ve finally written the first post on my very own blog & have covered most of my thoughts. 'Nomadic Verses' would cover an array of topics over my interest areas such as Digital Media, Events, Entrepreneurship, Startups etc. On a lighter note, I often think philosophically about a few incidents on day to day basis in life so do not be surprised to read a tad bit theory on that as well!

To delve into who I am & what I do - Born & brought up in Muscat, Oman (no more an NRI); Completed pre college studies & landed in Bombay (Yes I do not call Bombay ‘Mumbai’) in 2003; Graduated from MMK College of Commerce & did a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Relations & Corporate Communications from Xavier Institute of Communications.  In between my graduation, I’ve freelanced as an Event Manager (my first love & passion) by planning, executing & organizing few of the finest events in the luxury, corporate and government sector. And not to forget, hosted & anchored several shows – those that give more air to my hobby, those that offer a learning experience & most importantly make me happy!

On a professional note, I entered the digital media space exactly a year back by debuting my career in WATMedia Pvt Ltd as a PR & Social Media Executive & later as an Event Manager & Senior Communication Executive. Little did I know my life was about to take a full swing curve. The last 11 months have taught me the basics about how a startup functions - role management, performing multi-tasking activities, being initiative & approachable, learning & sharing, overcoming challenges, drafting & achieving scalable goals. But most importantly on how an Entrepreneur thinks, acts & leads a team in the right direction. I’ve had the good fortune of working with one such young entrepreneur (Rajiv Dingra, CEO, WATMedia Pvt Ltd) who, being a first generation entrepreneur, has given me various opportunities to explore my niche qualities & support me to excel in whatever I took up. However, I’ll have several more posts dedicated to my learnings of the past one year so I wouldn’t rant about it in the initial post itself.

What I do treasure at the end of the day is meeting beautifully talented people as colleagues who share a warm & motivating relationship with each other. I’m glad to having entered the Digital Media industry at its inception as the opportunity to connect with its thought leaders is higher & that gives me a better sense of understanding the industry in & out.

With that short bio about me & my life, I hope to interact a lot more via Nomadic Verses (originated from my name NV – Namita Ved) & post interesting ideologies about my take on several things & initiatives I take up in life. A strong believer of ‘learning from feedback’ I preach – I welcome comments on what you would as a reader love to read on my blog & I’d be happy to comply in the best possible manner. (Complimentary comments goes without saying)

My next post would be about my experience on organizing my first every event - WATSummit 2011.

A trademark I’d like to keep at the end of every post – a saying/proverb by great humans who inspire me & my thoughts!
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." – By Confucius

PS – Thank you Jason Menezes for helping me finalize the name for my blog & Parth Mistry for the initial words of motivation!