Monday, October 19, 2015

The HomeComing

( HomeStay: Courtsey

The Home is back.
Not just as a unit of love and togetherness.

The Home, today, stands for specialization.
Unique experiences that  industrialization actually takes away from.
An Adventure Trail that leaves others wanting the same.

Home Stays.
Where the ringing of a doorbell  itself signals the change from a hotel or a resort.
And kitchens are a place to hang out and not walled away.
With hosts who are not salaried for their smiles.

Home Chefs.
The pleasure of home food, served up as fine dining or a regular lunch at work.
Varied cuisines.
The touch of the lady who has always led her recipes with love.

Home Bakers.
The cakes may not be sliced to perfection by the knives of an established patisserie.
But in that slight "imperfection", or is that the real perfection- lies a new taste.
A new experience.

Home Made.
Curtains. Apparel. Accessories. Pickles. Rooms. Dining.
You name it.

It is a force  the market has to reckon with as a hot trend that is set to grab a share of our wallets.
More importantly, a share of our time.
In a society increasingly more time poor than just wealth poor.
Brands have to look at the power of collaboration.

It is the new experience and one that most of us are dabbling with, in some form.
It has a power that is eternal.
The power of a home.

Truly, Home is where the heart is, today.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Turn the Chair

This struck me as I was sipping my morning tea on my balcony at home.
The placing of the few plants and the two chairs and table there is dictated by the space. Or constrained by it, at times.
Being a creature of habit, I always place the chairs flanking the table at an angle, facing the rooms inside. Framed by yellow curtains, this gives the balcony a nice look from inside our apartment.
This morning, I decided to turn the chair.
With my back to the usual view of our home and life within.
And stared at things that had escaped my eyes before.
The way the hedge framed our building. The small shops lining the other side of the road. A few people using the terrace of a half ruined building for a temporary home. The skyline. The horizon.

Made me realise that sometimes, we get used to the view.
And work around that to better it.
Expecting different outcomes.

We examine the same challenges.
Turn around and mash the same solutions in our minds and across the proverbial table.

When all we need to do is turn that chair.
To see a different perspective.
A new answer to our challenges.
Fresh possibilities to explore.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sing for Change

( Picture courtesy:

Sometimes I feel women do the most dis-service to our brethren.

From the time women gathered the spirit and gumption to speak up, they have been labelled as feminists. Bracketing them as a lot that rebels rather than half the sky expressing what they feel.

Much has changed since then, with the morning goodbyes being a part of both genders in households.
But has the change been enough?

The thing is, we feel apprehensive about expressing realities.

We like to say we come from societies that have no discrimination. While reading about violences almost everyday.
We like to believe that we have never been victims of domestic violence. After all, a rough shove or an angry push once in a while is not such a big deal, is it? What will happen to our lives if we speak out?
We rarely talk about work place discrimination. It's much nicer to say we face no discrimination. The workplace is happy. We are happy. At least we think we are.

We keep mum when we face expectations every single day from our families- playing that battling vs balancing role. How can I be expected to put my feet up after work- I can't. So what if I am as tired as everyone else with the newspaper or the screen in front of them.
Paints our families in a good light. We are the blessed lot who are given the permission to work.

The ones who do sing out face the wrath.
Are branded selfish or self centred or the allegations being "personal".
The ones who read about them are sarcastic about them enjoying the money and good life and yet complaining.

So we stop singing.
We compromise.
We say we are good.
When we can be better.
Way better.

And yes, for every one of us who is truly privileged and happy, we still owe it to some of the others to be sensitive to what they face and battle with.
At work and in life.

For when we start singing, the world will listen.
That's the first step.
Towards real winds of change.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Adventurous Five

This was the name of our "Club" when we were young.
Inspired by Enid Blyton and Famous Five.

My sister, our friends and I.
Armed with torches in broad daylight, as playing after dark outside was out of question.
Some food provisions. No fancy cans of candied fruit and sausages like the books.
We had biscuits. Something that was available in plenty in the kitchen.
And an old set of binoculars that had long been discarded by my father.

We would meet  in the garden and draw out plans for our "adventure".
I would run up to tell my mother that we were going to the hillock beyond our garden.
My mother would nod a yes- busy with her kitchen chores. Maybe she never heard me clearly.

We would troop out in a single file through the gate in our back garden.
Make our way through thickets and low bushes, following a cattle track.
Jump out of our skins when a squirrel rustled down a tree.
Sit in a clearing and gobble down our biscuits.
Walk some more.
And then head home for lunch.

Happy with our adventure.

Little did we realise then, Life itself is the big adventure we embark on.
That every cattle track we follow may not lead up to what we aim for.
That we may soon run out of our biscuits and yet have to plod on.
That our torchlights and binoculars fail to show us the treacherous turns and bumps.
And that, when we are tired and hungry, we look for the path back home to see that it is long gone.

Truly, we are in the midst of an adventure.
And maybe we can look back at our Adventure Clubs of yesteryears and see whether we can fall back on some learnings... maybe...

( Picture Courtsey: