From the archives of SJ

Real Identity

A woman is often treated as a commodity after the marriage. A well-qualified, educated domestic help who has to struggle hard often to earn a recognition. This is the plight of so many of us because we have agreed to give up our freedom. A pinch of sindoor and mangalsuthra have a great role to play in bringing about a sea change in our lives. It’s considered the auspicious way to solemnize a relationship but is the integrity of the two maintained forever by the men apart from the women who value it more than their lives. Women often become a scape–goat and victim of so many untoward incidents.

We as educated individuals must value the purity of both. At the same time must not succumb to the emotional aspect of it forgoing our real identity. Marriage gives us an extended family with additional responsibilities. In the pursuit of living a married life our personal interests and passion must not get subdued. Our special traits have to be etched out artistically. Jhansi Rani, Raziya Sultana, Indira Gandhi, Kiran Bedi, Asha Bhonsle, Rukmini Devi Arundel, M.S. Subbulakshmi, Indra  Nooyi-the list  is endless. These women successfully balanced their personal life as well as professional career. They became world famous and paved way for many other women as role models. They owe their success to their family and the value system put into them in their upbringing.

We too can be one among them with our names in the annals of history. We need to assert to ourselves and think what makes us come alive. “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” It may be gardening, music, handcrafted things or anything in which our interest is vested which gives us real pleasure. We must also remember that finding passion is just not about career and money, it’s all about finding our authentic life. We women take a pleasure in admiring another woman driving a bike or scaling heights of the Everest. We fall flat for Shehnaz Husssain’s herbal cosmetics and spend ransom on Neeta Lulla’s trendy wear. We shrug our shoulders and speak about other women. We tend to forget that we can also be one among them. We must make others too shrug their shoulders seeing us. Working meticulously and passionately on our desired work front will add a plume to the bonnet of womanhood. Let’s celebrate our existence and shine brightly like the pole star.

by Sujatha Sairam, Chennai

From the archives of SJ

“I’ve always been fascinated by memory and dreams because they are both completely our own. No one else has the same memories, no one else has the same dreams.”

I thought of reviving the wonderful writings of SJ which made a great difference in peoples’ lives since we started our journey a couple of years back. I’m sure these writings will transform many more lives.

LIVE FOR YOURSELF

This fact all of us have to affirm in our heart and mind. Our life is a unique gift of God and we must make the best of it. As you wake up every morning look at the mirror and admire yourself for confronting the most beautiful person. Just smile and say “I’m lucky that God has given me another day to live life meaningfully.” This will not only enliven your spirit but also boost up your morale.

After a pleasant morning prayer open your wardrobe to pick the attire which you think is going to be a perfect fit for you and comfy as well. Dress up for yourself not for the world. Dress includes not just clothes but a pretty smile to adorn your looks as well. Your smile increases your face value.

Prioritise your day’s tasks and go about doing it. “Will people like the way I do it? Should I change myself? Will it improvise my working style?”-these questions are sure to pose a hurdle. Just cross them and yes of course you have to change-not others or for others. But change the way you think. Make independent decisions and be confident about them. Then see how success knocks at your door.

Satisfying others is quite easy than satisfying your inner self. You will feel defeated if you don’t live for yourself. Enjoy life to the fullest by doing all crazy things you wanna do. Singing loudly and dancing, watching cartoons, buying your favourite assets. You have to project yourself as you are. Seeing your attitude people will flog around you. Another important thing is stop explaining about yourself to people who don’t understand or care about you. People who really love you will stay by you come what may.

BE YOURSELF, LOVE YOURSELF AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

by Sujatha Sairam, Chennai

Death of a Beautiful Dream

She dreamt of a beautiful life,

But all she got was threats n beatings,

Kicked till she bled, Her face disfigured.

Her vermilion smudged in her own tears,

She bled, yes she bled!

No one to care,

No one to love.

She was abused,

Tortured physically and mentally,

All her dreams- They burnt in her pyre burning high,

All her dreams too thrown away into the pyre.

O man! Stop these inhuman ways of satiating your hunger,

For lust and greed, For potful of money,

As a price for that a poor girl’s life,

For your pleasure alone!

You bought her as a material,

From the open market

To be in the kitchen

To cook your meals and feed your over-weighing body!

Give her a life,

Don’t burn her body and dreams

In the raging fire

O stop this dowry system

Outdated but still prevalent.

Let her enjoy her life,

Don’t let her shed a tear

Curse will be upon you

Hold her with your love,

And not by burning her in the raging pyre !

Sarala Balachandran, Palakkad

Salute to the kind souls….

At twilight prismed skies unfold, 

The sun is sinking in the golden west

Painting the earth in hues of red, 

Everything seems to be blanketed with the darkness of the night. 

But there’s someone who is awake even as we sleep, 

He forgoes his sleep and assures a peaceful sleep for us, 

He’s duty bound day in and day out, 

No high and low around can ever deter him. 

Is this because he’s strong physically and emotionally

Or is it because he’s taken a vow to live for others. 

Safety of his fellow beings is his topmost priority, 

For he’s a kind soul,

He’s worn a soldier’s uniform 

Putting at bay all the luxuries. 

He is filled with pride as he is at the border, 

Living for others has become his motto of life.

I bow my head in reverence to these great souls, 

I’m sure no other soul can be as kind as him.

Sujatha Sairam, Co-Founder & Head-Content Delivery

Respect for Women

Today the whole nation is crying …crying for justice… Every day we wake up to news of some kind of injustice meted out to women. Can we spare a minute to think …why?

There can always be a debate on who is at fault.

For ages we have bound women with so many restrictions in the name of gender, culture, tradition etc.  There are innumerable restrictions imposed on them; from the way they dress, the allowances with respect to timings, to the way they conduct themselves. Although these are required to maintain a certain protocol in society, but one tends to think if there are there any such impositions on men? Are they not responsible too?

In our villages, the scene is even worse where there are many taboos which are enforced on women. Their freedom is completely restricted and they have to adhere to innumerable norms which are presided and decided by the men of the society. These women are restricted as mere sources of satisfying the needs of the household. They don’t have any identity of their own nor are they allowed to voice their opinions; leave alone pursue their dreams.. if they have any.

We say, we should teach our daughters to be careful and self equipped to defend dire circumstances. Well .. point taken, but wouldn’t it be great if we could create an environment for our daughters where they don’t have to live in fear. . Let’s also teach our sons the basic respect that needs to be extended to the women around them, be it their mother, sister, cousin, friend, etc.

And let’s not forget that children are the best imitators. They don’t like to listen to lectures on manners. They just follow what is being displayed by the elders of the house. If they see the women being treated well and respected by their elders, they will continue to do so with all the women they meet in their life.

Women are much more than what they are restricted to. They have all the necessary capabilities to make a mark in the society. They also deserve equal amount of respect and recognition in the society as much a thes men. Today women are proving their mettle in almost all fields of work. They are also the bread winners in many households.

Let’s empower our daughters by making their world safe and secure. And let’s make our sons more responsible and teach them to be better human beings.

Ranjani Srikant, Hyderabad

Inner Strength

 

These words really unnerved me and thought must share with all my women friends out there. “Don’t worry about losing people around you but worry about losing yourself in pleasing everyone around you.” Isn’t this true with all of us who have buried our own desires either for our loved ones  to fulfil their whims and fancies. That’s what we ought to do is the thought put into us as we are brought up. You must please everyone around you and create a name for yourself. Is it a wrong value instilled is the confusion at times. Not at all as a family we must move together but not at the cost of your own dignity and self-esteem. We women tend to give up our goals and aspirations to guide our loved ones towards their goal. Once they have reached their goal what do you think is your role any more.  We are left behind with a void of self- dissatisfaction, loneliness and a vacuum. This can surely be avoided if we tend to live for ourselves few minutes every day that gives us happiness. Not only that cultivate a habit to say NO to them. Appreciate them for their support and at the same time tell them you are hurt when they don’t value your sentiments and feelings. You might have a lurking fear as you say but come-on take it in your stride….. Overcome such a feel that lets you down. It’s they who need you and have made a choice to be with you. So be bold and move ahead. In this journey of life we come across end number of people like the shells brought along with the wave. You can’t burden yourself by carrying each one of them with you. Get going with your head held up high with a sense of achievement. People would follow you seeing your accomplishments and magnanimous personality that’s inspiring and motivating which is reflected in your confident smile.

Sujatha Sairam, Chennai.

Self Esteem

Man is a very precious creation of the God Almighty; a true masterpiece. Each of us are unique and special in our own way. All of us are manifested with some special qualities, which make us different from the rest of the crowd. Because of these qualities, we need to be proud of ourselves, proud of what we are, and the value adds that we carry.

This is where Self esteem comes in picture.

Self esteem can be termed as a personal evaluation of our own self-worth. It also includes beliefs about one’s own self which includes emotional status, such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. It is correlated with achievement, good relationships and satisfaction.

Self esteem is very crucial to one and all; be it adult (any gender), more importantly children.

These days, kids are suffering from this problem of deficiency of self worth.

High self worth increases the capacity to treat others with respect, magnanimity and love. It results in enriching interpersonal relationships. The reverse also holds good.

Self-worth can be dependent on various factors.

The environment around us is one of the factors which affect the way that we feel ourselves. We have somewhere given the baton of valuing ourselves onto others.  The people around us can affect the way we feel about ourselves. The more people or friends we have who like us, the happier we are and vice versa.

While adults are matured enough to deal with these challenges, it is very difficult for kids to comprehend these. Since kids are the future human beings, we need to make it easy for these delicate and tender souls. Kids tend to judge themselves by how we deal with their success and failures, or how well they cope with their challenges. Their perception of success or failure in meeting life’s challenges influences their self esteem.

Parents cannot completely control the kid’s lives, but they can guide children to gain perspective on solutions and not to overreact to failure or underplay success of kids. They should be taught that it’s perfectly fine to fall but it’s important to rise after the fall. It needs to be emphasized that failure doesn’t mean that it’s a failure as a person and doesn’t make them unlovable. This will help the kids to see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow rather than obstacles to pull them down. Kids who are positively motivated will be in a better position to move on.  Positive self worth helps in making happy human beings.

It’s important that we have faith in ourselves, in our talents and capabilities. We need to motivate ourselves first, instead of waiting for others to validate us.  We are good enough and we will definitely succeed in our own capacities and in our own pace; even though it doesn’t match others expectations. Let not others decide our worth…. We are worth it!!!

Ranjani Srikant, Hyderabad