Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Phenomenal Women

I tweeted earlier this month on how March is going to be insanely busy. Now that the end is finally approaching, I can safely say that this particular tweet was an understatement of MASSIVE proportions. The whole month has been a blur, and I have hardly managed to find time to blog. However there is something that has been on my mind, and I have been wanting to share this particular month. The idea to blog this particular piece sprung up when we were surprised at work with a huge box of Krisy Kreme Doughnuts from a colleague to mark International Women's Day celebrated on 8th March 2011. I love the idea of a day specifically dedicated to celebrating being a woman. I believe there is so much joy in being a woman that should be celebrated. The fun in dressing up, being a fashionista, wearing high heels, our empathy, our loving care, the power to bring life in to this world. An old favorite poem 'Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou' sums this up beautifully. This post is my personal dedication to all women in this world because we are all Phenomenal Women.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Forces of Nature

I am not a morning person. One would expect that after waking up early morning every single day for school, then college, then university and then work that I’d eventually get used to mornings. This however is an area where the truth defies logic. Last week I was actually seriously contemplating that when the time will come for me to look back at my life at an old age, one of my major accomplishments would be waking up early in the mornings. Leaving my warm cozy red duvet to face the cold and get ready for the day. It takes sheer will power. Speaking of accomplishments, one should not forget how I have also mastered the art of snoozing the alarm. Keep pressing the ‘Snooze’ button whilst trying to catch some extra shut eye between the snoozes, hoping that time will stop or somehow stretch to make those 5 minutes last way longer than they actually do.

Hence began another morning. I remember the morning very well. I was walking to work, and having my usual talk to God about how I fail to understand the point of mornings and the day should begin with afternoons. I reached work, took off my overcoat and was about to make a beeline to the cafeteria to get some tea when my colleague came up to me and burst out if I had heard the news. There had been an 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan, which had triggered a major tsunami. The news hit me like a splash of cold water. Memories of the devastating earthquake that hit Pakistan in 2005 came flooding back. Pakistan’s tragic earthquake had been 7.6 on the Richter scale, 8.9 was just insane. I snapped back to reality, and logged on to see the news. I saw the footage of the tsunami, and read about the devastation caused. My heart went out to Japan.

The earthquake moved Japan’s coast 8 feet and even shifted the Earth’s axis by 4 inches. It triggered tsunamis across the globe, all the way to Hawaii. The news keeps coming till now, about how there is an imminent threat of a nuclear meltdown in Japan. It’s actually terrifying how nature has decided to unleash its wrath on mankind over the past few years. Floods in Pakistan, major fires in Australia, Earthquakes around the world, drought in other areas, it’s enough to cause a shiver down my spine as I write this. Some friends have reached the conclusion that the Mayan’s were correct and the world is actually ending in December 2012. The more religious ones believe this is a sign that the end of times is near. Then there are those who choose to ignore such events, happily living up to the old adage that ignorance is bliss.

I don’t know what the future holds. For all I know the world could end tomorrow, or stay intact till my last breath. I don’t want to know what the future holds either. Some things should just be left to God. God gave us this wonderful planet and knows the best time to end it. What I do know is that we sometimes tend to take too many things for granted. A secure life, a house providing shelter, friends and family whom we love and want to share our experiences with.

Japan before this earthquake would seem to be a safe abode to stay in, with minimal terrorism threats, no bomb attacks and even earthquake resistant buildings. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution even renounces war, and hence Japan reserves a minimal quota of 3% of its GDP for military expenditure, relying instead mainly on USA in case military protection is required. Known as a technology hub, Japan would be the last country one would expect to have problems in their nuclear reactors. Yet in the blink of the eye, within minutes, the whole stability, the foundation, the security that had always been taken for granted was snatched away by fate.

I pray the Japanese people will survive this disaster and come out stronger than ever before. The world is united in its concern for the Japanese people, with money pouring into charities and rescue efforts. I pray with the world for Japan, and would encourage people to help out in any way possible. We are all one, and if one of us suffers, the whole world will bear the brunt. These are tough times, and it is important that we pay heed to the realization that what we have always taken for granted could have been taken away from us also. If we have something, and we are in a position to help out then why not take jump at the chance. Who knows how long that opportunity is going to stay with us. Life is not only unpredictable, it is also short. It is time we stopped taking everything for granted, and use what we have been blessed with to help those less fortunate.

For starters, let us all pray for Japan and a safe future for humanity as a whole. Ameen.