Archive for June 2008

Women Aren’t Made To Get To The Top…

June 27, 2008

This was one of the articles that a female reader {I would believe} has sent to http://news.hereisthecity.com which has got published. This was so brilliant and so apt for the Investment Banking Industry that I couldn’t help but share it across:

‘We all know that women generally don’t earn as much as men working in the investment banking business. We all appreciate that they don’t generally tend to move through organisations quickly and take up leadership positions. Hell, although an Indian native male runs Citi (Vikram Pandit) and a black American man was at the helm of Merrill Lynch for years (Stan O’Neal), there hasn’t been one single female head of a Wall Street firm. And with good reason.

Women, of course, don’t possess the character traits required to be a success in the financial markets. We are not unscrupulous enough. Unlike men, we are too straightforward, and tend to find it difficult to deflect criticism on others and dissemble when we find ourselves in a tight corner. We are tough and strong, but just not in the right way. We are flexible and pragmatic, which others tend to see as a weakness. We are happy to consider the views of others, but can be viewed as easily-influenced. We are thoughtful and like to consider a problem from a number of different angles, rather than jumping in like our male counterparts and staying the course dogmatically no matter what the outcome.

We are better organisers than men, are more diligent and possess a greater attention to detail. In short, we are everything that those who work in investment banking hold in low esteem. We are dismissed as clerks, written-off as support staff and given little opportunity to prove that we can mix it as well (and better) with the males in our working lives.

Managing our members of staff by leading by example and motivating the individuals in our charge to perform more effectively, we go about our duties in a low-key manner. Not for us the shouting and posturing which often characterises the management style of male peers. We don’t rule by fear and propagate a climate in which alternative viewpoints aren’t encouraged and constructive feedback is dismissed and derided. Of course, us females are just not macho enough to get to the very top.

A few of us, however, do come near the pinnacle. Zoe Cruz made President at Morgan Stanley and Sallie Krawcheck and Erin Callan were appointed as Chief Financial Officers at Citigroup and Lehman Brothers respectively. All three were elbowed aside, however (fired or effectively demoted), at the earliest opportunity.

Investment banking is a nasty, self-serving, dog-eat-dog business, and only nasty, self-serving callous people make it to the very top. And that’s the main reason women don’t get there. We’re too respectful, too consultative and too damn decent to climb the ladder by back-stabbing our way up. If it were legal, I’d like to form a women-only investment bank – just to prove that our male-dominated, boys-club industry has got it so wrong. In quick time, we’d have the best staff, the best managers and, before too long, all the best clients as well. In the meantime, we’ll just have to hope that one of the firms sees sense and appoints a woman CEO. I won’t be holding my breath though, as I think us women are in for a long wait before one of our number claws her way to the very top’. 

Brilliant wasn’t it? I would wait for your comments on this one, before I post mine.

The Meaning In Eight Simple Words

June 26, 2008

I can’t seem to get over the fact that I am getting Tagged these days, left right and center. I can barely seem to keep up with them. I was tagged by Sanity Found in Six Worded Memoir Meme to choose six simple words that seems connected. She asked me for six, I give her eight. Always give more than what you get has been my belief. 

I still have one more to pen down thanks to Sanity Found, however SF this one was on top of my head so here… 

“Finding You In Me, Rooting Me To You.”  

Considering I am getting the whacks, why not be sinful for a change {yes, just for a change – I am an Angel otherwise} I now hereby Tag Shibani & Nikhil on for this. 

Go Have Fun Guys!

Sex And The City In Mumbai!

June 24, 2008

A practical and critical review of the Movie – Sex & The City that was released last month. 

Subject: Sex And The City In Mumbai!

By Namita Devidayal
 
Okay, so the women now need push-up bras, and the Mahnolo theme has been worn to the insole, and the televised series was way more sassy. Sure, the movie is flawed, farcical, and not worth the $55 mil it raked in the opening weekend in the US.

But why do we still love Sex and the City and leave the theatre laughing out loud?

Because on some level, Carrie and her Cosmo-sloshing, fashion-fetishy, smart-talking gang actually manage to live life on their own terms. And their 30 to 40 year-old, successful, smart, sexy equivalents in far-off India are still getting there.
 
Let me explain.

Mumbai may be like Manhattan when it comes to real estate index, but look at the relationship index, and what goes on here might make Miranda go on a stiletto-stabbing spree.

Where would you find (even in a movie) a gorgeous 50-year-old cancer survivor who is so comfortable with herself that she dumps a hunky, doting boyfriend just to be single and bonkable again? She prefers buying her own diamond baubles rather than squawking about what her man gave her. And she frowns when her best friend announces that she is getting married because she thinks it will kill the relationship. She loves being in love, and she wants to fall back in love with herself, which a woman can only do if she is OMO (on my own). I went to watch the movie with my three best girlfriends, and we found bits of Carrie and Miranda and Charlotte among us, but couldn’t find a Samantha-anywhere in our collective phone books!

Next. If a woman here were stood up on her wedding day, you wouldn’t find her best friends taking her away to Mexico for a ‘funnymoon’. No, dear. There would be gossippy aunties proffering reams of unsolicited advice and of course a very distressed mom whispering that perhaps you should just make up and get married quickly-quickly. We live in a country where the national past-time is to get married.

The movie is the tailpiece to a hit television series that ran from 1998 to 2004. The stories were about four single women who were sleepless in Manhattan, and their search for love — and Louis Vuitton! Carrie is a columnist who writes about love and sex and whether the twain can meet; Miranda is a Harvard-educated lawyer who balances the pros and cons of every thing in her life on long-leaf pads and has a pet house-husband; Samantha loves sex and thinks like a man; and Charlotte is an anal-retentive Park Avenue princess who lives in Noddy land.

Now, let’s transpose our characters from Manhattan to Mumbai.

Carrie, our columnist, would not be writing about sex, because the moral police would hold morchas outside her house, blacken her face, and psychologically scar her for life. Even our local Mumbai Mirror sexpert, a gentle 84 year-old who gives startlingly sound advice on penile malfunctions and professional masterbaters, got arrested when Pratibha Naithani complained that he was being obscene. Sex is a three-letter-word. Samantha? She would have had a sex change by now so that she could continue on her lusty escapades as a man. Miranda would not exist because, as any local head-hunter will tell you, smart highly educated women tend to drop out of the workplace after they have children (How else do you explain why the same three ICICI women and Naina Lal Kidwai are featured every time there is an article titled ‘woman on top’) Besides, in India, house-husbands are treated with scorching contempt. Only the sweet but annoying Charlotte may be found lurking around in a Malabar Hill gym or at the gynaec’s office, doing endless follicle tests to check on her fertility cycle.

Oh my god–and the fashion? It would be either ugly over-blingy wedding saris, or then Premson-generated fakes. Which is worse? Not sure.

Finally, the conversations may go something like this:

“Please, please god, help me find a man who is not gay, married or hung up on his mother.”

Sex in Mumbai? Bunk! The Sensex is more exciting.

 

The above was so true – in its every sense. I particularly loved this line “We live in a country where the national past-time is to get married.”.

I am already seeing this happening around me and trust me I am so tired of hearing about it already. So many marriages either on the brink of it or people trying to forcibly make their children’s marriage work, when their own sons or daughters themselves don’t want it and are not happy – all thanks to the culture, society and mainly “what will people say”. Phew! Who ever said Marriage = The Only Happiness, needs to seriously revisit his thoughts or rest visit today’s times again. 

The Brand Wagon.

June 23, 2008

I was tagged by Nikhil @ Mirror Cracked for this post where I needed to talk about the different brands I use in my daily life. I told him that he wouldn’t be getting this post off me so quickly but it is still sooner according to my standards considering the daily work schedule of a Bombayite. 

So here they are:

  1. Colgate: No, don’t worry; this doesn’t happen to you when you use this toothpaste, not particular about any tooth paste brands, use an awful lot of different ones.
  2. Fast Track Watches: Believe it or not, this is the same exact watch I wear.
  3. JP Morgan Chase: A branded bank where I used to work.
  4. ABN AMRO: Where I now work.
  5. RBS: Is the new owner for ABN.
  6. HP: The comp I use at work. 
  7. Samsung: The comp I use at home.
  8. Nokia: Has always been my favorite in the Mobile Category & Yipeeee I bought a New Cell phone. I am thrilled beyond limits. It’s like the high you get when you get a new hair cut. Cell phones, cameras, computers, laptops any gadgets give me a complete high. I am going to be on a real high for a very long time now thanks to my new possession.
  9. Reebok: Has been the brand in my sports shoes for a very long time.
  10. WordPress: Is enabling me to post this now and has changed my life for sure.
  11. Pantaloons: I like to pick up some of my funky T Shirts from there.
  12. Marks and Spencer’s: They have amazingly well fit Trouser’s and Stylish Shirts.
  13. Tommy Hilfiger: I love their Jeans.
  14. New York & Company: Completely adore their jeans and most of their clothes.
  15. Payless: The place where I get quality and stylish Shoes at a very good price.
  16. Google: Sponsoring all my images. 

I am a complete foodie and can’t help but have a separate section for my food brands : 

  1. Mac Donald’s: I love my Mac Chicken with French Fries and Strawberry Milkshake and the Cafe Mc Swirl. 
  2. Café Coffee Day: – I sometimes enjoy a complete Indian Styled Coffee.
  3. Barista: The Indian Answer to Starbucks.
  4. Starbucks: I always loved their Cold Coffee.
  5. Pizza Hut: Not a pizza person, but I love the Caesar Salad and the fact that they have so much variety.
  6. Frooti: Always drank it since I was a kid.
  7. Cadbury: My all time favorite any day chocolate.
  8. Merlot: My all time favorite Red Wine.
  9. Krispy Kreme Donuts: They are so god damn delicious that they would just melt away once they are in your mouth.
  10. After Eight: The Ohhh So Sinful mint chocolates. I think they are the only dark chocolates I have ever loved.  

I now hereby declare to compulsorily tag Shibani & Sanity Found. I am not sure, when Shibani is going to be able to post this one. She probably has to do her “Pandit” thing by consulting the stars to check on the auspicious days and dates and time before posting any blog 😉

Now that I have given out my preferences for brands – just to let people know that I do accept Belated Birthday Gifts all through out the year – anytime, any day is good for me. 🙂 Keep them coming.  

The Secret – Part I

June 23, 2008

All right, better late than never; I finally started to read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. I have just discovered the online e-copy and just started with the first few pages as I am typing this. I was introduced to this book by two of my best friends who spoke to me about what it talks about a couple of months back. 

When they told me in depth as to what it is all about – I realized that it wasn’t something that we all didn’t know already and which is what I told both of them precisely. I realized that the essence of the book was very inspirational and positive. I still never went ahead to take some efforts to borrow the book from them to read it myself. 

As time went by, I came across people {some were my friends, while some whom I got to know through my friends} who needed some help or answers in their life. They were going through rough times either with their relationships, personal, or professional career. There were some that were just desperate to find just about any solution to their problem, as long as it ended. As a friend, I could give them whatever I could in the form of an advice, but what surprised me with my own self was that I recommended this book to a lot of them without even myself reading it. I have just told those same set of people, to go read this book very confidently and that it sure would give them some positivism and solace in their times of need. They have already come back telling me that it helped them a great deal especially in those times when they needed to maintain their sanity with what was happening around them. 

When I went back narrating this incident to my best friends they would call me crazy as I was recommending a read so confidently without even knowing or practicing it’s preaching’s. It was strange or one of my given set of purposes in life, but it was like me talking in complete darkness without knowing what I was telling them to go and read. 

I believe it’s been nearly 6 months now from the time I knew about the book. Just a couple of days back, I was in a feedback session for one of my team member. I again realized that she needed something; something, that would probably change her outlook towards life toward being more positive. The real challenge here was that she has never taken any efforts to read any book & I mean ANY BOOK apart from her school or college curriculum her entire life. She calls herself a person who is not fond of reading books and would never really take any efforts to pick up any book to read as well. 

The PHD doctor {Me} without any certified qualification again went and recommended this book to her. Not only that, I have re-visited her objectives for the year and assigned that she will be doing a book review on “The Secret” within the next month for the entire team. She wasn’t sure that she would be able to find the book very easily so I just went and did a random search online to find the e-copy. After all I would need to read the book myself finally now to be able to help my team member do an entire book review in the form of a presentation in front of my entire department. 

I am just done with the first 13 pages and just love the way Rhonda has written. Her writing already tells me that it has been with some passion that she has penned this book down. I like the way she is using the words “YOU” catering and emphasizing as if she was just sitting right across to you over the table and telling you all of this. Her words depict confidence that what she is talking about really works and most importantly she has practiced it successfully a lot of times already. I already think that I am going to love this book. 

I will come back and post my review once I am done reading. Alas, I will know what I have been recommending to people all this while.

The Remain…

June 17, 2008

Distance seems to be the shine on my face
Yet the heart pounds at looking her grace
Thinking I would give her space
But time overwrote its pace…

Realise it or not, I am growing into this old phase
For a term, it was called friendship
For a term,  “A Strong Eternal friendship”
And remain was never said…

Wishes were in abundance in my heart
Thoughts were flooding her mind
Painful feelings overtook my inner plights
Yet, words were lost, disappearing from all sights

Realise it or not, she is growing into this old phase
For a term, it was called friendship
For a term,  “A Strong Eternal friendship”
And remain was never said…

Eternity was sought
Still none ever came up
The light of hope faded
The sounds of life died
Yet the remain was never said…. 

When a “Thank You” Doesn’t Feel Enough…

June 16, 2008

I say my Thank You in its most humble of forms to all those people for making my day the most overwhelming and a special day. Gratitude straight from my heart and soul.

To some my BEST Friends who came over at my place on my birthday eve for a really amazing get together – Thank you for just landing up over just a very impromptu sms. The best part about knowing all of you has always been the fact that we have been together for so long now but it always just seems as if it was yesterday that we met.  

The time spent with you folks have been the best right from the start and even if we meet after eons it still so feels just the same. The same feeling of love; the same feeling of togetherness; the feeling of security – which always speaks about an unspoken promise of always being there and the warm feeling of people who make your life so complete. 

To some of my Best Friends who couldn’t make it or weren’t there due to geographical distances: Yes, I absolutely missed you folks. Not a single moment went by, where I didn’t think of you guys and wished that you guys were a part of this just like during those old days. Thank You for all those calls and endearing wishes and blessings. 

I agree and wished that I would be able to put these thoughts across more so on a one on one way and should have really done this long back but alas I wasn’t that wiser as I am now then 😛

To Sanity Found @ The Journey To Me – You are absolutely the most positive and an inspiring lady I have come across in my life. Your writing not only touches every corner of my heart, but makes me thing and reflect over a lot of things in my life as well. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort out over dedicating “Hippy Happy Biffday Deeps” to me. 

Makes a lot of difference when I have such an elder sister that calls me “Banana”, “Dry Fruit”, “Narna”, “Funny Rabbit”, “Fool” and some of the words she lands up calling me in the most advanced Hindi which I must have never used in my life as well – all of it using the Google Translator and she calls me 99. Now, isn’t she brilliant? 

To Just About Everyone In My Life – My Family, Friends, Associates, Team Mates and Everyone. 

Thank You so much for all those never ending calls, wishes, blessings, gifts, flowers etc. I am completely overwhelmed today by the shower of love and affection that was always given to me in an unconditional abundance irrespective of the day. I have been in for a complete surprise over some of the people actually remembering my birthday and wishing me – considering it’s been so long that I must have met or spoken to them. I feel truly blessed that I am and have been in the company of people who have touched my life in some or the other way. You guys have been the incredible set of folks making my every single day as terrific as your soul. 

Thank You. Merci. Shukriya. Gracias. Grazie…It still doesn’t seem enough.