Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dear Myntra and Flipkart, thanks for snatching away my freedom!



“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” 
― Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre

I am an avid Shopaholic, a compulsive one! At times, I feel this is some kind of a disorder I am going through. The moment my salary is credited into my account, I start shopping! And within the first week, I am broke, I am left with no bones! And the rest of the month goes in waiting for the next salary! Its like my wallet has a hole. I guess it has...

Anyways, boom of the online shopping sites have actually galvanised this disorder, much to my disdain. The moment I get little time in office, at home or for that matter anywhere on this planet, I just open my laptop and start browsing, drooling over the thousands and thousands of pretty shoes, dresses, accessories, just craving to see them in my wardrobe!

I just always open these sites with an idea, rather a very clear one of 'window shopping' but then, in the middle I don't know what goes wrong with that clear idea of mine, I end up buying something. Yes, it is out of compulsion! I just told you about my disorder above. How so ever hard I try not to shop, but then, it becomes impossible for me to control my desires! 

There are sites, that have very limited stuff on them. I generally do not shop much on them probably because of the limited choice and scope. I only order from these sides, if there is something really unique.

But then on sites like Myntra, Flipkart and Jabong, it becomes mandatory for shopaholics like me to buy something, every time we browse through them. Why? Because there are always so many choices to go through, so many things to browse through. Its like never-ending stuff they have on their sites. So, we Shopaholics end up buying something or the other! Now, you know the reason of these companies flourishing. Thanks to people like me!
But from last few days, I am happy! Because these companies are planning to give people like us a chance to have some savings now. How? By going 'only mobile'! Myntra has already removed their desktop version and is, only mobile now and Flipkart is also planning the same.

I have no idea what they thought, who their strategist is. Because its an insane move! The reason Myntra has given for this step is: their 85% of the sales are from mobile. Its because you made us use mobile by giving huge discounts on orders placed via mobile app. You know what I used to do (and many of my friends too), we used to browse through the Myntra site, choose the stuff, dump it into our cart and then, login via same account to our mobile apps, avail the discount and tada, we were done with the shopping, with the desired discount!
Thats how probably you got 85% sales from mobile, because you guys compelled people to do shopping via app.
Now, the reason that I could see of these companies choosing mobile only would be: the exclusiveness. Let me elaborate this with an example: If as a user I am looking out for something in particular, lets say Red stilettos, I would open all the sites (Jabong, Myntra, Snapdeal, Faballey, Flipkart, Amazon etc) on the tabs of my browser, filter Red stilettos in all of them and choose the best amongst all. The horizon for a user is wide, quite wide. But now, if I want Red stilettos, and I go to Myntra mobile app, I would be 'inside' their app, which constrains my capability of browsing through the same stuff on other sites! Out of compulsion, I would end up buying from their app only! And also, I really can't have many shopping mobile apps in my phone, I will only have 2-3 max. See, the competition is killed! Boom...

But what Myntra do not realize is Mobile can never be a first choice for user to shop! It can't be. Why? Let me give you some pointers:

1. Its very uncomfortable: Yes, it is absolutely painful to keep on moving your thumb to scroll down the screen for hundreds of pages! Did you do a user test before taking this decision?
2. I cannot open 2-3 products of the same kind and compare in an app, I can do that so easily on the website! You know, you are making my whole shopping experience so inconvenient and troublesome.
3. It is really not a very wonderful experience to see the zoomed in products on mobile. God, they don't even look like zoomed in! A user can't see the design, the cloth material or for that matter, anything on mobile clearly!
4. Poor interface: Now come on, you will agree that the interface of a mobile app can never be compared to the full fledged interface of a website! Using the later is easy, convenient, everything is there in front of the user's eyes and all that is required is a tap on the required link.
5. Now if you think I would do shopping on the go, wasting my 3G data, you are wrong Mr. Myntra and Mr, XYZ.. A user would not! Even if I want to, I can't! Thanks to the amazing uneven network that our mobile operators provide. Rather, I would wait to go into a wi-fi zone, connect my laptop and browse through other websites, rather than torturing my eyes browsing through your mobile app on a small screen!
6. It is easy to delete! The day, I realize i have been wasting a lot of money in shopping, all I have to do is long press on your icon and tap on the cross button! You will be deleted from a user's life (and may be forever)! And installing the same again, forget it... We users are just too lazy to again undergo the whole process. BTW, I did that. I was a religious shopper on your site and last week, I deleted you because I got so frustrated by browsing on mobile!
7. You are taking away my freedom! You are adamant to make my shopping experience complicated and challenging! Do not force us please. Let us make our own choice!

Its true, the world is moving towards being mobile, but not everything is applicable to everyone! You need to see your suitability and then take decisions.

Also, you should have given ample amount of time to the users to evolve and get ready for this shift.

 - A shopaholic, a religious user of your website, a professional working for a company that create mobile apps (so, I can't be unbiased, as I have my own fascination towards apps), an iPhone 6 user (just to make you realise that even after being the user of one of the best designed phones, I do not prefer using mobile app on top of a laptop for certain things)



P.S. Thank you once again for pushing me towards some savings! Even, your competitors would be thanking you too by leaps and bounds

Live and let live


Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

- Martin Luther

Had been thinking to write this one since long, but then I could never gather enough courage to do so. Why? Because of many reasons, primarily being that after this, I might be labeled as an anti-feminist person. I might have to incur the wrath of many women, but then let me tell you one thing: I am a die hard feminist and many of my posts have been written on the same. I truly believe in the incredible qualities that come with, being a woman. They are unmatchable! But, then as everything and everybody is not perfect, we do have our own flaws...

Anyways, being a slave to the corporate world gives a lot of exposure to people and so, happened with me. With many things apart, I got to witness the ugly part of the world as well. A part where men unabashedly are so open for relationships (and not just physical, even emotional) outside their marriage. And now a days, they do not even take the pain of hiding away their marriage!

One of the topics that is discussed within my girl's gang over and over again is this: the intensity of men wanting to go out of the marriage and getting emotionally and physically involved in a relationship has increased by folds!

My friends had told me innumerable tales of their friends who suffered or are suffering because of their 'inhuman' 'brutal' 'insensitive' ditching husbands. But then, I often think about it, I mean about the other side: The Husbands. Why? Why do they do that? What makes them to go and take that step which could lead their image, their lives and their marriage into trouble? Are we the ones being 'insensitive' and ignoring the complete side of theirs? Is it only man's mistake if he starts looking out of marriage for 'something'? Have we even tried to give it a thought? All we do is just blame them!

No, I am certainly not defending the act of adultery here. I am not. Period! All I am saying is why just to blame one side? And BTW, there are few men who look out just for the sake of having some fun. I am deliberately choosing to ignore that breed of men while writing this.

Coming back to the topic, I have seen women always nagging and cribbing about something or the other to their husbands. I have seen women controlling their husbands as if they are withholding a slave, I hardly know women who give enough space and time to their spouses to pursue their own hobbies and interests.

I mean, we women take 'marriage' in a very literal way! Marriage does not mean being glued to your husband for each and every single moment. Marriage does not mean he can't have a life of his own. Marriage does not mean he can't go out with his friends and have fun. I know few couples where husbands just can't go out alone! They have to take their wives along with them, even if they are going out to meet their own college or school friends! And then, we women are experts in finding out reasons to screw their (husbands) happiness for something they would have said or done wrong there! And jealousy! Man, its imbibed in each and every cell of our bodies. We can't bear our husbands talking to their girl-friends (not literal), how so ever old buddies they are. And then we make a hue and cry on the ways he was talking to them, in the way he was behaving with them! Why cant we accept the fact that their relation would be old enough to reach a certain level of understanding and it is ok for you to leave them and let them behave as they would have ever done in the past. And if its such a burden on your soul, why dont you just choose to be at home or go out with your own gang! Rather than, killing your husbands and screwing up their moment of fun. BTW,  I even know women who gets jealous of their husband's male friends as well! I swear!! And they make their husband's life hell if they try to meet them more that the 'given' permission.

I know women who controls each and every bit of their husband's life: what to wear, what to eat, where to go, how to go. I know women whose demands are just never ending! All they do is demand for something or the other. Where is the peace for husbands? That fun part, that happiness... Ladies, you kill it by your presence at the wrong places!

I was chatting with an acquaintance once and she was like these husbands go abroad for work and why do they have to go to strip bars. She was going on  and on on how she gave 'strict' instructions to her husband not to do so! I mean, now is it ok to do that? Whats wrong in going to a strip bar!!! He is married (for good reasons) and has not been sold to your slavery! Has he? He is an individual! He will have his own likes and dislikes. Why can't we women just leave them and give them some space to do their own things, to breathe, to live, to enjoy? Why? Why do we become so allergic to our husband's having fun after marriage?

We (not all, off course), suck out all the fun-part from a man's life after getting married. Its just our cribbing that we leave for them to deal with. Is it right on our part? And is it right what we do with them?

Now, lets look at the other side: the sati-savitiri wives one! They get themselves so involved with the house, kids, in-laws and all, that the husband gets shifted to the last on their priority list. I know such women as well.

And when, a man starts looking out for that peace, for that happiness outside, we blame them! Is it right on our part? Why can't we, for once give them a benefit of doubt and try to understand why and what made them to take such an extreme step.

It is really hard to strike a balance, I know. Tougher than said. But then at times, just to keep the relationships intact, we need to put in 'that' extra effort and do it! It is just not enough to get married, the challenge is to make it a happy one, without any of the individual feeling suffocated or ignored or getting the feeling that they have been doing excess compromises or sacrifices.

Live and let live is the mantra to be adhered too, even after marriage :)

P.S. Do you think the husband of the lady (I mentioned above who prohibited her husband to go to a strip bar) would have gone to one, without telling her :P

P.P.S. Hell yes, I think so!!!

Image Source: http://www.camerondobbins.org/

Friday, May 22, 2015

Centuries...

“It never gets easier, missing you. And sometimes I wonder if it ever will.”
― Heather BrewerNinth Grade Slays 

It seems like centuries, since I had been made to part ways from you.

Centuries of togetherness but still loneliness prevailing in the darkest of the corners. Centuries filled with love, but still my heart longing for the love that’s unmatched. Centuries of happiness and bliss, but still my soul craving for that unbounded joy. Centuries filled with rendezvouses with friends and loved ones, but still surviving with the desire to see you once. Centuries of achievements and success, but still yearning to share them with you.

Looks like centuries have passed without you being next to me, pampering me, scolding me, guiding me, loving me, sharing my pains and joy, supporting me at every step of my life.

Almost every night, these questions trouble my mind, they revolve around my head to find an answer, at times jolting me with such a hard thrust that the answers start falling down my cheeks, through my eyes.

Why did I have to get married? Why did I have to leave my own house? Why did I have to leave you? Why was I expected to give your place to someone else in just a span of a moment? Why did I have to change my family? Why did I become a visitor in my own house? Who gave the authority to all to change my world upside down? Its you who took care of me, why can’t I do the same to you, when needed?

Why can’t I spend my whole life with you like boys do! Why all these rules were made only for girls? Why do we have to suffer the pain of being away from you for the rest of our lives? Why? You know nobody, absolutely nobody ever can fill the gap that this peculiar tradition creates in our lives. At least we can be considered to be asked for what we want: Life with you or without you….

You know it hurts… You know Life is incomplete with you… and guess, it will always be! 

P.S. I miss you

P.P.S. And I wonder at times, do you miss me too?

Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/416934877977137736/

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Balloons with the Polka dots!


“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” 
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

I was sitting in the corner of a restaurant with my coffee, lost in my own dreams, my own world, staring meaninglessly at the by-passers. None of them had the ability to pull me back to reality…

And then there were 2 girls who passed by mumbling some song, together and that was when, abruptly I was bought back to reality. They were lovely little girls of barely 8-9 years old, wearing beautiful pink and white frocks. I don’t know why, but I loved watching them play.  They engrossed me completely! But then there was something else that was taking my attention away… Dragging me so gravely to my dream world again: the balloons that they were playing with. Balloons with polka dots: white on red and black on green. They were gorgeous! It was so difficult for me to take off my eyes from those stunning polkas.

The balloons were flying high spreading and splashing those colours of their polkas in the air. It looked as if they were filled with joy and happiness. The girls were clutching their strings carefully, but at the same time, losing them as much as they needed to dance in the air.  I felt like this was the first time I was witnessing balloons. It was like I have had never seen anything so carefree and happy.  I was envious! I was… I was rather jealous of those… balloons, yes balloons… I was envious of their carefreeness, their happiness and joy of which they say there is so much dearth of, of the fact that they had someone to hold them tight and take care of them, of their easiness.

I wanted to be one of those, all because I wanted all that they had. It felt like its been ages since I have felt all those things, been long since I have been me: carefree, happy, throwing tantrums, being pampered, being taken care of, troublesome, dancing like no one is watching, just doing what I like and I love!

I was like that… long long back… when I was a kid! I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things deteriorated. I was oblivious to the world’s problems, as I had my own list of issues.  Off course, I had my own things to worry about. I had to worry about my homework, what dress to put on my doll to make her look the best amongst all my friend’s dolls, what to cook in my mini-playing kitchen, what to draw, what kind of colours to demand from dad this time, how to convince dad for buying me a new pair of shoes, what excuse to make to skip school, what to wear on my next birthday, what chocolates to buy to distribute in my class, what gift to demand on getting good marks in next exams, how to make papa sign on the complain in my school diary, how to ask my dad for a new pink pencil box, what cover to put on my notebook, how to knock that little boy down who teased me of not been able to play cricket.

And that was all… And for the rest all, I had my mom and dad to take care of, who held the strings of my life so tightly and carefully, just giving me the right amount of freedom to enjoy and handle my above mentioned list of worries.

And then, as every good thing doesn’t last forever, I grew up. And my parents had to release my strings and there I was, in the sky, flying high: which felt awesome in the beginning but then, it went on becoming scary as I went higher and higher in the sky… And I started feeling suffocated because of the increasing air pressure. Always wondering why was I in such a hurry to grow up, why on earth was I always so excited and thrilled to fly in the sky, all by myself. Why? for this? And I started craving to go back… back to my childhood: that made me carefree, happy, that filled me with joy!

I want my parents to hold my strings again and I will be a good and obeying child this time: I promise!

P.S.  Give me some sunshine, give me some rain… Give me another chance and I would refuse to grow up again...

P.S.S. Mom Dad (if you are reading this)... Please adopt me... again....


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Little things with tiny miracles...



“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” 
― Andy Warhol

We, recently shifted to a new place. And this time, I really suffered! Because there were so many things and so much paraphernalia. Honestly, I never realised that my house, apart from being my home obviously, was also an inventory to so many goods and chattels. 

Anyways, so after shifting, next day when I woke up and saw heaps of cartons lying there in the hall, I almost went into depression. And then , by the evening I felt as if, almost the same amount of cartons were still lying there, kind of teasing me! I decided to shed my superwoman image and call for a help.

I asked watchman to send some maid to help me with the same. Next day morning, there were two girls who came, one was 18 and other was 16 years old. Now I gave one to finish my kitchen and other to set up my other rooms and I myself was busy with setting up my books and crockery. Once done with all that, it was the turn to unveil the biggest monster. I, am a packrat of shoes and cloths! And for the first time in my life, I regretted it and I wished I had not accumulated so much stuff! I gave one of the girls to handle my shoes cartons and the other to help me with setting up my cloths. It took us some 5 hours, in which we had 3 cups of tea and a lot of chit-chat. They told me about themselves, about from where they hail, what they and their parents do for a living. 

And then, while leaving the younger one said something that I will never ever forget in my entire life.
She said, 'Didi, everyday before sleeping I pray to God, I never ask anything, I just pray... But today I will ask and request him to give me a life like yours, in my next life.'

I just smiled, I had no words! I just heard my inner voice saying, 'My life is actually a wish for few people, a wish for their next life.' 

Do i really value it that much? Do I really appreciate that fact? Do I even, realise what I have!

Instead, I keep on cribbing and crying about things that I don't have. I, like many others, just see people who are above me and wish to be like them. I and many others just take out the faults in our stars and push ourselves into the swamps of darkness and pain. We, so easily disregard things that we already own and have in life. We just forget to notice people below us and in the urge to get success, all we do is compare ourselves with people above us, antagonise ourselves, which leads to pain, hurt and depression. 

We kind of create this unprecedented agony for ourselves, that it becomes so difficult for us to get out of it and realise the good things that we are surrounded with. The pressure of being on the top, cravings for materialistic things just supersedes all other small things that could give us ample amount of happiness. And instead of cherishing these small bits and pieces of happiness, we ignore them in quest of big achievements, that would give us the pleasure of gloating and boasting in front of the entire world. And we, misapprehend that pleasure to be happiness. This is where we fail, we just look out for moments that could give us a chance of chest thumping, instead of moments that could give peace and happiness to our hearts and soul. We have become so hollow, so blind in hunt of something that we, ourselves wouldn't be aware of. We despise little thing, that might give us happiness and that might contain tiny miracles, for something that we are not even sure of, if it will come in our way or not. 

Why are we human beings so complex? Why cant we just be happy with what we have. Why do we weave this web of desires, that become so difficult for us to contend with. Why do we put ourselves in a position to get lynched by our own desires and wishes? Why? Why cant we just live happily with whatever we have. 

Why? And I have been sleeping with this why since that day...

P.S. Have still not got the answer... But have surely been able to push myself towards realizing and appreciating little things, that actually contain so much miracle and magic...

P.S.S Magic is magic, how so ever small or tiny it is...

The living sinners





“One hundred and fifty years ago, the monster began, this country had become a place of industry. Factories grew on the landscape like weeds. Trees fell, fields were up-ended, rivers blackened. The sky choked on smoke and ash, and the people did, too, spending their days coughing and itching, their eyes turned forever toward the ground. Villages grew into town, towns into cities. And people began to live on the earth rather than within it.” 
― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

I saw some very upsetting and distressing pictures of what Pollution is doing to our environment, to animals and to our nature. Those pictures had a such a tormenting impact on me, that dragged me into a swap of guilt, because each one of us: intensionally or unintentionally have been a part of this disaster! Guess, we: the human beings are the most dangerous species that has ever existed on the face of this planet! And I accept this self-description without any qualifications. I feel sorry for being a part of this shameless and brazen Species.

There were horrifying pictures of poor animals trapped in plastic trash, animals killed by excessive plastic ingestion, a turtle trapped in plastic waste and therefore unable to grow, animals and birds in oil spills, landscapes full of trash in Mexico, India and Bangladesh, Tourists posing against fake Hong kong skylines, A child drinking dirty and filthy water near a stream in Fuyuan county (China), thousands of dead fishes in a lake in Wuhan, a seal, a stork and a tortoise trapped badly in plastic and there were so many painful pictures. Just type "Pollution Animals" in Google and see the painful disaster that we have been the primary reason of. I have posted few of these pictures here as well. 

All these pictures depict only one thing: our insensitivity towards our planet and its habitants. We have contaminated our natural environment to an irreversible extent and in a very short span of time.

I felt horrible after witnessing the agony of poor animals. They are suffering so badly, even when they have nothing to do with all this. They are paying a painful price for something they have, absolutely no connection with. Our deeds have caused so much harm to this planet and its habitants that its irreparable now. We have not just ill-treated, but have completely exploited our planet! Guess, if there is a supreme power somewhere, he/she would have been regretting by now for creating an animal with so much brain, that it has now become a threat to others not only on land, but also in water, in space, everywhere possible and not possible. 

Guess, Earth would have been missing Dinosaurs! We are definitely, dangerous than them! 

Do we even realise what we are doing and what we have done to this planet! Will we ever be able to revert back all this that we have destroyed and are adamant to do that further, not just to us, but all... We gave nothing back to this planet, but pollution and death. We have destroyed it to the extent that never ever earth would be able to support any other life, after us!

And it is amusing to see hoardings, posters, ads of 'Save Planet Earth'. Who are we, mere human beings to save this massive planet, that gave us life and is supporting us? Who are we to save it? Nothing! The day earth gets fed up of us and our ways, I am sure that day it will give us back all that we have done to it. Till then, we are free to kill it further.

We, yes we... are the deadly living sinners!


                                                                                  Picture courtesy: Google