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Archive for January, 2011

Hot Kapi with me :)

Posted by Sowmya:) on January 19, 2011

Very late in life I discovered the magic of coffee especially South Indian filter coffee. I have raved about it all my life primarily because I did not want to be viewed as ignorant and outcast by the rest of my clan. But lately I find myself yearning for the perfect cuppa coffee…early in the morning…middle of the day…when I am frustrated with my clients…..when I pick a good book….after dinner…you get the drift.

This also means that I have been asking for filter coffee wherever I go and here are some of the places where I found amazing coffees –

Hot Chips -If you like it strong, this is the place to have the filter coffee. One small cup can keep you up for hours. I tried it at Ampa Skywalk but I guess all of their outlets should have similar connotation.

Kalmanee Coffee -This is again in Ampa Skywalk. It has a nice variety of coffees and tea in various flavours. Must try!

Anise -Yeah, I know you think I am nuts to be going to Taj Coramendal for a cuppa coffee but let me assure you that I don’t regret it one bit and the fact that I did not pay for it is irrelevant to this post. I was frankly skeptical because the coffee at Taj Mumbai had left a bad taste in my mouth. Every time I had a coffee there I was sure it was just hot water. But Anise serves one of the best South Indian filter coffees I have ever tasted. Simply marvelous. It is the perfect taste -not too strong not too mild just perfect with an awesome aroma. I would insist you go there just to have the coffee. It is heavenly 🙂

Vasantha Bhavan – at Anna Nagar has a good coffee but I could never enjoy it because I never liked the ambiance there. It did not let me lose myself in the coffee and forget the world outside. If you have no such requirements you should try the coffee there.

As for the teas –

Parfait 3  keeps a wonderful array of organic teas and other coffees like cappucino, etc. I love their ginger tea. Do have a look.

Amethyst – Just loved the masala chai there though I do wish they served it as chai instead of milk and tea separately but nevertheless it is a perfect foil for a late breakfast or good with a snack too.

And I have to mention here that my favorite coffee still remains the one my mom has ready the minute I enter. Yeah, it is cliche and all that but that does not make it untrue. My mom is always the best 🙂

Posted in I WENT TO, INSIGHTFUL?, NOW THAT'S ME | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Women’s lib -Misunderstood, misused???

Posted by Sowmya:) on January 11, 2011

Probably one of the most mis-used words today is ‘Women’s liberation.’

Let me clarify at the beginning that I am all for equality of the sexes and independence for women. I may in the minority of women who can say that they are financially independent and are looked upon as equal to brothers or husbands and have not been drastically discriminated against by people significant in my life.

But….

I want to take a moment to actually understand how women’s liberation is being viewed at presently. It started out well with equal pay for equal work and financial independence for women and more importantly freedom to make individual choices. Great! But what we should consider is that with freedom comes responsibility. Do we intend taking on the responsibility of making our choices or run for cover at the first sight of trouble. I am seeing women using women’s liberation as a manipulative tool -it is used when a woman wants to make a choice but when it comes to taking responsibility women remind the world that they are the weaker sex. It is presently used by many to harass men or families. Stubbornness, impulsiveness, rashness, ego are all blatantly used in the cloak of women’s liberation.

Women want men to take equal responsibility in the kitchen and household work but how many women are willing to marry a guy and let him be a house husband. We do blame society perceptions but are we, as women, willing to be the bread winner for the family? We want an income, financial independence and the liberty to spend money the way we want but we recoil at the responsibility of being the ‘bread winner.’ We say we are equal but liberally use the freebies of being a woman like a ladies queue or expect men to open doors and give up seats in the bus for us. These may be minor issues but it projects our attitude -we want the good stuff and not the boring ones. Let’s face it – we marry guys who earn more than us and the pressure of running the family is on the men. The woman’s income is supplementary and we always protect our right to quit the job whenever we want. When there is a wedding to be finalized, millions of questions are asked about the man’s earning and his earning potential but if the man does the same and insists on the woman working, it is seen as being mercenary. ‘How can he say that I have to work’ is the common refrain. I agree that women do contribute to the household expense and take joint loans with husbands to build the dream house. But the pressure to financially provide is not on the woman.

Another thought is about bringing up kids. I am not sure but sometimes I am inclined to agree with the age old system of fathers being bread winners and mothers bringing up kids. Don’t hurl those stones as yet. We embrace core competencies in the corporate world but not in the family. We believe that companies should concentrate on what they do best and outsource the rest. A significant percentage of our GDP depends on this theory. Is that not what was actually practiced in families centuries ago. Men were better than manual labour and women better at people skills. From what little I see of the world, I find that the immense responsibility of raising a child is misunderstood. If a woman does not earn money and stays at home to bring up her children she feels and is looked upon as inferior as compared to her peers who work and leave kids at day cares. I am not being judgmental here. But just as we women owe ourselves to fulfill our potential we also owe our children a good upbringing. Their initial formative years are most crucial and I am unable to fathom the pride in women who set records on returning to work after child birth.  I do not want to make any hasty statements on this since I do not have kids as yet and I am unsure if I will be capable of that compromise of quitting my job to take care of my kids in future. But I do know this -my mother is a homemaker. She has as such dedicated her life to my brother and my upbringing and it has definitely benefited me in a significant way. I know every child deserves that. All the air conditioners, cartoons, toys and music cannot compare to a smiling mother waiting at home for her child to return.

My question is only this  -Is it unacceptable for someone to want to take care of their child full time? Why is then housewife such an almost derogatory term? Is it not our responsibility to take care of the person we bring into this world? If we are not willing to do this, then do we have a right to have children at all? Are we then viewing children as either a ‘done’ on a ‘to do’ list or an achievement when we say to someone -“I have two kids and I still work and earn so much….”

Financial independence is not a bad thing but can we not work our way around it to fulfill our fundamental responsibilities to our own kids. I do not believe that a woman who is a man-hater, who vigorously competes with men on everything, who does things which are usually a ‘man thing’, who refuses to acknowledge that her own child is a priority is really liberated. Liberated women would be someone who accepts responsibilities for her actions, who prides herself on her womanhood, who looks to accomplish to the fullest of her potential (not just because it is a ‘man thing’) and who understands that when she demands equal rights she should be prepared for equal responsibilities.

Ok, go ahead and hurl those stones now 🙂

Posted in I BELIEVE, INSIGHTFUL?, NOW THAT'S ME | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ephemeral

Posted by Sowmya:) on January 11, 2011

My entry for January Klash

Not bridges but will statues build

Declared the lady from the red-lighted car

Forget roads & education

Concentrate on design & formation

 

Madam, please understand

Wringed an assistant in vain

People want progress and action

Not a finger pointing politician

 

People do not remember deeds

Masterpieces like these they will come to see

Remember to carve the handbag right, she declared

As she placed a rupee in the begging hands

 

But spending thousand crores on statues

When millions are going hungry

Madam, will people forgive

Such blatant travesty

 

Memories are short lived

Structures last longer

Future generations will know our creation

Said the lady looking for immortality in an ephemeral world

 

 

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