I often wonder how wrong we can be in our self righteousness if we fail to stop, listen and see the perspective. Our inflated egos, our acquired myopia to anything which we "feel" is not right, our inability to empathize - all often puts us into situations where we tend to either brush away any contradictory opinion citing as frivolous or chose just to ignore it out of pure ignorance.

The new fad in the market is Feminism. It is impossible to live a day and not experience something where the urgency of gender equality is not shoved down our already strained senses.

I feel Woman has never been more conflicted than today. Yes, we "feel" have come a long way since the colonial days where the existence of a lady was determined by the family - and not by her own presence. In our self righteousness we claim that today's woman is self empowered and does not need anyone to define herself. We praise the working woman saying that today she has the opportunity to be what she truly wants to be. Our tea and coffee breaks are about how she was imprisoned and how she is breaking the shackles.


Yet - I feel deeply saddened by the fact that in saying these things we are still discriminating against her.

I have seen many a brilliant ladies struggling with the image of the perfect woman as portrayed everywhere around us. Why does a man have liberty to dress shabbily, not cut hair, not shave and come to work dressed in chappals - yet we expect woman to look good and work good.

And then there is another dangerous phenomenon happening. Many a parents think that girl kids need more tenderness and the boy kids can be handled more roughly. That it is okay to hit a boy child, because they are strong. But that is where the seed of discrimination is sown. The boy child, beaten up in childhood will find it okay to hit another human being - and will one day become perpetrator of the same violence.

Somewhere in complimenting a lady on her looks we are totally disregarding her intellect. It somehow feels like a grand conspiracy of diverting her mind to everything else so as she does not realize that she is not being treated at par.

I read this so called whatstapp wisdom sometime back where a girl child asks a sage about differential treatment - and the response given is that a girl is like a jewel and needs to be preserved, boys are like iron, blah, blah.

What crap! This mindset makes me feel sick to the core. In the name of caller her a jewel we are in effect enslaving her intellect and herself forever - without her realizing that she has in reality become a puppet of society.

We are more than happy to share jokes about how much time a woman take to get ready and how quickly a man does get ready - but again in my opinion that is the part of the grand conspiracy. A woman has equal right to be shabby if she wants, be brilliant if she wants - and it should be no-one's business to judge another person man or woman.

But alas, we still sell fairness creams. And we still objectify a woman's body in everything. Because it sells.

It is this mentality which enslaves us to the core and while many of us respect her - get misguided by the stereotypes created by the society.

Why does man always need to be a savior to a woman - and not a friend or a companion where they enjoy the life for the love of it?

I respect woman. But no more or no less than I would respect a man or a child or an elderly person or any other living form. The respect should not be attached to the gender at all. As humans the respect should be for each others existence.

Till the time we keep commenting more on what she dresses than on what she does - we still will be a medievalist patriarchal society.

The ideal world is not where women are treated equal.

The ideal world is where equality is not a point.

On this women's day, let us make a pledge to look at each other beyond our genders and need not "celebrate" one day to remind our selves that we all are equal!

In the daily rigmarole of life our hearts always yearn for being free of the clutches and drudgery of day to day grind. Sometimes, taking rest is not enough. Sometimes, it is important to make that effort for that journey - planned or not, short or long, quick or slow, near or far - sometimes it is just the journey which is more important than anything else.

Ever since we returned from Bali after a fantastic escapade, we were already yearning to go someplace like Bali - tranquil, peaceful, beautiful and serene.

So when I got an email about promotional fares, I did not waste time in deliberating. I am usually a very elaborate planner. I like to have things under control, to know where I would be going, how I would be going - and so on. However this time I took the wild side of me take reins. And I am glad I did - I loved the adrenaline rush of the moment when I just booked my international flight o Malaysia here with no other plan in sight.

In the interest of choosing cheapest flights, I chose to fly out of Kochi as flight from Bangalore were much costlier. Kochi is very well connected by train, road and flights to Bangalore and I booked flights from Bangalore to Kochi as well. I also booked a hotel near airport for transit and it was a good decision as we got breaks in our long flight schedule. Still the overall cost was cheaper than if I had booked direct flight from Bangalore.

Now the flights were taken care, I spend some time figuring out places to stay. After careful research, reviews and deliberation I finally chose Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur for our Kuala Lumpur stay and The Datai & The Meritus Pelangi resorts for our Langkawi stay. I chose Hotel Istana for its location. It is located in prime shopping district of Malaysia Bukit Bintang and everything is a few minutes walk away. This was important to us as we wanted to walk as much as possible soaking in the Malaysian visuals and experiences along the way.

This choice of location helped us visit The Aquariaum & The Petronas Towers area on foot. We enjoyed our walks on good stretch of roads and pavement here. The skywalk connects the district and it was very useful.

In Langkawi we wanted to experience both the vibrancy of popular beaches and the quiet & exclusivity of nature and rain forests. Thus we decided to split our time in Langkawi between The Datai which is a beautiful property nestled amongst pre-historic rain forests with connectivity to a private beach and Meritus Pelangi resort which is located near to the shopping area.

Both properties were amazing in their own ways and we enjoyed our every bit of time spent here. Datai was a spectacular experience with staying almost in the middle of a forest. The property is done in eco-friendly way - for every tree cut - they planted more! The minimalist yet extremely elegant and beautiful decor adorned by wood and nature was a breathtaking stay. And whatever we say about the exclusive, extremely beautiful beach with a beach-side restaurant - will not be enough to express the joy and bliss once experiences by just being here. There are few places you can dream about. And then there are some where your dreams will fall short of reality - this is one of those!

Not to discount the other beautiful property we stayed - Meritus Pelangi which offers really huge swimming pool, water games for kids, fun areas and so on.

I guess for a family travel our choice of hotels turned out to be great. Our kiddo still talks about going to Malaysia - what more could we ask for?
Imitating others, wanting shiny things

Proud, powerful, arrogant, entitled

Meek, weak, fearful, soft

Melodious, sweet, harmony

This world is indeed a Zoo!

This poem is my contribution to A to Z Challenge 2016.
Nothing is impossible
I can do anything
Colors new I can create
Sounds new I can invent
Dreams - what they are - for
I make them reality
Brash, arrogant, proud, energetic
Unstoppable, emotional
What a crazy stage Youth is!

This poem is my contribution to A to Z Challenge 2016.
Heartbreaking it is that
People who are around us
We take then for granted
Courtesy, patience we reserve for strangers
But have no time for true friends

What a wonderful world it could be
If we pause and stop running
If we notice people around
If we are Xenial to everyone, plenty abound!

This poem is my contribution to A to Z Challenge 2016.