• 02 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    Great minds think beyond the normal

    indian painting


    “I walked to my desk and was about to resume work, with my cup of coffee, when my desk bell rang. I was called by Sridhar, ideally he is my boss, and this was the second day at my workplace, and I was yet to understand the entire business set up, so I thought maybe I had made some mistake in the submitted files.

    I went in; he locked the door behind me, didn’t waste a moment pulling me near him, and whispered in my ears, ‘would you like some piping COFFEE tonight at my place? .......If you do, all your files will get cleared, and within a week, you will be promoted to the next level, where you can actually have double the salary’,

    I was taken aback, for a moment, I went numb, he was one of the most influential persons in the company, and this was a hard-earned job………….

    With my two strong arms (which now felt stronger) I pushed him hard and he fell on his chair.

    I ran and opened the door with a bang (to draw attention of all my colleagues), went forward to Sridhar again, picked up the glass from the desk, and threw the water on his face……

    on hearing my experience; each one in office did congratulate me, but exclaimed (to my surprise) that ‘this was so NORMAL with every female employee in this office, yeh to badi companys may hota hi rehta hai’, but as on my part, I was clear, I could not accept this bullying and sexual harassment in a workplace as something ‘NORMAL’…”(Anonymous)


    It is true that most of us subserve to various situations, which have been happening for a long period of time in society, at a stretch, and term them ‘NORMAL’ as because they do not get changed at the right time. Racism, dowry, bullying, female objectification, communalism, female-infanticide, child marriage, late parenthood stigma, sexual harassment and there are many more issues on which society has its own opinion, and that is ‘NORMAL’.

    If a girl is eve teased, her mother restrains her from reporting the matter, saying, “its normal, don’t worry, the same man won’t follow you the next day”, but what if another rascal just matters to comment on your girl the next day!

    Huge dowry is termed NORMAL in Indian marriages, infact, it is tagged as ‘RIWAAZ’, i.e. custom of gifts to the bridegroom in most parts of India. It is shocking that though the law and constitution is against this motion, but people themselves so lovingly believe in this extortion as ‘NORMAL’.

    “Normal is something I can never take for granted again,” well said by Andaleeb Wajid, the beautiful woman author who inspired the world with her books, which redefined romance, and love for food.

    Minds which think beyond normalcy make a mark for the world.

    Normality is actually a delusion. It is largely defined by what society thinks and practices, and the notion of normality keep changing from time to time. What a large group thinks in common becomes normal.

    Even an intellectual person, posing his great ideas incoherently, is termed as abnormal, because he is just different from the mass.

    What is Normal?

    • Some action or incidence that keeps happening in society, as it is recreated by people again and again.
    • If the practice serves a purpose for our living, (like brushing teeth in the morning keeps cavity away, or paying money for goods balances the economy)
    • Or if some idea is receiving acceptance from the mass, since time immemorial.

    When we can break this cocoon of submissive acceptance, we can do something for a better change.

    Always file a complaint for eve-teasing, do speak up against workplace bullying, always say a ‘no’ to dowry, because it is illegal, and most importantly, logically unjustified.

    Acceptance can only encourage the inflated ego of the cowardly bullies in society.

    #SensitiveIndia shouts against being called ‘intolerant’, when honour killing and communal persecutions are still very much alive, because in those regions, they are ‘NORMAL’.

    A girl should choose her family responsibilities above her career, because that is ‘NORMAL’, someone has to look after the family, so ‘normally’ that is the woman’s role.

    It is high time that education and economic equality be brought to terms with high hand, so that women themselves identify their worth, and oppose to the sense of normality.

    Though not great movies, but characters like Ananya Swaminathan (from Two States-the story of my marriage), and P.K. (from P.K.) does inspire us to revive our thoughts on what society terms as normal.

    When Ananya takes a foot forward to oppose dowry, stating clearly, that she, being a girl earns more than a boy does, and only because Duke is a boy, it is not obvious that he will be more valuable to the society, to receive big cars, we really clap to her courage and candidness.

    Equally, when P.K. dismantles the concept of what we call religion, by dressing up a Hindu in burkha, and a Muslim in church clothing, we realize, that it is the acceptance of ideas, which goes on to distinguish between religions. We accept that it is normal that a Muslim will wear a net cap, a Christian will wear clothes more of English origin and worship Jesus, and Hindu will be in saree; that is the base of religions, and when that changes, our vision towards religion changes. We come to realize that all of us are of the same blood.

    Similarly, it is normal to get average grades; it is normal to be punished in class; it is normal to be ragged by your senior; are not facts, but notions that become functional when we accept them.

    Some great person has said- “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know, how amazing YOU can be”.

    Facing failure is good, but accepting that you have limited capabilities is not good.

    Strive towards improving yourself never ends, if you do not take your previous low performance as normal.

    So today, we have courageous people like Sapna Bhawani, who refused to accept her juvenile rape as normal, and strived and struggled towards making her place in society, we have Tasleema Nasrin, who has been a victim of political communalism time and again, but refused to give up, and continues to write candidly on social and political stigmas.

    And currently, we have Amir Khan. Our so called ‘tolerant’ India hurled anger, hatred and vengeance on a citizen for using his fundamental rights (that is ‘freedom of speech and expression’), but Khan continues to maintain resilience on the face of adversity, he stands upright to the political communalism that is going on against him, and states what he feels is right. Such stories motivate us to cultivate ourselves and our abilities, fight against fate and achieve something great, which may not be ‘NORMAL’.

    Image source


    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Sep 20, 2017 10:04 PM

      Love the way the idea of normality in this piece which pertains to each and every aspect of life and it is important. In today's time, it is good to see that people are questioming to various stereotypes existing in the society and coming out of it. Especially in a country like India wherein there are lots and lots of coward people, though this may sound harsh but that it is the truth. They are the ones who contantly fear what other peple will think of them. Indians lag behind a lot in the matters of self esteem and also self directing behaviuor due to which they expect the society and any other person for them but what happens is, that the self-centeredness of that one particular person is seen in that. This explains why most of the Indian women choose to remain silent about behaviuor like that of sexual violence or any other form of misogynist discrimination as they believe that they are meant to suffer. It is important to strive hard for whatever is right for ourselves and it is less important to think about what the society demands of us, becuase as it was mentioned, it will constantly change.

  • 25 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    Deepika Padukone - Faith, self-belief, hard work and determination are the ultimate recipe for success.

    deepika padukone aur prakash padukone


    A little amount of faith and self-belief mixed with hard work and determination and a dash of support from your loved ones, is the ultimate recipe for success.

    Hard work, perseverance, commitment, determination all are important factors for success, but what requires most is faith, belief in yourself that you can do it, and nothing like it, if you can get the same belief and support from your parents.

    Recently, a heart-warming video from the Filmfare 2016, reconfirmed this, when actress Deepika Padukone read out a letter from her father, where ex-badminton player Prakash Padukone encouraging her daughters to believe in what they are doing, for that is the core step to success.

    Today Deepika is an epitome of success, when she stands proudly with a black lady in her hand this year. However, it is noteworthy to recall her journey, which is mostly influenced by her father.


    “Looking back, I realize that the most important thing about my childhood and adolescent years was my refusal to complain about a lot in life ……. I was thankful for the few hours a week that I could hit the shuttle back and forth, infact the foundation on which I based my life was the refusal to whine on little things, and that is what I want to tell you my children, that there is no substitute for hard work, perseverance, determination and passion for what you do…..if you love what you do, nothing else matters… neither any compensation, nor the gratification of seeing yourself in newspapers and television”,

    Prakash Padukone in the letter to her daughters, Deepika and Anisha.

    We do believe that Deepika draws inspiration from her father’s words, so do we. Her career graph shows a consistent growth, as well as skill in a variety of fields.

    Deepika had been a good badminton player like her father and had played national-level games as a teenager, she could do it because she was fine in that.

    But fashion and media world was her passion, so she quit her badminton career to pursue fashion modelling. We still remember the girl singing #PaasAao in CloseUp gel ad, with low-waist jeans.

    She always made a mark in what she did. Her early days in film industry were not so successful; she had her ups and downs. Initially, she did some Kannada films which did not signify her as an actress, but she did not lose hope; her perseverance and determination knew no bounds.

    “when you told us that you wanted to shift to Mumbai for a career in modelling, we thought you were too young and inexperienced for an industry which we knew nothing about……… but we felt it would be cruel not to let you pursue a dream that you lived and breathed for. If you would succeed, we would be proud, but even if you did not, we would not regret that we didn’t let you try….”, Prakash Padukone.

    These words clearly express how much faith her father had in her, and his belief in what her daughter wanted to do formed the backbone for Deepika, to keep trying with her hard work, instead of fearing failure.

    After her Bollywood debut with ‘Om Shanti Om’, there was no looking back for her. Bollywood had found her new diva, and so did Deepika; she found the podium that she has been looking for.

    Her acting career kept soaring because more work, and money and popularity could not change her ideologies. Blockbuster movies one after the other, with big banners and creative directors made her love her work more.

    2014 had been Deepika’s year when she received the award for ‘hero’ of the year, in IIFA which was a path-breaking instance, because the first time, a heroine has received this award.

    But unfortunately, that year was also the time, when she was going through severe depression.

    However, with her passion, courage and positive energy, she managed to overcome her weird sentiments, and resume working with force.

    The setback was gruesome, but could not stop her, and now we know the reason.

    The lesson of faith and belief was already infused in her, by her father.

    Failure was just an experience. Instead of calling it an end, she uses it as the next step towards success.

    “You can’t always win in life, everything you want cannot always come your way,” Prakash Padukone.

    But it is very significant, that till date Deepika never refrains from meeting her friends in a regular café, she never behaves like a star with her family or relatives, she still sleeps on the floor, if there are guests in the house.

    Money and glamour have not changed her visions, and she keeps her behaviour normal and down to earth in spite of being a celebrity.

    And there is a secret to her humility-

    “When you visit home occasionally, you clean the table, have the meal yourself and sleep on floor if guests are at home…… if you sometimes wonder why we do not treat you like a star; it is because, you are our daughter first and film star later.” Prakash Padukone.

    Her father believed that it is imperative that children themselves, work hard towards their growth, and not wait for their parents to get everything ready for them on a ‘platter’, and this belief got transferred to Deepika.

    Today, she is a self-made woman, with no film family background, and after overcoming all the ups and downs in life, this year, she stands with a black lady for a film which is based on father-daughter relationship, so she shares this inspiring note on the occasion of her success.

    She also believes in her father’s vision that the effort you give as a debutant should be the same at the time of your retirement, thus we find her constantly succeeding in every field, be it social videos, modelling, acting or anything that she does with hard work.

    It is a positive lesson for parents as well as for children, that how a strong support from any one of your family can move you upwards the ladder of success, and how important it is to learn the art to accepting your failures and not complaining about them.

    We should learn to appreciate what we have, and what we are getting, and make the best use of opportunities. Generating positivity is important, respecting family is important, because after every career what remains with you is family. But a firm belief in yourself is the best support for you.

    When you can balance up all the qualities together, you get the perfect recipe for success. Prakash Padukone never told his daughters to behave like a star. He not once told them to forget their roots, their old friends, their old days. Their self-belief and confidence are developed by their parents from early childhood. There is a lot for each parent to learn from them.


    References:1 2

    Image source


  • 20 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    Preeti Shenoy-A Moment of Depression cannot be the end of a long life.

    preeti shenoy


    “What I am today is only because of my dad. I shared an amazing relationship with my dad…….. On 7th of September 2006, I got a phone call, that my dad had passed away. I went into severe depression after this incident. It was a complete shock. I hardly smiled; I could hardly speak to people, and I was in zombie-like state ……………….. I suddenly felt that I was all alone," Preeti Shenot on TED x.


    Depression is a state of denial. A person in depression finds life meaningless and lacks any significant objective for survival.


    This can be fatal, and Preeti Shenoy, Indian writer and artist, has been through this gruesome phase after the death of her beloved father.


    When a person who means so much for us has suddenly gone, it can leave us in a state of shock. It is not that the person is hurt, so he/she is trying to dramatize the situation, but it actually affects the mind in a deep and dangerous way. Depression can come following such misfortune incidents in life.


    If the deceased person had been the source of inspiration and motivation for you, then the loss is often unacceptable, and a part of you actually dies, because a part of him was there in you (his ideas and ideologies were infused in you), and with the death of that person, that part also dies and so you feel there is no need for you to live anymore, so intricate, can be the psychic connection between two people.


    But as the showman Raj Kapoor ji had said, yeh duniya ek circus hai, aur hum sab usme joker hain, jiski dor upal wale ke haath mein hoti hai……………..The show must go on”, almost reiterating the lines of Shakespeare that all the world’s a stage, and we are mere actors.

    Preeti Shenoy

    Preeti Shenoy strongly followed this ideology, and found motivation in literature and art when she was going through her worst days.


    When she needed someone to talk, she had no friends, her husband and children were supportive, but crying all the time in front of them, could agitate them, and perhaps they would soon go into depression, as these emotions are quite contagious, so she decided to vent out her grievances in her writings. She started blogging.

    Image source


    Hence, the few of her early works are pieces of narration, which are related to her own life incidents and these were assembled and combined into her first book. When she started engaging in work, her passion for art and literature became the motivation for leading a good life.


    Her second book is now considered a must-read i.e. “Life is What You Make It," where she speaks about an ambitious lively girl Ankita, who has everything but is struck by the hard claws of life.

    This book is a fictional encyclopaedia on bipolar disorder and the ways you can cope with it.

    Her latest book is "Why we love the way we do" is the simplest book on relationships, and ways to make it better. 

    This is the speciality of Shenoy. She uses her life experiences to delve deep into the psyche of her central characters, but finally comes out with a reviving solution at the end of the book, to inspire and rejuvenate the youngsters of the nation, who may be suffering from similar problems.


    Her life story is an inspiration for all of us. How a mediocre girl realizes her abilities and strives harder and harder towards an exceptional achievement needs to be learnt from her. Besides writing and painting she is an ex-basketball player too, and in the video for TEDx she describes her days of hardship in school and college, when she struggled to practice more and more to pursue her passion that is basketball.


    Today, she paints surreal art, photographs and writes great books, which are an asset to the society, for she believes “Save a life--it costs you nothing.”

    When she comes to know about people in the world suffering from depression and mental illness, she feels she has a duty, and by sharing her motivational ideas through her blogs and books, she believes she can be a helping hand to many, who are looking for one word of condolence, of support, so that they do not feel that they are alone in the situation, and Preeti truly succeeds in her purpose.

    Today, her speeches get some of the highest views on You Tube.

    It is great to see, how an ordinary girl puts herself into the process of growing using hardships and depression as an experience, to make her stronger as a human being, and the popular face she is in the field of Indian Literature and in media, is completely different from what she has been in 2006.

    Her lucid style of narration not only explains the anxieties of Ankita very well, but also all other characters which have or had a problem, as herself, and with fluidity of language, she very conveniently discusses upon a solution which may be actually a complex thing.


    So do not ever be limited by your set-backs in life. Life is not a bed of roses, and misfortunes will come and go, but the revival for survival is important. Grow your strength from your experience and emerge as a stronger human being. Never stop appreciating life, which is the most important thing.

    Always think with positivity, that you can achieve something big, and this goal will help you move forward with an objective.

    References 1 2 3 4 5

    Image source




  • 19 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    Muniba Mazari-A live and charming inspiration

    Muniba Mazari


     “I can undoubtedly admit that I am caged by my body, but my mind is free, so is my spirit and soul. I can still dream big”, Muniba Mazari.

    The ‘Iron-lady’ of Pakistan, is currently living a peaceful and happy life with 3-year-old son, with a flourishing career in arts and social activities, but the 7-years long fight was not an easy journey.

    The 28-year old lady, had met with a car crash, when she was just 21, and was beginning to bloom, but the beautiful woman did not let the setback bar her growing up, though her height has technically come to a standstill after the incident.

     The way I narrated it, doesn’t portray even half of the adversity that the brave young lady has been through. But I prefer to do it that way, since Muniba herself defends the whole accident just as a casualty and matter of fact event, such is the high spirit of brave Muniba.


    “Six and a half years back I made a car accident. I was travelling from Baluchistan to my hometown Rahim Yar Khan. The driver slept and the car fell in the ditch. As a result of that incident I sustained multiple injuries. The list is a bit long so don’t get scared.

    Radius ulna of right arm was fractured; shoulder bone and collar bone were fractured; lungs and lever were badly injured; the whole rib cage was fractured but the injury that change my life and my personality completely was the spinal cord injury. Three vertebras of my backbone were completely crushed. It took us an hour or so to take an ambulance in Baluchistan. All the effort went in vein because we could not find an ambulance. So I was thrown in the back of a potohar jeep. And I was rushed to the nearby hospital. In that jeep I realized that half of the body was fractured and half was paralyzed.

    We were rushed to the nearby hospital, we came to know that there was no first aid, I was kicked out than I went to another hospital in my hometown where doctor said take her away we cannot operate her. And I was like “why”? And they were like we do not have equipment she will die some day you go. I was kicked out again. But I finally entered in a comparatively better hospital in Karachi. Luckily, I was not kicked out probably that’s why I am alive. So I stayed in that hospital for two and a half months,

    I underwent three major two minor surgeries. The doctors have put a lot of metal in my arms a lot of metal in my backbone, so I feel more like an iron lady now. But those two and a half months that I spent in the hospital were dreadful. I was in swear pain both physically and psychologically. Many people left, very close ones. The ones who were supposed to stay with me were the ones who left me when I needed them the most. I was devastated. Life was completely pointless, aimless, and colorless. I was tired of wearing white scrub looking at the white walls doing nothing sitting idle.

    I really did not want to live. But then I realized that instead of crying for the people who were not meant to be with me and for the legs which I have lost. I have people around me who want to see me alive. I have so much to be great full for, so let’s stop cribbing stop vining because it is pointless. The best decision that I took in my entire life was the painting that I made in the hospital with the crippled hand. That’s how I added color in my colorless life. That’s how this adversity held me and exploring and artisting me, that’s how this art kept me alive through this whole journey.

    Then I was moved to Islamabad. I stayed in my room on the bed confined for two years. Because I developed multiple pressure ulcers and a variety of infections and allergies. Now this whole traumatic journey of two years and two and a half months being bed ridden and doing nothing, the only thing that kept me alive was art. What a beautiful medium art is that without uttering a single word you express yourself, what a great escape it was? But the day I was sat on the wheel chair for the first time, I was a completely different person. I still remember that I looked myself in the mirror, and I said you cannot wait for a miracle to come and make you walk. You cannot wait for samsuled treatment because it is very expensive, you cannot wait and sit in the corner of the room and crying and begging for mercy because people do not have time.

    So the only thing that I can do was to accept myself the way I was the sooner the better, that’s what I did. I really wanted to make myself financially strong, let’s become professional. I started to find some jobs. A very good friend of mine found a status, we want content writers, I like it I comment I wish I could. I was called for that interview and I was hired as one of the content writers for Pakistan’s first official website, heartofasia.pk. Salman Taseer was like the CEO. That’s how I started my professional career. So I was becoming financially strong, stable, content writing was good. I was constantly exhibiting my work in different galleries, I was flourishing as an artist. Life was easy but I was not happy; I was not contended because I was constantly aiming high, I was thinking big. I did not know what how I am going to do, but I knew that I want to do something big for people for the country," Muniba herself narrates her story.


    Muniba Mazari 

    But the injury that turned her life upside down, was the multiple fractures in her vertebral column such that right at the time of going to the hospital, she realized that half of her body was fractured and half of her body paralyzed, yes her body was numbed, but her soul was not.


    From the state of feeling frustrated and wishing to give up life, the brave lady emerged as a fighter, and uses her disability as her strength.

    Her wheelchair drove through a pathway which is marked with glorious achievements.

    She used her will power to find the light of hope even in the blackest darkness.

    She used art to rejuvenate herself during her hospital days, and used her abstract paintings to fill colour into her gloomy days.

    “Art was an escape for me”, says Muniba.

    When she was brought home, life was not any easier.

    She was bed ridden most of the times, her loved ones had left her, but she did not want anyone to sympathize, she wanted to be on her own, she wanted to tell the world that she was happy the way she was.


    When she actually faced the society, and realized how society objectifies disability as never-to be cured shortcoming, she felt brutally miserable, and wanted to do something.

    So she joined various campaigns to help the disable rise in society, take part in the economy, and let the society know that people with disabilities are not objects of sympathy, but they are humans and they breathe like everyone else does.

    She now smelt success, once she was working for a social cause, besides being a content writer.


    She is Pakistan’s first ‘wheel-chair bound model’ after she has been ambassador to the brand TONI & GUY, and soon she is to be the first ‘wheel-chair-bound’ TV host, and she is not remorseful of her situation.

    She loves the attention she is getting from society, from a media, and she enjoys every moment by converting her misery into advantage.


    Very truly said by Mazari, “the wheelchair cannot be an excuse for not doing anything……… be grateful for what you have, and trust me, you will end up having more……… learn the art of converting your adversities into opportunities, so be happy, be grateful, be alive and don’t let anyone ‘dis’ your abilities.”

     References: 1 2 3 4 5





  • 10 Aug
    Pooja Sarkar

    Is anxiety killing you for more profit in business

    anxiety and men

    After completion of my higher studies, I went to a new city for further education. There were lots of changes I have ever faced in my life. One of my cousins used to stay there for his work purpose. He stayed for many years there, so he had helped me to understand the city well. My cousin used to work there as a TL in one of renowned IT companies. Most of the time he was busy on phone and I noticed he has become quite aggressive during words with someone on phone.

      He even used to start smoking very frequently. One day I asked him if he was facing some problems. He never denied to share his problems with me. That day I had to listen to him carefully to know his situation in a better way. I found that it was an intense problem regarding his performance in office.

    He wanted to hold his position with respect and wanted to go for further development in career, but he was facing lots of problems in the office environment, he couldn’t handle those things anymore. He has also complained for inadequacy or sleep disturbances. He was stressed all over. As per his self evaluation, his performance was falling down day by day due to the stress factor.

    I was thinking of his words, I tried to put myself in his situation, how I would feel then? Working people spend most of their time in their office and the office usually becomes their second home. Home should be like the most secure place for everyone. One who gets trouble at work environment, it will be stressful for him/her. So the very next day I sent a mail to my brother by giving him some tips to get rid of his anxiety.

    A recent survey by the American Psychiatric Association and Harris interactive found Millennials to be the most stressed generation in the US. Furthermore, they are being diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders more than any other generation.

    Here are some tips for you to stay healthy:

    Feel your breath and live: Your body is the only place where you should live in. So feel your breath regularly by doing exercises and start your day by telling yourself that you will do the best.

    Create your rules: Once you create your rules you don’t need to spend your time think what should you do next. If you decide to do work till 7pm, no one can change this rule. Once you write these rules in your mind, you don’t need to get worried about small issues.

    Live organized: Arrange your priorities and the goals, which you want to work with. Allow you to take control of your mind.

    Live in present: Understand your past, how it has affected your present. Work on the present life for betterment.

    Live graceful: Practice forgiveness and work to achieve peace within yourself.

    Not worry about the tough time: If you have a goal to reach, hurdles will come on the way, don’t over think about these hard times, it will be a right way to achieve your goal.

    Not making your goal a priority: You have to decide what kind of priority you will give to your goal, else you will get lost among all your other activities.

    Don’t give up before you see the result: Impatience is the enemy of the change. If you don’t get result it doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted.

    Mindfulness: You have to concentrate on your work properly, tell yourself at morning what you should do today, and at the end of the day, check it, how you did correctly.

    Control your emotions: Learn to accept and value emotions at work. We can’t prevent emotions rather we should accept them. Try to assess the situation and judge what is going wrong in this situation.

    It will help you to deal with your daily life stress. Don’t run to get success, keep patience with yourself, you will definitely win one day.

    Image source

    Responses 2

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 15, 2017 10:54 PM

      The tips you have mentioned are on point. In today's life, everyone is stressed due to some time or the other. Even children of 14-15 years face stress and anxiety due to the workload in school and several other personal issues. It is important to effectively cope up with them because life throws challenges at each and every moment. It is important for us to make them work according to our ways.

      Life is about trying things you love and learn something about it. There will be changes incoming because of it. But there should be a hope and a belief prevalent in all of us that this stage will pass on and working hard towards making that happen. And not getting anxious of any external factors that comes our way.

    • victor de
      victor de   Sep 05, 2016 03:29 PM

      Nice write-up Pooja Sarkar, I keep visiting eWellness blogs very often, and feel motivated.