Thursday, 29 March 2018

What is the ideal number of children for ensuring good Parenting?


HOW MANY BABIES ARE ENOUGH: ONE OR ELEVEN?



SCENE 1, MOVIE: NEEL BATTE SANNATA (Bollywood family drama)
 “Why do you want to join civil services? Interviewer
“Because I don’t want to be a maid.” Appu, protagonist

SCENE 2 MOVIE: QUEEN OF KATWE (African real life drama)
“I want you to help me become junior world champion. This will help Uganda’s Chess Association and my family.” Phiona Mutesi, protagonist

Recently I saw these two movies and couldn’t get them out of my mind. Both depicted stories revolving around mother- daughter relationships. While Appu is the single girl child of a poor Housemaid, Phiona is one of five children of a corn seller of Katwe, Uganda. Both the mothers are widows and working really very hard to make the ends meet. Both do not take the easy way out and want their child/children to live a better life. A common feeling which made me compare the two movies was the unbelievable determination that the mothers showed towards their daughters in both the movies. In Appu’s case she was the only child and did not have much aspirations but still her mother’s dedication towards her future, makes her learn tricky trigonometry sums and look for a civil servant’s job. While in Phiona’s case, her mother’s hands are already full. She has to look after five children, ranging from a toddler to a gullible teenager. Still, she doesn’t lose track of any one of them even once. She lets Phiona and her brother pursue their dream to play chess at National championship.The point I am trying to drive home by making this comparison is- What is the ideal number of children for ensuring good Parenting?

In olden days, the maxim “the more the merrier” prevailed in India as well as in other civilizations. We can understand the logic behind as agriculture and running dynasties were the major means of livelihood. In Arabian countries, the Moslem sheikhs had many wives and children because that would help them to take care of their camels, cattle and grow their clan. Post-Independence, Indians had to wake up to the new mantra of ‘Hum Do Hamare Do’ (We two our two) to control the ever growing population. Political grapevine has Sanjay Gandhi and his nocturnal missions to blame for it. Jokes apart, the desire for a male child due to the importance attached to him in Hindu/Muslim mythology made many families to have more than two children. And who can forget the famous reply one of our eminent politicians had given when asked why he had 12 children. He had said and I quote “In those days, our party was sitting in Opposition in Parliament, so we decided to oppose all the policies of the Indira Gandhi government. They said only two children; we said not less than a dozen.

In digital India, we see a rising tendency amongst the working couples to not have children at all or if at all, just restrict the number to Uno (One). In countries such as China, Japan, North Korea where family size was strictly monitored by the state, we find the younger generations hesitant to have children anymore. They find children as a hindrance to their freedom. Sometimes, they are incapable of commitments, taking responsibilities for others and also lack compassion.

So, how does a couple decide what is the ideal number of children for ensuring good Parenting?

In India, conceiving a baby has more connotations than being a natural step in a relationship. Many times, the extended family is more interested in birth of the baby than the couple. For the couple, especially the lady, it’s more of the result of the family’s interference. 
Read my first blog in this series on positive parenting titled Not so perfect Father Figure on vidulaabhyankar.blogspot.com. 
Also, once the first baby is born, it’s a tightrope walk as the stage is being set for the next one. If the first is a son, then a daughter is the most likely choice for the second one. And if it is a daughter, all that folklore related to a male heir’s importance is available for free in abundance.

 If you look at both sides of the story, you will see equal advantages and disadvantages. People say single child is pampered brat, introvert and a loner and not exactly a giver. While those with siblings adjust easily, are ready to share and independent. In fact, I feel it the other way. In case of two children, it is usually the elder one who is the responsible care taker, while the younger ones/ middle ones are looked after more. Instead, a single child is more open to making friends, ready to take on responsibility and stand for the steps he/she takes. A single child adjusts better in a group interaction and is more secure and confident. But finally, I feel it depends on how the parents treat the single child/ the pairs.



 In India, where sex determination is a crime, we can say its destiny which decides the gender. But once the first one is born, how does the couple decide the next step? Generally, the decisions are driven by the social upbringing of the couple, their personal aspirations, medical condition and/or social interests. In most of the cases, a pair is the preferred number of children. Some couples are lucky to have twins the very first time. So they have a family complete and few try again. Remember the famous Tennis star with twins- girls the first time and twins –boys the second time! Some others are not so lucky. There are cases of miscarriages, fatal organ failures or disabilities in the child. After such setbacks, the couples need time to start afresh as the mother’s body and mind becomes weak. Others accidentally conceive the second time and don’t know any other way out.

Sometimes, the work pressure, hectic routines, long distance relationships, flamboyant lifestyles dictate the family sizes. When both the partners are working, it is a really tough decision to take as generally, a baby means a never-ending series of sacrifices- the first thing that comes to every couple’s mind. A baby is equal to intrusion on time, space, money, emotions and interests. Sometimes, the baby’s arrival also marks the culmination of the so-called honeymoon period ends and with it ends the relationship itself. Before you finally decide what is the ideal number of children for ensuring good Parenting let me tell you another story: 

Once upon a time, when we lived in a Godforsaken IAF establishment far from the civilization, there was one couple with a single girl child living in our vicinity. The child was next to perfection when it came to academics, sports and performing arts. They often laughed when people criticized them for having single girl child. In moments of doubt, they always supported our decision as a young couple to have no more after our first daughter. They would say jokingly ‘Have one, make her the best one’. Fate took their daughter away from them when she met with an accident while going to school at the age of 17. The parents were shattered; as their old neighbours, we didn’t know how to console them. After a gap of 2 years, when we met them, they were again the proud parents. This time they had adopted a six-month old baby girl again. They surprised me with their positive energy once again. They said, “See it was wise to have just one. We could share the loss, but what about the remaining one. Who would he / she have to share the loss with after us?” 

 For some such couples, the baby is yet another step in sharing your compassion and strengthening your relationship. They bring joy, humour, contentment and tons of positivity. They find so much of happiness in the baby’s presence that they don’t want to go for another one at all or sometimes they won’t stop. Who can forget the famous Hollywood/ Bollywood stars opting for adoptions and even surrogacy to increase their families?

 By now you must have decided w
hat the ideal number of children for ensuring good Parenting is. In any case, it is better if it is a mutual decision. 
Babies or no babies; one or many; actually doesn’t matter, what matters is do YOU really want them?

Happy Parenting!

Friday, 23 March 2018

COURT MARTIAL OF COLONEL HUNNY BAKSHI


VICTORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN IN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

 At 0030 hours, on 23 March 2018, a General Court Martial declared the case against Colonel Hunny Bakshi to be devoid of any substance to prove any offence against him under the provisions of Official Secrets Act, 1923. That is exactly after six years of physical, mental, professional and social harassment, the honour and justice has been restored back for all those who believed in the organisation called Indian Military Intelligence.

PROLOGUE

"Every time you talk of TSD, you are compromising national security. Lot of things happening on our borders today are happening because a decision was taken to close TSD. …….There are no winners in this battle. India's national security and the reputation of the armed forces are the losers.

Sometime after General V.K. Singh took over as the 26th chief of army staff in early 2010, a unit called TSD (Technical Support Division) was formed. It comprised 6 handpicked officers, 5 JCOs and 30 men and operated out of an unmarked two-storied building within the Delhi Cantonment dubbed the 'Butchery', that was a refurbished slaughterhouse of colonial times. The division was headed by Colonel Munishwar Nath Bakshi, a tall, flamboyant intelligence officer in his early 40s, fondly known as, Col 'Hunny' Bakshi.

“I have done as you have done--that’s what I can
Induced as you have been--that’s for my country” Shakespeare

In early 2012, an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report said the unit had illegally purchased two 'off-air interceptors', portable laptop-sized gadgets costing over Rs 1.5 crore each, that could pick up mobile phone conversations. IB warned that the machines had been deployed in the vicinity of South Block. This led to concerns that they were being used without authorisation to snoop on phone conversations. TSD was at the core of the controversy. In May 2012, TSD stopped functioning, as soon as Singh retired.

 (For those who missed the movie, the fallen hero who inspired it and my earlier blog titled: The case that shook the Military Intelligence in India You can read it on vidulaabhyankar.blogspot.com.)

COVERT OPERATIONS VS OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT

Those who set the fire to the house are left alone while those who sound the alarm are being prosecuted.”

The dictionary meaning of the word “covert” is clear enough to make us understand that these are certain operations of the combat forces about which nobody knows. No body meaning the other Army officials too who are not involved in such secret operations. Also, if one fails or succeeds one cannot claim the credit/blame of any such activity. In short, the combat forces will not even lie/comment about anything to do with any of its covert operations.  The best illustration of this can be the tall claims made by many journalists about the clandestine affairs of CIA in US have never got a single statement from the State ambassadors/ any other government officials.

But, once the cover of a covert operation is broken and the beans are spilled in public arena, it becomes an offence punishable under the Official Secrets Act, 1923. In layman’s terms, the Official Secrets Act deals with all kinds of offences related to loss, destruction, and mishandling, withholding information of paramount importance (classified nature) to the nation. In case of personnel detailed to carry out duties related to Intelligence units, there is always a fear of being disowned and discredited if found guilty under the provisions of Official Secrets Act.

This can be better illustrated by taking a look at the way TSD and its personnel were blamed by a few leading newspapers using the same Intelligence which they had gathered risking their lives, to use against the enemy. That day, the nation lost its human and technological assets in Intelligence and a Few Honourable Men:
·        siphoning huge amounts of Intelligence funds to bribe ministers to bring down a democratically elected state government,
·        instigating civilian families to file PIL/RTIs through NGOs to question the authenticity of encounters done by Army and some previous COAS in the J & K area
·   tapping all telephonic/mobile conversations taking place in other than Raksha Mantri’s office.
But, in reality the charges for which Col Hunny Bakshi was being Court Martialled were revolving around a few classified CDs whose authenticity could not be established till the end.

LEGAL BATTLE OF COL HUNNY BAKSHI

I couldn’t help myself from repeating a few lines from the Hollywood court room drama titled A Few Good Men to draw attention to the fact that sometimes reality is more ghastly than fiction. In this movie, the uniformed lawyer and the judge clearly validate that there are only two types of people in the court: those who respect the truth and those who flout it. And that nobody can throw their military weight on the judges and the prosecutors if you are on the right side. The whole effort is to preserve the honour in the Marines by establishing the truth and punishing the guilty.

Col. Jessup: [to Judge] I don't know what the hell kind of unit you're running here.
Judge Randolph: And the witness will address this court as "judge" or "your honor." I'm quite certain I've earned it. Take your seat, Colonel.
Col Jessup: You don’t know anything about running a nation. Good night, son.
Kaffee: Don't call me son. I'm a lawyer, and an officer in the United States Navy. And you're under arrest. The witness is excused.
But, the disciplinary proceedings which went on with the explicit orders from top Army Officials have put a question mark on the ability of Armed Forces to maintain judicial dignity and decorum. It has further failed to inspire any confidence in its own people about solemn keeping of public justice. Let’s take a look at a few Procedural Lapses in case of the Court Martial of Col Hunny Bakshi which will further amplify my point.

1. Although the whole matter revolves around the loss/withholding/destruction/misuse of classified information/ finances and resources which could jeopardise the security of the nation, the media could not be stopped from producing exact photographs and /or information.
2.       While the honest CO was made to undergo all kinds of disciplinary proceedings, not even a single complaint/ FIR was lodged against even a single media house/reporter.
3.       People blame the then COAS, Gen VK Singh about being too vocal about such sensitive matters, NO (R ) NO effort has been made to find out who were the South Block officials (in uniform/civilians) who media claimed made these highly classified documents available.
4.       Flouting of Principles of Natural Justice: Every person subject to Army Act is also eligible for being tried under principles of natural justice such as being heard by the competent disciplinary authority, being able to go through all the relevant documents and evidence, being able to examine and cross-examine the witnesses. As a result the doctored CDs were never sent for forensic analysis, composition/quorum of COI, GCM were not completed, witnesses were never produced in the Court of Inquiry and no evidence (either CDs or statements of the witnesses) was ever presented for cross-examination of the charged officer.
5.       No effort on Competent Disciplinary authorities to keep aside their prejudices and connections/relations inside the courtrooms: From whatever information is available in the reports published in various newspapers, it seemed that there was a collective consciousness to deny any and all of the rights under Rule 22 of Army Act, Rule 180 of Army Regulations, to the charged officer. The then GOC Delhi Area, the various Commanding Officers, Presiding Officers and other member officers of the BOO, SOE and  COI could not let their conscience rule over their prejudices/ vindictive interests to shame Gen VK Singh through his men.

HONOUR VS MALICE

“We use words like "honor", "code”, and “loyalty.
We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something.”
A Few Good Men

Six years was a very long time for any human being to break down and spit venom against all those who were trying to prove him an inefficient, boot-licking ambitious officer who was helping the General to sort out his enemies within the Army. But, not even once has Col Hunny Bakshi or his so-called team displayed any such cowardly behaviour either to his superiors or to the media. He fell sick but still followed orders and waited for the disciplinary proceedings to complete. He could have approached media but he chose the gentleman’s way to battle it in the court room.

“That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face.” Julius Caesar, Shakespeare

But it is very unfortunate to see the unethical behaviour of the so-called brother officers who were responsible for the conduct of disciplinary proceedings against Col Hunny Bakshi. In order to fulfill the desires of the top brass and to save their own career progression, every one of them seemed to be in a hurry to prove the officer guilty from the very beginning. Even when they all knew deep in their hearts the rules and provisions of Army Act being flouted, they continued to do so to please the top bosses. What was really alarming was this black spot between the personal and collective conscience of all the officers involved. 

POINTS TO PONDER: (Pertaining to Legal and Intelligence Branch in Armed Forces)

“Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.”      Theodore Roosevelt
1.       Whenever any officers are imparting any judicial/quasi-judicial matter, they must not give any hints of exerting/acting under/succumbing to any superior officer’s command or influence. It would be highly immoral to force the weight of one’s military command upon the officers chosen from amongst his favourite subordinates to serve as members for the disciplinary proceedings.
2.       There is a noble tradition in the Armed Forces governing the discharge of judicial duties of officers which says: Even the highest officer in the Force doesn’t discuss advice or comment about the outcome of any matter being considered through judicial process. This tradition needs to be revoked and practiced at all levels to uphold the spirit of fair play and righteousness.
3.       A code of ethics should be drawn up in detail to deal with cases related to Official Secrets Act so that the legal rights of personnel detailed for conduct of covert operations may not be violated in the name of lame/ fabricated charges.
4.       There should be some method to ensure transparency of the complete judicial proceedings. This could also mean delineation of judicial powers from the commanding authorities. If implemented in the right spirit, this would result in giving more independence to the JAG branch in all three arms of Indian defense forces and reduced number of armed personnel approaching the civil courts.

Concluding Thoughts

What we hold sacred is honor, justice, and glory……Fighters are among us from many lands, with many gods and many beliefs. Believe as you will. “Janet Morris

    1.     With respect to Judicial Branch in armed Forces: The goal of achieving an effective and trustworthy judicial system which balances justice within the environs of disciplined fighting forces is not a UTOPIA. It can become an achievable goal as long as any trace of bias, preference or malafied intentions are not allowed to permeate through the glorious organisations called Indian Armed Forces. Similarly, the efficacy of disciplinary proceedings can be maintained only as long as their verdicts are perceived to be just and fair in letter and spirit. Any trace of malice and prejudice will erode the faith and confidence all uniformed personnel and their families have in such a judicial system. This will also have a snowball effect as everyone would be forced to move to civil courts to challenge every single decision made by the GCM/SGCM/AFTs.
   2.     With respect to Military Intelligence officers: Armed Forces Officers are courageous because they love their country and believe they have a duty to fight for it. Their patriotism stirs them to courage because they believe their actions can tangibly benefit their country. But if this trust is broken by their own superiors who are supported by equally ambitious politicians and money-minded media persons, this rare breed of trained and capable “patriots” will become extinct. It is time that we understand the loopholes in existing rules and systems and try to replace them with viable solutions to foster the Intelligence Organisations in India.   
   3.     With respect to fostering civil-military relations: The problems in the system are caused by the defects of human nature. Peace and security are threatened by the jealousy, shortsightedness, and cowardice a few men and their leaders. Democratic countries therefore can only last as long as the nation remains more important than any one ruler. It seems impossible for any democracy to stave off this danger indefinitely. However, this does not necessarily mean democracies are bad. No regime in the history of the world has been able to last forever. The important question to consider, therefore, is not whether nations can last, but what kind of government and armies they produce while they last. The preservation of the nation requires the armies to remain loyal to the nation more than to any one man or political party. 

EPILOGUE

Many may very well continue to ask why more value is placed on technicalities of a law than on a man’s flesh and blood life, especially when there is any amount of “doubt” at all regarding his guilt or innocence.” Aberjhani


 In my earlier blog on this topic, I had said that particularly in this case the real life doesn’t have a “Happy Ending” to match its reel life version. But with the recent closure of the Court Martial proceedings against the AIYAAR, the real life Gentleman has restored the faith that the nation and its people have in the Honour, Justice and Intelligence of the Indian Armed Forces.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

06 Natural Activities to bond with children


    


 In the modern times, the urban legends revolve around buildings, parking lots,balconies, windows or bedrooms.Our social gatherings take place in air-conditioned halls, hotels, malls or theme-based parks. After five busy week days, the weekends are spent relaxing at home, attending to all  pending jobs, catching up with family and friends and buying groceries for the next weeks. For a change, we can think of some very interesting, easy-to-manage natural activities to bond with children. Here's a list of very simple 06 natural activities to bond with children which I have undertaken with my daughter and thoroughly enjoyed doing them.

      1.     Make a bird house. Mother Earth needs more sparrows and birds so let the children make a small bird house in the balcony or the lawn with old cartons/ shoe boxes or wooden planks. Let them colour it themselves and keep/ hang it in a corner with some water and fodder for the birds. It is very interesting to watch birds flocking up to drink or sometimes take a dip in the water. You will love it as much as the kid. This is easier than letting them fall for a pet cat/dog which after sometime becomes the parents' other baby. This way they observe the birds, sometimes play with them and then accept that they will fly away one day.

     2.     Grow a Plant. Children are taught to save Mother Earth through many ways in their schools. So it will be easy for you to convince the child to grow a plant, water it every day and record its growth through photos/ daily noting. This is a good way to teach the child about the growth of a plant in a holistic way. You improve his awareness about environment, mathematical calculations (counting its height/ shadow’s length) and presentation skills (pasting photos/ making entries in the diary).  And the best thing I found about doing this activity was: My daughter's first attempt at using the You-Tube happened to be here logs about her favourite plants. She tried to talk about her daily efforts on sowing the seed, watering the plant and plucking the fruits/veggies. I felt it was better than just letting her dress up and dance in front of the camera.Although, she likes doing that too, once in a while.

 3.     Composting. Once the children have started to grow a plant, the next step of feeding nutrients to it through compost becomes easier. You can motivate them to create compost at home in your kitchen gardens or in a container at home. Use all the peels of vegetables and fruits to put in layers on soil and keep mixing and checking it frequently. Children can visit any Zero Garbage / Compost manufacturing plant to see the process and repeat it in elders’ presence. Use this compost in your gardens as well as community parks. That’s the least you can assist them do to contribute in  stopping unnecessary use of fertilizers and pesticides.

     4.      Splash Pool Party. Arrange for a small pool/tub at your terrace, balcony or in the bathroom itself on a sunny day and let them splash some water.  Let all the friends pool in some fruity snacks like C-shaped water melons/ marsh melons, banana sundaes and definitely some mango dices. Play some music and let them dance to the music while they splash some water. After they have dried themselves, task them to think about using the same water for some other activities. Let me tell you, children will surprise you with their observation and bright ideas.

     5.     Camping/Star Gazing at night. Pitch a tent in the garden/on the terrace/in the balcony/corridor and let the children sleep in it for some time gazing stars and constellations at night. Young children love to hear words such as the Black Hole, the dwarf, the Polar Bear and the North Star. Relate some of the mythological stories about how stars are named after some gods/goddesses and so on. Tell them survival stories and interesting things like how to find directions at night, how to survive in the jungles/ enemy territories.

6.      Trekking in the hills. This is one of the best natural activities to spend time with your children. Start a trek early in the morning to avoid facing direct sunlight on you. Keep yourself fully covered in light coloured, loose comfortable clothes and shoes. Most important, if you are trekking in and around Shillong, apply a lot of sunscreen/moisturiser to avoid sun burn/tanning. With your head covered with a cap or head-band and a stick in your hand, you can spin a story about how Indiana Jones goes on an exploration expedition to various places. 
You can make the trek interesting by telling them stories about great adventures of people who found out about hidden caves, temples or complete cities (such as Ajanta/Ellora caves, Dwarka temple, Harappa and Mohenjodaro cities) while they went on a trek in the jungles. Treks are also a good opportunity to introduce children to the various geographical features such as soil, rocks, sources of water and flora and fauna. (types of trees, plants, leaves, fruits, birds and wild animals). 
You can also tell them to listen to various sounds/calls that birds and animals make and encourage them to imitate some. Treks are also an appropriate occasion to share your childhood memories with your children:how you spent time with your siblings, your fears, joys and such things. 

As responsible elders, it is our responsibility to educate our next generation about the importance of being natural. This can only happen when we introduce them to nature in its original form: as the one who created both the Lamb and the Tiger. 
Hope you too try out these activities.

Happy Parenting in Nature...
 

Monday, 19 March 2018

Not so perfect Father Figures

Is Becoming Parents a natural choice for Newly Wed Indian Couples?

I don’t know how to make tea. He can’t stand my Murabba.
Both of us love our grilled chicken and vodka.

I don’t know how to drive a car. He doesn’t like my Yo-bike.
We never miss our evening walk.

I love my afternoon siesta. He can’t wait to try his reverse engineering at noon.
Both of us spend the whole night watching the stars.


I can’t control my anger; anytime. He can’t stop checking his phone, anywhere.
We both listen when our child speaks.

I love to listen to regional folk songs. Nothing dares to come between Arnab Goswami and him.
We both love to spend evenings sipping vodka, listening to Ghulam Ali and watching Elementary.

I can watch Rhet Butler n number of times. He can’t stop praising Captain Spock.
We both love to watch the latest Bollywood drama first day first show.

Still, deeply, madly in love with each other, we can’t stay apart for more than a day.
Both of us married to each other and that makes us a couple. 
Not so perfect, but still together we may make a good team as a parent. Let’s give it a try.
I will clean, bathe, feed and massage the baby. 
You will tell her weird stories, play ball with her and put her to sleep.

Sounds like a Disney production’s urban fairy tale? Maybe yes. 
Because life doesn’t always give you perfect situations.

 The baby doesn’t sleep when you want it to. Cleaning the baby not so easy and making it eat without much fuss, a mission impossible. Managing all these new roles along with your own personal needs and aspirations seems an equally impossible job. We see parents all around us: hotels, temples, parks, tourist places, buses, shopping malls, airports and schools. For many of them, it is their first time, while others are seasoned in the jobs. The first –timers tread cautiously, sometimes too carefully. They hesitate to err and so follow into the shoes of their peers, neighbours or relatives. Some adventurous parents do try new practices and sometimes succeed while some times err and learn. Some still living in the oblivion, let the babies have their way. Every couple lives by their own rules or sometimes no rules.

Shaping the future of a child is such an important activity for all parents, but surprisingly there are no grooming schools for this job. In India, while you will find tuitions for all kinds of jobs; you will hardly find any coaching institute for dealing with post-partum depression/ babysitting/ how to make the baby burp. All of us may not become doctors, engineers, civil servants/ bankers but yes, most of us will definitely be in a relationship, get married and probably have children.

In India, most of the parents get the advice from their close relatives, neighbours and/or friends. In very rare instances, people take the help of books, experts and/or your own partner. After marriage, there’s hardly any planning done for conceiving a baby. It’s because of the social pressure, not to forget the ever ready mothers and mother-in-laws, couples are forced to plan a baby. In such a situation, it becomes very important that the couple decides their priorities together, without any compromise coming in between.

Before they decide to have the baby, it is important to know each other’s weaknesses and strengths; whims and fancies as well as dreams and ambitions. In today’s world of equality, ambitions play a very important role in a relationship. It is equally important for partners to respect each other’s abilities and ambitions. If there is a need to make any compromises to accommodate a child, it should be a mutually agreed decision and not a forced one. I have many times been called a Mother India for quitting my job as an IAF officer. Some of my friends think I am earning a lot more in the civil street and they aren’t competitive enough to take the risk. 

 But very few understood that it was a well-planned decision made by both of us because we wanted to enjoy our daughter’s childhood. So if one wasn’t able to be around, at least the other was ready to shoot the Princess’ development. Neither of us feels guilty or jealous for making some changes in our lifestyle. I still don’t know how to cook and he still makes me draft his letters. One need not to always feel that a supreme sacrifice is required from only the would-be- mothers; when getting ready for the child. It can be a practical decision too. One of my friends, a civil servant in a state government; has a techie husband baby-sitting their son and at the same time working from home 24/7. Instead of leaving things to destiny, it’s always better to be a little more planned in living our life.

Once the decision to have a baby is made, it is always better to take expert’s help in how to spend the nine months of pregnancy. Many times it’s more of a punishment for the lady as she has to keep in mind many restrictions while the husband is free to enjoy his bachelor dandies once again. An advice for ladies: enjoy and explore as you are also free from those monthly painful days only for these nine months. Sometimes, a couple’s limited sexual activities during pregnancy, creates distance between them. Occasional romantic outings, movie screenings, drives and /or foreplay night outs with other couples will do the trick. Any interesting and positive activity will ensure the baby’s well-being as well as foster togetherness of the couple. 

Finally, as Nadal said on being fined for slow play at French Open: ‘Players are not machines. We need time to breathe.’ Similarly, couples need time to know each other and keep falling in love with each other again and again. And, it takes equal time to plan healthy and happy babies; and become their not so perfect Father Figures.

Friday, 9 March 2018

07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us - Personality Predictions



The social media was full of all kind of things related to what women want in their Women’s Day special editions. From types of make-up to the types of profession safe for women, you will find everything in there. It left me with nothing to write about. So I decided to quietly watch the repeat telecast of divas walking on the red carpet at Oscars. I heard the naughty, witty Jimmy Kimmel trying to figure out how Oscars was never about Box office Hits but always about getting things right like Mel Gibson featuring in What Women Want! What else could women want!??!  Living with a Psychologist husband I have started sharing his hobby of observing people during some of their private and public moments. Though it is said that great minds discuss ideas, both of us like to discuss the “personality” behind the minds and the words they speak, the gestures they make and of course the actions they take. 

Some we fall in love with immediately, some we admire and want to imitate and then there’s the other type whom we hate openly but admire secretly. So here I made an attempt of penning down my findings about 07 Personality Types of Men and Women Around Us.Guess where you fit and what kind of partner you have out of these 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us. 


  Women We Are

1.         The Desperate Housewife:
Obviously the name says it all. These types of women are the married ones, with children and workaholic husbands. So, their only pastime remains to be going to the gym, joining the Zumba classes, baking classes and dropping their kids from one class to another. They drive, they surf, they shop online and they know just everyone/everything that’s happening around them. But, honestly speaking, their night life is not so exciting any more. So they are always looking for spicing it up through anything/anyone that comes their way. That once in a year family holiday to exotic locations where they flaunt their long legs and short dresses is the only activity that they look forward to. Come festivals and you find them shocking everyone with their booty in those deep-neck blouses and chiffon sarees. Don’t be surprised if you hear about or find an Anna Karenina in one of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us. They are capable of a lot to get back that zing in their night life.

2.         The Holy Angel: 
Sometimes during parties when you all are enjoying the delicious chicken wings and ask your otherwise foodie neighbour about why she isn’t eating, the reply that you get is “Aaj mera vrat hai!” (Today I am not eating). Suddenly you all feel like the Devil’s Assistants who will pay for their sins soon. That’s the holy Angel, one of the most deceptive type out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us. Come October and the religious festivals season starts in most parts of India. So we find ladies praying all day long and sometimes during nights too (Jagratas). Once I was invited to one such Jagrata. While I was on my way to the venue, I tried to recollect some of the religious verses I might be expected to know. And then I felt guilty that I didn’t know much. But as the night progressed I was amazed to see that women had nothing to do with the religion. They were here to show how much more collections (chanda)they had done than their neighbours, how much expensive DJ and Singers they could hire and last but not the least, how much more gold ornaments they were wearing. Religion was a garb to be outside the house at night and be able to prove their powers over others in the household: especially the older men and the younger women.


3.   The Party Woman: 
Also known as the Butterfly, she is the life of a party, or you can say for her the life is a big party.  I love this type out of all the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us. Whatever may be the theme: they are always bang on. They are always ready for a party. Even when they see off their children to school or pick them back from hobby classes, their appearance is perfect. I wonder how all their selfies, close-ups and group pics are  always perfect. Their Instagram, Fb, and Tumbler everything is full of party snaps. Be it a morning tea, a Sunday brunch or a late-night birthday bash, they have just the right make-up, the right clothes (never repeated), the right moves and the right attitude together.  Smart small talk is their forte. Regular men may find them to be the high maintenance types as they spend a lot on keeping those good looks. But young and restless bachelors will always find them attractive and definitely they are. They are ready to move with any confident, smart sexy gentleman only if he’s got the right moves.

4.         The Business Woman:
She just loves to deny her femininity. She loves the business suits, the tight jeans and the shorts. You will find the laptop and her I-pad next to her bed and her Facebook profile will have some smart spiritual quote with an exotic sunset/sunrise in the background. Her Whatsapp profile will proudly declare at work/school/in a meeting throughout the year. And while people will discuss the maids at parties, she would make some lame attempts at praising the ladies for their sarees and food. She is a fitness freak and would always show up at events like Pinkathon, Walkathon and sport her smart sexy (always dark coloured)hot pants. They may love to dress up once in a while and go to the club and drink at the bar alone on a Friday night before they eye someone worth mingling with. Gentlemen who would like to date this type of women out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us, need to be super-confident or super good. Those who love to play the Dom-Sub game, this would be the right type to flog or get flogged by! I still have to find out.

5.         The Housecat:
This type of woman is not synonymous with the Housewife. Unlike the housewives, these types of women want to remain inside the house. You can say somewhat similar to the Homemaker category. They like to take care of everyone, send delicious food in lunch boxes, clean the house, and do other homely things like painting, sewing and baking. They do not like to get out of the house very much, in fact partying and picnics would be the last thing even in their bucket lists. They may sometimes be too much interested in the TV shows, chatting on phone with their moms and girlfriends on a daily basis or not doing anything at all. They would love to nap till one in the afternoon, if it’s possible. Although they may look a very boring, dull type of woman out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us; but many men prefer the Housecats for obvious reasons. They are less expensive and more homely. See how comfortable they make you in their cozy bedrooms with hot cup of tea and pakoras on a rainy Sunday. And you will agree with them.

6.         The Drama Queen:
Don’t confuse them with the Party Woman. The Party girls are the life of a party while they demand a party to live a life. Balaji Productions and Ekta Kapoor have a lot to owe to this type of women for their success on Television. This type of woman is easy to find in every household and workplace. Even if they break a nail, it has to be front-page news. Generally, they are good-looking women who would otherwise also get attention if they were not so annoying with their sob-stories. Be it a new dress or their PPT presentation, they can create a scene anywhere. And one can’t forget they are always right.  Out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us they are the first ones to attract attention at public gatherings and also the first ones to pick up a fight. And to top it all, if they drink and smoke, they will be so loud at times, you have no other choice but to enjoy the fun. But if they don’t get attention, they know how to grab it too. Either through their revealing dress, gestures or language, they will make sure people notice them.  Remember Shamita Shetty showing her pussy in a party after she had some major flops in Bollywood? Or the best Rakhi Sawnt trying to speak in English on Barkha Dutt’s talk show. Some of the best showgirls.


7. The Shadow Girl: 
Sometimes they are confused to be the jealous ones.  But they are not exactly the jealous ones; instead you can call them the insecure ones or the control freaks. I remember, one of my colleagues’ in the IAF whose wife called every hour just to check whether
he had his breakfast, tablets and tea regularly.  And whenever I picked up and transferred the call to him, her first question would be: “Are you alright? Why didn’t you pick up my call?” Every time she made some exotic dish for his lunch box, she would call up his secretary and tell him to not let anybody else finish it before he tasted it. They want to know about everything that’s happening in their man’s life. Just like a sleuth, they will always be able to manage to peep into your office diaries, your FB account and your credit cards. They want to know where you are right now, what you are doing and who all were there with you. Maybe they are afraid of the partner cheating on them and so they want to be doubly sure before they spend life with you. I think all that they want is to be needed or loved by someone. So, although they can freak you out sometimes, it will easy to win over this variety of women out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us if you really love them and show it to them.


I won't say which personality types are attractions or repellents out of these as in case of human beings, there is nothing right or wrong, but it is your perception which makes them perfect masterpieces or utter failures. Next time you go out with a woman on a date, look for signs of some of these personality traits and you may know what kind of relationship you are going in for. Now let's turn to the personality traits that a woman is looking for in her man. So before you fall for those lovely good morning messages, tulips and the chocolates, try to guess what you want and have......  


 Men We Want

      1.      The Desi Boyz:
      The rich, successful submissive Indian from abroad who knows how to chat, cook and clean the dishes himself is a ‘dream comes true’ for every Indian girl. He is a rare breed as most of them are looking for just the same qualities in a homely yet rich Indian girl. He will be more religious than your mother and really worry about the length of your shorts when you go shopping. You will find him looking for a smaller India wherever you are, so instead of Jalapeno you would end up frying Jalebis for your guests. He won’t let you miss India as you would be attending all those Indian fests like Karva Chauth, Diwali instead of Halloween or Thanksgiving in that Indian club in the neighbourhood. Once in a year, he will take you on a trip to Mother India where you get to go around meeting all your friends and relatives over meals in traditionally themed plush properties. For those women who are looking for a Security Blanket, this is a better version of a regular guy out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us. You will have all those nice cars, nice dinners and the nice gifts that you wanted somebody to buy for you. He may not exactly be the adventurous one, although, but who cares when you are driving  a BMW?!!?

      2.      The Serial Kisser: 
    This type is well- represented by Imran Hashmi in Bollywood movies. He is that hostellite guy from your college who is seen is seen to be a moving hot property for on Royal Enfields. He can be one of the Bikers, Roadies or a Cowboy. His favourite attire: ragged Jeans and leather jackets. This variety loves adventure in the outdoors and the best part about them is they don’t spell Cleanliness. They are more physical in expressing their needs and desires. But once you get close to them you find they are easy to seduce. The best part about being around them is: there are no strings attached if and when you break up. They are very submissive once you show them how much you love them. They will do things which no regular guy would even think of just to get that one Kiss from you. So ladies looking for a one night adventure, this is the type you need out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us. 

     3.      The Bad Man: 
   Yes, somebody who is just like Mannu dada (Shahrukh Khan’s character in Duplicate): the dangerous, tough guy from the next street. Not to be mixed up with the Serial Kisser, this man is sick. He loves his drink, his smoke and his tattoos. He doesn’t care for the girlish fantasies and he is not here to please somebody. The only thing that he likes is he. And still, he doesn’t find it difficult to attract the fair sex. The bike, the tattoo and the attitude is just too difficult to resist for many. Generally, they are not the settling types out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us but that’s what makes women fall for their macho muscles.

    4.      The Digital Comedian:  
     They get their inspiration from stand-up comedians like Kapil Sharma. This man enjoys dropping witty one-liners from internet at boring business meetings.  He may attract your attention with his perfect sense of humour in tricky situations too. The best part about this type out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us  is they are always cool and casual; they can show off their T-shirt and shorts to any place and make it the dress code for the event. What appears to be hilarious and pleasing in the beginning begins to sound like some life-time challenge to cover his super complicated life which he would never let you know. That’s why all those offensive jokes about him. But, so much of sarcasm and pun is not required in life. Finally, it all turns out to be normal and boring but the guy will still try to make it seem appealing with his jokes.

     5.      The Globe Trotter: 
     Another rising and highly irresistible breed of gentlemen, these days. They are the ones roaming around any and every place with a high definition DSLR camera, the binoculars, the traveller jackets, the cowboy hat and the safari boots. He will have lots of stories to tell you about everything: from the sunsets in Port Blair to the insect-markets in Vietnam.  He plans short holidays every year to varied places on the earth and manages to cover all of them as per the itinerary given by the travel agency. The best that he will do for a date, if he is not able to take you around the world is let you spend the night in his classy tent from Decathlon. His idea of spending a cool Sunday would be driving you around the countryside in his Jeep and clicking your marvelous selfies with the sun/moon/jungle/ sky in the background. If you are like Dora the explorer and don't mind keeping a lot of digital memories, you may fall in love with this type instantaneously out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us. I have met many couples who visited Goa and Golconda just because these were some of the popular tourist spots in India. 

      6.      The Gabru Jawan: 
      He is that desi young man from United States of Amritsar who drives that open Jeep with big jazzy tyres and blasts Honey Singh’s latest Rap every time his phone rings. You may feel like the Indian version of Zeus or Hercules has landed at your doorstep when he smiles at you. But the image disappears immediately after one portion of chicken wings and two pegs of whisky enters his system. He becomes the much dreaded Dharam Paji (Dharmendra- an Indian actor) from Phagwara. This variety of men out of the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us is again very much irresistible as he is ever ready for work, fun, adventure, excitement and everything else. He just loves the emotional drama at home as much as he loves his saag and rotis. Sometimes he can be as discreet as the Bond and at other times, he just shows his vulnerability when he cries in the movie hall. He loves to sing, dance and be romantic anywhere he goes.

7     7.      The Daddy Cool: 

     They want to control everything that women they love do. Right from the choice of clothes you wear to the kind of friends you choose: they can dictate everything.  But sometimes women find this Daddy cool extremely appealing as they have somebody to blame if anything goes wrong. I have some friends who have married men double their age just because they believe older men make better partners in life. This type of men out of all the 07 Personality Types of Men and Women around Us tend to treat their girlfriends as pretty little girls, which is again adored by the girls. They love to parade their partners as their prized trophy and are always ready to do whatever it takes to keep them happy. Some women feel this way; they end up always being the winner because they would be aging later than the husband. As a result, it becomes easy to lead your life with a man who takes care of everything: from bills to dinner reservations. Also, the pace of life is not so fast and that’s what pleases some women.


    Many men and women will feel they don't fit any of these personality types. Yes, I am aware even my man doesn't fit any of these types, but there won't be any fun in life if I spill the beans so early......From the Wife of Bath to the Memoirs of a Geisha, writers have tried to tell us about how difficult it is to know what wo(e) men want. Leave the punctuation aside, I feel its not that difficult to understand we all want to be loved by someone we like. And to some extent we all get what we want........