Why need feminism when you have badassery in your blood !

I just finished reading Atlas Shrugged, the iconic master-piece by Ayn Rand; and must admit that it is one of the finest book I’ve read in a long time.It includes the elements of science fiction,mystery,romance and most importantly it contains Rand’s greatest work on Objectivism. In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan. The Titans waged war against the Olympians(Zeus & his supporters) and lost. As punishment, Zeus made Atlas forever hold up the heavens on his shoulders. You must’ve observed Atlas holding up the globe;which brings the poetic justice to the phrase “the weight of the world on your shoulders.” And, shrug means to surrender.

In the book, Atlas serves as a metaphor for all the smart, creative “doers” in the world:
the industrialists, the artists, the engineers, the professors, etc. According to her,just
like Atlas, these are the people responsible for supporting the entire world. In Rand’s
opinion, they are all mistreated and are opposed by bad government policies. So they all go on strike and basically “shrug” off the weight of the world.

Dagny Taggart, the protagonist of the novel; who also happens to run the largest network of trans-continental trains is an epitome of unapologetic bravery and independence. She is a kick-ass role model for women in business. She knows what she wants, how she wants it, and most importantly, what she’s willing to get the improbable.Her fearless approach in life makes me wonder do we really need the so called “Feminism”to succeed in life. When you have the capability to do things, rather than screaming your lungs out in lieu of pseudo attention, why not have great accomplishments ?

Another factor which attributed me to write this Blog was this new hoopla of females being granted offs for periods. Do you really thing it empowers women ? You don’t achieve equality by demanding special privileges.On one hand, we talk about women power and debate about women getting an active place in combats, and now we are advocating leave for periods. It’s like going back in time and making things worse. I know the biological clock offers a great deal of pain but don’t you think it’s unfair for the men at work. Another man in the same office puts extra 20 hours for the same money. People will tend to hire more men then.Also,any woman can fake it and take an off. It puts their integrity into jeopardy. I think it’s a bad move.

In a parallel world, we have Harmanpreet Kaur and Dagny Taggart slaying it with their
game. Dagny and Harman, both represent the new age modern women, leading from the front. They don’t believe in making excuses or playing the pity-card. They believe in getting the shit done. Harmanpreet Kaur, the Arjuna award winner and the dashing batter from Moga is a path breaker for her contemporaries and Indian women’s Cricket.

She is the first Indian cricketer (male or female) to have signed a Big Bash League contract. She recently came to limelight when she scripted India’s finest victory by slamming 171* (off just 115 balls) against Australia in WC semi final by becoming the 5th Highest run-Scorer in ODIs. Not just this,she also became the highest run scorer (male/female) in knockouts of an ICC event, surpassing Ganguly.

The way she raced to 150 from 101 in mere 17 balls, is something quite astonishing. Currently, she is the second-highest run-getter for India,after Deepti Sharma. It was out of the world power-hitting by the girl from Moga district in Punjab,something that has made her a stand-out player for India.These girls might have lost the final but the way they fought and exhibited magnificent display of character, I am sure it must’ve inspired a whole new breed of females to have picked up a bat and dream something new.

In a male dominated frenzied sport, where people used to be unaware of any match being played by the girls, people in India watched the game, supported them with their hearts and souls and even expressed their fury when they lost. I think Harmanpreet and co have done their job. The spark has been ignited.

Here is a list of striking similarities between Dagny Taggart & Harmanpreet Kaur and a tight slap on the face of all these feminazis –

1.Powerhouse of style and substance.
Just like Dagny’s speeches and unparalleled gala room looks, Kaur too thrives on her
straight-bat drives; empowered with authority and class written all over them.

“The straight line is the badge of man, the straight line of a geometrical abstraction that makes roads, rails and bridges, the straight line that cuts the curving aimlessness of nature by a purposeful motion from a start to an end”

2. Talk less, work more.
Harman was questioned by the media and even tested for dope when she hit a 88 m six in her early days. She preferred to ignore the haters/critics and let her bat do the talking. I think where she stands now, speaks volumes about her mental toughness & character. It’s useless to argue, with people who would neither refute an argument nor accept it.As Dagny professes it right from her childhood days, this is their mantra –

“I’ve always been unpopular in school and it didn’t bother me, but now I’ve discovered the reason. It’s an impossible kind of reason. They dislike me, not because I do things badly, but because I do them well. They dislike me because I’ve always had the best grades in class. I don’t even have to study. i always get A’s.Do you suppose I should try to get D’s for a change and become the most popular girl in school?”

3. Drape a cape, the situation needs
In case you seen Kaur’s game, she adjusts herself to the needs of the team. She started slowly in the semis,when India were 2 down at the start. Later,once the foundations were laid with Mithali, she pressed the accelerator button and went full berserk.And bowls too as in when required.Similar is the case with Dagny.

For Francisco, she’s the symbol of his quest to reshape the world. For Hank, she’s the wife he always wanted, as well as an inspirational teacher. For Eddie, she’s a heroic, larger-than-life figure. For John Galt, she’s the symbol of his ideals and his soulmate. Wear the cape, the situation needs. Moreover, right from sharing legendary strategies in the board roam to laying down the rails of the John Galt line to recruiting the man with the golden motor, she has performed every role her company demanded her to.

4. Defying stereotypes of the man’s world.
In terms of stats, Harman is rated above Ganguly in the knockout games and can dispatch the ball out of the park greater than maybe Kohli’s strength. It’s a brave new world, where anyone capable of doing anything significant technically and rationally,can do wonders;irrespective of the gender. Dagny too, showed immense maturity in handling topics like civil engineering, tensile strengths of materials, aerodynamics; did a better job than her brother James or any other man alive. And yeah these fields are considered to be the man’s domain.

5. Epitome of self assuredness.
Quoting Dagny Taggart once again, “You don’t have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, is–say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” She didn’t leave Hank Rearden’s side, rather stood by her no matter what the circumstances were -be it for Rearden steel or being labelled as her mistress. she didn’t let go of her dream to build the Galt’s line, even though it was opposed by zillion bureaucrats. She did what she thought was right, without seeking any validation from any other person. Also, had Harman thought of her neighbors and relatives while choosing this as her career, I don’t think she would’ve reached these heights of glory.

Never saw these two women whining about anything.I think they are a perfect eye-opener for everyone in the society. You don’t have to forcefully hog the limelight to be famous. Love what you do with pride,dignity, dominance and fun; the world is yours. Play with your boldness, not the victim card. Be a bad-ass, not a feminist.

Sources – ESPNCricinfo, GoodReads, Aynrand.org

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Think small – Little things should matter more.

You may be the CEO of a multinational corporation, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, owner of a Tapri or a bank manager,irrespective of the title or profile; I think everyone has got a certain set of beliefs/principles which keeps them going in life. Some are driven by monetary gain, a few are pumped by intellect. For me, it’s the small little things that matter the most and inspire me to achieve something meaningful.

I’ve never been driven by technology or fascinated with cars, luxury Hotels and penthouses. Words have always been a greater force than numbers for me; and it will continue to be. I can’t recollect an instance where people have remembered a stat for decades; whereas words have been. Most of us assume that data is money; which is partly true. But I’d say an idea or the raw emotion/thought expressed from the gut is the real gold. Technologies will come and go. Your creative instincts sustain.

I don’t want to be friends with rich brats or political forces to succeed in life. And yes I hate people without substance; especially at work. Fakles (Fake people) are the biggest turn off. People not being passionate about their work,yet faking it to climb the corporate ladder, without having an iota of motivation, shallow yet keeping a chin full of farzi pride for no rhyme are the ones that disappoint me the most. Trust me, I have seen a lot of those.

Ab to ek Jhalak mein pehchaan ke dooriyaan barkarar ho jati hai automatically. The problem with them is they think too big and end up achieving nothing except false identity/ ego and some money maybe. Enough of gyaanbazzi. I think I do possess some zeal in my eyes. Jazba hai dost, shayad dikhega nahi. Thanks to my oriental features !

Certificates/ degrees are not too significant to me. Pat on the back from someone special means the world to me. I HATE collecting trophies or books for that matter. I don’t want to build a library and display my knowledge to pump my ego. Rather, I’d share them with people spreading more knowledge. That’s wisdom.

Things like being close to just 2-3 people who could do anything for you, having people in your life who could read you any point of time, people with whom you need not think twice before cracking the lamest of the jokes, people whom you don’t address with their first/last name, people whose names are saved weirdly in your contacts; are the one’s that matter the most. Trust me, if you have them; half your life is sorted. It’s a luxury.

Ah! The smell of a new book, a thoughtful non-materialistic gift (gifted randomly), Biryani being served, watching Cricket endlessly, seeing your parents proud and the love in your begum’s eyes -I don’t think there can be greater driving forces in anyone’s life. Little things like these set the tonality of your bigger goals.

Start finding solace in them, you can do well. I am no preacher.Everyone has to figure out their own funda. But when I retrospect the downs and ups in my life so far, I feel this should be the way. It has worked for me.

-> It’s never about going to 7 stars for brunches. Sandwich and parantha dates at Metros have been the best one’s till date.

->It’s never about clubbing. It’s always about the best of the cafes and bookstores.

tapri

->It’s never about Football (except Arsenal)/ Basketball and keeping it up with peers. It’s always about Cricket. I love it like crazy.

->It’s never about holidaying in Swiss. It’s always been about dreaming to go to Lord’s and witness Kohli play. (Mera bas chale to Honeymoon bhi Bhutan mein manau. But for that to happen, I should be alive. I am darn sure that Begum would kill me if I don’t take her to some place exotic. Bhutan is fine for trekking later but not for honeymoon – as per her.)

->It’s never about too much money. It’s all about vivid encounters with crazy people.

->It’s never about those high rise views. It’s all about petting a pup ( Long distant dream. Mommy can only keep him or me) and a peaceful potty on your warm commode in the place you called Home.

Most importantly, it is about making a difference to yourself; not others. If you are not outgrowing yourself, you aren’t moving the motor of your own leanings.

One such instance happened recently, when my rant against Cricinfo’s new website layout was acknowledged and I hope some changes are acted upon it.The whole point I cried and made a hoo-halla was because of the fact that it mattered something to me. I have grown up idolizing that website and trust me it’s the first thing in the morning I look up to. I could have moved onto Cricbuzz easily. A hit less on their website shouldn’t have mattered it to them.I raised my voice because I saw a part of my childhood being taken away from me. I had a lot of memories and emotions attached to it and I just couldn’t let it die in front of my eyes. You can call me a selfish asshole but I’d say I’m an objectivist. So, should everyone be,ideally !

Postcards sharing has become a long lost form of expression. Things like these touch my soul the most. If you mean something to me, I shall find a way to send one of those to you somehow. So, I am traveling to Rajasthan these days. The place is something. Please expect a lot of that with my updates (apart from Facebook, which is like a public notepad where I type anything without even think twice). But this postcard would be a little personal. Lesser text, more feelings. As much as I love it, I hate communicating through Whatsapp. It kills the charm of everything. Can’t abandon it due to Begum and work, too bad !

And yes, how can I forget the most touching and soul-stirring aspect – FOOD. People who share their food with me are always placed in my top-notch bracket! Honestly.

I love people who write these days.In fact, I keep talking to a lot of colleagues too, people who possess creative writing abilities but have stopped writing, have stopped expressing due to their hectic schedules. I constantly keep reminding them to take out time and let the words do the talking to their souls. Forget about the readership. You have one constant fan, who’ll appreciate their art. Time nikal jaata hai. Nikaalo. As I draft this down, I think I am doing justice to whatever I have said earlier.

Words are mightier than swords. Numbers fluctuate, words resonate !

I know it’s tough to hold the retention spans, but I if you reached this far, please do me a couple of favours –

1. Please stop faking with me.If you don’t like anything, talk to me directly. Ek dost kam chalega. Farzi chutyap nahi chahiye.
2. Start writing more. Let your thoughts transpire a new revolution. No idea/thought is good/ugly. Just write.(I am still optimistic about the day when my PJ takes the shape of a campaign)

Every little helps. Every small goals achieved like these stir your soul and help you see the bigger picture clearly.

Love & Light
Lalit.