The Invisible CEOs

Behind every successful man, there is a woman.
Was quite a popular quote in yester years.
Till women themselves refuted it, saying why should women be "behind"?

History regales us with stories of empires being won and lost on the whims and advice of queens, empresses and beloved.

We have seen our partners, fathers and friends discuss work , the problems, the conflicts at home.
And the pearls of wisdom and advice from the other halves, over the kitchen fires , dining table .
Pillow talk is not always always about love and gossip.

It is about the day at work as well.
If a partner is truly the one to be trusted , it is only natural that one reaches out at times for advice.
Even if it is just as a sounding board.

Wonder how many partners have been invisible CEOs.
Peppered in friendly words of advice.
Nudged their loved ones into taking that risk.
That step.

Or just given that extra hug to say- I believe in you .

Enough to make one confident.
Truly, we owe a lot to the Invisible CEOs.

Birthday cake

It's the one thing we used to wait with bated breath for.
In the earlier days, my father would drive home with a white paper box carefully balanced on the cushioned rear seat of the Amby. With the Digboi Stores cursive logo proudly perched on the packet.
We would crowd around the table, mother, father, the help, some early bird friends, as my mother gently opened the white box and revealed the pink iced roses and the all important letterings in sugar- Happy Birthday.

Birthday cakes have the ability of lifting the occasion to a high.
Even when there is no party or do.

In fact, during the latter years, when we moved towns, our birthdays were signalled by a cake from Diamond Bakery in Guwahati and a gift from mother. And maybe some friends in school.

But we never felt short changed. So long as the cake was there, all was well.

Birthday cakes at work now are about singing, smashing, laughing and uploading on FB and Twitter.

Shows how important rituals are in life.
In adding a meaning or significance to an otherwise regular day.
Injects an "occasion" even when there may be none.
Adds magic to when there is one.

Holds true for brands as well.
It is not easy to make a brand a ritual.
Needs to have strong relevance and a connect that goes beyond product usage and consumption.
But once it gets into that mould, it is there to stay.

Coming back to the birthday cake, it will always be the best way to show a person that we care.

I am crying….

No I am not.
But it's good to get those tear buds active and the cheeks smeared once in a while.
It's an outflow of emotions.
A release of things pent up and we all need to  do that.

Actually a good cry does much more than just release.
It clears our clouds.
Makes us see things in the right perspective.
Most calls in life are taken after a good cry.
When the emotions that make us blind at times have been  let out.

Maybe it's a good idea to have "Cry Sessions" at work.
Where everyone gets together and just give vent to feelings.
Well not really cry but do pretty much the same thing - in fact really let go.
No seniority juniority
No calls taken at that session
No judgement passed
Just talk and crib and express and rave and rant

Will make that difference once it's all out.

Bermudas and kurtis

Birthday parties in those days meant wearing a frilly, lacy white or pink dress.
Tailored by my mum herself or the local tailor, who would put on his thick dark rimmed glasses, slip on the snakey worn out measuring tape around his shoulders , and thumb his way through dog earred pages of "foreign" magazines where beautiful blondes posed in chic suits and little cherubic angels posed in frilly white frocks.

That was as close to fashion as we could get.
The uniqueness lay in the dexterity of mums to select the right outfit that Shombu "darzi" could muster up on his Usha sewing machine.

Then there were the "readymades" in plusher stores- if we were lucky, we would get one or two during pujas.

My first pair of jeans was extremely formal party wear. Teamed with yet another frilly pink blouse.
Till the jeans became a more familiar sight in and around us, got paired with casual t-shirts.

College was churidars and salwars. And of course, the occasional sarees and our traditional mekhela chador.

The more fashion adventurous ones wore jeans with kurtas. Then jeans with short tops. And jeans with t-shirts. Followed by capri jeans with sleeveless t-shirts till the strict Principal put his foot down and listed out what is "allowed" as college wear.

Work started off with more churidars. Common black, red and white salwars or pyjamas, and a choice of cottons and semi cotton, full sleeves, half sleeves as kurtas.

That was the time when the "bermuda" shorts made their cheeky appearance on shelves. Suddenly, young girls were wearing bermudas and tshirts for evening walks or casually at home on Sundays. Bermudas were rarely worn outside of home or locality but gave the young girls their first whiff of fashion freedom.

The short kurta or "kurti" made its shy appearance maybe 5 or 6 years ago.
Giving the Indian fashion a facelift. And women and girls permission to dive into "western wear"- namely jeans and kurtis.
This is the height of fashion in small towns, especially for married women and mums who had quietly folded up their "unmarried" wardrobe in the recesses of the spare Godrej almirah.

The movement is still on- it is always a process.
The latest in line of Indo western fashion fusion are "tunics" with "tights".
Belted, laced, layered, halter necked- they come in all shapes and sizes.

Fashion in mass India is truly an indicator of a change in mindset.
A sign of a sense of freedom.
A symbol of equality in relationships.

And shows that as a nation, we do not blindly adopt but redefine what we have been used to.
Like they say "make adjustments"....

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