Saturday, April 30, 2016


Four years ago, on this day (30th April) I was almost midway through my two month internship with in Chennai. But that day was also special because of it was my birthday. Being just an intern and not an employee on payroll, I didn’t think that they would notice or celebrate my birthday. But I was utterly surprised when the company ordered a cake for me and we had the regular ritual of cake cutting towards the evening. My then manager remarked, “Whatever it is, if you are in office on a birthday, it demands that we celebrate the day here.”

I remembered this line the last week, when there were very few people in my current office and it turned out to be my manager’s birthday. Despite the absence of regular folks who helped to get cakes for employees’ birthday and the many suggestions that we postpone the event for the next day, I made my own arrangements to get the cake delivered so that we could have the small celebration ritual; all because I remembered my birthday celebrated in a different office.

While internships are opportunities to learn the nuances of corporate life (the brainstorming sessions, PPT presentations, parties, dinners and niceties to be observed) especially if you are a fresher, they are also great places to explore your strengths and skills. One of the best aspects of an internship is that you can throw out any random idea at the team and the management and they will listen to you, if you show the enthusiasm, energy and drive. While helping them set up a new division, I enjoyed the freedom that they gave me to explore things, try new ideas, experience new methodologies, and much more. Though my role primarily covered market search and product roadmap design, we also got opportunities to cover business development and customer service aspects. Till date, it remains one of my few chances of interacting with customers directly while on a company project.

While on the job there, I also learned how important it is really to back your claims and suggestions with data so that people can be convinced more strongly. Being vocal and propagating your ideas/suggestions to others and trying to be persuasive are some of the other skills that I learned there.

The place had the right mix of fun and learning. It was probably my best two months ever in Chennai (yes, even in that sweltering heat of the summer months!). Having had a nice set of friends from the office, it was fun exploring the various eating joints nearby for daily lunch. Another of the experiences that I will always cherish is the opportunity that it gave me to act in one of their promotional videos.

More than all the fun and the learning, the first internship has shaped the way my career has turned up till now. Till before the internship, I was opting for a HR-kind of profile, but this experience changed the way I looked at opportunities in marketing and product development. And in some way, getting selected for this internship did very much influence and impact my career.

I’m sharing my first internship experience for the #MyInternTheory activity at BlogAdda in association with Intern Theory

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What is She Capable Of? Iam Capable of Anything...Everything...

‘It’s a girl child’, the nurse announced just as the dawn was breaking
The joy and celebrations didn’t reach high proportions
But took the shape of questions and doubts -
Will she be able to take care of us in old age?
Will she be strong to protect us? Will she earn for us?
Can she buy a house or own a property? Will she be worth?
The unanimous cry was – What is she capable of? What?
I blinked my tiny eyes, trying to assure; my young heart determined to prove.

The teachers said, let her study home science,
After all she’s a girl and the maker of homes
But I chose maths and science and I topped.

But why choose engineering? Better do a B.Sc and B.Ed,
You can be a teacher like your aunts and grandmother
Hell no! I want to be a mechanical engineering, designing cars
And no one’s going to stop me.

Why send her so far for college? Why does she have to stay in hostel?
Let her stay at home, learn to cook and clean
She’ll go astray in a far off place.
I’m sorry Auntiji, I’ve got admission in a very good college
And I plan to attend its even if it’s half way across the globe.

What!? She wants to apply for a house loan to buy a flat?
She’ll have her husband’s house to call her home
Why buy a new one?
And no one marries a girl carrying a huge debt baggage?
But, sorry, my dreams are my own and I’m firm on them

Oh God! She’s gone on a solo travel trip?
Anything can happen to her
She’s a girl after all! , they cry
She looks so weak - anyone can knock her down.
But I like to travel alone, explore people and places
And explore and discover myself too.
I can just feel sorry for you that you didn’t get to enjoy yourself.

She doesn’t know how to drape a saree!
She’s always wearing shorts and tees
Shame on you, her parents!
But why? Isn’t my dressing my own style?
And don’t bother, I’m not going to change!

She’s 23 and still working? Why don’t you marry her off?
My cousin’s daughter was married and had 3 children by this age
She’s thin and dusky, who’ll marry her if she is over-age too?
Make it quick please!
But I’m waiting to find the right person,
I’m waiting to fall in love!

The aghast voices cry
Is she a girl! Is she a she!?

Yes, I’m a she but I have my dreams, my ambitions,
And yes, I have a life of my own and I don’t want it stereotyped
I don’t want your voices to decide all for me and order me about.
I’ll defy your statistics –
-      64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
-      70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
-      72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.
-      69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.

And I’ll prove to the world what #IAmCapable of,
That I can do better things, be happy and live life to the fullest! 

 I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.