Monday, February 25, 2013

size zero not equals to 'perfection'!

Take a look at the cover of any girls', sports, luxury, lifestyle or women's magazine, with a female on the cover. Most likely, that the girl would be size zero, if not size insert-a-negative-number-here. The entire world seems to be obsessed with this skinny look, which fashion magazines and media celebrates, wrongly, as 'the ideal' size. This includes teen girls' magazines, like teen vogue, girl's life, and most other magazines, that claim that it's their motto to 'boost' the teens 'self-esteem', while in real life they are actually pressurizing young girls by setting an ideal, a must-reach goal of an emaciated figure that is very hard, and even unhealthy, to attain. Most cliques in schools, following media's ravings, also define this skinniness as 'perfection'. The readership of these teen magazines mostly consists of ordinary, differently shaped teens, not real, haute bikini-bodied models, and yet this superficial image is what is worshipped like a religion.

Promotion of skinny culture indirectly encourages eating disorders, boosting anxiety, and prematurely placing too much emphasis on little nine and ten year olds already making them beauty conscious, and so, robbing them of a carefree childhood.

Following this crazy trend, many desperately try to shed off pounds the quick way-say, by starving themselves (then bingeing later), having reconstructive, weight loss drugs and pound shedding surgeries or by other means, which usually don't work out. Either that or they sink into a trench of depression, stressing and sulking about their flabbiness, and about not being underweight. Sudden, self-made skimpy diet plans, are adopted as a result, to put off all weight abruptly. But, acute diet plans to cut down skin, can severely damage our bones, putting us in danger of getting osteoporosis (a chronic condition where the bones become weak and brittle).

Try entering 'size' in Google search. Before you know it, you will already by debilitated by a whole load of stuff relating to size zero- diet, food, designers, models, clothes, cheats, and what not.

The real question is, is size zero actually 'perfect'? Not really. While it's one thing to be a naturally petite size zero while still eating all you want, is one thing, forcing this alien size into your body may well have the opposite effect. Moreover, the beauty of the body isn't necessarily defined by having no mass. No, curves beautify, muscles, and the right sort of fitness build strength and shape, and so do each person's natural physique. We all look, and are sized differently, to suit our natural persona well. The world would become too monotonous if everyone started puking out their food to make their bones protrude. It is ironical that while really poor children in the third world countries are dying of malnutrition, their much wealthier counterparts in developed regions are also starving of the same, just because they want to look undernourished.

Take a look at the aftermath of eating disorders. In early 2006, Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, 21, died of anorexia and bulimia on the eve of a Paris photoshoot after living on a diet of apples and tomatoes. The death of Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos at the Uruguay Fashion Week in 2006 led to the ban on size zero girls parading at the Madrid fashion shows. Her father claimed that she had been fasting for days. The already skinny 22-year-old had been informed by her model agency that she could "make it big" if she lost a significant amount of weight. She collapsed died despite the efforts of an emergency team trying to resuscitate her.

We are ourselves to blame for this size zero mania. Why would the top designers and magazines so actively continue featuring and supplementing diets and tips for this trend if no person cared to follow it? It is because we are so avidly following and falling prey to this glossy trap, and are consciously or otherwise promoting it ourselves, that it is being heralded. If every one of us learns to love our own body the way it is, instead of yearning something that we don't have, the skinny frame would lose all its rage, and that in turn, could lead to hundreds of lives being saved. For even today, young girls are dying, of eating disorders and starvation to achieve what is foolishly branded desirable. It is up to each one of us to fight back this degrading culture. Size zero, is way too praised, and glittery, but it definitely is not gold

Monday, February 18, 2013

Why India's workforce has such great potential

My first article as an NRI contributor at The Times of India :D
Let me know what you think.

A company involved in any activity primary, secondary, or based on human resource, will in most cases have some number of Indians working in it, may it be in any corner of the world. That India constitutes 15%of the world populace is a boon in disguise. Most companies now bank on India, Bangladesh and china for their labor intensive activities like construction, assembly, repairs etc. mainly due to the inexpensive pay, and the abundant supply of labor available in these locales. So, in producing massive numbers for manual activities, India stands with the rest of its subcontinent, and a few other developing countries from Africa, and South America.

But as far as the tertiary sector, involving IT, engineering and technology goes, India stands alone. No other country in the subcontinent, or in the Far East (Philippines, Indonesia), Africa, or America, produces such abundant, skilled, English speaking, educated workforce, at relatively cheap rates. There is no other country in the world that meets nearly all these requirements as efficiently.

It is a fact that the cost of employing, running, and completing a project in a developing country will definitely be more economic, and cut down the costs largely. A study in the duke university recently found that while roughly 70,000 engineers graduated in the US, 6, 00,000 graduated in China and 3, 50,000 in India. In the UK some 23,000 engineers are graduating every year. But India is producing eight times as many. Apart from such a huge jobseeker base, Companies from abroad, who complete their projects basing them in India, are, on an average, able to cut down on about 40-50% of their operation costs. This is probably why India is serving as a magnet to thousands of companies who are moving their bases here.

Not that these benefits are unidirectional, or only for the companies. Indian jobseekers benefit abundantly, too. There are lakhs of new engineering graduates every year, and most of them struggling to secure employment. Apart from just generating employment, these MNCs and IT giants bring along with them, numerous benefits, like assured health insurance, education costs, better technology, and decent or great salaries. They provide windows for communication with the tech world outside the country, with new practices and methods. And after all, it's only the people who strongly desire to, that join a company, so naturally, it much, at least in the slightest, benefit them.

Our government benefits too. Though the stipulated SEZs (special economic zones, to attract foreign investment) exempt companies from certain taxes, they are not completely freed from contributing economically. Eventually they do underwrite by generating foreign monetary exchange, and contributing to most exports. Som Mittal, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies was quoted saying, "Nearly 35 per cent of our export revenues come from MNCs and captives and, therefore, we need to encourage them to set up their development centers in India rather than move to the Philippines or China"

Because of their investments in infrastructure, MNCs also steer economic and structural development, accelerating modernization.

Some companies even complain that this has led to an 'Indian mafia' or excessive domination of Indian workforce in their companies all over the world that are based elsewhere. Some even attempted vainly, to search for workforce from other countries, in hope of reducing some number of Indians from their company and replacing them with people from other nationalities.

On an urgent project to find economical workforce, an IT company that travelled first to far east, and middle east, found about a hundred jobseekers, out of which only a few were fit to hire. Then, finally, on stumbling into India, it found a two thousand jobseekers, most accepting far more feasible wages that their former counterparts.

Hence it is nowadays, fast becoming a sensible option, more than anything else, to choose India, or china, before any other place in the world- they offer such an attractive package, and a great growth potential, after all.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Comes without a warning and
Pushes you hard, down the ground,
Increases your blood pressure
And colors your face hurriedly like
A nursery kid in a painting contest.
Paralyzes your strong athletic feet
And tickles you inside till
You wobble like a klutzy jelly.
Looks so hypnotically hot
That your head will be in the Sahara
When you’re only still in Serbia.
May crush your fragile little
Fist sized heart, ruthlessly
By not returning your unsolicited favor.
Will speak honeyed words like an
Angel from paradise, but when you would
Be too frozen and,
Busy looking at its beautiful lips,
It will lose interest and move away.