Najib embroiled in a tsunami of criticism for saying women are men’s toy No need for women’s rights movement in M’sia


Someone who belittles the role of women, and that includes his own mother and wife, does not deserve the role to helm the country. I feel ashamed to have our PM speak so lowly of womenfolks.To cry or to laugh ? To laugh at the comedy of 1person who is making a fool of himself? Or to cry for half of the population of Malaysia whose’s right will slowly be eroding?”no need for a women’s rights movement in Malaysia”.

Change of title for in order for Najib to enjoy them like his first wife, Ziana Zain and the slain Altantuya

A photo can tell a thousand stories. Can anybody spot a future woman, family and community minister in the photos? Najib is speaking from experience, in his household Rosmah is the boss, so as Minster of Woman affairs he doesn’t understand why women would want equal rights when the wife is already the boss !!This is amusing’……no need for women’s rights movement….’ .This logic is indicative of irrational mind set quite common in leaders with such claims as “pledges have been kept”. So does this mean that this country has reached …”the end of history…”and that those who who hold power and administer the country are the ‘… ultimate men/women..’ . What is wrong here?

The thrill is not just in being a woman, but being a woman in the right century! And in this day and age, there cannot be many women, who do not revel in their sheer femininity and absolute power! As we all know, femininity and power, far from being mutually exclusive, are two sides of the same coin. Think Shakti, the divine, feminine, creative power! The Power responsible not just for all creation, but the agent of all change as well. I cannot believe any woman not feeling this great sense of empowerment and well-being that springs from within. The power to create, nurture and heal that is a part of her very being, endows her with unique abilities, positioning her as the centre of all existence and change around her.

When Lord Byron wrote She walks in beauty, I’m sure he talked not just of the grace and deport of a woman, but was able to pierce through to her very core, which provides the majestic aura she walks within. To me, every woman who is allowed to grow unfettered, exercising her free will, is bound to walk in beauty! What is it that a woman enjoys the most about being the fairer sex? I would say her ability to revel in her power, as much as the freedom to indulge her weakness.

She is admired for being strong and loved for being frail and helpless; she can rave and rant when crazed with anger, and the next minute melt into a puddle of helpless love. She can enjoy her many moods and feminine aspects without having to abide by adages or the need to be strong all the time. A woman’s intuitive understanding of life and relationships, and her role as the great bonding factor in a family are unique strengths that she does not share with the opposite sex. The depths of passion in her eyes, the wealth of caring in her heart, the power of resilience, of survival are all qualities a woman enjoys, growing more beautiful and understanding with the years. As usual, my Facebook friends (I appealed to only women) had interesting insights to share. Each one of them loves being a woman and with one exception, they all want to be reborn female! Madhulika Dash applauds a woman’s “sense of compassion…… and the ability to infuse life into whatever we touch…”; Anjali Bhargava says, “The sheer strength a woman has… epitomises the completeness in a being.

I revel in the sensuous, intoxicating power of being a woman!” Deepika Sahu wouldn’t trade her world as a woman for anything else — a world “so very full of colours, variety, ability/desire to give without calculating, love, sensuality, tenderness, sensitivity… and of course gorgeous men who make me feel like a queen!” Pramila Maheshwari quips, “Shiva or Sati? Always the fairer one is the choice — she is happening, life, creation, nurturing — all activity is at her end.” Madhu Kamath says, “We are an unprecedented intricate, beautiful and unique piece of creation!!” Harmesh Khanna loves the “fact that we don’t have to hide our feelings or keep a stiff upper lip at all times…our ability to keep going in the toughest of times …of being ourselves, of getting pampered.”

If you need to hear what the stars say, Katrina Kaif loves the fact that she can be “soft and feminine and yet a successful working woman”, Sonam Kapoor loves being a woman because of “the ability to create life.” Marilyn Monroe said, “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” A naughty friend says, “Chuck all that, I love the fact that I can get the strongest man down to his knees in a puddle of desire if I set my mind to it. Why would I want to be that man!” Why indeed! And to support her, here we have it from the Father of all politicians — wily statesman Chanakya, “The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman!” Need we say more?

As nations are making steady advances forward, no one will slow down and wait for us to catch up.Will  Najib  give up  the least time to life’s most meaningful activities; use the 80-20 life principle to focus and change your life for the better We can hardly expect any miraculous action from the moribund Barisan government. We need a fresh election and fresh government.

As usual…more rhetorics from d PM who is master of this art!! In addition….he seems to exist in a dream like state where reality is far far away…all the women in Malaysia now in good hand…No need for wanita UMNO MCA MIC…or the youth gang…AWAM,WAO, WANITA UMNO, MIC, MCA should all now disband as the maha stupid najis has spoken that all the work u are doing is not necessary. he is a fool and all who fall for a lying SOB are bigger fools.Someone who belittles the role of women, and that includes his own mother and wife, does not deserve the role to helm the country. I feel ashamed to have our PM speak so lowly of womenfolks.

There is “no need for a women’s rights movement in Malaysia” as equality has been given from the start, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has claimed. by saying wives lose their charm with the passage of time, triggering a tsunami of criticism from women’s groups, social organizations and political parties alike.A new victory and new marriage have their own importance. With time, memories of victory dim. With time, wives lose their charm, there’s no enjoyment

It is a sad reflection on our society that women feel unsafe and unprotected not just on deserted roads and car parks, but even in their own homes. Young lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha was attacked and killed by her watchman in what should be the most secure place — her own bedroom! Pallavi’s case has shaken the confidence of the bravest of girls. In the aftermath of the horrific news, a single friend asked in distress, “Does that mean we cannot trust any man?”

I hate to say this, but yes, it does seem like it. Better safe than sorry… or worse. When work and lifestyles dictate that women need to travel alone, live alone and commute alone, how does a woman ensure her own safety?

I think it is important to be prepared for the worst. However dire this may sound, the only way to defend yourself is to take measures against the worst that can happen. Most girls are caught unprepared. Make a note of your most vulnerable moments when you can be overpowered and guard against those.

Trust your womanly instincts about people and situations. Be alert to your surroundings and aware of the first signs of danger. If you feel someone is following you, step into a crowded place. Call a friend or relative to escort you back.

As you get into or out of your car, watch out for anyone lurking around or a single man in the car parked next to yours. Run back to safety if you are suspicious. Always walk confidently, don’t look lost. It is proven that criminals target the lost, scared-looking women. I read advice from a cop that said even if the assailant has a gun, try and get away; there is only 4 in 100 chance that he will be able to get a hit!

Feed in the police control room number or 100 into your speed dial. Also have a friend or relative on speed dial. When in vulnerable spots, keep a pepper spray handy. Spray it into the eyes of an assailant. A perfume bottle or hairspray are good alternatives. Supreme Court lawyer Shilpi Jain urges single women to learn self-defence techniques and apply for licenced pistols, to keep in touch with neighbours and call the police patrol at the first sign of danger. “The law is clear that in self-defence you can attack anybody though you must not harm them more than necessary.”

Politeness could be your undoing. Never open the door to a stranger when alone nor stop to help another in a deserted area. Call the cops instead. When a mechanic or plumber is due home for work, request a neighbour or friend to be present.

Door keys should never be left in obvious places. Once inside, do not leave them next to the main door. This is the mistake Pallavi made. Dress appropriately, as per occasion. Clothes that may seem appropriate inside a bar will look provocative when alone in a deserted area.

Remember we live in a world of sharp contrasts — the haves and the have-nots, the educated and the uneducated, the cultured and the uncultured. To flash wealth or flesh, or to be perceived to be free with your favours, is to tip the balance, and invite trouble!

Asked Hyderabad-based designer Asmita Marwa if there was someone she idolized and looked towards for inspiration. Pat came the reply, “Yes, Maya.”

“Maya?” I asked, wondering if she meant illusion. “Yes Maya,” Asmita repeated. “Maya is my alter ego. She is who I would have been if I hadn’t been a mother or a homemaker. The other part of me is this person — a free-spirited world traveller, bohemian at heart, who dreams of a world without boundaries.” Interesting. Asmita admits to having an inner, more Bohemian self than she can be in real life.

What compensates for that disconnect is the imaginary figure, Maya, who gets reflected in all the designer’s creative work, giving wings and spirit to the aspirations that lurk within Asmita. Over the years, Maya has also grown with the evolution of Asmita’s work. From a free-spirited gypsy girl, Maya grew into a complete woman, someone comfortable with both her earthly connections and spiritual leanings — a woman who has arrived!

Don’t most of us feel that way? Like there is a wilder, more dynamic, adventurous and more spirited being trapped within us, waiting to take wings, but held back by many considerations? I will not say held back by circumstances, because whether to give in to the pull of circumstances or not, is a conscious choice we make. We may blame circumstances, our situation at any given moment, lack of opportunities or social mores, but the fact remains that the choice of whether or not to take the plunge is vested solely with us!

We choose not to rebel, and stay confined by responsibilities and the limitations that circumstance and society impose on us either because we are happy to remain so, or because we do not have the courage to break free and follow our own Drummer! And yet the ‘other person’ within us paces and gets frustrated, chaffing against the confines, demanding to break free!

Some like Asmita choose to allow Maya or our alter ego to step into our real lives in a controlled manner, so that there are instances when we are able to identify completely with our inner being, which is the only thing that can give true happiness. “Identifying with our inner being need not jeopardise our present roles so long as we keep a balance and a reality check,” says psychiatrist Dr Deepak Raheja. “So we create spaces in our lives where we can be completely attuned to who or what we really like to be, while the rest of life is a pursuance of our present karma or reality.”

There are those of course who choose to live as Maya, and not allow circumstances or people to stand in their way. Some such people I know, have had to make compromises in other aspects of their lives. For instance, they have chosen to remain single, or not to have children — thus minimizing responsibilities towards others. They can be their inner selves most of the time, since they only have themselves to account to.

Then there are those who wait for the opportune moment to let Maya out! So you hear of many older people after retirement enrolling in courses, travelling, learning how to cook or sing, developing uncharacteristic traits, walking out of relationships or setting up home with a much younger partner! They may end up hurting some people, but that’s the price Maya demands for a lifetime of suppression!

Existentialist therapists talk of the real and imagined selves. If the gap between our real (as we live our lives) and imagined self (made up of aspirations, dreams, desires) is large, the pain of existence becomes huge. And so one needs to bring about a balance between the two and reflect at least some of the imagined self into our real lives.

So, it is important not just to nurture your own Maya, but to respect the Maya within others as well, especially in your near and dear ones, because if you cannot live with your alter ego visiting you occasionally, you may suppress her so much that she could bounce back with a vengeance!

Be true to yourself, be the person you are most comfortable being! In measured doses at least, even if you don’t go the whole hog!

Are you a woman in your 40s struck by strange restlessness, angst, and a feeling of something missing? Wonderful! You have hit the mid-life crisis, which today is nothing short of an opportunity to reinvent your life and live the way you wish to.
Kids flew the nest? Marital problems? Bored with your job? Lonely? Or, just irritated with the sameness of everything? You could be facing questions in your personal or professional life, or accosted by existential queries — do not just go with the flow. Get a grip on life and lead it where you want it.

I recently attended a Life Alignment group healing session with healer Jeff Levin in Delhi. Whether or not I managed to align my life through his revolutionary healing system is a moot point, but the day did turn into an interesting session that included therapy, some confessions, non-religious chanting and vibrational healing.

This group had almost all women in their middle years. The themes that emerged were: being taken for granted, forced to conform to social conditioning, arrested dreams, and unfulfilled aspirations. As Jeff encouraged each woman to speak, what reveal;ed itself was a group of women, who have purportedly lived a wonderful existence, undisturbed by major upheavals. They all considered themselves a happy, blessed lot with caring families — and yet there was a feeling of something vital missing.

Most of them had led protected lives, conforming to societal expectations. As one woman put it revealingly, “I went to college, got married, had children….and my husband has never restricted me. Yet, I always wanted to be an architect, and now I think it is too late.”

This panicky feeling of having done one’s duty to others, but not enough for oneself is a repeated motif in the lives of women of a certain age in India. As the years move on inexorably, women start feeling deprived. They have lived as daughters, wives, mothers and friends, but not really as themselves. What is it that you really want for yourself? What is the true purpose of Your life?

A tough question for women, especially Indian women, who grew up before the media explosion that brought in Hannah Montana and Lady Gaga into our living rooms. Few of us were lucky to have enlightened parents, who taught us to think for ourselves. For the rest, submission was the norm; rebellion, very rare.

Thankfully, today when mid-life crisis strikes, there are still a good many quality years left. Good education and independent incomes have ensured that women at this stage can still bring in powerful changes that give a new wonderful twist to their lives.

As natural creators and lifelong multi-taskers, women are far better equipped than men at reinventing their lives. But deep emotional attachments make it tougher for them to move on. Reaching for what you want involves a trade-off and so we tend to stick to our comfort zones.

However, so long as you are clear what you want, it is never too late to salvage a dream — so what if we can live out just certain aspects of it? And so, if not an architect, what stops you from creating beautiful spaces around yourself ? If you wished to be a doctor and couldn’t, what stops you from healing now?

After all, what’s in a name?
While we all agree there’s ‘something’ about Sri, when asked what that something really is, we are totally thrown! We could say it’s nostalgia – for a top actress who waltzed away from dizzying movie glory , fifteen long years ago. That fact alone is enough to get her fans into a frenzy of anticipation.But that’s not the whole answer, is it? Many an actress has waltzed away, waltzed back and regretted the decision later. As they say in this cruel business, once off the silver screen, it’s off from people’s hearts and minds. Largely true. Fantasy feeds on visual reminders. In an era in which an alarmingly young Alia Bhatt (17) is being projected as the next big thing, and established stars hitting 30 are seen as over-the hill has- beens, it is a monumental challenge for Sridevi (49), a mother of two teenage daughters, to woo a blasé, hardened, seasoned audience once again. Will English-vinglish do the trick for the glorious Sri?

I’d say, whether or not the movie sets the box office on fire, Sridevi devotees ( countless, across the world) will applaud, whistle and shout during the screenings. I know one such diehard fan who lives in Hong Kong. Rama has worshipped Sri from the time he was a little boy ( Rama is just 30 himself). His home is a shrine dedicated to Sri . It has been his sole and most fervent dream to be in Sri’s divine presence and breathe the same air as his Goddess. Well, it happened recently when Sri was in Hong Kong to promote her film. I am not sure Rama has started breathing normally yet! To evoke this powerful a response, an actor needs more than just physical beauty. Sri, with her statuesque body and those eyes like ‘dark pools’ ( Rama’s description!) that invite you to drown in them, is indeed a gorgeous lady. But there are equally gorgeous and far younger stars around. While most of Sri’s contemporaries have either opted for Reality TV ( Madhuri Dixit) or disappeared into oblivion, by picking an unconventional,quirky subject, Sri has displayed rare acumen. For a girl , who at her peak, was known for her standard ‘Ask Mummy’ response to any and every question, today’s Sri has responded to interviewers with poise, grace and intelligence. More importantly, she has picked a deglamorised role that relies far more on her histrionics than on those ample curves. That’s a pretty brave decision! Going by just the teasers and previews, Sri’s plain jane character comes into her own after facing enormous hurdles on account of her lack of English language skills in a foreign land ( Canada). Determined to overcome hurdles and prejudice, the awkward, embarrassed lady decides to enroll in a language school. What happens after she acquires those hard to master skills, is the basic premise of Gouri Shinde’s movie. Thousands of Indians across the world will easily identify with Sri’s predicament. That in itself is a huge start. But eventually, the film’s commercial and critical success will rest on the audience reponse to Sri herself. One generation of movie goers doesn’t really know who Sridevi is . The older fans may expect another wet blue saree dream sequence, complete with orgasmic groans and close ups of Sri’s heaving bosom. Despite these distorted hopes, my feeling is that Sri will score big time. The reason is simple : Sridevi endears herself to her audience. She has the capacity to connect directly and emotionally to her fans. On screen, Sri is electrifying, no matter whom she’s playing. Off screen, she’s another human being – almost boringly reticent. The other thing about her comeback, is that she doesn’t sound desperate about it. Unlike most of her rivals. She, more than any of them, appears relaxed and chilled out about her big decision to taste stardom all over again. With an attitude like that, Sri has nothing to lose!

While Mindy grew up, she tells us, her understanding of love was shaped by movies: “When I was a kid, all I did was watch romantic comedies while doing homework in the living room. . . In college, everything changed. No supervision. Total freedom. I could watch romantic comedies whenever I wanted to!”

Fast forward by a decade, and Mindy seems to have done as remarkably in her professional life as she has done poorly in her personal life. She is an OB-GYN who is fighting an irresistible attraction to a perpetually bedroom-eyed British-accented colleague. She gets drunk at her ex-boyfriend’s wedding and is arrested for disorderly conduct. Realizing she has hit rock bottom, she decides that she needs a transformation. She explains to the son of a burqa-clad Arabic-speaking pregnant woman that she needs to do things to move her life forward, and therefore can’t take on patients without insurance. In an especially witty exchange with her assistants, she declares that they must no longer send her patients who are “poor with ‘nothing’ money,” but patients who are white.

Knowing more than my fair share of overachieving Muslim women who developed ideas of love based on romantic comedies, I can’t help but feel Mindy in some ways reflects the best and worst in us. It is not wholly evident that Mindy’s cluelessness about love comes from her upbringing by conservative South Asian parents. But there is something to be said for a show like this that acknowledges immigrant issues without centering the show on it. (Mindy’s assistant’s well-meaning defense of her outfit rings too true: “You know, she didn’t grow up in this country!”) It’s also great to see a main character of color and a refreshingly atypical body type have the same concerns as slim-hipped and golden haired characters like Carrie Bradshaw.

Just like “Girls” is the “Sex and the City” for Generation Y, “The Mindy Project” is “Sex and the City” for women of South Asian descent who are living in the west. We are as educated and accomplished as we are clueless about carving out a stable and confident personal space, whether it be in the form of singlehood or a long-term relationship.

One could argue that until this point Mindy Kaling has been brushing close to typecast territory, playing chick-flick obsessed, melodramatic female characters. Consider her roles Kelly Kapoor in “The Office,” who entertains an ongoing obsession about her ex Ryan, and Vaneetha in The Five-Year Engagement, who sobs over The Notebook.

Had Kaling been continued to be confined to those side roles, one might say that she is going with this typecast. But with “The Mindy Project”—for which she is the executive producer as well as the lead star—she has not only embraced that characterization. She has created a fresh, sassy narrative whose beginning holds great promise.

Plan some girls’ nights in around marathon viewings of this show. You’re in for a lot of laughs.

A plumpish overgrown girl, around 10 years old, fell in the middle of the mall with a resounding thump. She lay motionless for a stunned halfminute, and then was helped up by her concerned parents. She looked around with a sheepish grin, and finding many looking at her with amusement, burst into loud weeping.

She may have lapped up sympathy, but couldn’t stand the amusement at her expense. Understandable. We all live in fear of the world laughing at us. The Germans have a word for it — schadenfreude, the pleasure one derives from the misfortune of others! There are many feelings and emotions we may wish to arouse in others, but amusement at our expense is certainly not one of these. The Buddhist concept of mudita is the opposite of schadenfreude — happiness in the good fortune of others. So what did the girl do? She tried to change the amusement to sympathy by indicating that she had been hurt. I wonder if that made a difference to any of those having fun at her expense! But certainly her parents looked even more worried, and maybe that was good enough for her at that age.

I found it interesting to think of how even as kids, we try to manipulate the way the world looks at us, such is the significance we attach to it. Most of our activities, decisions, conversations, dreams — in fact, all our lives — are dictated by our need for others to look at us in a certain way. And born manipulators that humans are, we set around not just manipulating the world to look at us in a certain manner, but also manipulating our own selves to suit what we want the world to feel for us.

It is interesting to study the emotions we wish to arouse in others and those that we would never want others to feel for us! We all wish to be liked and loved; some wish for a staid, passive kind of loving, others for deep undercurrents and passion! But obsessive love is best avoided. Apart from this, we would rather attract empathy, not sympathy, and never pity. Empathy is when someone is able to relate on an equal footing,while sympathy normally implies an emotion by someone better off, and pity is worst of the lot, indicating superciliousness. Envy is a desirable emotion so long as others feel it for us, but jealousy makes us uncomfortable. For there is a destructive edge in jealousy that we wouldn’t like directed at us, while envy implies we have something better than others, which they covet.

We wish people to be indulgent towards our mistakes, not unforgiving and angry. We want them to laugh with us, but not at us. We may still be able to tolerate amusement, but never derision. That humiliates us, and even more so when witnessed by others.

What are the emotions we actively seek to arouse in people? “Liking and love,” said a female friend instantly, not stopping a minute to think. Another said, “Love and envy is fine but I certainly don’t want hatred, jealousy, or vengeance!” She went on to add, “This may sound dumb, but it’s very important to me to come across as a likable person; I even want the maid to know I am nice and it’s important to me that she likes me!” A female colleague answered, “The emotions I wish to arouse would have to be confidence (trust), and calmness. What I would never want to arouse would be… disgust, I suppose!”

A male friend’s instant reply was, “Passion, respect and fear is what I would wish to arouse in people.” Fear? “Yes, basically fear. All else springs from there. Genghis Khan, the great Mongol said that!” Another friend adds, “I wish to arouse awe in people, but never fear!” Yet another man says, “Obviously jealousy, love and anger! I’ve never bothered about the noble emotions, am comfortable looking at life like Duryodhana. Maybe not awful, but awesome… and it is fear or awe that makes you awesome.”

To each his own, but what is true is that getting to know how someone wants the world to look at him or her reveals the essence of an individual. Ask friends and think about it — what is the one emotion you would like to arouse in others, and the one emotion you couldn’t stand others to feel about you?


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