Every Women has a right to Sanitary- Mind or Body

July 31, 2013 20 Comments

I am writing this post for "The idea Caravan" in association with Franklin Templeton India and Indiblogger. Franklin Templeton has partnered with TedX Gateway Mumbai last December and shared few videos of the speakers on various aspiring/innovation topics ranging from traditional women empowerment to housing to water issues to technological innovations like paper electronics and more. I chose to write about the issue close to my heart and highlighted by Arunachalam Muruganandam on Sanitary napkins AKA female personal hygiene. 

In our cause of women empowerment and safety, we often ignore a very crucial aspect of child and women welfare is- safety & hygiene. Nature has made a woman quite different from a man and accordingly gave her few things including the right to give birth to another life and a whole internal process to deal with. I am talking about the monthly menstrual cycle that a woman has to go through since the age of 12. 

If a child is a father of a man, then woman indeed is the mother of that child and father. Hence it is very important for a woman to be healthy and strong. 

Like Arunchalam said, I am too worried about the little educated women over surplus educated when it comes to sanitary needs.

Fighting the Taboo
As a kid, I have often seen white, blue packs of "Carefree" with flower covers lying in my mother's closet. She will often wrap them in brown paper bag and tuck on the highest shelf of the cupboard, away from our prying eyes and exceeding curiosities. Me and my younger brother would wonder about the nature of product and all our questions about it would be easily dismissed off by our mother. We would then brainstorm about the possible usage of product. Our best bet would be- it is a filler for cushions or a napkin to wipe off face. I once contemplated it as a small mattress for my barbie doll that I can wrap in a kerchief and add to my doll house.

When we grew up and I was in class 7th, I discovered an evil called "Periods". It was a crafts class and the entire class was in crafts room working on their stuff except for a girl called Sushma who used to sit just behind me. Wondering on her whereabouts, I inquired with few students from my class who chose to dismiss my question. Some told she is not well. Worried, I went to the class to find her seating there. When I asked she said nothing but just that she is not feeling well and want to go home. In our school there was a norm that whenever a student doesn't feel good, the class would jump to volunteer to escort them home. This time surprisingly, there was no participation. 

I asked her if she wants to go home and with great dismay she looked at me and asked if am sure to drop her. I said why not, my pleasure and asked her to stand up. there were lot of hush-hush in the class and quite some student have entered the class. When she got up, I saw her wearing a white skirt which was stained with red color. Unaware about the issue, I took her hands and walked with her till her home and returned back to my class. A lot of student circled me with wonder and started asking questions. It was only when another classmate told me about the red color on her skirt as -period. I still was not clear and when asked, she laughingly dodged my question telling me that I'll know when I grow up. It was a strange incidence and all I could gather was that period is a dangerous thing and anyone suffering from it becomes a social outcast.Talking, discussing about the menstrual issues is a societal taboo in our country. It is often seen as derogatory or unsuitable topic. 

Facts & Figures
Inadequate menstrual protection is a serious hindrance in everyday's life. Here' some cruel stats to support my argument-
Women population in India-
Women using Sanitary napkin in India- <5 nbsp="" p="">
% of non sanitary napkin using women suffering from RTI (Reproductive Tract Infection)- 75%
Minimum 23% of girls drop outs from school after they start menstruating

Do you know a lot of women sleep without food on average 5 days a month cause she couldn't go to work due to menstrual pains and inadequate protection. If you still think, I am fumbling and you are a girl, pl use a strip of cloth or a leaf during your cycle and you will know what it mean to carry weights on your head while using such exotic things.

We often take pride in aping west esp USA etc but little do we adopt is best practices from such countries where sanitary napkin usage is >96%. 

Data Source: AC Nielson survey- "Sanitary Protection: Every Woman's Health Right", and Google.com

Alternate option
As per the study conducted, women who do not use sanitary napkin uses sack cloth, rag material, plant leaves, saw dust and even ashes during menstrual cycle. Can you imagine typing up a piece of cloth or cactus soaked in blood to your most inner part and living with it for at least 72hours in row? Women think about it. Men just think about the PMS and you need not have to worry thinking these as that thought itself would tear u down. 

What prevents Indian women from using sanitary napkin
To my mind, the biggest reason is lack of awareness followed by affordability and to a great extend- accessibility.

Lack of awareness: A lot of women are devoid of any knowledge about existence of sanitary napkins/towels. While some are, they are often lead with mis-beliefs on it that using it causes heavy menstrual flow etc. While some women know about it, what they do not understand is how this can be ultra comfortable over the mode they use/endorse and how it maintain internal hygiene health of a female.

Affordability: A majority of women if asked to choose between a packet of milk for a family or buying a napkin for self, would chose the former. Blame it on high cost of sanitary napkins or self ignorant mode of women in India, this issue still persists.

An average napkin cost minimum Rs 3/- (cost varies from low quality to high) whereas Indian political diaspora claims s 5/- as the adequate cost for a good one time meal. In such scenarios, little do I expect them to think about the problems as faced by women.

A majority of Indian population lives in rural India where availability of sanitary napkin is still question mark. And if available, accessibility is difficult. These napkins are considered expensive as cost of manufacturing is high and in absence of locally available machines, companies have to import expensive machines from abroad involving high level of investments.
Talking about cost again, if rural India can afford daily dose of tobacco and all smoking products, then buying a napkin is not a big deal. Nor is it a devil that will do harm to anyone's body.

Accessibility: Sanitary pad v/s Condom
Going to a shop and buying a sanitary napkin is considered quite an embarrassing thing for a person including men. It is like a women finds it easier to deliver another child than shopping for a birth control pill in the market. No matter how natural the process is, still buying a napkin pack is equivalent to embarrassment faced by while buying a condom, men or women.

Problem is the beginning of solution
Now that we know major reasons behind low penetration, it becomes easier to target those cause and ring change. A lot of NGO and social agencies including UNICEF are taking up to this cause and working towards it. We are still miles behind in this from developed nations and increased awareness would lead to change and act as a catalyst for national growth as well. The proposed solutions are-

1. Education, education and heavy education on this subject to create more awareness
2. Promoting indigenous technologies and bringing down the cost of the products
3. Enforcing more gender equality in country especially rural parts to sanitize Indian men towards the cause.
4. Creating remote napkin booth/ kiosks and improve accessibility.
5. Top FMCG companies can come forth and drive this initiative across country may be in name of CSR
6. Female politicians may be when you are doing that prestigious election campaigns, may consider distributing free napkin packets than Rs 200 to bring forth awareness.

A healthy women makes a healthy generation. Gone are the days when monthly cycles were considered as the social taboos and women suffering from it were isolated in one dark corner of the house. Today's India is more empowered and more sensitive towards it's women. So tell me are you up for making India a 100% sanitary napkin using country? Raise your hands. If you can't raise the level of your thinking cause it is not hygienic and needs a "sanitary clean up".

Here's the video- It is an amazing video and I loved the way the speaker has opened, proceeded and concluded this sensitive subject. I appreciated the fact how he treated the subject with utmost ease and humor, engaging audience on his subject matter. 

Franklin Templeton Investmentspartnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.

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INK-ing All That Matters

July 31, 2013 24 Comments

"Train derails in Jammu; Flood in the village; Building collapsed; Taj attacked by terrorists, firing over 5 hours; World Trade Center attacked by planes; Political riots hits the city"

" 100 people lost their lives, over 200 severely injured, 50 people missing"

All that we hear every day is news of greatest fear and tears. The news that tears apart all that dreams some individual eyes have seen, faiths that some hearts have saved and strengths that those hands have cultivated.

We do not fear life but we are afraid for our lives, our loved ones and people around. With the help of technology, the human being has overcome a lot of challenges that mortality had offered. It is humanity that is the endangered species rather. 

Still, a person lives beyond his/her fears. If you ask why? I have two answers- 1) He doesn't have a choice and 2) He still doesn't have a choice. What joy is to live that life in constant fears? What joy does life have when there is no goal and no motivation? Life is a series of expectations, dreams, and hierarchy of all that things that "matters" to a person from time to time and with changing times.

Sometimes, I wonder why live when life is so dynamic, so unsure and so much uncertain, often leading to tragic endings? The answer that I get is- it is irreversible, we cannot go back being a fetus. So we need to live and if life, living with dreams and plans helps the life survive.

I am reminded of a poem "To the Indians who died in Africa" that I read in school. It was a poem by TS Elliot. The poem read like this-

"A man' destination is his own village
his own fire and his wife's cooking
To sit in front of his own door at sunset
and see his grandson and his neighbor's grandson
playing in the dust together"

The poem is still fresh in my mind and to me apart from telling how geographical boundaries are not important and home is where the heart is, it also gave me a preview of our ultimate requirements so early in life. It is like that soft drink Sprite ad where two chaps sitting on college ladders talking about ambitions and achievements. 

Why go far? I can quote my own example. As a kid, all that mattered to me was having fun! Playing, dancing and winning adulation. Time changed and there came a time when my "matter" rating changed. All that mattered to me was living and then being able to walk, again. It took me some time to consummate my preference and update with a newer one. From education to dignity, to love to money to stability to a home, I realized all that mattered to me was nothing but a quest to be healthy and happy. 

So here's all that matters to me-

All that matters to me
is a thought that I am loved
is a feeling that is being nurtured
is a desire to be taken care of

All that matters to me
is to bask in the glory
to drink in sunshine and
to enjoy every splash of rain equally

All that matters to me
is a free society
where gender is not above human
where prejudices not above humanity

All that matters to me
to see those smiles in those faces
and those eyes shining with joy
to breath and walk with spring in my foot

All that matters to me
are clean water and healthy air
a roof above me that I can call home
a family that I call mine.

All that matters to me
is to be independent and able-bodied
to walk without any aid
to see, touch and speak that I feel.

All that matters to me,
is not merely an affordable luxury
it is happiness big and small
it is living a life free of fear.

This post is written as a part of ‘All that Matters‘ contest at BlogAdda.com in association with INK Live 2013.

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Country Roads take me home: Ambikapur 360 Kms

July 26, 2013 4 Comments

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move".
Robert Louis Stevenson

There was a time when there was no GPS, no navigator and travel still was fun. It had that mysterious value, thrill attached to it for embarking on a journey and exploring new roads. I am talking about time way back in 1980's when I was in school and often used to go for short-long tips with my maternal uncle whom I used to "Chand mama" (A childhood legend where moon is fondly called Mama- Maternal uncle and I fondly called my uncle as Chandmama).

Those were the amazing trips of my life. Given a chance, I would love to relive one of those trips again. The trips were often routes than destinations. Often the destination was decided during the course of journey, decided and discovered. Companions used to follow. The only definitive used to be the Journey and willingness to venture in a trip.

Road trips are best way to explore the beauty of nature via the nearest route. The inane wish to travel to new lands were best fulfilled by road trips.
Go with the flow, go wherever the roads go.

My idea of a perfect road trip: An excuse to travel

I spent an enormous part of my childhood at my maternal grand parents' place. I was a free spirited, roaming bird and love to explore unknown places. A wild wish that was often given wings and roots by my eldest uncle who was my mom, my pop, my sibling and my best friend all in one. 

If I can beat time and space continuum, I would like to take one of my childhood road trips again. Trips where routes and destination where defined by frame of mind or by mood of weather. When you have a liberty to wish, then wish something unique and quite wishful :) 

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."

Martin Buber

For my perfect road trip, I would prefer my same old routine, the one I used to do in childhood. I will go back to my routes and become the child again and go for destination infinity road trip with my uncle. I would like to re-live those old moments. We would chose the same old Fiat Premiere Padmini- the exclusive grey color car that he bought exclusively for me so that I can go wherever I want in the most exclusive piece of machinery available that time. The car bore my full name in caps behind the back screen. May be in 2013, I would like to exchange that car for a convertible. So that I can lower the roof and sing- Aaj phir jeene ki tammana hai from the legendary movie- Guide. The back storage of car would have the same red color big ice box filled with my favorite cold drinks. There will be no dearth of edibles in my car which would include all favorite finger foods and ready to cook foods while on jungle safari.
I would go back to same litchi farms and with help of farm staff pick up the most juiciest of litchi and dump them in my car rear seat without fear of any distinctive smell. The lovely red, juicy fruit. A taste that still lingers my heart, a taste that I will savor again on my journey.

I would revisit countryside where nature thrives, where nature grows. I would again stop by at the mango orchard and savor the sweet nectar. 

Two's company and three's crowd. We are having fun and you are not allowed!
There are two ways of enjoy a road trip. One either you go alone. Two, in company of fewer yet like minded people. In my case, I would like to resume it back with my uncle who is no more in this world though still in my own world. We both were great fan of Hindi music. From classic to retro to latest, there wasn't any song that we have not heard of, there wasn't any song that did not played on our car stereo. No joy like going round the road, humming. 

Ambikapur 360 Kms

Ambikapur is a sleepy town in Surguja district where I have spent a major portion of my childhood and traveled a lot around for family visits, fun and sheer experience of exploration. One of my memorable trip was way back in 80's when we traveled almost 360 degree angle sides of Ambikapur city. Yes, it was not a cautious plan but we did it. 

Some of my trips were to our neighboring villages like Kusmi, Wadrafnagar, where my grand father has owned lands and had many farmers working on them. I remember, how we used to take an hour or two' break journey at the house of village head, participate in local trouble shooting, sip the "kulhad wali chai" and some local delicatessen from the villages and ah the smell of mud houses of Madhya Pradesh.

When it rains, the earth dispels a very sweet smell. What is trip without getting to stop by a local Dhaba (small highway restaurant). I would like to spot a traditional dhaba, stop by, will sit cross legged on the village cot and enjoy desi food before reconvening my trip. 

Now I really want to go for my perfect trip. Ambipur, thanks for refreshing my memories back.

Lets take on the roads
the country roads
the wide highways
the roads that leads to home
the roads that may lead to Rome
For who has seen Rome yet
There is so much places to roam.

Let's embark on a journey
the route is destination along
the long wide roads of my village
the short narrow lanes of home town
Let's enjoy the rain, if it down pours
follow the water trail, chase the rainbow
passing by the paddy and corn fields
lets throw a glance as long

Let stop by a small hill
let's put a tent on
to rest the spirits for the night
and next morning turn vagabond

Lets cross the desert
let's pass by the snow fall
much away from city traffic
much away from chaos of horn

My perfect road trip will be full of these
Fun, adventure, music & song
nature, beautiful weather, rain & food
and the roads not traveled before

Let's go for a perfect trip
let's make every trip a perfect one
let's relish that most memorable trip
let's add more for memoirs song

This post is written for the "Perfect Road trip" contest by Indiblogger and Ambipur. To know more, pl do visit Ambipur' Facebook page here- facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia

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Once Upon a "Modi" Time

July 25, 2013 24 Comments

He smiled on the
front page, dunk in happiness
Yes, his time has come

The above set of Haiku is written especially for Haiku Heights; prompt word- Time
Image courtesy: Google Images
What is a haiku? Answer here- Haiku
To read more of my haiku, pl click-
The Grasshopper Experiment (If you love Big Bang theory)
To read more: Go to archives option of Numerounity

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Once Upon a "Time"- Dobara

July 24, 2013 15 Comments

Morning, evening and
nights. It frights and keep upright
Men race with time

It is rare, it is
fragile. Beware it can tread

all that deem worthwhile

The above set of Haiku is written especially for Haiku Heights; prompt word- Time
Image courtesy: Google Images
What is a haiku? Answer here- Haiku
To read more of my haiku, pl click-
The Grasshopper Experiment (If you love Big Bang theory)
To read more: Go to archives option of Numerounity

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Once Upon a "Time"

July 21, 2013 21 Comments

Once upon a time, 
Lived a blood tie, all docile.
and then came discord
Brother and sister
stung by turmoil, set apart
thrown by sands of time

Don't leave me, she plead.
 little did he realize
that she was not wrong

making his choice, leaving 
her high and dry, he told
she is not worthwhile

Time says blame me not
for silly reasons when human fought
don't call me bad time

time is constant on
the move. invest in it to 
bloom, it pays back.

Learn it's value, Oh Men
once gone, it doesn't come again
only guilts remain


Time heals and reveals
the naked truths of each life
whom and why one lie?

Time is like sea tide
alarming, flowing, mobile.
They both wait for none.

The above 2 set of different Haiku(s) is written especially for Haiku Heights; prompt word- Time
Image courtesy: Google Images
What is a haiku? Answer here- Haiku
To read more of my haiku, pl click-
The Grasshopper Experiment (If you love Big Bang theory)
To read more: Go to archives option of Numerounity

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As we "saw" so shall we reap

July 20, 2013 17 Comments

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.
Oprah Winfrey 

I learnt a lot of my virtues from my maternal grandparents. They were an extreme good influence and an amazing catalyst in my learning process during my growing up years.

They taught me many things (directly & indirectly), among which few are the one I can still recall-

1. Doing rights things no matter what it may spell.
2. Understanding the value of money
3. Invest in people and everything you can but diversify your investments whether they are financial, social or purely emotional to hedge the risks
4. Help other and Help selflessly
5. Always put people ahead
6. Maintain a clean surrounding as you would maintain a clean heart, if not for others but for self.
7. Do not give up!

My grand mom would always tell me tales from the lives of Lord Krishna, birds, animal kingdom and many such things. Those tales would be full of fun but will always a message inside them. I would often engrossed in their intricacies and wonder if they were just an old world charm or do they still hold good in front of larger groups.

As I grew up I realized, a lot of this virtues were treated outdated and people would often mock someone practicing it. For eg- standing up and giving the bus seat to a needy person was mere filmy. Well that was the part of growing up. Sooner I realized that those virtues, no matter how much sound "not in practice" in current times, were still important. Hence I prefer to stick to them.

My grand ma also told me value of money and investments and how certain things in life is beyond money or gain. I have often seen her doing right things and protecting people. I would question why? Let them have a taste of water andf realize but she would insist saying as long as she can manage saving someone from leaning without burning their hands, she will do.

She told how our deeds evolve us as a person, how our thoughts evolve our deeds. We often become the person we see, we think without even realizing about it.

The power of education

Education is not just about reading a phrase in textbook and qualifying in an exam. It is much more. It is power. We learn through different ways. One of the prime way to learn is during your childhood. Remember the time we use to go to school and were in early grades. Our textbooks would read very basic things like how we should get early in morning and brush our teeth regularly and go to school etc. Those may sound silly but when you draw right context you may realize how they lay foundation in a human being and how following them redirects life to right direction.

Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.
John D. Rockefeller 

Sometime it is very important for you to disclose your action or deeds. You must explain so that people can see through and follow. A lot of times when we cannot explain, we express it by setting self as benchmarks.

One act of kindness goes a long way
To commensurate what Rockfeller said, I will narrate an incidence from my school life.

When I was in school,I never got pocket money. Whatever, wishes I had, were evaluated and fulfilled by the grandparents and family. However, every morning, my nanaji would give me a Re 1 coin or note to put it in my piggy bank. It was his way to teach me to start savings.

There was a "poor fund" collection at my convent school where my class teacher had allocated 4 different boxes for four different houses/groups in the class- Orange, Green, Red and Blue. Students were allocated in each group. Every morning, she will keep the boxes on the table for collection. The money would be collected and donated to poor people to support their education. Donating the money was optional and students donating the money, will put the money to the boxes belonging to their respective groups. Very few students would ever come regularly to donate the money. I belonged to the Orange group and by virtue of our nos, we were very few students- barely three in that class belonging to that group. Call it my love for poor or my wish to donate or my lack of need for money for self, I would always donate the money in the box to bring my group up. 

One day, my grandpa asked me as to what do I do with the Re1 given to me everyday as I was depositing very few of it in my piggy bank. I told him about my class donation. He said nothing. I thought he got angry. Next morning, when I was going to school and  was standing at my school gate for the bus to come, my grandpa as customary came to me and handed me my daily coin. I realized that day, he handed me not re 1 coin but two coins of Re 1 each. The second one was for my poor fund donation! In addition, he brought a piggy bank full with coins and asked me to drop another Re 1 coin in that. The moment I dropped my other Re 1 coin in that, he handed that box to me saying it was my reward and I can keep it with me. I was all smile and hugged him tight before I ran for my school bus.

No words, speeches or stories but a lesson was taught. 

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in

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The miner who found Gold!

July 16, 2013 32 Comments

20/7- This post has been selected for Blogadda Spicy Saturday Picks
Spicy Saturday

                                                                                         photo by Agustin Berrocal 

Dig deep and deep
he was told
the more your dig deeper
you may find gold

he wore anxiety and a feather
on his hat
he went even probing further down,
still no luck, drat!

Until one day,
when he decided to return
to where he belonged
his own bretheren

"Don't give up"
advised the caves
"give it another chance"
make a new way and pave

he gave in to temptations
and resumed back
went further down the mine
On a new track

He saw some light
he chased the flow
the trail took him farther
and deeper did he go

He reached a shadow
from where the light spring
he digged by his hands
shovel and wring

"All that glitters 
is not gold"
he remembered 
what the wise-men told

He did not stop
and went ahead on search
he saw some coal
he halted & perch

Inside he found
what glistened his eyes
squeezed his heart
gushing in to seven skies

sealed with stones
pebbles strewn all around
beneath the dirty coal powder
finally treasure he found.

"I found my gold"
said he
treasure sparkled his sight
his efforts were made worthy.

life is not all about
mere triumph over digging gold
it is also to embrace and en-light
with visions unseen; wisdom untold.

the light that shone
beneath the pebbles bright
that was the rippling peels of knowledge
that renewed his vision, reaped delight

"the gold is in you
why go wild goose chase
refine it further o' human
soak in and engage"

"search no where
but your deep dive your heart
for it is the basic principle
of all things to close, all things to start."

"The day you conquer self
you will find bigger Gold
Be your own alchemist
Be your own Gold!"


This instant on-spot poem was created on the picture promt (as pasted above) for Magpie Tales.
Do leave your comments

You may also like to read my past takes on Magpie prompts as below-

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(PMS) Performance Management System- Trips & Tricks

July 15, 2013 9 Comments

That time of year when men or women both suffer a common pain inducing ailment- PMS.

Yes, PMS. Before your run your horses wild, PMS stands for Performance Management System or in commonly management/ corporate known language- Appraisals. 

Some years back I used to see appraisals as a great opportunity but down the line I realized it is nothing but a snooze alarm for reality check. Introspection? Yes, we do that for full year, don't we? If you think a person should do self introspection only when his/her boss asks him to do, that person borders on being either highly uneducated or just a new entrant into the world of corpo-rats!

Yes, rats! Here's few "never failed" mantra for all those who in spite of high sincerity, honesty and dedication their work are still unable to climb that corporate ladder. Aha time for disclaimer, these mantras are purely factual and inferred from the cases I have seen around. They are strictly tried and tested by others. What's mine funda? Well I'll share them post these mantras-

1. Threat nor Plea- Before the time of appraisal, get another job or pretend to have secured another job and then hint your company about your plans to quit. You may actually put your papers. 99% chances are that you will be retained and retained with promotion.

2. Start socializing with your boss- If you are a man, playing golf with boss pays off certainly. Also, you can join same club as him and make frequent visit to bars with him. You must aim at fulfilling your boss needs and should also have an ability to keep secrets even if that involves hiding the fact that your boss last outstation visit was to check out a property called Munni or Sheila, you must be discreet and above all "resourceful". ( Golf tips here)

For females, wear attractive cloths, always smile at your boss even if he is trying to flirt with you to the level of indecency and worse sleep with him. Whatever you do, certainly do not dismiss his (shameless) passes made at you. In case, if you are one of those rare decent lots who believe in self esteem over boss' Ferrari, you need to quickly change your boss/job instead of expecting him to turn saint over your emotional pleas.

3. Go Blah- No matter how minuscule is your job, go around the town creating buzzword of how you moved mountains or bled sweats to achieve your tasks even if that involves opening your mail box and forwarding your mails to your subordinates to reply. A lot of bosses go for "perception". You may not been able to close a small operational issue but talking lengths about it, showcasing your concerns, throwing jargon do help. For example- Never say "blue sky". Rather say- "the ceaseless cerulean above the reach and  might of human reach in form or construction which is vast less and glowing in it's own solar incandescence". Another example- "I think raises will be definitely there this year. The portion may look small but it is actually a small box which is large from inside. We are giving small raises because we are not giving large raises". To lean more, here's the Forbes' list of most annoying business jargons.

4. Please everybody- No body cares what good you do to company as long as it doesn't harm them or question their inefficiencies. You must first work for your boss and his kitchen cabinet and then if there' any scope left- for company. Boss is your God, he is your Ayyapa temple. So what if you may have to compromise on organizational ethics? Ethics and moral values are weapons of weak. Sticking to them give you L4 ratings, violating them gives you A1.

5. Never say no to seniors and know the "who's who" of your team- Even if they ask you to carry their laptop, diaries etc over your own stuff for them. They asked you to get tea to a crucial meeting while you are expected to take notes? Take note and rush to get them tea, coffee and even edibles which they can happily munch on while you stay, sit empty stomach since last night working on the presentation for this meeting.

Knowing the influential team members and extending them your "free respect" also comes handy. He is after all may be a VP or your boss' ex-colleague or his/her blue-eyed boy. Oh! he misbehaved with you trying to violate the code of conduct right in front of your boss? well turn him as blind/ignorant eye that your boss has turned on it while being at the situation. Rather smile sheepishly and say you are most welcome.

Oh you told your boss about this rat in your system who is disclosing business secrets which were supposed to be confined within closed user group or just suggested him how a fellow colleague never supports with right data on right time and all of them turns to be his old timers (off course who else would dare to mess with boss' data otherwise), then you are gone for a six or even if there is a rating lower than that. So brave it all and never complain. Be a scapegoat, a smiling scapegoat to save your appraisal.

No matter what your heart says, follow your shrewd brains and social logics. BOSS IS NEVER WRONG even if he is Osama Bin Laden. remember he is like that American prez who has power by virtue of his position and electoral voting and who may not think twice before killing you, your family for some oil. If you still are not able to understand this, then my dear your "analytical skills" are weak too.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to call PMS as Painful Management System for many who slog hard around the year, compromising their personal life, family and parents only to be given blank responses and poor ratings. Some PMS reminded me the marking system at schools where certain egoistic teaches would cut your marks on a small spelling mistake in math's paper. Reason? You haven't enrolled for their tuition or may you have not praised their stupid demeanor to seal your mark as a lackey. Boss, you have not stayed to the norms, so bear the brunt.

Focus on Presentation- There are appraisals where your boss oblivion of your capabilities (however limited they may be) judge you by the Gucci bag you carry, color of eye liner you applied that day or oh no! you wore black color and boss just hates that color. If you are working in a support function like logistic, network or supply chain and your Power Point skills are better than other team members, you are in for success. So what if you do nothing except making slides and plagiarizing someone else contents.

So what if you slogged all year to get people trained for Six sigma and bring inefficiencies in their work, some appraisers will make you change your KRA on a minute before appraisal and happily transfer them to his yes-men in team asking you to swap your individual KRAs. So you are contemplating to complain to HR? Hmmm go ahead.

Theory of "Vital few and trivial many"- this theory suffers a big blow when in hands of certain boss who looks for every single opportunity to scrutinize and nail you down with destructive criticism. Out of 10 projects given you would have done 8 projects successfully but those 2 projects left will tarnish your ratings.

Out of 10 projects if you would have done all 10, still you are just meeting expectations as you did just what was told and lacked initiative to undertake an 11th project.

If you have done 12 projects from 10 assigned then you were given lesser work and you still could have undertaken more and justified your salary and growth to next level.

If you were given 10 projects and you finished all except one which was withdrawn from company ;level, still you have under-worked and do not deserve good promotion unless you turn puppy with a tongue.

In short, you can never win certain bosses and God forbid you if they are influential and yet biased.

I am not saying that all PMS are bad or there is no validity of having one in a company. There are certain company/ bosses who are interested in value you can create and also in your well being like developing you as a professional so you become a dream team member and together you can work on some ambitious projects amicably and successfully. Alas, they are very low in number.

My mantra for success is hard work, persistence and luck. Also, a very important factor is comfort level. If you are comfortable in a certain role, you may add value. But if you are given a good role for name sake whereas all the properties and elements of that role is assigned to someone else and you are expected to please either by secretarial kind of support or errands that are consequential in nature but never noted for appraisal unless you wear short-tight dress or play golf.

Luck is equally important as no matter how much hard work do you do, having a right boss is also important. To have a good boss, you need luck.

Grass is never greener on other side- If you think you will quit this idiot and move to better organization, you may be in for a good or bad surprise. What if you get a bigger idiot there who do not bother to spend ten minutes with you and still seals your performance ratings without even discussing with you?

On a lighter side, here's few comic strips to ease off your PMS pain.

So, are your PMS'ing yet?

You may also like to read- It's that time of Year again

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