#BreakingBarriers by Women’s Web

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I attended the #BreakingBarriers event organized by Women’s Web today at Bangalore. #BreakingBarriers is an event which brings together a lot of like-minded ambitious women, inspires them through each other’s stories, and provides a great networking platform. This is the 5th edition of the event and is being held in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Gurugram (Gurugram, is that really the name?).

Today’s event at Bangalore saw panel discussions with eminent marketeers and inspiring women on topics like content marketing, personal branding, breaking the real barriers of life to move ahead, along with a good sprinkling of information on personal wellness, growth hacking, and creating brand ambassadors.

The panel discussions involved extremely strong and successful women like Monica Samuel (Content Knockout), Srividya Sen (Tech Mahindra), Jonali Saikia Khasnabish (Heeya Crafts), Anju Maudgal Kadam (WebTV), Shalini Singh (Galvanise PR), Lakshmi Dasaka (Dropkaffe).  Mangal Karnad (Fablesquare) talked about creating a personal brand. Kavita Jhunjhunwala (Click Asia & Avocado Tree Digital) perked up the post-lunch session with inspiring stories of breaking barriers from the audience. Ravi Sangtani (Director, Target Accelerator) also enlightened the audience about growth hacking in the entrepreneurial industry.  Aparna Singh (Founder & CEO, Women’s Web), and Anju Jayaram (CMO, Women’s Web) spearheaded the entire event with aplomb.

What came across as striking was that every woman I met, every woman I interacted with showed passion. Passion for what she wants to achieve, passion for what she believes in, and passion in breaking the barriers that comes across her way. We were left speechless when we found a cancer survivor among us who has relentlessly fought on with her life and resumed her passion of writing and dancing even after suffering from a broken leg too!

The stories from the event made me realize that we, as women, often face a lot more challenges and rejections in life than we expect to. However, it is the never-say-die attitude and a fiercely positive outlook that helps us dash through the doors, fall face down but get up and run again. It’s the spirit that matters.

The spirit of #BreakingBarriers.

(Do register for the subsequent Mumbai and the Gurgaon events here).

(Sorry, I don’t have a photo from the event, so I put up my photo of an ambitious eagle competing with a jet plane).

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Icecream with a 4 year old

ryanicecreamlr2-1Eating icecream with a four-year old is a hilarious event in itself. However, all my sympathies and empathies lie with the icecream being discussed. The creamy journey of its life turns out to be pretty bad if it falls in the hands of a 3 or a 4 year old. This is what happens.

We buy an icecream. The stick comes out of the icecream wrapper which gets crumpled within a flash of a second, and I hear ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ and slurps of visual satisfaction as the entire icecream makes its grandiose show. Ryan looks at it from all angles trying to decide which is the best bet for the first lick.

Me: ‘Eat it fast. It will melt.’

My words fall just next to where the icecream wrapper was thrown a few seconds back.

After a complete visual survey, Ryan licks it. His eyebrows shoot high. His eyes become wider while his lips spread to his ears on both sides. I hear a never-ending ‘ummmmmmmmmmm’ which makes me take a sly look at the icecream. I find it still holding itself strong.

Somewhere close by, I hear the loud squeak of a squirrel. Ryan’s icecream reverie is almost broken and he looks up at a suspected tree with queer eyes. I notice the white droplet of icecream on his nose. One look at the icecream and I see it drip. One drop falls on the ground. A white circle; radius, circumference, and area undetermined.

That’s the beginning.

It’s starting. It’s starting to melt. It’s starting to melt.

The first tissue comes out of the wad that I bring along for our icecream sojourns. The top of the icecream is the low hanging fruit for him, and he works at it faster. I remind him that the bottom of the stick also needs some attention.

Me: ‘Eat the lower side too. It will melt.’

He looks at the lower side of the icecream. His warm mushy looks melt the lower end which rivers down his right hand, right down to the elbow. Had it been a few decades earlier with the same scene between me and my mom, by now I would have got a resounding whack on my back reminding me to eat it faster.

I am a more patient mother.

More tissues come out from the thinning wad, this time faster, one pulling the other, and the other pulling out more of the others frantically.

Racing against a trickling icecream is a tricky job for a mom. Jumping to my feet, I run to the store next to me and get a paper plate to hold the gathering white puddle. The icecream is in sad danger.

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Soon I realize that the paper plate is not enough to hold the white liquid. It needs depth. I run back to the store and get a paper glass this time. What a strange turn of incidents for the icecream. The unsuspecting big bodied thing gets reduced to a mere colorless puddle that is collected in a paper glass.

Finally, it’s time. The momentous moment when the icecream soup is to be sipped. And it gets sipped.

The icecream. gets. sipped.

Here ends the sad life of an otherwise cool icecream.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a pic of the icecream being sipped because I was too busy wiping my hands off the sticky liquid.

‘Wife of a Bears’ Lineman’ wins medal in the Olympics! Really?

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Wow! What a wonderful news, and what a wonderful tweet from @chicagotribune! ‘Wife of a Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics.’

You know what would have been better and, perhaps, less atrocious than this particular tweet?  A photo of the Bears’ lineman with the medal around his neck and the tweet saying ‘his wife got it in the Rio Olympics.’ That would have got them more clicks, more ‘retweets,’ and more ‘likes’ on their Twitter handle.

Are we really in 2016? An Olympics champion doesn’t have a name because the champion is a woman? Or does she not deserve being called by her own name? Was she born with that name ‘Wife of Bears’ Lineman?’

I fail to understand!

For the information of the Chicago Tribune, her name is Cory Cogdell-Unrein.

She has worked hard at getting where she is at now, and Chicago Tribune happily robbed her of the credit she is due by totally expunging her name from the tweet. Obviously, they are looking at more of a buzz about themselves, but such puerile ways don’t really help.

In their defense, they may want to strike a chord with their Bears followers by mentioning that the ‘wife of a Bears’ lineman’ was a winner at the Olympics, but when it is a stand-alone piece of news dedicated to the Olympian winner, she.deserves.to.be.called.by.her.own.name.

An earnest request to the Chicago Tribune: If you are putting up such a news especially about a woman, can you please make sure you do justice to the person in the news and give her the credit that is rightly hers?  You will still get your social media love that way.