I struggle to explain to women around me why they need to have a job – apart from the full-time-jobs of being a mother, wife, caretaker, and a charitable maid or free house help. It is surprising how much our thinking is still clouded by cultural or other orthodox mind-sets. Many women think that a job is simply something one does for money. While money is a strong incentive, there are other factors more important in the long run. My work has given me so much – I have like-minded colleagues to whom I can relate and have conversations that go beyond the mundaneness of routine life; after a good class, I feel I have added value; after creating something new, there is a feeling of satisfaction; on days when I am in blue moods, work proves to be a distraction from my anxieties and works as a balm; when I perform at work, I become more confident; and work adds to my everyday learning – it adds to my personal and professional growth.
Having a career is a step above having a job. Once when a friend of mine was cribbing about women being ambitious, I argued with her to justify why it is okay for a woman to be ambitious about her career. Obviously, I don’t make great arguments all the time. But, it is good to hear from a career-woman, how in spite of not having it all, having a career is still rewarding. Here are Indra Nooyi’s candid answers in an interview, and her thoughts on women not having it all, and the coping mechanisms that she must use to survive.
It is rare to find real-life thrillers. Today we have one called Agent Storm – a Danish citizen who from a petty criminal converted to Islam, became an extremist, participated in terrorism, turned a spy and helped the intelligence agencies find more about radical groups. Agent Storm does not paint a rosy picture of either the radicals or the intelligence agencies – but a book by him shows how terrorism is a social activity and that most men aren’t born evil.