Still in Dubai mode, as you can see! That's Anandita enjoying her camel ride ( I don't have the stomach for it).
Penguin's Spring Fever in Delhi started off on a high note with Mahesh Bhatt in conversation with me. It was warm , lively and wonderful. I was deeply touched that Mahesh took the time to fly into Delhi, do this for me, and fly out. That's what makes Mahesh, Mahesh...
This appeared in Mumbai Mirror today.....
Women : Get in touch with your inner tycoon!
I am a fairly recent FB convert, so forgive me if I sound confused. For the longest time my FB account was handled by my publishers who wisely believed it was a great marketing tool. I had no idea what went on in that space, but when total strangers began accosting me to say cheerfully “We are your FB friends,” I became somewhat alarmed. And decided to log in to find out who these ‘friends’ were. It was a deeply embarrassing , almost scary experience. I checked with my children who bluntly told me to stay off FB (“It’s not meant for your age group,”). They were right. And also a little wrong. Women across the world NEED their FB fix. More than half the one billion users of FB happen to be chicks. Now, I am one of them. It has become my best stress buster. And I do get a vicarious kick out of following the lives of people I barely know through their manic updates. Having tasted blood, I decided to open my own, personally driven FB account. I was such a novice at it and so very clumsy, I had to finally seek help from my youngest (and kindest) child. I am still pretty hopeless, but I am having so much fun! Today, I’d call myself a marginal FB player. I am hooked. But not a hard core addict. I actually brush my teeth before logging on. All these thoughts were running through my head as I read the TIME cover story, teasingly titled “ Don’t hate her because she’s successful,” on Sheryl Sandberg, the uber smart COO of FB. Sandberg’s got a book out (“Lean In”) through which Sandberg is trying to ‘reboot’ feminism. After reading the lengthy profile filled with clever quotes, I started to feel a little sorry for the 43- year -old woman who took FB public and has recently cashed out about $90 million worth of shares (she is still hanging on to 18 million shares). Interestingly, the most revelatory chapter of her book claims : amongst the most important career choices a woman makes is whom to marry! It is significant that the man, Dave Goldberg, Sandberg herself picked. is described as ‘genial and laid back’. She claims he manages their money, since she has no interest in it.He claims they share kiddie duties 50-50. Fair exchange !
Gloria Steinem has extended public support to Sandberg’s take on 21st century leadership roles for women. Other feminists are less ecstatic. Sandberg insists “We hold ourselves back in ways, both big and small,”. Sandberg’s boldly printed motto – RUTHLESSLY PRIORITISE – says it all about her working style.She talks about the invisible barriers in women’s minds that stop them from aiming high.This mother of two says she is aware that success and popularity don’t go together ( “Female accomplishments come at a cost).” Her thesis is alienating women across the board, especially because it underlines a common fear - Sandberg suggests women don’t aspire to senior positions and spend far too much time on housework and child care duties. Critics point out she’s a fine one for saying this, considering how wealthy she is and how much house help she employs ( she refuses to talk about it).According to the article, Sandberg works very hard, but hardly parties, unless it is to network. Is most of this sounding familiar? So, what is the core message Sandberg is sending out to career women? Frankly, I am stumped. Feminists of the old school believe she is exhorting women to be more like men if they want to succeed. Is she, really? Sandberg ( who sits two desks away from CEO Mark Zuckerberg) is in a great place right now. As the COO and only woman on the board of the company, she has her targets in place. Zuckerberg calls her “unique” for having both, an extremely high I.Q. and E.Q. Sandberg has been officially dubbed ‘Confidence Woman.” But guess what, even she wonders why women such as herself don’t generate too many ‘likes’ on FB. I’m not surprised. Are you?
As for me, I am searching for my inner tycoon. And thinking of becoming a BFF of every single person I meet on FB! Taking a cue from Sandberg, I shall be tracking those ‘Likes’ closely henceforth! So, hit that key, guys!