The Abuser is related to someone.

The Indian Movie Industry will soon release a new movie titled Thappad (A Slap) This is not a review & I have zero affiliation with the film or the industry. 

I have watched the trailer & if the trailer was a movie, then this is what I infer:

This seemingly happy couple is shown to head down the path of divorce because the husband slapped the wife, that one time in a lifetime, at a party. The wife files for divorce, and many are perplexed. It’s just one slap, and he was frustrated – this should not be a ground for divorce. To this, she replies, and I paraphrase: That in that one slap and one moment, all that has been un-equal and un-fair in their marriage becomes clear. 

Today I don’t want to talk about the fact that abuse and violence have no gender and also that about 97% of abusers are men who have a female partner.

Today I don’t want to talk about the fact that abuse is not just physical, and often abuse begins with verbal abuse. 

Today I don’t want to talk about the fact that at the core of the abuser’s mindset is an idea that they own the victim and that there is a hierarchy, and they are above the victim. 

Today I don’t want to talk about gas-lighting, which is a concept an abuser often uses as an excuse to abuse. They blame the victim’s behavior and action for their abusive behavior. 

Today I want to talk about to us, the society: you, me and all of us. The society that justifies the abuser and victim shames because we are pre-programmed to view our family & friends with rose-colored biased glasses. Surely, our family member cannot be an abuser. That only happens in other ‘bad’ families. 

This non-sense must stop – Call out the abuser!!! Hold them accountable, and through that accountability, the next generation will have a chance to stop this abusive cycle. 

Your deafening silence towards the abuser and that active voice asking the victim to understand, tolerate, or accept is giving power to the abuser. 

If you do not know how to help, here are three things you can do to start:

  1. Acknowledge to yourself that you have a bias and have overlooked the abuse coming from your family/friend. 
  2. Support the victim by engaging in activities outside of their home life. You need not even discuss the abuse, be supportive, and engage and help build their confidence and trust. 
  3. Educate yourself on how to support abuse/violence victims. Leverage the gift of technology to find local organizations that will guide you in being the right support. The kind of support that doesn’t threaten the victim further but empowers them without being shamed. 

An abuser can be a husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, wife, mother, sister ….your relationship with them doesn’t absolve them of their abuse.

NO CONFLICT in this world requires someone to physically and verbally assault anyone. 

Conversation & Coping skills are a must for all genders!


Mirror Mirror on the wall: Dear Men … & Women. Especially Men.

Performance evaluation while acceptable professional is still a stigma in personal life. Here, I said it!

Once upon a time, I found myself in a room with the evaluation paper in front of me. Seemingly, I was doing A-OK but could do better – tell me more! I thought as I rolled my eyes also in my thoughts. Once the fluff/filler conversation was done I was asked to sign the eval paper. I took the pen and drew a line across my name and corrected the spelling of my name. Stared back as I slid the eval back.

I thought to myself- I really do not like someone judging my work when they cannot get the basics right.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself in the seat of the one evaluating. Guess what the paper misspelled – their NAME!! I will spare you the details of my flustered, embarrassed and humbled self.

Define Karma a short story by Shivani Kulkarni

Professional Performance Evaluation: The one where you evaluate yourself so that someone else can evaluate you and your work. Ranging from a corporate employee to an entrepreneur! Ranging from kill me now to tell how I can get better. Ranging from I know I am a superstar to let’s get this over with. Emotions, oh so many damn emotions.

This circle of feedback/learning/evaluation/reflecting can be positive, negative or non-consequential but it is accepted by all as a professional process. End of the day, the reward for the evaluation can often be tied to tangible growth or learning that ultimately lead to tangible growth.

Within 12hrs of an online purchase, an email is sent asking for feedback.

We all look for that nod and approving smiles in a big meeting.

Consumer feedback management is a business in itself.

We are incentives to give opinions on products and services.

We look forward to the validation that we are doing great and that growth awaits us.

More today than ever, one will agree, that there is a need to evaluate feedback, iterate and evolve!

We tirelessly self-assess to outperform ourselves: we reflect on the victories, the losses, the conflicts, the break room chatter, the public reviews and more. We are gender, race, and religion united when it comes to professional growth even if it means trekking that hard path of feedback, reflection and re-building.

Self Assessment = Self Reflection = meditation or serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives.

The same process is applied and welcomed for physical well being. Proactive measures of physical health assessment because …well – life! & the daunting cost of healthcare for a cure, in case of sickness.

We accept and encourage self-reflection in professional life as it risks tangible loss.

We accept & encourage self-reflection for physical health as it risks the quality of life, tangible discomfort, monetary loss & more.

Then, what makes us fight, mock, ignore, dismiss the tools of self-reflection for our mental health?

What if we gave our personal life the same luxury of personal evaluation?

Pro-active career-enhancing actions & physical-health enhancing measures surely do not imply that either one of those is broken. Then why are the measures for pro-active mental health enhancement viewed as frivolous and unnecessary – Especially, from men.

I am well aware of the gender generalization here and while I know some incredibly self aware men, there is a shortage. Stay with me till the end, if you can.

See, I have skin in this game. I care deeply to know why:

Self-Love | Self-Reflection | Mindfulness | Meditation | Journaling | Therapy | Counseling

Media, Merchandise, Services, Coaches & Publications are serving us reminders daily to enhance quality of life.

Maybe its daunting to start or maybe it needs to be normalized in your head. Know that you are the only one who can start and the only one who can normalize it.

Dear Men .. & Women, especially Men,

Maybe the society said Men don’t cry or the humor seems to suggest that only girly women talk about their feelings or that masculinity needs to be void of feelings and emotions, and thereby there is leniency with your behaviors or that mediation will make into a purple unicorn or that writing your feelings may make basic!

I know that one day my little boy will be part of your tribe. And, while I do my best to normalize self-reflection to him, he will look up to you too for what is normal.

Dear Women .. & Men, especially Women,

Maybe we allow for this normalization to thrive without judgement. Maybe we demand for better behavior. Maybe we self-reflect ourselves so that we are an example of mental growth.

Self-Reflection is your responsibility & it is not a one day gig. It’s my responsibility to myself. Its till our last breath, so that our regrets are slim and hopefully the smiles are wide.