January 31, 2022

Madame Oviri

Why do you brood, O’ feral child

You are but a Goddess of the wild 

With flowing tresses flying loose

Beckoning the wind to a whirling cruise   

Your open wide iridescent eyes 

Challenge the clear luminescent skies

Death and melancholy, your things of play 

Untamed, always willing to slay

Why do you mourn, why do you weep

Your courage is mighty, your passion deep

O’ mistress of beasts, mother of wolves

You clutch at your cubs while they snooze

It’s tough to grasp your smothering love

Indifferent outside, no sign above 

A ‘civilised savage’ you claim to be  

Immortalised as Gauguin’s 'Oviri'

© Priyanka Naik 

Pic source: Wikipedia.

Author’s note: The title gets its name from the 1894 ceramic sculpture by French artist, Paul Gauguin. 

My poem which is inspired by the same  is a rendition to the ‘feral’ side of the Goddess in every woman.

January 20, 2022

#ECommerceBuildsEconomy : Shopping in pyjamas

 A week ago, I wanted to buy some art supplies. It was 10.00 pm when I remembered. It had been a long day. However, that did not stop me. All I had to do is flip open my phone, go to Amazon, and voila. Within minutes, the job was done. I quickly browsed through a few pages of options, made my choice, and ordered what I needed. 

For someone like me who usually goes the entire day twiddling her thumbs only to remember urgent shopping errands at odd hours in the night or wee hours in the morning, online shopping has indeed been a boon. 

And that got me thinking how much e-commerce has revolutionised our shopping today. Imagine a similar situation some years ago before the advent of the Internet. 

I’d have to wait until the next morning, probably knotting my handkerchief a few times to serve as a reminder, which of course would again inadvertently be drowned out in the numerous errands that spring throughout the day. And even when I did eventually remember by late evening and dragged my tired self out of my home, I’d have to scourge a few dozen shops to get the things I needed. Yeah, I’m also picky like that. 

Cut to present day , I can literally have everything delivered to my doorstep and all it takes is a few clicks. 

That, my friends, is the magic of e-commerce! 

A lot of people I know, however, still do not avail of the online shopping option. They’d rather prefer going to the local store and making their purchases. Their trust issue is mainly regarding the credit card details that needs to be entered while making an online purchase. Well, what can be said? There is always the ‘Cash On Delivery’ option for those nervous about the chances of phishing. 

If, however, one is careful in choosing trusted and reliable platforms (read Dr Roshan’s post here), then online shopping can be a breeze.

Here are a few advantages that makes e-commerce beneficial for our economy and also for the common man, the consumer.

  1. Easy accessibility and availability: Since the Internet is a global medium, e-commerce websites are available world wide and are widely accessible around the clock. This feature makes it convenient for consumers to shop at any time of the day or night and even during public holidays when offline shopping wouldn’t be possible. 
  2. Speed: E-commerce transactions are speedier to perform than offline shopping where one has to wait in long queues while billing etc. 
  3. Withers e-commerce policies being rather transparent and clearly laid out allow for good security. 
  4. E-commerce provides an one stop platform for all purchases thus reducing the demand on shopping time and energy to a minimum. 
  5. Simple and clean interfaces of the websites allow the customer to complete their shopping in a convenient and hassle free manner from the comfort of their own home. 
  6. Doorstep delivery and easy return: The items ordered online get delivered to the house well within the promised time period. If the delivered product/s is damaged or unsatisfactory, the consumer can ask for exchange or refund.
  7. Cheaper online: There is a considerable price difference between the market price and the price online, the latter being always lower than the former. In some cases, shipping charges may be applied but it usually totals to less than the time and travel expenditure it takes to buy it from the physical store. 
  8. The same product is sold by different online sellers and the consumer can compare the prices in a matter of seconds and proceed to purchase whichever he/she prefers. 
  9. Depending upon the customers search and purchase history, the e-commerce site will use the data to make useful recommendations.
  10. Convenience in payment: In addition to COD, other options like credit/debit card, UPI, Gpay, net banking, coupons etc  are available. 
  11. Last but not the least, online shopping platforms require limited interaction and maximum safety, a requisite especially in times of social distancing. Also convenient for senior citizens and those for whom stepping outdoors may not always be convenient. 

Going by the latest growth trends, e-commerce in India is expected to grow a solid trajectory in the years to come. 

2020, the year of the pandemic, with its multiple lockdowns and viral threats was a lesson of caution. It shocked us, scared us, tried to break us, but the resilient human spirit refused to give up. Health suffered, businesses suffered, lockdowns happened. People were starving, dying, hurting.  But the tiny flame of hope continued to shine. 

When the shortage of food and groceries in the local market seemed impossible to manage, the demand on online shopping platforms increased many fold. E-commerce found its way even into the kitchen, with people ordering basic food supplies online.  On the other side, micro and medium industry, home businesses marketed their products and regained their slipping foothold via e-commerce websites that tried its best to provide a seamless customer experience. 

Today, the human spirit is still fighting. Waiting for the pandemic to end. Waiting for life to return to what it once was. Knowing tans making peace with the fact that brick and mortar shops may become redundant. But digitisation is dependable and here to stay. 

E-commerce has changed the face of shopping for ever and for more. And for that we are thankful. 

After all, who doesn’t love shopping in pyjamas!


This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s campaign #ECommerceBuildsEconomy 

January 03, 2022

The futile search for new beginnings

Everybody wants a new beginning. We all make mistakes, big and small, and then want to start over. Turn the page. Change the course. Turn over a new leaf.

But what we are forgetting here is that there can never be a 'new' beginning. New beginnings do not exist. It is practically impossible. We will always carry with us bits of stories we have played a role in; people we have met, relations we have fostered, experiences that have enriched our lives.

So how then can we wipe the slate clean? Can we really ignore the past? Can we unfeel the things we have once felt, unsee, unhear, unthink what we have seen, heard, thought? That would be denial, wouldn't it?

What we can do instead is acknowledge our mistakes and try to rectify them as early as possible.

So this time around, how about we take all the lessons from our journey so far, old beginnings et al, review, retrospect, accept responsibility and finally take charge in order to   change the narrative of our story?

In place of the futile search for a new  beginning, why don't we try to reach a new ending...a better ending instead?