Our Kitchen

Jayu, could you make the dosa today?

Roll chapatis today.

Sambar is so simple. I am tired. Why can’t you make it today?

You are 19. Sufficiently grown up to learn to cook with oil. Here, fry some vadai for the pongal today.

Do you know I learnt most of the kitchen theatrics by observing my mom. Learn to observe, you. I may not be able to teach you everything.

Jayu, when you go to that aunty’s place be polite and offer to help.

An aunt: Maya spent the weekend at her aunt’s. Oh! so much praise she received for…

From my childhood image collection. Source anon.

“It’s exhilarating to come closer and closer to self-discipline. You make your body go and everything hurts; then you look back in awe at the self, at what you’ve done, it just blows your mind. It leads to ecstasy, to self-fulfillment. If you win these battles enough, that battle against yourself, at least for a moment, it becomes easier to win the battles in the world.”

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow (p. 40).

Productivity in an individual is achieved by maintaining a rhythmic routine. Well, my rhythm went for a toss in the recent past. All it took was one heavy project…

Disclaimer: For this story the focus is on homemakers of female gender. And parents of female gender (mother). By no means this story is attempting to brush off contributions by a male home maker or by a father. For the purposes of getting across the point, this story is just zooming into the contributions by females in the said roles.

Imagine a 50 year old mother applying for a job (any job where they deem fit) and is called for an interview.

It is a leap to assume that a 50 year old female homemaker maybe called for an interview. A rare case.

As the interview progresses after pleasantries and introductions:

Interviewer 1: Hmm. I see that you hold a dual degree…

Influencing social behaviours during the pandemic — Taking learnings from behavioural sciences this article shows a way for individuals and policymakers alike.

We are going out. It’s the North East Festival that happens every winter. This is my first time. I am excited as I am hardly exposed to the cultures of North East India, and this is my chance. So I wear a dress that I feel good in. Matched it with a jacket to keep me warm from the late evening winter chill. But my dressing is not done. Our final wear just before exiting the door is a black Vogmask hung over our ear lobes. It is to protect us from the smog outside.

Source: https://aqicn.org/city/delhi/iti-jahangirpuri/

~2018 to ~2019, over two…

It is not easy to work from home. I have been an independent collaborator working from home for over two years now. And it took me a good one year to steady my productivity whilst working from home. Why was it so difficult?

Like many, I love the idea of WFH, albeit I thoroughly enjoyed my stint working with people and teams in an office setup. Working from the comforts of the residence gave a sense of own-office ownership. When I was still an office goer there were days when I had to WFH. I used to find myself being…

There are two types of thinking. It is possible that all of us can be bucketed into either of the two. We are either modular thinkers or holistic thinkers. It can be said that modular thinkers are detailed oriented, and holistic thinkers are driven need and relevance. Modular thinking allows the team to focus within the scope. But sometimes when the scope needs to be scaled and circling around singular elements is no more adequate, holistic thinking is essential. This bird's eye view processing of the problem is not easy for many.

Work in social behaviour change often requires professionals…

I was brought up with this caution to not give away my original name and address to any stranger. In south India, back in the 90s and early 2000s, credibility was a precious commodity than now. It could be earned only after convincing with arduous and ethical work for a long period of time. So it was not easy for people like me to trust another in the city. Rather, it was more convenient to disguise as an imaginary someone else for the sake of the stranger with whom one is in conversation with.

This was the time when Orkut

The architecture and development of built environments in its present conventional state of practice in India are dominantly reliant on the advancements in engineering and material science, with skilled marketing. The design process followed to achieve an architectural marvel at the convergence of these disciplines often involves considerations at a site level — of topography, locality, amenities, access, weather, ventilation, proposed building function, etc. In practice, all such considerations are implicitly oriented towards the building users’ needs and behaviours — needs and behaviours as interpreted by the architect-developer and not as stated by the users themselves.

Here at Maysons, we see this subjectively interpreted, top-down approach to architecture and development as prejudicial to the users’ experience of the built environment, and thwarts socially influencing innovation in the field.

Let us take the…

The scope of what design is is as broad as this expanse. By and large, it is safe to say that design is anything tangible or non-tangible created and constructed by us humans. Creations y artificial intelligence included. This means design as a human skill existed since the time when the first tools were made. But it was only in the 60s, through industrial design and product design, did this field of work see the light of being distinguished as a discipline on its own. Away from the shadows of engineering and science. Ever since the design discipline has transformed. From being a mere skill-based domain, it is now a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving. The term ‘design thinking’ thus caught on since.

What is Design Thinking?

In simple words, it is a problem-solving process that shows the way to perceive a problem and solve it. The problem to be addressed may be at a functional level, a strategic level or a process level. Its applications are expansive. For example, based on feedback from a users’ use of a faucet, design thinking can be applied to redesign the faucet to become more efficient in managing excessive water loss (functional). Similarly, it can also be applied to develop marketing and selling strategies for the faucet (strategy and process). This means design thinking is applicable to anything from simple…

One morning I was watching the movie Griffin & Phoenix. It is about two terminally ill patients who do things they like in order to enjoy life to the fullest before they die.

At the end of it, I was thinking:

Why is the notion of bucket lists and the desire to enjoy life before death often associated only with terminally ill patients or individuals nearing death?

Isn’t our death this impending dark cloud over our heads? Do people need a time frame of their death so that they can start enjoying their living days before they die?

Seems like…


Independent Behavioural Insights & Foresights Lead | Transformational Change & Innovation Manager | Educator | Writer | Immersive Design Explorer | Collaborator

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