Saturday, 24 December 2016

Bai-Nama


Every woman (and men living with a woman) reading this will agree with me that ‘kaamwali bai’ (referred to as ‘bai’ henceforth) is arguably the most important person in their lives. Pardon my exaggeration, but haven’t you had panic attacks when your bai “calls in sick” on a Monday, or any day for that matter. Don’t you take more time deciding your bai’s Diwali/holi bonus than deciding what you want on the occasion? Aren’t you equally worried about her kid’s health as you are for your kid (and I am not only referring to your goodheartedness but also to the phobia of bai taking a leave to take care of the kid). Don’t you direct your anger to the first person who comes your way when your bai comes late but don’t dare to say a word to her. I have also heard that bais have made people go on vacations (yeah…why not. If you have enough privilege leaves and good budget, why spend the time doing household chores). Ok…so some of you may not completely agree with all the points stated above, but no Indian woman can say that she has not faced even a single trauma due to the “bai" in her life.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Can Patriotism be Taught?


The word patriotism, as we know it, has changed dramatically. Patriotism now features in the list of sensitive words along with other words like intolerance, secularism, minority etc. It has acquired many connotations in recent times. Everybody has conveniently devised a definition of patriotism for them to abide by. While some believe in proudly flaunting their patriotism on facebook timelines, others consider standing up for national anthem as epitome of patriotic attitude. But that is the benefit of being in a tolerant democracy, I guess. However, when a 7-8 year old kid asks you, what is patriotism, most of us will be at a loss of words. At least, I was.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Uncharted Roads- Heart and Horizon #FridayFotoFiction



#FridayFotoFictionWeek 3-PhotoPromt

The Familiar Stranger- Guest Post by Geethica Mehra



I guess meeting people by chance is actually not by chance. It’s all pre-written in our destiny. Usually, my daily routine is a bit boring. Today, in the morning, while adjusting my earpiece, I heard a voice asking me “Is there any long park to jog around? About 1 km long?” Initially, I thought it was a voice coming out of my mobile? Puzzled I looked around to see a lady dressed in all black talking to me.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Happy Children’s Day!! Here’s to the child in us!


Remember how merrily we celebrated children’s day in school. Dressed in colourful outfits, we looked like characters out of happy Disney movies. For most part of our childhood, children’s day remained a very special day for us. Till puberty hit home. Then we decided that we were too “grown-up” to be celebrating a day that was assigned for children. And before we realised our mistake, we were already in the tumultuous tweens and nobody considered us children. Slowly, it became irrelevant for us. This holds true for most of us.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Interviewed By TimesofAmma- A community of Mommies for Mommies


Motherhood changes a woman’s life in unexpected ways. It’s a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Every mother has a different story to tell. And some mothers choose to tell it through their blogs. Times of Amma is one such platform where Moms, of all varieties-stay at home, working moms to work from home moms, share their stories to connect and inspire. In October, this sisterhood of mother ran a feature where some Mommy-Bloggers where interviewed and featured on the website. I was fortunate to be part of this bandwagon. Excerpts of my interaction with TimesofAmma :-

Saturday, 29 October 2016

This Diwali, Lets Teach Our Kids Some Compassion


Diwali is the most benign and benevolent of all festivals. The enthusiasm engulfs all. Every one prepares for the festivities in their own way. And the festival, with immense magnanimity, bestows each one with enough happiness to last till the next Diwali.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Introducing Expecto Patronum- For Blogs and Buddies


It is easier to break a single stick but it’s almost impossible to break the sticks tied together in a bundle. Similarly, it is easier to break down when working alone but when you are backed by reliable buddies, even the most herculean tasks look simpler. Blogging is challenging and demanding. And when doing this alone, it requires immense patience and grit. The ever-evolving blogosphere throws new challenges at you every day. There is a new technology or a trending topic that requires your attention. Or your blog has had a technical break down, of which you know nothing. Sometimes you just run around with a hammer in your hand but just don’t know where to bang it to get the whole system working again. And oh, the writers’ block. How could I forget the monster which blocks us out completely, sometimes for days altogether.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Thank God You Don’t Have Kids #InfertilityNotATaboo

Meghana just got promoted as Senior Vice President. That was her third promotion in last five years. She had worked in this company for last 12 years. Initial years were the routine ones. She had to work twice as hard to get noticed. And the management always found somebody more deserving for promotions and challenging projects. But things seemed to have changed for good in the last 5-6 years. She was their first choice for every big project and accolades and promotions had literally started raining from everywhere. It seemed that her hard work was finally getting noticed. So when the girls asked for a party, she didn’t think twice and invited all of them for dinner.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Cost of a War


As the vengeful calls for War on the TV screen cross the bearable decibels, I switch off the television and go back to my reading. But that uproar has penetrated so deep in my mind that I am not able to “switch it off”. And it makes me think about the cost of a war - the cost that most of us, fortunately, have not paid in our lives and hence don’t realize the impact of it.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Surrogacy: A Superfluous Concept?



Some facts and figures about Surrogacy in India:

· First surrogate baby in India was delivered on June 23rd, 1994
· In 2002, India became the first country in the world to allow commercial surrogacy
· Approx. 2000 babies are born every year through commercial surrogacy in India
· With approx.. 12000 foreign nationals coming to India for surrogacy every year, it is now a huge industry worth Rs 3000 crore 
· Anand, Gujarat is considered the surrogacy capital of India
· A surrogate is paid somewhere between 4-12 lakhs for carrying a child, other than the expenses
· If Surrogacy Bill is passed as law, commercial surrogacy will be abolished in the country.

Friday, 23 September 2016

I have a son. Am I unlucky?- For Parentous.com

It is always nice to be a part of a community that stimulates your thought process and gives you a chance to learn and evolve. Parentous.com which is one of the largest growing parenting community of India is one such place. My thoughts on gender discrimination- in reverse have been voiced in an article "I have a son. Am I unlucky?" which appears on parentous.com. Read an excerpt here.......

I have an adorable and super-active son who keeps me on my toes all the time. Just like I had imagined or even wished for. Yes, since the time I started thinking about having kids, I had always wanted a boy. I would have been equally happy with a girl too, but my wish came true when I had a son. He is everything I had asked for – super-naughty, super-active, well-behaved etc etc etc. But wait, am I unlucky to have a son? Read more on parentous.com

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Rio Olympics 2016 - Some interesting facts



Olympics Games 2016 are all set to begin on 5th August 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. During this most coveted sports festival, new world records will be made and new accomplishments will be acknowledged. But as you cheer for your country and share the world’s enthusiasm for Olympics, pause and read these interesting facts about Rio Olympics 2016.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Celebrating Failure! Yes, you read that right!



I had signed up for #halfmarathon- a 15day blogging marathon challenge by a blogging community, Blogchatter. As expected I started with much enthusiasm and fervently rolled out a few posts. In spite of the crazy hectic schedules and travel routines, I was making sure that I write down something daily. I used all those pending ideas and thoughts and turned them into blogposts. Sharing them one post a day. However, there were days when the schedules over-powered and I missed posting even a single article. When I missed one post initially, I was upset over it. But then I realized that I have been achieving the objective I had in mind while signing up for this blogging marathon.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

This is what you should tells your kid about Kargil


Almost 16 years back in time, Indian army won a strategic war in one of the most difficult mountain terrains of the world. Pakistani army and Kashmiri militants infiltrated the LOC in Jammu and Kashmir from Kargil district. The Indian army gave a fitting response and re-claimed all the critical points in a war that lasted almost 2 months.  July 26, 2016 is remembered as Kargil Vijay Diwas every year to commemorate the heroes of that war. As we peacefully sits in our living rooms and relish our comfortable lives, we should not forget that we owe it to the soldiers who fought relentlessly in most inhuman conditions. We also owe it to our kids to share this heroic tale of valor with them. And this is what you should tell them about Kargil war:-

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

JoshMeets Indore- 7 Times Inspiration


On Saturday, July 23, 2016, the auditorium of Prestige Institute of Management, Indore was packed with enthusiastic youngsters to get their dose of inspiration from 6 people who found and followed their passion. And as these 7 speakers took turns to share their tales of endurance, the auditorium was overflowing with enthusiasm and inspiration. At the end of the talkshow, everyone was determined to find their passion and work relentlessly towards turning that into something that could improve the world in some way.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Candid Confessions About Coffee Cravings


This ones for all the coffee lovers out there

So how do you like your coffee (or tea)? I know everybody has very typical preferences for their preferred beverage. And I am talking only about the passionate ones here. Not the ones who can drink any tea/coffee no matter how poorly it is made. I refuse beverages (especially coffee) most of the times not because I don’t want it but only because I can’t drink a tasteless cup of coffee no matter how hard the craving is. Even the lovely husband who wants to make me a cup of coffee in the mornings has realized this and now he dutifully brings every ingredient separately and leaves it to me to make my kind of coffee, just as I like it. Am I sounding too critical to you? Sorry, when it comes to coffee (or even tea), no compromise. I like my coffee strong and mildly sweet. Not too hot though. But am I the only one who is being over-demanding here. If you think I am, read on to see how weird it can get when it comes to tea/coffee.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Interview- Todd Tavolazzi- Author of Best Selling book "Looking into the Sun"


Todd Tavolazzi is the author of Looking into the Sun- A novel of the Syrian Conflict. It is a fictional account of life in Syria and is being appreciated unanimously for its accurate and real-life description of Syrian crisis on its population, especially children. It details the tragedy forced on the civilians and also highlights the valor of journalists who take on this task of bringing the heart-wrenching stories out for the world. Todd has been kind enough to agree to an email interview and share his thoughts about the cause and the book.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Picture Pefect! Is it really?


She was drowning. She doesn’t remember how she got into the water. All that she remembers is playing with the kids near the lake. She knew her husband was taking a walk somewhere close by but couldn’t see him. The bright sun felt a little too hot after some time. But the kids didn’t want to go home. Oscar, their adorable pet, was also happy playing with them. It was so close to being a picture perfect day.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Do you recognize the Guru in your life?


Guru Purnima celebrates the eternal wisdom of Gurus and their willingness to share this wisdom with their protégés.  The ancient festival is also marked as a day to pay sincere respects to your respective mentors. Somehow, the importance of this festival is slowly getting diluted due to multiple reasons. We no longer have Gurus in our lives. And as education industry becomes more and more commercialized, even the respect for teachers (in schools and colleges) has somehow alleviated.  But it is important to have a Guru in your life. So what does a Guru do for us.

Monday, 18 July 2016

The same old story of the same of battle


Day # 3 of  #HalfMarathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

It is the same old story. Women who want to work but have to take some tough decisions like leaving the kid in a daycare or with a nanny. And it’s the same old battle. Inner conflicts, guilt, being judged by one and all, juggling the responsibilities; and the fear of losing it all more and more often. Yes, it is the same old story of the same old battle. Every story has a different kind of color. But share the same canvas of endurance.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Biting the Bullet- Blogchatter #HALFMARATHON - Day 1


Blogging, or for that matter, writing had always been a part of my life. But let me confess something today. And I am sure I speak for most of the amateur bloggers out there, I don’t spend as much time with my blog as I wish I did. Not that I don’t want to. But there is always a clash of priorities. Jobs, family, social engagements, health issues and what not! Despite the fact I am always stealing some time from all other chores to make time for what I really like to do- to read and write; I am not sure I am spending enough time with my pen (or sometimes laptop).

Monday, 11 July 2016

Confessions of a Mild Hindu


Brutal and inhuman massacres of innocent people in the name of religion stare at the World shamelessly again and again. And each time such an incident happens, humanity loses a battle against alleged religious extremism. While different there are different schools of thoughts about plausible causes or reasons behind such deadly attacks on obviously harmless and unassuming group of people, it does unanimously force us to think where we are falling short in tackling brutalities in the name of religion. Closer home, in India, the circumstances are no different.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Guest Post - Two of a Kind by Pranju Chakrapani



A stroll I was taking. A thought I was thinking. Suddenly an eye got blinking. And it got me thinking. The boy that passed by me. My mind made a ringing. I have seen him before. A fear rushed from my core. A dress similar to mine that he wore. A walk like me, a perfect score. My mouth felt a little soar. okay. better call this guy, a thought I couldn't ignore.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

10 Reasons Why You Should “Go To the Mattresses” (or a Mat) Today


When Clemenza said in in the famous Hollywood movie God Father about “going to the mattresses”, he was actually referring to protracted fight in the very near future. Well, we are not going to any war. Not literally. But we might talk about something which needs to be done on war-footing here. Something which should be done today. We are talking about getting on the Mat (read yoga-mat) and including yoga in your fitness routine. If you have any, that is. And if you don’t have anything that revolves around the word fitness, Yoga is something you should start right away. And let me give you 10 solid reasons to stop procrastinating and start practicing yoga straightaway.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Guest Post - Two of a Kind by Pranju Chakrapani- Part 4

Dare to say that again! I will slit you apart. part by part. You say he treated me like a punching bag! When it was you who made me sniff that adhesive plastic bag. It was you who stole those money bags. Of course he punished me. God only knows how much he , afterwards, did lamenting.
My evil, of course you wouldn' t understand it, but it's called parenting.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

This Too Shall Pass on Inspire99


As somebody who likes to have new perspectives and is always on the lookout for some positive words, inspire99.com is where I visit frequently. Vinay's thoughts and words on this blog are interesting and thought-provoking. Though we do not agree always, it always nice to stimulte the thought-process.

"This Too Shall Pass" is my debut appearance on inspire99 as a guest blogger and it explores variuos aspects of this profound statement.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Guest Post - Two of a Kind by Pranju Chakrapani- Part 3


Chapter 3

I had heard that ghosts cannot be seen nor can be touched. But look at me, I can be seen and I can touch.An intuition that something's going to be wrong. And then I saw him and his frown. On seeing me he ran and I felt a little pang. What's he going to do this time. He is an evil and can do anything for a dime. I followed him to stop an obvious crime. A dead following a dead. A thread following a line. Where the heck is he going, a question came to my mind.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Guest Post - Two of a Kind by Pranju Chakrapani- Part 2


Chapter 2

And he laughed with the faded smile. laughed till he vanished a mile. Laughed till I was left with my body on the aisle.Okay so lemme think of it for a moment. My body had done an atonement, for all the sins that my evil had done in the heat of the moment. I am dead and that's confirmed. But who is this rascal, my doppelgänger? Now that's a concern. A light weight that I feel. Where are my evil thoughts that earlier I had to deal. A desire to do good. To never to harm others and not to be rude.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Guest Post - Two of a Kind by Pranju Chakrapani- Part 1

                                                                   
Chapter 1

A stroll I was taking. A thought I was thinking. Suddenly an eye got blinking. And it got me thinking. The boy that passed by me. My mind made a ringing. I have seen him before. A fear rushed from my core. A dress similar to mine that he wore. A walk like me, a perfect score. My mouth felt a little sore. okay. better call this guy, a thought I couldn't ignore.

Hi, Have I seen you before?

Friday, 27 May 2016

8 Words That Did Not Exist Before The Internet Era


Do I really need to say that internet has changed our world in many ways? Nope, everybody knows that. Those who are born after 2000 will probably find it difficult to imagine that a world existed before the internet too. But it did. And there were things that did not exist in that pre-internet era. For instance, these 8 words are a result of internet revolution and were almost non-existent before. Though the list is very long, these are the ones which have become popular extremely popular.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Interview- Amit Sharma- Author of False Ceilings

 Amit Sharma is the author of fiction novel titled False Ceilings by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 at the World Book Fair in Delhi. The novel is a Family Saga spanning 130 years (from 1930 to 2065) and takes us through the lives of six protagonists who are bound by a secret and live in Delhi and Dalhousie. Amit Sharma has been working in a Software Firm since the last tenyears. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with a daughter with an amazing battery life. Amit is a voracious reader and devours books. His other hobbies include watching world cinema, traveling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging (he used to blog earlier at Mashed Musings), making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Are You Really Happy?




Happiness in life is a sum total of small moments where you have felt absolutely content and happy. As you seek happiness, use those tiny moments and multiply their intensity to experience profound satisfaction.

These words would seem very shallow to many of us who depend on external forces to be happy. But when these words are transformed into action, they take you to a magical seamless world detached from external pleasures. And this is what happened in a session with Yoga Guru Andre Reihl under the aegis of Mrs Dipti Gami of Yog Amrutam, Indore. While aspiring yogis were fortunate enough to understand that our source of happiness lies within us; Guru Andre also demonstrated that it is not very difficult to find that source.

Monday, 25 April 2016

11 Years of love and laughter


Marriages may be made in heaved but they are most certainly endeavored, nurtured and celebrated right here. The promise (or promises) made naïvely are tested every day.  That dream of a fairytale marriage gradually transforms into a mundane drag life. Slowly the initial romance of marriage is taken over by the challenges of social and personal responsibilities. And it becomes challenging to keep that flame kindling. But does that make it any less exciting? Does it make the bond any less romantic? Does 11 years of wear and tear fade its glow or does 11 years of aging increase it romantic allure?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

10 things to do on a No-Smart Phone Day!



According to a report by Common Sense Media, teens and tweens in the United States are spending almost 6-9 hours on media technology, accessing videos, games, movies, books etc. through the smartphone, tablet or a laptop. In UK, people are spending more time with a smart phone than they are spending on sleeping. In India, this average time is somewhere around 2-3 hours but this will soon multiply tremendously as the country’s mobile internet using population touches a figure of 314 million by 2017. Why don’t these statistics surprise us? Because most of us are a part of these numbers.


Check for yourself. How much time do you spend facing a smart phone or a laptop screen? Including the moment you read this. You would realize that first thing you want to do when you wake up in the morning is check your smart phones for messages and mails. Probably, even before you grab your cup of coffee. Every minute of your “free-time” is spent on watching videos and movies or checking your social networking sites. In office, you are required to face the screen almost all the time. And when not accessing these gadgets, you are anxiously anticipating about what you are missing.


With more and more professions involving a huge amount of time being spent on the web, it has become necessary evil today. We realize that it’s crazy, it’s addictive and may be harmful too but it is too important to restrain from. We would rebuff anybody who suggested switching off our laptop and mobileeven for a few hours. There is obsessive-compulsive disorder type obligatory desire to remain connected. But it’s time you take a break. There is no greater perquisite to this time-out than an absolutely great time in a real tangible world. Just like the old days, if you know what I mean.


So here is a suggested plan of action. Switch off your laptop and turn off the data on your smart-phone (so as to receive only calls). Initially, the anxiety will be too much to handle. But stick to the resolve. You might also have difficulty in trying to find a better engaging activity. You might also realize that every path leads to the sinful world of internet. So here are a few things you might want to do on your no-laptop/smartphone day:-



1) Read an actual book instead of a kindle version. Visit the local library or an actual brick and mortar book shop.
2) Write a letter to somebody. Not an email but an actual letter.





3) Put on your sun-tan and spend some time in the garden. Tend to those shrubs.

4) Play some scrabble or Uno with your kid or with your friends with some music in the background.







5) Draw, paint, sculpt. Whatever you like. Just get your hands dirty.


6) Cook. Not a conventional meal but something that you have been thinking of cooking for so long. Try a new recipe.






7) Go watch a play in a theatre. Refrain from movies though. Remember we are trying to stay away from the screen.
8) Do something philanthropic. The world needs every minute contribution.




9) Go to the local park or rent a bicycle and go take a ride.

10) Visit a friend. And talk to them without being bothered by the constant buzzing of a mobile.

There could be multiple benefits of this ritual. Like relaxing your eyes for a day or giving a time-out to the brain. But the best part is- it feels great. It is like pausing the clock for a day. And when the clock resumes, you are refreshed and recharged for days to come. It is nice to not be enslaved by the necessary impulse to respond to that mail or answer the watsapp message right now.

Smart phones, laptops and other similar gadgets are here to stay and their share in our 24-hours in only going to increase. The importance of digital technology in making our lives convenient like never before cannot be undermined at all. But the extent to which it has overtaken our lives is disturbing. So while we turn towards the mobile and laptop screens for everything fun and work, it is for us to decide how much we want to spend in the virtual world and miss out on the beautiful things around us. Have a great no-smartphone day!


Like what you just read? How about a pat on the back by leaving a comment! Don't agree with my line of thought? Let me know that too..

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Tipi Tipi Top- An Ode to a Colorful Childhood



Tipi Tipi Top- What color you want? I always wanted blue. One of the popular games of yester years was based on colors. The color you chose decided your destiny…or so to say. Childhood, undoubtedly, is the most colorful time of one’s life. Oblivious of the bigger evils and misfortunes of the world, we thought losing a game was the worst that can happen to anybody. The world revolved around best friends (who sometimes changed every two years). Failing an exam did not mean the end of the world and summer vacations were more sought after than wi-fi signals. Even at the risk of sounding clichéd and overtly nostalgic, I have to say- those were indeed the most colorful days.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

It's a Holi-Holi Day

                                                             It’s a Holi-Holi Day

                                                     Iss Baar #KhulKeKheloHoli




Remember this ageless track from the renowned Boney-M band. As a kid, I held on to the belief that this song was actually a Holi Song….just like our very own Holi song from Sholay- Holi ke din dil khil jaate hai or the sensuous- Rang Barse beeghe chunar wali. There are things associated with every festival. Diwali means crackers and diyas, rakhi means....well, rakhi. But Holi is nothing but full-on fun and masti. While we as kids used to enjoy all the beautiful festivals, nothing was as exciting as Holi. Holi meant hours and hours of unsupervised play time, not worrying about clothes getting soiled or messing up hour hair. And it was also fun to see parents doing the same. Now who could care to scold the kids when you are yourself all “colorful and muddled”. That’s what Holi was. Fun and excitement and an equalizer of sorts. Splash here and a splash there…..faces smeared with yellow, red, green…..teeth shining as everybody laughed their hearts out. Those colored faces looked so beautiful on that day.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Summer Carnival Idea#1 Revisit the Classic Movies with Your Kids


Remember the classics like Sholay, Golmaal, Mr India. Of course, you do. If you are a movie buff like me, you will agree that kids’ vacation is the time to relive our childhood. It was a time when screen time was very limited…not because we had very strict parenting regime but because there was only one channel, the legendary DoorDarshan, which aired movies only twice a week. Though we didn’t have much of a choice there, we made sure that every movie was watched with family in spite of News highlight breaks and Nirma ads in between. Didn’t we?

Monday, 14 March 2016

Summer Carnival- Introduction

Summer vacations are just round the corner. For kids, this is the best time of the year. No schools, no studies, no schedule to follow. For the dear mommies however, it a challenge to keep the kids engaged and interested. With the summer sun blazing hot most part of the day, kids are forced to spend maximum time within the confines of the homes. Let’s accept it, as much as we love having the kids around, we are sometimes absolutely clueless about how to keep them engaged, interested and out of the “Mommy, I am bored” pitch. Our creativity quota is exhausted soon enough and we find ourselves struggling to keep the kids busy. Sooner than later, they land up in front of the TV or a computer screen.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Are we ready for a Women's Day?

International Women’s Day finds its origin somewhere in the beginning of the twentieth century and in its neonatal form, it represented freedom and more rights for working women. However, IWD has had various interpretations during different times. IWD has also been by the feminists all over the world as it represents more power to women. With the penetration of social networks in many parts of the World in the last few years, the concept of Women’s Day has been accepted and acknowledged by many countries. In India too, there is splurge of Women’s day celebrations everywhere, although most of them are just shallow displays.  Nonetheless, the country seems to have grown up to rightfully claim a Women’s Day.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Surya Namaskar- What’s the fuss all about?


Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 12 different postures and it can get a beginner like me huffing and panting in no time. But then, 20 minutes on a treadmill or 10 minutes of aerobics would do the same. So what’s all this fuss about Surya Namaskar. That is the first thought that comes to mind when you look at the videos of Surya Namaskar on the internet. But it’s only when you dig deeper that you realize what it actually does to your body and mind. Read on to find out the amazing things I found out about Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation.

Friday, 4 March 2016

@ Jaipur Creative Writing Session

With Bachi Karkaria, Rajesh Kalra and some writing and blogging enthusiasts. 


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Yoga Phenomenon




Yoga is divine. Yoga is fulfilling. Yoga is beyond physical. But it is also elusive and addictive. And don’t go by the looks of it. Even the simplest looking Aasana(postures) can leave you huffing and panting. Yoga not only twists every muscle in your body but it also offers serenity that is almost out of this world. It rejuvenates your body and soul.  

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Freshly Baked Love and Laughter


As I stood admiring that freshly baked piece of chocolaty heaven and struggling to keep my hands off it, my phone rang. Hubby dear had called to inform to that he will be late today (also). Normally I would have shown some kind of displeasure about the news but the aroma of that cake had probably numbed my senses and I plainly said “Ok, no problem”. My husband who was expecting some resistance, misread my response and thought that I was upset with him. In an attempt to manage the situation, he asked “so what are you doing”. I told him exactly what I was doing “admiring the chocolate cake”. “What cake?” he asked. With a devilish smile on my face, I replied “the cake which you sent me.” There was silence on the other end of the phone. And then came my husband’s reply in a very grave tone “I didn’t send any cake for you”.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Mommy who does not fit right


I have always been the “odd one out”. Never a #PerfectFit. As a kid, I don’t remember owning any dolls. As a teenager, when my classmates talked about bras and boys, I had my head dug into a book. In college, I was the least glamorous one found mostly in the library or the hostel room. I wanted to wear a salwar-kameez in my wedding ceremony. No, I am not crazy or looking for any attention by doing things differently. And there was a time when I tried frantically to adhere to the expectations. But I just don’t fit into “roles” easily. Not even now.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Digital Games And Kids- A Different Perspective

I can't meet a single parent these days who does not that my kid  is glued to the mobile/laptop screen always. I sail in the same boat. And frankly, I don't think we can evade this evil. So I found out something about this situation.

The “Wikipedia problem” which means children turning to internet for readymade answers is the new age phenomenon baffling teachers and mentors globally. There are almost equal numbers of teachers who consider technology to be a solution as much as a problem. While a common belief is that technology is hindering the students’ capacity to think and analyze, there is also a strong opinion in favor of video games and digital gadgets ability to engage students and enhance learning by using more than one sensory stimulators. In spite of the growing concern about the students’ deteriorating attention spans, institutions are incorporating digital games in the process of classroom learning.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Thank God "I" am not my mother!


Rains have different effects of different people. While some crib about the muddy roads, traffic jams and humidity, there are some who wish they could shed all the worldly inhibitions and run out in the rain to get all soaked (Some actually do). I belong to the second lot. When I see the rains, I reminisce about my childhood where I would run out and play in the rains as long I as wanted. And when I would come home, my mother would give me a cup of hot milk with turmeric. I remember she used to give me an extra pair of socks to change in school so that I could splash in the pot holes while I bicycled my way to school. Monsoons were times to enjoy in those days and not worry about the communicable diseases it brought with it.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

I am Sorry! Am I too Polite?




We are living in the era of AIB roast. Now, I don’t have anything against AIB, but presenting it as a form of entertainment is something that I don’t agree with. Hurling profanities, insults, curses and using the F-word in every second sentence is considered cool (?) and modern these days. And I am referring to the set of people who belong to good families and have had a great upbringing; not that road-side under-educated lot who make the former set squirm whenever they come near. They probably use the same vocabulary but in Hindi or any other regional language and hence are not cool or modern.

Now call it a generation gap, but I do not agree that you have to be inconsiderate or use the F-word to make your point. Many of those reading this will agree that we have had a stricter and a more disciplined childhood than our kids. We were raised in an environment where raising our voices above the elders’ voice was considered the most obnoxious form of indiscipline. In fact, I have used a “dirty” word only once in my life and that was when I was so angry that I was sure my brains will blow out of my skull and I will die anyway(Stupid, right! I know).

But the norms are changing. Expletives are being accepted in normal course of conversation and it is considered a sign of being tolerant. Yes, you read that right. You are being tagged intolerant if you get offended when somebody uses an F-word in your presence. I have come across blogs and websites which had statements like “do not bother to respond if you don’t have time”. I agree you want to make your point very clear but this is outright rude.

At the risk of sounding like an “aunty”, I must say that if you can’t sprinkle your sentences with basic courtesy, at least don’t adorn it with unnecessary harsh words. Government does not tax you if you use please, thank you and sorry. Neither do you have any subsidy for being “modern”. I mean, “please leave” sounds so much nicer than “F*** off”. Doesn’t it?

Anyway, India is a democratic country and everybody is entitled to his right to speech. So as the cool generation continues with their colorful vocabulary, I will stick to my conventional style of conversation. Does it sound boring? I am sorry but I can’t help being polite.

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Book Review- Ramayana-The Game of Life: Stolen Hope

                                                       


Why do snakes have a forked tongue?
How did Sitaphal (Custard Apple) get its name?
Why don’t the squirrels hurt themselves even after falling from heights?

Stolen Hope is the third book in the series and follows The Game of Life: Shattered Dreams and gives you answers to such simple yet intriguing facts. Shattered Dreams captured that part of Ramayana where King Dasaratha gives Rama 14 years of exile and reserves the throne of Ayodhya for Bharata due to a promise made to Keikeyi. Stolen hope is an account of thirteen years of Rama’s exile along with Sita and Laxmana who accompanied him in the arduous mission.

Rama, Sita and Laxman are supposed to spend fourteen years in exile. However, they do not perceive this as a punishment. The regret of not being able to enjoy the royal life does not cross any of their minds. Instead, they look forward to the company of august sages and the teachings that will come their way during these fruitful years. The glory of the Trio precedes them and they are welcomed warmly wherever they go. The inhabitants of Dandakaranya, Janasthana and Panchavati not only shower their love and blessings on them but also guide them for their onward journey. Every living being around them is grateful and obliged to be able to serve the mighty and benevolent Rama. Rama also religiously follows his vow to eliminate Rakshsas who torment the naïve sages and helpless humans. After spending thirteen long years in different forest habitats, the Trio was looking forward to return to Ayodhya and meet Bharata and rest of the family. They decide to spend their last year of exile in the beautiful forest of Panchvati. However, the otherwise serene life of these three ad-hoc ascetics is upturned when Ravana abducts Sita and leaves Rama and Laxmana wondering about her whereabouts.

Having read the earlier books in the series, it was convenient for me put the pieces in sequence. However, even if you have not read the Book 1 & 2 of the series, you will not feel lost because of two reasons: first, almost of all us, at least in India, are aware of the basic plot of Ramayana and second, the author has given a summary of both the previous books in the beginning. The format of this book is similar to the earlier one. Simple words and alignment of important incidents as short comprehensible stories is what makes this series stand out. I particularly like the footnotes given on each page that highlight the importance of age-old classic to our day-to-day life. Ramayana, needless to say, is full of wise teachings but its application in practical life is lost in comprehension. Shubha Vilas bridges that gap for us.

The captivating cover page is also worth a mention here. Stolen Hope captures the thirteen years of exile in 300 odd pages readable in 3 days, at the most 4. And I certainly look forward to the Book # 4 of Ramayana- The Game of Life.

My Rating:

About the Author: Shubha Vilas is a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker. He holds a degree in engineering and law with specialization in IP: Patent Law. His leadership seminars such as Secrets of Lasting Relationships’, ‘Soul Curry to Stop Worry’ and ‘Work–Life Balance’ are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He also helps individuals deal with modern-life situations by applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

On the Horizon of 2016



From 2015 to 2016. Only one year. Only twelve months. Or 52 weeks. But it has 365 days. 525600 minutes and  31536000 seconds. Most days in a year are those mundane, go with the flow type of days when nobody on the planet seems to be doing anything worthwhile. Same old routine, same set of people around you and the same old feeling of feeling nothing. But there are some days or even some moments which completely change your life as you know it. And that doesn’t happen very often. Once in six months, may be once in a year but when that moment passes, it leaves you thinking “what the hell just happened”. For me, 2015 had more of those life changing or attitude changing days than those mundane ones. I know its clichéd, but 2015 did pass in a jiffy and left me wondering about a lot of things.

2015 had been benevolent. Health, happiness, prosperity and abundance flowed all through the year. Made new friends, fought with the old ones but then had a great time with all of them. I will always remember 2015 as the year in which I lost a dear friend. I realized the how fragile and impermanent life is. All your plans for the future go for a toss by a mere nod of death. I also mark 2015 as the year in which I decided to discover myself. Do something I have always been planning to do, read something I always wanted to and also shun things which I abhorred.

If there is one thing that 2015 taught me, it was to be thankful. I have always been the “thinking” types. I think about the women under Taliban reign when I am freely doing what I want to do, wearing what I want to wear. I think about the refugees of war and their losses when I look at my family. I think about the farmers who commit suicide for a few thousand rupees when I spent the same amount on something not even worth mentioning. But all this thinking makes me grateful for what I have. And 2015 just accentuated that feeling for being thankful for what we have and what we could have had.

As I put up a brand new calendar of 2016 up on the wall, I feel so hopeful, so determined. No resolutions, no promises, no unrealistic goals for me. I want to live every day being healthy, happy and thankful. Yes, I am going to try something new. Do something for the first time in my life but I also want to care for what I have. I want to see love on the horizon of 2016 for every day of the year. Yes, there will be challenges, there will be those totally uninteresting day, there will be melancholy around some corners but as I look at the horizon I know a lot of love will be sprinkled over the year.

Have a benevolent 2016!

And I am glad “I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.”

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