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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Eternal Love...

She could hear hushed voices of people talking in the other room, people close to her, people who she knew cared about her; yet she could not understand what they were hiding from her. She tried to listen hard but the outside traffic and the low rumbling of the air conditioner did not allow her. After some time which felt like ages she got up from her chair. Although her knees hurt a bit making her realize she was not young anymore yet she was strong and bold enough to demand her answers. How much ever they love her they have no right to hide things from her as if she was weak and could not bear the truth. Yet she moved towards the room half afraid of what she may come to know. She crossed the room in 3 swift steps and looked behind the flowing curtains, her heart skipped a beat. Perhaps it was better that she had not gotten up. Still curious she tried to look what or who was under the white sheet; she realized tears had started flowing down her cheeks. She wanted to see and make sure it wasn’t her worst fear coming true but tears had blurred her vision and then suddenly she saw.

Parvati opened her eyes and realized it was just a dream, a very bad dream. She looked at her side and saw the old man with grey balding hair snoring next to her. Earlier when she was young she didn’t like the snores, she was a light sleeper and they disturbed her a lot but these days she was glad for them. She could hear the birds chirping outside, the bells of a nearby temple ringing, it must be morning she thought. She checked the time, it was 10 minutes to 6AM. She knew it was useless to go back to bed now. While brushing her teeth she saw an old and wrinkled face looking back at her. She looked at her reflection and thought how beautiful she used to look once. She saw the creams and facewash her daughters had given her and for a second thought to use them. But then she chided away the thoughts and just used plain water as always. After some time she went in the balcony to listen to her favorite morning music and enjoy her tea with her lovely plants. Parvati was very fond of plants since childhood. In youth she was very busy to invest time in her hobbies and likes but now it was different. In her small garden there were many plants – silver jade, pothos, aloe vera, money plant etc. She treated them like her own children and it seemed they treated her back like a mother. Music and tea were her other passions. She loved soft music, a gift to her from her father and tea, from her mother. Life was like that for her and Shirish, quiet and simple. But they were not a boring couple at all, they had a big friend circle and occasionally went for vacations and although married, their kids always wanted their help in shopping. Life was good but Parvati knew they were getting old. Both of them were diabetic patients staying together alone. That’s why she was lately very particular of their eating habits. This dream of her was actually her worst fear and she didn’t want to think about it again… ever.

And then it happened. It was summer time, Parvati had forgotten about her dream. Her son and his family had come to stay with them over holidays. Aarav was tall and fair with broad shoulders, something he had taken over from his father and they both sounded same. That night was very sweet, with kids running in the playground, Shirish, Aarav, and their daughter in law, Aakriti, discussing politics. She was sitting with them and quietly capturing all this in her mind to relish it later. They slept late that night to be woken up at 5AM by Shirish. He was perspiring heavily and seemed short of breath. Parvati ran and called Aarav and they rushed to the hospital. That 10 mins drive had been her longest journey till date. She suddenly remembered her dream and hated herself for that.

It had been a month after that and still she felt like it was yesterday. She recalled how Shirish had helped her in kitchen to cook variety of dishes and had stocked up the fridge with fruits and ice creams for the kids. How she had worried about the expenses as they were living on pension and he had skided away saying he still earned enough to feed his family. How they had come to the hospital and after numerous checkups doctors had confirmed that they need to operate him for Heart surgery. Their other children had arrived as soon as they heard the news. People all around her were talking about bills, doctors, checkups, procedures but her mind was fixed on one thought – it can’t be true. They still had so many places to go, so many things to see, so many plans to fulfill. Suddenly a loud snort brought her out of her thoughts. She looked besides her and saw Shirish sleeping. A tear escaped her right eye and ran down her cheek. It was all over, she thought. All what was left now was the path to recovery. She saw the time, it was almost 6 but today she wanted to sleep a little longer and so she did holding the strong hands of this man whom she loves a lot.

Monday, May 8, 2017

What is microwave used for ?

So you have a microwave and you are wondering what else you can do with it? Well we have a whole list of things just for you:-

1) To warm Tea/Coffee -  After becoming mother this is one thing for which I cannot thank my micro more. Reason, I guess all moms know, as soon as my tea is ready something will come up with my baby which I always takes a priority. And I don't like drinking cold tea or drinking 4 cups of tea just to get the 5th one hot. So tadaaa... just re-heat the cup in micro for 20 seconds and its done!

2) Warming cooked food - We all know this use. The only thing we need to remember is to stir the vegetable or curry in between so that it heats up properly from all the places. Microwave heats up food through waves so if not stirred the food can be hot from some places and cool from other.

3) Cooking rice - Third most useful thing is cooking rice in microwave. As I am still not sure about the negative effects of using Plastic for cooking I go with Ceramic bowl. Its easy to cook and serve, moreover I don't need to rush to stir or lower the gas.

4) Making cake - I love making cakes. In my pre-oven days I used micro a lot to make cakes. There are some very easy recipes over the internet. My simple egg-less cake is always a win win.

5) Making idlis - After 2 years of struggling with cooker to make idlis and then feeling sad about all the mess and no food to eat, I gave up making idlis and turned to uttapam. But then I saw an online post about making idlis in micro. Its not just easy but pretty quick too. It takes only 2 minutes to make 8 idlis!

6) Occasional cooking - I do sometimes cook some vegetables using Micro. Although it is not as convenient as I am used to normal cooking but its definitely a change of taste. Try it when you want to do something new in your kitchen.

5 silly things every girl secretly admits doing

So straight away to the point. Here you go!

1) Tasting whiskey : Sometimes curiosity wins over rules or ideals set by family. Whether it is taking an innocent sip from Dad's bottle, or  trying it out with friends this one almost all of us have done. And have immediately felt disgusted by the taste of it.

2) Washing face with baby wash to get soft skin - Thanks to the advertisement explaining how soft baby skin really is, we have all wondered whether the baby soaps also deserve some credit. I remember using it regularly when I had my first kid just for the fun of it. Who knows it might work :)

3) Making blank/prank calls to that high school crush - Ok we all had our high school crush. Whether we shared it with our BFF or we kept it secretly hidden in our heart but the fact is we all had that guy in our life who skipped our heartbeat whenever we saw him. And we have all tried to play around with those feelings by having some fun. I personally don't understand even today why I did it but for sure it was fun!

4) Saying something stupid about your friend n then worrying that she will get to know - The first part may not be a secret. But the second one is for sure. We girls tend to speak so much that sometimes we say things we weren't supposed to, half of the time we don't even mean them as we are just trying to either be a part of conversation or sympathizing with someone. But when we recall we do worry if the message will get over. That's why girls have so much drama in their friendships. I am sure some of us our not proud of it and may just deny we id something wrong in first place.

5) Not going out so as to avoid choosing what to wear - Girls are lazy too. Plus we have so many different types of clothes for different places. Not to forget other thoughts like "oh, my hair are so messy", "oh, my legs need some shaving...", "I am not in a mood to do all that just to go out somehwere". Sometimes we are glad to sit at home n chill.

If you think you have some more secrets which you can share with us do put your comments here. Also share the article to see if your friends have same secrets too :p

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

9 different things to do with BFF

Isn't having BFF one of the best thing in the world. But who do you call a BFF? And what do we do with them that makes them so special? Here I composed a list of things... do let me know what else you do in the comments section

1) Who's who - Well, may be its called gossip or may be its just being up to date. But discussing who's who with your friend is surely some time well spent.

2) Discuss cosmetics - Well that's no surprise. There are tremendous number of cosmetics available in the market. One cannot try 100 mascaras to know which one is best. So here comes BFF to the rescue. She will tell you the nest mascara, best lipstick and best compact. Plus she knows your skin type so will give personalized tips too ;)

3) Wine Sisters - She will be your wine sister. Its always important to have a wine sister, its like a sacred bond you share with that other girl. You have some deep conversations (pun intended) which only you two understand. Moreover you don't want to be alone when laughing loudly on a joke or dancing on the dance stage.

4) Plan trips - You can plan trips with her. I usually plan trips with my BFF on which I can never go. Once my friend told me she just wants to leave the world and go on mountains alone. I said I want same but we will stay alone together. We planned everything even though we knew we couldn't go but it felt great.

5) Share deepest secret - Or should I say share your darkest secret. Things you wont normally tell people for many reasons - they are embarrassing, people may judge you for being bad or fool.

6) Discuss boys - All men think we discuss them. Well its not completely false we do discuss them once in a while. Another way of knowing the girl we are with is totally compatible with our likes and dislikes :)

7) Share common tips - There's so much to share with your girl friend. And you know she is listening to your nonsense and will not just take it seriously but will give some advice too as she has gone through the same. You love her because she doesn't think your worries are baseless or based on your monthly cycle.

8) Watch movies - Some movies are fun watching only with your girl besties. You have same choices, you oohh and aahh on same scenes and you can even cry without embarrassment because she may be doing the same.

9) Plan more dates - And then you plan more dates with her so that the good times continue...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

India and Indians ...

While I was reading the articles about moving back to India, I saw so many points why one shouldn’t do it - environment pollution, infrastructure, inflation, poverty, non professionalism, and so on. There was so much and so many that although I do agree with them but still I got  a bit angry and saddened by those remarks. So few thoughts popped up my mind....

I ask myself “Who builds nations?” and I get the answer “people”. Am I wrong here? May be it should be the government. But how can a governing body build a nation? They can just govern! It’s same like in our offices. Our management and governing body doesn’t build the company. Company is built by the employees… we are the ones who work hard and build it. And what will happen to the company if we start complaining? and then we stop working because we are so angry with them… and we just complain? I think we know the answer - the company will slowly shut down!

I am afraid the same is happening with our country. If I see progress of India, lets say, after independence, we achieved a lot, its not hard to tell … and then we were born… we studied... we day dreamed… and then we faced the reality and compared it with others in developed nations... we got annoyed of why we didn’t had all those and instead of continuing the hard work… we started complaining. The more we knew how better we could have been, the more we complained!

When I was in India, I didn’t care that I didn’t knew how to swim or play guitar when I was in school.   But when I came here and saw kids doing it, I felt bad for myself and started complaining that India doesn’t provide all these facilities... how convenient!

But when I see my dad back there, I see a man who still cares. He doesn’t complain… of course he gets mad about the traffic jams. But he knows that after few months when the construction will be over and flyover will be up it will ease the traffic. May be he has seen how the nation has developed. He has gone through inflation too, faced some “real” difficult times, and has seen many good and bad ministers. But he still makes it a point that the road outside his house is clean. He doesn’t need to wait for a “swatch bharat abhiyaan” to tell him to live in a clean environment. If he knows municipality guy will not take responsibility to clean it, he will hire labor, or will ask domestic helper or will even clean it himself. He is angry sometimes of course… but not frustrated. He and many dads out there have built the nation and are doing so even today!
And we the “more” educated ones, we see, we discuss, and we complain - Facebook, Twitter, Quora - so many places are there to vent out our frustration… Shouldn’t we too try to apply our knowledge and skills to bring out change… indeed we can continue complaining - its fun, its easy and it is the first step to identifying problem… but lets not stop here… lets keep building the nation!

We know we can do it from inside or outside of India. We are intelligent people facing challenging situations and fierce competition daily. We know we just need to add it to our list of “goals” we have set for the upcoming years, and we will achieve it. We know we just need to find a little time in our busy schedule and “do” something to bring a change… If we have time to update social networking sites I am sure we have time to think about how we can help India become a better nation. We are Indians after all  “Once we set our minds on something we will for sure achieve it”

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How do we really empower women

Last time I wrote about “What is women empowerment?”. So we all know and at some level understand the problem of women (when it comes to empowerment). And all the stories or, in some cases, hyperboles doing rounds of social networking sites have forced us to really think about the matter and we want to do something about it? But what should we do apart from re-posting or sharing the status update/tweet?

May be we can keep it in our To Do list of Social work need to be done after retirement or during career break. But then there are already so many important causes to fight for – malnutrition, save the planet, basic education for kids and so on. Yet still it’s hard to ignore the matter as deep down we know the problem exists. Almost all of us have seen something similar happen in our house with our mom, sister, aunt, friends, helpers. So here below I give few pointers which we can start doing from now at our homes without disrupting our day to day activities.

Before reading the “how tos” it would be good to remember few things – Women are emotional A woman can bear huge pain but small day to day things matter them. So the points below may feel too small or unworthy to you but they actually matter to her. If you still have doubts it wont hurt to apply them and see for yourself. Also these how tos are not just for men, women are equally responsible – look around you – your sister-in-law, mother-in-law, sister, mom, helpers – respect all women and you will get it back.

1)      Hear her - Include the women in your house in important decision making. No one is asking to take their word as final. Most of the times women just want to be heard. If you don’t agree don’t just shun the point. Give her valid reasons and she will be happy.

2)      Ask her opinion – especially when it comes to matters related to her. Which study course she wants to take, whether she wants to learn cooking, whether she wants to get married.

3)      Protect her – I don’t mean just physically. Most men are very good at that. I mean emotionally protect her. If you feel some decision will hurt her sentiments or she should be a part of it then speak for her. Nobody asks to put up a fight but trying to be diplomatic won't hurt.

Another scenario is if someone is pointing about her dressing sense or the way she carries herself the least you can do is ignore the comments, even better would be to reply back to the commenter but in social circles as we all know its not always possible. People always talk.. But before preaching her about the same, make sure you too feel its wrong and have valid reasons.

4)      Spend “quality” time with her – Especially for spouses living with families (parents, kids, grand parents). After busy and hectic working day its difficult to take out time for everyone. But spending quality time with your spouse will actually lessen your stress and make you two feel more connected.

5) Care for her - Caring can be done by as simple gesture as asking what she would like to eat for dinner one day in a week. Or when your mum asks you about your opinion you ask your sister too. Care can be shown in simplest of acts. You will be surprised that some of your actions may bring tears in her eyes.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Meeting expectations

I read an article today about the great Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan. In his interview to the newspaper he has described how even after acting for around 200 films he still feels nervous before a shoot. Even when standing in background he is cautious about his body posture. He also mentioned that he has sleepless nights. While reading the article I was wondering how a legend like him can be so tensed for something that comes naturally to him and what he has been doing for more than half of his life (he is 76 at present). And then in the next few lines I read the reason. He is concerned about people liking the movie and his role; about meeting their expectations.

This isn’t the case only with our most loved superstar, it happens with everyone and everywhere. We are constantly trying to live up to people’s expectations. The more good work we do the higher the expectations. The more praise we get the more fear of being failed. It forms a vicious circle. 

“My boss loved my work and promised me a promotion. I better not let him down”
“Dad and mom believe I am very intelligent and can land into a good job. I better find it fast”
“My elder brother was one of the toppers in university, everyone in friends and family expects me to be the same. What if I can’t meet their expectations?”

Although this fear is not bad and helps us stay motivated; but many times it introduces unwanted stress. Seeing today’s busy lifestyle and higher levels of competition it is not surprising that even school kids need to take anti-stress pills. However remembering this simple fact helps us to change our perspective – “I don’t need to please everyone, just give my best. Because people liked me in the first place  for what I am, so if I give my best they will keep appreciating me.” And anyways taking the pressure doesn’t help.
So are you stressed or thinking too much about something at the moment? Just reflect back to check if its not based on “people’s expectations”

Monday, April 20, 2015

What is Determination?

If we need to answer this in literal sense Determination means "The quality of being determined". And Determined means "having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it".

No wise man will disagree that one should be determined to achieve success. In fact we have so many famous quotes enforcing the same:

"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." - Og Mandino

"What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it." - Alexander Graham Bell

"Never go backward. Attempt, and do it with all your might. Determination is power." - Charles Simmons
But this makes me wonder what if the person is going in wrong direction? What if he is determined, strong will powered and focused but his aim will be negative for him or worse for humanity? Are these quotes still valid? Perhaps yes, as there have been many great wars in history by negative but great people.

"Determination becomes obsession and then it becomes all that matters." - Jeremy Irvine

Another point to think is that when some people realize that already too much negative has been done and their self-conscience warns them, they tend not to listen. They don't want to retreat as they have already come so far and in the pretext of determination keep pushing themselves further and further until it's too late.

And worse are the influencers who conveniently use these quotes to mislead people as the quotes don't speak of direction. And, as always, the difference lies in individual's hands. He should decide what's right and wrong. He should decide when determination should be left and paths be changed. It takes more courage and will power to challenge ones own decision and redirect ones own path. He should decide whether to be the Great Ashoka, who after realizing the destruction done after his conquest of Kalinga changed his path to spread peace through Buddhism, or to be Hitler, whose actions led to World War II.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A walk in Silicon Valley, California

Few years back (in 2011) I got the chance to visit The silicon valley, CA. For me an IT professional it was like a dream come true. For me it was like "chaar dhaam ki yatra" (visiting famous temples). I wanted to see all the famous companies and how their offices look like. So one fine day me and my friends took our car and visited these famous places. (source taken for this post is from Wikipedia)


First we went to facebook and this is what their sign board looks like

We were lucky enough to enter their reception area where we saw this board signed by, I guess, fans.

Some quick facts about facebook:
  • The website's primary color is blue as Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind; he explained in 2010: "blue is the richest color for me—I can see all of blue"
  • Facebook is built in PHP which is compiled with HipHop for PHP, a 'source code transformer' built by Facebook engineers that turns PHP into C++. The deployment of HipHop reportedly reduced average CPU consumption on Facebook servers by 50%.
  • On July 29, 2011, Facebook announced its Bug Bounty Program in which security researchers will be paid a minimum of $500 for reporting security holes on Facebook website.
  • India, which has the second largest number of bug hunters in the world, tops the Facebook Bug Bounty Program with the largest number of valid bugs.
  • About Dislike button - Zuckerberg explained in a Q&A session on December 11, 2014, that his reticence was due to a concern about a tone of negativity on the platform—whereby users could "shame" others—and he offered the comment option for situations where people were unwilling to use the like function. However, he said, "We're [Facebook] thinking about it [dislike button] ... It's an interesting question," and said that he likes the idea of Facebook users being able to express a greater variety of emotions. So who knows it might come soon.

Going towards other famous companies


Yahoo! we reached yahoo's headquarters at 701 First Ave, Sunnyvale. Did you know the word "yahoo" is a backronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".

One of the buildings in Yahoo compound.


Well this one is my favourite. I am a big Microsoft fan (although I dont like acting crazy about it).

Some quick facts:
  • Microsoft was found in 1975 (40 years back) by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
  • Number of employees: 128,076 (June 2014)
  • Microsoft Logo - Did you notice the slash between s and o? As per Scott baker, designer of the logo "The new logo, in Helvetica italic typeface, has a slash between the o and s to emphasize the "soft" part of the name and convey motion and speed."
My friend posing next to Microsoft's signboard

New Microsoft logo since 2012


Some quick facts:
  • Founded in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin
  • The company has around 1 million servers in data centers around the world (as per reports of 2007); and processes over 1 billion searches
  • Wont say more, just see the famous google campus below in pics


Some facts about Apple:
  • It is worlds second largest information technology company after Samsung electronics
  • It is worlds largest publicly traded organisation 
  • No of employees - 72,800 As of 2014
  • We all know that Steve jobs gave the name "Apple" but what inspired him is his visit to Apple farm while on a fruitarian diet. The bite was added to the logo to differentiate it from cheery. 

Apple Inc.'s world corporate headquarters are located in the middle of Silicon Valley, at 1–6 Infinite LoopCupertino, California. 


The beautiful valley does not only hold corporate offices of famous IT companies but also the well known Stanford University. Its campus area is 8,180 contiguous acres, has 700 major buildings and 96% of undergraduates live on campus. Isn't it amazing. It is also famous for its entrepreneurial character.

Going towards Stanford university

How it looks from highway

I dont know what is behind this door or what is its significance but it surely is a magnificent piece of work.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lets play with kids for Mommies

For a woman playing with a kid is such a natural expression that people take it "obvious". Indeed for some of them it is really obvious but for some others it is a difficult task. So, apart from the usual games like peek-a-boo, tickling, singing rhymes, being monster mommy, which all women already know; I present a list of other ways of playing with your little one.
  • Dancing - This one is both easy and fun and you don't need to care about the steps. Kids love to dance around and have some giggles. And if you feel stupid then it can be you and your little one's first secret.

  • Kitchen time - You don't need to buy a kitchen set for this. While working in kitchen try giving your little one some small plates, spoon, some safe ingredients and if he is old enough a butter knife. Enjoy the treat!

  • Hide and seek - Well time to relive your childhood memories. Hide behind the curtains, chairs, doors and ask your baby to find you. And to add to fun make a loud sound when he does find you.

  • Ball - Who said only dads can play with ball. And there is more than one way. For instance you can throw the ball on the wall and laugh loud when you are not able to catch it. Or, you can try to do juggling.

  • Cycling - This one will be a fun outdoor activity plus you will do some good exercise. My kid never wants to get off cycle, no matter how much time we already spent.

  • Painting - You may think your kid is still little but he wont disappoint you if you give him some paints and a plain sheet. Try experimenting with him by making use of fingers. Also make sure the clothes you both are wearing are not new. If you are worried that the colors will go in his mouth instead of sheet then wait for a couple of months. You can also try giving him paints specifically for kids.

  • Colors - Ok you are tired of the household chores and don't want to cleanup everything after painting, then comes colors to the rescue. You and your little one both will love to do some coloring. 

  • Drawing - You liked both painting and coloring ideas but you don't have the colors and you ant to do something right now. No worries give your little one a pen/pencil and a paper. Kids never mind and with this one they can surely play for an hour (of course with regular intervals of attention and appreciation)

Friday, April 3, 2015

What is Women Empowerment? Why is it needed?

To understand what women empowerment is we should first try to understand what "Empowerment" is. As per Wikipedia -

"Empowerment refers to increasing the economic, political, social, educational, gender, or spiritual strength of an entity or entities. Sociological empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through..."

The meaning is clear, we need to increase strength of those "weaker" entities or people or community so that they can participate in decision-making processes.

What is women empowerment?
As is clear from above - Women empowerment is nothing but realizing that somehow over the period of time when the concept of society was being formed we left women behind.

Why is it needed now?
Some may question that why do we need to include women in decision-making now as everything in our society is going fine when men are taking decisions. Are they taking wrong decisions? No it is not about men being wrong or women being smarter. It is needed because we have realized that if we continue in the same way we can achieve "something" but if we include the women we can achieve much better and faster results. It is needed because two brains are always better than one. It is needed because some women still don't understand whether the switch should be up or down to turn off the fan. No they are not dumb. They were never allowed to use their brains since childhood. So why is it needed again..

1) Family planning - We all know that this is a very important aspect of our life. This alone can decide that in future a family will grow or shrink financially. We see many women, especially poor, with many kids and wonder why didnt they plan? The answer is quite simple - as you will agree, most of the time it is the woman signaling or reminding about the precautions. Men although mutually agree with the planning easily forget. So in a family where women are not allowed to think or speak or are scared of being beaten up end up having many kids.

2) House management - We all have seen our mothers taking care of the house and know that although we cant see what she does, she is always busy doing something. Her work involves lots of things - minimal wastage of food, water and electrivity, dealing with plumber, gardener, cleaner etc, keep the house clean, buying grocery etc. Here the knowledge and power of decision making is essential. Decisions may be small but can help in day-to-day activities of the house thus making the husband free to focus on work (of course when both are working the household chores should also be shared)

3) Raising Kids - If a mother can decide what is right and what is wrong, then she can guide her kids to become better human being. Fathers are not always there. Mothers are available most of the time (even if they are working) and they know each action of their kids, it's in their nature, but to understand what their kids are doing or asking permission for, she should have some basic education. Or else she will not have the confidence to question them further or say "No"

4) Travel - Although the railways and airways will not like this idea but I see so many husbands going to and fro just to leave their wives at some destination because they dont know or are scared to travel alone. Need I say more...

5) Self protection - Needless to say if a woman is given support from her family and society she will feel more secure. Many times girls hide eve teasing incidents  because they know if they inform their parents they wont be allowed to go out alone. But we also know that cities like Mumbai, where women travel in over crowded local trains, have almost no eve teasing. This is mostly because the men are scared that they will be beaten up by the Ladies crowd. If we empower our women they will be able to protect themselves and other women and will share the burden from men.

But giving power to women is scary?
Yes it is. It is scary to give or share your power with anyone; but the woman we are talking about is your wife, or your mom, or your daughter. We are asking you to be her strength like she is yours. We are asking you to allow her to decide what is good and bad for the family. And we are asking to give a chance to keep her say understanding that she may not be always right and you still have the right to not agree to her.

What is NOT women empowerment?
To all the ladies out there it is very important to understand what is good and what is bad. When we get power we can change things and when we take decisions it has its positive/negative outcomes. This power comes with a great responsibility. For instance, to have or not to have kids should still be mutually decided. Your partner should not feel cheated. If you are not happy in your relationship then having an affair outside of marriage is still wrong unless your partner knows and has no issues (which is rare). When we ask for our rights we should ensure we will not misuse them and that we can be trusted.

Lastly, thanks to all men who are already empowering females around them. We know its not easy to enable someone to question you. We are indeed incomplete without each other.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What is Meditation?

While in college I used to read my Sunday horoscope daily and almost always the last line used to be "You should meditate". And I used to think Ok that sounds cool but how to do it? Should I sit straight and close my eyes and try to think about nothing? But that's very hard and I give up after a minute; or should I chant "Ommmm"?

Now after some years, few sessions, few readings and lot of Meditation I know how to do "it". I thought there may be other people like me who want to Meditate but just dont know how to do it. Before we continue on how to do it let me make one thing clear - Meditation is not religious thing. It is trying to know one's own self, trying to understand what is going within us and trying to see the bigger picture.

To do meditation you can follow these steps:
1) Sit in a room with dim light. You can lie down but sitting is better as while lying down it is easier to drift to sleep.
2) Relax your body - your feet, your thighs, your hands, your shoulders, your back, your eyes, your forehead.
3) Take 10 deep breaths. Try to focus on the air as you breathe-in and breathe-out.
4) Now as the thoughts come try to listen to each voice within you - one-by-one.
5) Try to talk to that voice. May be its your angry voice, may be it scared, may be its confused.. Just try to listen to them. If you have answers, say them if you dont just listen. (This session can take from 5 to 15 minutes)
6) Once you have heard all the voices try to imagine the big picture. Imagine you rising to the roof and looking down at yourself. What you see? Where do you stand in the universe? What is the purpose of your existence? (This session can take 3-10 minutes)
7) Now slowly open your eyes.

When you are doing this session 1st time, it may be a little difficult to do, especially talking to the inner voices. But little patience and it will be okay.

There are many other forms of meditation (first 3 steps being the same). You can see them beautifully written here at yoga journal site.

If you liked it or want something more related to this topic, please leave your comments in the comment section.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Twelve great Toys for kids

We have so many options these days for everything. When it comes to our kids we want to buy the best ones but it is also a fact that the best ones are expensive and you will never know whether your kid will even play with it or just dump it after 2 minutes.

So here is the list of top 10 toys which your kid will definitely love and you can go ahead and buy it for sure.
  1. Mobiles - Cot mobiles, suitable for age 0-6 months, are a great way to engage little ones while you are finishing some household activity or watching your favorite show. The sound is pleasing and your little one will get some good exercise which will help him build his leg and arm muscles.
  2. Teethers - Teethers come in various designs. I myself had them in different sizes but my son never used to take them until he was 6 months old. After that he started playing often with almost all of them.
  3. Night lamp Projector - Although a very nice toy, few people have this however almost everyone has heard about it. The reasons I generally get to know is that toy shops don't have it. Luckily, I got one easily. This toy is used during night time, an image of Cartoon characters rotates on the roof (through laser light) and a light pleasant music is played. The purpose of this toy is that your baby will sleep himself while looking at the images. And yes it really worked for me :)
  4. Caution - Please take care that the laser light should not directly go inside eyes of your baby or his elder sibling. As any other laser light it can harm the eyes.  

    From 6 months onwards you can also play following...

  5. Balls - I love the kids' ball pool, not for the pool but for the 100 balls that we get with them. Of course we can buy the balls alone too. They are light-weight, colorful and so many. You can make n number of games out of these.
  6. Balloons - This one is also one of my and my kid's favorites. Whenever we are bored from our usual toys, we blow up a balloon and run around the house kicking it and laughing loud.
  7. Stacking cups - They look like in figure below. My little one played most with this toy. He loved stacking them and then smashing them on the floor I even used to carry it whenever I went overseas as it doesn't occupy too much space.

  8. After your little one is 1 year old try playing these games...

  9. Kitchen set - Well we have a lot of variety in this and as all babies see their mommy or granny working in the kitchen they love to have their own kitchen set and make some tea for the family.
  10. Soft toys - Although not all kids enjoy playing with them (mine never looked at them into 18 months), but soft toys and soft kids go hand in hand. It's like a symbol that you have baby at home. And they are great to pretend n play group games like teaching. 
  11. Tent - Kids love to have their own tent. Of course no need to buy a beach tent. Kids tent are usually smaller, lighter in weight and cheaper as compared. You can easily place them inside your living room, or any other place in house. My nieces used to take all house cushions inside the tent and also used to invite us inside their tent house ;)

  12. From 18 months onwards add these to your to do list...
  13. Drums - Take out the musician from inside you and your baby and play some loud music and rap a song or even a rhyme.
  14. Blocks - Blocks, like Lego, are great fun to play plus they help kids to develop their motor skills. Even though my kid couldn't construct them when I first introduced him to blocks, he always loved to break the ones I made.

  15. Blackboard - So who doesn't want to pretend n play Teacher Teacher. I never expected my little one to like it too much and bought it just to see his reaction, but he went crazy for it and I had to sometimes hide it as well. Now after few days he is normal but always likes to teach me and others in the house :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Common worries during Pregnancy

So you are going through that phase of your life which many have described as the most important phase of a woman's life... Needless to say you are experiencing a very different set of emotions. And you have a hell lot of questions in your mind. Well, worrying is a natural part of being a mother. From now on you will be always (happily) worried about your baby. Welcome to motherhood!!

Although it is natural to be worried but do remember that this is indeed a very beautiful phase of your life. Moreover what and how you feel it gets transmitted to your baby. Below I have summarized some of the common questions we all (or most of us) think about and also some indicators of when you should see your doctor.

  • What should I eat or not eat - When it comes to eating during pregnancy every community has some good and bad defined. Some say No to caffeine, some say no to papaya, some say eat olives more and so on. As far as I have observed pregnancy is such a naturally managed thing that a pregnant woman will herself develop aversions from all the bad stuff. As a general suggestion we can eat everything in moderation. You can try to avoid caffeine (it is present in cold drinks also) and junk food but once in a while, especially if you are craving then you can safely go ahead. You can also try to avoid food that cause constipation or stomach gas because although harmless but if you get stomach ache you will not know the reason.
  • Can I smoke - I think you already know the answer somewhere in your heart. Smoking is a big No during pregnancy. It may have some serious side effects on the baby or the mother.
  • Can I drink wine - Well this is a tricky question. Some people say occasional wine is fine. By occasional i mean once in a month. For some its a big No for wine too. I personally dont recommend as any amount of alcohol going inside the body may be harmful for the fetus. But still if you want I would suggest to ask your doctor and follow his recommendation
  • Can I put on makeup - All makeup these days have lead and other chemicals in them. But again nothing has been proven yet. So again it depends on you, if you are used to putting on makeup and would feel dull otherwise can put on little mascara, liner and lipstick. The good thing is anyways during pregnancy your skin is glowing with the healthy nutrition supply.
  • Can I take medicines - Self - medication are not recommended during pregnancy. So if you have headache, tooth ache, back ache or any other health issue please see your doctor before taking anything. Even for home remedies please consult someone elderly in your family as not all of them are recommended during pregnancy.
  • Should I do some exercise - Yes of course. In fact some mild exercise will be good during this time. But no need to take pressure, if you are too tired or dont get time little walks daily would also be enough. If you want to explore your exercise options during pregnancy you can see this site.
  • What if I have caeserian - Normally we all avoid caesarian (or c-section) unless we already had one and voluntarily opt for it. But if you want a normal delivery and your doctor has started giving you hints that you may need to go for caesarian that Ok too. with advanced technology and research in this area these days caesarian are not that risky. In fact doctors go for it only to keep mothers and kids safe.
  • Am I putting on too much weight - Yes you are. Should I be worried - No not at all. The average weight a woman puts on during pregnancy is 12 Kgs. But if you are eating healthy and drinking water regularly then there is no need to be worried even if you are putting more than that. In most of the cases it is water retention. If at all it is a concern then your doctor will suggest you some diet changes. but again worrying will only add on to your weight (remember same thing happens in pre-pregnancy time). So stop worrying and bring back that smile on your face.
  • Can I go on vacation - Yes you can go but make sure it is relaxing one and not hectic. Your body is already doing a lot of hard work so dont do too many activities that will exhaust you more. Do talk to your doctor about your plans and if you need to take some precautions/medicines. Normally the safest period is 2nd trimester of your pregnancy.
When Should I see the doctor?
  • If you see any drop of blood when you pee.
  • If you get stomach discomfort
  • If you have stopped feeling baby movements from long time
  • If your water breaks/leaks
  • If you sense something is not right - Trust your intuition and if you feel something is not right then dont hesitate to see your doctor.
Hope this article helped you in some way. Have a happy and safe pregnancy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lets play with Kids Daddy

Who doesn't want to play with kids.... It is the best and most enjoyable way of bonding with the little ones.. For some people it comes so naturally but for others its a complicated science. Here below I am sharing some tips.. feel free to try them and be innovative to twist them a bit

Kids 0-6 months
  • Singing - Yes, babies love to listen to music and their favourite singers are Mom and Dad, whose voices they have heard even in the womb. Caution! :) depending on their taste they may like you doing rock, pop or classic. And if you feel stupid doing it in front of others then spend some time with the baby alone and enjoy! Feel free to try all.
  • Take out - Yes daddy, however modern we become some basic things will remain unchanged and one of them will be daddy taking kids out for a walk. So next time you go to grocery store to buy milk, use this as an opportunity to bond with your kid. You will be surprised to see the quick results.
  • Pretend fights and punches - Dads are the tough guys. So don't hesitate to show your superman side to your kid by doing some fake punches and pretending being hurt when your kid reciprocates. You will love the giggles!
  • Dance - Almost all kids love to dance. Just play some music and dance around with your kid. You can also carry your kid and try ball dance.
  • Cuddles - Its not just mommy who is supposed to give all the cuddles. Daddy can too cuddle and ask/give a kiss and hug.
  • Make funny noises - I dont know what makes my little one laugh so much when every time my husband does it. But it works very well. You can also jump around and do some funny actions.
  • Balloons - No matter what the age is...all kids love balloons. And there is more than one way to play with them. So there you are...
Kids 6-12 months
In addition to above ones now that your baby is little grown up you can also do following activities..
  • Play with ball - Every kid loves to play with ball irrespective of gender. Teach your little one how to kick the ball and you will be surprised how less time it takes to master this skill.
  • Swimming - Go to the nearby pool and take your little one along to swim with you. Babies love swimming a lot but keep it for short duration. The added benefit is they will be tired and sleep for a while so you can get some alone time with your spouse :)

Kids 12-18 months
In addition to above ones you can also do following activities now..
  • Listen - Once your kid starts expressing himself either by blabbering or pointing at things, try to listen to him and understand what he is saying rather than asking your wife to do that. By this time you already know that kids are very intelligent and will trust you more if they know you too understand them.
  • Camping - Lets do some camping. You don't need to go to the beach or park every time. Camping can be fun even in the living room. So grab the cushions, some stuff toys and balls and get inside the tent.
  • Play in sand - Evening fun at beach side. Yes try making that sand castle of your own. Dont hesitate to buy some toys to help you do that. Your little one will be excited and proud of you for your hard work :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tips for a Boring day

Many times I find myself in a situation where I am free but bored. Suddenly all those things that I always wanted to do disappear from my mind. I feel to do nothing yet I want to do something. Oh God, I am so bored!!!

Does it happen to you too? If yes you may go through the list which I created for myself to make sure I don't get across such days very often.

  • Plan your day - Plan your day ahead, that is, atleast one night before. So if you were already bored when you started reading this article then it is a good time to plan now for tomorrow. List down the activities that you will do, may be with a rough timetable too. This will help you to have a "good morning" tomorrow as you will know what you have to do. Some of the activities that you can do are listed below.
  • Jogging - Exercise is one of the best things one can do to kill some time. If you don't like jogging, do some brisk walking, or rent/buy a bike and go biking. Take your iPod/music player, put on the earplugs and yo enjoy! When you come back you will definitely agree with me
  • Home facial - Pamper yourself. Do some home facial, pedicure, manicure. Don't forget to put on your favorite music or movie while doing these activities.
  • Read - Spend some time reading books - like harry potter series :). If you like blogging then you can also spend sometime reading them. These days there are so many interesting sites to look at - Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, How stuff works etc
  • Write - Why not try to pen down some thoughts. You can create your own blog at google blogger or wordpress and share it with your friends and family.
  • Take pictures - Ok you don't need to own a DSLR to click pictures. But you have camera in your phone and lots of free apps to customize your pictures. Dig into the creative side of yours and go out and lick some pictures. You can also post them on social networking sites listed above or blog them on your personal blogger account ;)
  • Color or paint - So you used to paint when you were in school and you were good if not the best. Why not start it again. And this time give your painting skills a meaning by painting your flower pot or crystal glass or create a wall hanging.
  • Cook - Why not try your hands on some new recipes. I tried Chocolate mousse and pancakes recently and really they were not that difficult as they sound. You just need to google and buy the right ingredients. All the best!

  • Learn something new - You can also enroll yourself into any classes - swimming, aerobics, yoga, martial arts or French. Just think what was that one thing that you always wanted to learn but couldn't.
I hope these points will help you like they helped me from getting bored. The main point is not to get into that vicious circle of boring days. So you need to promise yourself that you will never get bored again.

One day to pamper yourself !!!

So you want to look beautiful for that big date and you have got some time to pamper yourself. You will find in this article few tips to prepare yourself from head to toe.

When it comes to taking care of one's skin and hair, personally I believe in going with natural elements rather than cosmetic. By natural I mean nature-al and not the natural cosmetics. If you do these below steps you will see that you may not need to use cosmetics at all while getting ready...

This article will guide you step-by step how to get ready for that outing. Feel free to customize it as per your wish!

Good Morning - Wake up at 6:45 AM

7:00AM to 7:30AM - Start the day with some yoga. I specifically say yoga because it tones your body and makes you feel flexible and sexy. Always remember to do some warm up before doing the tough asanas (positions). If you are more concerned about belly fat then you can try surya namaskar  (you can start with 5 times a day). Although one day wont help a lot but it will still tone little your stomach muscles. Actually if you start doing surya namaskar even 7 days before you can see results. Here you will find a very good and organized site for yoga asanas

7:30AM to 8:00AM - Meditation. Its not a secret anymore that stress ruins your hair quality, your skin and your mood. Although this is an optional step it will be good to release some stress before you go ahead with other things. One simple form of meditation is to sit with your eyes closed and relax your hand and feet and then your entire body. Take 10 deep breaths. Whatever thoughts are coming let them come. Feel the air as you breathe. Now address all the feelings one-by-one. Just listen to them. You can keep doing this until you have heard all your thoughts. Now try to sit calm for 5 more minutes. Try to see yourself as a part of universe and see the bigger picture. Once done you can slowly open your eyes. Sometimes if you enter deep trance when you open your eyes your head may feel heavy but it is okay. You will feel much lighter later on.  For details about meditation you can see my this blog or for details refer this great site.

8:15AM to 9:15 AM - Home facial - You can of course always go to saloon and get a facial. But in case you want to do it yourself here are simple steps on how to do it. I dont know why but I find home facials more effective then the parlour ones. For all the below steps if you need to rub your face please do it in circular motion upwards to avoid wrinkles.
  • Start with cleansing your face and applying toner after
  • Next scrub your face for at least 2 minutes or as guided on the product. Wash your face with normal water.
  • You can opt to take steam - for this put your face over a pan of boiled water so that the steam touches your face. You can cover your head with a towel to make sure that the steam doesn't escape.
  • Now take a black head remover and try to remove the black or white heads. They are more prominent near the t-section of your face.
  • Now take the facial cream and apply it on your face and leave it for 15 minutes or as directed on the product. Also soak 2 cotton balls in rose water and put it on your eyes.
  • After that you can remove it with a clean wet sponge and wash your face.

9:15 - 9:45 - Hair Spa - Everyone knows beautiful hair add to great looks but still somehow we tend not to take care of them. To make your hair loom shiny and strong you can apply egg white or yoghurt on your hair and leave them for 15 minutes. Then wash your hair with your regular shampoo. This may be a bit messy but its worth it!

Afternoon/evening time - As you may already be tired by now whenever you get free time you can do pedicure and/or menicure. Please make sure you have removed your nail polish before starting. Take some warm water mixed with shampoo. Play your favourite movie and sit with your feet soaked in it. Before sitting please take moisturiser, socks, towel, foot scrub and your pedicure set (I usually take just the filer to clean my nails and file them). While enjoying your movie you can simply take one feet at a time, scrub them, clean your nail cuticles and file your nails while putting back your feet in water. After around 20 minutes you can wipe your feet with towel and apply moisturizer. Please wear socks to make sure you don't dirty them immediately.

All the best and Have a great day !!!