IF TOYS COULD SPEAK…

I tucked little Aarnav in bed and swiftly made my way out of his room. Just as I was about to close the door behind me I thought I heard someone murmur. I was sure that it wasnt Aarnav because he cannot speak whole sentences yet. So who was it?I stepped back to the room and held my mobile phone’s torch in the direction of the sound. I couldn’t believe my eyes….All the toys of Aarnav had climbed down from the toy basket, apparently they were off for a night walk. I was pretty amused at this sight and decided to stay out of their way just to see what they were up to.A motor biker was pretty upset because Aarnav had tried to pull him away from the bike and when he didnt budge Aarnav got angry and threw him away. He said, “Such small fella he is and he hurled me? Like me??? I banged straight on the sofa, thank God I was wearing a helmet!” 😡Other toys continued. “Oh yes, I agree. The other day this little monster wanted me to dance. And he put in the battery cells wrong. Where will I get energy to dance, tell me! I couldnt. So he got bored of me and dumped me back to the basket. Huh..” Complained the dancing elephant. 🐘Other toys also more or less supported the motor biker and the dancing elephant. I sighed! So my Aarnav was a “little monster” in the eyes of toys. Hmmm… after all he treated them like that!My thoughts were broken by a sweet melodious voice. It was a baby doll. She said, “Hey guys, no.. he is not a little monster, he is so cute. I totally crush on him…. ❤” Someone else continued, “I agree. He is a sweet little kid. He plays so well with me. He takes me everywhere he goes. I am his favourite! 😎” It was the rainbow stacker taking pride in himself.Just then my phone beeped and all the toys ran back to their basket. I felt a strong urge to rub eyes and slowly I could see the sun shining through the balcony of my window. Oh! So it was a dream….! I had had a toy dream… I rushed to Aarnav’s room to check if even a bit of it could be true and I saw all the toys neatly placed in the basket. So, dream it was!But on a serious note, have you ever imagined what the toys would have to say? Sometimes I dont like how Aarnav uses his toys and I constantly keep telling him not to throw them. I try to include him when I am gathering his toys at the end of the day so that he understands that they should be placed neatly in their basket and starts caring for them. I try to mend the toys that he breaks like sticking them back with a fevicol or doing some or the other jugad so that he knows that broken toys are not completely useless. I rotate his toys so his curiosity and love for a particular toy never dies. Nevertheless, Aarnav some times doesn’t care about his toys. He is still small, but I have made a promise to myself that I will raise my kid to care for his toys and other belongings.

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MAKE A WISH

Most of us perhaps must be aware of this childhood memory – Got a tiny lash under your eye, put in on hand, make a wish and blow. That’s how we as ignorant and innocent children made infinite wishes and believed them to come true some day!

Sometimes I wish-

I could be a child again,

I could fly into the sky,

I could reach the stars,

I could slide on a rainbow,

I could be friends with the birds,

I could wander fearlessly around the earth,

My grown up child could be a toddler again,

The 24 hour day could be longer again,

Sometimes I just wish…

With the flick of the wand, I could reverse the damage caused by the pollution, or I could stop rapes and killings, or could just live a day with the lost loved ones who passed away without bidding me bye…

Sometimes I just wish…

I could reach a destination by skipping the travel time,

I had a decoder that tells me what’s going inside my child’s mind,

I wish I had a baby girl – though this wish was struck off at the time of the birth of my second son when my gynaecologist jokingly told me that she will take my boy because I blamed her for the birth of a male child!

Wishes! Wishes! Wishes! Our wishes are endless. We never stop being demanding and continue to wish something or the other in life. That’s human nature!

We have possible wishes which we dream of coming true and there’s nothing wrong in that. It’s alright to wish and live in the hope of coming true. But, apart from just wishing, keep trying and praying. Who knows someday, sometime your wish may get answered!

And I sincerely wish that all your wishes come true. Keep the faith.

SOMETHING I DON’T UNDERSTAND

We as human beings, are capable to comprehend so many things happening around us. Still, we are unable to understand many of the things. It is not that our mind is not so developed or is childish. It might be the case with some of us but we are at least capable to understand the basic things. But I don’t understand a few things. These are:

    1. People don’t pay heed to generic things: I remember ever since I started to read science books during my school days, we were taught to SAVE WATER. We also took oath on various occasions to save water and make the optimum use. But do we actually do that? On railway stations, hotels, and at somebody’s house we waste water by thinking, it is not going from my pocket. A similar thing goes with electricity and food. People hardly understand it is going from our own earth
    2. People not giving seats to elderly people: Like other people, I have been using public transport for going to my office and to come back to my place ever since I came to Bangalore. Almost every day, I find people, who would shamelessly sit on the seats and would feel no need to let the senior citizen sit. Moreover, some men will even remain seated on ladies’ seat stating that they are sitting with their family on the seat. I don’t understand why do people talk about social norms and not follow them in their real life.
    3. People treating animals badly: Humans are no doubt the most powerful creation of the Almighty. He gave brains to humans and many other qualities. Still, we don’t use our brains when it comes to treating animals. There are some people who  won’t bother if a dog is sleeping on the footpath. They will intentionally ride their bike over the limbs or the tail of the dog thinking that how does it matter? Really? Would you like being treated the same way?
    4. People thinking garbage pickers to be dirty: It is an irony that we dump garbage here and there on roads in the open and we consider ourselves to be clean. On the other hand, those who clean garbage and take it to dump somewhere far from the population are considered to be dirty and unhygienic. 

Well, there are so many other things that people don’t understand or they choose to ‘not understand’. Whatever it is, the above are the things that I personally don’t understand.

I would be happy if someone could help me to understand these things. 

HONEY! I LOVE YOU…

Honey Glazed Walnuts ?? Yes, yes. Heard you. They are delicious and healthy. But so are honey glazed chicken, honey glazed carrots, sriracha and honey glazed broccoli. Browsing these recipes is like food porn, watching the ingredients bring the dish to life while salivating almost makes me full sometimes. If one has to ask me what is that one versatile ingredient that you would want to experiment with while cooking, my answer without a doubt would be honey. It can be added to any vegetable or meat to bring that twist. Have you tried honey with a bitter gourd? If you love bitter gourd, you should try this. 

My morning routine starts with a glass of warm water with honey and lemon.

honey2
(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

It gives the required kick to the morning. Lemon is refreshing, and the honey helps boost energy.  For many years of my life, my morning beverage was coffee, but once I replaced it with lemon and honey water, I saw dramatic improvements in my health.

Honey acquires its characteristic taste depending on where the bees collect the nectar from. If the honeycomb is an area where Neem plants are more, one could easily taste the bitterness in the honey. 

Honey improves our immunity, which helps us fight a lot of diseases. Are you anemic? Have a tablespoon of honey a day, and you would see improvement in your hemoglobin levels. Honey also is an excellent remedy for cough. Honey was considered a medicine in ancient times, and in India, it is still part of many home remedies. A mixture of honey and ginger juice helps heal sour throat. Honey has antioxidants that can prevent cancer, heart diseases, and in some cases, can heal wounds. 

I was watching a food show a couple of days ago where they said that honey is not recommended for infants less than a year old. I was curious to know if this is true because, in our households, we do give honey to newborn babies. After some reading on different websites, and this is what they say, “Honey can contain spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which can germinate in a baby’s immature digestive system and cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness.” So, let your kid be of a year old before you start giving honey to them. 

little kid looking at homemade pancakes with berries and honey on table
(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

Do you know how to check if the honey you are using is authentic and not adulterated with sugar? Take a bowl, add a tablespoon of honey into the bowl. Add a quarter cup of water to the bowl and gently swirl the bowl. After a few rounds of water on the honey, the honey would look something like a honeycomb. If the honeycomb shape is not formed, you can be sure that the honey is not pure. This amazed me when I tried it. Honey is so versatile, can get along with any food item, helps us stay healthy and all of this while maintaining its own authenticity. This is so important for us humans to understand from honey, honey bees, honeycomb or I must say, the honey-making process all in all teach us to be selfless, have a meaning for life, help others and be kind without losing our own self-identity. 

The glob of precious honey that I had poured into my mouth at Ace’s was the life’s work of hundreds of bees, a unique floral ode collected from thousands of blossoms in a poetic foraging ritual – Holley Bishop

A MENU OF UNCERTAINTY, CHANGE AND GROWTH: ARE WE READY FOR IT!

Hello stranger!  I am not You! You are Not Me! A normal thing to follow a certain lifestyle pattern decked in one’s comfort zone when you walk right into my close guarded space. It’s another tale that I let you in, and oblivious about drastic changes to take place. I am a happy go lucky guy. I not only resist but loathe changes happening in my life. Wanna bet! Ask me to be your 4 a.m soul friend and every chance I will gun you down. Chill! I am kidding.

We live in the age of social media where we have countless strangers on our Friend list which we add and remove as fast as changing partners. It’s our sexless and multiple hookups permeating every single breathe taken. One stranger among many will sashay into our lives like a sprinkle of sweet and sour, chosen by the universe and the divine.  Resistance doesn’t really work and we need to trust that person as a critic who wouldn’t think twice in pushing us beyond limits to heal and offer a perspective that we often blithely ignore.

I call it baby steps where we need to swim against the person tide to remove the stiffness and see things with an open eye. Are we willing to make changes?

A soulmate, a friend or a partner often step in to push us beyond our acceptable limits. In the start, it may hurt and a tough call to walk on a tight rope. It can be any small thing, be it de-cluttering the personal space or making a personal change to a varied lifestyle, from eating healthy to devoting daily 5 minutes meditation and slowly kicking the butt.

There is never a Right time for a change and will probably Never be. We just need to trust this Stranger Friend with whom we connect on a deeper level and small adjustments can trigger a meaningful overhaul.  For a someone getting hitched or getting in a relationship, raw nerves may tick for he or she has to share the personal bed with someone new for the days of splaying all over is no longer a luxury. Next, in line, arrange the wardrobe and don’t just throw the towel on the floor or washroom.  The question is, how many among us are well adjusted psychologically for the life-altering changes? The truth is we are never ready and keep resisting means we will remain stuck in a rut. 

It has always been a tough call on a personal level to make changes. I prefer resisting in most of the case.  But, the honest truth is clinging on to the old means an unwillingness to grow and discarding old things to embrace the new means we are stuck in an immovable past that can often carry the perfect recipe for disaster or a huge burden to carry.

Do we eat Right or indulge in the frills of monotonous sex? Think over it! Add some zing and color to our personal canvas to remove the drab hinging into our existence. Changes need not be drastic. Every single time, add something new to the routine. For instance, sprinkling less salt in the food to cut the body fat.

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WHEN MY HEALTH SIGNALLED ME TO CHANGE LIFESTYLE

Few months after the birth of my first child,  I started having mild pain in the lower back. Thinking that the pain was one of the features of the post-pregnancy and post-delivery life of a mom,  I ignored it initially. “Of course”, I thought, “it’s due to the humongous changes that took place in my body”.

The pain worsened and before could schedule a visit to the doctor,  my back muscles were locked into the ‘catch’ position. Besides not being able to bend,  I wasn’t even able to walk, sit straight or turn on my side while in bed. When I was taken to the physiotherapist,  she immediately said, “It’s because of your sedentary lifestyle. Now, after childbirth, you must be doing so much work than you did earlier,  and since your body isn’t accustomed to take so much pressure, your back is locked.”

I was shocked and afraid at the same time. She said if 3 – 4 times more I face a similar situation,  then I might develop a slip disc. 

I did exercises session with my physiotherapist for a month who helped to strengthen my back. Meanwhile,  my husband got a project in Shanghai and we had to move. I was kind of reluctant to go because of the fear of getting into the similar situation in a foreign country,  where our moms couldn’t visit us easily. My physiotherapist, however, assured me that if I continued with my exercise regimen, nothing will happen. Feeling assured, I moved to Shanghai and yes,  my back did suffer from spasm, as I stopped months after I got better, but then resumed my exercise routine. If I used to get bored with the exercises, I took to dancing with my little one and also taking him in stroller for long walks. 

A couple of years later, when we returned,  my son started his preschool and so my physical activities also increased as I used to play with him. Sometimes I used to take him for nature walks in the morning or race with him in climbing up the stairs, which was great fun.

My job as a homemaker became more demanding after the birth of my second son. With the support of my in-laws, who took care of the children at home, I started working a pre-primary teacher, which in itself requires a lot of physical activities. However,  I had to quit as my husband got a job in a different city. 

Currently, I am back to my full-time job as a homemaker as my younger one has started his preschool. Until I resume my teaching job,  I am keeping myself physically active by doing all the chores myself. I didn’t hire any maid for cleaning the house or washing dishes because I feel that’s the best way I can keep myself healthy and the house immaculate!

CHOOSE A LIFESTYLE YOU WANT – NOT OTHERS

Lifestyle and I had conflicts ever since I was born.

Ever since my childhood being little introspective and determined in a variable way, I ensured to be little more intentional in my every step ahead. My lifestyle choices have always amused me, surprised me, shocked me, bored me as well as condemned me as well as other people in my life in many ways.

Being brought up in a typical Keralite family, I was kind of bound to be more like a Keralite had followed most of the things from my mothers’ footsteps. I had to be invariably the same after a couple of mistakes and challenges I took up to blend in various other lifestyles.

My Conflicts with the Girl inside me

I always wanted to be boyish, but again my features never did justice to my thoughts. My thoughts just remained in my deeds but not in my appearance. To some extent, I believed that being a boy was far better because they had the best reward in life – FREEDOM. I used to hate wearing typical girl shoes and pink dresses. It did not give me the comfort to be more girlish in some way.

Again in the coming years, I realised being a girl was a blessing indeed. It is not about the Freedom, but being a Girl mattered me. (I kind of turned semi-Feminist).

My Conflicts in adapting to dressing style

Any time of the day, all I wanted to wear is a Tshirt and pants, but again here my consciousness being little heavy built failed me here. My dressing style was never acceptable to anyone in the family. When they want me to be a typical Kerala style -Salwar-Clad girl, I wanted to escape from all these barriers.

My Conflicts with my routines

Like every other youngster, I too had a lousy lifestyle- sometimes oversleeping, sometimes overworking and much more. And after numerous trials and errors, the curtain fell over it, when motherhood took over my life. I changed myself to craft a beautiful and convenient lifestyle for my children. Something to blend in the lives around me. It actually worked out giving me sufficient time to manage my own things too, which I felt was a better way to live happily.

As I went abroad too, my customized style never left me. It had become a kind of sheath I used to cover my insecurities. My Lifestyle became a burden to my mind gradually.

My Conflicts led me to be a target at every instance, as it had become a vulnerability in me. The more I had disputes in me the challenges just doubled.

It wasn’t easy to fix a lifestyle that suited me. Off and on  I get so motivated and carried away – and all I do is try to blend in. It never worked in my favour.

Until when I realised. It was better to be Just ME.

The Road to No Regrets

Living by persuasion, without being approved is quite hard. It came in as a late realisation that it is easy to choose what actually suits me and which actually befits me. When I realised, it all came perfectly well to me.

I realised that whatever outside influence comes to my mind, it should never bother me. All I have to do is just be who I am, rather than stop becoming what others want me to be.