SLOW, SMOOTH & SIMPLE!

While Good Health is something that we almost take for granted in our day to day lives, it is sometimes necessary to strike the right balance between work stress and a healthy body.

Yes, the right food coupled with the correct diet and sufficient walking time normally do manage to keep most people fit or afloat to keep going – and then there’s never a dearth when it comes to advice when friends are around. For the many suggestions that my friends/colleagues have showered upon me, I smile, listen & moved on – till this one thing they said…

Read on!

Massage
(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

I guess the above picture says it all, doesn’t it? A good massage after a stressful day at work

At first touch, our heart rate slows down by 10 beats per minute and our blood pressure lowers by 8%

To say I was nervous before settling myself on the fairly narrow leather-ed table/bed, was an understatement. I had read up on the ‘various technicalities’ that happen in course of a massage session (which lasts anything between 45 minutes to an hour) and only after being satisfied with it all, I decided to take the plunge.

It wasn’t a new concept and my friends (who had previously had massages) advised me to be all cool about it – but there is so much of chill you can feel being in bare essentials covering you up. It did feel very comfortable though, I will have to admit.

There were thoughts galore in my mind. Should I ask my masseuse I wondered. Music played in the background, I decided to talk. Now, needless to say, my masseuse was young, pretty and very Indian, my eyes scanned her briefly – at least she’d have soft hands or that is what I had thought initially. As she went about the oils and the rubs, I felt so relaxed… almost felt a song in my head.

She finally beat me to the first question…

“Is this your first time?”

Now, as a  single guy, when you’re asked a question like that from a girl… (irrespective) you’re not sure if you want to tell the truth (I was ‘A Massage Virgin’).

Very quietly I replied “hmmm”.

Not sure if she took it as a pleasuring stroke evoked from her firm hands on my bare back or an answer to her question, but she didn’t find the need to clarify.

…and just like that, we got talking… while she massaged me so well with her now fully oil glazed hands… I could tell, along with being a good masseuse, she was made an excellent conversationalist. Her English though could do with some improvement. (I may be clothed 5% on an otherwise normal dressing day, in front of a total stranger, I will still judge her English).

Not sure of the bonding that happens between a masseuse and her customer in the little room, converts into a friendship outside of it – but in those 45 minutes, we got to know a few things about each other, which clearly states that, it wasn’t just a massage that happened in there, probably a budding friendship too.

45 minutes of body massage, healthy conversation, and a shower later, I was served Ginger tea.

“How did you like the massage?”

Considering I had nothing else to compare it to, I replied,

“It was nice”.

I thought that was the right thing to say. Did I have any say in how the masseuse was? A feedback form perhaps?

.

.

.

I received a text message from her yesterday…

“Hi”, it said…

Yes, we’re connected on WhatsApp and I guess she’s missing her customer, its been some time I haven’t been there…

…or then maybe she is just doing her job.

Whichever way you look at it, My First was pretty memorable, fresh on the mind-n-body, also a learning experience. Oh! …and I felt great after I got out, almost like a new person.

If you haven’t tried one out yet, what are you waiting for?

You are ONE massage away from a good mood

To sign off – A piece of advice to parents and to the old school…

Let’s not write off ‘an appointment with your therapist’ as one of those taboo topics that can’t be spoken out openly. It is as much important as any other of the treatments and luxuries we give ourselves from time-to-time, to help us get up and be ready for a new day. Who would not want to look and feel their best? 

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VALENTINE’S DAY OF MY DREAMS

Since Valentine’s Day is round the corner I would like to first narrate a petty romantic incident from my life.  Hope you all enjoy reading this:

I am hopelessly romantic (yet another revelation from my side about myself 😀) constantly fed on celluloid romance. My idea of Valentine’s Day – Roses, Chocolates, Candle light dinner and everything that make our movies a “Magnum Opus” and runs an entire industry called Bollywood 😀.

My dream of a perfect Valentine’s Day never materialised till that day.  Year – 2012, 14th February, entire day passed and it was turning out to be any other day. Around 8 PM I got a call from a delivery man asking for the directions for the address that left me calculating permutations and combinations.

Who it could be?”, “What it could be”,Why after all?” Numerous questions lingering on in my mind.  My father was waiting outside to receive the delivery and he was pretty much asking me the same questions that were bothering me since the time I got that call. To add to the confusion, suspicion, tension and irritation that delivery man was taking a lifetime to understand the directions.

It was almost half an hour before he finally reached to handover the gift. That was for me and the letter read “With Love” and it had beautiful red roses and chocolates. So it was a perfect Valentine’s Day for me. Not for the roses but for the fact that it made me smile from ear to ear (if only you could see me now, I am blushing 😊 at mere mention of that incident).

Well, I forgot to tell you all that it was my husband who did send those roses to surprise me (not during courtship period, married in 2009😂). I was surprised because never in life before that day I have been pampered “that” way and  we are poles apart when it comes our idea of romance and love. He rarely mouths his feelings and love is beyond roses and candle light dinners for him. His definition – love is about providing a secured life for your loved ones, with and after you (it’s not an advertisement for a life insurance company for God sake 😀, but his firm belief). But I must say I have my fair share of gifts though 😉.

With yet another Valentine’s Day round the corner I wish to be surprised yet again.  Nevertheless Valentine’s Day is just an excuse out of our busy schedules but love doesn’t need a calendar.  And my idea of Love is not limited to this date, for sure.

Then why so much pomp created around that particular day of a particular month? Obviously no one knows the history associated but for many its just an occasion to multiply their businesses, for many its an opportunity to hog some limelight opposing this way of celebration of Love because they feel it’s not a part of their culture (destruction isn’t either, they should know) and they take love as a social taboo, for many as I told earlier a time to rejuvenate their otherwise dull run to the mill lives.  

What is Love exactly? Love isn’t just about a relationship between two people of opposite sex. It’s Romance we are talking about which is just a fragment of Love. Love is a much deeper emotion to be explained plainly. Every positive human emotion – Respect, benevolence, care, compassion…. They are all facets of love because only a heart where love dwells can exhibit such feelings. A barren heart can not.

Why do we need LOVE? Let’s take few instances. If a person cannot LOVE his family he can’t impart good values because of his indifference towards it; if a person cannot LOVE mother nature he would be unfazed by the drastic changes in environment which we term as pollution; if a person cannot LOVE his country he would be unfaithful in discharging duties towards the country be it casting a vote or paying taxes. To conclude LOVE is a prerequisite for a healthy society and a beautiful world. Just the way saplings nurtured with love develops into a beautiful garden families nurtured with love paves way for a society enlightened and awakened and such robust societies lay foundation for ethically strong nations which could eventually give a better world for our future generations. More importantly “To Love” is the underlying message from God delivered to us through various scriptures.

But sadly we are still stuck among shallow ideologies that equate love with romance.  Love is omnipresent – just see it with LOVE.

 

HOW DISCERNING CAN WE BE IN MATTERS OF LOVE

Love is a beautiful emotion.

Do people want love? Yes, they do!

Do people need love? An even more emphatic, yes!

Love is an important need of every human being. Abraham Maslow once propounded a theory in psychology called, ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. According to Maslow, the third level of needs are those of Love and Belongingness.

Of the different relationships in which love is expressed and desired, heterosexual love is a natural human need which develops within an individual with age and maturity. It is a need,because we are created male and female and are made to cherish the love of a person of the opposite gender. It is not simply the kicking hormones within, but a host of neurotransmitters and other chemical secretions within the body that cumulatively contribute to this emotion called love.

So yes, anyone who gets simply carried away by those bouncy hormones within, may get to satisfy his/her sexual urge, but may still be devoid of that fulfilling emotion – love.

In many conservative cultures of the world, love and marriage are diffused concepts – love before marriage is not easily accepted, while love after marriage is not something worth aspiring for.

A few years back, I was witness to a young lady’s distress after marriage. She had been the darling daughter of her parents. But, was wedded to a man who neither loved nor cared for her. When the matter was out before both the families, the mother-in-law of the lady reportedly said that a woman has to wait for seven births to experience the love of her husband. So she has no right to complain, but to fulfill all her duties and responsibilities.

Is it unjust to desire for love? No, since it is an innate need put within all human beings by the Creator.

Love is an emotion much deeper and purer than the human heart can fathom. It is a well spring in a parched land. It is a fountain of life. It is a lusturous overgrowth under an evergreen canopy. It is an emotion which cannot be described in words, but needs to be felt in the heart.

But sadly, many-a-times it is so camouflaged under the garb of lust and infatuation that it diminishes the true essence of the emotion. At other times, relationships seem so mechanical that there is no space for love to spring up in them.

Love is definitely not a taboo. But, extracautious vigilant parents and family members see it as a taboo. If explained, expressed and exemplified in the right way, there is no worry as to why the beauty of love cannot be witnessed.

Society doesn’t approve of the public display of love before and out of marriage – which no doubt, should not be approved. But, why do married couple irrespective of age hesitate to express their love to their spouses when in public – when they have all the liberty to do so? (By this, I do not mean explicit acts of sexual nature) Why is no one bothered to make amends when love is lost in a marriage, but quick to point out fingers to a male and female walking together without marriage?

Points to ponder on!

I FELL IN LOVE!

I, being a mother of a three year old, and a crazy lover of animated movies, have been watching quite a lot of them recently. One day, we we’re watching a movie named, “The Christmas Carol”. There was a scene in that movie, where the main character, Mr. Scrooge, and his nephew, we’re shown having an argument. They both didn’t seem to agree with each other. None of their views or thoughts matched. There Mr. Scrooge asked, ” Why did you get married?”. His nephew answered, ” because I fell in love”. Then, Mr. Scrooge repeated it, but in a different way saying, “Because, you, FELL, in love!” . It really got me thinking. Love is such a beautiful thing to feel and behold. Then why, do we say we fell in love?

Looking back into the Indian history, we really have a rich culture where every kind of feelings and sentiments were celebrated. Poetry, prose pieces and stories have all expressed love, in many different ways. So, why is that now, in this 21st century, has love become a taboo? Love jihads, arresting couples on Valentine’s day, burning or breaking love related items in shops on Valentine’s day, being murdered for loving someone, etc. This is, what is going on in this present era. Why? Why does love needs justification? Why does love needs to be restricted? Why does love need boundaries? It’s an awesome, subtle and a warm feeling. It might be over-rated at times, but is the most innocent feeling ever.

Being human, we all have Love, deeply embedded in us. It just comes out when we meet someone, who according to us, is perfect for us, to love and be with. Talking about it basically, teenagers or the persons who come across the feeling of love for the first time, often mistake infatuation for love. Well, that’s where the trouble begins. Even I, have been through similar situations in my life. My infatuation did lead me into a lot of trouble, little shame and starting a new life all together. I had a very strong infatuation towards my best friend, after he declared his love for me. Been from different backgrounds in regards to our beliefs, I told him not to push this feelings further, as it would be difficult for both our families to accept it. But he insisted.

Years went by, I told people very close to me about him, as I felt I was getting serious about him. But, I remember hiding my feelings, in front of my elder relatives, seniors, teachers, warden. The reason was, they would think me to be bad, and of low character. Now, that’s is how rigid this society has been. Because I loved someone of the opposite gender in “that” way, I have a bad moral. Society plays a good role in here. They spread rumors, shame the girl and not the guy, bring her to a point where she let’s go of him, settling for something she doesn’t even want. Something, she would have to like first and then love.
Not my story though. My parents, were worried about my friendship and love, but they had kept that situation in their prayers. Later I found out he was cheating on me, and we broke off. Eventually, to love again and got married to the one I fell in love with (of course to a different guy). 😉

My immediate family is all about love. My parents had a love marriage. At my in laws, everybody, starting from my grandparents in law to us, have have a love marriage. Hence, when I see the hatred over this beautiful feeling called love, it pains me. Love being treated as a taboo, is the most outrageous thing, which this world is entertaining. I do pray, that people should see, feel and practice love as it is meant to be and not treat it as a bad thing or stupid thing or not to be entertained thing. Love is not disgraceful. Let us not see and practice it that way. Let’s not question a pure feeling and reason it with cruelty. We should always deal with love as we would deal with our other feelings. This would only make our world a better place to live in.

“BREATHING THE AIR OF CHOICE HAS NEVER BEEN AN OPTION!” – A TEEN’S VOICE

It aptly goes well with the Indian society that as long as there are curtains over the actions, everything is acceptable. However a mammoth cloud of problems burst when the veil is lifted. While we tag Love as a ‘societal taboo’, it somehow becomes overrated! Even the natural liking for someone dies when the society’s frame of perception steps in. Very few relationships have the power to go against the prescribed will and create their own beautiful love stories. Well I really admire those!

Anyways unfortunately due to this taboo issue, once I was caught in the dilemma of expression of love. Since childhood, my mom always projected such a picture of the opposite gender that every acquaintance with a male seemed a self invited distraction to my well going nerdy lifestyle. Thus I was always very careful and conscious enough not to give wrong signals to anyone, I interacted with.

But as it is said that love sees no time or person, it just happens naturally and so I got swayed impetuously in someone’s awe just after I finished my schooling. Well I have to mention the phrase ‘after schooling’ for then there were less of restrictions and ties that give me a little freedom to indulge in an affair.

Almost a year of my great friendship with that guy had passed when I felt the need to express my feelings for him. However my inner turmoil never allowed me to do so. While being brought up according to the society’s saying that what we like might not be always what is right, I started doubting my own feelings for that guy. Moreover, also I didn’t allow him to take a step forward which made things worse and complicated in our case. Just because of the wrong fear created by the society in me that relationships at a very young age are a kind of sin and symbolic of immaturity, my behavior towards that guy became awkward leading to endless misunderstandings. Finally and sadly all of this led to an unwanted break up!

So this is what happens when society creates a hype over young relationships and looks at it with a wrong perception. The unsaid words and unexpressed feelings always remain buried deep in the heart and continue to create pain if one is not strong enough to ignore the conventional thinking of the society and break such a stereotype frame!

Thus the lesson that I realize now in my life is that love can never be a taboo! Each one of us have a right to live life and understand its ways in our own style and fashion and so therefore if in this process we end up falling on love, then what’s wrong in it?

CRUSHED TO BUILD

A day ago I was explaining Aparna about our feelings which works in three particular layers… first, the surging of emotions; second, the desire to culminate or satiate; and third, the decision to be taken by our mind.   

Let me explain.

When a boy or a girl meets and feel for each other their emotions of love, care surge out for each other. Then they try to feel each other by satisfying their own or each other’s desires either physically or emotionally. Lastly all these happen only after the decisions that their mind takes basing on their knowledge of right and wrong about the desires as well as the actions they feel or take. But sometimes decisions of right or wrong give way to a strong and immature desire.

This is how normally our feelings play their part in our life.

BUT…

When I read the definition of CRUSH it made me think again because…    

Crush is a brief but intense infatuation for someone, especially someone unattainable.

Last week out of 6 stories that we came across 2 were simply unattainable. Preeta’s Walter with dimple and Pradita’s Cartoon character were perfectly fitting to this category. But other four stories had little chances of turning into real love stories. Yet they lasted for few days or few hours only to make the definition of crush complete: “crush is a brief encounter.”

When we come to the feelings or emotions part of all the above stories we find a common ground, which is “Intense Infatuation”, though all the emotions or feelings were suppressed knowing them to be unattainable considering different situations then. At the last layer/stage of their feelings they all decided, “we should stop this here…”.

That is how our sharpened conscience and our matured mind play the role of deciding whether to cut the crap right there naming it as “CRUSH” or proceed with a strong will and firm decision of attaining which seems impossible.  

Whatever it is but I would say if you never had crush on somebody then you missed one of the best feelings/experience in your life. ‘Crush’ works as the spark plug in our life to let the engine of love – emotion start for the rest of our lives. Crush makes us aware of the feelings of love for someone. It makes us understand how beautiful is the emotion called love… Probably God allows our crush to be crushed by our unattainable imaginations to prepare us for our attainable reality.

So my dear young friends! Do not be disheartened by the crushed crushes but understand the emotion of love well enough to build a strong and fruitful relationship in future keeping God who is love Himself as your confidante. 😉

Stay Blessed!!!  

YOUTH : VESSELS OF HOPE

Ask a potter and he will tell you… the fire does not create the vessel, it just completes it, makes it stronger. The real beauty of the creation is when he moulds it, takes a lump of clay and transforms it into a useful product. It’s the perfect example of our youthful days. This is the moulding stage of life, where our life is transformed into a thing beauty. The lessons we learn, the actions we take are directly proportional to the kind of future we will have, and it’s very important that we remember that we were created for a purpose, His purpose. We were moulded by our creator to become a vessel of hope for the world around. We have a responsibility towards our society. Our youthful days are when we tune in to the world around us. People have a wrong perception that our youthful days are just to educate oneself and to decide what we need to do next in our lives, and though the thought holds true, it’s not all. This is the time for youths like us to take responsibility to increase the standards of the society, not only financially but culturally too. We are plagued by so many serious issues that its not even funny. Corruption, Honour Killings, Domestic violence, Rapes, Riots…. The list is endless. But I think the mother of all issues is our self centeredness. We are not able to look beyond our problems. We do raise our voices, but for all the wrong reasons. We are ready fight, but do not know what we are fighting for. And we believe violence is the only solution which is so far from the truth.  

There is proverb from the Bible that has always appealed to me, 

“Remember your creator in the days of your youth.”

It’s an apt verse I think. We are at a good stage of our lives, these are the days where we need to remember that we wonderfully and fearfully made by God in his image to glorify him through our thoughts and actions. If we remember that, we can change the world in a better way , so that we can improve the evils of the past and make way for a brighter future.