New Year But Old Resolutions

goabeachaj

2016 is about to wind up and we stare at yet another year.

Apparently this is the time we take stock of the time gone by, weigh the plusses and minuses, try to make amends by making a new year resolution list ( which promptly goes into the recycle bin) But somethings remain constant on my list.

  1. I am grateful to be alive with all my rickety faculties still functioning. Hopefully all the internal systems are ok too. To continue chugging along this road and to see another calendar, I have to keep walking. At least 2km per day. (what were you thinking?)
  2. I am thankful for the way my children have blossomed, in spite of my (s)mothering tendencies. They had to remain sane to counter my insanity. Hoping that it would be status quo.
  3. I am thankful for my husband who lets me be – which I’m sure is a herculean task in itself – and still manages to smile on bravely. May his smile grow broader the next year!
  4. I’m thankful for my parents’ Himalayan sagacity and who consider their errant daughter an eternal work in progress. Hence continue to dish out and diss out at times. I pray fervently that God always shines on them and they are with me through my life. Amen!
  5. The time the fledglings fly off the nest, is a trying and testing time. I’m grateful for the new direction that destiny has provided and so the poor unsuspecting world finds itself at the receiving end. I promise self, to read, learn, imbibe and sharpen my nascent skills. It is a never ending endeavor.
  6. I have to control my flaring, nasty temper and the tendency to fly off the handle at the tiniest provocation. Also, don’t take self too seriously and always appreciate others.
  7. My soaring midriff is my achilles heel. Having tried much to flatten it, either I don a pachyderm and flaunt a “I care a damn!’ attitude to the head-to-toe body scanners or work harder. Either way it is a win win situation. Remember, looks are skin deep.
  8. Hope to step out of my comfort zone and be brave enough to face any unforeseen tornados. Before my life becomes a file, I hope to fill in with many varied and enriching experiences.
  9. Spend as much time as possible in the company of youngsters. Their fresh perspective and new thoughts are so bracing. An added benefit – this keeps me young and puts the spring back in my step. Surround myself with good support staff so that the domestic drivel will not be an impediment while I try charting out new courses.

Here’s wishing all, a wonderful year ahead.

Be grateful for your mercies, pray for your blessings, contribute to the joys of others and be self-sufficient. Invest in new skills, have a financial plan in place because life always gives you knocks.

Love yourself and live for others.

Let 2017 be epic!

Upma and AnUpma

Scintillating_Sonny shook All_Jazz, as she gentle snored at around 10 am, on a wintry morning.

Damn! another earthquake? Where the hell is that handy backpack carrying all the essential documents?” All_Jazz mulled as her limited zonked out  brain cells tried to comprehend the enormity of the situation.

We need to talk!” Scintillating_Sonny sternly suggested, as he continued to shake All_Jazz, his mom!

Have we reached that stage in our relationship already Sonny?” stuttered All_Jazz, slowly coming to life, in the man-kind infested world.

Yes! And it is high time! I have to be independent now! Teach me how to cook!” 

What?

This from the First-Born when the Second-Born, the Darling_Dotty, sprawled in front of the TV, had screamed, “Khana Milega? Ya lena Padega?” Uff you never know with these ones really!

Huh? Sonny? Are you ok? Anything serious? Are you setting up another home?

Mom! Why do you go off on a tangent, always?

I haven’t had my caffeine fix yet!

Go and finish your ablutions and I will get you a steaming cup of coffee!

Seriously? Were Gods on her side today?

As she came out of the loo, her coffee was ready and Scintillating_Sonny had fired up his laptop…Oh Oh!

Mom, today we start with the basic tiffin- Upma! I have done all the research online. There are various types – Rava, Cornmeal, Oats and..

Oats? You had to search online for that? I am paid to write about oats! And here, you search online? Here is the link to my blogpost containing the recipes, all made from oats!” All_Jazz was reckless!

All_Jazz never knew when to stop. She was forever putting her foot in the mouth – kind of making the ends meet really. May be it was the caffeine that was doing the crazy talk.

Mom, today we start with Rava, tomorrow oats and day after we try corn-meal!

Scintillating_Sonny never saw All_Jazz fainting.

And so it went on – Sonny’s experiments with Upma. The family gamely indulged.

On a crispy Sunday morning, as All_Jazz sat solving Sudoku, Sonny served up this bowl. She started believing in heaven again!!

It is up to us Moms to make sure gender bias doesn’t creep into our upbringing of our children. The children have to be self sufficient and independent!15400565_10154915523983846_5622098262640255483_n

YRF Ladies!! By Belonos

befikre

YRF and Dharma Productions have unleashed a new brand of a liberated woman of the 21st century on us.

This lissome and leggy lass usually stays abroad, is well heeled and well travelled, nurses some deep and unfathomable angst against her parents who still fund her escapades, no trace of ambition whatsoever except to out-drink the fragile boy silly(The boy is an eternal Work in Progress who needs serious emotional rescuing) while she pub hops in skimpy designer threads sporting oh so carelessly colored curls. She jumps into the bed with élan, lip locks with as much ease as chewing gum. Morals be damned.

She has this ‘Carpe Diem – Seize the Day’ wala attitude to life, owing it’s genesis to the aforesaid childhood anguish. She has to do weird stuff to show that her coolness quotient is stratospheric.

So no flowers, only cactus. No love to complicate the relationships, only shove. ‘Let’s get physical’ gets a new meaning here. Slapping a cop or strip tease in a library are extremely kosher, puritans and conservatives be damned.

As a mother of a teenaged girl – I find it depressing that these are the role models unleashed on the larger public.

But still, educated with this eye-opening knowledge, I scouted around for such a girl in my habitat. Extremely relieved to say, I haven’t found one such, so far.

The ones I have met, are busy breaking the glass ceilings with their achievements and most often have been more than inspirational

May be because I reside in the Sanskaari Gurugram (oh Yeah! You betcha) and not in the hedonistic Paris or in the Melting pot London.

Search is on. Watch this space.

 

Jayalalitha – What every mom can learn from her life

ayalalitha

No other famous Indian death in the recent history has stirred up as much of public anguish as in Amma’s death. The common man’s outpouring of grief was spontaneous. Millions walked with her on her final journey. A heroine much vilified and much maligned, went to her final resting place, a HERO!

I was watching the rerun of Simi Garewal ’s interview with Jayalalitha. And what I write now, is based upon my takeaways from that inner-view, which one assumes was truthful.

Jaylalitha had to stay with her grandparents while her mother worked in a different city. Jaya ached for her mother. When her mother went back after visiting Jaya, it was torturous for the little girl. There were times when Jaya came back with scholastic awards but no one to share with. The eternal conundrum for the mother – Feeding  the hungry children – took precedence.

Soon Jaya blossomed into a beauty. Though academically brilliant, she had  to forego her scholarships and  become a heroine to see the family through debts.

Her mother, ever the towering personality, controlled her every move and dominated her life. At 23, when Jaya’s mother died, unable to fend for herself, Jaya contemplated suicide. As she confessed, she hadn’t been trained in the practical aspects of life by her mother Sandhya.

At the end of the interview, you were left with a nagging feeling that under that brusque demeanor, lies a little girl aching for love. What would have happened if that little girl found love?

Our childhood experiences often shape our outlook and destiny. Few emerge from life’s heft, unscathed and unscarred.

When we love our children too much, we end up smothering them.

If we love them too little, we end up scarring them.

If we give too much independence, we may spoil it for them.

But if we dominate them, as part of our protecting them, masked as parental love – we will definitely stunt their growth.

What a fine rope of parenting to walk!

These days, working moms are a norm. And my heart goes especially for them, the amount of stress they endure, to make things go seamlessly.

Practicalities of life entail that emotional decisions have to be discarded.

But hey, how can parenting be an unemotional ride?

But surely, we can at each step, evaluate our actions and their effects on our children and only do what is best for all!

To Sane Parenting! World’s toughest job

Chalking a Better Future – Cleaner and Healthier Indian Children

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#SavlonSwasthIndia

I was surfing the ubiquitous net, looking for some interesting stories to pen. Anything to clear my terrible blues.

And then I chanced upon a video. I clicked on  the video with half the attention; but soon I was swept away.

Almost immediately, I was transported back to the good old days, when I would pitch in, an hour or two, a week, in the local government schools. The children would be from the lower income strata, with gleaming eyes and hungry stomachs. The mid-day meal was one of their compelling reasons to attend school. But for these kids, hygiene was a tough act to follow. The children would rush in to eat the moment the  break would be announced, often forgetting to wash up. I would watch over while vainly warning them to wash their hands.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-55-17-pmYou really cannot stop a hungry child can you?

All through the day, at school, these children are working on their slates with chalks, writing, drawing, using the same hands for wiping the slate clean and eating food too.

Imagine if they had a tool, with which they worked and the same tool helped them in cleaning their hands?

How wonderful would that be?

The Savlon Ad seemed to have some workable solutions to my memories and pending questions.screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-53-19-pm

Savlon’s (a leading hygiene brand) ‘Savlon Swasth India Mission’ believes that Healthier Kids, will lead to a Stronger India’.

This Children’s day, in line with that belief, Savlon introduced the Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks – a set of unique chalk sticks infused with cleansers like soap.

These colorful chalk sticks are designed to engage children while they learn in primary schools. These chalks also help the children understand  the importance of washing hands before meals as the chalk powder, on these tiny hands, when put on under water, turns to lather. This attracts as well as forces the children to scrub their hands thoroughly.

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How simple and heartwarming is this concept!!  Smart ideas do make for great changes! 

This innovative program, can bring a mindset change towards hygiene amongst the children.

This one-of-a kind lathering Chalk sticks, has already reached more than 3 lakh children and the aim is to reach 1 million children a year.

I wish I had something similar to share, when I was teaching.

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The distinctiveness of this concept and it’s implementation has been showcased in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=VVWUlWEfJ1k