"Don't Embarrass Me Mom !"- A View On Modern Parenting

September 28, 2010
"Please don't embarrass me in front of my friends, Mom", these are the words I haven't heard ever from my son.  I am sure, no parent would like his/her child utter these words, thereby declaring their sense of individuality, a sudden expression of their self. No parent wants to be caught unaware that the little kido, as he/she seems, can be offended by one wrong gesture especially in front of his/her peer group.

Recently, when my son's friends came to our place for a project work, all of them were taller than my son, with voice beginning to crack,(and my son being the exception - still a cutie pie), I knew I have to set my act right.   My son, very appropriately introduced each one to me and the boys said a shy 'Hello' to me.  And then a sweet smile on my son's face said "OK mom, it's done now, can we please be left alone to discuss the project?" Initially, it took me a few moments to adjust to this change, but I knew I should learn to embrace the change.  The child who was always clinging to me for his home work and projects alike, today is behaving like a grown up and doesn't want his mother to hang around when he is working with his friends. So, I just offered them a soft drink and snacks and left the room. 
His action was understandable to me.  I'm sure he was thinking what if I happen to call him by his nick-name, his friends are going to joke about it later.  He knew if I begin to ask each child about the marks they got in the last Unit tests or I start telling them how much time my son spends on PC (which he doesn't), he will be embarrassed by my inquisitiveness.  So I was appropriately shown the door!  I knew I was only a facilitator and not the chairperson of the meeting!

As a teenager, I had, at times, felt embarrassed in front of my friends. But I guess, our generation (if you are in your 30s you will know it) could not tell this to our parents.  Whether it was their dress up or mannerism or social interaction skills, we used to feel awkward at times.  Weren't we?!

I was always worried that mother will start up telling my friends how I don't get ready for school in time! How I always leave the water bottle getting filled by the water filter and forget till the container gets empty (the double container type filter), and how careless I am (phew... I was!)

Or else, how we would want our parent to stop asking our friend a battery of questions like" how many hours do you study? you have a fixed time table for everything, beta?", all the time glancing and smirking meaningfully at us!

Coming back to this generation, they are  faster and much open with expression, less apologetic and see no harm in calling a spade, a spade.

Children today want their parents to be careful about what they talk about in front of their class mates or friends.  They don't want to be embarrassed on any account. Parents today are expected to understand and respect children's space.  Also, today they want their parents to be well dressed, with good mannerism and also generally aware about things that affect their lives, including the gadgets and games ie, little bit of technology stuff.  And I think they are reasonable too in asking for that.

If my mom was not comfortable with TV remote ages back, or still finds it difficult to type a SMS from her mobile phone, tried a lot but failed to learn driving, that does not mean, I can choose to be ignorant and uninterested in learning new things.  I, as a mother, will look like a fool in front of my child, and someday he will say the age old phrase which all the sons had been telling all the mothers all this time " Arre Ma, tum kuch nahin jaanti"!!! (Oh Mom! you don't know a thing!"

Modern parenting, has to have a lot of understanding and respect towards the growing children.  Only then can we expect a reciprocation.  Parents complain of kids being rude or disobedient in the presence of their friends, which embarrasses them and hurts theirr ego. But, I feel apart from basic mannerism, it is their sense of individuality  and their need for personal space which we must take care of and respect thereby avoiding any hurt feelings on both the sides.

I may have left a few things here and there.... please feel free to complete it... feel free to share your expereriences as a parent. Or else, if you are a youngster (most of my readers are in their 20s), please share what do you think about this topic.  I have written completely from my perception, I may be wrong too.  So do let me know your thinking.


And We Still Call THEM Animals

September 27, 2010
The cries of three elephant calves and four adult elephants must have filled the lonely jungle stretch near the Moraghat railway crossing at Binnaguri in West Bengal on Wednesday night (22 Sep 2010), when  an Assam-bound goods train from Siliguri rammed into the herd mowing down all of them mercilessly. 

It is understood that two of the calves had got stuck in the tracks and the other adults were trying to help them out, when this incident occurred. It would have been a horrifying and scene when after the train hurled around these elephants with its high speed following which the mother elephant came charging towards the loco.  And instead of trying to save this elephant, the driver accelerated and killed her too, with large parts of her body clogged in the wheels of the train, driven by a man, went on, on the blood splattered rail tracks.  The train had to be reversed to unclog the flesh and bones of the mother elephant. 

poor baby elephant
What the Administration says :

Railways, however, maintained that the tragic incident happened because they did not get any advance information from forest officials about elephant movement in that particular section, which is not a notified elephant corridor.
While the forest ministry has the responsibility of notifying a particular stretch as an elephant corridor where loco pilots are given instructions to be extra vigilant, restrict train speed to maximum of 50 kmph and whistle constantly, railway officials claimed that the incident happened outside the notified elephant corridors.


If the elephants were outraged with the killing, the locals were also grieving the loss. It was a black day on Friday for those residing near the Gorumaara wildlife sanctuary and other adjoining areas. Sporting black badges, members of an ecological development committee, local tourists and various tourism-related organisations came together to offer their condolences to the dead animals at the Nature Interpretation Centre. Senior Forest officials were also present on the occasion.

People offering flowers to the dead elephant
It has come as a shock to the whole nation.  I wonder, how will that man driving the goods train be able to sleep for the nights to come.  Is it not pure insensitivity towards animals?  Elephants by nature are peaceful animals and so useful to man too.

I read in a website that a herd of elephants assembled at the same railways track the next day, at the same time, trumpeting and searching for the baby elephants.  And when they could not find them, the angry elephants went on a rampage, however no casualty has been reported. 

When we are so careful about our own children, why do we become feelingless for others - same species or different species?


Indian Obsession with Fair Skin - A Colonial Hangover?

September 25, 2010
Why is fair skin the barometer of beauty? Does this question come in your mind too? 

Sushmita Sen with daughter renee
I like Sushmita Sen for her individuality and of course her dusky looks. Same goes for Konkana Sen and Nandita Das, but still the fair skinned Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka etc are  the queens of bollywood. Ash is talented and got ample opportunity to show her versatility but the three dusky Bong beauties are no less. It's about opportunity, which does sometimes  come from popularity. Popularity, which is depicted from the success of a movie seen by the masses. Masses want to see fair skinned ladies, generally speaking, therefore, the alleged success of all the Neha Dhupias.

All this is alright, part of life. We've got used to it. I am reminded of this topic because of an advertisement on TV of one of my favourite actors of bollywood, who has always, always flaunted her sun kissed skin tone with elan ; she has carried her natural eye brows (which seem to be joining slightly from the middle) ; she is no size zero and we just love her for her vivaciousness and spontaniety.... could you guess.... She is Kajol!!

But when I saw her in Olay Total Effects (Anti Ageing cream) advertisement, she donned a fair look, of course by applying make up! And the fair - so fair and so chalky white a look, that I couldn’t believe it was her. It's only her signature style of eye brows and bright doe eyes, due to which I could recognize her. Ironically, in another advt (Knorr soup) she does not put make up and looks natural and nice, so what happened to Olay effect now?!

Kajol (here she is not chalky white!)
I was saddened. Does she really needed to work for this Advt. and show that fairness is what she's got after using this product? A healthy, problem free skin doesn’t mean it has to be low on melanin? Could she not have flaunted her wheatish complexion, which still radiates and shows her good health? Why the fair skin is the ultimate barometer of beauty? And is beauty just skin deep? Even now?.... is it a colonial hangover?

I, like all of you, have seen those endless number of 'fair n lovely' kind of advts all my life. Want success, be fair skinned..... want confidence..... want acceptability in profession...... want your lover to propose you.... use fairness cream!! Another most ridiculous one was an cyclist who after becomes the brand ambassador of a sports goods company after she applies the fairness cream, despite the fact that she sweats and toils, cycling all the time!  So fair skin is the mantra, no marks to talent, no marks to over-all personality, nothing to do with your attitude.... have fair skin..... be the undisputed charmer!!  The craze for fair skin is so much, especially in north of India, you got to see the matrimonial advts in newspapers... people especially ask for fair and slim brides!!! Phew!

Now, even the market is hotting up for men too.  There are at least three brands who are selling fairness creams for men.  What happened to the rugged look of men? Or is the metrosexual male catching up?! All groomed with manicure and pedicure and facial? Well, even that's is not bad, but attributing success to fairness of skin, has it not got really overboard now?

The question is that why are we Indians so obsessed with fair skin? Why do we still drool over the colour of the skin, as if the colour of the skin translated to power? Has it not got etched in our psyche somewhere so deep, because the whites rules us for ages, so somewhere, we have accepted that fairness means being superior?  Has complexion not got a lot with how people treat you? Is it not surprising? What is your experience? Have you ever experienced any such thing? Do share with me.


J for Joy of Giving

September 24, 2010

As a child, we all have experienced this wonderful feeling of receiving candies, chocolates and gifts from elders and friends.  Even now, a lot of happiness is associated with receiving our birthday gifts, howsoever we grow up in years! 

But the joy of giving something to someone who needs it is incomparable to that little flutter the joy of receiving something creates in our hearts.  You will agree with me, if you have indulged in this feeling sometime, am sure you have! 

So, J is for Joy of Giving

Make giving joy a tradition

India is celebrating Joy of Giving Week from 27 September to 03 October 2010. And I think the whole world is participating in some or the other way.

Giving something to a needy person is not about money alone.  Each one of us can contribute to this cause.  A few innovative ways were elaborated in our national daily (TOI) :
"We need this because giving is an eclectic function-let me count the ways. An artist can donate a painting, a student can use his pocket money to buy a pair of chappals for the flower-seller, a housewife can pay for her maid's child education. What better inspiration than young BPO executives whose parents are maids or drivers but who are still eager to donate Rs 50 to 100 a month from their salaries to a cause." 
I think apart from this, if we can lend a helping hand to the old woman who finds is difficult to cross the busy main road near our residential area, if we can lend an ear to the one who is lonely and looking for some kind soul to empathize with him or herand guide him out of his difficulties, if we can shower that little smile on a child who's learning to peddle a bicycle, it would be sweet! 

Together we can start a cycle of goodness, a cycle of spreading joy, a way of infecting people with our smile and spreading happiness all around.

So dear fellow bloggers let's join hands and write more and more about J for Joy of Giving!


Wake Up To A Speaking Newspaper!

September 23, 2010
Lakhs of readers across six cities in India, woke up with a surprise, hearing their newspaper speak mysteriously! Yes, it was 21 Sep, when Volkwagen, the car company put a little audio device on the last page of the magazine of the Times of India Newspaper, which would play the recorded advertisement, when the paper is unfolded.

(I know I am a bit late to write about it now, but nevertheless, am dying to write about it in my blog!)

The device
If you ask me, initially I was  surprised... although I live near a noisy main road and it's no wonder to hear some sounds even early in the morning..... but was a bit surprised to hear a man speaking in an unfamiliar voice and accent, and the sound quality was also not too good to impress, as a matter of fact.

Ah! and when I realised this gimmick, I smiled!  Immediately I was transported to the Harry Potter world!  I had been watching all those movies on TV with my kids.  In their University where Harry studies with his friends, they are provided this strange newspaper - the audio visual one.  And I think it gives live coverage!!! I mean, you have this newspaper, in which you see those event happening live, each coloumn, separate news! You know what I mean?! That had always fascinated me.... And here, today, we have it's first little glimpse (although not so impressive).

Talking about its goods and bads - it made many people scared, thinking it was a bomb, or even a ghost! It disturbed people early in the morning.... it amused children........ it must be a pain for that newspaper vendor, who had to hear a hundred such voices when his carton fell upside down! And think of the unncessary pollution it would generate...... huff.... too bad.

But, honestly, my kids enjoyed it every bit.  They had left for school by the time, paper was delivered.  So they came back from school asking for the device, as it had already become the talk of the town in their classrooms! My son devised a way to trouble me with it! He hid the device in the fridge and it would speak each time, when I would open the fridge!!! Needless to say I was irritated, searching for it desparately in the compartments of fridge!  But it was sweet !

What do you say?  Did you also get this with your paper? You must have heard about it? Let me know, what did you do? how were you surprised or shocked or amused?!


Hair - Herbal Hena To Hibiscus Hues !

September 22, 2010

Once upon a time, black, shiny hair were considered to be the barometer of your health, and the dull, light brown and dry hair meant the person is not having proper diet.  Today, the rules seem to have changed.  Brown and burgundy have become the new black.
Hena - The Natural Colour:
Earlier, women having grey hair would colour them with henna, mixed with various natural kitchen items to make them look black, orangish, or brown.  Don't believe me? Add boiled tea water or boiled coffee water to hena powder and see the effect. Also add curd, egg, and black pepper powder for relief from dandruff.  Also, cheap chemical dyes were also sold freely in market.  And people, especially women would buy them, as they were sold as herbal dyes. And it goes without saying that such products had a bad effect on the hair growth.
In those days colouring was done only if you have greys and women would generally shy away from telling that they apply hena on their hair, would also hide those tell tale signs of the hena marks on the forehead and near the ears!
Hair Colour - The Hot Trend :
And now, girls, in college, want to colour their hair and they do it too.  Streaking, highlighting, or colouring full head, take your pick. Choose from hues like light brown, burgundy, chestnut brown, etc.,  depending on your skin colour from international brands and join the hep club.  And then don't forget to buy a shampoo and conditioner especially for coloured hair.  And of course, you have to do touching (colour the uncoloured hair as it grows from the roots) to look great!  Be it colouring, straightening or perming, to look great you have to pay a big price too.  As they say, there are no free lunches!!

Greys are graceful :

It's not that coloured hair only look nice. Some women carry grey hair with grace.  I have always admired Indian actor Nafisa Ali, with her grey streak of hair.  She looks so beautiful with her healthy skin and fit body, and so active in social activities.  In fact, I like the picture of my co-blogger Sharbouri for this very reason, she looks lovely!
Hair And Money
Oh My God! this one pinches me badly.  The hair treatments (hair spa, olive oil massage by specialist etc), hair cuts, hair settings for occasions (blow dry, curling, rollers, buns and knots), chemical treatments of hair (perming, straightening, colouring etc) and the hair products for such coloured (damaged) hair (shampoos, conditioners, serums, leave in serums, special oils) etc are so expensive, can range from Rs 500-10,000, (oops! haven't yet downloaded the new Rupee symbol) depending on various things.  Beauty comes with a price tag!

Do hair style has something do with women's mind?
I think so.  First, if we see the evolution of hair styles in India, we see two plaits were synonimous of a teenager, graduating to one plait, a mature girl, and low bun would be donned by married women, with a palloo tucked to it. 
With exposure to new trends, with cinema actors being our models, of course fashion magazines, media, the desire to look good has increased. 
Hair is just one part of looking good, but the changing trend from low buns to today's open hair, I see it as women's sense of freedom from those set rules about dressing one's hair. We do form impressions about a woman seeing her hair style. I think, letting your hair down, this phrase came from the fact that enjoing yourself, having fun somehow means letting go of your hair in a free fall, a free wave!
By the way, while I was searching for 'indian women in buns' pics for my posts, I noticed that, these were rare.  More of western celebrities donned a bun or a knot than Indian beauties.  Shows the trend!
Have a colourful time!


(If you liked this post then you'll like this and this too!)
PS: image on top courtesy fineartamerica.com

Mind Your Mane Baby!

September 21, 2010

I wrote about my trysts with my tresses in my last post ! Quite funnily, I realised that I can write so much about hair, so here I go blabbing about women's hair - this time cuts, styles and hair care  - then and now!

Hair and beauty of a woman:
The hair and  the hair-dos have been a very important part of a woman's beauty, but external beauty, as I have always believed that there is so much more in a woman to be and feel beautiful about apart from her looks.  The beauty of a woman, and for that matter a person is deeper than the skin, it beyond the physical form, it's intrinsic, a person exudes beauty, if he/she is beautiful inside, as a human being.
Although, interestingly, I read about this research a few years back that facial features hold a key to one's mental makeup or one's psyche. Hence, a face is more than a face really. 
Hair - then and Now
Hair of a woman are indeed one factor which not just affect her looks but also reflects so much about her - her ethnicity, her socio-religious background, her mind, her choices and yes, not to forget the trends of the times!
Talking of hairstyles and colouring in last twenty years, myself in 30s can say, it has undergone a tremendous change, just like the dress up of women.
Cuts - The Long And Short Of It !
During my school days, apart from the plain Jane, plaited look (one or two plaits) or a better version - pony tailed look, girls also sported short hair - mostly, boy cut (boy?!!), bob cut,   blunt cut, steps cut.  If you did not want the whole length to be altered, then you would go for a fringe cut in a layer, of course the part of hair close to the forehead.  Which cut to choose would depend on the shape of your face, the quality and texture of hair.
In last few years, the hair trends have changed and are changing so much. Years back, came the perming of hair.  Hair were curled permanently (lasted for a few years) in spirals or ringlets of various diameters, sometimes half length of the steps of cut hair and sometimes, the full length.  That was a rage at that time. 
Then came the straight silky look, with a shoulder length hair or little longer.  Since, I naturally had straight silky hair, so I suddenly realised I was having a trendy hairstyle, though without any effort.  And I was so flattered when girls would ask me, how do I manage to keep them straight? and what shampoo do I use?!  I would just smile and say - "Ah! it's natural!"
Since, then cuts mostly keeping the hair length till shoulders or little longer, with steps, layers, razor cuts, curled or straight are mostly kept by girls and women.  Sometimes, our bollywood beauties have donned a short crop or even bald look, which is not so common. .
Hair Buns And Knots :
Plaits or Braids :  The plaits have vanished gradually. Earlier, I was an unsaid code that unmarried girls used to make two braids and married would make one brain or a bun.  But all that has changed now.
Buns, Judas and knots: also started becoming a symbol of being elderly and were avoided by young married girls, even for family functions.
Moreover, earlier, growing up girls, would learn different types of Judas, before marriage, this trend has died down completely, with the blooming of beauty parlour culture.  In Delhi, you will find a beauty parlour in every place, small lanes, homes, posh areas or small colonies.  Women get buns and hair knots made for special family occasions by hair dressers in beauty parlours. The yesteryear's puffed up hair from front with a voluminous bun on top looks fabulous for traditional Indian marriages.  A French knot, my personal favourite, goes well, with traditional as well as formal wear.

Hair Extensions And Accessories :
extensions in many shades!
This cannot be complete without the mention of hair extensions.  Traditionally also, these were used by Punjabi women to make a long plait, with a further colourful and shiny glittery extension called paranda. 
The style in extensions also changed with very fine quality of hair extensions in various shades came to make the buns like chignon etc. Various hair accessories, pins, clips, highlighters etc also catch the fancy of many women. 
Washing And Care :
Even, washing hair was a ritual in those days(!). My mom would soak, amla, ritha, sikakai in a black iron vessel (kadai) overnight, boil them in the morning, and the cooled down matter was strained and hair were washed with this water (Jet black in colour). 
Then came the age of packed shikakai power, and the need to soak and boil was done away with.  Shampoos and soaps were also there, but were used sparingly. 
And now, nothing except a shampoo, with or without conditioner does anything to our hair. Although, excessive or concentrated use of shampoo damages hair.  Proper care should be taken while selecting a shampoo, keeping in mind the hair type.
Have a good hair day!

PS: images courtesy- PINKVILLA.COM
PPS: The author has given her personal view and is no way should be taken as a professional approach
(This post in second in the series of three posts on womenfolk's hairy tales! this is the first one)

My Trysts With My Tresses!

September 18, 2010

I was always fascinated by my hair. Always wanted to do things with them. Sometimes, wanted to grow them long, some other time of my life, wanted them sweet and short! The crowning glory  of women has a special place in history as well as art, be it paintings, photography or poetry. Also, I think many women like me would have tried various hair styles in different stages of their life.  So, here I am writing about this girly thing!

To start with, as a little girl, I always wanted long hair like my mom. The kido me, used to cover my head with her chiffon dupatta and let the two ends of it flow and wave like long tresses, really loved that feeling!

Then came the school days, when my mom wanted me to have long hair, no cutting, no trimming. Of course, I had hair till little above my waist, so every morning combing, and tying the two plaits was quiet a torture. 

And the Sunday ritual of oiling the hair with coconut oil by my mom was a sticky mess. Mind you, this was done after washing and drying the hair (naturally). And this oil was supposed to be on my hair throughout the week, with no time to wash in between (eeks, how did I live like that?!). At that time,oiling and the rigorous massage of scalp, with involved merciless handling of hair, was considered a boon for hair growth. Thankfully, now it has been downgraded from the pedestal of respect as it is said to be cause of breakage and the oil attracting too much dust and dirt from all around, hence has suffered the plight of Pluto, the ex-planet.

Once, err twice..... hmm... may be thrice, i must have got my hair cut, a good length! The hair dressers would refuse to cut my long shiny and healthy hair, but somehow I would convince them!

Got my hair permed root to end, completely! Got streaking done once. Got various cuts, but preserving my long hair, long steps, short steps, razor cut, 'V' and 'U' shaped trimming and what not. Yes, finally I am sticking to the long straight simple hair style. You can see my love for my hair in my profile picture too!

Technology and hair styles

 Technology has played a good part in hair styling also. Earlier, girls would see the hair styles in magazines on those models, and would ask the hair dressers to do the same to their tresses. Of course, the result won't be the same, as the shape of the face and quality of hair play a big role in hair styling.  But now, I mean, for last 10 years or more, you have softwares, where you submit  your picture and see how you would look with a hair style, before a cut.

Feeling Blue - get a hair cut!
There is another interesting thing about hair and woman's mood (swing) . I have heard that when depressed, women like to change their hair styles!! Yeah, I can understand that a woman who feels depressed over not being able to change her life situations, sometimes MAY think of changing her hairstyle! It sounds funny, but I have heard this from many of my friends, that "when you cannot change anything, change your hair style"! They laugh as they tell me this, but somewhere I see some logic. In fact, I got my hair cut mostly when I was unhappy!! So, some proof. Let me know, have you ever felt this way?!


(This post in first in the series of three posts on womenfolk's hairy tales!)

image from:worldhairstyles.com and sidereel.com

"Eat Pray Love"- My Journey With The Book

September 17, 2010
Dear Reader,

This is not really a book review, but it's my journey with the book.  Very subtly this book helped me smile, helped me express and help me get over my blues.  Surely, the book got me hook, line and sinker! And, that's the reason, I am writing about it.

And yes, by the way, you would be knowing about the much talked about movie with the same name, based on this book and starring Julia Roberts.

About the book :

The book, "Eat Pray Love" is a travelogue authored by Elizabeth Gilbert. The author (nicknamed as Liz) travels to Italy, India and Indonesia, to get over her depression, searching for peace, a meaning of her life and yes, happiness. It is a beautiful, a very honest, and very tender account of a 30 something woman, who writes with so much passion and with such simplicity (even in language), that you can not help falling in love with her writings.  The story revolves around the experiences, experiments and learning of the author.

The Story and my thought flow:

Liz is depressed due to her divorce to her husband of six years for REALLY NO BIG REASON! She is not able to figure out why she wanted the divorce.  She is not ready for motherhood, as a matter of fact.

Point to ponder : Divorcing a man who made your life hell can feel like a victory, but leaving the one who did not, can cause prolonged emotional conflict and pain, as you part.  But then, why does she want to part?  She seemed confused to me, as she says "She doesn't want to be married anymore".  Is it stagnation of a relationship? Is it that you have reached a saturation point?  May be, but she feels very strongly about it, as she sits and cries the nights through talking to herself.
Another thing, which made me think was that a Western woman in her 30s, waits for the feeling when she is ready for motherhood.  Liz knows 30s are like alarm bells for the reproductive cycle of a woman, hence feels the mental pressure but does not really feel ready to be a mother yet, from her heart.  (Her work involves a lot of travelling to distant places).  Has any Indian woman ever asked herself really  - "Am I ready to be a mother, a nurturer, a giver from now on?"  "I decide to be a mother".... or "NO, I don't feel that yet.  No I don't like children". Have we?  Can a woman utter such an un-womanly thing like " I don't like children" (not that I would like to hear this). Marriage, a streamlined life, financial security, body clock, Mom-in-law's advice are a few factors which make us think about having children, generally speaking. Ah, I know you are going to differ, ok pl write in comments, would like to hear : )

Meanwhile, she meets David, whom she feels is her soulmate, but the relationship fails as she is still coping mentally with the divorce she had slapped on her husband, who obviously is angry over it.  This added heartache, makes her decide to plan a tour to Italy, then India and then to Indonesia where she does exactly what has been said in the title -  Eat, Pray, Love, in that order!!
ITALY -  She spends four months in Rome, makes friends, has a crush for an Italian boy, loved the language and went head over heals on the pizzas and ice-creams (and things which I really could not prononouce or understand!).  Finally, she puts on weight too, but partially succeeds in getting over her anti-depressant pills. Binging on food is a common refuge from depression, she knows it, but still goes on with it.
INDIA - Stays in the Ashram of a Guru (name not disclosed).  Learns meditation with great difficulty, and very slowly, fighting with her physical self and her innerself. Here, she meets a person, who helps her connect with herself and forgive her boyfriend David and clear the air of negativity with her ex-husband, through meditation.  Liz believed David was her soulmate, so parting with him pained her deeply.

I was impressed by this wonderful explanation of the world 'soul mate', how we take it and what is the purpose of a soulmate in our lives, as explained.
" People think a soulmate is your perfect fit and that's what everyone wants.  But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person  you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.  But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.  And thank God for it."
INDONESIA - Finally, a transformed, a lighter and an enlightened Liz leaves to Indonesia, Bali.  There is a detailed account of the social, religious, political structure of the country (which can be boring for some). Her friendship with a medicine man (Vaidya, as we say in Hindi) Ketut, helps her stabilize better and Wayan - the lady with grit and talent (Balinese medicine and therapy) gives her good company. 

Just read this and you will know why Wayan's knowledge left me dumb struck !!:
"She (Wayan) opened her eyes, grinned and said, " I can tell by your knees that you don't have much sex lately."
I said, "Why? Because they're so close together?"
She laughed, " No - it's the cartilage.  Very dry.  Hormones from sex lubricate the joints.  How long since sex for you?"

And then, finally, Liz falls in love with a Brazilian guy Felipe, who's quite elder than her.  Though, she takes time to understand this was the man for her, but by the end she realizes she has found the man who really loves her and dotes on her.  A happy ending, but very touching, and quite romantic too!

While getting down from the boat on which both of them lazed around for some time, Liz speaks the Italian word she so loved - Attraversiamo, meaning  "Let's cross over".

The book kind of guides you towards the way to cross over your sadness, your sorrows, your lonliness through sustained efforts, through engaging yourself creatively and helping the one's who may need you.

Dear reader, Let's cross over!


Thank You, DESICRITICS Team!

September 16, 2010

Dear reader,

It feels so good to tell you that Desicritics has honoured me by making my blog at the Desicritics, the Featured Blog (September 2010). 

Do check it out yourself to see why a comparatively new blogger like me has been given this honour.  Especially, see this post.

A special thanks to Sumanth, who expressed his views on gender issues, though with a lot of aggression! And ct, for giving a very balanced view towards the issue.


The Glasses Are Going To Be History!!

September 15, 2010
This is one happy day for me!! Finally, I hear this news that the rogue gene which is responsible for myopia has been found and the cure is possible, that too hopefully in next ten years.... am truely happy to know this..... I hoped and wished and prayed for this to happen.

If you don't wear spectacles, may be then you cannot understand what am I saying. Let me tell this.  Myopia, ie, shortsightedness is the most common eye disorder in the world.  It was always believed to be caused by watching too much TV, reading in dim light or too much reading  or even deficiency of Vitamin-A.  However, the possibility of it being genetic was not ruled out, but in the absense of any scientific discovery, it was not confirmed.  But now, finally, the UK scientists have found the responsible gene, RASGRF1, which is a big big research outcome.
Myopia has affected a big proportion of people all over the world, with literally, no fault of the person, as it is acquired through genes.  Sometimes, the defect in not visible in the parent but does get passed on to the child.  My family is one such example where the gene runs through generations. 

Personally speaking, it was very difficult for me to grow up with spectacles, more so, because my mother was worried about my future! And not to forget those funny names I got in school because of my specs. (I have written about this in this post).  She always believed, I should have more of carrots, spinach juice, half boiled eggs, milk, almonds, not to mention the desi nuskhe, the tona and totka!  But nothing worked on me.  

Finally, marrying a non-specy guy was the only safe option,  but that didnot work in my case!  When I came to know my little son will have to wear specs all his life, just like me, when he was just 2-3 yrs old, I was in tears.  I never wanted my kids to go through this. I was so helpless, but hopeful about the advancement of technology in this field. 

Finally this day has come and there is hope.  When I read this news, this morning in the newspaper, my kids were sleeping.  I woke them up then and there and told them about the research.  Needless to say they were equally excited, and yes, they were not grumpy for a change!

I am sure, as is being claimed too, eye drops of medicines will be made in next 10 years for the people who have specs,  and some genetic engineering would be available for the prospective parents also to avoid passing on of this gene to the next generation.

I know there other life threatening ailments, which are bigger issues, as they are fatal in nature, much serious than this one.  And I sincerely hope and pray that scientists be able to find cure to all such diseases.


image courtesy:deadmensspex.com

Sense And Sensibility - Are We Losing It?

September 12, 2010
It was a lazy Saturday afternoon, I was teaching my son about the role of sense organs in the human body; how a sense organ sends signal to the brain, which is then carried to the respective muscles by the nervous system. Thus the brain needs inputs from the eyes, ears, tongue or nose about the surroundings, to react.

As a casual example I told my son, "Look, our eyes are the body's window to the world. Unless our eyes see a man beating a child mercilessly they cannot send a signal to the brain to direct the body to move and save the child". No sooner had I uttered the words, than they appeared frozen and suspended in the air, as if seeking affirmation before reaching the recipient.

What had started out as a science homework of my son, soon became an avalanche, filling the mind-canvass with thoughts of varying hues.

I wondered whether in the present social milieu, our brain would command us to stop a man committing the ghastly act of inflicting injury on a child. Would a common man really make an effort to consciously stop it? Or would he rather be a silent spectator, oblivious to the agony of the sufferer?

The reply to this question is obvious. Despite knowing that hitting is illegal, we would not dare, nay, not even bother to react to the situation. Our analytical mind, under the guise of 'being practical', would selfishly ask us to mind our own business, leaving others to their own troubles.

This reminds me of a remark or rather a suggestion given by a co-participant at a workshop on 'Gender-Sensitization'. While discussing the issue of marital discord, the gentleman had remarked, rather defined the level at which, the parents of a married girl should interfere in her life - "when the violence got too much to take". Implying that while a stray slap, punch or pushing around was acceptable, anything beyond that called for help.

It was a statement that completely put me off balance. By this statement, were we, the educated middle class, the so-called torch-bearer of traditions, ethics, and morality of our society, not advocating domestic violence? Most of us have witnessed domestic violence in some form or the other, but how many of us have actually taken steps to prevent it? And how many of us have thought about complaining against it? Haven't we brushed them aside as a 'personal issue' of the sufferer? Have not our senses, our conscience and our inner voice really got subdued and diminished?

While we complain about the injustice being meted out to the people in this world, we forget that we ourselves are responsible, at some level. On the one hand we haggle over meagre fares with the rickshaw puller, while on the other we have no qualms on spending lavishly at a PVR. The insensitivity we show towards our senior citizens in buses, lifts and roads, the double standards we maintain about the well being of our own kids and that of our maid servant. In a man's world, rules are made for both the genders, though its interpretation and application are made differently....leaving one gender at the mercy of the other...

In a world that is facing looming threats of terrorism -physical, chemical biological, even mental and the lack of sensitivity towards each other, we are sitting on ticking, live bombs. It is high time we realize that we are not differentiated by our religion, language, political boundary, faith but are united by the single thread of humanity, a small creation of one superpower. What we really need to do is to look inside ourselves and identify the real reason for our existence and to ponder over the fact that life is precious but fragile and during our limited stay on the face of this planet, it is just love for our fellow beings that would sustain us through the pains and sufferings of life.

Sense and Sensibility - Let's Not Lose It.


image : believerwoman.files.wordpress.com

(This is a series of posts on women issues, pl see the label "Women issues that baffle me".)

Life Is Beautiful - Don't Give Up Dear

September 10, 2010

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. 


Magnitude of the problem   Suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for all ages. Every year, nearly one million people die from suicide.

Risk factors   Mental illness, primarily depression and alcohol use disorders, abuse, violence, loss, cultural and social background, represent major risk factors for suicide.

Prevention   Restriction of access to means of suicide, such as toxic substances and firearms, identification and management of persons suffering from mental and substance use disorders, improved access to health and social services, and responsible reporting of suicide by the media are effective strategies for the prevention of suicide.


International Association for Suicide Prevention ( IASP ) works for this cause and have started this campaign.  They say that we can a part of the campaign, by lighting a candle near a window at 8 pm today.  Although, lighting a candle is only a symbolic act, but let us try to spread the awareness about this cause.


If you are feeling suicidal or know of someone who needs help,  here is the link Help to find a crisis center anywhere in the world. (I was surprised to see that such a network exists, see it to believe it)

Also, for more information on this, you may see the website of World Health Organisation ( WHO )


Although, the decision to end one's life is a personal issue, I believe that suicide should not be a called a crime, as is the scenario in India.  It should be an individual's personal choice - to live or not to live.  The Govt, at least should not have anything to do with it.

However, since a person is born to a family, towards whom he has certain responsibilities, therefore, one should not simply think of death as the death of his body, it is the demise of the dreams and expectations of a whole family, it is the shattering of some one's trust, and it is cowardice to believe that death will solve all problems.  You will die, but will give birth to such gloom and so many troubles, that you can only be called a coward.

So, if you have any such thoughts, know it, that every morning is a fresh start of life.  However dark the night is, there is always a morning awaiting you. Just talk to a friend, don't kill yourself in silence.

Let us be sensitive towards the people around us, lend an ear to the depressed, extend a hand of support to the one who is drowning in depression and having suicidal thoughts.


I have submitted my post to Bloggersunite.org  to extend my support to the cause, so can you.

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