H for Holiday Hacks

I know the alphabets start with letter A, but hey, who said I can’t start in the middle, randomly from anywhere? 😉 So today is letter H day for me!

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

There are many thoughts that kept coming to my mind in last few months, regarding holidays and strings attached to it. Penning them down here, I would love you to add more such hacks to the list so that it is helpful for all of us 🙂

#HolidayHack1 : Don’t just start shopping for clothes on the word Holiday! Check your wardrobe, 90% of the times you’ve all the necessary clothes/accessories for the holiday that you to take!

#HolidayHack2 : Keep a to-do / to-watch list handy with you for the places you are going. It is good to do some research on where to go and what to do and have a plan chalked out to save time when you are actually at the destination. Get insights from the resident friends, even better!

#HolidayHack3 : If you are a read-o-holic no matter wherever you go, pls arrange your books on your phone/kindle. I know reading physical books is an emotional need BUT traveling light is practically essential need!!

#HolidayHack4 : Go by the adage ‘when in Rome….’ Eat the local food and be merry! Don’t waste time on searching for back home’s delicacies and save yourself from disasters and hungry stomachs!

#HolidayHack5 : Always expect the unexpected, that’ll keep things in place and you excited 🙂

#HolidayHack6 : Your holiday should be planned in a manner wherein you get a chance to soak in the aura of that place, feel every inch of it and grab things around in your memory basket…before being on the go! Feel the place and live in the moment!

 

New Mum (yet,again!) On the Block Says:

So, this is about the new mum, a second timer, but still a new one because every kid is different and every time it is a new birth! I feel exactly the same, a new me, a newbie at doing things, with a dash of experience though, but I feel with Sibby I’m learning the ABC of mommyhood, right from the start.

I’m enjoying being a mother again, a mother of two! It feels good to have created two cute little humans who are no less dear to you than your life…they are your life!

With Sibby I’ve to admit one thing for sure, breastfeeding came in very easily, to me and to Sibby as well. He latched instantly, he wants me all the time and is so very happy feeding on my milk. Unlike Chirpy, where in breastfeeding was a nightmare, we did not gel well in that duration, she did not latch properly, and it hurt me like hell! I cried, I hated myself for not being able to feed my baby and I felt a little less like a mother because I wasn’t feeding my milk to my baby.. all the breastfeeding trauma that could possibly be caused had taken place then. I figured out, quite later, that I was naive, my baby was just couple of days old and no one gave us proper gyaan about breastfeeding that we should have known as first timers. This time however, I told myself to be determined, to take it easy and to give time to both of us. Maybe that’s what worked. I counselled myself. I gave myself due credit that I’m trying and not giving up. I cuddled my baby and patted him for latching well. Basically, that bond, was created. We became the happy duo, sitting in our own corner and having our own us time.

Honestly, I’ve to realise two things from my own experience:

A) Breastfeeding is a rocket science!

B) Breastfeeding is not a rocket science!

Oh confusing, ain’t it? Let me explain.

A) Rocket science because it takes your patience, hard work, diligence and relaxed mind to bring it all together to feed your baby. It also needs your baby to be in sync with your trials. It takes two to tango, aka breastfeed! So it is a science, that two people, one adult and one tiny little being, have to sync in and practice to master it.

B) It is not a rocket science because its not a big deal. It can’t be taught, it has to be practised. It has to be given time and to each his own. We should not give it more than required importance so much so that new mothers are bogged down by the trauma of not being able to feed their new babies. It is to be enjoyed, to be cherished and not be marked taboo and create fears in mothers’ minds. So don’t give it a status of rocket science where in it start looking difficult or impossible.

Breastfeeding is a boon, if you can do it, well and good. If you for some reasons cannot do it, doesn’t matter. Don’t feel sad about it. It is okay to give your baby top-feed. It is okay to make enough milk because every body is different. Don’t look down upon yourself. You are a mother in several other ways and breastfeeding is not the only yardstick to prove that you are a mum. You bore that child for 9 months in your tummy and that’s a bigger task than any other, I think!

Enjoy motherhood 🙂

Two or One, how many is enough?

Lot of time I find myself discussing with friends about having a second child or no. Every time I get into this discussion, I somehow tend to steer it towards the highs of having another baby and why not!

Lot of my friends, obviously, are on the other side, of thinking ‘why to have 2 kids, one is more than enough’. And then the reasoning starts. A healthy discussion that we have, it makes my belief stronger each time, to have 2 kids and not stop at one.

My reasons can be categorized into two heads: 1) For Chirpy 2) For us in the same order.

For Chirpy:

I think there are plenty of reasons I can list down under this head. The major being:

-She will have a companion, playmate, a friend for life.

-She will learn to share and adjust as a human being.

-She will become responsible and caring in her approach.

-She will have the feeling of being the elder one and having a younger one tugged to her, like her own baby! that feeling is really sweet, trust me!

-She will not be the only child & eventually maybe the lonely child.

Now see all the above points are my own opinions, not that the only children are essentially lonely in their lives. I’ve friends who are single child of their parents and have had absolutely healthy and happy childhood and eventually they are good social people as grown ups. All I’m saying is I feel this and that’s why I want to have another baby!

For Us:

Why for us? Umm.. well, here’s why:

-I love having more than one kid, and mind you by having I don’t mean just having, I mean producing here! The whole experience of creating a baby, keeping it inside for 9 months, feeling the connection, that only exists between a mother and the baby, seeing your heart pop out of you at the end of this journey and then seeing that flesh & blood grow into a human being and nurturing it by yourself, this all is amazing, truly amazing! Now that said, I’m not saying parenting or motherhood has only up side always. Of course not, it has its lows and pretty lows too. But ain’t life like that? Everything that we have in life come with a set of disadvantages, the choices we make have some downsides to it, I mean whatever we do, we ought to be prepared for the negatives of it all!

-Having two kids will make us parents balanced in our approach of parenting, me thinks! We will not overdo anything, which I think we may, if we have only child.

-I firmly believe in 2 kids as complete family picture 🙂 though I won’t mind having more than 2 as well lest the husband decides to register me at a mental asylum for behaving like an immature adult 😉 I mean what let’s get it straight, howsoever I would love having more than 2 kids, it is damn costly and boy! I don’t want to put them in trouble because of my love for kids, you know what I mean?

That said, I know there could be multiple reasons for not having more than one child, sometimes a female goes through a very bad experience at the first time and is terrified to go through it all yet another time. Financial stability and future planning affects this decision big time, parents are career oriented and do not have time or energy to invest in second pregnancy and so on so forth, I mean whatever the case, I’m sure there is always a compelling reason to decide on this factor and I respect their choices!

So all I’m saying is, I’m okay if my friends say “we’re good with one child”. Of course this is very personal choice and it should remain like that. But sometimes, I tend to overdo it with my close friends, and give them gyaan about how having two kids=wonderful life 🙂 Yes that’s me, I can cross boundaries, if I’m totally in love with you and you are listed in my best friends’ list!

So like my last post, to each his own, and for me, having two kids is the way of life 🙂

 

Life of Pi, Belief of everyone!

When you look into the Tiger’s eyes, your own emotions reflect!

Watched ‘Life of Pi’ yesterday night and was left thinking yet again…thinking on the lines of my own belief of God, religion…

Coming to God, I trust there is a power that binds our universe and no one can deny that fact. Adding more to it, I don’t know how to define religion per say. I don’t quiet recognize the word in literal sense. So, I never try to go that side. All I know is God,or some such power, exists. With umpteen number of Gods in Hindu religion itself, it is difficult to really say which one do I trust in. So to make that easy for my own convenience I’ve chosen one name and face,from so many names and faces taught to me from childhood, and have kept that constant. That helps me stay away from confusion and concentrate on believing in the divine power, that is popularly called as God!

Like the movie “Oh My God” , I too believe that it is more important to be a ‘God Loving’ human being than being a ‘God Fearing’ one.Difference between both the terms is of a very thin line of logic, of belief. But that thin line difference only creates a huge difference in our lives, that’s what is to be understood!

Coming back to the movie “Life of Pi”: I loved the movie, for several reasons, some of which are listed below:

~ 3D visuals

~ Suraj Sharma

~The Bengal Tiger

~ Concept

~ Cinematography

~ Acting [especially Tabu’s: with so little to say she delivered a lot with her silent expressions]

~ Minimum characters

~ The flow

~ The summation of the movie: God, Human relationships & Survival Needs

Why I said some of which are listed below cause there are things that I felt after watching the movie that could not be put in words. One has to watch the movie or maybe I’m not the right person who can verbalize the experience!

Quoting James Cameron from Zee News Website: “`Life of Pi` breaks the paradigm that 3-D has to be some big, action fantasy spectacle, superhero movie. The movie is visually amazing, inventive, and it works on you in ways you’re not really aware of. It takes you on a journey, and unless you’ve read the book — which I hadn’t — you have no idea where that journey is going. It does what good 3-D is supposed to do, which is, it allows you to forget you’re watching a 3-D movie.”

I’ve heard that the book is far better than the movie, yet the movie has it’s own pluses, which can’t be ignored.

Digression: While on this I always feel that a movie based on a book should not be compared to the original piece of work. I mean a book of 300 odd pages or so can’t be summarized in any which way in 120 mins or so, or can it? So the movie has it’s own flare and the book it’s own. The book is just the base rest is all visual and audio form of the director’s creativity of the book! That said, there are movies which have not done justice to the basic plot of the book as well, but then there are always exceptions,right?

Any how, the line that got stuck to my mind after those 120 mins is :

“Life is letting go on the whole but no good byes at the end hurt a lot”

This has a deeper meaning to it, if you really look deep! Or maybe it hit me at the right spot cause I believe in the same ideology:  no good byes,which I term as untidy closures, are far way painful than anything else!

An finally,it says,truth and nothing but the truth :God is what you want to believe in!!!!

When simple ‘celebration’ become gala ‘event’

Similar thoughts run through my mind every time I see an extravaganza b’day party thrown for little kids…Rukhmini Punoose has put it all in a post so wonderfully, a must read!

Re-posting the article that appeared in Sunday DNA  on the 7th of October.

Enlarge Image
Rukhmini Punoose

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was looking at a laptop presentation of a seven year-old-boy dressed like Akshay Kumar flying through a fake wall of bricks on a stage. So, just to reiterate: fake Akshay Kumar, riding on a fake bike, flying through a fake wall. No, this wasn’t a nightmare, I wish it was. I was looking at a birthday party planner’s presentation of the kind of birthdays she had organised. This particular seven-year-old’s party had a Bollywood theme. Wait, it gets worse…the over-zealous parents had hired duplicates of Hrithik, Salman and Shah Rukh and had placed about 70 life-size cut-outs of movie stars all around the venue.

Just a question. Remember when birthdays were about playing musical chairs and passing the parcel? When harried mothers brought out plates teeming with ribbon sandwiches, wafers and samosas and an aeroplane or doll-shaped birthday cake sent a general flutter of excitement over all the kids? What happened to that world? Those parties were as much of a blast because we could feel the palpable excitement in the air as our mothers were busy cooking in the kitchen and our fathers were putting up balloons and streamers in the living room. 
Now, there are birthday parties where Disney characters are flown down from Disneyland in Hong Kong and helicopters are hired to circle the lawn showering rose petals (Yes a la Chandini-style) on the birthday boy as he cuts his cake. Menus are customized and catered by expert chefs who can dish up food from any part of the globe— enchiladas, fruit mojitos, tofu quiches, gnocchi and even Jain sushi—served buffet style or as amuse bouches. 
The child’s birthday party has become an event, a circus, heck even a tamasha, akin to a wedding function (with similar budgets to boot). Throwing a grandiose birthday celebration, for many upper-middle class Indians is a little about flashing your financial status. The young and upwardly mobile here don’t seem to bat an eyelid about dropping a cool lakh or two on it.
And this is just the sneeze-worthy stuff. Nitin Gupta, a Delhi party planner has even done parties where the budget is Rs 7-8 lakhs. So what do you get when you spend Rs 7 lakhs? The works, apparently— full-tenting, lights, shamianas, fairyland themes, invitation cards, elaborate decor, return presents, live singing and dance performances.
However, my favorite story is one about this filmmaker couple that need to be lauded for resisting the pressure to throw one of these extravagant parties. Determined to do away with the whole balloons, streamers route and yet do something meaningful and memorable, they planned an eco-friendly party for their daughter’s seventh birthday. They took her friends on a nature trail to Shantivan in Malabar Hill. They didn’t use any thermocol or Styrofoam plates and glasses, thereby generating no garbage. Children were given pots to paint on, chose saplings they wanted to plant in them and then got to take the pot home as their return present. The parents wanted the children to get a chance to bond with nature and were horrified to find one of the children at the party started crying because she had to touch mud. That’s how unexposed Mumbai children can be to the natural world. 
We’ve really forgotten the pleasure of simpler things. Of a simpler time. Kids will have a great time no matter what, as long as they can run around and play together. It really isn’t about the amount of money you can spend but about what your child sees as the effort you’ve put in to make the party special and original. In a consumerist society, there is a lot of peer pressure to conform to the norm. Kids only know what they are exposed to and don’t have the tools to fight the stereotype. The onus is on us, the parents, to broaden the child’s horizons by showing them that fun doesn’t have to be expensive. Above all, it’s up to us, to teach them they can have a blast even without helicopters showering rose petals on them.

Clown me not!

“Beta say the alphabets” ; “Rinni, sing that song you’ve just learnt” ; “Baby show aunty how to do namaste” 

Sounds familiar? Must have looked familiar too since childhood,nah? Since I was kid myself I remember fellow kids were made to do what all they knew, learnt and were good at, to the neighbours, relatives and every one that their parents knew.

This took place in my family too, but quiet rarely,but it happened.

I understand this feeling, now that I’m a parent too…parents do get excited when their kid/s learn something new. They feel happy, proud and satisfied with every new development and of course they want others to feel good about it and praise their kids. Like when a kid starts saying some new words, some new dance steps, some poem or songs or prayers. Parents certainly have the right to feel proud at such moments and why not!

What’s wrong in this? Nothing really, but me being me, something about it doesn’t feel right either!

I’ve a problem when parents want to flaunt these developments in front of each and every guest coming home and/or meeting on the streets.

Okay, maybe sharing the happiness is not that bad but making the kid do all of that, when the kid doesn’t feel interested in it,is something I don’t approve of.

Of course I might be wrong here. But my thought process goes like this: You are happy, great! You want to share it with the world,go ahead. But you want your kid to prove it and do it every time someone’s home, not acceptable!

Your kid is not a clown. The kid is not supposed to entertain the guests by doing the antics even when it doesn’t want to, is all I’m saying.

I’m a 17 months old parent and my daughter too shows lot antics and several baby developments that make me proud and jump in excitement. I quickly pick up the phone and call mamma to share it, when close friends call I tell them too and sometime make Chirpy say few things on the phone to these people. But I make it a point that Chirpy is not made do all the stuff always and for everyone.

Even when talking to ma or close friends, Chirpy isn’t in the mood to say things in the phone that I want her to, I don’t force her. Cause I must respect her choice of saying no! 

When this behavior of mine was noticed in the family, they tagged me arrogant. They say I’m a rude mother, maybe someone full of wrong attitude. I thought I’ll make them understand why I don’t force my child to play ‘clown’ or stop them to insist her, but then I come to think of it in this manner: if they’ve not understood it the first time, they might never understand ever! Period!!!!

All I’ve to say to family and friends is ‘Clown my kid not’

 

Shopping Tips

Women love shopping,no second thoughts on this. To top it up when the sellers tempt us with hoardings which scream sale, there is no time to think but pick up the purse be on the go!

Well mostly it is the case for women world wide..there will be seldom who won’t fall prey to sales, discounts and some such teasers!

 

 

That said sales are a good time to shop but then these are bad times too since this season tempts you with innumerable options which is dangerous for people who belong to a cadre called shopaholics by default, be it sale season or no.

So,I thought of listing some tips for self and my fellow shoppers….

  1. Shop with an agenda-a list to be precise. Just note what all you ‘need’ and forget what you ‘want’.The key is to avoid impulse buys.Once in a while,buying what you ‘want’ is not bad but keep that part after you’re done buying what you ‘needed’!
  2. Reality check-Keep a rough budget ready in your mind. Keep an eye on your credit card swaps. Don’t forget that the things you are putting your hands on, come with a price.If it is difficult for you to control your usage of credit cards then leave them at home and carry only cash with you to control your buying!
  3.  Proper Fit-Buy only what fits you right now and not something that you think will fit you in future.Don’t buy clothes for future!
  4. No children please-Don’t take your children with you, if you have an option leave them back. In your entire shopping extravaganza the children get really bugged up and tired-they don’t deserve this. Of course if you don’t have an arrangement, then you have to carry them with you, but in that case make sure they’re not hungry and they are not sleep deprived.
  5. Shop Alone-However exciting ‘girl group shopping’ may sound it’s always better to be on your own. Others only help pile up your shopping cart with lot of things which are out of your to-buy list and sometimes influence your decisions of selection. If at all you’ve to go shopping with friends / colleagues try and roam alone in the sections which you want to visit..later you can sit together for coffee and share what you shopped!

A little note to self:

Dear Scribby,

Never go shopping without a list. And I know very well that you are a total list person, be it work or home, so why not make one while going for shopping too? Also Scribby, I was thinking if you would really concentrate on your purse than the varied choices available in the stores, yea? I think it’s high time you start behaving when it comes to shopping because you’ve a growing daughter in your kitty and she might as well ingrain your habits; read: bad habit of shopping at drop of hat!

It’s good that you shop not only for yourself but for your family & friends too, but what you need to remember is extravaganza and all looks adorable only in sale adverts. Not in real life, okay?

So, what am I saying? All I’m trying to put forward is you need to be a little considerate and learn to prioritize when you shop. You must buy gifts for everyone, for yourself too but when and what to buy you have to be sure of. Just because things are available in the store and they look lovely to you, doesn’t mean you have to buy them, okay?

Yours sincerely me!

‘Gifts’ theory

We all love recieving gifts,don’t we? Oh this question is a foolish one! Of course everyone loves gifts!

Gifting,as we all would agree,is a little difficult task at hand. Today despite of so many options available,it has only become more difficult to pick up the right gift suiting the receiver and our pockets too.

But even after so many hurdles of buying gifts,we buy one with love and gift it to the said person. Picture this: you’ve put all your energy and racked your brains and poured your love and blessings in a gift which the receiver just trashes like that saying it’s not his/her type or brand! Whoa,how will it feel? pinching? Hurting? Of course it does!

I just came across this post by Momofrs. I so agree with what she has stated in latter section. There are people who just don’t bother about other’s feelings. I’ve come across people who don’t really give a damn what others might have given to them with love. Giving importance to only money and brand part of the gift is something I dislike.

For example, I get some salwar suit material / saree  which I might never buy for myself cause of quality/designs/patterns or whatever. But if it has come from someone I know has spent their love and time and of course money in it, I’ll surely wear it, at least once, if not always. I try to treasure such gifts,as much as possible,even if I don’t wear them/use them. And this I’m not writing for the sake of writing this post but I truly do this-reason being I care for the people who love me and gift me with love.

From the blog of gift and basket ideas

Having said this,on the other hand,there are people who just don’t care while picking up gifts and they bring it just for the sake of it.

Like on Chirpy’s b’day we received a toy car which was gifted by-please note- a rich woman,doctor by profession.

Now the gift was something like this:

>The toy car that was in the box was not properly packed-okay not an issue.

>The carton was torn-a bit of a problem.

>The car clearly looked used and a tyre band was missing from one of the four tyres-not acceptable!

Now such gifts definitely put me off. This goes to show how careless one is and how much importance do we hold in their life 😦

I mean,for that doctor lady, affording a ‘new’ gift is not impossible. Even if I consider that she might be in jiffy and hence got something packed which was easily available, okay in that case I would have appreciated if she would have walked-in empty handed. Now one might say, it would be embarrassing, so in that case she could have handed over an envelope with minimal amount-much easier an option no? I mean if gifting is so much of importance then…

However low priced the gift is it has to be new if it is a gift,right? Usually who love us and are close to us won’t give a used gift and if at all they have to they’ll have a way to tell us! And digesting the fact that someone who can afford a new gift came with an old used one,is a bit difficult,no?

With hand on my heart I say that if a person,however rich or not,comes without a gift but lot of blessings and love for us,I’ll be very happy…but if a person,however rich or not,comes with a used gift BUT no love,I might not really like it!

So,there are types of gifters and we must realize the difference. So hug the ones who love and care for you and cherish their gifts,cheap-costly-used-new-branded-whatever, as long as you can…even if you don’t want to cherish them forever, don’t trash them just like that,instead give them to someone who will make a good use of the stuff,yeah? But better try to retain them,gifts sent/given with love shall always bring a smile on your face…no matter how old you or the gift gets!

While on this topic there is one more thing attached to this gifting business-Re-gifting. I don’t have assorted thoughts about it but I’m sure people who re-gift they make sure that the gift is in right condition. What’s your take on this whole gifting business?

Wordy Wednesday-22-‘Didja tell your son this?’

20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

came across this on the web…click the above link to original site

1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don’t take something away from her that you can’t give back.
2. Play a sport.  It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble.   And maybe even throw or catch.
3. Use careful aim when you pee.  Somebody’s got to clean that up, you know.
4. Save money when you’re young because you’re going to need it some day.
5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom.  Now please go use them.
6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.7. Don’t ever be a bully and don’t ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.
9. Treat women kindly.  Forever is a long time to live alone and it’s even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.
10. Take pride in your appearance.
11. Be strong and tender at the same time.
12. A woman can do everything that you can do.  This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M.  Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.
13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir” still go a long way.
14. The reason that they’re called “private parts” is because they’re “private”.  Please do not scratch them in public.
15. Peer pressure is a scary thing.  Be a good leader and others will follow.
16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.
17. Be patriotic.
18. Potty humor isn’t the only thing that’s humorous.
19. Please choose your spouse wisely.  My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.
20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.

Life is full of life

When I was younger my topics of interest and discussion were usually school/college,friends, travelling,movies,books and general. Wherever I went,whomever I met.

When I started working my topics of interest were HR, work life, home, friends, travelling, movies, books. Wherever I went, whomever I met.

When I got married my topics of interest were work life,home life,home making, the nuptial knot, friends,travelling,movies, books and general. Wherever I went,whomever I met.

When I became a mother my topics of interest became baby food recipes,baby things,movies, books and general. Wherever I went, whomever I met.

All these additions to the general topics list tell me that with every promotion in life you grow. Your world grows and your horizons widen. There is so much to life. So much that even if I try to gather it with both my hands I’ll be falling short.

Also, it’s not only about grabbing all that comes your way, it’s also about letting go some of the earlier things,to make space for new.

When I think on these lines I wonder how amazing is this world. People,relationships,being born, growing up, procreating, falling in love,eating, travelling,reading…all things positive!

Truly stated-if we try and see positives we feel the same and if our choice is to pick negatives,then god can also not save us!

la vie est pleine de vie, il sieze!

Picture from Ruthfrauline’s blog