Sunday, 21 December 2014

Then and now. .....

A poem which highlights  the difference  in childhood days then and now.....

When I look at the world  around me, I must confide
So much has changed as compared to the nineties, when I was a child

To watch chitrahar and sunday movie on doordarshan we would be keen
Now such a variety of channels, daily soaps, movies and reality shows can be seen

There was no email we would write letters on paper 
Now communication happens via Facebook, Whatsapp  and Twitter

We watched cartoons like Mickey mouse and tom and jerry
Nowadays TV channels show pokemon, doreamon and oggy

Rasna was our favourite  drink,
Coke and pepsi were distant things

Our favourite actors were sharukh, kajol and Aamir
Nowadays kids are crazy about Varun Dhavan, Alia and Ranbir

We loved pani puri and other chaat
There was no Mc donalds, kfc or pizza hut

DDLJ and HAHK were our favourite movies
Kids nowadays disregard them as cheesy love stories

Our cricketing heros were Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Ganguly
Nowadays we hear the names Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli 

To play games like hopscotch and hide and seek we would rush
Nowadays kids only care about angry Birds and Candy Crush

We would scour 'Tell me why' books for our research 
Today's  kids prefer using internet and google search

Baggy pants and A line dresses were in fashion
Unlike leggings and jeggings in comparison 

Life back then was not so competitive
And exams and other tensions were few 

All this and numerous other things make me feel so old
So much has changed  and I have so many memories to hold

No generation is good or bad, they have their ups and downs
We can't smile upon one and upon the other frown

Time and tide wait for no man as they say
And we must embrace new stuff as it comes our way

Generations may change and trends are never the same
But across changing times, our values we must retain

Monday, 15 December 2014

5 life lessons that I would like to teach my daughter

1. Respect for parents
Any parent no matter if they are rich or poor want their children to have the best and they would go to any extent,  undergo any sacrifice to ensure that their children don't miss out on anything. As a child I was aware of the sacrifices my parents made for me.  But being a mother has given me a whole new perspective. So my dear daughter, no matter where life takes you just remember that there are two people who love you unconditionally no matter what. In return all they ask for is you to remember them and respect them. 

2. Focus on Education
I cannot emphasize how important education is. I know many people cite Sachin Tendulkar's example to make a point that a degree is not necessary in order to be successful. But that is just a one off instance. Without a proper education you are nobody in this world.  Education gives you the financial independence to face the world with self confidence. 

3. Marry wisely but don't expect your marriage to be a fairy-tale  
Never marry for looks or money or simply due to peer pressure. Marry the person who will be the rock in your life, who will stay with you in difficult times. Don't go around looking for your tall dark and handsome prince charming. Rather  marry the person you can share your golden years with.
Marriage is not all rosy contrary to what you see on TV.  Unlike the happily ever after ending, the real challenges kick in after you get married. There are  adjustments, misunderstandings etc which may lead to fights and but don't let your ego get in the way of love. 

4. Count your blessings
Life is a race and the moment you get what you want there will be more goals in front of you. Better job, higher salary, bigger house, bigger car the list is endless. Its only human to want something better in life but  don't let this quest ruin the journey. Just take a pause sometimes and be grateful for what you have. Think of the less fortunate ones who don't have what you do and would gladly trade places with you. 

5. Eat healthy and exercise 
Though you may not realize the importance of this at a young age, I cannot stress how important it is to eat healthy food. You may give yourself the occasional treat of junk food but don't make it a way of life.  A healthy lifestyle  will go a long way in keeping sickness at bay. Plus staying fit makes you feel good about yourself.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Movies from 'my' time.....

With so many new movies coming out I nowadays find very few movies that I can relate to. When I was younger, my parents would often ridicule the movies we watched stating that the movies 'nowadays' are no match for the movies during 'their' times while I silently wondered how those slow paced movies with bulky actors could possibly be better. 15 years on, I understand what they mean and I feel the same way. So while the next generation may mock me for my choice of movies, I would still like to list down my favorite movies from my generation :)

1. Pyar toh hona hi tha
This is my all time favorite movie. I have fond memories of watching this movie nearly 15 years ago with my best friends. I still remember the dialog "aisa hi hoon main" which made us all fall in  love with Ajay Devgan  :) I think this was the starting point of Ajay Devgan's career shift  from being an action hero  to romantic/comedy movies and he pulled it off well. The Ajay Devgan-Kajol  on screen chemistry coupled with a few comic scenes makes this a most entertaining film.   
2. Dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge
Another hit movie of my generation . I'm  sure every girl from my generation  will have this movie  in their top 5 list. The Raj-Simran pair played by Shahrukh-Kajol romance on screen really makes one want to  fall in  love.The scenic European outdoors add the cherry on top of the cake and make this movie a visual delight.
3. Rang de basanti
The story of 5 youngsters who get inspired by India's freedom  struggle and rebel against present day corruption. Each of the 5 characters play their parts to perfection.  I liked this movie, because it was different, it was a welcome change from the mediocre films coming out in those days. This film made the audience sit up and take notice.  All in all a wonderful movie, makes the hair on your hand stand up.
4.  Dil toh paagal hai 
Another of my favorite love stories.  Madhuri plays the role of a girl living in her own dreams and Shahrukh of a person who doesn't believe in love. How they gradually realise that they are destined for each other formulates the rest of the story. Madhuri's dance performances leave the audience spellbound and the soft romantic music makes you want to listen to it over and over again. 
5. Dil chata hai
This movie has a certain charm about it which makes it very likable.  This is the story of three friends and their journey from carefree college guys to mature adults. I bet each of us has this phase in life when we are young and without a care about the world. The three lead actors fit into their character's skins very well, be it Akshaye Khanna  as the serious brooding guy in the group or Saif as the confused womaniser or Aamir Khan as the joker of the group. That combined with Aamir khan's comic sense of timing and Preity Zinta's perky self makes this a movie a must watch.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Am I a bad mother?

Inspired by my childhood poems, decided to write one...

Am I a bad mother  if 

Sometimes I feel like completing a meal in one go?
Or feel like watching an undisturbed round of my  favorite TV show?

Sometimes I feel like spending exclusive time with hubby
Maybe a candle light dinner or simply watching a movie ?  

If  sometimes I miss the highs of my full time job?
And giving  it all up for my kid sometimes makes me quietly sob?

If sometimes an uninterrupted cup of tea I would like to enjoy?
Or sometimes I just don't feel like playing with jigsaw puzzles and other toys  ?

Sometimes I feel like spending time with friends,
And going for shopping and dining trips immense?

If sometimes I  feel bored of the cajoling and coaxing
And ensuring my child finishes her meal sometimes I find taxing?

If sometimes with the tantrums I am unable to put up with
And I feel  bored of narrating stories, singing lullabies and brushing teeth?

If sometimes spending some 'me' time is all I wish?
Maybe reading my favorite book or just lying around as much as I please?

I love my daughter so much, she's the best gift I could receive
But just sometimes if I miss the above, dear God will you forgive?

Holding my child in my arms, being able to touch and caress
Are out of the world feelings that I would never trade for anything else. 

But just sometimes I miss  life's little pleasures
And being able to enjoy them is all the heart desires

No I don't think I am a bad mother
I am but a human being just  like  any other

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Childhood poems

On a recent trip to my parent's place in Goa, I discovered this poem collection that I had written as a child and decided to start a blog with these poems in order to preserve them.

This blog is still a work in progress, I am posting the poems one by one as and when I get time, so 


Thursday, 14 August 2014

5 must haves for a successful daily soap

This post is also published on at  5-things-about-daily-soaps-that-completely-baffle-me/

1.      Large extended super rich families all living in peace and harmony
This is a sure shot formula for success.  Normal nuclear middle-class families where both partners work in a bid to catch up with inflation, pay huge EMIs and try to strike a balance between work life and kids are a strict no no. Instead larger than life stories far away from reality are the norm. Wondering how such extended families can co-exist so happily? Well don't forget the basic rule of the thumb while watching these shows,  keep your brains aside.  
2.      Women dressed to the nine.
No matter what the time of the day is, the women in the house should be geared up to flaunt their silk sarees and jewelry. Be it 6 am in the morning or 11 pm at night, the ladies should always have their lipstick and mascara intact. I wish they would share their secret with me for even a half hour stint in the kitchen leaves me drenched with sweat and my hair strewn as if I have run a marathon.  
3.      18th century ideologies packaged under the guise of culture and tradition which portray women in a most regressive way
 A few women clad in ghunghats under the guise of culture or women who are meek and submissive under the pretext of respect for elders or advocacy of superstition in the name of religion are the main ingredients behind a successful telly show. Well much as I  would like to question the sanity of the people who religiously follow such shows who am I to question this super hit formula? 
Rather I would like to use this platform to thank the people behind these shows for enlightening us ignorant folks about what is ‘right’ & ‘moral’ & what all decent women should do. Thanks to you now all would be mothers in law look for girls who can function as full time housekeepers, thanks to you we see matrimonial ads which go like “Wanted dutiful, obedient girl with good moral values”, thanks to you a career-oriented woman is considered immoral.
4.      Good women 
Now don't be misguided by the dictionary meaning of good for in the context of telly soaps good refers to a woman who possesses the following qualities:

  • Her ‘Good’ behaviour often borderlines with foolishness
  • She is straight out from a black and white film with "prannath main tumhare charno ki daasi ” attitude
  • Her sugary sweet behaviour is often the reason for her mother in law’s diabetes, and makes you want to throw up
  • She firmly believes silence is golden
  • She would rather have the earth swallow her than defy her mother in law even for the most trivial matter
  • She considers it a sin to dress in any attire other than sari or salwar kameez
  • She has the ability to cry at the drop of a hat
  • She follows a strict code of conduct by speaking only when spoken to
  • The sole purpose of her life is to keep everyone in her family well fed

5.    Bad women
Again don't be biased by the literal meaning of this word, it merely refers to a woman who meets the following requirements:

  • She has a flair for hatching evil schemes against family members
  • She adheres to a strict dress code which includes low cut blouses and loud make-up
  • Secretly listening behind doors is one of her prime duties
  • She has least one extra marital affair preferably with a married man
  • She dares to make her own decisions
  • The whole purpose of her life is to plot against others
  • She is bold enough to pursue a career

A side note though – Dear makers of these shows, with all due respect, I do not find your shows entertaining; rather I find them illogical, degrading to women and regressive. So please wake up. The world has progressed; it’s high time you move on too.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

My Top 5 books..

As a follow up to my previous post, I am listing my top 5 books:

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
This is my all time favorite, I must have read it at least a 50 times but still fall in love with the characters every time I read it. The entire plot revolves around the main protagonist Elizabeth Bennett and a wealthy but proud man, Mr Darcy. Mr Darcy whose pride pushes him to prevent his close friend from marrying Elizabeth's sister because of her poor connections and ill mannered family is willing to forsake the same pride for his own love interest. On Elizabeth's part, the blind prejudice which she has for Mr Darcy keeps the readers enthralled. Other than that, the author paints a most authentic picture of 17th century England and one can almost visualise the life of the English people during those times, the class distinction in the English aristocracy, the dainty houses and the picturesque countryside. All in all a wonderfully told tale.

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less - Jeffery Archer
Four men get cheated by one person. Realising that there is no legal recourse they decide to steal their money back. How each one of them comes up with a brilliant plan to outsmart the fraudster who conned them constitutes the rest of the story and an unexpected climax makes this a most fascinating read.

The Partner - John Grisham
Story of how a brilliant lawyer plans to steal money and defeats all odds of getting caught but in the end himself is betrayed by the one person he trusted. Again a most unexpected ending, wonderfully told tale like all John Grisham novels.

If Tomorrow Comes - Sidney Sheldon
Story of a gullible young woman who while seeking revenge for her mother’s death is caught in a net laid by her mother's perpetrators. Abandoned by her fiance and with no one to turn to, the rest of the plot elaborates how she survives against all odds and  seeks retribution and  her transition from a naive young woman to a seasoned thief makes a very interesting read.

The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
In the first of the Jason Bourne series, a man wakes up with no memory of who he is or where he comes from. How he tries to discover his identity using just some vague recollections from the past to guide him amidst deadly attacks by unknown parties makes this a most action packed novel and you just cannot put it down till you reach the end.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A Gift of a Lifetime...

Today I read an Archie comic book after ages which made me reminisce my childhood days. I started reading at a very young age thanks to my dad who being an avid reader himself encouraged me and my younger sister to read very early on. The first book I ever read was a 'Tinkle' comic probably when I was 6 or 7 year old. What started as a casual pass time to put off temporary boredom turned out to be a lifetime obsession. From comics like Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha,  Walt Disney, Phantom and Mandrake to Enid Blyton books like simple bedtime stories, school stories about Mallory Towers and St Clare's to detective mysteries like famous five and secret seven I was totally hooked. I remember curling up in some corner of the house with a book in hand and my favourite snack.  During summer vacation I would read endlessly from morning to night.  
During my teens, it was Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Agatha Christie who caught my attention. Hercule Poirot is my favourite character.
And then I discovered english fiction again thanks to my dad who has a huge collection of books. Ken Follett, Jeffery Archer, Sidney Sheldon became some of my favourite authors. Be it a murder investigation by Sidney Sheldon or a law trial by John Grisham or a war story by Jeffrey Archer or an epic by Ken Follett, I love them all. Other than English fiction I also love reading English classics and Jane Austen is one of my favourite authors. Nothing beats the thrill of starting a book and putting it down only after reading the last page. Even as I write this I am thinking of writing a follow up post about my favourite books :)
Reading not only improved my vocabulary but also gave me a wide exposure to the world. Plus it helps me relax and unwind and is a welcome change from the daily routine. 
Though I still love reading, I don't find that much time thanks to a 4 year old who keeps me on my toes all day long and of course my smartphone to which I'm glued whenever I can sneak in a few moments. Even then I still try to catch up with some reading whenever I lay my hands on a good novel.
And then a sudden realisation hit me.  Had it not been for my dad I would never have discovered the joy of books, so is it not my duty to give this wonderful gift to my daughter ? It most certainly is and by imbibing a reading hobby in my child I hope to give her a gift of a lifetime. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

10 Parenting rules..

We parents always lay down rules for our kids to follow. But in this post, I would like to put down some parenting rules. I don't intend to say I'm a perfect parent because I know I'm far from perfect. I make mistakes and I know that even as I write this I will break my own rules and still end making the same mistakes.  If not anything, this post will at least serve as a reminder to get myself in order the next time I misbehave with my kid J

1.      Never lose your cool in front of children.  You may pretend to be angry but don’t really be. A parent in a fit of rage is the worst sight for a child. Moreover children ape parents so if you hit them more likely that they are going to hit you back.
2.      Just as you reprimand your child for bad behaviour, appreciate good behaviour too.
3.      Difficult as it is to control your temper when your kid is throwing a tantrum, refrain from throwing one yourself for this will only make matters worse. Instead, divert their attention (and yoursJ), and things will automatically cool down.
4.      You may have had a bad day, or be upset about something or at someone, but don’t take it out on the child. Children find such erratic behavior from parents very hard to comprehend and it confuses them.
5.      You got to become a child sometimes while dealing with children.  Sometimes scolding and yelling does not work but explain to them in a way that they understand and that will do the trick. 
6.      When your child is telling you something, don’t just ignore it as useless blabbering, but listen. And I don’t mean just hear what they say, actually listen to them and try to sort their problems. However small and insignificant it may seem to you, those might be the biggest problems they have.
7.      If you promise your child something, keep the promise.  This will not only build their trust in you, but will also go a long way in inculcating the quality of keeping their word.
8.      Rather than trying to keep your kids away on a busy day involve them in your work. Give them small tasks to do. This will keep them out of mischief and also help you bond with your child. Plus children love it when parents involve them; it makes them feel big and wanted.
9.      If you want your child to do something, tell them not to do it and 9 times out of 10, they will do it. Not only children, adults also have the tendency to do exactly the opposite of what they are told so this more almost works every time!!

10.  And finally, you need immense patience while dealing with kids. Kids take their own sweet time for everything, whereas we adults are always dictated by the clock.  Don't let this become a cause of battle between you and your child. Let your child be a child.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Healthy choices !!!

All of a sudden I have become health conscious.  Perhaps the triggering point was during my trip to Goa when one well meaning neighbour asked me how many months pregnant I was that made me resolve that I had to get rid of that tummy I had. Soon I found myself scouring the internet for information related to health/dieting/exercising firmly deciding that health should be the focus this year.  To my utter surprise, I found that there are many facts related to health and nutrition, the food that we eat that I was not aware of.  I was leading a totally ignorant life as far as food/nutrition is concerned. So here I am listing down few of the interesting points I found in the hope that it will be useful to others.

Disclaimer: This is just information I have found on the internet and therefore you are advised to verify authenticity yourself J

  1. The key to weight loss is not eating less, but burning the excess calories consumed.
  2. Fibre rich food is the key to a healthy life. Fibre slows down digestion and keeps you full for long.  Fibre is present in foods like apples, pears, carrots, oats.  
  3. Starchy food like white rice, potatoes etc is believed to cause belly fat and therefore should be cut down.

Following are the lifestyle changes I have made based on the information I have found:
  1. I start my day with a 15 minute tummy tucking exercise followed by 15 minutes brisk walking.  I am planning to gradually increase the time period. Refer this link for exercises.
  2. I drink lots of water
  3. I take stairs instead of the lift
  4. I avoid that last extra portion in my meal and control the urge to eat just one more chocolate.

It’s too early to say if any of this has made any difference to my tummy or not, but I am definitely feeling good about it. Just hope it works some magic.  Keeping my fingers crossed J