I want to start 2018 with the word ‘Change-maker’ I don’t want to be routine and mundane. I want to bring about some change and touch some lives

What do I want from my life? #MondayMusing #Goals2018

“Resolutions are meant to be broken!” this is an adage that I firmly believed in and hence never made any resolutions! Yup, not one in the last 30+ years! It just felt like a fad and something that people did to put on Facebook or Instagram or wherever. It just didn’t appeal to me, but something changed last year.

Till last year, I was always busy with something, earlier it was education, then job, then home and then kids. But last year, my kid asked me ‘Who are you?’ Apart from being my mom?

Now, let me take a step back here – My daughter and her friends were discussing what their mom’s do! Most of the children had their mom’s working or doing some kind of business and my child was not aware about the words freelancer or home-maker, so she was a bit lost, when it came to explaining what her mom did! She worked yeah, but not in the typical sense of picking her bag and going to office, nor did my daughter go to a day-care to complete the picture (her words, not mine!)

Explaining Freelancer, was the toughest thing that I have done till date and I am not quite sure she gets it, but terming my desk ‘home-office’ have solved the problems for now. But it made me think, ‘Who am I?’

Instead of going for a long quest and founding some religion, I chose a simpler path and focused on my ‘blog’ I wanted to make a difference in some way or the other and thought my blog will help me do that. I started 2017 with ‘Focus’ as my word. And as I did a #Rewind2017 post I realized I had a lot to be thankful for.

I want to start 2018 with the word ‘Change-maker’ I don’t want to be routine and mundane. I want to bring about some change and touch some lives

I want to start 2018 with the word ‘Change-maker’ I don’t want to be routine and mundane. I want to bring about some change and touch some lives! I want to light a thousand sparks that will keep someone warm and show the way to someone who is lost! #LearnNotEducate is one such spark that I wish to spread in 2018.

Linking my post with #MondayMusings

How I am helping my children be Thankful for Food #ThankyouNote

Being Thankful for Food- A thought that nobody thinks about

In my growing up years, one thing that my mom practiced and still continues to do so is be grateful for the food you eat by saying a small prayer at the end of the meal “Anna Daata Sukhi Bhava” meaning the one who gave me food be blessed and content!

Being Thankful for Food

As I grew up I started understanding the complete meaning of this simple sentence and realized the importance of it.When I end my meal with a thought of gratitude, I can never waste it. I will always be mindful of the effort that goes into bringing it on my plate. I am blessing so many people with that single sentence! Right from the farmers, to the person cooking the meal for me. When you realize the big chain of people and the effort that goes into making a single meal, will you ever be able to call names to it or waste it?

Don’t Waste

Right from my childhood, my mom made sure that we knew the importance of food. There was no wasting food and there was no ‘I hate this food’ Her logic was simple – You need food to live! Without food, you are nothing, so you cannot hate it or waste it. I follow the same principal at my home. My children need to try everything that is served. They could take a teaspoon full of it and if they don’t like it, need not take the next helping of it, but out rightly rejecting something based on its looks or taking heaps of food just to throw it in the dustbin is not allowed.

Thankful for food that we eat
Simple ideas to help children respect and be thankful for food

1. Start by saying this prayer at the end of the meal “Anna Daata Sukhi Bhava”. Explain the meaning of it and the whole chain of people who fall under the blanket word “Anna Daata”
2. Enforce the take small helpings rule in the house.
3. Avoid force-feeding your child or guests in the name of hospitality. Wasted food and upset stomach don’t really mean great hospitality.
4. Talk to them about the food shortage that the world is facing and how climate change is affecting farmers. Make them realize the efforts that go into bringing that produce in your house.
5. Most children have climate change in their syllabus. Connect how wasting food is adding to carbon footprint.
6. Take them to the mandi’s, grocery stores and even fields if possible to help them understand the chain of people involved and the humongous effort that goes into it.
7. Educate them about the amount of work you and other family members put in to buy and make that food.

#ThankYouNote to my home #ThankfulThursday

Buying a house is a breeze nowadays, but that wasn’t true earlier. I had seen my parents struggle to get their home. A friend’s dad invested in a plot of land, but the dealer was a fraud and he ran off with all the money. Heartaches related to important investments like home can be stressful and emotionally tormenting. After seeing such incidents at close quarters, we were extremely cautious when we were buying our house. Our first home was the result of a lot of research and thought.

After looking at many projects, we finally zeroed in on this house. The project had the right mix of open spaces and spacious homes, while being close to daily needs and offices. The moment we saw it, we knew we had to make it our own.

Home is where the heart is

I still remember the day we signed on the dotted line. There was happiness, but there was also the realization of additional responsibility. While the project took off on a great start, due to some unavoidable circumstances the possession was delayed. We were a worried lot, as though the builder was of good repute, delayed possession meant the burden of EMI and rent. Thankfully all went well and we got our apartment.

When we got our possession, we went around town looking for good furniture and furnishings that fit our budget. We explored millions of designs online and in stores and zeroed in on what worked design and budget wise. After the initial research we preferred hiring a carpenter and getting the furniture done the way we liked it.

We shouldered all the responsibilities on our own – getting the material, the carpenters, the paints and all that, but it was a fun and memorable experience. We felt the joy of making an apartment our home, giving it a bit of our identity and persona. Every piece in my home has a story to it and each time I see it, a smile appears on my face.

Our bundle of joy started walking here and made new friends. She was at her naughty best here and also developed a mature persona. This house has been witness to the many joyous occasions and also a few achievements.

I have a lot to be thankful for this house. It has been an abode of happiness, peace and contentment and that’s what I wish it to be for years to come. #ThankyouHome

Celebrating #Thanksgiving – Thank you note to my health #ThankfulThurday

This is the Thanksgiving month! I liked the idea of being thankful for all the good things in our life and praying for overall peace and happiness. Being grateful is important in life. This thanksgiving month I decided to be grateful and thankful for all the good things in life. Things that I might be taking for granted, but are extremely important.

One of the most important things in life that we all are guilty of taking for granted is Health. We are not mindful of how we treat our body, till we have a close call with illness. Sudden and untimely deaths, accidents, seemingly innocuous incidents become life threatening and that’s when we get a wake-up call, but sadly it’s too late by then.

Health is Wealth

Like in every family, a few things were etched on my mind during the growing up years. The most important of them were

  1. Health is your biggest asset. Be grateful to God every day that you have a healthy and fully functioning body. You can move mountains if you are healthy.
  2. Your body is like a temple, be mindful of what you put in it.

These thoughts helped me a great deal as choosing my body over different vices was that much easier. I usually pick healthy food and don’t have any of those usual addictions. What I didn’t realize was how stress and frustration too can take a toll on your health.

That said last week was a revelation to me. I had been to a doctor for some seemingly common issues. After the check-up, doctor was suspicious and made me undergo various tests. She was checking for diabetes.

Though diabetes is not life-threatening, I was worried about the kind of restrictions it would bring about and will I be able to lead a normal life. Those 12 hours were extremely worrisome. Thankfully all was well, and the blame was laid on something absolutely unexpected – Stress!

Stress and expectations too can take a toll on your health and mind. This followed with news of a friend suffering heart-attack and an extremely young associate suffering a major health set-back, and an acquaintance contemplating suicide as they could not manage expectations. All these incidents were a wake-up call to me.

Stress

Stress is the silent killer in today’s world. While stress is something that cannot be completely eliminated from our life, we need to understand the gravity of it and work towards destressing regularly.

Don’t let work get bigger than you. Don’t let someone’s harsh words affect you to the extent that you keep going back in circles around the same event. Love yourself and find time to focus on doing what you love. Learn to shut out negativity and practice meditation.

It is not just important to keep our body fit, but we need to de-clutter our mind too. If you feel stressed talk to someone, if you can’t confide write it down- but don’t be bogged down. As you never know the kind of toll it will take on your life.

Linking up my post with Amrita and Tina for the Thankful Month ThankYou note contest

Tina Basu

Ways to Deal with Online Gaming and Mobile Addiction among Teens – Guest Post


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

We all use computers and mobile phones. Sometimes it’s for work, sometimes for fun, but the problem arises when our children start overusing the Internet for online gaming and visiting social networks. Luckily, if you realize your teenager has a problem, there are ways to help them.

Limit the use of technology

Don’t forbid it, because it will only cause them to rebel and they will find a way to go online without you knowing. Instead, limit it so that your child is allowed to spend some time online every day, but be sure you’re in control and you know exactly when your child is playing online games or visiting social media. Talk to your child and explain why it’s important for them not to spend too much time online. Tell them that they would be given a reasonable amount of time for gaming and chatting with their friends online, but encourage them to spend more time with their friends without technology. Suggest social games, teach them how to play cards, Monopoly or Risk and they will soon realize that their computers and phones aren’t the only things they enjoy.

Photo credit Pexel


Include the whole family

Limiting the use of social media alone won’t be enough if you don’t find your child something else to do, too. However, be careful with your choice of activities. Teenagers don’t really want to spend time doing chores. They will usually find excuses not to do them and go online instead, so you need to make the work look like fun. This can easily be achieved if you set a good example and do the chores along with them. If your child sees the whole family cheerfully doing something together, they will perceive it as quality family time. Begin with simple tasks, such as decluttering and tidying things in your home, since that way it’s possible for each family member to participate. Get rid of anything unnecessary, such as old toys or clothes they’ve outgrown. Organize everything in boxes using home gadgets like a label maker and donate it. Be sure to do it together, to create the sense of teamwork. These seemingly simple activities have a positive impact on the whole family. They will not only distract your teenager from social networks and online gaming, but will bring you all closer together.

Spend time outdoors

Find parks or walking tracks near you and go trekking or have a picnic. Spend every weekend outside with your children, go on field trips and show them there’s fun to be had without the use of technology. Go sightseeing. Wherever you live, there has to be something significant or beautiful there that your child hasn’t seen yet. If possible, get your child a dog. Gather your family, go to a shelter together, and choose a dog for adoption. Your child will know that you value their opinion if you let them decide. This will make your teenager happy, teach them about responsibilities and give them a reason to spend more time outside.

Do sports

Find a sport your child likes and have them take it up. It doesn’t even have to be a team sport. Whatever they choose to practice, it will keep them away from their computers and phones. It will also give them the opportunity to meet other children their age and with similar interests, which will probably make them want to spend more time with their peers. Plus, your child will be healthier and happier if they’re physically active. Attend their games, matches or competitions and cheer for them. It will show them you’re proud of them and give them more incentive to keep up what they’re doing.

As parents, our main duty is to do everything we can for our child to be healthy and happy. So, pay attention to your teenager’s habits, be sure to catch the signs of addiction as soon as possible and solve the problems you have together, as a family. And always find time to talk to your child and let them know they always have your support.

author Bio

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor at highstylife.com.

You can connect with her on 

facebook.com/clairenadams

twitter.com/adamsnclaire

House hunting and the journey of our first home


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Buying a home is a dream come true for every middle class family. Just like everyone else, after marriage and shifting from one rented home to other, we decided to look for a house of our own. The first thing to decide was place. We were living in Bangalore then and both of us had our job there, but our parents and extended family was in Pune so we were in two minds about buying a home in Bangalore or Pune. I am a very practical person when it comes to finances and living choices in general. Comfort and proper use of investment is extremely important for me. So I was clear that if I buy a house for investment, then it needs to earn me rent and if not then I should be staying in it and utilizing the invested amount.

Rent v/s Rate of sq.feet

As this was the first house hunting experience for both of us, we discussed this a lot with elders, friends who recently brought homes and online real estate sites. We even compared the average rent received in both the cities. After studying the rent received, expected expenses to be incurred and possible appreciation in the coming years, we decided to buy a house in Bangalore. I know this doesn’t sound very romantic, but this was practical and this experience taught us a lot of things when it comes to house hunting and background information collection.

Location

We were clear that we will be buying a home in our budget, but it also needed to be in a sensible location. We chose a home close to workplace as we wanted minimal commute time. We were also looking to start family, so we wanted a locality that was residential, child-friendly with pre-schools, gardens, basic shopping needs available close by. I like walking, so I wanted to stay away from highways, loud busy streets etc.

Builder Reputation

My parents had to undergo terrible stress and trauma during their home possession. Builder, his dealings and repute hence was extremely important for us. I had seen the pain, the suffering from close quarters and was extra cautious when it came to selecting the builder. We even took a lawyer’s help to cross check the docs before signing the dotted line.

Elders experience, online reads about house-hunting and advice from experts helped us in zeroing in on our dream home. It was a home which was made with a lot of thought, planning and love.

How was your house hunting experience? Had you thought on similar lines?

This was a post written on prompt by Amrita and Tina for Thankful Thursday’s, however I missed the deadline. Posting it for today.

I am participating in the Write Tribe Problogger Challenge this October.

My rant against the television serials that show nonsense in the name of entertainment

Do you know what is common between Pehredar Piya Ki, Ishqbaaz, Nagin, Sasural Simar Ka and the likes of it? They all are demeaning the Intelligence and emotional quotients of their audience. I know that’s a very strong statement but let’s face it all these soaps are never ending; they revolve around the standard story of love, deceit and scheming relatives. The paranormal or so called traditional perspective just seems to be reinforced by these serials. The writers seem to believe that their audience is so stupid that they will watch any nonsense that is fed in the name of entertainment.

We are in the 71st year of Independence, we have a young population who is educated, well-read, well-traveled and aspirational and yet our entertainment industry believes in promoting and propagating regressive thoughts. Let’s look at the reasons why I have come to this conclusion

Source- art.com

The writers of serials like these seem to think on the following lines

  1. These serials are mostly watched by women in the age-group of 30+
  2. These women are majorly from B-town or small towns and villages who have nothing much to do in the afternoons (when the repeats are showcased) and hence will lap up anything
  3. Older women love kitchen politics
  4. This is the perfect formula to get good TRP
  5. Women are meant to be god-fearing, tied to traditions and the epitome of sacrifice
  6. They can relate with scheming relatives and plots like those
  7. The audience is dumb and extremely ignorant about the variety of entertainment series offered by the world at large.

Source- the quint.com

I have some news for these writers

  1. Women in small towns and villages are working the whole day, be it in their business or fields or in their homes. They need some sensible entertainment and a sense of aspiration, they don’t need melodrama (There are more women working in rural and small town areas as compared to urban)
  2. The women in the age-group of 30+ were born in the 80’s They grew up on beautiful serials like Wagale Ki Duniya, Hum Paanch, Malgidi Days and the likes. They really don’t need these crappy plots
  3. Older women don’t love kitchen politics. They look for entertainment, freedom from the daily monotonous life
  4. Women are much more than the idealistic or negative women characters portrayed in Hindi television
  5. Do check out the regional channels and understand the serials that have become popular.
  6. The regional channels are going bold and exploring relevant, current topics. Something that a today’s woman can relate to.
  7. We don’t need to see larger than life houses and show-sha of money, we need to laugh at our heart’s content, feel inspired, and be aspirational.
  8. When any serial tried to do something other than kitchen politics, they have been lauded – be it Jhansi Rani or (Uncha Majha Jhoka – Marathi), Crime Partol or even the Kapil Sharma Show.

 

Do you agree with me? Do you believe that the serials mock our intelligence? Or do you just sit back, watch this senseless drama and laugh to your heart’s content? Would love to hear your views about this

 

Linking up with Shanaya Tales Chatty blogs.

India at 70 and what do I expect from India at 80?

India enters its 71st year of independence. We have gained a lot in these 70 years, however there is a lot more to be achieved. As a woman, born in Free India I still want a few things to change and a few replaced and as a mother I dream of a certain future for my children. This is a post about those wants and aspirations.

Manyavar did an ad of India- 70 not out and that quite sums up India’s journey of the past 70 years. I loved it.

But I also believe there is a lot more that needs to be done. I am a woman and a mother and I am drawing my list from my experiences and what I see around

What Freedom means to me as a Woman

  • Freedom for me means I can take a walk or go about my life fearlessly, be it morning or night.
  • Freedom for me means not being slotted as an ‘abala naari who always needs a ‘man’s’ help
  • I don’t want extra benefits like reservation for being a woman but I want equal opportunities and rights
  • As a woman, I want people to ask me about my dreams and my ambitions, and not about when I am planning to ‘settle down’
  • I want the freedom to be able to choose between being a SAHM, working mom, entrepreneur, part-time work or be content in being a homemaker and not be judged for my decisions.
  • Freedom from being portrayed in a certain image in our serials and the burden of carrying that out in the real world.
  • Freedom from being expected to do only certain kinds of jobs. Cooking, Cleaning, and Child-rearing need not be allotted to a woman by the society. It needs to be the duty of each partner irrespective of gender.
  • Freedom means being something more than ‘a hot piece of ass’, ‘a dumb maiden,’  or a ‘damsel in distress’
  • Freedom means not worrying if I would be able to get back to work after having a kid

Freedom to me as a mother and a woman in India

What Freedom means to me as a Mother

  • Freedom to happily welcome my baby in this world, be it a girl or a boy
  • Freedom to find the right balance between my family and my personal ambitions
  • Inclusive and supportive workplaces that respect Work-Life balance
  • Freedom of letting my children live their lives on their terms and not be bogged down with ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ or ‘Girls shouldn’t be doing this’
  • Freedom to inspire my children to dream big and achieve whatever they wish for in our country
  • Ensuring that my daughter knows ‘being fair skinned’ is not an achievement and finding a ‘fair wife’ is not the biggest accomplishment in life. Beauty should not be just skin deep.
  •  Respecting everyone and not-judging people based on their body type, skin type, kind of job they do or their educational qualifications. The most educated and wealthy may lack basic civic sense and the most illiterate might have a heart of gold. See good in others.
  • Respecting a hard-working person, irrespective of the kind of work he/she does. No work is big or small as long as it is being done with good intent and complete honesty.
  • Freedom from the fear of “Will my children’s career or educational prospects me hampered because of – caste, corruption, red-tapism or donations”

What are your dreams and aspirations for India after 80 years of Independence? Do share and add your ideas to those above.

Linking the post for #MondayMommyMoments #MMM and #MondayMusings

http://everydaygyaan.com/dear-old-world/

MMM    

HEALTHWEALTHBRIDGE

 

Hardest part of Motherhood

Parenting is a tough job. It seriously is, and let nobody tell you otherwise. You are responsible for a life and every decision of yours will have direct or indirect repercussions on that tiny being. This itself should scare you, and rightly so, as only then will you be a good parent. Right from the time you conceive till the end of your life, you will face many challenges as a parent; they are different at every stage and nothing prepares you for it, but as the topic talks about hardest part of being a mother, I will stick to that. So what is the hardest part of being a mom? While I still have to experience a lot, I will touch upon the things that I have seen or experienced till date in my journey of being a mother.

Being a new mom-

Being a first-time mom was the hardest part of my parenting journey. No amount of books prepared me for what lay in store. Though it’s a wonderful feeling, it is an uphill task.Firstly, your sense of privacy is evaded with the whole delivery process then come the endless feed sessions, baby latching problems, sleepless days, all this and more leaves you exhausted. Add to it the post-partum depression, hormonal changes, the recovery time etc., you simply feel bogged down by everything. There was a point where I felt I made the biggest mistake of my life by deciding to have a baby. There is also the nervousness of messing something up which takes a toll on you. Those initial days were the hardest weeks with my newborn. The second time around I was better equipped and I also knew that though the first few weeks are hard, they do get over and a sense of normalcy will prevail.

Having to deal with the innocent age –

The odd age when the child is not old enough to understand everything and not young enough to be fooled is another hard time for a mother. For example – They understand the entertainment avenues and see the hep, pulsating songs and want to gyrate on it but as a mother and an adult, I also understand the double-meaning vulgar words that are being mouthed. How do you explain that to a child? The first innocent crush that the child experiences might not be seen as just that by others. The innocent urge to enact their favorite hero/heroines moves or acts might actually be vulgar, evading privacy or dangerous. How do you communicate that to the child without being harsh?

First crush

Being prepared and helping the children grow up –

This isn’t as simple as it sounds! Till the child is small you can enforce rules, monitor, and put some kind of regulation on what they watch, what influences them, who are they with etc. but after they are independent enough to make these decisions how do you safeguard their interests while not being seen as intrusive? It’s a tightrope to walk. The hardest part in this stage of parenting is watching. The new feelings that the children experience, right from their first crush to their heartbreak, the peer-pressure, the new world order, all this and more is what the child will want to be a part of and as a parent all we can do is watch and maybe hold an umbrella for them in the face of a storm.

These are some of the hardest things that I feel one has to deal while being a mother. I am sure there are much more. What are your thoughts? Have you faced any such problems or do you have a solution to offer? Would love to hear it

Linking this up with  #Mondaymommymoments or #MMM with Dr. Amrita and Deepa Gandhi

MMM tangy-tuesday pick

HEALTHWEALTHBRIDGE

 

 

Find out how this young law student is improving legal awareness in Maharashtra

What would you expect a fresh graduate to be like? Enjoying life, hanging out with friends, being optimistic right? Abhida Niphade is all that and much more. As a founder of Being Lawgical, and the youngest Global Youth Ambassador she has a lot going on in her life. This third-year law graduate, is a Global Youth Ambassador at ‘A World At School’ where Mala Yousafzai is also serving as Global Youth Ambassador. Abhida has worked with foundations like His Holiness Dalai Lama Foundation and Sahyog Trust-Humanistic Proactive Org.

Abhida Niphade, Global Youth Ambassador

How did you decide to take up law?

I come from a small town Shrirampur from the Ahmednagar district. With my rural background, I had seen a lot of oppression, poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance about the law. Having a girl child was considered a burden in my town. Fortunately, I was born and brought up in a very broad-minded family. Although I was a single child and a girl, I was never denied any opportunity by my parents. Later, for want of higher education, I traveled to Pune and nearby areas and this shaped my outlook towards society. I was a literature student when I came in touch with an NGO – ROSHNI and working with them, made me realize that empowering people with the knowledge of the law is the need of the hour.

What is Being Lawgical?

Being Lawgical is a non-profit organization working towards empowering people with the knowledge of the law. We work with the vulnerable and underprivileged to educate them about the various provisions of law. We want to convince people that law is not something created to harass them but to empower them. Being Lawgical believes that a good way to empower justice is to legally empower people to demand it. Currently, we are primarily working with women, downtrodden, underprivileged and disabled.

legal literacy session in progress

Abhida taking a legal literacy session

What does being a Global Youth Ambassador mean?

The title ‘Global Youth Ambassador’ at ‘A World at School’  has brought many opportunities with it. The appointment is for the duration of three years. The initiative is run by Sarah Brown and Gordon Brown, The UN special envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of UK. The main responsibility I earned is to mobilize young people to stand up for education and make their voices heard in their communities. I can organize local or national advocacy related events and campaigns. From the organization, I will receive all the support needed to mobilize others for acting like an access to the global campaigning toolkit and the support of a large network of like-minded young people from all over the world. I am getting an opportunity to work with great personalities such as Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, renowned singer Shakira and many more like-minded people. Working with an international network is itself is a learning experience.

As the youth of India, how do you see a future aspirational India?

I think ‘youth’ is not a number but a feeling. Anyone with passion in their heart and a clear vision will contribute to an aspirational India. I believe in ‘Karma Siddhanta’ and believe that it is time for us to invoke that knowledge. Working with honesty and integrity for the goal will certainly bring results. We as a country have great potential and the youth are highly motivated. I believe we can achieve a lot if we are knowledgeable and educated in understanding our rights and duties – the law of the land.