All Is Life

Whether by accident or by design,
We are here.
Let’s make the most of it, my friend.
Make happiness or pursuit,
Spread a little sunshine here and there.
Enjoy the flowers, the breeze,
Rivers, sea, and sky.
Mountains and tall waving trees.
Greet the children passing by,
Talk to the old folk. Be kind, my friend.
Hold on, in times of pain and strife:
Until death comes, all is life.

Ruskin Bond

My apologies.
Apologies for all the non-relatable yet tempting optimistic content that we are having to binge over social media.
In times when the motivation to get out of bed or to create a to-do list seems beyond lost,
enjoying each moment is a myth.
Kudos to each and every soul out there that has been keeping the spirits up and have managed to create a routine and find sense in these pandemic times.

Some of us have been exploring cooking, while the others have been baking their hearts out.
Some are discovering the art of reading, some have been educating themselves with online courses.
Some of us have taken to workout challenges, some are being pro cleaners and organisers.
Some are taking to art and some have been binge watching series and movies.
Some are always available for that 3am online games, while some are catching up on all that lost sleep.
Some of us are allowing ourselves the unusual slip on routine and responsibility.
Some of us are pushing ourselves to create a routine for the future.
Some are growing a kitchen garden, some are now making their own cloth bags and masks.
Some are catching up with their families and friends.
Some are taking in the much needed break from work and society like a pill of meditation.

While all these things sound like the actions of composed minds in these times of strife and distress.
But believe me when I say,
It isn’t easy for anyone.
Families have been separated.
Relationships are going sour.
Truth is being spoken.
Corners are being cut.
Gender equality and roles are being put to test.
Stomachs are going hungry.
Birds are let thirsty.

That hot morning tea is turning cold in order to put food on the table.
That office desk is catching dust, and there is an itch to call and ask for the dues.
That need to enjoy summer evenings with friends is stronger now than ever before.

Everyone needs a break;
A break from this enforced break.
Suddenly the phrase, “Excess of anything is bad” is relatable.

But guys, hang in there.
Remember, this year is about surviving- no matter what your New Years’ resolution was.
We need to survive- physically, emotionally, financially.
So hang in there and be kind
Because “Until Death Comes, All Is Life”


To the ones asking and enquiring about my long distance lockdown, thank you so much!
You guys are absolutely beautiful.
I’m back to my marital home. Back to Mr Husband. And Very Happy!

Of Weakness and Strength

As the summer soarer higher with its glittering, perspiration inducing heat, I rested my head in Baba’s lap. Spread out in the verandah of the house that I grew up in, we enjoyed the silence with the now warm marble flooring and refreshingly cold glass of buttermilk.
Staring into the distance Baba was lost in thought, I knew by the nature in which he stroked my hair. His face emotionless and eyes set on something far far away. Humming a tune yet to be discovered, my thoughts hopped from one topic to another like a frog in monsoons. My eyes followed every bird that crossed my sky and trying to memorise the colour of every flower that grows in the aangan of my maternal home.

Suddenly feeling like I was missing out even thought I feel nothing but contentment at my marital home. And Baba just knew, don’t know how, that my thoughts were moving in directions unpleasant. He stopped stroking my hair, touched my cheek and asked “What is it, love?”

My response that came ahead was like a wild waterfall of words…, “I’m happy. But why do i still feel like I’m missing out? Don’t worry yourself, I’m actually quite content. But on somedays, I feel confused. It could be that I’m over thinking it or maybe I should give myself sometime. It hasn’t even been six months since moved. But it is just that, somedays I feel like I’m letting go of some parts of me that I’ve spend my young adult life working on. Not that it upsets me, in a twisted fashion it brings me joy. There are days when we realise that we have differing opinions on certain areas. We patiently hear each other out. But then I notice that he has changed himself to be in sync with my point of view. I seen myself change too. But I’ve found myself feeling guilty that I’m making him change or am changing myself. Is it fair to do that? Also, does changing so easily make me a weaker person? Does growing in love with someone do this to a person?”

By this point I realised that not only am I breathless, but also sitting up straight while facing Baba in a crossed leg posture. No idea when my body went through all this movement, but all my attention was on Baba’s face trying to gauge his every movement and expression. He slightly moved his lips into a smile and looked at my face gently, as if caressing it with his eyes.

He started to talk after what felt like a deep discussion with himself. “Love, your mother and I brought you up to be an individual, independent thinker. Give yourself the credit that when you decide to change, no matter how significant or insignificantly, it’s because you see some sense in his way of thinking. And because you agree with what he has to say on the same… Similarly, you have married a man of strength and character. If he decides to change and be more in sync with your viewpoint, what’s so bothersome? Do you not think that you could provide him a better alternative to the same situation? And do not be stingy in giving him the credit of being a responsible individual who has a head over his shoulder! Maybe, he decided to adapt and change because he found sense in what you spoke. It also shows that he cares for you and respects you.”

Lifting his buttermilk and cleaning the droplets that had formed on the glass with a swift motion, it felt like he was visually clearing the little doubt-droplets that has formed in my mind. He sipped onto it slowly, enjoying each passing second; as if he could hear the thought slow down in my head and was watching understanding settle in like the dust after a storm. After finishing his glass, he looked into my eyes, as if claiming my attention and said,
“As for feeling weak… I only see strength in this equation. Both of you are showing strength by letting someone in and allowing them to change you instead of being defensive. You are both acknowledging each others’ opinions and accepting the alternative by admitting that the other’s point of view is better than your own. If anything, I only see you growing stronger by accepting change while also making sure that you have shared your thoughts about the topic. No idea why you’d feel guilty about any of it?!”

And just like that we resumed our gazing into the nature, spread out on the warmed up marble floor. But this time I wasn’t chasing birds and flowers, but just allowing them to enter and leave my line of vision in their own time. Before I knew it I was gently woken up from a relaxing nap that I didn’t know I had indulged in…


While this isn’t an actual conversation that I’ve had with Baba, but one that I had with a dear friend- #cowsonsteroids is how we address ourselves. Keeping the Baba series of story telling going only felt apt. Do share and comment with feedback on my skills of story telling and whether you’d me to continue story telling or explore any other styles of writing.
Thank you!!

Long Distance Lockdown

Hello folks!
I’ve been meaning to use this time of lockdown to my benefit.
To a large extent I’ve been doing things that I otherwise do not get the chance to.
But with writing, let’s just say it’s a different ball game. I have at least five new ideas each day, but my ability to actually work on it and produce anything of quality is directly dependent on my mental state. And to speak honestly, my mental state is that of someone who is quite lost.


You ask why?
For starters, I was visiting my mum’s house when the lockdown was imposed by our Government.
What’s so bad about living in my family house?
Nothing! Absolutely nothing.
Then?
Well, I got married last November, which is like four months ago.
And what was supposed to be a two week visit has turned into an indefinite stay; an indefinite long distance.
Like, Really?!
Umm, yeah! We were just getting to know each other.
Didn’t you know him before you agreed to marry him?
It is an arranged marriage. Of course I now care for him dearly. Also, no matter how well you know someone, I think, you only fully learn about a person when you live with them.

This has pretty much been the conversation that I’ve had in my head, and also the 100 and one things that I try to explain to myself about how its a global crisis and I cannot be so selfish.
That we live in the 21st century where technology works beautifully to reduce the physical distances, etc etc etc…

Hence the “Long Distance Lockdown”


After a lot of nights of: ‘I Hate This’, ‘I Miss You’, ‘Why Us?’, we have managed to come up with some simple yet effective ways to not feel so distant and also help get to know each other.
Someone once said that ‘the best way to get to know someone is to be around them during unfavourable situations’, to something like that 😉

So get ready to rad some of the things that we’ve been experimenting with; ranging from cute-to-weird-to-awkward-to-crazy-to-plain stupid on somedays. No matter how these sound, they’ve worked pretty well so far!

Movie Dates!
Living in the times of Netlix Party, Video Calls and Screen Sharing watching a move together is just a matter of creativity and willingness. We select a movie and watch it (without intermission) in the comfort of our bedroom with snacks.
And we also continue to talk during the movie the way we would if we were in the cinemas.

Candle Light Dinners
Pick a time and day
Set up your dinner along with good wifi
Create the ambience that you wish for- candles, music, fragrance
Dress up
Click the video call button!
One can never be too old for a dinner date and its the best way to make them and yourself feel special. It takes effort but why not?

Online Games
There is a plethora of options available today. Our favourites have been Scrabble Go and Ludo King, currently. (because I don’t know how to play anything else) 😛
There is of course, COD PubG and the likes of it too!

Sudoku Competition
It is exciting to be competitive but in a fun way!
So we share the sudoku that with each other and then start solving it at the same time and maintain score. It is actually fun teasing each other over speed and accuracy 😉

100 Questions
The web provides plenty of these lists. We picked questions that we liked from different platforms (two hours used) and then keep going back to them with 10 questions at a time and continue to be surprised by one another.
These range from childhood to teenage, from emotional to spiritual, from aspirations to dreams, from future plans to goals, from personal experiences to deeper darker secrets.
If you are doing this then you surely are in for a whirlwind.
Some like to get you started: here, here, here, here,

Origami
It’s a fun paper folding art. And what better than being creative and learning something new with your partner?
Make flowers for one another or fly swans and butterflies or just make hearts.

We never miss saying the things that we did everyday.
It is the simple Good Morning and Have a Great Day
How was lunch?
What plans for the day?
How was your day?
…. they are simple and can sound silly but they just make us feel a little more in touch.

Surprise Letters
We leave emails for one another at random times.
They are like little appreciation, gratitude and love notes.
These always put a smile on my face and make my day!

Planning Our Next Vacay/ Getaway
We talk about where all each one of us has already travel do and the places we want to visit soon.
The places that he/I wish to revisit, but the time with one another.
We look up and talk about the things and activities we want to do at specific places and the food we want to try together.

Learn To Cook
Depending on cravings and availability of ration, we find recipes to help each other.
Or just learn to cook something that your partner really likes?

TALK
Somedays there is no activity planned and nor is there any inkling to come up with one. On such days, we just talk. We talk about our day, we talk about the first five things each one of us wants to do individual and together as soon as the lockdown is lifted. We plan our agenda list based on priority and probability for the time when the lockdown is lifted.

Co-ordinated Workouts
We have been meaning to do this and will do it soon enough.
Pick a workout routine online and start it at the same time and doit together over a video call. It sounds quite satisfying to us (but we are just lazy).

Self Care
From full body stretches to face masks and a self mani-pedi evening while you chitchat with one another is also great way to pamper yourself and spend time together.
Everyone deserves it!


The times are hard.
The world is going through a crisis and the best way to do our bit is to Stay Home, Stay Safe.
It is mentally stressful and emotionally draining to be in times like these and it is okay if you just do not feel unto anything on somedays. If you just want to stay in bed and are not excited about anything on certain days. Being over-whelmed is alright.
But it is our personal responsibility to not let ourselves get stuck in the cycle where there are no good days.
Please do little things for yourself and your loved ones. Make the most of your time together. And if apart, try to find ways to spend time together, virtually!

If you have other suggestions and ideas that you think could help us, please do share!
And for the ones staying apart, start making your lists and create some quality time with your loved ones in this pandemic!

Celebrating Women with Dr. Meghna Singhal

A Parenting Educator
A Fitness Enthusiast
A Logophile (deduced from personal experience)

Let’s give it up for

Dr. Meghna Singhal


I am a clinical psychologist and a parenting educator.

In simple words, I teach parents how best to parent. Wait, isn’t that a bit presumptuous? I mean, who am I to tell parents how to raise their children—isn’t parenting instinctive? Well, I wish all of parenting was. I wish we could all simply ‘know’ what’s correct for our children, and how our actions today will impact them tomorrow. But the bitter truth is that we don’t. We don’t always know, we can’t always know. Its true that we have raised children as long as human have been around. But we haven’t known everything about what’s appropriate for children. A few decades ago, it was considered acceptable to spank children. But today we know that physical punishment has an adverse emotional impact on children.

And why not take advantage of the 30 years of research on parenting we have? Like we don’t drive the car people drove 30 years back, and we don’t use the same medical procedures we used 30 years back, so why should parenting be any different?A lot of parents say, “But you know I was spanked, and I turned out fine.” To this I respond I asking back, “Did you really?” (Of course, this means I don’t get that many dinner invites). Yes, parents have always raised children but that doesn’t mean we have always done a fabulous job. You can look around you and see that adults are not always happy. We are prone to anxiety, depression, and a whole lot of mental health issues—we aren’t exactly the paragons of mental health! We are trying hard, yes, and a lot of us have healing to do from our childhoods to become happier and better people. So, isn’t it better to raise children who don’t have to do this healing? Who grow up being better versions of ourselves? I’m sure every parent aspires that for their child!

So, well, as you can figure out, I’m very passionate about what I do! I have been in my field for 20 years now and I love it! I have *wait for it* 3 masters degrees (yes, don’t ask!) and a PhD in clinical psychology. And if that wasn’t enough, I went ahead and did a post-doc too. 

Of course, being a shrink comes with its own moments. Like when my friends thought that the guy I was dating (my now husband) was my MPhil case study! Or the time when a delivery guy hung up on me because I told him I lived in a mental hospital (I was pursuing my MPhil and put up in the girls’ hostel in IHBAS, aka ‘mental hospital’ in local parlance). Or when, because I walked in late, one of my teachers mistook me for a patient and started to ask questions for my mental status examination!

I am currently with ParentCircle, this parenting organization that brings together parents, educators, and experts to raise healthy, happy, and successful kids. What I love about my job is the several hats I get to don- I write parenting articles, facilitate parenting workshops, interact with a lot of parents, conduct live sessions, and interview some of the best parenting experts, authors, and speakers the world over! (See some of the experts I’ve interviewed herehere, and here, and watch some of my live sessions herehere, and here.)

All of this with raising two kids and running a house. I also love baking and am a big fitness enthusiast. And how I manage to pack all of this in 24 hours—its simple planning and time management. I guess I’ve always loved a challenge and right now one of my biggest challenges is managing all the hundred things I do, without compromising on the quality. My super cool hubby, my mum, and my kids (who always lend their enthusiasm for any project I take up) are my strength and pillars of support. With them around, I feel anything is possible!

“If you’re a parent, I’d like to share with you some of the most precious lessons in parenting I’ve learned over the years:

Frustrated with your child’s behaviour? Seething with anger? Pause and breathe. You cannot possibly discipline your child when you’re angry or upset. I know it takes all of one’s self-control to do so, but calm down before you even attempt to say or do anything. It’s called emotional regulation (i.e., you’re learning how to manage or regulate your own emotions). It’s the single most powerful tool in your parenting toolkit. If you learn to manage your emotions, you can deliver any message or lesson to your child effectively. Added bonus: your child will learn how to manage his own emotions. 
Here’s how I do it: When I find myself getting upset at my child’s behaviour, I go stand in the middle of the drawing room and say, “I am so frustrated right now, I think I’ll splash water on my face”, and then I proceed to do exactly that. After I have calmed down, I softly, politely, calmly say to my child whatever it is I want to communicate to her. Now, my kids have started to do this too!

How connected are you to your child? Are you your child’s safe person? Do you make time to connect with your child? We sometimes approach connecting our with child as a duty. But it’s a good idea to take out time to connect with your child. Our children need to know we take joy in them or they don’t see themselves as worth loving. That deep connection is what makes everything possible, including their cooperation. So make time everyday to consciously refocus on your child and shower them with your love.
Here’s how I do it: Everyday, for 10-20 minutes, with each child individually, I do what we call ‘special time’. We do exactly what my child wants in that time—I resist the urge to teach or structure the time with activities. I roughhouse him to help him giggle out his anxieties. I do what he wants me to do, without looking at my screen, running to finish the chores, or taking loo breaks. 

Itching to launch into a lecture? Well, all your child hears is “blah, blah, blah….” When we give unsolicited advice (no matter how well-intentioned) or instruct our kids, they only hear the judgment. Connect before you correct. This means you take time to first reach to your child with empathy (where you truly attempt to understand what it must be like to be in their shoes) and then when your child feels understood, you can proceed to communicate and engage with your child. 
Here’s how I do it: Say, my child is throwing sand around while playing in the playground. Instead of lecturing and scolding, here’s what I say, “You’re really having fun throwing that sand, aren’t you? [empathizing] I see you’re in a throwing mood. What can you find that’s safe to throw? Would you like to throw leaves or flowers [offering a choice]?”  


People can get in touch with me on my email: meghnas@parentcircle.in

Also our FB page https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=parentcircle.com

Celebrating Women With Malliha

The second woman that I have chosen is

Malliha Fatima

I’ve been told that some people just have a certain energy about themselves, they almost effortlessly charm you and leave you feeling one with their high spirits. She is an enigma that dazzles in black.

She is a journalist and an influencer. As an Assistant Editor for WOW Hyderabad, she also consults with various other brands and helps with strategy. And if you’ve met her, you know she is a Shah Rukh Khan fan girl.


Tell us the story of how it all began..
“There actually is a very silly story. As an adolescent I was and
still am a huge fan of Justin Timberlake. I used to collect every
teen magazine just for him. That time I promised my self one
day I’d write for a magazine and meet him.
The story might be silly but fortunately I am in that profession.”

What keeps you going?
“What really keeps me going is the variety I come across
something new everyday. The boredom never sets in.”

What’s your take on challenges?
I think the key is to strike a balance. No matter how ambitious
a woman is there are certain responsibilities expected from you.
So try to strike a balance between work and personal life.
My core support system were my grandparents, although they
have passed on they still remain my strength.

Some thumb rules that you believe in to feel confident
in your own skin.

1.) Women burden themselves with the expectations of others.
Don’t.
2.) Keep yourself happy first, the rest will follow.
3.) Do what you love.
4.) A bit of healthy competition is fine, be comfortable with it.
5.) Learn to assert yourself.
6.) Be confident.
7.) Polite doesn’t mean weak, learn to say f-you with poise.
8.) Try to de-stress.
9.) Make time for yourself.
10.) Don’t take opinions too seriously

Styling tips that you swear by?
“My personal styling tips are-
1.)Great hair
2.) Confidence

… but if I had to give anyone else advice I would say don’t ever wear something You’re not comfortable in. You feel awkward and it shows- I notice that.”


Let’s sidestep a bit because who doesn’t love that heavenly voice that leaves wanting for more every time your listen What Goes Around.. Comes Around, Sexy Back, Mirror ; and talk about your crush on Timberlake.
Whats the status of your teenage crush?
“Its on. Always!”
If you had a chance to meet him, what would you say as an ‘ice-breaker’?
“Can’t nobody love you like I love you”..
these are the lyrics to his debut song
What would you centre your article on him around?
“His growth and his ability to adapt.
From a boy band to a pop star to a musician who can handle all genres with ease. Also, what makes him so charming.”
Okay, one last one. What would you wear to this interview?
“A classic LBD.”


How can people get in touch with you?
Instagram: @malliha_
And through email: malliha519@gmail.com
Also, there is bitterfondue

Celebrating Women with Pink Legal

To start the series that celebrates women, who better to begin with than a woman who is not just smart but also determined to support her tribe in every way she can. Not just a beauty with brains, but also a steel hearted human-

Manasi Chaudhary


Who is she, you ask?
“I am a lawyer who is passionate about gender equality and women’s rights. I was born in Mumbai and brought up in Hyderabad. I was raised to be free spirited, develop my own opinions, and dream big. 
I completed my law from Jindal Global Law School, Delhi and graduated with a medal as a topper of the batch. After graduation, I wanted to work in my hometown, Hyderabad, and I started practising in the Hyderabad High Court. In 2018, I worked under Justice DY Chandrachud in the Supreme Court in Delhi. I had the golden opportunity to assist him on three landmark judgments in India- Section 377 (decriminalising homosexuality), permitting women’s entry into the Sabrimala temple, and decriminalising adultery.”

Just another feminist, not really!
Here’s her story that led to the birth of Pink Legal.
I always felt very passionate about women’s rights and wanted to make a difference to the lives of women. On one occasion, I had to file a police complaint against two boys who had harassed me on the road. When I went to file the police complaint, it dawned upon me that I have the courage to file a police complaint because I am a lawyer. Any other woman in my place would probably choose to remain silent. Most women do not know how to file a police complaint, and many may not know that harassment is a criminal offence. 
Although laws in India are for women, women don’t know their legal rights. Therefore, as a lawyer, I decided to use my education and privilege to help women in the best way I can- by empowering them with the knowledge of their legal rights. I have started an initiative called Pink Legal, which is a one-stop platform for all laws related to women, right from rape, sexual harassment, to cyber bullying, to domestic violence, to property rights, to filing a police complaint. Pink Legal explains all women-related rights in an extremely easy to understand manner.  
Ever since I launched Pink Legal, every day we get various messages from women in distress, asking us for help. This has reinforced my understanding of how severe the gender inequality problem is in India, and how may women are in need of help. Women reaching out to Pink Legal motivates me every single day to make a difference as much as possible.

Any Challenges?
Fortunately for me, I don’t face the regular day to day challenges that most women face, especially after marriage. For example- even though women are now working and have their careers, they are still expected to take care of the house and cook for their husbands, whereas the same is not expected from their husbands. This puts double pressure on working women and continues the male privilege that Indian men feel entitled to. 
I have been blessed to be born to extremely loving, supportive, and encouraging parents, who have given me wings to fly as high as I can. They have given me the confidence to stand for what I believe in. Along with my parents, my husband and his family are also a great source of strength and support. Having a strong anchor at home helps me focus my energies on my work and career. 


Some Pro Tips:

  1. You can file a Zero FIR in any police station. 
  2. Police cannot arrest a woman after sunset and before sunrise. 
  3. You should file a police complaint at the earliest possible.
  4. Eve-teasing is a crime. You can complaint to the police.
  5. If you face any harassment, quickly collect evidence (like clicking a picture). This will help when you file a complaint. 
  6. If anyone is bullying you online, it is considered cyber crime. You should file a complaint with the police/cyber cell.
  7. If you are a woman in Hyderabad, know that the Hyderabad police and SHE Teams are extremely proactive. They are very helpful. Don’t hesitate to file a complaint.
  8. Every married woman has the right to live in her matrimonial house. No one can ask her to leave (this is very common in dowry harassment cases).
  9. Giving dowry is also a punishable offence, so don’t encourage dowry demands by giving dowry!

People can get in touch with me on the Pink Legal platform. We have a query box on each page of the website. I am listing the website and social media handles below:
http://pinklegal.in/
www.facebook.com/pinklegal.in
Instagram: @pinklegal.in

Dear Women,

This is an open letter. This is to all the girls, each one of whom is a uniquely fascinating cocoon and will soon break out into a vibrant butterfly. This is to all the women who are currently discovering their super powers and importance in the world.

“Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

There is so much out there that I couldn’t have anything more original and unique to say or share. But there are somethings that I wish for each of our beautiful souls…
May each one of us receive the love that you deserve and then some more.
May there be so much respect that the specialised need for women’s safety be eradicated.
May each one of us have the luxury to place ourselves first sometimes.
May there be enough space that we needn’t worry about being misunderstood.
May equality prevail so that we do not have to feel guilty about fairer sex privileges.
May each one of us experience acceptance on such a scale that we too learn to celebrate ourselves- in all complexions, through the stretch marks, for our shapes and sizes.
May there be no need to break through a glass ceiling because all we have is the horizon to look at.
May each one of us have the liberty to decide our own parental instincts, capacities and the lack of it, without being judged for it.
May there be more fathers, brothers, friends, boyfriends and husbands who do not attack femininity as a mainstream joke, nor do they appreciate it among their peers.
May we have the courage and support to chase our dreams and the comfort of knowing that failure isn’t ours always.
May we travel both the worlds- inside and the one around us, and thoroughly enjoy it.
May we all smile more often because we are happy, loved, cared for and cherished.


“Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress.” –Kiera Cass

“A woman is like a tea bag: You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” –Oprah Winfrey

“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” –G.D. Anderson

“There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.” –W.E.B. Dubois

“Real queens fix each other’s crowns.”

Let’s celebrate us!

KARMA

Ever feel like you’ve read something that you need to share?

There is no significant relation to your life at that very moment but it seems like it’s a thought for food for life in general.

When a bird is alive, it eats ants…
When the bird is dead, the ants eat it!

Time & Circumstances can change at any time…
Don’t devalue or hurt anybody.

You maybe powerful today… But remember,
Time is more powerful than you!!

One tree makes a million matchsticks,
But when the time comes,
Only one matchstick is needed to burn a million trees.

So Be Good. Do Good.

FESTIVAL OF SUN BATHING

Watching with bulging eyes and a child’s fascination, I held onto Baba’s finger as we walked down the beach. The turquoise waves were glittering against my eyes and the joy of the beach goers was almost infectious.
“Maybe it isn’t just me. I should find out if turquoise is on the happy colour spectrum according to colour psychology”, I made a mental note.
Almost immediately scrapping away the note; like an inquisitive child that’s incapable of containing her curiosity, I shared my thoughts with Baba hoping to catch an insight. He smiled. Continuing to walk as if he had a preset target in mind. But what was the hurry? We were just taking a morning stroll.
Weren’t we?!
Further ahead on the beach, we reached a stretch onto which the city seemed to have shifted its bedrooms. There were people by the hundreds who were laying there, lazy-ing around against the sub-urban busy backdrop. Spread out on their beach towels, generously rubbing sunscreens onto each other, floating on the turquoise creating an illusion of the black spots created when the eye hasn’t adjusted itself to the sudden brightness.
A few more meters and I could taste the salt in every bead that slipped off mu forehead and onto my lips to a degree that I could go on, no more. Not knowing that it was going to be a long walk, I had neither packed a bottle of water nor a hat; just flopping away in a pair of flip-flops which were beginning to feel uncomfortable in all that sand huh was quickly heating up now.
Holding Baba’s finger a bit tighter I silently signalled for him to stop. But to my amazement he did not just continue to walk he also did not look at me for a second. It was as if he too was silently sending me a message that he couldn’t be stopped. Red in the face with borderline dehydration, a growling stomach and now a slightly peaking temper; I held my ground throwing dead weight on Baba’s fingers.
I’m not sure what happened in that minute. What I saw next is not something I had expected. He looked at me with a child’s irritation in his eyes and then pointed at the sky with the awe of a child at an amusement park. I mean, this was beach and not DisneyLand!
I only understood the situation better after his next set of words, “walk a little more for my childhood’s sake?” Only then did my eyes honestly scan the skies to find the sun changing filters every now and then. There were kites all over. It wasn’t January but May, and yet the sky filled with colour.
And so we walked…

In Northern India, the month of January sees a steep drop in temperatures. The days are shorter and the sight of sun is even more rare. And if you have a chance to talk to the members of Gen X and Baby Boomers, you’ll find out that these freezing months and chilled breezes were invites to colourful kites painting the sky bright.


The kite flying, as my grand parents and parents have explained to me, is an excuse to get out in the sun after all that time of being bundled up under layers of clothing and holed up indoors. It is an excuse to get some exercise and release those chemicals while also absorbing some Vitamin D!

Our body produces vit.D by absorbing sunlight. This ‘D’ helps in absorption of calcium, resulting in healthy bones. Along with osteoporosis, it also reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart diseases, depression, diabetes and obesity.
One of the easiest source of vitD that is freely available to all of us is the Sun! But with a growing indoor life style, majority of the world population has a deficiency of it (mostly in the developing and developed nations).

So here are some eatables thatch help you gain more vit.D for a better mood, easier weight loss, stronger bones and better lung functioning.
1. Sesame: It is almost second nature to start craving for sesame (til in hindi) as a part of my regular diet just a soon as the winter comes. They could be just roasted, made into energy balls using jaggery to bind them or in the form of dips! They are one of the most under rated sources of vit.D and easily accessible. (I’m going to share a few links with recipes for the same, at the bottom).
2. Milk & Milk Products: Be it cow milk or alternate sources of milk (soy, almond, etc.), they are both great sources of vit.D! Cottage cheese, yoghurt and cheese also contains certain level of vitamin D. Nowadays, there is also fortified milk and milk products available at stores.
3. Mushrooms: They are a delicious source of vit.D as well as potassium. The level of the vitamin varies among the various kinds of mushrooms. Personally, I can add them to everything, right from soups to appetizers and salads to curries and noodles and pastas and rice (just not the desserts).
5. Egg Yolk: Often discarded for its high levels of cholesterol and disliked for its taste, this yellow softness is a sweetheart. The whites contain proteins but the vitamins and minerals are stores away in the yolk, making the consumption of the whole eggs are wiser decision.
6. Orange Juice: While most fruits lack vit.D except for oranges; they are a good source of calcium as well as vit.D. A glass of OJ can provide us with our daily requirement of D!

So here’s me, wishing each one of you a Happy & Vit.D rich kite flying season. May you be rich in it!
Go out more often and absorb as much of it as possible.


Sesame Seed Recipes:
Sesame Ladoo (power balls)
Sesame Dip
Sesame Sticks
Sesame Milk
Misc.

Better Late Than Never

If you haven’t caught wind from the title yet,
then here’s the perpetually late and now Mrs. :
Wishing You & Yours A Happy Healthy & Heartfelt New Years,
From Me & Mine!


Starting the year with the resolve to make humanity my first and foremost religion, I ran a full circle with The Hazy Whisperer as it turned 1, meeting the person I am going to grow old with… I brought in the New Year with that very person.
While the next few months are going to be all about change, adaptation and adjusting, I have decided to take one day at a time. And that majorly comprises my resolution as well.
Of course there are the usuals too, like:
1. Drink more water
2. Fit in some exercise each week
3. Smile more often and with honesty
4. Pet more dogs

For the new life, we have a motto!!

“The rarest thing in life is to live. Most of us just about exist”

Oscar Wilde

I wanted to thank each one of you for repeatedly visiting my page, reading, appreciating and showing all the love that you do.
So here’s something for all of you…


I have decided to make this year more interactive. To be more receptive. To be more impromptu.
I’d like you guys to comment or share a word, phrase, topic that you’d like me to talk about, discuss or explore.

SO LET’S TYPE AND SEND THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND!