Monday, May 25, 2015

When in Difficult Times, Pray.


We all have difficult times and some seem to be the worst of all. Do you pray in such times? I hardly do. I do not pray in adversity despite knowing that praying helps big time in difficult times. 

Just recently we got hit by a tragedy that somehow got averted but still scarred us for lifetime.

Last week we were on our way to Vaishno Devi from New Delhi. We were traveling by 3 AC compartment in Jammu Rajdhani train. We were eight adults in total and two young girls including my five year old Pahal. I normally do not travel by 3AC simply because its seats a little narrower than 2AC seats. But this time, since we had made the bookings at the last minute, to be on the safer side of getting the confirmed seats, we booked in 3 AC.

(source:eaststake.blog.com)
The journey didn't start well. A couple that was supposed to travel with us missed the train by a wink. My friend and I took notice of it but we chose to stay optimistic and began to enjoy our train ride.

After dinner as everyone settled into their seats, Sanjay took it upon himself to sleep with Pahal on the upper berth. About 1 pm in the night, we heard a thud followed by weeping. I immediately knew it was Pahal and so I got down from my middle berth, picked up Pahal from the bottom of the train and held her in my arms.

By then everyone had got up. We all tried to pacify her but to no avail. She was still weeping hard. My heart immediately realized that she was in extreme pain as she was not crying or screaming like she does when she gets hurt. She was weeping, with pain.

I held her tenderly and began stroking her but that also didn't soothe her. The mother in me instinctively knew her baby had a problem. So I asked her, 'where is the pain'? She pointed towards her leg. And Oh My God! I saw her swollen, broken leg right in front of me. I felt her broken, twisted, hanging leg on my palm. I could instantly feel the difference between her two legs and then I screamed, 'Pahal has got a fracture. We need a doctor.'

Pahal's fracture 
Sanjay jumped out of his seat, picked her up from my hands and got down off the train.  We decided to leave the train and head to the hospital in Ludhiana where the train had halted. The other family traveling with us also got down at the same station. Vaishno Devi was not our destination any more. The best available doctor in Ludhiana was.

And then I saw the Angel - a young man waiving at us from the other end of the platform. He is a doctor (known to our friends traveling with us who had called him right after the accident) who had come to pick us up from the station and to take us to the hospital.

He promptly helped us with everything. We got the X-rays done and thankfully, it was only the shaft bone in the thigh that had been broken. She was fine otherwise.

We stayed in Ludhiana for two days, got her leg operated and then brought her back to home. She had been badly missing her home.

Now, a week after the accident, Pahal is home. Happy and chirpy as before but still in pain, bed ridden and a little upset with her broken leg that has made her life confined to one room.

Sanjay and I have also re-gained our sanity a bit and now we are reflecting upon few things. First, it was our foolishness to let her sleep on the upper berth and that too on the outer side, even if she was insisting upon it.

(Source: Pahal on her way to home)
Second, it was my mistake to let Sanjay take charge of the situation when I know that Pahal has never slept with him. She sleeps with me and that too when they both could have slept on the lower berth.

Maybe it was a jinx that had been cast upon us or a bad omen we were carrying with us (our last two trips to Vaishno Devi were also cancelled. First because the area had got flooded last year and second when Sanjay couldn't get the leaves and we had to cancel the tickets).

I normally don't introspect over things but this time I can not get my mind off it. Why only Pahal? Why a five year old had to be punished for our foolishness? She didn't even want to sit on the upper berth, we made her sit there. Why didn't we listen to her instinct? Why did I, her mother, not know instinctively that my child was in danger on the upper berth? How could I not wake up from my reverie just a moment before she fell down?

These are the questions I am constantly seeking answers for.

Though I am extremely thankful to God for making the accident as least hurtful as possible. I shudder at the very thought of what could have happened if she had fallen upside down or had hit anything on her head or if she had got hurt on her head directly.

I am also very thankful for our stars that sent the guided angel our way that night. The doctor who stood by us throughout the night, arranged the emergency doctors and helped us with the best he could.

I remember I had begun to tremble the moment I lifted her up in the train. But my baby was brave enough to carry on with her excruciating pain. She gave me the strength to carry on with her. She gave me the power to pray.

A friend of mine once told me about two decades ago that she had never seen me praying in difficult times. Only after she had mentioned this, I realized that she was right. I could never pray in darker times. I pray when I am happy. I thank God when I am fine, when my family is fine. I so often fold hands and thank God for bestowing his blessings upon me in good times.

But in bad times - I just get blank. I can't pray. I can't ask for his mercy because I somehow feel that he is the one who has given us this grief so how will praying help?

I have learnt this lesson now.

Praying helps. It answers some of your questions. It heals your mind. It reminds you that life is bigger. It makes you realize that what you think is not always right. Prayer brings power. Prayer brings angels.

As soon as we got down from the train, Sanjay began walking along with Pahal and I walked behind them. I was only walking physically because my mind was racing elsewhere. I felt totally helpless when my baby was silently screaming with pain and discomfort.

That is when praying came naturally to me.

I prayed to God for Pahal's well being. I asked God to be little kind to my daughter. I requested him to reprimand me for my sins but spare my tiny being.

I wished for Pahal's safety. That moment, she being alive and out-of-danger among us was sufficient for me. That moment, I forgot all about our vacation plans, my job plans and my family issues. All I needed and wished for was my daughter safely living with me in my home.

As soon as I asked God for some help, I saw the angel, the doctor.

Now that the accident is over and also averted though it has left some scars in our lives, I sometimes brood over how and why our lives take some turns the way they do.

Each incident that occurs, each act that we do, each word that we utter leads to that ultimate critical consequence. 

Sometimes I feel we get disillusioned by the consumerism and materialism that has engulfed our lives so badly that we lose touch with the basic things like our instinct. Such incidents remind us our worth. They make us realize the importance of connecting with ourselves first than others. 

Even though I practise minimalism and simple living to a good extent, I also lose my orientation and become bewildered. There are times when I completely ignore the most important aspects of life in the view of some frivolous but attractive things. 

Seeing my daughter on the bed has helped me in getting my focus back. Each day with greater will power and immense strength, she teaches me the true meaning of moving on. 

(Source: Pahal and I during our last vacation)
She said to me last night, 'Mumma.. my birthday is in August. I may not be able to walk by then but no worries, I can cut the cake by sitting on the chair. We do not need to walk to cut the cake. Isn't it mumma?' I heard her and hugged her. This is the passion for life. 

The other day she said to her daddy, 'Papa.. every day I see the same dream that I have started walking but it is not a true dream.. it is only a pretend dream' and she began laughing (she uses the word 'pretend' for things that are not real). Her daddy only blamed himself a bit more after feeling her misery. But there she taught us what longing is and how longing does not mean sulking. 

I pray for my daughter's earliest recovery and I hope she gets to walk on her feet real fast. It breaks my heart to see her in pain like this when the young girl does not even shed a tear out of pain but I can see and feel the twitches on her face. 
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

8 Unique Birthday Gifts for Your Wife That Will Make Her Love You More


Woman plays varied roles in a man’s life. She can be sister, mother, friend, colleague and sometimes all in one in the form of a good wife! Wife is someone who stands by her man, no matter what. She supports, loves and encourages her life partner. So it is important to show, how much you love and appreciate her presence in your life. 

Birthday gift options for wife

Most of the husbands get confused about what to give to his beloved wife either for her birthday, anniversary or just to show her how much he truly appreciates her. It is something impossible to fathom, what to give your wife or partner especially someone who plays multiple roles in your lives. So to ease your mental burden, I present you some unique gift ideas for your wife’s birthday. 

Season terrarium necklaces

(Source: uncommongoods.com)
Like the multitude roles that she plays in our lives, you can always gift her season necklaces if she is someone who loves nature. The seasonal terrarium necklaces allows her to carry the various favorite time of the year, may that be summer, winter, autumn or fall. It is filled with dried greenery and semi-precious beads enclosed in an 18K vermeil-capped tube to capture these seasons.

Recycled glass globes

(Source: uncommongoods.com)
Recycled glass globes, One of most innovative and unique gift that you can give your wife. The glass globes can be presented to any of the women who play an important part in your life. This can be presented to sister, mothers, wives, friendship etc. These beautiful glass globes sport a vibrant splash of colors, making it beautiful, unique and eye-catching. These come with plastic hand tag to hang them wherever they please.

Row Boat Salad Bowl

(Source: uncommogoods.com)
This is for all those women, who are always making special dishes for us and always taking care of us especially if they are about design. You can present her with a Row Boat Salad Bowl with serving utensils. It can create a wow effect during the next dinner that she hosts. The aluminum bowl takes a look of a rowboat, with wooden plants casts for its hull. The oars serve as serving tools carved with sheesham along with rosewood. 

The define Bottle

(Source: tuvie.com)
For those women, who love to be on the run and are always health conscious, the Define bottle is a perfect gift. The define bottle allows them to enjoy healthy infused water on the go. They can place fruits or herbs in the lower compartment and fill the top with water. The built in strainer keeps pulp for clogging in the spout, the freezable base keeps it cool. This can fit the car cup holder and the strap keeps it accessible on the run. 
 
Make Up Clutch

(Source: ponikuta.com)
For those women, who live out of the bag and are constantly running from one meeting to another. Get her a perfect make-up clutch, which can hold all her make-up and accessories that will convert into a clutch as well. This clutch is washable and made out of quilted nylon and water repellant. A specially designed lip around the bag ensure that their make-up does not roll of the counter. 


Handpresso

(Source: handpresso.com)
We all lead hectic lives, most of us live on either a coffee or tea to get through our days. Our caffeine intake is something that is very important to us. If your spouse or partner is the kind of person who lives on caffeine to get through the day. You can always gift her a Handpresso. It is a portable hand-held espresso machine that pumps up to 16 bars of pressure. It can make espresso, cappuccino, Americano and latte. All it requires is some hot water and ground coffee.

Tuck Device Rack

(Source: amazon.com)
For those special women in our lives, who are technologically driven. Gifting them a Tuck Device Rack which can hold all their gadgets. The Tuck Device Rack is a sleek storage solution that can keep laptops, tablets and phones off the counter and nightstands. It is made out of metal, rubber and plastic and can be cleaned with soapy water. It has perforated surface which makes it easier to hold wires and cables. 

Jeweler in the dish washer

(Source: jewelerinthedishwasher.com)
Women usually own a lot of jewelry. A woman without her jewelry is not complete. Cleaning the jewelry takes quite a bit of time and effort and sometimes even money. Jeweler in the Dishwasher is a box created to hold your jewelry and put it in the dishwasher to get it cleaned. All it requires is it be put into the dishwasher with a little detergent.

Women need expression of love, attention and care. These little yet sweet and considerate gifts show the how much you care for the women in your life. 

I understand gifts may not necessarily express the love, care, gratitude and all your feelings to her but a surprise gift like any of the above is surely going to make her happy. And if you are lucky, she will love you even more! 

Note: This post is submitted by Kiran Sinha of the blog http://bestbirthdaygiftsideas.com. You can hop over to her blog for more gift ideas. 
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One Night Stand Leads to Love: A True Story


One-night stands are not uncommon nowadays. Anyone can easily have sex with anyone even after getting acquainted for the first time. Sometimes, an hour long conversation with a couple of drinks can lead to a temporary sexual relationship. In other cases, the existence of social media has given more convenient and faster ways to talk about having casual sex. In whatever way it is done, it’s just a matter of consent and indirect agreement between the two people involved. And having a one-night stand does not necessarily mean that the two people have to be in love after.

IT WAS JUST SEX. IT IS JUST SEX.

But, what if a one-night stand bore a surprising gift of life? Will love be possible to last between the two people who just met for the first time and had sex for only one night?

(Source: favim.com) 
Fortunately, for my friend Jennifer and her husband Roland (not their real names), it was not the kind of love they hoped for but it was a love that exceeded beyond their imaginations. Their love story is not the epic kind, but it is something special, worthy to be told. They never knew each other, never even talked as far as they could remember. Until that one night happened, everything seemed to fall into place.

Jennifer was 21 and was working as an ESL (English as Secondary Language) instructor at a private English institution in Cebu, Philippines. She was young and very much in love with her then 25-year-old Korean student Kent (not his real name).

She was happy with how her life was running. She had a job and a boyfriend. But one night, Kent suddenly decided to end the relationship with her. He was terribly worried that his family would not be able to accept someone who is not Korean.

Deeply saddened and heartbroken with the break-up, Jennifer went home to her hometown for a couple of days. She called her friends to have a drink in a local bar that night just to clear out her mind - and heart.

While Jennifer was enjoying her drink with the company of her friends, she suddenly noticed a familiar face who came in from the entrance door. As she was checking his face, she realized that it was Roland, the son of her parents’ friends. She only knew him by face and never had a chance of even talking to him.

And, that was it. 

To cut the story short, Jennifer and Roland began talking and getting to know basic things about themselves. They talked about how close their families were and how they were not able to become friends. They talked until they began a little bit comfortable with each other. At least that was what they both said to me.

One of Jennifer’s friends approached and told them that it was already time to go home. It was already 2 AM and the bar had to close by that time.

As they stood up from their seats, Roland suddenly asked Jennifer if it would be alright to walk her home. Since both of their houses were just a stone’s throw away from the bar, Jennifer agreed to be accompanied by Roland going home.

As they were walking, Jennifer surprised herself by asking Roland if he wanted to have coffee in her house. At the back of Jennifer’s mind, she could not believe that she just invited him in her house to have coffee. Of course, Roland had no reasons to say no to her invitation. So both of them went inside Jennifer’s house quietly so as not to wake her parents who were already sound asleep.

There was an awkward silence that surrounded both of them. Their eyes veered from each other and not a word came out from their mouths.

It was too quiet until Roland gazed at Jennifer and took her hand that was comfortably positioned on the table. He slowly grabbed it and kissed it gently while looking at the puzzled and shocked face of Jennifer.

Jennifer told me that she had no idea what was going on at that time. She could not take her hand back even if she wanted to. But she felt that something unavoidable was going to happen. Was it because they drank too much? Or was it a spur of the moment and she just followed what she had felt at that time?

That night led to a physical bond between them. 

A month after the 2-day vacation in her hometown, Jennifer was already back to her work. Everything was back to its normal state and there was no sign of her wanting to see Roland again after what had happened between them. She did not even have his number. So, it was something that made her peaceful.

“At least I did not build any affection for him at that time. It was a bit difficult for me to be in a relationship after a devastating break-up.” she said.

Just when she thought everything was doing fine, she suddenly felt nervous when she knew her monthly period had not arrived yet.

To confirm her suspicions, she went to a pharmacy and bought 3 pregnancy test (PT) kits. She, then, went to her apartment, a little bit shaken on what the results would be. After four hours of doing the three tests, Jennifer was alone in dealing with an all three-POSITIVE PT results. She was pregnant with Roland’s child.

“I was crying alone. It was so difficult to handle that situation alone. After knowing that I was pregnant, I know I needed to go back to the province and tell Roland about it. I didn’t actually know what to do with it,” Jennifer said as she was recalling what happened.

When she arrived in her hometown, she immediately saw Roland at a court playing basketball with his friends. She went near the court and stood at the side to wait for Roland to finish the game.

As the game ended, Roland saw Jennifer’s radiant face across the court and hurriedly ran towards her. She saw him coming and she was glad to see him after a month of not keeping in touch.

“Roland, long time no see. Dugay na gyud ta wa magkita. Kumusta naman ka? (It’s been a long time since we last saw each other. How are you?),” Jennifer asked.

Roland was very much delighted to see her suddenly appear right in front of hime. “Wa ko magdahom nga magpakita pa siya nako human sa nahitabo namong duha (I did not expect to see her again after what happened to us). I was really happy when I saw her,” Roland told me.

But then, the atmosphere suddenly changed when Roland saw Jennifer’s teary eyes. Roland definitely noticed that there was something going on so she kindly asked her to tell him the reason why she did not seem feel OK.

Jennifer broke her silence and said, Buntis ko, Roland. Ikaw ang amahan. (I’m pregnant, Roland. You are the father).”

Roland had his eyes wide open when he knew about the pregnancy. Jennifer, on the other hand, was a bit nervous about his reaction. She could not read if he was devastated, happy, excited, or whatever. It took a minute or two for him to digest what he just heard until he said, “Sigurado na gyud ka nga buntis (Are you sure that you are pregnant)?”

Ar that moment, Jennifer lost her hope of having the father for her child when suddenly, Roland ran and shouted, “Amahan nako, amahan nako, amahan nako (I’m a father, I’m a father, I’m a father).”

Jennifer could not believe what she heard. She was crying because of happiness when she saw Roland jumping for joy.

“I could not believe that he was actually that happy to know that I was pregnant,” she said.

Roland came near to Jennifer and wiped her tears from her face. He said that she should not worry because he would be responsible for the baby. And then hugged her so tight.

That evening, Roland and his family went to Jennifer’s house to talk about the pregnancy situation. Since both families were close to the Catholic Church, they wanted Roland and Jennifer to have the traditional church wedding before the baby would come out.

Taken aback, Jennifer opposed to the idea of marriage because she barely knew Roland. They only met once and never had a chance to meet again before the pregnancy news broke out. But the families insisted on the marriage to avoid being tainted with bad reputation and gossips of illegitimacy. If Jennifer and Roland would not follow their wishes, they would be forced not to support them.

Jennifer went out to ease her mind. She couldn’t take in what their families planned for her and Roland. She felt like it was her punishment for having a one-night stand with a total stranger and for getting pregnant with the same guy.

“I couldn’t catch my breathe. What was happening? Why did it have to end with marriage?”, she told me.


Roland followed her outside a moment after Jennifer went out the house. He saw how bothered she was with the sudden marriage proposal and why couldn’t accept it right away.

“Jen?,” he called her. Jennifer didn’t move. Roland hesitantly wanted to give her a back hug to calm her down. He knew he didn’t have the courage to comfort her that way and only said, Pasensiya na sa tanan, Jen. Pero, wala jud ko nagmahay sa nahitabo natong duha. Kahibaw ko lisod magpakasal sa tawo nga wala pa kaayo ka kaila, pero wala nako damha nga magkagusto ko nimo og maayo pagkahibaw nako nga nagsabak ka sa akong anak (I’m sorry for everything, Jen. But, I never regret about what happened to us. I know it’s hard to marry someone you haven’t known that much, but I didn’t expect to fall for you more after you told me you were pregnant with my child),” he said.

Bisan wala kaayo ta kaila sa usa’g-usa, pwede ra gyud na nato buhaton bag-o ug inig human sa kasal (We may not know each other that much, we can surely do that before and after the wedding). I’ll give m best to make this relationship work,” Roland continued.

With what she just heard, Jennifer slowly turned to him with tears. She wasn’t able to say something after Roland gave a feeling of wanting to be married to her. They deeply looked into each other’s eyes. And for a second, Jennifer hugged him so tightly, a sincere gesture that said, “Thank you.”

Eventually, after a month of wedding preparations, Roland and Jennifer got married at the church in their hometown. Jennifer was already two months pregnant and, luckily, her baby bump had not shown that much yet. They vow a happy married life, filled with love and trust.

“I never expected that day to be a happy and full of love. I never felt contented until that day. I never knew that I can marry a person I just met for a short while,” Jennifer told me.

Roland said that he was already unconsciously falling for Jennifer the moment he asked her to walk home together. It was something that he could not understand but he felt that she was someone he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Although, he knew that Jennifer would not feel the same way for him that’s why he never tried to stay in touch with her after that night.

Weeks after the wedding, they had their honeymoon. In July 2012, Jennifer gave birth to a healthy and bouncy baby Dee. And, of course, their marriage had been smooth-sailing. Roland boarded on a ship as a seaman, but was able to be with his wife while giving birth. For them, everything seemed to fall into place.

It is already 2015. Their baby turns 3 and they will be celebrating their 3rd anniversary as well. They both mutually felt that they belong to each other. They love each other.

That one-night was supposedly just sex for the both of them. They never thought that it could blossom into a love of commitment and trust.

“Of course, we had doubts of getting married right away. There were times when we thought that it was not going to work out. And we got married out of our own will because I got pregnant. We had our fair-share of struggles and problems. But, Roland took care of me. He constantly keeps on reminding me how much he loves me and that he married me because he loves me,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer loves Roland as much as he loves her. She wasn’t able to realize that until she got married to him. She loves him even more for giving her a beautiful baby whom they love more than anything else in the world.

I asked Jennifer, if there was no baby involved after all, would she still be able to love someone like Roland?

She answered with a smile, “Yes. Yes, I would.”

For those persons who have experienced a number of one-night stands already, they would probably say that it was just sex for fun. It was a way to keep them away from getting bored. But for Jennifer and Roland, their one-night stand was more than just sex. It made them realized that the existence of love can happen even after getting to know someone less than a day, either with drinks or just merely over a conversation of whatever.

Well, some of you can say that they only loved each other because of their daughter. If that’s the case, why are they still together now? Why would Jennifer show me another positive pregnancy test result?

Yes, Jennifer and Roland will once again welcome a new member of their family very soon.

Note: The post above is contributed by Mary from Philippines. 


Mary Josebelle Alusin is Filipina home-based online ESL instructor, freelance writer, and single mother of a beautiful daughter.
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Living A TV-Less Life for Almost a Year


Can you imagine a life without TV? No? I guessed so. 

Now imagine if I tell you that we have been living a life without TV for the past one year or so!!! Yes! 

Since the time I moved into my new house in New Delhi, we have been living a TV-less life

(My living area where the wall is empty above the wall unit. I am not thinking of getting a wall paper that reads 'we don't have TV. We have conversations')
We actually did not buy a TV set for our home and nor we plan to do so for at least many more years to come. 

Surprising? May be. 

Everyone around us is either glad or stupefied by the fact that we have never thought of buying an instrument that otherwise seems essential to many for a sustainable living. 

Many asked me, 'how do you pass time without a TV'?

Many claimed, 'it is only for now.. you would eventually buy it'.

While most simply remarked, 'this is commendable but we can not ditch the TV. We NEED it'. 

I usually smile when people say any of the above. I understand smiling is the best I can do when they are not in the mood to grasp the reasoning of our decision. And to those who really want to know and may even want to chuck TV out of their lives, this is what I say to them - 

'CHUCK THE TV OUT right away. It is not simply eating away your precious family time, it is also adding stress to your lives and throwing unnecessary competition, negativity and emotional burden upon you'. 

Let me first tell you why we decided to go TV-LESS. It was our ADDICTION to TV that prompted me to remove the object of addiction itself. 



1. It was taking way hell of a time of ours. Particularly the family time. My husband would be glued to the TV after returning from office and there was no stopping him. When we were in Andamans, he would come home by 7pm or 7:30 pm and right after dinner he would head to the hall, switch on the idiot box and watch the never-ending, noisy, loaded with brick-bats news debates or Star Movies repeated action movies. If none of these interested him, he would watch Discovery for hours. 

2. I, on the other hand, unknowingly and unwillingly, got hooked onto the ridiculous and extremely non-sense TV soaps. Even if I watched two or three serials, just the dire desire to watch their fresh episode would turn my whole schedule upside down. My mornings and evenings were planned according to their show timings. 

3. My daughter had the worst addiction. She would watch the cartoon for hours in a row, she later on developed the habit of eating or drinking milk only when she was watching TV. 

SO 

I decided to call it quit. 

We did a small experiment on it while we were in Andamans itself. One day, I removed the cable wire if the TV and my husband and I challenged each other on who would start watching it again. Both of us stayed away from TV for a fortnight. 

{I lost the challenge and switched on the TV first..}

But this little exercise taught us that we could go TV-less if needed. 

When we moved to Delhi and shifted to our house, we had to buy every thing needed for a household. But since we did not realize the need of a TV immediately, we thought we would delay it. We delayed and then we never bought it.

(My living area; there is no TV :D)
What difference do I notice in my life now? 

1. It is much more peaceful than it would have been with a blaring TV. If you own a TV in the house, you switch it on. And once switched on, it holds onto your attention because that is how TV channels make money. 

2. Less advertisements mean less spending. Now I do not buy something just because it makes tall claims on TV. 

3. NO TV means NO NOISE except the sweet chitter chatter of human beings or old melodies being played on the radio. Yeah! I have a radio and I play it for two hours each in the mornings and evenings. So, I do get my dose of entertainment and music. 

4. LOT of time with family with undivided attention. Now that TV is not there, none of us gets distracted while talking to the other. 

5. Less stress, less electricity bill and less overload. Without TV there is much less stress in our lives now. I do not have to listen to those never ending conspiring saas-bahu sagas or animated hypothetical 'what if.. this.. happens to our earth' kind of videos and nor I have to listen to never-ending counter-complaining news debates. 

6. Less screen time altogether. I mostly spend my time on laptop. Coupled with TV, my total screen time in a day would be devastating to my health. Thankfully, now my screen time is controlled as I have also put my laptop hours on check. 

7. No more cartoons for my daughter. She watches some videos on laptop but on laptop I have the power of control with me. I can control what she watches and not. But with TV, you can not control. You can not escape the advertisements that come between the shows, you can not escape the plots, and you can not choose outside those five-six channels for children. Internet gives you the liberty to choose or create your own plan. I am not saying internet addiction is better than TV's but if I have to show something to my daughter, I would rather search from the billion videos on internet than to put on a cartoon show on TV. 

8. Better health, guaranteed. 

9. Better sleep, guaranteed. 

10. Better life, guaranteed. 

We are extremely happy with our decision to live a TV-less life and I hope we do not buy a TV set ever. It's benefits are too many to even think of buying one. 


(reading and writing from balcony; TV doesn't give this liberty)
As far as staying updated with the world is concerned, we have the following: 

1. We read newspapers and news magazines that not only give more balanced opinions than TV but also give us the liberty to read as and where like to. Right now, as I write this, my husband is reading the newspaper in the balcony. 

2. Internet is anyways there. We do a google search and read comprehensively when we feel we may be missing out on anything special. Like one night my husband stayed up till late in the night to watch LIVE telecast of Apple iwatch launch. 

3. Instead of reading many opinions, we create ours. Since we get lot more time to connect with each other now, my husband and I talk to each other more and now we have our opinions without listening to too many counter and rather ruthless thoughts on TV. 

I can go on and on about the good that 'no TV in life' has done to us but for the capacity of this article, I will stop here. 

If you have any questions or if you want to remove the idiot box from your life and you need some tips, please feel free to contact me. 

Also tell me who watches more TV in your home? And can you go for a TV-less life? 

If you enjoyed reading this article, please LIKE, RETWEET and SHARE it. Your friends will thank you for sharing it with them. I thank you, right away! 



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Monday, April 27, 2015

Finding Your Younger Self - True Story Of Losing 25 Kgs!!!


Just a causal mention of being fat...a fat woman...how it pained and embarrassed me when I compared myself with others, the same age yet looking so youthful and glorious...how was the feel asking for a double XL always... always...how when my doll wished for a shoulder ride and I told her I simply couldn’t.

How when son played badminton with me and I would soon be done up due to bending n picking the shuttle cork again and again. She understood. A cousin did. I expected nothing. Just had lightened myself off the pain a bit.

Then a couple of days later, my hope was rekindled...my dream refueled...as she said she was all set with the plan for me asking if I too was ready for the ordeal. 

I said I was. The first set of instructions seemed too hard to be followed...the very first being...'you must follow the diet plan till the last 't'. 

(Maya's before and after pics)
I was like anxiously yet willingly surrendering myself to the thing knowing It was good for me... I had somehow to get rid of those packets of fat hanging at places, low confidence and insecurities.

On being asked to prepare a list of breakfast items I generally took, I provided her a long list indeed thinking she might pick the suitable ones out of those and further to impress her that we made such a variety.

Strictly enough she cut them all and made a list of items none of which I had ever thought I would be having.

I literally disliked many of those but like an obedient kid, I listened to my teacher. I decided that I would bow down the things with courage, would give a bold NO to the things I relished the most. By now I had learnt that a lot of self discipline is required.


Bit by bit I gathered self control...sinful food kept floating before my eyes of fancy BUT along with that a trimmed 'me,' kept beckoning me from so conspicuous a distance though. 

The weighing scales that I would never put my feet on did in fact become a daily morning ritual when the pangs of hunger at the midnight hour, after a bowl of bottle gourd soup would pierce my insides, I would imagine that I might have lost another two hundred grams by the next morning if I tried to sleep with that gurgling sound inside my tummy.

I struggled against cravings, tongue temptations and maintained painstakingly the prescribed diet chart, item by item, hour by hour.

Had never ever dreamt of swimming in my life but now agreed to...I had to overcome my fears howsoever long did it seem to take...brisk walks whenever and wherever possible...

Picking up the cork many a times didn't tire me any longer. The heavy feel, indigestion, acidity were on their way to be the things of the past. 

My body whispered, 'I am happier and lighter now'.

Weeks and months of a disciplined life saw the awakening of a happy writer, a happy wife and a happy mother.

(Source: Pinterest)
A far fetched dream it really was  but my angel provided me the carriage to reach there.

She kept spurring me up. Asked in between as a piece of reward if I had some particular craving. I  humbly accepted if I had!

Not that bad you know...

When you start loving the healthy food, the healthy advice, the healthy thoughts and wisdom, you get back the real glow.

This self control also made me more spiritual a being, preparing delicacies for all yet keeping away from them. I was being a friend to myself.

Whatever fractions of that healthy schedule could I administer on my hubby darling and beloved kids, I did my best - eating a big papaya with four forks one for each became an unwelcome yet healthy ritual.

They would make partitions in the plate n count their pieces...of course manifesting big hearts, providing me without fail, the lion's share.

I don't believe I have come this far. It was a resolution taken last new year but it is a dream come true this new year! 

In this last one year I lost 25 Kgs of fat (or weight as you like to call it) and 10 inches off my waist.  The journey from 40 inches waist size to sweet 30 inches weight has been a learning curve. 

Dear Mentor,

It's time to acknowledge the mental boost, the pains taken, the unease you must have had looking for options I would often ask for. I can't really forget how even when on an official tour, you never failed to provide the week's plan ahead. 

You have given me what I know no one could. I did have faith in you...it didn't go amiss.

I'm so intrigued when I see people in awe. They cast stolen looks while a few advance and ask with pure concern if...something has gone wrong with me. If I'm suffering from some disease. 

They miss my plump cheeks and round face...do I too ?
I smile within. 
Sometimes.

I often missed my younger self...never knew, would be able to regain. You made it possible sweetheart!
What greater gift I could ask for?

Note: This post is contributed by Maya who has written several loving posts on Womanatics
Pour in your questions about diet tips, weight loss tips, questions or any comments that you have. Maya is here to answer and help you all. 


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

To Have Or Not To Have A Second Child?


This week I got two questions on the same subject. 

Question. We already have a 4 yr old baby. I am the one who takes care of the baby full time. I have no other help in terms of servant or a helping hand at home. Even if I had, I won't have been happy to leave the baby to the maid. But I hardly get time for myself and I feel my baby also feels a little lonely. Should I go for second child? What about the weight gain again? And how do I deal with two kids and re-start my life again after 5 yrs? Please help. 

Answer. Dear Readers, 

I couldn't answer these questions at a better time than this. I have myself been battling with this dilemma for over half a year now. 

Every parent has a unique style of parenting, just like you and me. You may be good at showering material gifts upon your baby, I may be good at teaching her the ethics. You may be awesome at taking best care of the child while I am a lazy mum and can do lot of cheating when it comes to cooking and playing with the baby. 

But with all the parents, one thing is common - parents love their child and any kind of discomfort hurts them. 

In my case, what hurts me the most is when my daughter asks me innocently - 'who should I play with? You are on your laptop and papa is busy with phone?' The moment she questions us, we both melt and jump up to play with her but soon we are back to our desks again. We can not keep up with her energy level for more than 15 mins! 


It hurts me to see that my child, even though she has a stay-at-home mum, feels lonely at times and she seeks company of other children. Thankfully we live in a campus that has many children and she gets the company but still she has to go to somebody else's house or call other children to her home. 

Pained by her childish misery, I often decide to take the leap of having a second child. But immediately the realities of having two young children at home begin to haunt me. How would I go back to being a working woman again? Will we manage the finances? What about my endless travel plans? Who will deal with the extra chores at home with two children? The list is endless. 

Problems are many but the benefits are few. 

BUT despite the initial chaos a new baby would cause and the next two years of constant busy-ness, I am now ready to have a second baby. 

I am thinking (seriously!) about a second child. Simply because I hope I will have more time for myself in the future with two babies playing with each other. Also, I have siblings and I know what a huge support siblings can be for one another. I want Pahal to have that kind of support.

Some awesome times of celebrations
Also in Sanjay I find a very supportive life partner. Not only he takes good care of me, I am assured that he will do his best to help me with whatever he can. I am a happily married woman and another baby would add to the happiness. 

In addition to this, I know my limitations as a mother. I can not be physically engaged with Pahal in her games; I am not too good at playing girl-ish games with her; I am a mom who needs her share of 'me time', no matter what! Basically, I can not provide her the company she desires and deserves. 

Finance is one aspect I need to sort out before I take the plunge. I have been blogging more regularly lately and I am also looking for part-time options. As soon as my finances are sorted, I will go for a second baby.

Sharing a laugh with my sister
That is about me. Hope it provides some clarity to you.  

If your case is any different than mine, I would suggest you keep the following in mind and then take a decision: 

1. Another baby means lot of responsibilities. You need to think well in advance about how you are going to fulfill these extra responsibilities. 

2. Finance - this is the most important responsibility. A new being means new added expenses. Are you well prepared? 

3. Is your marriage strong? - I have seen women going for a second child to fix their marriage and this is ridiculous. Unless you have a good, healthy marriage, I would not suggest going for another baby. If the future of your marriage is secured and seems good, go for it. Else, either fix your marriage first or drop the idea. 

Look alike - with my brother
What to do when you are prepared with the above but your child feels the need of a sibling? 

1. Take care of the above first. It is best to provide a conducive, healthy environment to your baby so try to resolve the issues before his/her arrival. 

2. If your baby is not very keen on second child, then you can be the company. I know families that do very well in terms of bringing up their own single child and they do it wonderfully well. Be that example and if you can not give him company of children, act like a child yourself. 

3. Take some more time to think about it and act only when you are sure of it. It would be utterly insane if you repent your decision of having a second baby after he/she is born. So make up your mind well before the arrival and once the baby is here, devote yourself unconditionally to him/her. 

I have answered a similar question here as well. 

Hope this helps. All the best. 

I am sure you may know people who had similar dilemmas. Share your own personal experience or of others' and help the readers in making a wise decision. Thank you for your love!
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Celebrating 'getting older'


It was her thirty fourth birthday. 

People rejoiced and wished her in the best ways possible. 

Her hubby, a life time admirer of hers, had gifted an enchanting necklace just like the one she had long been craving to adorn herself with. 

Even her kids were mature enough to give her sweet little surprises like love-notes and thanksgiving notes pasted on doors and walls of her room, flowers, hugs and hand- made cards thus making the day a very special one. 

(Celebrating my 34th birthday)
She had richness of all sorts amassed within the four walls of her sweet home. Perfect! E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. j.u.s.t. p.e.r.f.e.c.t! 

What was it that didn't allow her to feel blissful and contented? Actually she had probed the depths of the mirror last night. It didn’t make her happy as it always did. She was stung by the painful thought that she was getting older. The grey strands of hair were getting just too stubborn to be concealed any- more. 

She felt insecure when she had to do her hair in a way that might keep the salt and pepper from view. Was she going to dye? No! She hated to resort to such artificial means. Did she suffer from any mortal fears? No!! What was it then? 

Did she fear her husband wouldn't love her if she grew old? Perhaps yes!! 

(Thanking almighty on my birthday for these smiles. Yeah Sanjay is still shy of smiling on camera :P)
Did she worry because she thought she might not be carrying herself well in the social gatherings with such a mature look at such an unripen age? 

'What happened sweetheart?' her husband approached her and asked kissing her hands. 'Nothing. I'm fine.' she sobbed. 'It's your birthday honey!!' 'Ummm. It is.' 'The occasion calls for celebration!! 

Where have these silly tears come from?' he was startled. 

'See; I'm getting old...' she rather exposed the grey bunch of her hair to see how he reacted. 
'Is that all which makes me birdie go off colored?' he laughed. 

'You won't love me now onwards; no?' 

'I love u for your beautiful heart dear. You look awesome! Really! Getting old together wud be fun; no?' he clasped her feminine frame to his masculine broad chest. 

'U mean it???' she asked wiping her tears with the pads of her thumbs. 

'I mean it. I love you honey! Come on let's celebrate.' 
Getting old?' 

'Yeah!!'

(Let the celebrations begin)
Note: The post above is written by Maya. You can read her last post - Wrong Number, Good Kiss and a Great Love.

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