Wednesday, October 22, 2014

20 Awesome Rangoli Designs To Inspire You!

Hi All,

Today's post is a little different from the usual posts but this is quite useful. Since I have been scouting for simple and beautiful designs of Rangoli to inspire me, I thought it would be helpful to you if I share some of my favorite designs.

So here are my 20 favorite designs of Rangoli to inspire those who will be making a Rangoli this diwali.

1. A Beautiful, Circular Flower Design

2. Though simple, but this sure is unique with purple hues

3. Another huge round rangoli design made by flowers. I particularly liked the colorful border of the design

4. A very apt design for Diwali

5. Another Diwali design featuring Diya


6. This one is my favorite of all. Simple design but the well designed use of flower colors make it unique


7. Another design that will look pretty if made in small size

 8. A symmetrical design


9. Another design with Lord Ganpati


10. A do-able design with flowers

And this ultimate design is a BONUS! Hats off to the person who drew it. 


 Below is a compilation of designs made with colors.

1.  I think this is the most ideal design to decorate your corner

(Source: Flickr)

2. A very colorful design


3. I think the lady has used real peacock flowers here. Or if not, then it looks like real!

(Source: Google)

4. Another peacock design


5. A swan this time and it looks majestic!


6. Someone drew this in her backyard and this is the most beautiful peacock design. 

(Source: on a facebook group)

7. Nah, THIS one is my favorite! 

8. I now think they used flowers in this. Whatever is the case, this is amazing. Isn't it? 

9. A simple design but I like the way they have filled the colors in the design

(Source: google)

10. Such a unique corner design

And now the design that I made in my home last Diwali. 

For more such inspiration follow my board "Henna and Rangoli designs" that has loads of Rangoli as well as Henna designs.

Hope you liked the designs. If you are making Rangoli at home, please share the pics with me. I'll include them as well in the list. :) 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

(Back On The Blog) With a Giveaway!!

Hi All, 

First and foremost, I need to apologize for my sudden exile from the blog. I remember I talked about going slow but never mentioned that I would simply vanish and I am sorry I did vanish. 

Before I go further let me extend a huge thankyou note to all of you who were kind enough to miss me and write to me personally either through FB or emails. So all you wonderful ladies, Shilpa, Dhanu, Tanu, Neha, Sandhya, Richa, Ritu.. and those who messaged me on FB.. thanks a lot and if I am back on the blog, its for you guys!

I thought to make my comeback exciting for you all and hence I bring to you a lovely giveaway. Yay!

Without much ado, let me first announce a giveaway and then in my next post I will take you through my life in the past 3 months. Lots of up with many downs as well. All in all, a true roller coaster ride. 

As of now, lets talk about the awesome giveaway I have for you lovely ladies. 

The giveaway is drool worthy. Rules are simple and winners would be - two!

Two winners of the giveaway will win a bag each.

The first winner gets to pick the one she likes while the second winner will get the one that the first one doesn't like. :)

The two bags up for the giveaway are:

1. An embellished silver evening clutch by Accessorize worth Rs. 3695/-

2.  A hand made embroidered shoulder bag featuring Kutchh work worth Rs. 400/-

I bought this green bag from Gujarat. I fell in love with it the moment I first saw it. But since I can not put it to use (I have a toddler and I need a much larger bag than I can imagine), I am giving this away to one special reader. 

The bag would be perfect for summers when you are wearing skirts or kurtas or can be also be carried along if you decide to go Boho! :) 

To win the giveaway, all you have to do is to follow the three steps below: 

1.  Like Womanatics on Facebook (click here) or Follow Womanatics on Twitter (click here).

2. Tag any of your five friends on the social platform you like and answer the question by tagging Womanatics - "My favorite post from Womanatics is - and give the link of the post"

3. Like this post. You can either click the LIKE button below the post or you can go to the FB page and LIKE there.  

Simple and easy! :)

I will pick two winners at random and the two will get to win a bag each! 

Giveaway is open only for Indian residents and closes on Oct. 31st i.e.  a fortnight from now. 

I can't possibly tell you how elated I am to be here with all of you and I am extremely eager to hear from each one of you. Lets begin the conversations! :) 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Is Motherhood A Choice? - A True Story

Today's post is a guest post from Ananya of Ananya Tales. It is a short true story that many of us can relate to. I loved reading it and know that you would enjoy it too. Off to Ananya. 


Something strange happened yesterday. ..

I was selecting pictures for my Anand Mela blog post, its always difficult task to select few from hundreds of them anyways thats when my phone rang. It was an unknown phone number, still my eyes stuck on my laptop screen I answered the call, there was a shaky 'HELLO' on other end.

She said "Hi, We don't know each other, but I read your blog daily and I feel I know you very well. I got your phone number from a common friend long back but I waited all this while to talk to you. Before you ask my name, I don't wish to disclose it and would appreciate if you don't try to find it out."

Before I could say something she continued "I want to share something with you, which if you wish you can write about. Can I talk to you for few minutes or call you later?"

I shut my laptop screen got up from my chair from her voice I could tell she was not fooling around and it was something serious. I said "Ok ! Go ahead, am listening".

Now just for our reference let us call her Anamika - which means nameless!

Anamika continued "Thanks ! I dont want to address you as a friend just want you to listen."

I interrupted "If you don't think of me as a friend then why talk to me?"

Anamika said "I have been in USA for more than six years now and I have many whom I call as friends. Friends whom I invite over for dinner, friends with whom I party, friends whose birthdays we celebrate, friends who are neighbors, friends who are jealous when I am doing good and friends who are happy when I am upset. I don't usually complain but I am so sick of this superficial relationships. I have a perfectly normal life like everyone else does with own share of problems but I am fine with it. What am not able to accept is not a single person I know is ready to share his/her sorrows with me. There have been times when I have shared my short comings with others just to lighten my heavy heart. But more than often that just ends up becoming a hot topic of discussion. I am bored of painting the perfect picture. I want to discuss my imperfections and work on them. I just feel its..."

She paused and waited for me to react, I wish I could but I was at loss of words. I tried saying " I understand how that feels..."she just cut my words and said "NO, you don't!"

She continued "There have been times where I have been so upset or frustrated with extra work at office, fights with husband or just because its that time of the month but I have no one to let it all out. I cannot bother my old parents back in India. Neither tell my brother about these things, he wouldn't understand. And yes telling the so called friends is not a option at all."

She was talking and I could actually read in between her words there was so much agony. She said "I am a happily married lady. My husband is a nice guy. But sometimes it feels so wrong when everyone around you just keeps expecting form you. I am neither scared of child birth nor do I hate kids in fact I like kids, others kids. I don't want to have my own not that I can't but I DON'T Want to. Everyone around me keeps giving me endless advice. I am 31 years old, I have told my husband about this He says he is fine with my decision but sometimes he gives in to family pressure. At times when he looses his temper he asks me Why did I not tell him before?"

She paused and then continued "I didn't tell him because I didn't know myself. All my life I focused on my education then work and when my parents said it was the right time to marry I gave it a thought and eventually did get married. Not that I regret any of this. I am really happy with my life, I am content and thats the problem. I am happy with what I have now and don't wish to add a new member to my family."

She asked me "Can't Motherhood a choice?"

Before I could reply, she said "Are all women born to be Mothers by default. Is it really the law of nature or is it man made. When I honestly tell someone about my views they give a cold look. my desire of not having children make me less humane in their eyes. Initially I thought I would meet  someone who would at-least agree or have the courtesy to say 'Its your choice', but sadly I haven't met any. Not a man nor a Women who would actually respect my decision. I often feel confident about my decision and I think its better to be aware of what you want from life rather than just keep living it on someone else's terms. But sometimes I feel really low and it pushes me to  think...

Am I doing something awfully wrong?

Should I have children just because everyone else does?

Is childless Marriage a failure ?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Making Life and Marriage Work: A True Story

Today's post is special for three reasons: 

1. I am posting after a long time and thus the post brings me back to my blog. 

2. The post sent by the reader truly moved me and I saluted her spirit.

3. This is a true story and affirms our belief in marriage and the adage that 'where there is a will, there is a way.'

This true story is sent by Sukriti, a woman who teaches her how we can build a life we dream of. Over to Sukriti.. 


I don't find myself good at words and expressing myself, but still making an attempt to pen down my story for your blog. 

My story is full of twists and I hope you enjoy reading it. This story takes you through the journey of marriage and afterwards. 

It is about the time when I was waiting for my PHD completion. I come from a simple family and I am the eldest child of the family. I completed my PG in Physics, then did B.Ed and M.Ed, qualified NET and later got a good job. 

I was now 27 and everyone around me wanted me to get married soon. I was well qualified, others said I was good-looking too but I was not sure about what I wanted in my life partner. One thing I was sure of was that I wanted a happy life and I had and have passion for life. 

My father placed an ad in the matrimonial site and we got lots of proposals. There was one proposal from a dentist and my father pursued it. I and the boy got to talk few times and I didn't find anything negative in him so I said yes to my family. 

The only issue was that my relatives kept telling me that the boy is still struggling for a permanent clinic, he doesn't have financial security and your would-be FIL is money minded person so me and my family were in dilemma. 

In the meantime, my parents went to his place and they liked everything. My parents got good welcome at their family and thus officially our phone numbers were exchanged. We started to make our plans together and he told me that he wanted to go abroad for his MDS and I would complete my PhD in the meantime and we would live happily together when he gets back to India. 

In this span of about a month, we were working on the dates of our marriage and both the families meet. That is when my FIL demanded dowry and since my family is very against the system of dowry, we immediately cancelled the whole thing. My parents told me about the meeting and the dowry demand and I also gave my decision that I would not marry such a person. 

My FIL gave one last chance to my parents to think about it and we gave them our final NO. The boy called me many times but I simply ignored his calls and I was quite mad at him but he still kept calling. One day I thought of picking up his call and telling him that I have decided to break this relation. I received his call and told him what all I had in my heart. It was a very brief conversation and I told him that I didn't know about his dadd dowry plans and thus I have decided to say no. 

I thought it was the end of a chapter but when I disconnected the phone I realized a tear rolled from my eye, I realized the disappointment in his voice too but I was determined to ignore everything.  I don't know what relationship I developed in these one month of chatting on phone. 

Like many girls of my age, I too had few chit pit relationships in my past, where I thought I was serious sometimes, few times it was a very strong friendship, sometimes something more than just a friendship, got heartbreaks and left willingly few times but this time it was different feeling. It seemed I lost a good human being - some one who could be my life partner. Anyway I was sure of my decision and pretended to be happy. 

A day later, I got a sms in the mid night. It said, 'if you say yes I can change the whole world for you'. 

I swear I was trying to forget the whole thing but this sms made me think again. I was not sure what to do, I didn't reply the sms and went to college next day. My HOD was a lady in her late 50's who wanted me to get married to his IITian son but his son was younger to me. She expressed her desire few times but we knew it was not possible in anyway. She was a good friend and mentor of mine. She read my face and asked that what was wrong with me, I told her everything. She advised me to meet the boy once and then take a final call. 

I replied to his sms and we decided to meet. He came all the way from Delhi to meet me after making an excuse to his family. I also made a small excuse and we met at our HOD’s place, talked to each other for 2-3 hours and finally decided that we have to convince our families and take charge of our lives. After all, the problem was in our families and their views, we were perfectly compatible with each other. (Or maybe it was love in its beginning). 

It took us about a week to convince our parents.  Everyone was okay with our decision except my MIL who realized how her son went against her wish and now she thought that she had lost her son to a girl. 

We got engaged 3 months later. He opened up a clinic in his aunt's hospital which was about 100 kms away from my place. We were very happy with each other and we had promised that we will not let any third person come in between us. We were just waiting for our marriage so that we could be together. There were still 6 months to our marriage and as he was near my place, he often came to meet me. 

After a while, he realised that his decision of opening a clinic at his aunt's place was not right and after marriage he would have to leave the place. We decided to shift in Lucknow where our new house was under construction and open a new clinic there. All the money my husband had was spent in opening his first clinic.  My FIL assured to give financial help in opening another clinic in Lucknow and my husband has dropped the idea of going abroad as he now wanted his own clinic asap.

6 months later, we got married. Post marriage, we came back to our places - me at my parent's place and he at his clinic. We both worked hard to save money and in another 6 months when we had saved some money, we moved to Lucknow. We took a flat on rent as our own house was under construction. 

I went to college every morning.  My husband used to drop and pick me from my college on his college days bike, which was 14 kms away and as it was in interior so no conveyance was available upto the college. He started looking for a suitable place to open a clinic, but the rents were very high and when he approached his father for help, he just got weak response.The money we had was being spent on the finishing of the house, on purchasing the essential goods to live in.

We shifted to our new house in three months, my in-laws came for the home-warming ceremony and left in two days. Now we were in big and beautiful house with nothing inside it. The few things which I bought in last three months including bedding, utensils and gifts of my marriage were with me. Anyway we were happy with each other, sleeping on the floor, getting ready in front of a hand mirror, cooking together, and spending the evenings on exploring the new city on bike.

It was all good for some time, but the tension was increasing day by day …. The question was still the same… where and how to establish the clinic. Though my husband has all the equipments in his old clinic, but even to shift all the set-up, get it upgraded and a new place required few lacs and we were almost at zero balance after one year of our marriage. My in-laws used to talk to my husband everyday but they never asked him that what are his plans regarding his career even when he indirectly told them what problems we are facing, they ignored.

I now understood. Their grudge was that their son married against their choice and he didn't get enough dowry!!

Another four months passed.  It was one and a half years of our marriage, we were still in the same situation. My husband tried everything in between to earn some money, He applied in almost every hospital in Lucknow, did all possible things to get a loan to start clinic, but as our Bank accounts were not functioning from past one and half years, so the banks refused. The situation was getting worse day by day, now frustration was now increasing, but our decision was still the same, not to let any third person come in between us and our problems. For others we were living in Beautiful House, enjoying with each other, our in-laws keep visiting in between and I had a very neutral relationship with them. I did every and every thing a bahu is expected to do but I never felt any attachment with them. I did it all for my husband, for whom I was his whole world.

I saw everything which I never ever thought of in the first two years of our marriage, I still remember the day my husband my went to a hospital approximately 70 kms from our home, with only 100 rupees in his pocket, this was all the cash we had. We waited every month for my salary which was only 18k at that time, and which was all spent on the monthly expenses, petrol, entertaining guests (after all we were from a rich family and we never wanted ki daddy ke relatives kuch bhi jaane kabhi) , filling forms, internet, electricity, maintenance of home and salary of maids etc). 

We knew that by curtailing any of these expenses wouldn’t be of any help in opening a clinic, it needed a huge amount of money, as my husband was determined to open one of the best and hi-tech clinics in Lucknow. I was frustrated answering the questions what is your husband doing these days. When are you people giving the good news etc. the biggest tension was that dentistry which is a skill and requires practice, was not being practised for almost two years. I didn’t want to look good at all. My Ph.D. was going on but I was unable to concentrate on it. I required few months leave for data collection of my thesis but I was not in a position to have leave without salary.

One day I was determined to have some solution of the problem, I insisted my husband to open a clinic at our home only as this will require lesser amount of money. It was also in his mind but he was hesitant to say this to father as this required capturing of an empty room of the house which was meant to be rented. I remember I sat in the room, talked to by husband and forced him to call his father at that time only and say that give us that room for opening a clinic and we will pay rent for it. After a long discussion on phone about the pros and cons of opening a clinic at home he agreed. Now we had the space but still no money, my FIL agreed to become a guarantor in taking loan.

My husband happily started working out according to his plans, finally the day came when all his equipments were coming to the clinic. I happily returned from college and was eager to see his dreams coming true, but when I returned there was nothing at home. My husband in a sad voice told me that bank requires at least 50K rupees in our account to give loan to us, and to pay for the equipments. Now the last option was the jewellery I had. I took it out and gave it to my husband to take gold loan. So we took loan to take loan and to start our lives.

My husband started his clinic after two years of our marriage and within a year it was a big hit, there were dental clinics all around my home, but people started recognizing it as the best clinic in the area. I still remember the first 100 rupee note which my husband gave to me; I kept it safe and gave it my MIL. My all sacrifices were worth day when one evening a patient of his stopped me at the gate to praise my husband’s work, he said to me that he has travelled in many metros but has never found a dedicated practitioner like him. It was his practice and dedication of five years practice in Delhi that was reflecting in his work. I was more than happy.

Now we live happily, have started dreaming about our fulfilling wishes once again, my Ph.D is almost done, the relationship with my in-laws is slowly coming on track but now we know the value of everything we always took for granted. 

I learnt that a bad phase never lasts forever and there is no need to be panic about it. A happy married life is all about understanding, love, care and commitment and never based on material possessions. 

More than that, until and unless absolutely required, no one (not even your parents) should not be allowed to interfere in your married life, after all its your life and you should be in-charge of it at every step. And the most important one - life is never based on what others tell you how it should be, we need to follow our heart. 

Now every bachelor in my family wants a wife like Sukriti, and I always reply them, If you want a wife like me, be a loving caring and mature husband like my husband. That's always a compliment for us when anyone who meets us asks us, aap dono ki love marriage hai kya ? I enjoy when people compliment couple ho to in dono ke jaisa but no one knows how much it took to nurture a relationship in such situations.

So Surabhi, that’s a very small part of my life. I really do not have any idea about how the story is told as I am writing for the first time. I am always short of words to express.

Once I learn how to write (better you teach me), I want to tell readers of Womanatics, how my relation with my MIL improved (really it was a more difficult task  ;) ) . How was it to have two miscarriages in last one year and what I learnt from it… and how my husband was with me like a strength  pillar every time to come out of every emotional crunch.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story. It is told from the bottom of my heart. I would love to hear from you all in the comments. 

Thank you Surabhi!


If you have an inspirational story to share, please send it to me at womanatics at gmail dot com. I'd love to hear from you. Who knows your story might solve somebody's dilemma or inspire someone to move on! So, send in your stories. Do not worry about the writing style. I'll take care of that and moreover, we at Womanatics, love the idea more than the words. :) 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Love You, Oh Daddy!

Once breathing under your wings, I started strutting about on my own, creating my own world with someone I loved...Yes! I'm happy in the world, 'My World' but dad you are missed each day...a couple of days spent with you after thirteen years of marriage were truly great! 

The way you cared for every little thing we might need...your happiness seeing us gratified...the early rising together and sharing a cup of tea...your listening to my stories and extracts from my novel with rapt attention like the roles were reversed for a while...your picking up the random threads from past and chewing them with me again...your standing in front of me n my kids with a pen and paper ready, asking for the things we would love to have...your moistened eyes when you realised we were to go back to our own world...your anxiety how time was going to hang heavy upon you once again when we were gone... 

Love you oh daddy! 

Pahal with her daddy..

I take a plunge into my childhood and...would love to get lost... 
I gradually lose hold of present... 
Oh..h! I am connected to my roots again! 
A hundred thousand discordant threads of glimpses, 
visions and vibrant pageants, come colourfully alive... 

I'm no more the so called adult, 
lost in the labyrinth of frustrated dreams and aspirations, 
broken pieces of hope or brows crossed in cares... 
I am...I am your doll again... 
The daddy's doll... 

Look! I'm swinging in your mighty arms, 
screaming with a fearful delight as I'm about to touch the ceiling!!! 
You giggle, I giggle too. 
We laugh and laugh until we have eyes welled up with tears. 
I cling to your heart, once I'm back to your arms, 
with my little heart throbbing, still unable to calm down... 

You hug me tight, 
redeeming me from the childhood freight. 

''I'll never let you be hurt." 
You re-assure. 
Once again your kind eyes, 
my crazy mind allure... 

Yet another sight coming back to life 
as I'm cycling, 
and you running after. 
" Hold on! Hold on!
I am there. 
Don't look back! 
Just dare!" 
While I, scared yet holding on, 
replenished by your unseen presence,behind. 

The dark moment, 
I doubted your presence, 
I always had a fall. 
This happens today also 
Oh daddy! 

Another unrolling itself, 
before my nostalgic mind, 
when I cover your eyes with my fragrant henna palms. 

You giggle like a child too, 
kissing my designed hands
"Wow! Isn't that lovely? Know what my sugar plum? 
This dark colour shows my intense love for you." 
Yes daddy! 

You loved me so intense that, I can feel still your presence. 
Whenever I'm stuck on the course of life, 
you kiss my brows and wish me luck.

I owe you daddy, for the love and care. 
I owe you for what I am. 
I owe you for what I am ever going to be... 
Love You Oh Daddy..

Note: The post today comes direct dil se from Maya. You can read her previous posts here and here. Please show her some love. She truly deserves it. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Going A Little Slow..

Hello All, 

How have you been? (I want to know and I am waiting for your responses in the comments). 

I have been doing good but very busy which is why I am not able to update the blog regularly. As many of you know I have left Andaman and moved to mainland along with family. Sanjay is going to join in Delhi very soon. I am at my parents' place right now and as soon as we find a house, we would begin setting up our 'home'. 

In the meantime, I have several other assignments that are pending and need my immediate attention. It is these assignments that are keeping me occupied and not letting me concentrate on Womanatics. I have my MA project, NET exam, setting up home and pursuing a few other interests waiting for me! 

I wish I could spend more time on the blog but sadly that is not happening. 

So today I have decided to bid adieu to my beloved blog for a while. The blog would stay active and I would post an article a week. But unlike earlier when I wrote thrice a week, I would now write weekly once. I would increase the frequency when I get into that state of mind when I can devote most of my time and energy to the blog. 

One section that would keep going on is 'Ask Womanatics'. I get lot of emails from my readers and I would keep answering them. This precisely means that I need you guys to keep the blog going!!!! 

So, if you have anything that you need to talk about, share some of your secrets or just need a friendly, candid advice, please do not hesitate to shoot an email to me. You can find my contact details from the contact page. 

For now, as the summer sets in I am going to go a little slow. Will spend more time offline. Now that I am in mainland, I now want to give my time to my other hobbies that were put on hold because of resource constraints in Andamans

Keep reading Womanatics! Keep in touch with me! Keep showering your love on the blog! Keep commenting and start sending emails. :) 

With lotsa love for all of you.. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Give Them The Gift Of Life - Sponsored Video

How would the world be if every child who is born lives a long, healthy life? How beautiful this planet be if we imagine a world free of deadly diseases, germs, dirt and anything that takes away lives?
Sadly, this is a dream too far fetched.

Reality is staunchly different and heart rending.

This video has been doing its rounds on the internet it sure deserves many watches. So click on the video and watch it. It gives out a strong message about life and loss. Please watch the video and share it on the social media using the hashtag #helpachildrreach5.

Every year, 1.7 million children die of pneumonia and diarrohea. Worldwide, the rate is alarming at nearly 5000 children losing their lives to diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. These are the diseases that can be easily prevented simply by changing some daily habits. Teach a child to wash his hands clean with a good soap and the chances of contracting diarrhoea are drastically reduced.

Lifebuoy is on a mission to help every child live. To let every child reach atleast the age of 5!

As part of their mission, last year they adopted a village Thesgora in India where they spread awareness about basic hygiene habits and importance of washing hands frequently using a good soap and their efforts resulted in reducing the rate of diarrhoea cases from 36% to 5%. Next place on their list is Bitobe, Indonesia.

This reminds of a practice that is religiously followed in a village in Utari village in Indonesia. In Utari, to celebrate the birth of a baby, a tree is planted. But the place has enormously high child mortality rate, due to which children are born but many of them die even before reaching the age of 5! Thus Utari has many trees but less living children.

The sad tale is most poignantly depicted in the video below that will surely touch your heart. If you have watched the video at the beginning of the post, watch it again. This would just ensure that you have joined hands with Lifebuoy to help children live.

Moved by the video? Here is how you can do your bit. 

1. Watch the video and make others watch it. 

2. Visit or better still, subscribe to Lifebuoy's Youtube Channel and see their efforts in action and their campaigns to save children. 

3. Share the video using the hashtag #helpachildreach5

4. Follow Lifebuoy on Twitter and LIKE them on Facebook

Note: The post is sponsored by Lifebuoy but the views are entirely my own. 

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