Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Prep Up With Yoga

It sometimes terrifies me to the core. A recent story in Times of India suggests “one student kills self every hour in India”.
This year only on May 14, Bhopal police said that at least 12 students had committed suicide in different areas of Madhya Pradesh. Why? Because they were depressed over their Class X and XII results!
Then in August, a 15-year-old student in west Bengaluru died and his death was linked to Blue Whale Challenge, a dangerous online game. Although later it was found that the case was otherwise.
Phew!!! These many cases are just a drop in the ocean -- ocean of kids’ suicide cases.
Kids these days live in a world where people are just in a hurry. They are surrounded by school pressures, incessant lessons, busy parents and competitive world. We just casually think that kids would be OK… they’ll adjust. But it doesn’t always happen like that… this bustling pace of our kid's lives can have a profound effect on them, in a much deeper way.
Unfortunately we can’t take away that pressure, that madness from them… we can’t keep them in a cocoon. What we CAN do is to ease out this turbulence in their mind.  Make them more confident. And a very effective way for this is to introduce them to Yoga.
Different yog asanas help the children learn techniques for relaxation and inner fulfillment, which helps them sail through life's challenges with a little more ease.
One study says that yoga at an early age encourages self-esteem. They get involved in physical activity that is completely noncompetitive. Instead of opposition, here you are taught cooperation and compassion, which eases a lot of burden.
This is the biggest life gift you can give your child and prepare him for bumpy ride ahead!
This blog was also published on Momspresso blogging site on June 21

Friday, 12 June 2015

Smell that!!!

Remember when Kramer in the Seinfeld TV series came up with an idea of beach smelling cologne. Later he noticed that his idea was stolen by Calvin Klein (in reality, Giorgio Armani got an inspiration from this). The never-though-of idea became a hit. There is a different class of perfumes that have a unique aroma. There a lot of smells and odors we can’t think of in the form of perfumes but are liked and cherished in general. A report by Mintel on Men’s and Women’s fragrances 2013 says that to compete and be different, scents are becoming more unusual. The new fragrances that have been introduced in the recently are inspired from the smell of books, ballets and even the internet.
The list is endless
Perfumes find great inspiration in different foods. Foods from breakfast menu, pizza, barbecues, meat, Mexican food, whisky and other hard alcoholic beverages have inspired perfumes! Breakfast menu, especially, has been the inspiration for many perfumes. You can find waffles, pancakes, fried egg, Raspberry French Macaron Necklace, Blueberry, pie necklace, heart churro necklace, scented apple necklace, and the list goes on and on. The imagination of perfume makers has gone intangible as well. You can find perfumes based on a scent found in life, smell of a new car, leather, airports, and even different types of weather. Not just smell, they are unique in functionality. One can repeal insects and other can attract men (well! this one is understood). Perfume themes are also no less innovative in their approach. There are many interesting perfume themes that include deceased actors, superheroes, literary icons, science fiction, computers and fantasy novels. Then there are options incapable of being categorized, such as scents marketed to babies and poopy perfumes. Phew! I never knew that. How ignorant of me.

Why this obsession?
Unexpected and unusual themes and smells have attracted a lot of people. The question here is why would anybody want to smell like this? It puzzling to understand the relevance of such scents, whether you are using them as air fresheners or put it in an atomizer and spray it on yourself. Rosalyn Rosenfeld, in the movie American Hustle, says, “It’s like, perfumey, but there’s also something… rotten… and I know that sounds crazy but I can’t get enough of it. Smell it – it’s true, Dolly! Historically, the best perfumes in the world – they’re all laced with something nasty and foul – it is true, it is true…! [Smells like] flowers… but with garbage…”
These smells are part of our everyday lives. We hide them with all sorts of perfuming agents but they are there and we frequently encounter them. The chemicals used in a standard perfume are so overpowering probably the natural fragrances are getting forgotten. Bringing back the original scent and putting it in a refillable perfume atomizer is a way to become all natural.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Being vegetarian

I have heard this so many times and every time I think "big deal".
"You have never even tasted meat!"
"You can have it now, we wont tell it your parents."
"You are missing out on great pleasures of eating."
Well, really?
Many people discard this saying "it didn't go well with them." But how can I imagine the delight or disgust of consuming the living when I haven't even tried it once in my life. Not that I want to 'convert'. Just a thought.

The debate of egg being vegetarian or fish being a veg dish has no conclusion. I have had a failed argument about about milk being vegetarian or not. Phew! I totally relate to an article in Huffington Post about the dumbest things a vegetarian comes across. People pity you and say you're "missing out on life" and must be kind of sad that you can't eat meat. They forget the C-word. Its a matter of Choice and not Compulsion. 
Hypothetical questions are also a great pain that discharge your brain unnecessarily. What if you are shipwrecked and have no other option than to eat meat? I will eat grass, I say. Perhaps, the more logical hypothetical question would be what if you go to a country in Europe or China, how will you survive, where chicken is vegetarian. That is a tough one. I haven't thought about it yet. 
Green-eating people live longer. To which they say, as long as you live enjoy good food. 
Veg: We have lower body weight.
Non-veg: I'll exercise. Eat hard, Gym harder.

Veg: We have better cholesterol level.
Non-veg: I'll take medicines. I'll manage.

Veg: We have a lower risk of developing cancer.
Non-veg: As if vegs don't have it.
Counter arguments have no stopping. Say whatever, once a lover will always be a lover.

We, Indians, have been one of the founders of vegetarianism. Early records are found from the 6th century B.C., in India, Greece and the Greek civilization in Southern Italy. In all these cases vegetarianism was closely linked to a desire not to harm animals. In India this peace towards animals was called ahimsa. It was a common lifestyle among religious people and philosophers.

The conversion to Christianity of the Roman Empire virtually eliminated all traces of vegetarianism from Europe. Many orders of monks in medieval Europe either banned or limited meat consumption as a gesture of personal sacrifice or abstinence - however, none of them shunned fish. It was not until the 19th and 20th centuries that vegetarianism started to get a foothold again in Western society.

The Vegetarian Society was formed in England in 1847; equivalent societies soon followed in Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries. During the 20th century vegetarianism caught on swiftly throughout Western society. People´s motivations were for ethical, environmental, or economic reasons - and sometimes a combination or two or three reasons. Approximately 70% of the world´s lacto-vegetarians are in India, it is estimated. Approximately 20% to 42% of India´s population is vegetarian. No wonder!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Pain inside

I have seen two contrast cases recently and they have left me baffled. As a woman your greatest power to bring a life form into this world can be your greatest weakness too. Two women I know have destroyed their unborn lives -- one is happy and one sad. Happy because it was unwanted and she was unprepared. Sad, of course, because it was wanted but she had also not planned and was unprepared.
And here I am prepared and wanting and planning and all efforts in vain.
Life can be very cruel. I had heard about it but never had experienced it.
Now I know it very well.
Anyways, abortions, how horrifying it may sound, have also been a life saver and have protected many from social stigma. But certain malpractices and loopholes in this procedure has taken many lives or has left them infertile for life. Abortion was made legal in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, which was passed in 1971 and came into effect in 1972. The Act permits abortion if the doctor believes “in good faith” that “…the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical or mental health; or there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”.
Statistics collected by Mumbai’s International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), a public health organisation, show that about 21 per cent of males and four per cent of females in rural areas admitted to pre-marital sex against an urban figure of 11 per cent of males and two per cent of females. The IIPS survey sample of 55,000 males and females comes from about 1.7 lakh households in Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. The age range is 15-29.
The government of India introduced family planning in 1952, and passed the MTP Act in 1972. It’s been 60 years since family planning was introduced, and 40 years since abortions were made accessible for women on many conditions, except on demand.
Prevalent lack of knowledge and unskilled medical officers have been a cause of worry. The sad woman I know faced the problem of incomplete abortion. Had she not been aware of the problem (from her lessons from past) and has she not been living in a metro city, unimaginable could have happened. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Repeat telecast

It doesn’t matter sometimes how many to watch a movie. It never satisfies your appetite. Star Plus will be showing Julie and Julia on March 8th, Women’s Day. And I have already set up my alarms, despite watching it for at least five times. What new will I find this time? It is just like reading the same old book again and again. 

Well! I am not insane. Cristel Antonia Russell from American University and Sidney J Levy from University of Arizona, conducted interviews of 23 subjects, all of whom had recently “reconsumed” a book, movie or vacation spot. They concluded that sometimes choosing to do something again was about reaching for a sure thing—the brain knows the exact kind of reward that it will receive in the end, whether it is laughter, excitement or relaxation (so true!). They also learned that people gained insight into themselves and their own growth by going back for a do-over, subconsciously using the rerun or old book as a measuring stick for how their own lives had changed. One woman, who watched the romantic Kevin Costner movie Message in a Bottle more than once said: “It was helping her work through having an engagement that hadn’t worked out.” Now that makes sense.  
Anyways my list will include V for vendetta, Dead poet’s society, Akira Kurosawa’s movies (there are many) and many more. Movies that can change your life: google it and you will have hundreds of this list. We need motivation at all levels; from inspirational speakers, books, music, environment, movies. I need them most.
They can make you cry, laugh, tortured, worried, intimidated. They can make you fall in love with yourself, your family, friends, animals, nature, world. Though behind the back of your mind you know that it’s fictional (even if it’s inspired from reality, there are tweaks), for few hours you get lost in that in that utopic world, where it all ends well. Probably this is reason why not make filmmakers were unable to deal with a sad ending. They want audience to leave the cinema halls on a happy note. Happy endings inspire hope. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Life’s a laugh

http://www.mydigitalfc.com/leisure-writing/life%E2%80%99s-laugh-320A bunch of women, both family and friends, have just finished an elaborate luncheon party and settle down for tea and talks. So begins Embroideries, a delightfully wicked book that Marjane Satrapi has pulled out of her sleeve. And she wisely chooses the perfect scenario to tell her tale: Gossiping women.

From the virtues of opium, the conversation smoothly glides on to love, sex and the vagaries of men. And from there each women, including the writer, her mother, grandmother, her aunt and friends, goes on to narrate each other’s personal story, however embarrassing it is.

The snatches of conversation between these women is at times what you probably might have with one of your caring friends, but sometimes it feels as if you are at your gynaecologist’s, discussing your deepest secrets.

Grandma Satrapi is the wicked one of them all. A true-blue drama queen, she tells the most amazing secrets and makes the wittiest suggestions. (If you have read Persepolis I and II, her no-nonsense attitude is something you are already familiar with). Grandma Satrapi truly believes that “To speak behind others’ backs is the ventilator of the heart”.

As usual, Marjane Satrapi brings to the fore the contradicting nature of the Iranian society. While, on the one hand, women discuss plastic surgery for bodily enhancements, on the other, they still believe in “white” magic to get back their love! Throughout the novel, the writer beautifully describes a woman’s longing for love, her desire for liberation, and her regrets in life… In other words, she presents an insight into a woman’s mind.

Love them or hate them, but men feature prominently in the discussions of this bunch of spirited women. If it takes a “key” to get them back, so be it. If it takes a razor blade to prove virginity, so be it. They tell themselves earnestly: “We good wives pay for our own foolishness. We project everything onto our husbands. Men are aware of it and they exploit it.” But they end up having the last laugh — long and loud, they laugh at men’s stupidity. Says a woman, who went through breast augmentation so that her husband would not stray: “Of course this idiot doesn’t know that every time he kisses my breasts, it’s actually my ass he’s


Humour finds its way in every page and Grandma is best at it. “What’s MTV?” “The one with assholes who sing half naked?” But, although funny, Embroideries in a way proves that nothing has really changed for women. She is still the victim of the society. In one instance, a neighbour recounts her brief marriage to a wealthy emigrant who ran to Switzerland with all her wedding jewellery and then divorced her by mail. And a non-resident Iranian doesn't even care to show up for his wedding in Iran: The bride's parents place a framed photograph on the groom's seat at the wedding party! The bride joins her husband in London, only to discover that her husband is homosexual.

Despite the stark black-and-white drawings, the book keeps you hooked and prompts you to finish it in one sitting.

Talent hunt

This boy can speak 10 languages and he sells peacock feather fans to tourists. Truly, he has got the makings of a budding genius. This is India’s Got Talent and the boy features prominently in the promos of the show. After many crooners and hoofers shows, this first multi-performance entertainment programme has hogged the limelight. The fact that its judges Shekhar Kapur, Kirron Kher and Sonali Bendre keep stressing ‘Hunar hi winner hai’ may have spurred people to display their talents on the small screen.
Be it Britain or India, such shows always attract a huge audience. First aired on June 9, 2007, the format originated in Britain and is a part of the Got Talent series. Unlike other shows, age is not a barrier in this programme. The winner of each series would get to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in front of members of the British royal family, including the Queen. With no dearth of talent, India has come up with a desi version of the show. Of late, there have been many talent hunt contests on the internet. There may be no official data on it, but these shows are much more popular and easy to participate than TV shows. A person can even upload his video on youtube and get his 10 minutes of fame. Many small movie makers are also surviving by adopting this method. Some of them even have a huge fan following. Once my cousin danced at a birthday party, the guests were really impressed and told his mother that he should try to participate in Boogie Woogie. This happened about seven years ago. Today, my cousin is planning to become an engineer. The situation might have been radically different if he had been spotted today. A friend of mine wants her child to take part in talent shows as soon as she attains the minimum age for participation. Such shows are no longer considered a waste of time.http://www.mydigitalfc.com/blog/hunting-talent-549