Thursday, October 18, 2018

A travel through Life's lessons

Do you ever get that gnawing feeling inside yourself where you start asking yourself “what am I doing here?” until it becomes a constant hum in your mind’s backdrop that slowly swells and reaches a crescendo? Do you sometimes feel wrong footed because of the curve balls life tends to throw at you? Do you sometimes feel that you don’t belong here but somewhere else, a place where you will be able to meet your tribe, your people, who will understand you even if you don’t share the same familial ties, speak the same language or eat the same food? If you do, welcome to the club!

As an extremely socially awkward human being who’d rather bite her arm off than engaging in a conversation with others, a travelling bucket list seems to be a dream too good to be true. However, now that the Blindlist has sparked ideas in my mind, here are the places (imaginary or otherwise) where I’d  want to travel to experience life like never before:

1.       The Land of Silence: There’s this place caught somewhere between the late hours of night and the break of dawn and which has placid waters and still air and the weightless weight of silence. This land, as the name suggests, is the one to go to in case you want to spend some time on introspection. This would be my first stop while on my Blindlist travel to pause, breathe, think and reflect on what life so far has been and what it should be from the present moment on. My visit to the land of silence would be silence the fears, worries and regrets in my mind so that I can look deep inside myself, because more often than not, you tend to find the answer you are looking for inside you. This land, with its water without ripples, trees without rustling leaves and sense of lightness will help me realize what my next steps should be rather than what I feel pressured to do.

2.       The Land of Kindness: This little strait of land can be found appearing anywhere the sounds of laughter, chatter and friendly talks override the murmurs of disapproval, judgement and gossip. You will know this land when you see it because of the shimmering borders that tend to expand and engulf the surrounding areas. Once I step out of the Land of Silence, I will go in search of the Land of Kindness, because this is where I will learn to be kind to not just others but myself. This land, with its calm breeze, pale pink blossomed trees and the earthy scent of land after the first rain will help me learn to look at myself and others with kindness and master the most difficult art of forgiving.

3.       Ubuntu: This land, with its red soil, blue skies and green pastures is the next place I’d visit because this is where I would overcome my fear of being judged and understand what acceptance. Unlike the other two lands, this land is inhibited with people, animals and birds and is a little tricky to find. This is the place where I would learn to shed my inhibitions and worries of being judged, and allow myself to become one with humanity. This is the land that will teach me that I am because You are, the literal meaning of Ubuntu. This is the place I will learn to speak with kids through action without a language, this is the place I will receive a warm hug and food from a nonna, this is the place I will learn to laugh with a group of teenaged girls because it’s here the essence of life lives on.

4.       The Life: The final destination that I plan to visit is The Life, a land I wouldn’t even know I have stepped into until I have walked well past its borders. If I were any wiser from my previous travels, I’d know that my journey through this land has just begun and will not be ending any time soon. I’d hope that whatever I learnt in my previous visits would be put to good use and help me learn to live and love life and make it count.

Posted as part of Indiblogger Contest in association with Luftansa to #sayyestotheworld and go through #theblindlist

Monday, January 8, 2018

Dear Anshu

Dear Anshu,

I am not sure when you will read it, and if you will read it at all. But in case you stumble upon these letters, just know that I am writing to you to tell you all that I’ve seen, heard and learned right through my twenties, and now in my thirties. In the hubbub of routine, job, school and just life, I don’t know, maybe you and I might not sit down and have these talks. Or maybe we will.  

But whether we do or don’t, if you ever want to read through what runs in my head, this is where you should head. It’s not pearls of wisdom or any magical formula, it’s just my take on things.  It is everything I want to tell you, woman to woman, as your mom, friend, and confidante (hopefully!). It is everything I want you to know if I don’t get around to telling you myself when the time comes. 

I want to do something for me. I want you to go find a mirror, take a deep look at yourself and say these words: “I love you, you are beautiful and you are the best!” Sounds absurd? Well, it might, at first; but you need to know that you have to allow yourself to feel loved before you get to hear it from anyone else. You need to look at yourself and learn to love what you see; every curve, every blemish, every imperfection, dent and broken bit, before you can expect or hope that someone else would look through the debris and find the real you. 

I have learnt it the hard way that sometimes, you don’t give yourself the permission to be loved or deemed smart, beautiful or brave unless you meet with someone else’s definition or guidelines on the established criteria. I get it. The world around has set so many expectations up on us that says that we need to fit into one of those boxes before we are deemed to be loveable. You know what, to hell with it. 

I want you to work on getting the love of the only one that matters; you. I want you to look at yourself and love what you see, any time, every time. I want you to know that it’s not narcissistic to love yourself and want to look beautiful. It’s true that beauty is not skin deep, but it doesn’t hurt to put in an effort to show yourself off a bit. If you want to be a princess, go right ahead, sweetheart. All I’d say, quoting what a colleague once said, is to be a princess who’d gladly kick someone’s ass if they got in her way.  If you’d rather choose to be not a princess, that’s awesome too; whatever works for you. 

.All I want you to do is wake up and look in the mirror and find you favorite person in the whole wide world there. You know, we all grow up and become those shoulders to cry on for others. The pep talk givers and silent and strong supporters who keep egging our friends and family on to do their best.  

Why do we not offer ourselves that favor? Who told us that we shouldn’t tell ourselves that we are nearly there, we can do it, we are the best! I don’t know! I’ve realized that giving yourself a little pep talk every day helps you keep those inner monsters at bay and get ready to face the day and life head on. 

So, my dear, go find that mirror now and throw a kiss to your and mine, our favorite person in the whole world. 



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Colgate Magical Stories

The Colgate team provided me an opportunity to participate in the Colgate Magical stories contest and in turn, give me a memorable experience with my little one. When we received the red Colgate pack, my daughter was thrilled to open the packs. She was disappointed to see that it were toothpaste packs as she didn’t know what waited for her from inside the packs. 

On one of the weekends, we sat down and started cutting out the figures from the pack and asked her what she thought about the astronauts, space stations and planets that aligned on the table.

 I have to specify that my daughter just turned three, and so, her stories mostly revolve around the concept of family as featured in Peppa pig cartoons. So without further ado, here’s the story my little one came up with. 

“ Once upon a time, there was a space station and there was a mommy astronaut and daddy astronaut who lived there. Apparently, everyone comes under the mommy and daddy headers now. One day, they decided to go out. So they brushed their teeth, had their milk, wore their shoes and stepped out with the keys. They took their airplane (rocket, actually) and went up and down and vroom vroom vroom. “

Now, this vroom vroom went on for a while until I interfered and asked what happened next. 

So she went on:

“They went to the red planet first and played there with balloons.  They ran, they jumped and they had fun. But then, they saw the pink tailed fire that was coming towards them. They got scared because the pink comet came with giant ants on them. The ants were angry because Mummy and Daddy astronauts were playing on their house. They came and shouted at them, and mummy and daddy got into the rocket and flew away. “

 “When they were flying around, they found a silver top and went to check what it was. They liked the top and so ran around the top and played. They said ‘Hi’ to the red and blue planets and played. 

(Since floating around in space is too much effort, that’s what we did. We ran!)

“After some time, they decided to jump to the blue planet. They saw that there were so many puddles and so started jumping in the puddles.” (Courtesy Peppa pig, my daughter believes that jumping in puddles is the best way to spend one’s spare time now)

“They jumped, and jumped and jumped in all the puddles. After some time, they got tired. So they got into the rocket and went back home.”

My daughter is one of those kids who find it hard to sit still for more than a few minutes. However, she was completely engrossed helping me cut the figures, arrange them and then having the astronauts, planets and rocket fly around. So thank you, Colgate! We managed to have a great time building stories around the characters you guys thoughtfully included in your packs. 

“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Paleo Diet - Tips and Tricks

I have been attempting to follow a healthier lifestyle since quite sometime. I have done a variation of Paleo diet and though it sounds easy, it is not quite so once you start with the diet. 

I did some research on what needs to be done to be successful with Paleo diet and here are the tips that I am planning to follow:

Paleo diet can be called as a diet that takes us back to our roots. When I say roots, think Caveman as this diet advises to use food groups which have been easily available right from the beginning of time for our disposal. This diet suggests using fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds and meat as the food categories to purchase food from. Paleo also advises to avoid grains, dairy products and processed food from your diet. In short, the emphasis is on using food items which are in their original form and have not been processed. 

Though the diet might seem fairly easy, it can become difficult to follow as the major constituent of a regular diet, carbohydrates in the form of grains, is missing in this diet. However, there are several hacks that can help you to adopt this diet as a lifestyle option and help with your overall health in the process. 

Tips for beginners:

  1.       Preparation is key: If you are planning to start following Paleo diet, ensure that you do your homework and have done the requisite research. Do not attempt to jump start with the diet. Lay down a detailed plan with the groceries to purchase and stock, meal plans to plan your daily meals and snacks that can help you with your cravings.
    2.     One step at a time: Dependency on processed food is one of the hidden addictions and it has to be treated such. This means that an immediate cut off from processed foods can also cause withdrawal symptoms. Your success in breaking out of this addiction is dependent on identifying this and adopting a phase by phase approach to eliminating processed food. A good attempt would be to eliminate one avoidable food category at a time. Pick the food group you are going to miss the least and start from there until you have eliminated all the non-Paleo food items from your diet. 
    3.     Restock your pantry: If you are considering adopting Paleo lifestyle, a good idea would be to clear out your kitchen and pantry of any non-Paleo food items and restocking with Paleo snacks, vegetables, fruits and nuts. 
    4.     Identify suitable substitutes: Paleo diet may sound easy when explained about. However, look through all that positivity and shiny clouds and imagine this. No rice and pasta, no chocolate cake and definitely, no more potato chips. Not feeling too positive? This is how you will feel three or four days after you have started with the diet. How to beat it? Look for smart alternates to be used in place of non-paleo items. Coconut flour in place of flour, almond milk in place of regular milk and sweet potato chips in place of potato chips will help you soar through this diet.
    5.     Shift your focus: If you are serious about shifting to Paleo diet in order to improve your overall health and wellbeing, you should keep that as your focal point. Do not refer to Paleo as a diet in your mind or in your conversations. You should recondition yourself to look at it as a lifestyle. Think about all the benefits you will be reaping and visualize the new, improved you every time you have the urge to cheat. 
    6.     How to beat your cravings: You need to accept that you will get cravings for unhealthy food and that you will be tempted to cheat. An important step to help beat your craving is to identify the reason for craving. If you identify it as hunger, pick up your favorite fruit or a handful or nuts to snack on and you will feel better. If it is boredom, get engaged in an activity or exercise or simply a small jog or walk to step out of the craving. Research says that the smell of vanilla helps to curb cravings. So, get yourself a bottle of vanilla essence or a few vanilla beans and take a whiff every time you get a craving.
    7.      Paleo on the road: You might argue that maintaining a Paleo lifestyle might be easy only while staying indoors. This is not necessarily a truth and there are smart alternatives to help you. Next time you are going for shopping or meeting friends, have a heavy meal just before you leave. This will help to stop reaching out for that salty chips or soft drink. Carry a Paleo friendly snack if you don’t want to eat before going out.

Paleo is a lifestyle choice which has its own pros and cons, just as any other lifestyle. The key is to identify how to successfully work around the roadblocks and be successful.