Caution, this mind is ticking questions!!

Caution, this mind is ticking questions!!

“Why do you talk so much?” I asked my daughter one day, when she was around four years old. I always find her talking, or asking questions or giving suggestions, but she has to voice her thoughts in all ways possible. So here’s her answer, ” There are ideas (read as ‘thoughts’) coming into my mind non-stop so I have to talk to bring them all out”. I looked at her and wondered how draining it is to have an overflowing mind. She gave a very logical reason to her banters.

I was used to a quiet house until my daughter arrived, with her non-stop thoughts and queries. She knows a lot, I don’t know how. She grasps a little more than her age allows. She has the courage to ask questions to clear her doubts and puts us in a fix. Her ears are razor-sharp, she catches conversations from a mile away and comes running to learn more.

Her questions are always interesting and thought provoking. While walking her to the bus stop, one day, she asked, “Where is Earth?”. I replied, “This is Earth, the whole world you see around you.”. “No, this is Abu Dhabi (We were staying in Abu Dhabi then), where is Earth?”. I tried to explain, ” Abu Dhabi is a place on Earth. It’s a planet where we all live.” She was very upset and adamant that Abu Dhabi is not part of the Earth, it is a world, on its own. Earth must be somewhere else. Her argument was so strong I almost agreed with her. Whole of my day went in  thinking how to convince this headstrong girl that we are Earth-dwellers.

She was and is obsessed with age. Whoever visited us had to submit their age with her. Once, traveling by bus with about fifty people around us,she asked loudly what my age was. I lied as confidently as I can, with all those people enjoying it with smug smiles.

Back from India trip, where she had interactions with my Mother and Grandmother (who was confined to bed due to illness), her mind began spinning thoughts about aging. I explained her how each person has to age, from a baby – child- young person- old person – very old person ( her contribution). That night she woke up to  go to the bathroom. Somehow, the toilet seat is a place where brainwaves skim. I heard her crying. When asked what was the matter, she told she didn’t want me to die. So I asked her to elaborate. She said, “When I am older, you will be like granny, granny will be like great granny and then one day you will fall sick and die. Again I had to stand at the toilet door and explain to her that I am not likely to die soon. She went quiet again which means her mind was in full action. She announced, Dad will surely die once he is old. I waited until she was out of that toilet seat and again lectured (an expert by now) that we cannot stop people from dying but have to enjoy each other’s company when alive. I didn’t know how much that overworked mind grasped but she calmed down.

By now, I have spoken at length on why ladies have breasts, why moms with kids have jelly bellies, is it compulsory to have kids if yes, how many! Not to forget spiritual, philosophical questions about why we need to pray, why God doesn’t appear if he is everywhere (even in toilets??), rebirths, reincarnations. Interesting ones like why husbands are always older than the wives, why girls have to go away from parents after marriage. (Look forward to these topics as blogs!!)

Though sometimes tiresome, I am glad she is asking questions. Glad her mind is ticking non-stop. I am the happiest that she thinks I have all the answers. Her questions, in return gets me thinking too, to come up with appropriate answers. Of course, I do evade questions about babies and periods (I hate those Whisper ads!) telling her there are a few things she will understand when she is a little older and has to wait till then. But with a promise that I will surely answer them (I preparing for that already!).

This is one prominent part of her childhood I will always hold dear. We are weaving memories together with these questions and answer sessions. Though sometimes we dread when she comes with that look in her eyes, we always enjoy her theories and opinions that pour out in a steady stream. Hope the chatter and questions never stop, the brainstorming sessions continue, for they bring in so much more to life.

The pleasure of a gift

The pleasure of a gift

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I love buying gifts because a lot of thought goes into it. The recipient, his/her age, interests, likes, styles everything has to be considered. Whenever I go gift hunting, I visualize the recipient with the gift. Then decide if it suits the person.

I had to buy one for a friend who was coming home for lunch. So off I went shopping. Last minute shopping is the best. It’s like a challenge – finding a gift before time runs out. I went to a place which specializes in shoes and beautiful bags. My favorite haunt. It is easy to look for a gift, when I know what is available there. Off I went to the bags section, even though shoes on display were screaming for attention.

I began my visualization session. Each clutch or bag I touch brought my friend’s image in front of my eyes with that particular item.  Clutches are all the same old, standard ones. A big NO. She has a toddler in tow, she needs to keep a hundred things handy, so if it is a bag then will need a big one.

I almost finalized a nice black bag with weaves on it when a jewelry box caught my eye. It was compact, so ideal to take along for travels. A clutch caught my attention, just then. A stylish party-clutch that came in two colors, gold and purple. It was difficult to choose between the both. I dragged in my husband for a second opinion.
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The jewel box won. It was a clutch-like jewelry box, with handles. Its creamy complexion with slight glittery designs gave it a party look. What’s more, my friend’s brother is getting married soon, so this box is will be handy to keep the jewelry when she travels to India. Neat and compact it has all the essential pockets for chains, rings and earrings. Bought the box and wrapped it.

The gift is ready to meet it’s rightful owner and I am ready to see that smile when that gift makes one feel special!

5 ways how blogging affects my life

Past two weeks has been a huge learning experience. I am pushing myself, posting a blog everyday, each day a new topic. I am extensively studying about blogging itself and the sea of information online overwhelming. The knowledge and information shared by fellow bloggers and the fact that how well they present their write-ups, the writing styles, the data included, each small detail has me in awe. In short, I am addicted.

Past fortnight, I have seen a few significant changes in life,

  1. Clarity of thoughts –  When writing, it is very important to chronicle our thoughts in the right order. We need to know the specifics. We need to know when to elaborate or stop, decide what comes after what. This has become a habit now. Thoughts do not confuse anymore.
  2. Order in life – My days are more disciplined. Setting a time for blogging helped me plan and finish other chores before I start. It’s either when kids are in school or after their bed time, I blog. Rest of the chores are also planned accordingly.
  3. Confidence – What kept my blogging postponed was self-doubt. A fear that I may not be able to come up with something good. But after taking the plunge, I realized how much I enjoy doing this. The comments and reviews by readers, friends and family is a big, big boost. I look forward to write more, with confidence.
  4. Knowledge – Each day, I am learning something new. There is so much more to learn and I am enjoying, all the information seeping in, adding to my skills.  What a variety of subjects I can write about, it’s an enlightenment in itself. All these years of life experiences, extensive reading, meeting people has accumulated a treasure of knowledge and it is a delight to dig deep into it and just write.
  5. Happiness  – Last but not the least, I am happy to do something that I enjoy. It is a delight to see words pouring out, filling the page. Elated, when my work is appreciated, I am basking in the new found respect for self.

Recognizing my potential and bringing it alive is the best thing I have done, lately. When on the right path, what we find along the way is priceless lessons of life.

House in Dis-order..

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I always think I should be inviting people over to my place regularly. Just before they come, there is a whirlwind cleaning of the house and it looks so good! Not a thing out of place, more space to move around, paper, books, toys are all stowed-in somewhere (how neatly, don’t ask, shhhhhh..)

Laundry basket high with clothes are all neatly folded and sent back into the wardrobe. The kitchen gets a face lift overnight. Washed utensils and spoons meet their old friends in the cupboards and drawers. The sink never gets empty, never mind. Will delegate the job to the dishwasher once the sink overflows.

As usual what takes more time is the kids’ stuff. So the war cry ‘clean up’ is bellowed and kids scurry around picking up things and putting away God knows where. Wait! I will know too, once the Hurricane Clean Up hits their room.

Bathrooms, toilets sparkling  – check. The dining table is clear of homeworks, assignments and text books – check ( I wonder what is the purpose of study table!) . Buffet table will hold only the fruit basket with table mats underneath and Salt-pepper dispenser – check. (Rest of the junk on it, shhhhhh… again)

The wall-hanging my daughter made, is dangling for its life, on one edge. Need to send the other edges back to the wall with double sided glue-tape – check. Perfect. Living Room, dining area – done. Throw a threat towards kids as a bonus, ” Don’t you dare move a thing around here”. Ha! satisfaction. I sit on the sofa that has all the cushions in place, my feet comfortably resting on the freshly vacuumed carpet. Feels good! Why isn’t the house this clean always? This time I will see to it, ‘everything is intact’. Only cooking on the agenda now.

After the thank you-bye-bye chat at the front door as we see off our guests, we turn around to see the house getting back to the familiar chaos. The cushions  are back on the carpet. The shuttle badminton rackets are out and the shuttlecock is dangling on the chandelier. My darling little angels are jumping with the rackets, to coax the shuttlecock and with it, the chandelier, down to the floor. The epitome of patience that I was till then, my vocal chords found it’s new high pitch which shook the chandelier so hard the shuttlecock came floating down. But my little ones with their netted weapons had vanished upstairs, not wanting to be the target, next. What, I was just asking them to be careful with the chandelier!

I turn to the dining table with dishes waiting to be cleared. I walk into the kitchen, it looks as if another whirlwind (not the ‘clean’ one) had hit it. The sink is the same, overflowing. No changes there. The sparkle is flushed out of the wash room. I let out a feeble war cry, ‘clean up’ and dragged myself through it all (No kids to help, this time around. They vanished, remember?)

I collapse on that sofa again. Where are the cushions, I don’t care. I look around satisfied. One week before the junk piles up again. ( I am blogging these days.. busy!)

Time for a flashback of the evening,  my favorite people, the chatter, the laughter, the good times, good food. On my feet all day, cooking, cleaning – before and after . I stretch and smile. Worth it!

The brighter side of it, I need not cook tomorrow, I have leftovers.

Power Pack of Women

Power Pack of Women

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For me, a woman, is an inspiration. I love observing one in action. When women come together, it is like watching so many colors dancing on a canvas. I mean not only the colorful attires but also the vibrant personalities. Some docile, some strong, others feminine and a few, loud. Some with stories, some all ears. One is a beauty, one is just so smart, some are both – and that calls for envy!! Each one her own, chiseled out of life’s experiences. And when they come together, the room is all charged up with high volt energy that’s shockingly refreshing. For me, there is no better stress buster than being around a  bunch of ‘beauty and brains’.

There was a time, when women, once they are married had to forget about their connection with everyone outside and concentrate only on family. That became her world.  They didn’t think beyond being a devoted wife and mother. But they would have surely looked back, at some point of time, and remembered that old friend, who was like a soul mate. Wished she were around for a hearty chat. The feeling of, “she would understand!”. That is why we need girlfriends. To understand and just be there. Truth is, it is in this middle stage of life, that is all roller coaster, that we need our girl friends the most.

According to Therese Borchard, in her 5 types of girlfriends you need in your life girlfriends boost our morale and keep us going even when we are at our lowest. Friends are our,

  1. Cheerleaders – they know how to egg you on.
  2. Therapist – a talk with them clears your thoughts.
  3. The Prophet – sees where you are heading and need to take a turn.
  4. The Comedian – they know how to bubble that laughter out of you.
  5. The Leader – drags you along and sees that you are active.

In her blog Do women need girlfriends, Nancy Deville writes, “..  women thrive with women friends. Spending time with a BFF tamps down the “fight-or-flight” stress hormones and helps a woman’s body create serotonin, which is the feel good brain neurotransmitter that keeps depression at bay and mood even. Women who have intimate relationships with other women live 22 percent longer than women who don’t have friends.”

Long life or not,I love my time with my friends because it cheers me up. They say ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and if administered by friends, cure is instant! Old friends are just a ping away (thanks to smartphones!). But with those around,nothing more relaxing than a coffee shop meeting, with piping hot cups and topics  or a potluck brunch gathering. My friends and I, (gossip apart) discuss an array of subjects, which means we learn a lot from each other. Group activities help us share our skills. I loved helping my friend with decorating for her son’s football themed birthday party. It was so satisfying to come up with ideas and get creative making each decorative item.

Right friends inspire, are brutally honest and give that extra push (or a punch, depends!) and lift us up, spirit and mind . End result – juggling with multiple roles,we excel, stress busted. When surrounded by like-minded girls, that’s a strength in itself. The combined energy is charged positive as we entertain and empower.


Reference sources:

http://womensissues.about.com/od/communityconnection/a/Girlfriends.html

http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/gender/tendfend.html

Let boys be just boys..

Boys are considered rough and tough. They are go-getters, bold, fearless. Boys must play pranks, be ready to fight at the drop of a hat, don’t hesitate to throw a punch or two. They need to be macho.

Why didn’t you fight back?  You are a man, behave like one, the little boy is told. He is totally at a loss. What does that mean? You will not cry. Be strong. Crying is for girls. Again the boy is lost. If tears are for girls, why are they welling up in my eyes? I am strong, but I don’t like fighting with others. Is that bad thing?

You are letting someone else rule you? You are the boss, learn to call the shots. No talking softly, be loud. Be dominating. That’s how men are. And the boy who isn’t all the above, how does he feel? The cocoon around him, tightens.

Is it his fault he is a sweet child? He loves to talk softly, smiles often. He doesn’t trouble anyone, rather help someone out. Even if he is provoked, he doesn’t want to hurt back.  He doesn’t want to punch, so he is labelled, a coward. He doesn’t retaliate so he is to be bullied. He doesn’t boss around so he is walked all over.

He is sweet,isn’t that nice? He is soft, so be it. He is easily hurt, that is not his fault. Tears roll down, its ok to cry. He can be all these and still be a BOY. He need not prove he is macho just because he is born a male.

The ones who set the standard do not realize the labels and hard words pelted at a child will not make him any stronger. But pushes him down the abyss of confusion and turns his back away from the world. The effort to change the inborn character may also result in a child who grows up to be bitter and punishing.

Why make a boy feel bad about him being soft and sweet? Those are certainly not negative traits for a boy. Underneath the soft exterior may be there is someone who is  brilliant, wise, with incredible talents and a heart of gold. Let us celebrate that.

Do we have to stick to these rules and bring up our boys the standard way? I will appreciate my son if he grows up to be a sweet, polite man. I certainly wouldn’t like if he is overly dominating and a control freak. I would be horrified if he picks up fight because he is angry with someone.  If our boys are showing negative traits lets set them right, but why condemn good qualities?

Our job is to see that our kids grow up to be confident and matured adults. Let’s nurture their traits and characters, interests and inclinations.  When they are taught to value and love themselves, they can surely grow up to face the big bad world, head on.

Let boys be boys, they will find their way to manhood, tough ones and softies alike, learning their ropes along the way.