Wednesday, 27 April 2016

GAIL - Indian Speed Star

India is a land of hidden talent. We may not boast of state of the art training facilities in every region; but that does not stop our talented sportspersons from fighting against all odds and reach out for their dreams. We Indians know how to make the most of available resources. Time and again, we have witnessed some of the best sportspersons shining bright from areas unheard of. 

While the government is coming up with various programs to promote hidden talent, recently many CSR initiatives too have focussed on this aspect.

GAIL (India) Limited, the largest state owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India has recently launched grassroots athletics program - GAIL Indian Speedster in association with National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS) on March 22, 2016. Aiming to create a pool of best athletes from across India, GAIL Indian Speedster involves identifying, selecting and nurturing hidden talent in athletes of age group 11-17 years in 100m, 200m and 800m track events. 

When it comes to selecting the best talent, there can be no better mentor than sportspersons who have worked their way hard up to success. A panel of eminent sportspersons like P.T. Usha, Rachita Mistry, AnuradhaBiswal& Kavita Raut have been appointed in the selection committee to support selections and guide coaching camps. From creating the selecting criteria to developing training module of selected athletes, everything is taken care of by these experts. 

The program was unveiled by legendary athlete P.T. Usha along with organisers DrAshutoshKarnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL (India) Ltd, Rajesh Pande – President, National Yuva Cooperative Society Ltd (NYCS) and Maneesh Bahuguna- CEO, Anglian Medal Hunt Company.

District trials were conducted under the watchful eyes of coaches and selectors in 55 districts across 10 states. More than 25,000 children participated in these trials and of these, 850 were selected for State Level. 

The first State level camp was organised on February 27-28 at the SawaiMaan Singh Stadium, Jaipur. 60 talented young boys and girls participated of which four qualified to the next level. State trials have been conducted in Odisha (14 Selection), Delhi (28 Selection), Kerala (28 Selection), Jharkhand(4 Selection), Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Preparations are on full swing for the National camp and selection to be held in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, which will be attended by shortlisted athletes from the states.The final trials scheduled after completion of the camp will decide the winners based on qualification criteria and their potential. Top 9 athletes will be then provided world class coaching for 5 years. The organisers hope that the initiative be successful in giving India fresh and talented representation at the Olympics.

For more information on GAIL Indian Speedster, visit their website and like the Facebook page

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Q : Questions kids ask : A to Z Challenge

We know kids are by nature hyper inquisitive, however there are times when their questions put the elders in a hot seat. I never realised it until my little niece began her schooling and gave me the first taste of such a situation. 

Situation 1 
We had gone shopping to Lajpat Nagar (Delhi) during Diwali time. The market was buzzing with activity as people rushed to make the most out of festive discounts. Outside every shop was a "Sale" banner, trying to sit the prettiest and brightest so as to grab maximum eyeballs. As we were about to enter such a shop, my niece suddenly pulled my mom by her Saree. "What is it dear?"my mom asked. "Nani, why do I see the Sale written on banner as Saaley?" my niece said in an innocent voice and gave her signature "I haven't done anything" smile. Who could have thought that "sale"written on banners could be deciphered in that way as well? Not only were we all in splits, along with surprised customers who had heard her, I also realised that nowadays, kids have their own way of observing and deciphering things...

Situation 2
Pretty much the same, just that the location had changed. Few days after the first episode, we were shopping in South Extn market. We had entered the store "Mango" when my niece came running and asked mom, "Nani, why have they named their store Maango (meaning to ask for something in Hindi)?' I knew she wasn't that small to understand this one, so I caught her mischief and took her out of the store promptly before she could start guessing the reasons aloud.

If it has anything to do with genes, then I am to be blamed. We had purchased a vacuum cleaner, when I was a kid. As the salesperson gave demo for the suction application, I suddenly decided to prove my out of the box thinking. "Can we use this to suck in the rats who create havoc?" I promptly asked, leaving the poor guy embarrassed and speechless. I am still teased at family get togethers for this display of intelligence and innovation.

Do you recall such incidents?

This post is written for A to Z Challenge

Thursday, 21 April 2016

P : Premchand : A to Z Challenge

If you are a Hindi literature aficionado, there is one name that for sure would sit with pride on your bookshelf - Munshi Premchand. The king of realism, he centred his writings around social issues in pre independence India. His ability to sensitise his readers with pain of his characters can perhaps be attributed to his difficult life.  That's why, decades later, his stories based in prehistoric India still strikes a chord with modern day readers. 

I was introduced to Premchand by my mother, herself a big fan and there has been no looking back for me ever since.

Many adaptations of Premchand's works have come, but I fell in love with this TV series I found on Youtube last year. Excellent screenplay coupled with power packed performance of industry veterans make these stories a treat to watch.

Here are some episodes of the amazing series - 



Sawa Ser Gehun

This post is written for A to Z Challenge

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

N : News readers : A to Z Challenge

Ask any kid about their favourite TV program, and you will get answers ranging from cartoons, music shows to sitcoms. I bet if you will ever get to hear "NEWS" as the answer.

But, childhood in the 80s was very different. Instead of being spoilt by choices, we spoiled the game for them, by being simple. There were limited channels and limited programs, which is why they have an amazing recall value in our minds even today.

Every evening, the moment clock struck 8, I would dash towards our TV set to watch my favourite program - English news.

Back then, neither did I understand a word of what was being said on the TV, nor was I interested in the faces of politicians showing up everyday like uninvited guests on TV screens. But there was just one thing that kept me glued to the news - News readers.

Back in the 80s, Doordarshan boasted of legendary news readers, whose style still makes them every news reader's idol. My favourite was Rini Khanna whom I almost worshipped for her immaculate diction and perfect phonetics. I would observe everything - right from the clothes to styling, pauses and pronunciation,

Once the news would be over, my bulletin would commence. Wrapped in my mom's saree, I would grab the newspaper and pretend to be the news reader. Like a copycat, I would imitate their expressions, poise and diction, much to the irritation of my forced viewers!

While destiny took me on a different career path, those news readers have occupied an irreplaceable place in my heart. 

If you too remember the news readers of the 80s, this video will be a treat 

This post is written for A to Z Challenge

L : Lost : A to Z Challenge

Thinking of letter L, I was feeling somewhat lost, for I wanted to refrain from taking up the very popular Love. 

Have you ever been lost?

Well, most of us feel lost when we find ourselves back to our office desks on Monday mornings, don't we? But, I am asking about actually being lost.

How does it feel to be lost in a crowd?

We were vacationing in Orissa. I must have been around 7 back then. That afternoon is still as afresh in my mind as impressions on sand. After hours of playtime with waves, it was time to shower and change. Mom took me and my sis to the shower rooms while Dad and big bro preferred to laze out under the sun. Once I was done, mom asked me to wait while she and my sis got ready. But I was just too naughty to wait. So I told her that like a good gal, I will walk out straight to Dad and brother and wait with them. Since they were just outside the shower rooms on the beach, mom readily agreed and asked me to go straight to dad.

But if children did everything as instructed by elders, we wouldn't have childhood stories!

I was addicted to collecting sea shells. The moment I walked out, I began my treasure hunting and stuffed the findings in my pockets. So focussed I was that I even missed spotting Dad sitting nearby and instead walked away, building my treasure. After a while, when my legs cried of fatigue and pockets of being overstuffed, I suddenly noticed the noises of children playing had faded. When I looked up, the coastline was heading for a curve. 

That's when it hit me. In the age of no mobile phones and navigation, I was lost on the sea beach!

I felt a sudden burst of heat behind my ears. But, I had no time for fear.  So I did the next best possible thing - About turn. 

Suddenly, the treasure in my pockets became excess baggage and I offloaded some as I struggled to keep pace. I was scanning each face on the beach, but couldn't spot the ones I was looking for.

I had heard horror stories of goons kidnapping lost kids and forcing them into begging, so I controlled my tears. 

By then, my family too had discovered I was missing and search operation was at full swing. While mom was hysterical, my elder sister with her presence of mind intact was scanning every nook and corner. But it wasn't a market with defined boundaries. It was a huge coastline!

I guess, God is very kind and pardons us for our mistakes. That afternoon, God pardoned me for not obeying my mom's instructions. My sister, with her 6/6 vision, fortunately recognised my frock from faraway, which almost appeared to her like a dot. The next moment, she was running non stop to chase that dot.

Just when tears were about to overpower my courage, I saw my sister running towards me. We had a typical Bollywood reunion as we hugged each other and I broke down. That day, she was nothing less than God for me, for had she not spotted me, perhaps I wouldn't be writing this blog. 

Have you ever been lost?

This post is written for the A to Z Challenge.

M: More is less: A to Z Challenge

The more we have, the less it seems
We run to chase the impossible dreams

What if less was better than more
Would we still run the rat race to achieve new high score?

Written for A to Z Challenge

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Can We Bubble Wrap Their Childhood?

This was published in Parentous

The other day, Mr. Hubby & I were having a small tiff on the safety features of S’s pram. I had carefully scrutinized and chosen a pram which seemed safe enough with its sidebars cushioned. However, little S’s enhanced sense of mischief had found a bar on the back side to bang his head against. Before I knew it, Mr. Hubby had bubble wrapped all possible open metallic surfaces of the pram. It now looked like a new pram straight out of the showroom, all bubble wrapped.

That’s when the thought struck my mind, “Can we bubble wrap their childhood?”
Parenting is a situation nothing can prepare one for, except parenting itself! During my pregnancy, we used to visit the children’s park every evening and spend some time looking at the kids playing. As we looked at the kids joyously playing with sand, we made tall claims of not pampering our child with unnecessary luxuries and trying to keep him/her close to the nature. We had spent a childhood climbing and falling from trees, playing outdoors in extreme weather and we wanted our child to be as rough and tough as us.
Ironically, the very claims we made with much confidence, vanished into thin air as soon as I delivered little S! Continue reading...

K: Kaleidoscopes :AtoZ Challenge

It was love at first sight! At the annual science fair, I happened to mistake the small cylindrical object for a pencil box. But when I was unable to open the box, the salesman guided me, "Look inside and you will discover a whole new world."

Indeed I did!

One peep inside was just not enough, for the ocean of shapes and colours swept my heart away! I often looked up to smile at the salesman however, each time I would peeped back, new shapes and colours welcomed my eyes. It was tough to understand them, just like it is tough to understand life, with its various hues and forms; or people around us who change their ways and colours at different angles of life. Curiosity to see them all conflicted with the frustration to know it all.

Finally, the heart said, "What the heck? Just enjoy!"

And so I did by satiating my eyes with the myriad shapes n colours. Sometimes sitting back and enjoying is the best one can do. We only live once, so explore as much as you can.

My eyes just kept asking for more, until I spent the money in my pocket to make it mine forever...

That was my first date with Kaleidoscope!

This post is written for A to Z Challenge.

O : Online shopping : A to Z Challenge

If I had to describe online shopping in one word, I would say "boon." After moving away from hometown into a city which runs at breakneck speed, regular shopping had become a distant dream. The mere thought of going out for shopping gave me jitters, as I visualised miles of traffic jams. Even when I was expecting my son, I kept pushing the mandatory baby shopping in the procrastination tray, until I was a week before my delivery. Fortunately, online shopping came to be my saviour and within 3 days, the delivery boy was smiling at my doorstep with a bagful of all the things mentioned in the hospital list.

But, as they say everything ha its own charms and perils. I too burnt my fingers during initial attempts. This post might ring in nostalgia if you too have been a victim of online shopping going wrong.

This post is written for A to Z Challenge.

P : Posters : A to Z Challenge

In the late 80s and early 90s, the posters on one's walls reflected one's tastes and personality. So important was having the right poster that youngsters spent hours in Archies galleries just to pick up the right poster. For those who couldn't afford the expensive posters from galleries, cheap imitations sold on roadside and flea markets provided the same happiness. And for those who couldn't make it even to the imitation posters, magazines were the best option. Every issue of the magazine would have a poster of some celebrity. It was a win win situation for publishers, for a good poster in an issue ensured record sales.

In today's digital world, wallpapers have replaced posters for the world has shrieked to our smartphones. 

Leaving you with images of some popular posters -

This post is written for A to Z Challenge

Thursday, 14 April 2016

J : Just Do It: A to Z Challenge

The simple no nonsense punchline of Nike always brings a naughty smile on my face, for it reminds me of a very silly incident from my childhood. For us, the children of 80s, malls and international brands were non existent until late 90s, by when most of us had reached high school. 

It was my cousin's marriage. As was the culture, relatives swarmed the house like bees days before the wedding. It was tough then, to find space for oneself in such hustle and bustle. The topmost floor of my uncle's house had been recently vacated by his tenant, an ace fashion photographer, and they couldn't help boasting about their high profile ex - tenant.

The top floor was left open to accommodate relatives. One morning, as my younger cousin and I were playing, we spotted a strange poster on the bathroom door. Those were the days when having a poster on the doors and walls reflected one's attitude. Hours were spent in Archies Galleries trying to pick the perfect poster that complimented one's persona.

However, the poster we saw on that door had nothing extraordinary to add to someone's personality. Nor did it display the usual cute cartoons that made gals crazy. Instead, it just mentioned three words above a curve - JUST DO IT.

Being the youngest of the lot also made us the naughtiest and we never left an opportunity for mischief. The poster got our grey matter in action. For long, we kept wondering why would someone choose to have these words on a poster. 

Finally, we came to a consensus, "Just like we hate to get up in the morning and go to school, the previous tenant too, hated mornings. So, he put up this poster to console himself. We can't stop our moms from waking us up early and forcing into shower. Then, the only way to push oneself is to say - Just do it and get over"

With feeling of triumph over our successful research and sympathy for the poor guy, the two of us made this a secret joke until the wedding functions were over. Every time, we would want a good laugh, we would look at each other, say "Just Do It" and start laughing. The elders would get curious about our mysterious joke for a while and eventually resume their business. 

Of course, I didn't have to wait for long to realise that the words on the poster were not customised for the tenant. The day I bought my first Nike, I had to tell myself the same three words to stop laughing and finish shopping - JUST DO IT!

This post is written for A to Z Challenge

With Flintobox, summer vacations rock!

When I was a child, summer vacations meant either stay overs at cousins' place, or joining hobby classes. Most of the times, hobby classes were left halfway to make for family holidays. Few days before the holidays would get over, I would start fretting over the pile of holiday homework and get into the fire fighting mode.

Fortunately for today's kids, there are plenty of options to make the summer vacations worthwhile and have some "fun while you learn" moments.

Recently, while exploring such options for my nephew, I came across Flintobox, that curates subscription activity boxes for kids, aged between 2 and 8 years of age. While most of the times, we as moms spend hours deciding which activity suits our kid, Flintobox makes our life easy. One can chose the activity boxes as per the age group. What's more, each box also details the specific skills it aims to develop in the child.

Did you know?

  • 90% of the brain development happens by the age of six
  • Early development and positive interactions during the age of 2-8 determines the overall development of children for years to come
  • Flintobox activity boxes are designed by game designers, montessori and pedagogy experts and child psychologists
  • Crafted with kid friendly materials, the box is shipped all across India

This summer, Flintobox has decided to make vacations colourful with their new Colour Carnival Box - an activity kit exclusively for toddlers. Curated for children between the age of two and three, these boxes introduce the concepts of colours and patterns in a unique and interactive manner. The activities are designed to cover 12 developmental areas including coordination, cognitive and gross motor, creativity, exploration, language and social skills. The box with its 6 play activities, including a storybook is the perfect way to keep the child involved and away from excessive TV or screen time.

The best part is, whether you are at home or elsewhere, Flintobox goes with you and makes your vacations perfect!

Flintobox has released two new themes for the month of April for children aged 3 to 4 (Junior Colour Scientist) and 4 to 8 (Wildlife Safari). Limited number of boxes are produced every month, so grab one before stocks finish!

Monday, 11 April 2016 - Your personal health secretary

Being new to the city, Mr. Hubby and I faced a tough time searching for the perfect paediatrician. Like every new parent, we too were super protective about our child and fretted over the slightest of ailments. We wanted the best paediatrician for our baby. So, wherever I would spot a mom in my situation, I would ask her about the paediatrician she goes to. 

And that was not all...

Maintaining the paperwork was another herculean task. With frequent doctor visits, there was a huge pile of papers and reports I carried for doctor visits and often messed up when asked for a particular document.

Seems team was listening to my troubles all this while...

Deepak Rathi & Kulvinder Singh, two friends who were struck by the plight of people with chronic ailments who lost a lot of productive time keeping test reports organised.

And so was born

Whether it is finding a new doctor, or maintain relationship with your current doctor; is the one stop solution. account helps the patient to maintain their records online, which means no more carrying half a dozen files to the doctor's office. 

It is also a win win situation for doctors as they don't have to wait for the patient fumbling between pages of reports to find the correct one.

And that's not all...

Apart from scheduling doctor's appointments and maintaining records online, has also brought yoga to its bouquet. One can now easily look for a yoga trainer online. What's more, customers can experience a virtual yoga studio online while sitting in the comfort of their homes.

So, if you are looking for hassle free healthcare, is your personal health secretary!

I - A to Z Challenge - It's tough to keep pace

I signed up for A to Z Challenge without racking my brain much. But now, its getting challenging. Balancing office, home, baby leaves little time for blogging, and often it is my sleep time which bears the burden. 

Perhaps it is the first time, that's why so challenging. Creating a repository of posts in advance and pre scheduling is my takeaway for next time.

But, hey! I also love the spontaneity of the whole thing and don't wanna make it predictable. Its fun to see my tired brain gathering some energy to write about something I have felt strongly that day. Apart from maintaining continuity, it brings some novelty and excitement in the daily routine.

I sincerely hope I am able to sail to the Z...

Its tough, but I ain't willing to give up!

I am writing for A to Z Challenge.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Save Nature & Nature Saves You

Mother nature, the one who nurtures us all,
In her lap we have grown big and tall
Threatened, abused, she lays bleeding
Press ctrl + save she is pleading
The path is tough, but lets not lose hope
Young and old let's join hands for there is scope
We can still save her & fight hazards away
For where there is a will, there is a way.

I was fortunate to have spent a childhood very close to mother nature, for my mother was a nature lover herself. Early mornings I would see her spending an hour in the garden, watering the plants, trimming worn out leaves and examining each plant. Being a child, I often got jealous and told her, "You love your plants more than me, seems you talk to them everyday like they are your children." She would laugh and tell me, "These plants are a part of our family. When you climb the Guava tree, don't you feel he is your buddy, playing with you? Just like we care for our family members, these plants too need our love and care."

Most importantly, she used to say something which has stayed with me,

"Save nature and nature saves you"

And so, right from recycling waste to planting tree on every birthday, my parents taught me to care for environment like one would care for their parents. 

Now that I am a mom myself, its time to pass the baton of wisdom to the next generation.

But, things aren't the same as they used to be when I was a child. Rising pollution levels in the metros force small children to wear masks to school. The depleting water resources sit like a time bomb. News reports of rising chemicals in foodstuffs scare me as a parent and I often fear if the food I am giving my child is laced with chemicals.

It is high time, we all take accountability of saving mother nature. By teaching our children these simple ways of protecting nature, we can surely make them better citizens of tomorrow.

Waste less and reuse more
Using products that can be recycled (glass instead of plastic bottles, cloth bags instead of plastic bags,  rechargeable batteries), we can minimise non biodegradable waste, saving our land from abuse. Simple habits like switching off the fans, lights and appliances when not in use can help minimise Carbon footprint. But, as adults we need to lead by example.

A plant a birthday
I loved this custom mom followed. In today's era of reducing spaces, this may be tough, but the world is our home and the parks always welcome more trees with open arms. The next time you take your kid for walk, the breeze in the garden and the fresh air will be nature's return gifts.

Reduce paper wastage
I still remember a classmate of mine, who used to fill her notebooks to the fullest. Often when others joked why she was being such a miser, she told them she was saving trees. By teaching our children to use papers left in old notebooks, print on both sides of paper and use recycled paper, we can partner in saving trees.

Value of fresh water
By making small changes in our daily routine, we can teach kids to conserve fresh water resources, which are depleting at an alarming pace. Recycling water in garden, using bucket instead of showers and keeping tap closed while brushing teeth are small drops in the ocean.

Inspiration & visits
Visits to places like Rock Garden and nature parks can be great source of inspiration for children, becoming the perfect "fun and learn" moments. Children are great observers and pick up good habits easily for life.

All this would make no sense until we don't practice what we preach, for a wise man once said, "Children learn from who you are, than what you teach."

I’m blogging about how I’ll remind kids to press Ctrl+S for nature for the Shortcut Safaari weekend activity at BlogAdda

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H: Happy Birthday : A to Z Challenge

I was in deep sleep when the ring of my cellphone woke me up with a start. It was midnight and for a second I was shocked to see my niece calling me at that hour. "Happy Birthday to you" she sang, reminding me that my special day had arrived. 

As a kid, I was so obsessed with being wished that the moment the clock struck 12, I would start singing "Happy Birthday" for myself. On my birthday mornings, I would wait like a puppy till each family member wished me Happy Birthday atlas 2-3 times! Back then I loved the excitement and the special treatment for a day.

But with years, the excitement to hear the golden words, "Happy Birthday" vanished in time!

Happy Birthday calls at 12 now surprise me and somewhat irritate too if they don't finish within 1-2 minutes. 

Did I ever imagine that adulthood would change my preferences to a "quite little birthday!"

Childhood - you are history.

This post is written for A to Z Challenge

G : Games : A to Z Challenge

I loved playing games as a kid, hide n seek being my favourite. The moment clock struck 4, my friends used to get together to play. Mom would often be engrossed in her afternoon siesta by then and never needed an alarm to wake up. For the shrill voices of my friends calling me to play were good enough to wake her up. 

Summer vacations were bonus time as we got time to play a variety of games, often indoors due to the sultry heat. Come vacations and our scrabble and monopoly boxes would see the light. 

I was addicted to Badminton and often even missed my meals for a good match. I remember several times during vacations, mom used to call me home and finally come sometimes at 11 in the night to scold me and take me back home! 

Games taught us early a lot about team spirit and sportsmanship. Each one of us wanted to lead the group, so there were frequent fights, red faces, boycotts and then after few days, things would be back to normal.

Much better than the games elders play...

Which were your favourite games as a child?

This post is written for A to Z Challenge

F : Fears : A to Z Challenge

We all hide them, deny them and secretly make every effort to wipe them out of their lives. But they do exist. Within each one of us.


It is often said that fears are best dealt by facing them eye to eye. But it is easier said than done.

As a child I used to love dogs. Until one unfortunate day, I became the victim of a dog bite while returning from school. Call it the over excitement of a seven year old, or simple bad luck. I spotted three lovely white puppies in a drain near my house and immediately dashed to hold them. As I approached them for some playtime, something black pounced on me. Within a fraction of a second, I turned and ran for my life, freeing my leg of something which held it for a moment. I was safe, I thought when the watchman asked me if it was paining a lot. "Why would it pain?" I was wondering when I saw blood oozing out of my leg. The protective mom of the pups had successfully taken her revenge by digging her paw and 2 teeth in my calf muscles!

It was then that I felt the power of fear...

My ears suddenly felt hot; the vision was blurred by tears and all I wanted was the security of my mom's hug. But fears are communicable. Mom's condition was wore than me upon seeing me in that condition. As a mother now I can understand her fears and trauma.

Of course, time and anti rabies shots healed the wounds. But one thing they couldn't heal was my fear of stray dogs. I felt scared to go anywhere alone fearing a dog would come from somewhere and attack me. I wanted to be accompanied everywhere.

It took a lot of time and hard work for my family to get me over this fear. The arrival of my pet dog eventually helped me overcome my fear. But, till now whenever I see a stray dog chasing me, for a moment I go into flashback.

Its human to have fears. Accept them and face them eye to eye.

This post is written as a part of A to Z Challenge.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

E : Expectations : A to Z Challenge

If there were no expectations, perhaps world would be a much happier place. Doing what we do and moving on would let us be at much more peace. Easier it is to fall for the forbidden fruit of eagerness and expectations than detaching oneself from the outcomes. But, if expectations were to die, so would motivations. It is a tightrope walk then, expecting just enough to keep us motivated but not be blinded by the attachment to results. 

This verse says it all...

This post is written as a part of A to Z Challenge #AtoZChallenge

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

D : Doctors : A to Z Challenge

In the past 1.5 years, I have interacted with doctors more than ever before in my life. Nine months of pregnancy saw me visiting my Gynaec's clinic like one would visit a close friend. In fact, knowing my history of feelings for doctors, Mr. Hubby began to make fun of me that the baby has transformed me into a Braveheart. As you would have guessed, I HATE doctor visits since I was a kid. As if, the smell of disinfectant and the sad faces of patients waiting were not enough, the expressions on the doctor's face made up for the rest. Often, my visits used to feel like a court hearing. I would blabber out every detail and the doctor would  keep jotting down something. Then, came the worst part, waiting for the judgement and praying to lord to save me from the torture of an injection or a bitter syrup. The doc would keep me waiting and jot down something endlessly in a handwriting I dunno how even the Chemist understood. No matter how much I tried to stay calm, the BP shot up in the waiting queue itself. In fact, once I jokingly invited the doc for tea to witness how good my BP was at home! 

As the D day (delivery) drew near, my doc transformed into God or so I was made to believe by my family. Throughout my pregnancy, I used to pester my doc with a long list of questions after her bit was done, adamant on having a normal delivery. But, towards the end of pregnancy, I felt like a helpless soul having to believe whatever the doctor said. 

"It is a matter of just few days",  I thought. But the only thing changed post delivery was the change of queue. I was now much more regular at the paediatrician's clinic bang opposite to my gynaec's, for being a new mom, I would not want to take chance for the slightest of issues.

And that's when I began to wonder, "does one trust the doctor blindly?"

Of course, in case we aren't qualified medical practitioners, we have no option but to nod our head in affirmation to all the tests, shots, diagnosis that we are advised. However, the bug of commercialisation hasn't spared this noble profession. Try visiting a doctor for the smallest of ailments and the first thing s/he will ask you is to undergo a battery of tests, often at a centre of their recommendation. "Its just a test" one wonders, there is no harm in diagnosis and often go for tests that were not even warranted in the first place. The deal becomes more lucrative for them if a baby is involved, for no parent would like to take chance. And if you question, the winning argument is "Lets rule out everything". Yes, we should rule out all doubts, by taking second opinions.

This post is written as a part of April A to Z Challenge #AtoZChallenge. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

C:Comic- A to Z Challenge

The reason why I got a lot of scolding from mom during exams was surprisingly not studies. It was comics. Yes, I was addicted to comics like a dopier is to dope. My addiction would be at its best during exams, for the colorful pages and happy faces transported me to a different world, free of exam stress, fears and failures. Every comic tells a happy story. However, being a concerned parent, mom used to be worried for my career, so she often made me swear not to touch comics till the exams were over! I used to be tempted to hide the comic in my textbooks and finish the story, but the guilt of breaking a swear and the fear of ranking low in class successfully kept me away from comics.

However, as soon as the last exam would be over, comics and I would embrace each other like long lost lovers and we would spend nights happily in each other's company.

Comics also taught me the art of networking & negotiating very early in life!

A boy in our neighborhood had a enviable collection of comics and used to organize a paid library during summer holidays. Paying for so many comics was totally our of question. But, then I found a weak link. This guy liked my hulla hoop and his mom never got him one, considering it to be a very girlie thing. So I negotiated the perfect barter. I would let him play with my hulla hoop and he let me read comics for free.

And that was not all...

There was a magazine stand next to the flour mill in the local market. Once, while waiting with my brother for the flour to be done, I picked up a comic, thinking I will pretend to check it out and the shopkeeper would think I will buy, but I will quickly switch to another one. However, once I opened the comic, I got so immersed in it that I lost track of time. Thankfully, the shopkeeper was a nice guy and a comic lover himself. "Why don't you grab a chair and read?"he said and offered me a chair. 

I was all smiles, thinking "Goodness still prevails"

Here are some of my favorite comics.

What are your comic memories & which are your favorite comics?

This post is written for #atozchallenge.

Monday, 4 April 2016

To the Mowgli in all of us

When I was expecting my son last year, there was one piece of advice almost everyone showered on me. To read, listen and watch stuff that the baby would enjoy. As I wondered what shows/movies to watch, the first name that came to my mind was none other than "The Jungle Book"

Every evening, Mr. Hubby and I would leisurely watch Jungle book episodes and I would go back to my childhood.

As all children of the 80's and 90's would agree, Jungle Book had a very important role to play in our childhood. Not even a single child would be seen outdoors at 10am on Sundays as all of them would be glued to their TV sets watching Jungle Book. So much was the craze that once when a classmate of mine got a pencil box with Mowgli printed on it, the entire class went in a frenzy to buy similar pencil box!

What was so special about a simple tale of a jungle, a human baby and animals that it is still engraved in our hearts and minds?

The first thought that comes to my mind is the song, "Jungle Jungle Pataa Chala hai, Chaddi pehenke phool khilaa hai" and the smiling faces of Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo, Pappu, Ka and others. I must confess, the title song has such emotional value for me that often when my 9 month old son has trouble falling asleep, I hum this song and rock him to sleep.

Jungle Book is not just a story. It is the story of our lives - of triumphs and failures; of loyalty and deceit; of friendship and animosity; of love and jealousy; of discipline and rebellion. Each character and each scene of Jungle Book resonates the songs of our lives. Perhaps thats why Jungle Book strikes the perfect chord and it was the perfect choice to have fun and at the same time refresh the lessons of life...

There is a Mowgli in all of us -
As a kid, the biggest reason which kept me hooked on to the Jungle Book was Mowgli. I could somehow relate to him on several instances. Like Mowgli, I too had my moments of mischief, fun with friends, rebellion, concern for my loved ones and aggression for anyone who dared to challenge me.

Family & friends
Jungle Book taught me very early in life, the importance of family and friends. Despite being a human, Mowgli was treated no different by his family and friends. Often, when I used to see Mowgli being pampered by his mom Chameli, I too used to become a small child and give my mom a bear hug! It is important to choose friends wisely, for good friends show us the correct path and stand by us in every situation, just like Bagheera, Baloo, Ka and Pappu! If you look around at your friends, you will always find a Bagheera who shows you the right path without being preach; a Baloo who may not be stylish but is the most sincere and sensible; a Ka who knows it all and a Pappu who is your follower!

Break the rules and face the music
Nobody could have taught this better than the Jungle Book. Time and again, we see repercussions of breaking rules of the Jungle. Be it crossing over to the forbidden side of the river, or ignoring the instructions of elders. My mom often made good use of this fact and often used to tell me, "see what happened to Mowgli when he didn't listen to his mom and went to the forbidden part of the Jungle. You too should listen to what mamma says!" and I would nod my head in affirmation. What an age of innocence it was!

Face your fears
Mowgli was the super hero who never shied from taking risks and faced his fears. Fears also remind me of a funny incident. In one of the episodes, I saw Baloo telling Mowgli the Mahamantra of Jungle "Hum ek hee vansh ke hain, tum aur main"(We are no different) and Mowgli successfully uses this mantra to drive away the wild dogs. Once when a stray dog got after me, instead of running away, I decided to use Mowgli's mantra. However, to my surprise, it had no impact on the dog. Fortunately an elderly uncle was passing by who shooed the dog away and saved me the torture of anti rabies shots!

Us before Me
The animals of the jungle were very particular about the safety of the Jungle. When the rivers dried up, all the animals collaborated to share resources and decided not to hunt till the water problem was resolved. Whereas we humans think of serving our individual interests first. I wonder why do we humans forget this lesson in times of crisis.

Loving our environment
I used to be in awe watching Mowgli using climbers to move from tree to tree in no time! While I could not find climbers to try my luck, Mowgli for sure was my inspiration to climb trees. From guava to Jamun to Mango I didn't leave a single tree despite often being attacked by angry red ants peacefully resting in the tree trunks!

As a parent, I feel there cannot be anything better than Jungle Book to teach your child the lessons of life without sounding preachy. I look forward to the day when my son grows up and I can watch Jungle Book with him and share my memories!

I’m blogging about #MyMowgliMemory at BlogAdda.

Jungle Book releases on April 8. Catch the movie and relive your memories!