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The Abundance Mantra – Have So Much,Let More Coming – #GratitudeCircle May’18

posted by Anupriya May 31, 2018 4 Comments

How wrong could I be, when I thought that life would be smoother once the AtoZ Challenge was over. It got anything but smooth.  But Am I complaining? Not At All! You would think I must be crazy for whining but not complaining at the same time. Well! Here’s a peek into what all happened during the month. You would understand better!

My First e-Book

I was still recuperating from the frenzy of AtoZ Challenge when I realized I had no time to relax. My posts needed some serious editing,before they could be submitted for the EBook Carnival with Blogchatter. So whoosh went the first week of May and I was having sleepless nights over my blog posts and their editing.

Book writing is a complex process. More complex than anyone can ever fathom from the outside. It’s like unraveling the layers of a cabbage (Yes! A Cabbage) . You wouldn’t know when it’s ok to stop. Because the more layers you pull out, the shinier is the skin revealed. But how shiny is perfect shiny when you are editing your manuscript? I have learnt some of my lessons.

But yay! I am a published author now. As a young 20 something old, when I read my M&Bs I often wondered if I could ever write a love story and felt very strongly that someday I should be able to write something worth reading. (well then, things weren’t this simple, but I wanted to get published in a newspaper weekend magazine. The one where my dad worked!)

You may download my book here –

EBook - Anupriya

And today I have done it. My second manuscript is already in the pipeline, but will have to wait until end of this year to see the day of light (The reason? Read on to know more)

Until then, its gratitude for such joys of life.

Examination Fever

No! It’s not my kids who have their exams! There’s still a couple of years for that. Its me who is trying to study for a qualifying exam to pursue my professional goals. (The profession that I practiced before I became a stay at home mom and an aspiring blogger). While preparing for this exam, I realized that I have lost all capability to learn by heart and realized that if I stood any chance of clearing the exam, I have to practice. Life just isn’t all that supportive this month and not going to get better in another 20 days. Why? Becasue the kids have their summer vacations from the 12th of this month through 20th of the next month. Only when the kids’ school re-opens my life will have some chances of getting back in a routine. Right now I live in a crazy house. Ooops that’s the next part of this post.

Right here…. I am thankful that I still have it in me to be able to study for an exam.

Summer Vacations

My mother was often thankful for the vacations, because it gave her a chance to catch up on her sleep a little longer. But I have just not taken after her in this regard. I have dreaded the vacations all season, and felt that I am going to be a part of a nightmare. But it’s already been three weeks into the vacations and life hasn’t been all that difficult. It’s been hectic for sure, but manageable. I have been able to study for atleast 1.5hours everyday, spend upto 3 hours for my blog and spare an hour for my spiritual healing (through Meditation and practicing Forgiveness) Also, we (as in the kids and me) have been spending some quality time doing fun stuff such as creating a sand pit for play in our porch, setting up a tent in our balcony, learning to play board games etc. Its vacation time and I have hardly been having 6 hours of sleep daily. It really is crazy.

I really want to thank god for giving me the perseverance to work hard towards achieving my goals that I have set for myself this year. Despite a lot of physical discomfort and tiredness, I have been able to keep up with my schedule.

Oh! I forgot to mention about another first for my blog. This World Menstrual Hygiene Day, I hosted my first ever Blog Train with 12 other fellow bloggers. It was also my first ever attempt at a giveaway and a contest. It was one helluva learning experience. I am many times wiser now, on how to run a campaign.

Despite all the above mentioned challenges and the hangover from AtoZ Challenge I was able to put up 11 posts in the month of May’18. Life of ‘Me, the almost blogger’ is getting better at it. Gratitude to the blogger communities to help me keep going.

June is going to be equally crazy, with vacations till 20th of the month, several blogging engagements that I have committed myself to and the ongoing exam preparation. With just a month left for the exam, I am very nervous right now.

I think I must thank the almighty in advance for the strength and persistence that will help me sail through.

Gratitude Circle Vidya Sury promobox

This post is participating in April 2018 Gratitude Circle blog hop at Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

MHDay Menstrual Hygiene
LifeStyle

Menstrual Cups – A Boon to Menstrual Hygiene

posted by Anupriya May 27, 2018 31 Comments

Every month ‘during that time’ I often deviate from my otherwise ‘I am proud to be born a woman’ stance. No, it’s not just the PMS that turns me into a touch-me-not live wire, or the cramps that make me want to cut-off my stomach and keep it aside on the shelf for a couple of days. As odd as it may sound, I started feeling extremely guilty of being a woman, after my realization of the fact that in my menstruating lifetime, in order to maintain Menstrual Hygiene, I am going to add atleast 35-40 kgs of personal non-biodegradable waste. But menstrual hygiene can’t be compromised on! After all, gone are the days when the women of previous generation had to rely on primitive ways to manage ‘Those Days’.

But then what is the alternative! In the recent years one particular alternative to the traditional sanitary napkins has gained a lot of popularity. All these years, I have had my reservations about this new-thing-in-the-market. But lately, overcome by my guilt of already having creating almost 15-20 kgs of non-biodegradable waste I resolved to try out the alternative. Continue Reading

Kids LearningLifeStyle

The Child Is The Father Of Man – Kadam Chhota, Change Bada

posted by Anupriya May 22, 2018 11 Comments

I was about 8 years old, when I observed that our toothpaste was now coming in a user friendly plastic tube, instead of metal tube. I loved the new toothpaste packaging as it was convenient and retained its original shape throughout. It was quite a draw compared to the old metal tube that lost all its original glory with usage.

At that age, I believed that plastic ought to be the discovery of the century. With time, everything that came packaged, came in plastic. The colorful and light weight packages were the in thing. Even my parents stopped carrying ‘jhola/ thaila’ (a cloth carrybag) for grocery shopping.

‘They give everything in plastic bags these days.” was their excuse. Plastic bags became a way of life.

As I grew up, campaigns around hazards of plastic picked up momentum. A general environment against usage of plastic was created and emphasize was laid on recycling of plastic. But how did it affect me? Not in a way that I can be proud of. Same was the case with everyone around me including my family (pre and post marriage). I could say that my routine life continued in oblivion. Continue Reading

LifeStyle

Managing Diabetes in Summer_ How To Beat the Heat

posted by Anupriya May 21, 2018 7 Comments

Weather and Diabetes- The connection

Weather on a holiday or simply spending some outdoor time in the sun, heat and humidity have an influence on people with long term illnesses such as diabetes. This is partly because of an increase in bodily activity during hot weather.

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LifeStyle

HealthBites – Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?

posted by Anupriya May 20, 2018 0 comments

A brief about type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is said to be a chronic disease with an inevitable worsening of health leading to conditions like heart disease, damage to kidney, vision loss or nerve damage and in a few complicated cases amputation. Continue Reading

LifeStyle

HealthBites – Guidelines For Managing Diabetes During Illness or Injury

posted by Anupriya May 19, 2018 2 Comments

Diabetes management and sugar level checks during injury

Dealing with a seasonal flu or recovering from a medical condition is no fun for anyone. This becomes an extra concern for people who have diabetes. The stress related to injury or illness can lead to high level of blood sugar. This condition in extreme cases can turn into diabetic coma. Hence diabetes management when illness strikes becomes even more important. Continue Reading

LifeStyle

April 2018 – The Month Of Impact #GratitudeCircle

posted by Anupriya May 1, 2018 2 Comments

The blogger in me waited for April, 2018 with abated breath ever since I decided to participate in the A-to-Z Challenge.  Things became more unnerving when I planned my long due visit to my parents in the last week of March and planned the holiday to go upto almost one third of April. I was almost on the verge of dropping the idea of blogging everyday, when the adventurer in me accepted the challenge and I set out with a strategy. With little planning and additional time investment in writing I completed the drafts of the first 15 posts for the A-to-Z Challenge before I set foot in April. This gave me ample time to get back home and get into the groove to hit the writing board for rest of the posts. While the writer in me is really thankful for the blessings and guidance for being able to complete the challenge, I am a little disappointed with myself for not being able to read as much as I would have wanted to. With the travel, new school session and my own lethargy I just did not meet the mark. Nevertheless it has been a learning experience for which I am thankful to the universe. Continue Reading

AtoZ Challenge 2018LifeStyleParenting

A Zen Life – #AtoZChallenge 2018

posted by Anupriya April 30, 2018 0 comments

Mr. Gunjal was busy getting the house in place. He also made his wife chalk out the food menu for whole of next week, and stocked up the kitchen with every single item that would make his grandchildren happy. Candies, lollipops, all kinds of berries available in the local market and kids favorite fruits – he had it all sorted. Mrs. Gunjal though, was more excited to have her girls to herself for an entire week. Their husbands were to join only a week later for the celebrations.

Oh yes! There was to be a celebration in the Gunjal household. Mr. Gunjal was getting retired after a fruitful working stint of 40 years in the same organization. As was a popular culture, everyone expected them to throw a party to celebrate the occasion. The girls weren’t very keen though. They were of the view that, it was better to spend money on travel than on throwing away money on feeding people. The girls were well aware of their parents’ struggle throughout their life. They knew that their parents had lived life on a shoe string budget to save for their education and marriage. Now they would have none of it and ensured that their passports were made 6 months prior to the retirement and planned to send their parents off to a foreign location for a holiday. But Mrs. Gunjal insisted that they throw a party for the near and dear ones.

‘Let this be an excuse to meet those people who have played a significant role in our life’s journey.’ She argued. Everyone including Mr. Gunjal conceded to her wish. And now here he was, preparing to welcome his girls, grandchildren and his sons-in-law. He was thrilled at the idea of having a full house for a full week.

Mr. Gunjal was 19 years when he figured a job opening with a local newspaper where he could do night shifts and study during the days simultaneously. He went for the interview and was ecstatic to have obtained the job. Marriage followed four years later after he managed to buy a 1 BHK house for himself. His family was back in the village in UP, but he was sure that he wanted to settle in this city where he had initially come to complete his graduation. Mrs. Gunjal was a moderately educated but a wise girl who put her heart and soul into her household. Together the young couple started gathering blocks to build up their castle.

Amrita came into their lives after two years of marriage and became the apple of their eyes immediately. Mr. Gunjal ensured that she got into the best city school which was a high ask for the couple. They were hardly graduates and were most comfortable in vernacular. To be able to get their daughter into a convent school was a dream come true for them. But once Amrita got into the coveted convent school, the struggle  to manage the school’s expectations and ensure good performance by Amrita began.

5 years later Smita came and completed their family. Mr. Gunjal who was ahead of his times with his thoughts was surprised when friends and relatives instead of congratulating him, actually expressed their sympathy for having another girl. This did not deter him from celebrating the arrival of his younger daughter with full fervor.

In the years that followed, he was often cornered by his own parents to give it another shot and try for a third child in expectation to have a boy child, his answer was a firm shake of his head.

‘I am a middle class salaried person. I want to give my kids the best education available in this city, for which I have only limited resources. I will not jeopardize their future by bringing in a third child and increase my expenses.’ would be his reply.

In the years that followed, the couple who took this bold decision for their times, got caught in a constant tussle with the world to prove that not having a son wasn’t the end of the world.  It was more important to cherish what one had and provide their kids the best of the world that they could afford.

The next two decades were followed by the Gunjal household getting caught in a race to perform well and ensure a secure future for the Gunjal girls. Mr. Gunjal was very clear about one thing and he imbibed the same in his daughters,

‘The future is going to be all about education. And it will be imperative for every girl to be financially independent. Pursue a stream that will ensure that you have a career and a salary to live life on your terms.’ Mrs. Gunjal who had harbored similar dreams in her childhood but never managed an education beyond 12th standard seconded her husband’s views to the T.

‘There never was a surplus penny in the house. But neither did we ever feel the lack of any resources that were necessary to up our game in life.’ Amrita is heard saying these words even today, whenever a discussion about her growing years crops. The grounded upbringing was something that both the sisters took pride in even today.  It shadowed all their resentment about not having lavish holidays, visits to restaurants for dinners or movie halls. Because they still remembered how their father had brought the latest video gaming console for them because he believed that it would help them develop various life skills.

When Amrita started college, she was an out and out extrovert participating in various extra-curricular activities. Thus spending hours after classes in the college campus and reaching home only after dark. Mr. Gunjal quipped at his wife’s objection,

‘If you expect them to up their game and have an edge over the crowd, you need to be bold enough to let them spread their wings and fly.’

Infused with confidence, Amrita went to do her MBA and obtain one of the best offers with a coveted employer. Smita followed suit and got herself a seat in an even better MBA college the year Amrita got married.

The only mole in an otherwise yielding life for the now aging Gunjal couple was that their girls had now really put on wings and flown away from them. Like quite literally. They were both in different ends of the country and the couple was getting old and lonely.

Mrs. Gunjal took more time than her husband to come to terms with the situation where she had no body to take care of and look after. Her girls were all grown up and had their own lives to lead. She was most relieved when Smita one day introduced Sharman to them who worked with her but belonged to the same city. She thought that her daughter would have more reasons to come back to their city now. Amrita choosing to marry a guy who was a native of a far off state had upset her to no extent. But she had come to terms because Raghav was a real gentleman. The perfect guy that the Gunjal household needed as their elder son-in-law. He was dedicated and valued them as much as his own parents. And Sharman only complemented him in every manner.

While Mrs. Gunjal sometimes still resented the fact that they were left alone in old-age with both their kids settled far away, Mr. Gunjal reasoned pragmatically,

‘Let’s not look at it as a custom where the girls have to move away with their husbands. In today’s times, boys too move to far off locations for career advancements. We can’t be selfish to hold them back. Each one has her own destiny and they ought to live their life with no strings attached.’

For the last half a decade, Mr. Gunjals’ life had fallen into a routine. He would spend the mornings taking care of his garden and exercising. Then he had a very light and healthy breakfast before leaving for work. Once back home in the evening he would have his green tea and suit up for his long evening walk. He walked almost 6-7 km on an average and encouraged his wife to do the same.

Smita would sometimes quip at her father, ‘Papa! Why are you making such a big deal about fitness? Please be easy on yourself.’

The old father who now wore salt and pepper hair would give away an all knowing smile.

‘If we remain healthy you can be free to live your life as per your will. I do not want that any of you two be tied down to us because of our ill health. So beta, our health is our wealth. It is the only legacy that this middle class father can leave for you girls.’ Smita looked on in awe of her forward thinking and ever planning father.

Today is the day when Mr. Gunjal has retired from his job. His daughters with their husbands, his two grandsons from Amrita are all infront of his eyes running around to meet the guests and making the party a lively affair. How he wished that Smita plan to have a kid soon and he see his family more complete. As he greeted the people thronging the terrace of his home to wish him luck for his second innings, Mr. Gunjal looks around and meets Mrs. Gunjal’s gaze. The slight nod from his lady, acknowledges what he has conveyed to her through his smiling eyes.

The message that he has conveyed is,‘We have met every challenge of life heads on till date.  Let’s enjoy our second innings with the same poise. Looking forward to the Zen life that awaits us.’ She smiles all knowingly and nods with a promise to confirm to his words.

Read my other AtoZ Challenge posts here

AtoZ Challenge 2018LifeStyle

Xerox Habits – #AtoZChallenge

posted by Anupriya April 27, 2018 1 Comment

Amrita wasn’t really feeling like socializing at the party today. It was short call from her mother-in-law to get ready for a family get-together in the honor of …. ahh forget it! With a family gathering almost every week, it had stopped mattering to Amrita what the occasion was. She had set a code with her mother in law, Radhaji to figure how pompously or soberly she should get dressed for the occasion.

“Get ready for a normal gathering dear. Raghav will pick you up by eight and I’ll stay back home to be with the kids.” a brief call by Radhaji was enough.

On another occasion, she would say, “We need to go to a large family gathering dear.” an indication enough for Amrita to up her dressing quotient a little for the occasion. She would gather the details of the gathering on her way in the car.

It’s not that Amrita did not enjoy going out. Infact she really liked meeting most of her husband’s cousins and had come to be friends with quite a few of them over the years. It’s just that the frequency sometimes got on to her. Nevertheless, Amrita did look forward to meet people especially after she had left her job.  These gatherings gave her the necessary oxygen to keep going through the motions of her otherwise monotonous life.

As Amrita entered the banquet hall at a newly inaugurated restaurant, she saw that around 50 people had already graced the occasion of annotation of one of her husband’s cousins as a Doctor.

Amrita shared warm pleasantries with most of the people present already. And then got into a her comfort zone with some of her husband’s first cousins and their spouses.

“So Amrita, what are you upto these days.”

“Nothing much. Just waiting for Nik’s vacations to begin and start packing for our trip to my sister’s place.”  Amrita said with a glint in her eyes.

“Oh! I happened to see your sister’s wedding picks on the social media. You two look so similar. Almost like twins.” exclaimed a cousin, as Raghav joined them at the table offering a mocktail made to order for his wife.

“Yeah! They are twins. Didn’t you know.” Raghav took a dig at his cousin as well as his wife, who he knew was tired of people calling her and her 5 years younger sister as twins.

“Yes! We do look similar. But twins? Please give me a break. They mean to say that either my girl looks beyond her age or I do not look my age. I chose to take offence on both.” Amrita often quipped whenever someone compared her and Smita as twins.

“But you two do look like ditto!” Raghav would then reply as a matter of fact and Amrita would sigh admittedly.

“I know. God it must be some very strong DNAs at work.” she grinned as she gave her husband a sharp look.

“Yeah in our case DNAs havn’t done their job too well.”, an eves dropping aunt pitched in.

“Hi there, Massi! How have you been?” Raghav turned towards his aunt and gave her a side hug. The short and stout lady ruffled Raghav’s hair fondly and asked him about her sister’s where abouts.

“Oh! Somebody had to stay back to look on the sleeping kids. Ma insisted that we go and she stay.”

“Oh! But talking about the DNA thing, you know what the similarities are not just about the looks.” Everyone looked on amusingly at the 50 something lady. They knew she would have something interesting to share with the group.

“Oh Mom! Please, we do not need your woven stories today. Just not in the mood.” said Mohan, the elder son, whom she dismissed with a slap on his arm.

“So when we were young we four sisters shared the room and our two brothers shared one room and the parents and grandparents shared one bedroom each. So that left no separate room for the guests whenever there were any.” Radhaji’s elder sister had everyone hooked with her stupefying story telling skills.

“So once my maternal cousin came stay with us and decided to take turns to sleep in each bedroom so as not to cause too much continuous discomfort to anyone in particular. After four days of his stay, he walked upto to my mother and asked her, Bua are you trying to save money? Is there a problem?. My Ma was almost bewildered at this question, so she asked her nephew the reason as to why he thought so.” It was evident to everyone that the older lady was going to come up with some thing really funny, because she was already grinning thinking about what was to follow.

“So what had happened?”

“Ahh! My cousin had spent four nights sleeping in four different rooms of the house with different occupants and he had not been able to have a sound sleep because even during the month of June, our fans were running at low speed. When he mentioned this to my mom, she said that in her room they preferred slow speed of fan because that’s how  her husband liked it and she had gotten used to it. Later that evening, when she mentioned the same to my Dadi, she got a similar reply. Betaji, your Dadaji likes the fan slow and so I too got used to it. In our times who would object to the husband’s will. It was revealed at dinner that all six of the siblings also like the fan to be slow. I find the loud noise of a fast running fan to be very distracting, said the younger one of your uncles.” Listening to this everyone in the group broke into laughter. That is, except for Amrita and Raghav. Amrita was startled, while Raghav was grinning.

“Maasiji, you mean to say, it’s a DNA thing. Your habit of liking the fan slow!” exclaimed Amrita. To this she got a long faced nod from Raghav’s aunt. And she herself slapped her forehead in response as everyone looked on in confusion. So Amrita decided to explain,

“So every since we’ve been married, I have had this basic difference with Raghav where he would want the fan slow even when I would be sweating. He just wouldn’t give in. And his explanation always is, I find the loud noise of a fast running fan to be very distracting. Thank god we have air conditioners, otherwise I would never be able to sleep in the same room with your nephew.” Amrita blushed at her last sentence and everyone in the group broke into a loud roar.

Well that’s some complex percolation of DNA across generations creating Xerox habits.

Read my other AtoZ Challenge posts here

AtoZ Challenge 2018LifeStyleMotherhoodParenting

Has the Real Village Burnt ? #AtoZ Challenge

posted by Anupriya April 25, 2018 0 comments

Amrita was exhausted. She couldn’t manage the pick-up and drops for Nik’s activity classes all alone anymore.  With a little baby to nurse to, Nik’s hectic routine was taking a toll on her. At moments, she wondered if she should discontinue with some of his classes. This she contemplated would give some breathing space to him and to her. But then I would have two kids in the house all the time to take care of, she argued mentally. That would be even more hectic, she reasoned shuddering at the thought of near future when the little Lucky would no more be constricted to the cot. As she envisioned herself running after her two kids all over the home, she had creeps about how she would manage life with two boys in the house.

Amrita really wished she had some neighbor who would have kids her boy’s age and would be willing to pool and take the kids to the activity class. Things would be so much more manageable then. The thought made her brood at the fact that they were living in an independent house and not in a residential complex where most of the activity classes happened within the premises and the kids could be left on their own within the safe confines of the complex.  While her husband had grown up in the same house, where they currently resided and boasted of having a fun time growing up while playing with friends on the streets, she hardly ever saw any kids playing the roads these days. Continue Reading