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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. Continue Reading

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

AtoZ Challenge 2018LifeStyleMotherhoodParenting

The Surrogate Mother – #AtoZChallenge2018

posted by Anupriya April 21, 2018 0 comments

Amrita looked on at the drama unfolding infront of her as she put little Lucky in the high chair and put a bowl of carrot infront of him. She had suffered so much with Niks eating habits that she decided to try out baby led weaning with her younger son. And was she disappointed? Not at all! At 9 months, Lucky ate all the fruits and finger foods on his own. She had to start with use of spoon and bowl with the boy soon. Amrita made a mental note of the same as she looked on at her elder son throwing a tantrum in the lobby.

‘Why do you have to go?’  Nik sobbed as he held on to Sandhya. Sandhya was short enough for little Nik to reach upto her waist and hold her tightly making it difficult for her to move. Sandhya’s toil worn face let out a mild smile as she ruffled 5 year old Nik’s hair,

‘I’ll be back in a day or two, Nik Baba’ she said in an assuring tone in her quaking voice. Her eyes checking out the wall clock repeatedly, fearing she might miss the direct bus to her village.

‘But please don’t go. What if I miss you? And what if Lucky misses you?’ Nik whined his hold still tight across her waist, he looked up pleading at the old lady with smoky grey hair.

Amrita observed Sandhya di’s face and realized that her eyes had become red suddenly. Probably due to the burning of tears that did not come out. Her heart went out for both her son and the old lady. She decided to put the old lady out of her agony lest she might miss her bus. Amrita moved towards her son and pulled him apart from Sandhya and held him tightly in her arms.

‘Nik baby, do you like to go to your Nani’s home in your vacations?’ Amrita continued when Nik nodded in affirmative, ‘Sandhya di also needs to go to her Nani ghar once in awhile. We must let her go.’

‘But I will miss her too much.’ Nik complained.

Amrita hugged her son and patted his back. Pulling him apart she smiled into his eyes, ‘She will miss you too dear.’ She turned towards Sandhya who stood looking at them with a torn expression, ‘Sandhya di, please be back soon. Nik will really miss you too much. Promise him that you will be back soon?’

Sandhya to overwhelmed to say anything, nodded quickly and put her hand on Nik’s head before quickly turning around to pick up her bags and leave the house.

Amrita let out a deep sigh and smiled at her elder son and distracted him with his favorite Cartoon show on the television. She settled back on the couch with a quick glance on the road outside watching Sandhya hurry away with tiny but hastened steps. Her thoughts automatically drifted towards the time she had met her for the first time.

Sandhya had started working in her mother-in-law’s household when she had been a young girl herself and Amrita’s husband Raghav had been as old as Nik. She had since been a permanent member of the same household. Even though Sandhya routed all her earnings for her ailing parents’ treatment, brother’s study and younger sisters’ marriage, she never married herself.

‘If I marry, I may not be able to work and earn as much.’ Sandhya gave a simple reply with a lopsided smile whenever asked the reason for not getting married in her hay days.

When Amrita became pregnant with Nik and was put on bed rest due to certain complications, Sandhya took it upon herself to make sure that she ate the right things at the right time. Amrita almost felt exasperated at the feel of having another mother-in-law hovering over her all the time, and a stricter one at that. When Nik was born, Sandhya volunteered to take care of the boy, while Amrita recovered from her C-section surgery. Even in the midst of the night, when Nik started wailing, Sandhya would pick him up to comfort him even before Amrita got up to check on him.

As Nik began to grow, Sandhya took over the responsibility of his nanny. She would massage him, give him a bath, feed him and play with him whenever she was not busy with other household chores. At that time Amrita had been really relieved, because she planned to join work in a couple of months. The very fact that Nik bonded well with Sandhya and spent a considerable amount of his awake time with her, came in as a major point in her favor, when she put her case to join back work infront of her mother-in-law.

A couple of months back in work, Amrita’s gratitude turned into jealousy when she would come back home and Nik would remain busy with Sandhya completely ignoring her presence. Amrita wished to spend all her time at home with Nik, only if Sandhya would allow that. A tiny squeal from the little one, and Sandhya would rush to sway him into his embrace and comfort him until he was playful again. Amrita today let out a smile of disbelief when she recalled how she had been extremely frustrated at that time. She had even contemplated leaving her job, lest she might lose any significance in her son’s life. She remembered how she had been on the threshold of snapping at Sandhya and asking her to mind her own business while staying away from her child. But better sense had prevailed, and she decided to slowly wean her son away from the old lady.

But during a week long break at home due to an ailment, Amrita observed that the dedication and affection that Sandhya showed towards her son was at a different level.  During those days of forced rest, Amrita realized that the old lady with blood flecked eyes actually did not have a family to call her own. They were her family. She did go back to her brother’s family time and again like this one instance, but that was not because she cared much about them. It was more because she still felt a sense of responsibility towards them and wanted to check on their well-being.

After the leave ended, Amrita felt a new sense of gratitude towards the old lady for loving her son as her own and made it a point to thank god everyday for having Sandhya in her life.  She knew that if for some reason, her mother-in-law or she herself were busy or tied up with an emergency, there was Sandhya di to take care of her son as good as like a mother.  Or maybe even better, Amrita contemplated. These days, when Amrita looks at the aging Sandhya who has slowed down a bit physically, she shudders at the thought when this surrogate mother to her kids, might not be fit anymore to take care of her kids. How then would she manage the household? Or more importantly, how would she ever be able to fill the gap of her absence in her kids’ life? With a little prayer for Sandhya’s long life – her kids’ happiness Amrita gets up and gets on with her work.

Read my other AtoZ Challenge posts here

AtoZ Challenge 2018LifeStyle

Religion, Rituals and Marriages – #AtoZChallenge

posted by Anupriya April 20, 2018 0 comments

Amrita considered herself to be fairly religious. That’s because she believed in all religions.

As she adjusted the veil over her head while making an entry into the Golden temple, something inside her stirred. What made the tenth guru declare a separate religion? Was it not further polarization of the society? Who is to be held accountable for the aftermaths of friction between the minor religious group and the parent group? Having grown up in a decade that was recuperating from the consequences of the friction, she had heard enough storied and met several survivors who had hair raising stories to tell. Amrita shook her head and clucked her tongue to wave off the trail of thoughts, lest she be trapped in the vicious circle of Ws and H of circumstances that were and those that are.

The veil kept slipping and she was now getting irritated with the repetitive activity. Just at that moment she saw a boy hardly the age of her elder son, adjust his own handkerchief over his head and tie the ends into a knot to prevent the piece of cloth from flying away. Another thought clouded her mind.

Probably that’s the reason I keep coming back to a Gurudwara. This community has equal rules for all. They do not discriminate between a man and woman by setting different standards. Or that is atleast what I know of. I know for sure that in my religion, so much is imposed as only a woman’s duty that sometimes it feels unfair.

Amrita had often been miffed by the compulsory fasting rules for women in her religion. She observed most of the rituals followed ardently by her mother and mother-in-law, only as a mark of respect for them. But she really did not understand the point of it all. No! She wasn’t an atheist. She firmly believed in THE ONE who worked as the master planner with a blue print of this world. It’s just that she wasn’t sure how religion was connected to god. According to her, religion was the most ancient strategy to divide the mankind for the perpetrators to gain from the division.

“Even if one was to believe that different gods did exist for different religions, I can’t imagine them running a hateful propaganda against each other up in the so called heaven.” Amrita was often spotted thinking out loud her views about God and religion. “More over if all Gods are equals then how does it matter, what practices or rituals I follow or not. Isn’t believing in the fact that a God exists and remaining virtues in my thoughts and actions towards the mankind the most important thing?”, she quipped at anyone who disagreed, which was in plenty.

A lot of Amrita and her sister’s rationale towards religion was unconventional because they came from a town which came into inception only post independence and people from several ethnicities had come together and made the town self sufficient.  Though the natives were the Punjabi community, but she grew up in a convent school where her classmates formed a fair percentage of people from all religions and ethnic backgrounds. While they had school organized visits to the church every Christmas, they went to gurudwars with their friends from the sikh community. By the function of the society they grew up in they could never form any extremist view of religion. It was something they enjoyed, but not be defined by. But as she grew up and read about the world around her, Amrita was bewildered by the impact that religion could have on people’s thoughts and actions.

As a child Amrita had been extremely fascinated by mythological stories. “I know I am still guilty of being fascinated by Lord Krishna who is like an epitome of the practical God.’, she had once admitted to Raghav  while they were dating. But the very idea of practicing religion did not go down well with her. The rebel in her also impacted her role as a mother. She hated to push her kids too much towards religious ceremoines at home. While she did not dissuade them from learning the virtues of praying and paying obedience to God and elders, she was extremely against them being overtly involved in the prolonged religious rituals or be exposed to any religion related discussions.

Amrita along with her sister had often discussed the dichotomy of the so called religious elders. One day while at their mum’s place, they were sitting with their mom while she watched a mythological program based on a king’s life who in the age of bigamy, decided to marry just once. Amrita sighed as she told Smita how her mother-in-law too was hooked on to this serial.

Once the sisters had had a hearty laugh, their attention turned back to the show. The plot was showing how everyone had failed to pick up Lord Shiva’s arc and the subsequent entry of Ram (the incarnation of Lord Vishnu) with his brother Lakshman and his Guru to the venue of Sita’s Swayamwar. Though hope and anxiety were evident among King Janak’s family members, but Sita looked particularly hopeful and i must say desperate for Ram to succeed in picking up the Dhanush, a condition put down by her father for anyone who wished to get married to Sita.

At this Smita quipped, “Swayamwar and all is just an excuse. It is so evident that Site is already infatuated or attracted towards him.” To this Amrita added that having read the Ramayana, it is quite evident that love had already blossomed between them by the time things came to this Swayamwar.

The discussion then drifted to the realization that all the major pillars of Hindu Mythology are guilty of propagating love relationships.

Getting back to her favorite GOD, Amrita added, “Lord Krishna’s name has almost ceased to exist alone and he is worshiped along with Radha. Love tales of Radha and Krishna are have been subject to enough adoration as well as discussion. And here, Lord Krishna did not even marry Radha. Yet their love is the epitome of commitment and passion for all who consider him as their deity.”

“And di, do not forget, Lord Shiva who despite being a ‘Yogi’ living an austere life on Mt. Kailash is not devoid of love and passion. After a lot of persuasion and cajoling he gave in to Sati’s wish and made her his bride. Sati re-incarnated as Parvati in another life and her love for Shiva also took her to Mount Kailash where she was successful in pleasing Lord Shiva enough so he would agree to marry her. The story of their marriage and re-marriage and their ‘Grahastha’ life is a well-known mythological legend.” Smita added with excitement, as their mom chose to ignore their ranting and focused on her serial.

“If these Gods were not devoid of feelings of love, passion and endearment; then why is it so that the very same devotees of these deities refuse to acknowledge and respect the existence of such emotions among their kids. Why is love marriage such a taboo in most communities in our religion driven country?’ Smita was flabbergast by now.

“It is so ironic that most of the parents in my religion start to plan for their kids wedding almost from the moment they are born, how and why do they not take into account a possibility that their Ram/Krishna/Shiva may find a Seeta/Radha/Sati or vice-versa for themselves without their intervention.”, Amrita pondered.

Read my other AtoZ Challenge posts here