Diwali 2020; such an apt name for a fun fair on a local ground where people would love to loiter around and spend time with family, eat the most unhygienic pau bhaji and curse the excess chilly the next morning. Although it’s sad that this year it’s not the same. Diwali came in and left like the winter morning heat… just enough but not satisfying. The corona virus has visited more homes this diwali than that box of soan papdi that travels its way to various relative’s place during all festive seasons… you don’t want it but it still arrives and you pass it on to others with you own hands! Both, Soan papdi and the virus.
Even when we know no one is visiting our homes this year, we still clean the cupboards and mandatory storage rooms like every year. Pulling out the young black and white memories, wrapping the home with its warmth and laughter and putting it back in the storage. Many things rest in that store room, in that same position and is removed for an annual cleaning only to be put back again in that same position.
That beautiful leather boots that were bought in sale but never worn because there was no perfect outfit for them to be adorned with. So you think it’s time to use it, like wear it in an all different way, and pair it with various outfits for a quirky look like those instagram bloggers do. The pair of boots are cleaned with that 3 for rs.20 washcloths you bought from the local vendor and neatly piled next to your other footwear. It now stays in a new promising space but slowly is forgotten as it gets piled under a new pair of walking shoes or party heels and the dusty lines on it try to console the boots that it may not be totally forgotten like the entire last year…
The boots have promised to stand tall and shine just like that blogger who wore hers with a sari, skirt and even pajamas. The boots has dreams of being worn and praised by that group of freaky teenagers who would ask for the url but it would be all sold out by then, such an envy it will be for them. The black matte color still so smooth and unwrinkled; it still takes pride to be picked up from a store shelf that read ‘vegan and cruelty free’. What a new stride of fashion… it thought!
A few months later as the summer precedes the boots go back to its old space in the store room, they will meet the eyes again during the Diwali cleaning; for sure. Under a neat mulmul string bag it goes back to the long hibernating slumber, hopeful of being waken up before the festivity begins that year.
I have somehow concluded that people are shit scared of everything in life. They are scared of loving, they are scared to commitments, they are scared of dying early and some are scared of not being able to live life the way they envisioned. The real struggle starts only when you are in deep shit. Until then the sky is pretty and the path is flowery. Motivational speakers fail to bring peace and courage in troubled souls. Friends fail to shower support and spouses fail to stick together in the most delicate times. Our traditional society and mythological stories have also weaved yarns where the weaker ones are losers and the stronger ones win… Where even the most charming and confident person may still require a super power induced superhero to save them from the goons of future. Why must a woman or a man wait for a hero to come and save them wearing spandex and lycra? Superheroes are all those who also feed the needy. Superheroes are all those teachers who must have encouraged hundreds of students to speak up and topple down the fear of public speaking and stuttering. A little help, a few pushes, an empathetic talk is all one needs.
I can recollect a very famous mythological story when both the Pandavas and Kauravas were about to begin the battle of Kurukshetra and had approached Lord Krishna for His help. Lord Krishna was asleep when both the brothers, Duryodhan and Arjun reached and planned to wait until He is awake to seek his help. Duryodhan sat next to Krishna’s head so He would wake up and see him first while Arjun sat near Krishna’s feet. When the Lord woke up He saw Arjun first and asked for his reason for a visit. Duryodhan was so angry with the Lord’s behavior since he arrived there first. Arjun was asked what he wished for and Arjun asked the Lord himself to aid by his side during the war. Duryodhan asked if he could have the Lord’s entire army and ammunitions. The Kauravas thought they had everything, the mightiest of men and meanest of ammunitions leaving the Pandavas with Nothing… This is where they went wrong. The Pandavas had nothing but the Lord by their side. Those who think they have nothing have The Almighty by their side but they are seeking something materialistic that can be measured acting as an assurance of not being in a void. Nothing is nothing until nothing becomes nothing… until then Nothing is still something if looked within. As Nicherin Daishonin mentions, to attain buddhahood, one has to surpass various devils but it isn’t impossible. With faith and determination we can make a Nothing feel like everything… The Pandavas had everything when Lord Krishna decided to side by them even when the Kauravas had the entire army with them. Always always keep this in mind… Nothing isn’t nothing unless you think its nothing. Stay Strong, Stay Positive. #NMHRK
I don’t want to post a mother’s day picture if it means more on a particular hot day of May and not enough through out the year. Honestly, I have nothing against all those beautiful mom pics on social media the entire Sunday. It helps… those pretty happy faces and writings.. it helps! It seriously does. Because for one day my mind was derailed from the COVID lockdown news and the deaths and the boys locker room reports and the daily DIYS and recipe pics. It was a refreshing change before Monday happened.
I know moms are strong, its not an easy to dilate 10 cms and get that 3kg pushed out finally after so many months or live with those few CS stitches for the rest of your life. But moms are also weak. Weaker than anyone knows. These aren’t random personal thoughts but careful observations of moms I have seen… Moms of all ages.
A mom cannot teach her daughter to go punch the mohalla ka bully boy; she is expected to go talk to the brother or father of the family to handle the situation. She handles the entire house and its occupants for free every single day, why is it that she can’t handle this?
A mom cannot teach her son to cook for living, she is expected to cook extra meals and remind her child that she can re-heat and serve if her son has mid-meal hunger pangs.
A mom cannot encourage daughters to count herself as equal to sons, because, hello! The entire nation has dirty things to say to women who enter boys locker rooms. In real or virtual.
A mom cannot encourage her sons to play with dolls or wear pink, because, hello! The entire nation has comments to write and say that pulls down the kid’s confidence which shall now take years to build again.
What can you as an individual do for your mothers to make her feel special?
Don’t just let an international date tell you when to celebrate all that your mom has done for you.
Don’t let your spouses decide what you want to gift your moms (both the moms) on birthdays and special occasions. Pick up something yourself with a careful thought.
Do your own chores. She will be more happy to see you be independent.
Bake her a cake not on mothers day and birthdays only… bake her something nice when she has menstrual cramps. That is when she needs comfort the most.
Be friends with her friends and let your friends be her friends too. Let her feel she belongs in your circle of happiness.
Follow her advice if you can. She says so by experience. If you cannot, explain your point of view to her. I am sure she will understand.
Let her choose a holiday destination, her Sunday meal restaurant, her choice of movie and go with her. She has the right to choose for herself after all these years when she chose to do what you would enjoy.
Call her everyday even if you are in the same city.
I remember giving my first ever interview… this was way back in 2006; i had only cleared my 12th class, a common thing here where I live, one got to finish school and then maybe do an internship or gain some small experience. I had done literature as my major subject in high school… so I was pretty confident I would be perfect for a tutoring class who needed some freelance teaching help for literary studies. I reached the place on time and gave some awesome answers when asked about Chaucer to Shakespeare. Little did I know I had totally messed up by going there in a pair of blue jeans and white tee with sneakers and hair up in a bun. I have super frizzy curls, but never knew how to maintain the mane back in those days. I never got a call back from the tutoring class and I am glad I didn’t get that job. Few months later I was sitting in a vibrant LIVE studio and hosting my own show on radio. I had dressed similar for the radio interview and made it to the shortlisted ones with a team comprising of freshers and experienced people, with me being the youngest one ever- at 19 !
the right-most one
It was only later when I had some grooming classes that were a part of my mentoring did I realize I didn’t get the tutoring job because I was never dressed for the interview. It never crossed my mind that every job profile requires one to dress up for the occasion. Our corporate world revolves around much more than the degree certificates you carry in a file. With the new age methods of interview rounds, one is expected to be well dressed every single minute. You never know when you receive a telephone call saying they are video calling you in the next 5 minutes for your dream job profile and the 5mins are also allotted so you can find a disturbance-free zone with good internet connectivity. So what exactly do I mean with being interview-ready all the time??
Let’s decode what comes under formals and casual dressing that can be part of your wardrobe staple
– suits : if you are appearing for a senior profile job in an official environment like an office or any company premises
– blazers : if you are appearing for a senior profile job but meeting your interviewer in a cafe or over coffee at a club
– formal trousers and shirt : for all job profiles; suitable for all premises. infact, a well ironed pair of pants and full sleeved shirt ( preferably plain) makes a good impact
– Kurta and straight pants : for women who are not very comfortable wearing pants & shirt. Also, if you are appearing for a teaching job or a nursing assistant
– Dark colored Straight Simple Denims and Plain Block-colored Collared tee when meeting the interviewer very informally at their residence, for a media house as a freelance, a writer with the publisher at a cafe or any informal situation.
one from the picture bank
What needs to be strictly avoided
– ragged or narrow jeans and round neck/v-neck tees : definitely a no-no. reserve those for your relaxed weekends and fun night outs with friends unless you want a job for a disc jockey or a drug dealer
– simple anarkali and heavy duppata dresses : simple dresses would still be ok for a banking job or as a sales staff; the heavy dresses and flowy anarkalis shall have to wait for personal occasions and not the workplace… the interviewer is looking for an employee and not a light bulb who can light the entire office
– bright prints and colors : these aren’t your fancy thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, an interviewer needs to listen to your answers and not count the number or colors and prints on your clothes
– golds and silvers : well, include bronze as well… no medal shiny metal colors in clothes please! keep your Diwali clothes at far distance
Accessorize it well
– metal watches/straps : its fantastic to have a luxurious life but certainly no right to go bling and cling with metals on your wrist
– too many ring-a-ding : one finger ring is just perfect, do not stack them all in each finger; no-rings at all is also cool- just don’t go wearing a fake one! more importantly , no one would be interested in seeing anything chunky
– formal footwear : proper formal shoes if wearing trousers-shirt and plain block colored bellies for women wearing Indian outfit
– hair accessories : just enough to look tidy, a neat haircut and a cleansing wash before the main day is advisable
– socks : if you are wearing formal shoes, a pair of fresh socks is mandatory. If you are wearing bellies or front closed flats I suggest wear socks that do not show. Trust me, stripes and polka dots peeping out from strappy sandals pisses off the interviewer
– handkerchief : carry a clean one and use it wisely
– files and folders : all your important papers and certificates need to be carried in a neat folder, preferably one that looks executive and best if it has a leather finish
– ties : wear a tie that matches your shirt, stripes and plain are always a safe zone. However, a fancy print with a beer mug or a simpson would be great too if you are going to be interviewed as a music show host or rap artist
– spectacles : a simple sturdy frame with clean glasses is expected
– jewelry : minimum of jewelry and maximum of confidence is a #winwin in any situation. Simple studs or a thin gold bracelet, a leather strap watch and maybe if you are wearing something for a religious purpose you would be just finely impressive
Remember, it takes only 30 secs to scan a candidate and 31st second to reject the person only from the appearance.
Following all these tips is going to help you, but certainly not going to fetch you the job for which you shall be need to answer questions with confidence and trust your knowledge and degrees. It’s like a great commercial movie… the script as well as the production and packaging has to be great to make it reach the 100cr club.
Color Scheme :
oranges, neons and bright shades should strictly be avoided unless going for staff picnics and after dinner parties
Its’s best to stick to safer colors like shades of blue, white and black, gray to charcoal paired with maroon or purple or a pastel pink… a pastel green with a creamish white would look classy as well… a hint of yellow would add a pretty sunshine and make you look vibrant and confident but promise me you won’t tag in to some office wearing yellow pants! oh pretty please; even the thought is funny.
While at my previous workplaces, I have had a chance to interview many young enthusiasts during their RJ walk-in auditions and even groomed more than 500 students for interviews, it isn’t a difficult task to find the right pair to impress your interviewer.
Here are a few tips to polish the right look:
– wear a light scent
– pick a darker shade of shirt if you are going to sweat on your way to the place of interview
– get rid of your facial hair or keep it to bare minimum for men, trimmed to shape for women and completely smooth waxed limbs would look perfect
– add a dash of red if your outfit is of lighter shade
– do not offer to pay if you are meeting at a cafe or over meals
– chapped lips are not acceptable at all
– do not be brand conscious but make sure the fabrics are breathable, no sheer fabrics and no collarless shirts
– you do not need big logos screaming from your outfit
– a stubble is good but trim it well
– keep a pair or two of well ironed outfits separate for an interview that can be scheduled anytime
– if you aren’t well acquainted with what colors to match… simply go to any store and ask the trained sales staff to help you match. they have been trained to give the best opinion
So what is this big hype about the elf and the Santa only rewarding the good kids?
It’s a nice way of taming the kids if they are super naughty 99% of the times this trick works just well, but have you as a mom thought what shall happen to your hyper active kids if you ask them to sit quietly in a corner or not to jump around the house or not to play outside while its getting dark n cold by 6pm?
I wonder what happens to those kids? What will happen to their inner soul and the energy not yet consumed if they want to be in the good books of Santa? Are there no ways we can deal with this big hype of ‘only rewarding the good kids’?
I talked to a few moms around and here is what they say,
a DIY snowman since we have no snowfall ever!
Manisha who stays in Perth has been a regular follower of my blogs and her family of four has been in Australia since 10 years now.
“I am not sure how far will the trend of ‘Santa is real’ stay in our home since my elder one is already 7 and beginning to realize people dress up as Santa and sit at malls for Christmas celebrations. But until last year we had a rule that all the good deeds shall be counted and so will the bad ones, for everyone in the house. If the good deeds weigh more in number, we are all buying that person a special Christmas gift, whatever the he/she wishes for; My kids would be aware of the deed box since November but we often contribute whatever deeds we did throughout the year”
our origami Christmas tree
I was quite touched about this, why punish the bad kids and reward only the good ones? I have seen Grinch like every single Christmas since middle school, and every bad boy gets a chance to be good, no matter green or pink fur-ed…
I met a tutor recently, who I took D for a pre-christmas workshop and she was so ready to celebrate with the kiddos, all aged 4 to 10 years… I wished her good luck for its a task to handle these little storms; she smiled and said, ” I love kids Kunj, and I have handled a much naughtier lot. Trust me, when they are in the positive aura, they are the bested girls and boys” .
I also love how schools teach the ‘joy of giving’ during these few weeks 🙂
talking about rewards all kids as equal, do share what you think as a mom, or a mentor, or a school educator.
you can leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lemme tell you a story. There was once a King who befriended a poor villager from his large kingdom. He met this poor friend on a very clear morning when the sun was shining and the birds were chirping but this man was resting under a tree and looking at his sheep eat grass… The King went up to him and asked him what does he do in his free time when the sheep are’t feeding themselves? The poor Shepherd explained how he rests the whole day while his wife looks after the sheep and its wool farming. The King thought the shepherd deserves a chance to be happy in his kingdom so he tells the shepherd to go to his palace and fetch as much gold and gems that he can ever fill and start living a better life. But a condition was also latched that the shepherd can have his time in the palace treasury only till sunset, after which his opportunity closes. The shepherd who was resting under a tree jumped up with excitement and thanked the King, ran towards his home and narrated the incident to his wife who was equally overjoyed and fetched him 4 big sacks to be filled up with gold coins and gems. The shepherd noticed that lunch was almost ready and insisted his wife to serve him lunch first since he had a long journey to the palace and back home and he would need a lot of energy for the same. He had his lunch and started walking towards the palace. On his way he met a few fellow villagers who sought to figure out the reason for shepherds’ sudden gait and happy face. The shepherd thought he has some time and stopped by to answer their curious minds. A little later he started walking towards the palace, by this time the sun was high in the sky and made the shepherd sweaty and tired so he decided to rest for sometime under the shade of a tree. It was already late afternoon and a few hours before sunset when the shepherd opened his eyes and realized he had dozed off under the tree so he huffed and he puffed and he ran towards the palace. He could see the gates from a distance and only prayed the sun would be up for some more time! Sadly, when he reached the gates of the treasury the sun had begun its journey to rest for the day… the entire sky was red and the shepherd was sad. He knew he lost his golden chance because he could not value the preciousness of time. He decided to meet the King and apologize but he was too ashamed for he slept on his way. Sad and lost, he returned home to his sheep and poverty and his wife who had been dreaming of gems and jewels all day long.
The moral of the story? Value time. I wont be 30 next year, It wont be 2nd August 2018 ever again. Grab the opportunities that come to you, whether you are a mom or planning to be one. I have been fortunate enough to be able to find work and projects of my interest after have a baby and I was confident to take it and be the best version of myself. Not many have the courage to get back to work, I meet so many moms at all those birthday parties and parent teacher meetings, I meet mothers who are far more learned and experienced but decide not to join back to work after being a mother. In some cases it’s the family who discourage and in other cases it is again the same family who never encourage. With a little jolt of confidence a mother can do wonders since she is hard working, compassionate, intelligent and dedicated AF. She can run an enterprise if given the right support but they lose the battle even before they are on a battleground because no one supports her cause. Time and chances, once gone, never comes back. Why must not women stand up and look for jobs and start ups that are flexible to her roles back home as well!!
I personally support mothers who work and who own their small business. I buy their products, I recommend them to others. All this just because I know how difficult it is sistaa to be able to run a business and a home simultaneously. And no matter how much money you are making at the end it will always be about the satisfaction of being able to juggle it all. If you are into any business or work profile please do message me on instagram and tell me about it, even if you are doing something at home and needs a shout out. I will do whatever I can to spread the word and help you. Value your youth and value your time. Life has no expiry date until we decide it ourselves. Be courageous and fear not for potholes may come and go but you shall only be stronger when you stand up from each fall.
“SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL FOR THE WAY SHE THOUGHT. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL FOR THE SPARKLE IN HER EYES WHEN SHE TALKED ABOUT SOMETHING SHE LOVED. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL FOR HER ABILITY TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE SMILE, EVEN IF SHE WAS SAD. NO, SHE WASN’T BEAUTIFUL FOR SOMETHING AS TEMPORARY AS HER LOOKS. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL DEEP DOWN TO HER SOUL.” – F.SCOTT FITZGERALD
Needless to say, I have been like all other working moms we know around us- super busy since the summer break started. There is a constant need to keep the kids busy since its scorching hot outside and just so mundane in the house. It’s a different story if you have a separate play area for the kid or even a younger/older sibling to keep company and sadly I have none!!
I often have to think of various new activities to keep D busy.
Step1: Firstly, was to make him count all his piggy bank coins and lay them out in 1’s 2’s 5’s and 10’s …
I was down with my chums and just needed to apply a cucumber pack on my face, switch on the a.c to the lowest and dose off! but with this wonder kid around I could hardly wink my eyes, forget getting some rest or a nap 🙁
Step 2: Ask the little active brain to count if he can to find the sum of all the stacks of 10 coins each he has made.
Step 3: give him a paper and crayons much in advance — before application of the cucumber pack– to write or draw what he wanted to buy from all his savings !! My little one drew something so pretty and abstract that I needed him to describe it all to me. 😀
Step 4: doze off next to the toddler while he is super busy at work and won’t disturb the mommy in pain
Step 5: the toddler often dozes off next to you cuddled up
Step 6: wake up; refreshed ! And help count again and see the sum amount… add a few coins to finish it off in a round figure.
excited little fellow filled an orange pouch with all the coins
Step 7: Ask the kiddo to handover the wishlist ! this is always the most exciting part! 🙂
making choices is tough
Step 8: GO to the supermarket with him and buy whatever he wants from the racks … healthy , unhealthy, packaged or raw, even if it’s something he already owns!
he loves dragging the orange cart around on his own
Step 9: let him pay in change. watch him be super happy… slip in some cash bills to the counter guy if they amount exceeds their savings
Step 10: let the kiddo carry it all home all by himself ! see the joy of unpacking, try click a few pics and pass it on the dad or family group.
happy baby makes a happy mommy
Step 11: BE PROUD OF THE BIG BABY AND PLANT LOTS OF KISSES ON THE LITTLE KANGAROO
p.s we bought a lot of things: this one below was a total waste of his money!!
Recently a lot of moms messaged me, a few I am now close to have even Whatsapp-ed me at odd hours asking what to carry and what not while travelling with a toddler.
Firstly, I am so happy and indebted to those who trust my motherly instincts and ask for suggestions.
Secondly, I understand why they ask. My husband and I are very fond of travelling. There are destinations which we visit again and again because we love being there. I have traveled for holidays in my first , second and last trimester as well… as far as 300-400kms without having any issues. Thank you Lord for that… and My first short trip with the kiddo was when he was about 45days old while first big holiday trip was when he turned 6 months old… in between I was either attending weddings or too tired and sleeping on weekends .. lol !
And lastly, I socialize a lot and love to receive or pass on suggestions (not advises) to moms who believe I mean good for her and the little one. I take in suggestions as well, in a healthy way and it has always helped me except weight losing tips.. they never work and I don’t understand why !!
So lets make a list of major things required by moms:
well, cooking with the kid hasn’t been an easy task.
It takes about a zillion years to take clean-perfect light-angle pics and more than that it takes about a million light years more to click at the right moment. The TODDLER is never stable, he has about a 100 more bones that all function together specifically when I am supposed to only assist him do what he loves doing the best- Get In The Kitchen With Momma And Cook.
I have been dreaming of getting in a vlogging mode since about 2 years but have never been able to do it.
Two reasons for the same- never felt beautiful enough to be in front of the camera. Secondly, never have found time to do any editing… i have atleast 10 videos I wanted to put on youtube last year.
This year in 2018 I have told myself to listen to my heart and just do it… there are more stupid-er and not so perfect looking people out there making videos that make no sense… may be I can be one more of that crowd and count on my lucky stars to be the brightest that day!
Here are we again, cooking yet another pretty looking boxed cake. Trust me, its not that I don’t know how to bake from the scratch but its just so easier to do a box mix cake with a toddler around who wants to be the head chef!
We love the pillsbury box mix- check this reference post . But this time around we tried another box mix that we found at 50% off during the Christmas week.
Weikfield cooker cake mix
Planned to make this in a rice cooker… well, only because it means not using a stove. my bub would just have to put a double boiler and lid on top and switch it on.
The mixing and churning then began…
mixing the milk first
And the rest of the ingredients as mentioned:
oil, cocoa, milk and some of mumma’s love <3
It is really satisfying to do an activity with the kid once a week... I began working full time last March, and that's why less number of blogs; work is just so super cool but I miss spending a lot of time with him so I make sure we do something together once a week... we go to the park or catch an animated movie together or cook something that he can do all by himself while I only help him around...
He loves being photographed while he cooks.
Well, doing any activity with the kid is fun. For instance, picking up a coloring book and just splashing all imagination with a box of crayons on it! But for D and me, cooking is more fun than watching a movie. We get to be with each other to talk and taste in between and clean together and laugh for no reasons, gasp for any spoils and awe at the final product and even go around making everyone taste it and pose pictures together and and and and…. there are way too many ‘ANDs’ when we are in the kitchen together.
He is very interactive at his best when he becomes our head chef!!
the batter is almost ready!
I helped him dissolve all lumps and put the mixture inside a double boiler rice cooker… And here we are 40 mins later-
oops!! was is this Weikfield???
OH MY GOD! what just happened here??? I have buried a few craters with the left over cocoa powder and anardana aka Pomegranate seeds. I was too embarrassed to even share the pic on our family wats app group…
At this moment of disaster lemme apologize to Pillsbury for I ditched them for Weikfield
Promising my 2018’s new soul to stick to tried and loved products.
But it was fun…
For one day my son will grow up
For one day he will love his life with freedom
For one day I shall be cooking his favorite meal all alone
For one day he shall look back at the blogs and pics and hug me tight
For one day WE shall re-connect and bake a cake all again
And that day… I shall churn the box mix with my fragile trembling hands and he will help me set the right temp.
Temperature of being and feeling loved again!
to my lovely son and all the mothers who love cooking with their kids
in other news… this also happened in the same week!