Monday, 29 July 2013

Is being a girl a crime.... a curse for the family?

I was watching a short film by Evan Grae Davis titled "It's a girl". According to him these are the 3 deadliest words in the world. He reinforces what I know just like millions of  women around the globe. Also, he talks about what women face in today's liberalised, privatised and globalised world. Oh, we have made moon almost our second home. We are reaching out to the other planets to find if life is possible there. In fact women, women of Indian origin have captained some of these projects. This is reality, there's reality of another kind too, the reality of female infanticide, gendercide and violence against women. 

A woman faces this violence right from the time she is in her mother's womb in the form of Female infanticide Gendercide is a major concern in countries like China and India. The male to female ratio is as low as 120:100. Evan Grae Davis is a film maker and has been travelling around the world. He knows many unbelievable facts and has statistics to support them. He talks about a woman in South India who was married off to her brother in law as her sister could not bear a male child. She in turn had girl child one after the other. She killed the child right after her birth and did this 8 times. She showed the small heaps of soil where she had buried her children in the field close to her house. She had no emotions forget showing any regret while talking about the issue. But she touches us with the harsh reality of a woman's life especially in developing countries and among the less privilege. She says that she did not want her children to have a life like her own. Davis says that this story moved him the most, he felt shock and hurt. 

According to UN, Violence Against Women is a huge public health issue and a violation of human rights. It results in a wide range of physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health issues for both men and women, compounded by women who are afraid to report the violence she faces. With little access to healthcare, education and opportunity, many women are left open to abuse.Up to one in three women experience physical or sexual violence in their lives.Violence against women is all about power. It is the attempted domination over her life by her abuser.Violence against women is NOT a private or family issue. It is a community and public health issue affecting not only the abuser and his victim but everyone around them.

Affluent societies also have their issues pertaining  to women. There still is inequality in almost every field. Closer home, in India we have to deal with monsters such as the female infanticide, d
owry and its evils. They are the topmost concerns both for the government and the society. There have been stringent laws against the two but that too look just drops in the ocean. Female infanticide is prevalent in some states so the government has made it illegal to determine the sex of the foetus. Our girls are still being killed for dowry. Yes we have progressed but whats the use when we still have this stigma attached to us. Our women don't feel safe in our cities or villages. Don't they deserve the little pleasures in life. Pleasure of living without fear, of having hopes and nurturing dreams or are the dreams, hopes and right to make choices meant just for the privileged? Is it a crime to be born as a girl? I have no answers to this... do you?

This takes me back to my own life. I was born  pre mature  at just 7 months. My mother nursed me (literally) to good health. My family did everything possible to keep me alive. Mom was very young at that time; she always believed in me, her first child and had enormous faith and hope. She says that at One, I was one of the healthiest looking child around. Coming from this background  it amazes me to hear about such brutalities to little girls and the violence that women face.

A girl deserves the right to live, a right to live without fear and to soar in the sky like the falcon.... Can we give her that. Or is it asking for too much!

Give her the wings so she can fly
Give her the hope so she can dream
Give her the chance so she can give you the future
Remember she is the mother of the generations to come

                           link to the video:

This post is written for the Idea Caravan and Indiblogger in association with Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.

Friday, 26 July 2013

My idea of a perfect roadtrip

Life is a journey, bring it on... Head on!!

What: A road trip
Where: Kanyakumari to Ladakh - Incredible India!
When: May - June, 15 days

The vehicle  would be the good old Scorpio, and Bryan Adams, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Deepak Chopra, stand up comedian Kapil Sharma, Angelina Jolie and ofcourse my husband the companions.

The reason why Scorpio is the chosen vehicle, simple akhir Dil hai Hindustani! Time tested and reliable. Good enough for seven of us. Ofcourse we are travelling light. We have ample time at hand exploring India and getting to know each other.... a little at a time!

The company: 
Bryan Adams... Ohh the man with the voice to die for and who has a legacy of chart busters, my kind of music, music player can rest often. His voice will be the music to the ears even when he isn't behind the guitar. Summer of 69 to Run to you....all the way! What fun would that be. May be we come up with another album on this tour, " India head to toe'

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the youth icon, the man of the moment, the captain cool. He'll double up as the fitness expert, trainer for us to keep the endurance during the long road trip.May be by the end of the trip we all will have a physique that we are proud of and would've perfected the helicopter shot.... howzaat! 

Deepak Chopra, doctor and coach of well being, will be our spiritual Guru. The safety of the trip will depend on our willpower, levels of motivation and grace of the almighty. Chopra will keep us motivated and yeah there can be yet another bestseller from him after the trip.

Stand up comedian Kapil Sharma, brilliant that he is at his job. He'll keep us all entertained. This man sure has a funny bone and can bring smiles instantly. He is a laugh riot. Laughter is the best medicine, so we'll laugh our way to the top.

Angelina Jolie, the woman who does charity and is a champion of adoption. She can add an Indian child to her global brood, the female company that I'll have. She can double up as Lara Croft for the others. Can get some interesting parenting tips from her. Will we be able to perfect the 'one leg" pose? Why not, there will be enough time to rehearse that.

Not without my dear husband, he loves the long drives and road trips it'll be a perfect opportunity for us to embark on the tour. I need him around for many reasons, topmost being  he is an expert in handling me, years of coaching have gone into that! When the world sees all calmness and peace, he can see the volcano ready to erupt. He is a master mariner so that'll make him the perfect navigator for the trip. He will also be our photographer capturing the wonderful and magical moments.

Have got the road maps in place, list of things to carry is ready and bags are packed. Have double checked everything. Its certainly once in a lifetime opportunity so can't take any chances. Here we go.....

We begin from Kanyakumari, ofcourse breaking a coconut and hailing the Bappa for our successful road trip. All of us bring with us just the basic things that we'll need. Roles are all chalked such as arranging meals, driver's roster and making the weekly schedules. To do a good turn everyday and being prepared was the motto of the Girl Guides. Getting to use that.

Meals will be in the local, rustic places so we'll get a taste of all the states that we pass by. Not just the highway on the plate it'll be, all the roads on the plate! GPRS will certainly keep us on track. We'll cover a distance of over 4000 kms. Having fun in the great company...

This post is written for the perfect road trip, Indibloggers

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A drop in the ocean...

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
~ Mother Teresa

There's calmness in the turbulence
There's an order in the chaos
There's rhythm in the noise
There's harmony in the discord
There's movement in the stillness

Moving is being alive, seeing hope, nurturing dreams, having whims and fancies, being in love, being human!
Humans have their date with time every now and then, do we make the most of it? Don't really know but life goes on... as a matter of fact. Have heard the phrase, life awaits you, you are invited. How true! Its when one gets the realisation to stop existing and start living. When one starts living, a new being is born with new energy and zeal. The individual understands the purpose and goal in his life. There is peace and contentment that brings about harmony with his surroundings.
Time heals, time waits for none... Be up! be going and be with the time. Now is the time....don't postpone it!

This post is written for Indiblogeswaris #ThatTuesdayThingy

image courtesy:

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mother - the Annapurna!

Being a mother is stepping into the gigantic shoes and taking up multitudes of roles. Mother in Hinduism is also known as Annapurna, Annapurna in Sanskrit means provider or full of food, the mother who feeds. Goddess of the harvest. It is believed that without her there is starvation. 

This role of Annapurna is stepped into right from the time the lady learns that she would be bringing a new life into the world. First thing that the gynecologist advises her is to take calcium and iron supplements and have a  balanced and healthy diet. The woman in question starts eating healthy, having stuff that she never would have touched otherwise, something that'd have never appealed to her. Here it's the question of her baby.... the bundle of joy that'll be arriving in her life. She would want her baby to be healthy.Nine months go by, mother to be ensures that she not only eats healthy but also has healthy habits and lifestyle. In India women are told to have kesar or saffron believed to be doing wonders during the happy yet difficult phase for the expectant mother. It not only keeps her in good health but also is good for her baby. Saffron is supposed to be a miracle. With due credits to

Then the baby arrives and the mother continues to eat healthy, she follows her doctor's advice and  that of the elderly ladies in the house, who act 'know all'. Its a struggle at times  as the doctor and the ladies in the house may be contradicting each other. She needs to use her discretion to choose the right diet plan at the same time not annoy the two parties. We in India especially among the North Indians give lots of ghee, pajiri, goundh laddus etc that are quite fattening, which the doctors don't recommend. Ofcourse they ask everything to be taken in moderation. Some women pile on the pounds whereas others are just about okay. Six months of exclusive breastfeeding requires the mother to be still on good diet. The baby gets the nutrition from its mother.

Then the infant starts taking top food. Again the pediatrician have their recommendations of giving mashed veggies, egg yolks, soups, fruits etc. The child slowly starts having everything that the mother gives. Some accept the change happily and get adapted to the food habits whereas others are very finicky. Mothers have all kinds of mechanisms and routines set for themselves and the child so that it eats to the mother's satisfaction. Some mothers sing while they feed their toddlers, some switch on the television, some play music, some even become clowns so that the child will eat whats on its plate.

As the child becomes older it starts experimenting with food, kids somehow love the taste of junk food. Veggies are not the preferred items from the food pyramid. Its again a challenge for the mother to introduce healthy nutritious food into the child's diet. The child then starts school, the mother needs to pack good food into the lunch box too ensuring that the child gets a balanced diet. All meals are to be planned carefully. Its a challenge every mother faces while planning the menu for the day. Right from the breakfast to dinner and everything in between.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are always the best bet. Eggs, milk and milk products are the staples. So are dry fruits such as almonds and walnuts that are easily available and are packed with many health benefits. My kids love cashews too but my personal favorites are almonds and walnuts.

Her's a link to the benefits of almonds, courtesy

Walnut is another wonder fruit, here are the health benefits of walnut, due credits to Times of India

Mothers are always on the lookout for interesting healthy recipes that they can try out and let their children  have good, tasty and nutritious food. 

You can order saffron,almonds and walnuts from puremart, I love their products.

Neem Hakim... Khatraye Jaan!

I haven't been here of late... too bad! in fact very very bad. I am just occupying the blog space and bringing out nothing new but yes I have been busy with a lot of things.  Moving house, kids vacations, our little time off with family, our own little vacation etc etc. I somehow convince myself with the excuses, lame or otherwise. Today being the 1st and  Monday I better have a post on my blog! So here we go... the first thought that came to my mind is my dear husband and the name that I game him very initially during our relationship... Neem Hakim... Khatraye jaan! Not that I invented the phrase, it has always been there. And, why do I call him so? Oh its a long story, but story that makes me smile every time I need to visit a doc or hear some health talks or on wellness. In fact last evening I told my husband that I have to write about 'The Neem Hakim' its Shree Ganesh here....

When we met, some 8 years ago, he didn't ask me out for coffee but did notice the way I walked. He said that I walked on my heel and gave a whole list of pros and cons. If I was down with a flu, he gave all the reasons why I had caught the cold and had the remedies and medications for the same. He had an answer for almost all ailments right from a minor bruise to may be the more serious ones... not that the serious ones were applicable to me. There... 'Neem Hakim'  was born! He is not a doctor by profession but can give any  doc worth his salt a run for his money!

On further probe learnt that he spent a lot of time with his doctor friend at his clinic and even heard the cases.   All this while he was on vacation of 3-4 months during his early career as a mariner. Ofcourse there wasn't anything more interesting to do. But the bonus being the little lessons that he was receiving and adding to his interest and love to know more about medicines. Wow! What patience!.... and he certainly is a walking medical dictionary, Oh I am proud of him. I couldn't have learnt medicine even if I was the last person to become a doc and save humanity! I just don't have the heart for it. I am so scared of visiting hospitals that before I make up my mind to make a visit for a bad cold, fever or aches, the ailment is cured on its own. I do appreciate all the people in the noble profession.... hats off to all the doctors in the world. But my Neem Hakim is very special indeed... comes with his pearls of wisdom every now and then. One such pearl worth a mention is doing Vajrasana (the yoga posture) while lying down, in fact after dinner. It seems that helps in digestion. I know the Vajrasana is to be done while sitting on the pose but have never heard or seen being done while lying down almost on the verge of going off to sleep. By the way, this form of the yoga posture is somehow my favorite too as it makes me laugh... laugh so much that my own digestion falls on track. Another pearl of wisdom from my man is to check the level of dehydration, just by looking at the colour  of the wasted liquid when one relieves onself! that lesson has been passed on to the boys also. So they know when they are drinking less of water. When I see them gulping water on SOS, I know whats on their mind. ...Big lesson from papa dearest!
“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him.” 

― Norman Cousins, Anatomy Of An Illness

During the postpartum, there came in a lot of dos and don'ts, no commands but just suggestions. Obviously no one can command a lioness who has just gone through childbirth. Oh, it was such fun listening to them as some had scientific backing and the others were the old wive's tales. But they all made me feel special. Even after so many years I do remember each one of them. I can actually come out with a handbook for all the young mothers. At times I feel he is a born doctor but somehow didn't give his inborn talent an opportunity to grow and flourish. Nevermind I have an exclusive doc on call always! No appointment needed.

Even medicine works on faith. If you trust your doc all shall be fine, and if you have doubts even the best can't treat you. Everything starts in the mind.
As  SupaNova Slom says, “Don't let sickness, depression, and disease THUG YOU OUT. Eat healthier, think healthier, speak healthier, and more positively over your life. When you do so, you will soon begin to conquer your life and your health through new found empowerment- mind, body, and spirit.”