Browsed by
Month: June 2016

Grandparents- The Best Caregivers After You

Grandparents- The Best Caregivers After You

What is it with us moms? For often we make plans, just to feel guilty about it at a later time. So recently a sponsored holiday trip came our way, and hubby and I were all too keen to grab the opportunity. But this also meant leaving our 6 year old for a week with my parents. Kiddo loves spending time with them, as there are seldom any rules for her in their home. However this would be the first time she would be without either one of us- hubby or me- for a couple of days.

It was tough indeed! As I let those tiny palms slip out of my hand, at the airport, I turned my face away, ‘lest my kiddo notice them. What if she cried through the nights? Maybe she wouldn’t eat her meals properly. What if it affects her psychologically? Would she really be okay? Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this trip. The thoughts ran wild as the flood gates opened and tears tumbled down my eyes. From behind the glass, I saw her staring as though into the oblivion. I was guilt stricken.

During the course of the next few days, I would message my mom constantly to check how she was doing.  It was only after receiving the usual “She’s fine don’t worry…” kind’s message, I would feel at peace. The day I landed back; I couldn’t wait to get home to her. Every minute in the traffic seemed like an era. As I reached my parents’ home, I saw kiddo digging with her toy spade in the garden, unaware I stood behind. I called out to her, and she came running. The floodgates opened again and my tears were uncontrollable. Kiddo looked up and asked, “So what did you buy for me?” I simply laughed.

IMG_20160626_095359751.jpg

I soon realized how silly it was of me to feel guilty about the trip, ‘coz kiddo had spent a happy week enjoying the simple joys of life, sans gadgets and video games. Mornings were for digging up the garden with my father, exploring life in the soil or lying on the grass admiring the butterflies strutting around. When she had had enough of the mud all over her, she would splash around in a tub of water. Afternoons were spent lazing around reading and singing old songs which grandma would teach her. They would cook together with kiddo seated on the kitchen platform until she retired to bed tired, after a nice story session –of Gods, kings and horses.

Grandparents sure play a crucial role in nurturing children, whether they live in the next street or miles away in another city. The bond between them and the child is truly special. For us parents, feeling guilty about leaving them with grandparents should seldom exist. The child stays happy and active in their company and, for the grandparents it is delightful to receive unconditional love. It fills lonely lives with joy, and keeps them energized, post retirement.

And of course don’t we also require that quality time with spouse?

So the next time you plan to leave your child for a week, give them the opportunity to bond with their grandparents. It is the safest and the best place to get children to live without their parents as it creates intimate memories that would last a lifetime. 

*Featured Image Source: http://michellehenninger.blogspot.in/

 

‘Cause Prevention is Better Than Cure

‘Cause Prevention is Better Than Cure

“It wouldn’t have reached this stage had a preventive health check been done, detecting it early”. The oncologist said, gazing at my father’s reports. Five years back my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. Eventually he succumbed to the disease despite the multiple surgeries, chemo sessions and hospital rounds, which did nothing but burn a hole in his pocket. But this episode did do one thing positive! It highlighted the importance of preventive health checkups.

There are two sets of people- those who run to the doctor for every sniffle, and those who simply never do. I am talking about the latter- people who find it easier to just pop a pill rather than visit a clinic. Paradoxically, we live in a time where we are constantly bombarded with health information. Yet, these are the commonly heard excuses, which I find tad weird.

  • We are from a khaatha peetha parivaar (a healthy family that eats well). What could probably be wrong with us?
  • Getting a check-up is a sign of weakness. And I am not!
  • No one in my family has ever had any major problem previously. So why would I ever have one?

We live in a time where our body and mind are governed by factors, beyond our control.  Apart from the food we eat- the air around us, the ever changing climate and the increasing use of gadgets and appliances, could impact our health and living negatively. Hence, regular health exams can help find problems before they start. An early detection means your chances of treatment and cure is better. Choose the right health service for screening and you surely are taking that step for living a longer, healthier life.

Now what about these excuses?

  • Doctors and diagnostic centers are out there to fleece you. They prescribe unnecessary tests.
  • Too busy juggling work and children and do not have the time to visit a health centre.

I recently did a preventive health checkup from Thyrocare, a trusted name in diagnostics and preventive health care. With the kind of seamless and efficient service provided, I am sure such excuses would be a thing of the past for many. Here is my experience- my Thyrocare service review.

Thyrocare offers preventive healthcare packages at affordable costs which is far lower than other packages in the market. The Thyrocare Aarogyam Package is tailor made and grouped as per the age & gender requirement and pre-existing health condition.  I chose the Arogyam C profile that assessed 86 parameters. The tests helped my doctor evaluate comprehensively- from multiple organ functioning to bone health. No unnecessary tests or exorbitant costs. Booking of tests were done from home through the responsive customer care number. Want it bit more easily?? You could book through Whats app too. The turnaround time to respond is quick, in less than an hour, where you receive an SMS confirming your appointment. Alternatively you could make a booking online through the website, which details the various packages available.

A lab technician arrives at your home at the designated time for sample collection, which are then forwarded to the central processing laboratory of Thyrocare for assessment. Reports are generated in 48 hours and are sent to you through an auto – generated mail. If you require a hardcopy, the same is sent in coordination with Thyrocare Service Provider for Rs. 35 additionally.

I liked the ease with which my tests were done. Friendly customer care executives, affordable packages and quick receiving of reports.  With health centres such as Thyrocare, preventive health care has just got easier.

So get thinking, and do the checkup that’s been pending, before it is too late.

*Featured Image Source: http://www.healthcarereformmagazine.com/
Why Do We Use a Handkerchief?

Why Do We Use a Handkerchief?

If you thought handkerchiefs are used for personal hygiene reasons and, well,  it is sort of unsightly to wipe your nose on your sleeve, then you do need to think again. This morning Delhi taught me otherwise. Sitting in an autorikshaw and travelling from RK Puram to Paharganj I learnt the greatness of this tiny piece of cloth that stays in our pockets through the day.

A handkerchief is surely an indispensible tool, being a part and parcel of us, wherever we go daily. No wonder I noticed sellers in Paharganj market seated with their baskets loaded with them. You could easily afford a dozen, beautiful ones, the plain whites, or checkered for the men and, lovely floral prints for the lady. In my one hour of commute, I noticed multiple uses of this cotton cloth. You could randomly throw it through the window of a slow moving bus, to secure a comfortable seat for your journey. For those who intend to be the “Goonda”, secure it around your neck to intimidate people.  Want to send a message to your beloved? Simply write a letter or a song, and wrap it in a stone and fling it to them. These are uses we all are already aware of, right? But what about these two?

For here was a gentleman I encountered-  Ihe traffic police at the circle. Dressed in his customary full sleeve white shirt and blue trousers, he took a break from the continuous stream of traffic to blow his nose in full public. Where was his hankie? Oh wait I did spot it come out, right after the deed was done to wipe his hands of the remains. Ah! The hankie put to good use. For all other things, the Indian roads are always there.

At the next turn, I spotted a young college kid at the bus stand. I saw her mouth move in motion,  chewing probably what was once a juicy gum. As a shiny red bus approached , I noticed her quickly pick up her hankie and place it on her mouth. The chewing had stopped. Hankies as storage containers?

The hankie is surely a vital tool with multiple utilities. It is a small thing that easily fits into any pocket. So why really soil them with something as silly as nasal discharges, right?

Featured Image: For representation purpose only(Source: thehindu.com)

 

Book Review: The Extraordinary Consciousness of an Ordinary Man

Book Review: The Extraordinary Consciousness of an Ordinary Man

Genre- Spiritual Fiction

Gopal Banerjee is just like you and me. A simple man, he loves his profession, the money he makes and generally content dealing with the rigmaroles of daily living. Until… he encounters… the great “Maya Devi”…..

If you are keen on a soul-stirring book on spirituality and the thoughts that come with it, here is a new read – “The Extraordinary Consciousness of an Ordinary Man” by a relatively new author, Roy. I didn’t know much about the author until I picked up the book. On initial thought the name of the author by itself, seemed to carry a certain element of mysticism. Nevertheless, thanks to Google searches, I could get a decent dose of information about him.

Roy- The author, an advertising creative writer, has spent four long years penning this book.  From a quaint village in Goa, his quest to complete the book, made him revisit his past, dig into a couple of not so pleasant experiences and open up his Pandora’s Box of memories.  The Extraordinary Consciousness of an Ordinary Man is his first book, and answers some of the biggest questions which we have all asked at some point in our lives. Questions that are often mystical, which we seldom understand, yet they remain deep within our consciousness.

THE KNOWLEDGE WITHIN US AND THE KNOWLEDGE AROUND US FORMS OUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

The story begins from a simple question that is asked by a stranger to Gopal Banerjee on a flight from New York to Mumbai. And thus begins a fantastical journey for him.  An unknown Himalayan yogi mysteriously appears and teaches him an intense and forgotten yoga which he practices sincerely in the loud and bustling Mumbai city. But the yoga unleashes a power so profound that he plunges into a bizarre madness and falls into the clutches of the fabled Hindu goddess of illusion Maya Devi. His only way out of this mythical insanity is to dive deep into the knowledge and mystical lives of his Hindu ancestors who walked the earth in a very distant past. He is plagued by doubt, rattled by chaos and teased by hope. Will the young yogi be subdued by Maya Devi’s countless confusions or will she lift her veil and grant him a consciousness that is extraordinary?

Gopal is one of those individuals who is influenced by modern education and all that comes with it. He seeks a scientific explanation and proof for almost everything in life. Having grown up watching his mom perform staunch Hindu rituals, he detests them all, as most of it seldom made much sense to him. As the narrative unravels, Gopal’s identity as an atheist merges with the illusion of the fabled Goddess. He confronts his delusions, weaknesses and unaccountable desires. And thereby begins his journey of discovering himself.  

Roy has a convincing style in his narration. Most of us understand logic pretty well in life. But what about  beliefs? Roy considers this a subtle force and explains the extraordinary co-relation between logic and belief. If logic is right, you will believe it and if the belief is right you will find the logic for it. The book flows with this thought. The writing is simple, with light humor strewn between the lines.

However, despite this, I wished he could have kept the storyline crisper. The book could seem a bit lengthy with its 380 odd pages.

The Extraordinary Consciousness of an Ordinary Man is a book with a one of a kind perspective on ancient people and ideas. Soul- stirring that would help you connect with your inner self. Pick it up if you wish to have those mystical questions in your consciousness answered.

Books to Look Forward to In June-July 2016

Books to Look Forward to In June-July 2016

To all the book lovers out there, so far 2016 has been a good year with a plethora of interesting books being launched, both by Indian as well as international authors. In the next few months a couple of more interesting books have been lined up, some from bestselling authors and a few from relatively lesser known ones. I decided to pick out a few that would be worth looking at. Please note this isn’t really an exhaustive one, it is based on my personal choice and my reading experiences. A few of these books are already out. I havent really had an opportunity to read them yet, thus including them under my June-July list.

She Swiped Right into My Heart Paperback-16 May 2016 by Sudeep Nagarkar

516wu2bycytl-_sx325_bo1204203200_If you go all gooey over love, friendship and relationship novels, Sudeep Nagarkar’s books would not be much of a disappointment. Sudeep so far has authored six novels and I have loved the element of humor in it. They are light reads, perfect when you don’t want to exercise your brain much.

If you’ve never had friends, you’ve never really lived Geet, one of the most unpopular girls in college, is best friends with the beautiful and sought after Shibani. To win the popularity vote, Geet takes the help of college hottie Rudra, who agrees to act as her ‘boyfriend’—he sees an opportunity to get closer to Shibani. Little does he know that Shibani has been harbouring feelings for someone else all along. As misunderstandings and jealousies take centre stage, Geet must make a decision that will affect not just her own life, but also those of her loved ones. She Swiped Right into My Heart is a story about love—gained and lost—and the healing power of friendship.

Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up, Paperback – Rana Ayyub

512tmzfj1ol-_sx339_bo1204203200_The book was out in May this year and has already kicked up quite a storm. This self –published book, created a buzz when within minutes of its launch on Amazon, negative reviews came up.  Descriptions included: “Anti national book,” “toilet paper,” “Do not waste your money,” “fictional story by a so-called journalist,” and “lousy book, lousy author.” Interestingly, most reviews came from people who had not actually bought the book. Well, Amazon does have statistics and data of this. Several of the comments had nothing to do with the content of the book, providing no explanation to back their statements.

Gujarat Files is the account of an eight-month long undercover investigation by journalist Rana Ayyub into the Gujarat riots, fake encounters and the murder of state Home Minister Haren Pandya that brings to the fore startling revelations. Posing as Maithili Tyagi, a filmmaker from the American Film Institute Conservatory, Rana met bureaucrats and top cops in Gujarat who held pivotal positions in the state between 2001 and 2010. The transcripts of the sting operation reveal the complicity of the state and its officials in crimes against humanity.

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking Paperback – 15 Jun by Chris Anderson

414dd2gqpel-_ac_us160_For those keen on learning the mantras of Public speaking Chris Andersons books are a must read. Chris Anderson is the head of TED, a non-profit organization that provides idea-based talks and hosts an annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Since taking over TED in the early 2000s, Chris Anderson has shown how carefully crafted short talks can be the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, spreading knowledge and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a talk can electrify a room and transform an audience’s worldview. Done right, a talk is more powerful than anything in written form. This book explains how the miracle of powerful public speaking is achieved and equips you to give it your best shot. There is no set formula; no two talks should be the same.

The Gene: An Intimate History Hardcover – 17 May 2016 by Siddhartha Mukherjee

413tbr-63ll-_sx324_bo1204203200_I had read Mukherjee’s earlier book “The Emperor of All Maladies”- a profound humane biography of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. 
Siddhartha Mukherjee is a Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer. His first book read more like a thriller with cancer as the main character. Hoping the second book stands as riveting as his first.

The Gene- An intimate History is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function. The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856, where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. Above all, this is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds–from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes. 

An Unsuitable Boy – Hardcover – 13 Jul 2016 by Karan Johar

41pe3zdfyal-_sx251_bo1204203200_

Here is the 43-year-old director-producer of family dramas penning his biography along with author Poonam Saxena. An Unsuitable boy speaks about his personal life and sexual orientation, his candid confessions on how he was “effeminate as a child”. The book was launched on the first day of the Jaipur Literature Festival early this year.

End of Watch (The Bill Hodges Trilogy Book 3) Kindle Edition

51zgipfh1ll-_sx323_bo1204203200_For those who live and breathe mystery and thrillers, Stephen King is an absolute must. His books almost always leave me breathless. He has authored over fifty books and most of them have been worldwide bestsellers. End of Watch is the third in the Bill Hodges Trilogy.

“The cell rings twice, and then his old partner in his ear… ‘I’m at the scene of what appears to be a murder-suicide. I’d like you to come and take a look. Bring your sidekick with you, if she’s available…” an excerpt from End of Watch.

My Favourite Nature Stories Paperback – 1 Jun 2016 by Ruskin Bond

51scwiqem6l-_sx320_bo1204203200_No author has managed to captivate my mind and soul like Ruskin Bond. I have grown up reading his stories and his vivid descriptions of life in the mountains are simply unmatched. In this charming collection, Ruskin Bond talks about his various encounters with the natural world. From the chorus of cicadas to the song of the whistling thrush, from his love for sea shells to his favourite place on earth, Bond details why he has such an overwhelming love for nature. This book is for all who cherish the green world, just as Bond does.
This is a brand new book celebrating Ruskin Bond’s 82nd birthday. A book you could read along with your children.

The Secret of the Druids: Book 2 of the Mahabharata Quest Series Paperback– 21 Jun 2016

51gfps42bc-l-_sx323_bo1204203200_From Indis’s  very own Dan Brown- Christopher Doyle, comes The Secret of the Druids- Book 2 of the Mahabharata series. I like Christopher’s style of weaving history and ancient  secrets with science. His narration is almost always gripping.

Who were the Druids? Were they priests or astronomers? Scientists or sorcerers?
What is the ancient and terrifying secret from the Mahabharata that links the megalithic sites of Britain to the Druids, Julius Caesar and a mysterious Queen who lived 4000 years ago?
These are the riddles that Vijay Singh and the task force must answer if they are to save the world from a fate worse than death. But time is running out…
Explore the science behind the Mahabharata in this explosive thriller packed with action, puzzles and mysteries from the past.