Age is catching up!

Early morning the alarm rang and I quickly tried to get up.  “Ouch”!  the back hurt.  I had to slow down and then get up again.  While combing my hair, saw 2 white hair strands.  Hmm..  After a trip from outside, it took me 2 days to recover.  I sit in front of the laptop to write a blog and then defer writing.  On days, I feel depressed and tired without any reason.  Then I realize..oh my hormones are acting up!

Ten 10 years ago this didn’t happen!  I was raising 2 little kids, always on my toes, with not a single minute to rest.  Being in a nuclear family set-up, there were days when 24 hours would be less.  The kids were dependent physically on me for everything, but still I believe I had more energy to do things.

Now, the kids are relatively grown up.  I have more time to rest, to take care of myself.  I have a bucket list to do so many things, but then ageing has set in.  Despite taking care of ourselves, somewhere the body starts to indicate that things are not the same as they were in your 20s or 30s.  I suffer from an autoimmune disease, which again has been a big health spoiler for me.  This condition has no cure, so more than my body my mind needs to be strong to cope up with this for another 30 years or till the time I survive.

There is a lot of help and motivation from my husband and children to go out, to do things, to have fun with friends, to chase the unfulfilled dreams, and yes I am doing so, to the best of my abilities, but I wish I had the energy which I had 15 years back.

Life is strange.  When you are young and raising small kids, you defer things for the future, when the kids grow up, when you are more free and have time, but the age sets in.  I am a very positive person, the one who never gives up, wish the time went by a bit slower…

Why shouldn’t girls have fun without getting judged?

Yesterday I was in a sulky mood; blame it on the hormones or the weather😜So, me and hubby went for the last show (as usual) of Veere Di Wedding. It kind of served as a movie date night for the both of us😉 My main motto was to get entertained and that I got!

No, I wasn’t searching any “moral science” stories in the movie. It was only 2 hours of fun, treat watching Phuket, good costumes and makeup! Why are people trying to associate it with women empowerment I don’t know! Also, people who are associating it with urban women need to know that rural women also smoke bidis and use a lot more filthy cuss words. The audience yesterday was a mix of college students to couples like us to friends to a family where the women folk had pallu on their heads intact. I believe their “sankars” didn’t get “bhrasht” after watching this. The move is an Adult movie where the watchers are adults, so I believe the adult women know what they are watching and whether they would want to get influenced or not. In an age where kids know about “Game of Thrones” and other stuff, people shouldn’t be scandalized watching 4 adult women smoke, drink or have fun. Society in general is extremely judgmental towards women. I liked two dialogues in the movie where the girl says it doesn’t matter how qualified you are or what you achieve in life unless you get married. Also, the girls being under pressure to get married, to have babies, that “pressure” factor unfortunately is there.

The “good” and “introvert” girl in me deep down has always wanted to be free-spirited and sometimes bad-ass, and I am sure there are many like me who given a chance would like to shed all their inhibitions and simply want to have “fun”.

Just watch it as a pure entertainer and nothing else. Life has many problems as such and we don’t need to scrutinize or judge everything. The movie is a hit and its a proof that audience has accepted films revolving around female protagonists despite all the different reactions.

As Rekha said in the old “Khoobsurat” sometimes its only good to have Nirmal Anand (ironically Sonam’s husband name is Anand and on screen she interacted with a character Nirmal!!!)..

Golden Rules I Follow To Keep My Child Away From Cold And Flu

The weather in Mumbai is bad right now.  It’s extremely hot and sultry.  Its unbearable without AC in the indoors.  So, most of us after coming back from the scorching sun or sultry weather immediately switch on the AC and drink cold water.  The kids also do the same.

Right now summer vacations are going on and the kids are out in the sun playing, swimming, and enjoying.  My daughter is out playing with her friends and is at their home in the evening.  One of the friends got infected by viral cold and flu.  Kids being kids cannot be away from their friends and it’s not even feasible to ask the kids to be away from each other because of cold.  So, I insisted that my daughter keep a hand sanitizer with her and use it at frequent intervals so that she maintains her hygiene and the keep the germs at bay that could be potentially contracted from her friend.  Hygiene for kids is extremely important for me and with hand sanitizer and hand wash serve as hygiene solutions.

After coming back from her friend’s home and playing, she knows she has to wash her hands with Dettol hand wash.  It is a mandatory rule for my family that whenever they come back home from outside the first thing they do is to wash their hands using a hand wash.  This is a very important aspect of hygiene in my home.  It ensures that the harmful germs are killed.  Health and hygiene is the topmost priority for me and my family.

So, whenever there is any change of season where there is a high probability of getting contagious viral diseases from others I make it doubly sure that me and my family use Dettol handwash and hand sanitizer diligently.

Comparison

Asha’s mother was fuming with anger today. Her board results were out and she had scored 75%. She wasn’t taking any phone calls or replying to any messages. She yelled at Asha, “I am ashamed of you. Who gets 75%? We spent so much money on your tuition, your school, and you do this to us? I can’t face anyone. I am so ashamed to inform about your result to family and friends. Look at Sameer, he scored 92%. His parents must be so proud. He must have studied hard. He must be more intelligent than you are. You are dumb. Just get out of my sight now.”

Asha went to her room and tears rolled down her cheeks. She herself was not expecting 75%, she expected at least 80%. She knew her caliber. She wanted to take up Arts and study psychology in the future, but her parents insisted on Science. After all, all her cousins were either engineers or doctors and her parents didn’t want to feel “embarrassed.”

She wanted to go and tell her mom, “Please stop comparing me with others. You are ashamed of me simply because I scored 75%? What if I tell you that I was ashamed of your behavior with me, I was let down by you when you forced me to take Science, I felt humiliated when you called me dumb? What if I start comparing you with other parents and tell you how “cool” and understanding they are. How would you feel if I compare your upbringing with Sameer or anyone else’s mother?

But Asha knew if she said all this, she would be labeled shameless and defiant. She prepared herself mentally for another round of comparison once her father was back home.

My daughter and her “veeres”

Watching the promo of Veere Di Wedding, minus the cuss words or adult content, reminds me of my daughter and her gal pals.  They are childhood buddies who share crackling camaraderie, craziness, love and zest for life, are not scared to call a spade a spade, are vivacious and bindaas, and extremely chilled out.  They like to help each other and their other friends and like to stand up for them, they love pets, they take care of younger children, are extremely free with the parents of their friends, and are like long-lost “sisters.”

They have already made plans to rent a flat and live together when they start earning, getting a dog, and having blast with each other 12-13 years from now.  They don’t hate men or boys but wouldn’t like to be dictated by them either.  They want to continue living their life as adults exactly the same way as they do now.

I know when they grow up and become adults, they will have their own set of challenges, heartbreaks, and trying and testing times.  There is no girl in this world who doesn’t face the challenge of fighting patriarchy or forced to abide by society’s so-called “rules and regulations.”  They will be questioned about the way they behave, they will be asked to tone down their bindaas and bad-ass attitude, they will be lectured to behave like “sanskari” girls with their attire and behavior not going out of place.  They will be questioned about marriage as soon as they turn 22.  They will be chided for trying to behave like “boys”.

These little girls are going to grow up into strong-headed, confident, independent girls, whom in general, people still find hard to accept.  Moral values are questioned.  Love, respect, compassion, humility can be the traits of a girl who is headstrong, confident, and independent!   Its not necessary that a woman who parties or drinks cannot be a good wife or mother.

I simply hope that these girls keep smiling with happiness and some day realize their dream.  I love to watch their crazy antics, carefree laughter, and their bonding with each other.  I want them to enjoy these as grown-up women too.  Let them be the “veeres” till their old age.

Glow girl..

One of the features that I am often complimented about is my skin.  My skin makes me look younger than my age.  But hey..I wasn’t blessed with a good skin though I must admit that being a Bengali and because of my genes (my parents wrinkled very late) I still don’t have fine lines or wrinkles.

I don’t invest a lot of time or money for my skin.  Here are few tips for women for skin care.  Of course, if you have any major medical problems, you need to seek a skin specialist’s advice.

  1.  Post 30 be more diligent with your skin care.  This is the time when our body starts ageing and as women our bodies go through a lot of wear and tear and hormonal changes.  Just few minutes a day is sufficient.
  2. After childbirth most women tend to put on weight and hence they go for shortcut like crash dieting to lose weight.  This is a big NO.  It impacts the overall health and skin is no exception.  Never skip any food group.  Eat healthy.  Stay hydrated.  Drink water, milk, juices, buttermilk to keep yourself well hydrated.  When your inner health is good, it reflects on the skin.
  3. Any form of exercise increases blood circulation.  Exercise helps remove toxins from the body and the skin gets a good glow.
  4. Invest in a good day and night cream.  Nowadays there are lots of brands available.  You may choose any of them.  They are specifically formulated to work on skin during day and night time.
  5. Use a mild face wash twice or thrice a day based on your skin type.  There are face washes available for oily, dry and normal skin.  I always wash my face after getting up in the morning.  This helps remove the excess oil and dead skin.
  6. Use branded and good makeup products.  Cheaper products will end up harming your skin.  Its not necessary that you have to buy expensive imported makeup products.  Our country has a lot of good options nowadays.
  7. Always use a cleanser to remove your makeup before going to bed, no matter how tired you are.  Clean your face and apply night cream before sleeping.  It will hardly take 10 minutes’ time.
  8. Apply face packs once or twice a week.  If you are short on time, apply readymade face packs available in the market.  You might apply the pack, carry on with your chores, and wash it off after it dries.  You can do it any time of the day.  Face packs help tighten the skin, remove dirt and oil, and give a nice glow.
  9. Our kitchen is a storehouse of many natural face packs.  Mix egg white, besan, curd, little turmeric and honey.  Apply this on face.  After it dries wash it off.  This packs helps in keeping wrinkles at bay and gives a glow to the skin.  Similarly, you can use a mix of rosewater, honey and besan; mix of chandan, multani mitti and rosewater.  Rubbing slices of fruits like papaya, strawberry, mashed banana also gives instant shine.
  10. Lastly, our state of mind reflects on our face and skin.  Try to keep yourself happy.  Reinvent, try to let go off things, learn to stand up for yourself, don’t try to be too sacrificing, seek your own happiness.

Stay Protected Wherever You Are My Children

When my little bundles of joy were born, I looked at those tiny little creatures and was overwhelmed with emotions.  I had made a promise to myself that I will always protect them physically and emotionally.  They were brought into this world by me and as a mother, it was and is my duty to protect them.

I have always been very particular about the health and hygiene of my children.  Daily bath, use of hand sanitizer, washing hands with Dettol handwash after coming back home from playing or before having meals is a must for them.  These are the habits that I have inculcated in them since the time they were toddlers.  I have taught them about the importance of cleanliness.  They are actively into sports and carry Dettol hand sanitizer even in school.

Now my kids are grown up.  My son is a teenager now and my daughter a tween.  They have become fairly independent now and I don’t have to do their tasks, or I cannot be around them always.

My son gave his board exam this year and now is enjoying his vacation.  Last week he went on a trip outside the city with few of his friends.  As growing up kids do, they also had intended to do a lot of activities.  As a mother, I was obviously worried about his safety, his hygiene, sanitation.  Kids are so busy doing masti and playing that they forget to take care of skin protection and hygiene.

Thankfully, now my efforts in making them independent and teaching the importance of health and hygiene and cleanliness paid off.  Even when I was not with him, my son out of his daily habit used to wash his hands with Dettol hand wash before meals.  In places, where there was no water he would use hand sanitizer.  My children have grown up knowing the importance of hand wash and hand sanitizer use and how they help in germ killing.

As a mother, the promise that I had made to myself to protect them is being followed by my kids now.  A mother takes so many pains and efforts in instilling the right values and habits in her children, which once taught are followed by them even when the mother is not around.  This is because once the kids learn the hygiene habits and the fact that it helps them to stay healthy they themselves start following it.  I am so happy and proud that my children follow healthy habits now.

So, whenever my kids are out of my sight, I tell them, “Stay protected wherever you are my children.”