A memorable road trip to Goa again

My husband loves driving but the Mumbai traffic doesn’t allow him to “relish” his driving.  He loves driving at 120 km/hr and that’s only possible on expressways or “good” highways.Goa car

Our much awaited holiday to Goa this year was planned on a short notice and we decided to drive down.  We had decided to start early morning to avoid the traffic and it was a rather good decision.  We started at 6 in the morning and within an hour we had crossed Navi Mumbai!

Road trips are not new for our family.  We have taken long road trips from Mumbai to Himachal before.  Few things when traveling with children that I keep in mind is to carry the required medicines, water, few chocolates, chewing gums, and of course a lot of good music in the car!

Halting at roadside dhabas is always a good experience barring the unhygienic washrooms.  That I would totally blame the lack of civic sense on people’s part.

Mumbai-Goa is a beautiful drive natural beauty wise.  We come across the Ghats, the greenery, and a lot of natural beauty.  Do keep Avomine handy if you have motion sickness.  It took us 12 hours to reach Goa with 2-3 halts in between.

We had made our reservation in Grand Hyatt Goa which is a beautiful and cozy property.  Unlike the other 5-star properties in which we have stayed in our Goa trips, this was a relatively smaller property but extremely beautiful one.  One more difference was that this was located on a bay and not beach.Grand Hyatt-1

The staff was extremely courteous and made us feel at home.  The kids indulged in some great kids activities.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the sailing experience by the Aquasail team.  It was my first experience of sailing and I must say I was not at all nervous in the ocean!Grand Hyatt 2

The resort had good restaurants too and we tried out some great new dishes too.  All-in-all we had an awesome three days of short break with a wonderful long drive and of course “stress-free” family time for all!

Got the best partner!

#WOW

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

This is a short simple incident which changed my life for the better.  Around 16 years ago, my aunt who lives in Delhi came to know that a prospective groom’s family was searching for a girl for marriage.  Since I was of marriageable age at that time, she decided to talk to them about me.

Later we came to know that the boy’s family wanted a girl from Delhi and a teacher and I was neither!  It’s not that this was something I was expecting or broke my heart, but it was kind of a “rejection” for me which I didn’t like!

That boy’s family passed on my alliance to a neighbor of theirs as they knew that they were also looking for a girl for their son.  They liked me and after talking to me over phone it was decided mutually that we will meet.  I met that boy and his family.  In the first meeting itself, I liked that tall lanky boy with a disarming smile and simple nature and within 6 months we were married.

On the day of our reception, the other boy’s family came to greet us.  He had gotten married by then.  When I looked at him I instantly said, “Thank God I didn’t get married to him!”  Personality wise he was nowhere close to my husband, he was a grumpy irritable fellow.  Later on we came to know that he subjected his wife to domestic violence too.

That rejection of the boy’s family was a blessing in disguise for me as I got the gem of a man as my husband and not that abusive man!  I got the best partner that any girl could wish for and here we are happily together for 15 years now!

Wish you were alive..

#LoveJatao

I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day.

This contest had put me in a dilemma.  My grandparents are no more, I lost all four of them long back.  So, it was difficult for me to pen this one as even imagining made me emotional.

This is totally what I believe I would have done had they been alive.  My grandparents passed away much before the selfie, online shopping, mobile era.  They didn’t live in the same city as we lived in.

So, the best way would have been to arrange a meetup where I could bring all four of them at my place.  It would have given them an outing, a change from monotony.  Nothing would have given them more pleasure than meeting their great grandchildren, i.e., my children.  I would have arranged for a small cake, made their favorite dishes and surprised them.  I would have taken them for shopping to the mall, which wasn’t there during there times, and made them try out some dishes that they would find amusing and new.  I know they would have loved to gorge on the sweets.

I would try and teach them online shopping, online bank transfers, which again they would, I know, try out reluctantly as they would prefer their old school ways of shopping and banking.

I would have called my parents and siblings over too so that it would be a big family get together where there would be all generations; grandparents, parents, grandchildren, and great grandchildren under one roof.

I would arrange for them to watch some old classic Bengali and Hindi movies which are now easily available on the net.  I would be happy to see them reminisce their golden olden times.

Of course, with such a huge gathering there would be constant bickering and mini fights as our family is full of hot-headed people!  I would love to see the expression of amusement on my kids’ faces!

I would hire a big SUV and take them for Mumbai darshan.  I can imagine them dozing off in the car.  I can imagine them complaining about Mumbai traffic, their happiness on watching the sea, their amused looks while we went through the Bandra-Worli sealink.  They wouldn’t be interested in watching Shah Rukh or Salman’s bungalows or who knows they even might be!  My grandmother would be excited when we would have passed Amitabh Bachchan’s bungalow.

I would give them loads of hugs and kisses knowing that might be we won’t get an occasion like this again where all the generations are under one roof.

Well..I hope I could do these things.  These are the things that my grandparents would have been so happy about.

I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day. Do share a selfie with your grandparents on Sept. 10, 2017 on Twitter or Facebook with #LoveJatao & tag @blogadda to win a goodie from Parachute Advansed.

The silent, strong supporters

The other day I went to attend a bloggers’ event.  It was almost an entire afternoon event and in Mumbai commuting takes up a lot of time, so I knew it would be late evening by the time I reach home.  My husband was traveling and hence I asked my kids to take care of themselves that day.  Being grown up slightly now and in a nuclear set-up, they are pretty responsible.

When I reached home, I saw that the washed utensils were kept in place and the clothes were washed in the washing machine.  My son had already left for his 10th tuition classes and my daughter was listening to music and studying.  These are the very kids who in my presence become so naughty!

Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed.  These two little kids of mine, who are my favorite muse for writing, have always been my source of encouragement.  The other big support has been my husband who had so many times worked from home to take care of the kids while I was away attending events.  Many would say that this is nothing great; a family is meant to do that!  But when you have such a strong support you do feel blessed.

I had my kids pretty early on in life, but I never for even one day, felt that I was sacrificing my life and happiness because of them.  I had raised them, still do, with a lot of happiness and love.  I expected nothing in return but I didn’t have to because my kids are supporting and encouraging my endeavors without being asked for support.

My husband even in the most stressful situations has asked me to continue to pursue what I love, writing.  A family which I have nurtured with love is giving me back the love when I require it the most.

Every moment of love, every gesture of encouragement and support counts.  I do have my three strong silent supporters always to give me that impetus!

English sikhoge?

“I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda

I came to this new society around 3 years back.  Soon, I found a good and sincere lady who started working as a house-help with me.  She has 2 kids, a son and a daughter who go to a local school.  Things were going fine until one fine day life turned upside down for them.

Their slum caught fire because of 7-10 cylinders bursting together.  Many, many home turned to ashes.  All the meager belongings that the poor people of the slum had was engulfed by fire within no time.  My maid was also one of those unfortunate families.  I still remember the day she came to my house wearing a tattered saree, asking for clothes and food.  Within no time I helped her out.  Like me there were many families and NGOs who helped these families re-establish again.

Because of all this chaos, the children suffered.  They didn’t have shelter, food or clothes, and amidst all these their schooling suffered.  They couldn’t go to school for quite some time.

Life started limping back to normal again after a few months.  The kids started going to school again but their studies had suffered.  My maid’s son because of all these unwarranted circumstances and poverty suddenly wanted to grow up soon.  He wanted to help his parents in taking care of the family.

My maid often tells me that his son wants to some job after 10th or 12th but because he studies in a local school he doesn’t have exposure to English language.  There are classes that teach English but she cannot afford them.  The NGOs which offer such help are far off from their place.

I often wonder how could I help them.  Due to my own time constraints and responsibilities, I don’t have time to shoulder such a big responsibility.  At the same time, I understand the little boy’s emotions and want him to learn English and fulfill his dreams.

Then I came across Nihar Shanti Amla’s Pathshala Funwala’s toll free number 8055667788 which gives such children easy access to learn English in a fun and easy way.  This is a service which is free of cost, easily accessible and very easy to learn.

I was extremely happy to know about this number.  I have decided to give my maid this number so that both her children can benefit from this awesome initiative.  I will ask her to spread a word about this number to all her friends whose children can easily learn English free of cost, which will help them in life.

Being a social media specialist, I intend to spread awareness about 8055667788 through my social media pages and different groups.

Let the future of a better India learn and learn easy.  Because of this initiative now I can ask any little child who truly wants to learn English, “English sikhoge?”

The healer with a magic touch

You must do the things, you think you cannot do.. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Where there is will, there is a way!  Shambhavi Chhugani’s journey is one such live example of this saying.

Her journey to the spiritual world started when she was all of 16 years. She comes from an erstwhile family of Bihar,where it was mandatory in her family to be spiritually qualified, as much as they paid importance to the formal education.  Her first tryst with the spiritual world came through reiki, nyaas healing.

Shambhavi has gone through many ups and downs in her life.  But she has always emerged as a winner. Its very interesting to sit and learn from her, the journey’she has covered to reach where she is today, the long hour hours she’s  invested, the hardships’s she has gone through. If it was anyone but Shambhavi, trust me the person would have given up.

After college, Shambhavi worked in Bangalore and later moved to Pune and settled there. Years later, She came to Mumbai and soon carved a niche for herself in the City of Dreams. She journey of achievements started from here.

Shambhavi’s journey has been very interesting and inspiring. She has been an accomplished Tarot Reader for over 18 years.  Her other areas of expertise are Colours Psychology, Logo Analysis, Space Cleansing, Vaastu, Switchwords, Doodle Analysis, Meditation, Healing through art and Dreams Interpretation & she is a Life coach to many.  She has won many awards and accolades for work with a lot of positive feedback from her clients.  She also specializes in Runes Guidance & Healing, First & Second Degree Reiki, Basic Nyaas Yoga to name a few.  Her knowledge has made a lot of difference in the life of many people.

As she galloped with love and confidence, Shambhavi made a mark in the hospitality & corporate fertinity,she partnered with big brands like JW Marriott, Renaissance, Oakwoad and Out of the Blue.  Shambhavi is also associated with corporates like Future group (Pantaloons), DLF, JLT, ORRA , Lavasa and L& T Reality to name a few.

Shambhavi has also been a part of the prestigious ELLE Carnival, held in Mumbai to raise funds for breast cancer patients and has been written about in their magazine.  This is the philanthropist side of Shambhavi.

She was also awarded as Grand Master in Tarot Prediction by Inspire Awards and later was also bestowed with a WOW Personality Award which is Winners of Worthiness, in Excellence in Tarot.  That’s quite a feat to achieve in such a young age!

The social media syndrome

I am very active on the social media.  I am a part of many groups, I write a lot, interact a lot.  I even work as a social media specialist.  In short, social media is an integral part of my life.

But I guess reading too many articles on parenting, relationships, women has its own effect.  I remember when I got married and became mother social media was just budding.  It wasn’t so prevalent or popular.  But when I come to think of it, may be I was happier and less crankier!  Ya, ya..I blame my “hormones”, pressure of handling work, husband, children and other stressors of life but hey I was much “stressed” out may 10-15 years back!

I was raising 2 little kids, working from home, handling everything yet I was a lot less crankier.  Why?  May be because of social media exposure, I have started comparing my life more with others.  I feel may be the others are more successful, richer, happier, luckier than I am!  Going through various do’s and dont’s write-ups about parenting makes me feel may be I am a very bad parent!  When my husband requests me for a cup of tea suddenly the words of an article flash in front of my eyes where the husband subjugates the wife or doesn’t care about her!

None of this is true.  But as we all know, if we get exposed to particular things day in and day out somewhere it starts impacting us.  Often little issues are blown out of proportion in our minds.

When I got married, I was very happy to be a wife and mother, as frankly, I was yearning to play both these roles and God had been kind.  I loved taking care of them and I still do.  But somewhere reading about feminism daily, the daily dose of stay-at-home versus working mom battle, how women working in the kitchen is demeaning, how a woman’s life is finished post motherhood and so on and so forth drills ideas that I am not supposed to think about!  I have a very loving husband, 2 beautiful well-brought-up children, freedom to do anything I wish to..still!

May be this is the social media syndrome, which is affecting all of us in some way or the other!  May be life without too much exposure was better and less complicated…