Once again read somewhere this line and again I cringed, “My daughters are like my sons.” Let the daughters be like daughters. It depends on how you raise them! If you give them the independence, education, and freedom of career choice like sons, they will do what the sons have been doing so far traditionally; taking care of the parents and being strong to take on the world. This statement somehow makes me feel that such parents are trying to say that the daughters are as good as or equal to sons. But aren’t they born equal naturally?
Nina grumbled again looking at her best friend’s vacation photographs on Facebook. She had been to an exotic location with her husband to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Nina sighed, “How lucky is my friend! She travels to exotic locations every year for her anniversary. Their photographs are so romantic. Why couldn’t I get a husband like hers? Mine is so unromantic!”
Somewhere in a small office Nina’s husband was doing an overtime. He knew he wasn’t a very successful man and Nina resented him for this. Everyday she would compare him to her friends’ well-established and moneyed husbands. He tried hard but somewhere fate had also not been kind to him. He wanted to take Nina for a good vacation this year, yes not in any foreign location, but anywhere in India in a 5-star property. He worked overtime everyday to accumulate the money for the vacation.
Of late, Nina had started becoming suspicious of her husband’s late nights. Though he would say he had office work Nina wasn’t sure if he was being truthful. He always said he had dinner in the office. She in her mind believed that he was having an affair. She had read about a lot of such posts on her FB mom groups. One day she decided that she would investigate the truth.
One rainy night she hired a cab and went to her husband’s office to spy on him. From the corner of her eyes, she saw her husband coming out of his office and going somewhere. She followed him. Due to the rains, she couldn’t see clearly. She got out of the cab and went nearer to where her husband was standing. What she saw brought tears in her eyes. Her husband was having a vada-pav half drenched in the rain. She went and tapped his shoulder. He was startled to see her.
“Why do you have to do all this? Why do you have to remain hungry and slog? What’s the need for the overtime?” she asked. Her husband said calmly, “You know, I wanted to surprise you but it seems I have to tell you now. I have been planning a 5-star hotel vacation for us this year. I can’t see you sad looking at your friends enjoying. I am just short of some money now. Darling Nina, I promise this year you too will be able to post our vacation photos on FB.
With tears in her eyes Nina knew that she had the most romantic husband in the world.
This is an era of social media with loads of information thrust on our face daily! There are tons of women and parenting forums out there. A lot of information is available but sometimes I feel the overload of information and “gyaan” gets onto the nerves.
My mom’s generation had no exposure of this kind. Though I sometimes feel, they missed out on a few things because of this, at the same time I feel they were a lot less burdened due to the lack of exposure. Don’t believe me?
- The war of stay-at-home moms (SAHM) versus working moms. Women in the bygone era also had working women and SAHM but I guess they did what they did without justification or fighting. Nowadays the choices are questioned, ridiculed, judged..
- Normal delivery versus cesarean section. The rate of C-section has increased a lot over the years, but this is mainly because of more awareness, medical advancement, and facilities. Still the war continues. I always believe ultimately a safe delivery is what matters.
- Breastfeeding versus formula feeding. I am done with the number of posts I have read about this! Our mom’s generation also did both feeds, may be few nosy neighbors or aunts must have given them “gyaan” but now its thrust on the face daily! New moms are literally made to feel guilty..
- Somewhere because of social media along with awareness the spontaneity and mother’s instinct of the moms gets challenged. Everything is made to be scary; be it food, school, learning to walk and what not!
- Any and everything causes cancer! I am seriously appalled to see these fake, unauthentic posts. Agreed that things are not as pure as they used to be but throwing the word cancer just like that is totally uncalled for.
- Confusing naughtiness of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A toddler will be naughty but moms using the word hyperactive casually is something that I don’t get. Our mom’s generation didn’t know about ADHD and brought us up the typical Indian way!
- Instilling scare in the moms. I read posts and blogs where moms are made to believe that scolding or punishing the child causes psychological problems or detachment in the children. I believe every mom knows her limit and she wouldn’t punish or scold her child to make him/her a psychological wreck! I guess we grew up to a lot more scoldings and sometimes spanking (I don’t support beating the child), but we didn’t start hating our parents or becoming psychologically affected.
- Make special dishes for the kids. We were served whatever was made and we ate it quietly. Special dishes were made only on special days. I believe our generation kids were a lot more non-fussy in terms of food.
- Be content with life. Our moms’ generation didn’t have a lot of luxuries like we do. But still they were content. Today thanks to social media we tend to compare our life with others. We compare the materialistic possessions, holidays, kids’ schools and growth, clothes, etc. and start feeling jealous or inferior.
- Feminism. Though feminism is a very good thing for women emancipation, sometimes I feel women going overboard and distorting feminism. There were women in the past generation who believed in feminism and gender equality, but did it in their own subtle way.
Gone are the days when post 35 people started feeling old and worthless. Now times are such that there is no age for reinventing oneself. The more you reinvent the lesser depressed you are. It keeps happier and productive.
We are blessed to be at an era of social media where there is so much of exposure. We can learn so much, follow so many things.
Here are few tips of reinventing oneself post 35:
- By the time one is 35, he/she is already at a mid level of their work. Sometimes it gets monotonous, sometimes tiring. One can always learn new things. Join a course which might help you in furthering your career ahead.
- Nowadays many people, specially women who have taken a sabbatical or looking to do something of their own, are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is not as easy as it seems to be. First of all, be sure to face the hurdles, struggles and disappointments in the early days. Skill and equip yourself in the area of interest of your entrepreneurship. Don’t just become an entrepreneur just because others are taking the plunge!
- If you are a homemaker, instead of lamenting and self-pitying, renew your skills and hobbies. Start doing what you always loved to do but didn’t have the time for. Join a hobby class of your interest. Learn something new. Its never too late to learn anything. Create your own world which is only yours, without husband, kids and extended family.
- Take care of your health. Post 35 energy levels are not the same as in the 20s. Also health issues do crop up. Get a regular health checkup. Take it easy if need be. Take care of your diet, exercise after consulting with a doctor.
- Don’t shy away from learning from the youngsters. In certain areas nowadays the youngsters are more knowledgeable. Ask them, talk to them, believe me you will learn a lot!
- Get a makeover! Its not self-obsession, its boosts confidence immensely. No need to spend loads of money. A simple wardrobe overhaul, haircut, or change in look will do wonders!
- Learn to forget and forgive. Be more positive. Learn to let go off few things. I believe that’s what maturity is all about. Don’t be the one whom youngsters would find very rigid! Learn to adapt to changes. Stop sulking over the past and holding grudges. If you don’t like someone, simply stop interacting or be extremely formal!
- Go out, attend events of your liking, meet new people. I have met so many wonderful people at such events who are doing such awesome and different things. Its really so motivating.
- Start living for yourself too. Stop bothering about what others think about you. You can’t please everyone. This is the phase where you are mature yet not too old!
- Spend time with your family. Your kids are growing up, your spouse is growing older. Enjoy each day with them.
Ageing is beyond our control, but ageing gracefully and learning everyday is something which is in our control. So folks, don’t stop reinventing..
In lieu of the recent Padmavati controversy, groups have been threatening to chop off Deepika Padukone’s nose. They have been calling her a “cheap” woman who dances for money and what not. Vidya Balan despite being an actress par excellence has been questioned about her weight, made fun of, has been given unmentionable adjectives in social media by some unscrupulous men. Kangna Ranaut was also not spared when she spoke her mind. Ace sportsperson like Sania Mirza, Mithali Raj who have done India proud have been trolled and shamed because of what they wore!
These are only examples of few female celebrities who despite their achievements have been shamed. Why is it that women, be it celebrities or a common one, are easily targeted and slut shamed or body shamed? Do we see men being shamed so much? When there is a bold scene in a movie, I have always seen the actress being shamed and not the actor. Why?
This is because the thought process of our society is such. Times are changing, women are reaching greater heights, speaking their mind and the more they are achieving and speaking up the more they are shamed! A set of people in the society still believe that women should “behave” in the conventionally docile and submissive manner. They should be in their “limits.”
Society in general wants a girl to behave and dress up in a certain fashion. If any untoward incident happens, fingers are always pointed towards the girl. Well..”boys will be boys” logic should be thrown out of the window now! High time..
The fact that these celebrities give it back angers such sect of people even more. How dare a woman retaliate or not get affected? Haven’t we seen women being given rape threats? Why is that acid attack, domestic violence, sexual violence victims are 95% times women?
Stop shaming the women! If you have guts come and have a conversation with them like a civilized society.
I am no makeup artist or expert but over the years with trial and error and watching tips and tricks from experts have learnt the art of basic makeup for daily wear which can be tweaked to a more glamorous look only by highlighting either the eyes or lips. I must say here that this is only my trick as a layman and not a makeup expert.
Here I am talking about the daily makeup routine using only 5 products: Concealer, CC cream or foundation, compact, kajal and lipstick. These are the products which are worth investing and I believe every woman should have for the basic look. This makeup can be done within 10 minutes or less once you are used to doing it.
Before starting the makeup, make sure your skin is clean. Use a good face wash based on your skin type to wash your face, tone it using a good toner, and moisturize the skin using a good moisturizer. The moisturizer gives a smooth finish and doesn’t make the look face cakey. After following the CTM routine do the following steps:
1. Apply concealer as dots all over your face. Choose a concealer closer to your skin tone. Apply all over the face using a sponge, brush or even fingers. I generally use my fingers to apply the makeup products but you may use whatever you are comfortable using. Make sure the concealer covers the face and neck properly. Allow it to set.
2. Apply foundation/CC cream again in the similar fashion as the concealer. I find CC creams good for giving nice coverage to my face and it lasts longer too. Using brush/fingers apply evenly on the face and neck. Make sure it blends properly.
3. Dab the compact after this. The compact helps the makeup to set and gives an even and smooth finish. Again, select a compact closer to your skin tone to give a natural look.
4. Next comes the kajal, my favorite makeup product. You might opt not to use it if you don’t like wearing kajal but I believe kajal gives an instant “lift” to the face and makes the face brighter. Apply on the upper and lower waterline and upper and lower eyelids using a steady hand. If you are not used to applying liner or kajal, practice! I generally like using black kajal but you can use brown or any other color which you might like.
5. Lastly comes the lipstick. If you are going to office or want to go out during the daytime, you might opt for lighter shades like light pink, mauve, light brown. Apply one coat of lipstick, dab some compact, and reapply. This helps the lipstick to stay longer. If you want to party or go out after office, apply a darker shade of lipstick like wine, red, dark brown, chocolate, etc. Perk up your eye makeup with smoky look by smudging the kajal a bit.
Friends, this routine works for me, but you might experiment with your looks the way you want to. Go for it!
Last month my dad suffered a massive heart attack. Post angioplasty he developed lung and kidney complications and was in the ICU for 20 long days. We all were worried about his health and condition, but the most affected person was my mom. Though she tried hard to conceal her fear and anxiety, it was not hidden from us. After all, her spouse of 45 years was in a critical state.
Thankfully, my dad recovered and is back home. The doctors have given strict diet instructions, medicine and diet chart, and instructed a lot of rest for my dad. Me and my siblings keep a tab of everything yet it is my mother who has the entire responsibility of handling my dad’s recovery as well as other nitty-gritty like handling the bank, finances, regular chores, and many such big and small stuff. She also has to handle people!
My mom strictly follows the timings and diet chart come what may. The wall clock might be late but not my mom. She diligently makes food as per the doctor’s instructions for my dad, feeds him patiently. She keeps an eye on the nurse who is helping her in taking care of my dad. She takes him for regular check-ups and handles everything so well!
In the last few years my mom herself has undergone major surgeries including a knee replacement 2 years ago. She herself is in her mid 60s, has health issues, but not once has she complained about her health or fatigue. I know how her knee and back get stiff and how tired she gets, but she leaves no stone unturned in taking care of my dad.
I asked my my mom, “Maa, how do you do all this? ” She smiled and said, “When such a situation arises, I believe we all get the strength to do it.” I don’t know whether I will have the stamina, patience, or diligence like her. It’s not easy, no its not. But as my mom says circumstances make a person strong and then he/she has to do it.
But I would say again, “Maa, only you can do it!”
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!
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!
Interpretation of a 20th Century 1980s song by a 21st Century girl.
Yesterday while surfing channels I stopped at a music channel which was playing 80s songs. It was playing the song “Ye tera ghar ye mera ghar” from the film Saath-saath where a couple happily sings about their new abode. My daughter was watching that song with me and after a while she remarked, “Why is it that the woman is doing all the household chores like washing utensils or cooking while the man is smiling and standing? Then why is he singing Ye tera ghar ye mera ghar when he isn’t sharing the chores?” While growing up I could never imagine that someday this song will be interpreted like this!