Thursday, 27 April 2017

Being Extra Cautious As I am a working mother

I can’t help it but I keep on comparing my parenting experiences with my fellow mothers. At times I compare things with my mother and other family members as well. My bua ji (my father’s elder sister) was always a working mother. Although she used to be a modern woman of her time, yet she couldn’t understand the concept of family planning. She has 5 children. So, initially, the responsibility of her kids was over my parents, as we used to live near to them. There so no as such discussion between my father and my bua ji that he would keep an eye on them. But as an unsaid pact, my father used to follow them. This way I got the chance to closely see how my cousins felt every day when they needed their mother but she was in office. As a kid, I used to like that they were so free in absence of their parents but soon I realized that this absence made a huge impact on their minds.

Most of my family members (including me) set my bua ji responsible for my cousins’ average life achievements. None of them were good in studies and could make a good academic background for them. There were problems in their lives and they learned to manage things with their own experiences. Most of the times, my bua ji failed to give them that support which was needed for growing kids. Adding to the problems of my cousins’ life, my fufa ji expired when all of them were so young. Bua ji still continued to work and eventually the eldest of my cousins, Didi, had to take charge of the kitchen and her studies went on the least important front. My parents tried to help them but continuous bad decisions taken by my bua ji made things unrestrained. I should not say but I always felt that her ego of being working in the time when working mothers were rarely found, thrashed the entire concept of nurturing kids in a family nest.

According to a research by Harvard University, kids whose mothers worked during their childhoods are more likely to have high earning jobs and supervisory responsibility at their own jobs compared to them whose mothers stayed home. The study says kids who are raised in a non-traditional environment, appear to be more independent and generally have a better chance to live a good life. Sadly I found this wrong in the case of my bua ji. I narrated all this, not because my guilt pokes me every now and then as I am also a working mother. Yes, my comparison syndrome does compare my life (as a working mother) with the life of my bua ji. However, I told this because her life has made me extra cautious in terms of raising my son being a ‘working mother’.
Both working and stay at home mother’s kids can be average achievers but people don’t miss a chance to finger point a working mother. What I saw in my cousins’ lives, the most important thing that was missing in their family, was a healthy perspective between my bua ji and fufa ji. That I feel is the reason of their kids being not so successful and thriving. Being a working mother is a hard-won job. She needs to give so much to her work front and to the family needs. But the success of a working mother also depends upon how her partner sees and manages things. I must say my fufa ji tried his best to make things better but my bua ji failed to understand that a working woman needs to be more considerate, sensitive and thoughtful. With thinking about how she would manage her office duties, she should also give her mind over how she would do her family duties. I know a woman can’t do everything and can’t be everywhere all the time. But here comes the part of life partner. She should ask help from her husband/spouse. They should divide responsibilities and dues. Not only worldly dues but emotional also. Then only a working mother can raise kids with rewarding lives. The success of a working woman is not always appraisals and promotions. Happy and healthy kids are no less than an accolade.  Isn’t it?   

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

#HalfGirlfriend Two Half Relationships in a Life

"I am sharing a Half relationship story at BlogAdda in association with #HalfGirlfriend"

I have very closely seen two HALF relationships which were unfortunately there in Sarita Aunty’s life. It is a real challenge to carry an affair where in the other person is barely giving anything. This is the agony of a HALF relationship.

Subodh uncle and Sarita Aunty got married when they both were so young. Sarita Aunty had barely touched her 18th. As a typical Indian mentality, Subodh uncle’s parents forced him to get married because he was trying his hand in local politics. “Shadi kar do.. khud hi sudhar jaega..” following this, an unemployed boy got married to an innocent girl from a poor family. Sarita Aunty’s father was a Hindu pandit who used to perform marriage rituals. So he was always hand-to-mouth in terms of raising four kids. Sarita Aunty was the only daughter and her marriage was going to lower his father’s burden so she agreed to get married even though she wanted to study more. As a new bride, she joined Subodh uncle’s family which had Subodh uncle’s father, mother and Subodh uncle’s younger brother.

Sarita Aunty’s married life was going with ups and down. As Subodh uncle was not doing much to earn their livelihood, she was dependent upon her father-in-law’s pension. Sarita Aunty’s father-in-law, although a senior citizen, was infamous for his bad character. And soon Sarita Aunty herself realized this. Her father-in-law many times tried to touch her inappropriately. She complained about this to her mother-in-law but the old lady got furious over Sarita Aunty saying she was trying to defame her husband. Life was tough for young Sarita Aunty. Every other day, she used to have an argument with Subodh uncle. Sometimes over financial issues and at times over his bad behavior towards her.

Somehow, Subodh uncle got a technician’s job in a distant city and they both shifted there. Sarita Aunty felt little relief as she was away from that suffocating environment of her in law’s house. But her fate was not with her. Subodh uncle met with an accident at his workplace. While mending some equipment, he got a high-affinity electric shock. He was bedridden for months. Subodh uncle had to quit his job because of the long treatment. His eyesight also got affected because of the shock. The couple had no choice but to go back to their hometown and unwillingly Sarita Aunty had to start living with her in-laws again.

Financially, Subodh uncle and Sarita Aunty had nothing left so she finally decided to start giving tuition to local kids. Their house was in a lower class society where most of the people were businessmen and very few people used to know English. When Sarita Aunty started giving English tuition, there was a long queue of students who wanted to join her classes. She used to be a brilliant student of her time and she was also good in making kids learn basics of English so parents started seeing positive results. They started applauding Sarita Aunty and, as most of them knew her financial condition, they started helping her other than giving tuition fee. A family gifted her a wooden almirah as their kid got good marks in English. Likewise, somebody gave her kitchen utensils, other her gave clothes and this way her life got better.

After seven years of her marriage, she got pregnant and gave birth to a boy. Subodh uncle and Sarita Aunty named him Divyansh. Sarita Aunty continued giving tuition, although she was giving double of her strength to it now. She had a kid to take care but she was so strong minded, she continued her work. In a little while, the coin of good time flipped one more time against Sarita Aunty. Seeing her grow, a few envious people, corrupted Subodh uncle’s mind against her. They made Subodh uncle believe that Sarita Aunty had affairs with many of the men of local habitat. One day Subodh came home drunk and started beating Sarita Aunty saying her characterless. There was huge scene and all the neighbors were seeing this drama. But no one helped. Sarita Aunty kept on denying the charges but Subodh Uncle forced her to leave the house in the middle of night. Her destiny again showed her a very stony time. She, along with her 2-year-old boy came back to her parent’s place.

 After a week,Subodh uncle went to meet Sarita Aunty there. He said he was sorry for his behave and wanted to start their journey again. Sarita Aunty was happy to see her husband realizing his mistake. But this was a trap. Subodh uncle, without informing anyone, took their son along and returned back to his hometown. When Sarita Aunty didn’t see her son for a long time, she inquired her brothers to find Divyansh. Her brothers started looking out Divyansh and some local shopkeeper told them that Divyansh was with Subodh uncle at the bus stop. When they reached there and asked people, they came to know that Subodh uncle boarded the bus for his hometown and Divyansh was with him.

Sarita Auty was completely broken. Her husband betrayed her. After facing such public shame and false accusation, Divyansh was her only hope ahead. But she has nothing left to live for. She wanted to suicide but somehow her inner self kept her go with the flow. Many times, she tried to meet Divyansh but Subodh uncle never allowed it. Even worse, Subodh uncle started seeding Divyansh against her mother. He projected Sarita Aunty as a selfish woman who left her son because of her ambitious nature. Poor Divyansh, he got molded in the same way as Subodh uncle wanted to. He started hating his mother. On the other side , Sarita Aunty started doing a job in the nearest city. She was still staying with her parents. Despite she was doing good in her job, her motherhood used to make her cry every day for her son. She was not expecting this kind of ill reaction from Subodh uncle.

Howbeit, Sarita Aunty kept on chasing these two HALF relationships of her life. It was so unyielding to think positive about a HALF relationship that she had with her husband. And another awful and bothersome was her relationship with her son who hated her so much. Neither her husband nor her son behaved well with her since then but devoted Sarita Aunty kept on doing something for both of them. She used to send clothes and gifts for both of them without expecting any response. She used to call them with different numbers so that at least she could hear their voices. A mother’s heart used to crave for his son’s sight. Many times, she visited her in-law's place along with her brother just to meet Divyansh on his birthday. However, Subodh uncle never let her meet Divyansh. Although he used to keep all the gifts and money that Sarita Aunty used to bring for her son. And later Subodh uncle used to give it to Divyansh saying he bought all those clothes and toys.

Time was flying and Divyansh was growing so fast. Sarita Aunty still continued to do all her duties from her side to keep these two HALF relationships of her life in touch. It was full of hatred, abuse, and tears. But what a soul Sarita Aunty was, she never uttered a cuss word in response to Subodh uncle and Divyansh. In his teenage, Divyansh started knowing what had happened to her mother from others. Till then he knew the version that his father had seeded in his mind. Divyansh started understanding that his mother was never wrong. She became a victim of circumstances. She was betrayed by his husband and her own family members. Sarita Aunty by then was a senior member of her company. She was earning well and amazingly she never took a leave in her career. All his office-mates used to respect her so much.

One day she got the news that his husband, Subodh Uncle, was ailing with some incurable disease. Subodh uncle used to do some temporary work so he didn’t have enough money to go for the proper medication. Sarita Aunty, even though having a HALF relationship with his husband who had discarded her 16 years back, went to the hospital where Subodh Uncle was admitted. She discussed with all the doctors and requested to do their best for the treatment. Unfortunately, doctors couldn’t save Subodh uncle and he was no more fighting one day. Sarita Aunty was shattered. One of the most special people of her life left this world. People consoled her saying that Subodh uncle got what he deserved. But no one could understand the pain that Sarita Aunty had in her heart.

That day, one more thing happened. Both of the HALF relationships of her life eventually ended. After waiting for 16 years, she finally hugged her son, with whom she was separated when he was only 2 years old. Subodh uncle could never give good upbringing to Divyansh. He neither had wisdom nor resources to give Divyansh a good childhood and a better life. However, from that day a new chapter of life started, both for Sarita Aunty and Divyansh. They both supported each other through that difficult time. Soon, Sarita Aunty resumed her office and Divyansh got admission for a good computer course. She knew that she couldn’t fix what went wrong in the life of Divyansh but she decided to give him the best she could further.

She still has the soreness of those two HALF relationships of her lifetime. But she is glad and contended that, at least, one of the HALF relationships of her life is now complete. Divyansh is fully hers. 

Please do watch the trailer of the movie "HALF Girlfriend" which inspired me share a real life HALF relationship story above. 

बच्चो और बड़ो के राम..

राम, भारतीय परम्पराओ में एक जाना पहचाना नाम है. चाहे वो किसी भी धर्म- जाति का शख्श हो, राम को जरूर जानता है. हमारे यहाँ के बड़े त्योहारों में दशहरा और दिवाली का सम्बन्ध राम से है. वो सिर्फ एक अवतार नहीं है, राम पुरुषार्थ के प्रतीक है, राम एक आदर्श पुत्र, भाई और राजा है. राम का वर्णन कई जगह और कई बार मिलता है हमारे इतिहास में. न जाने कितनी ही भाषाओ में रामायण लिखी, सुनी और कही गई है. हिन्दू परिवारों में तुलसीदास जी की रामचरितमानस की बड़ी महत्ता है उसमे भी बस राम ही राम है. बड़ो से बच्चो तक को राम का पता है, अंतर बस ये है कि हर शख्श अपनी उम्र के हिसाब से राम को समझता और मानता है. 

ये अचानक राम की बातें कहा से आ गई..? बिलकुल, इनका लेना देना राम मंदिर के जुडी खबरों से तो है ही, पर इसमें मेरे बेटे के राम भी है. वो राम जिनकी कहानी मेरा ३ साल का बालक रोज सुनता है मुझसे और अपने पापा से. उसके बालमन में राम एक ऐसा नाम है जिसे उसके पिताजी (राजा दशरथ) बहुत प्यार करते है और जंगल नहीं भेजना चाहते पर कैकेई को दिए वचन से झुक जाते है और राम को जंगल जाना पड़ता है. राम वो हैं जो सीता को बचाने के लिए लंका जाते है और रावण जैसे ख़राब आदमी से युद्ध करते है. वो राम ही हैं जो सीता जी वो वापस लाते हैं लंका से जिससे सीता जी खुश हो जाती हैं और बाकी के प्रजा भी. और खुश होकर सब दिवाली मानते हैं. कल रात कहानी सुनने के बाद मेरे बेटे ने कहा "मैं भी सीता जी को वापस लाता हूँ लंका से.." वो इस एक लाइन से क्या कहना चाहता था ये मुझे समझ आया. वो राम जैसा बनना चाहता हैं..

कमाल की बात हैं न कि बच्चो और बड़ो के राम अलग अलग हैं. मेरे बचपन के राम अलग थे और अब की सोच में राम कुछ और हैं. मेरी शुरुवात की पढाई एक RSS के स्कूल से हुई और ये भी एक सैयोग हैं कि तब ही १९९२ में बाबरी मस्जिद गिरायी गई थी. मुद्दा एकदम उफान पर था और स्कूल में भी राम की ही बातें थी. घर में रामचरितमानस का पाठ हुआ करता था तो राम के बारे में पता ही था पहले से. फिर जब हर तरफ राम ही राम होने लगा तो मन और राम मय हो गया. बचपन में मंदिर या मज़्जिद से क्या लेना देना होता हैं.. तब से ही "श्री रामचंद्र कृपाल भजमन.". याद हैं. पर बड़े होते ही राम के जीवन में और परतें दिखने लगी. राम ने अग्नि परीक्षा क्यों ली सीता की? क्यों उन्हें त्याग दिया जब वो माँ बनने वाली थी? क्या यही पुरुषार्थ हैं अपनी ही अर्धांगिनी को तज देना?

खैर, अपने बचपन का राम फिर से दिखा मुझे मेरे बेटे की बातो में. जो राम जैसा बनना चाहता हैं, बुराई से लड़ना चाहता हैं, सीता को बचाना चाहता हैं. वरना तो आज कल राम बस जन्मभूमि के साथ सुनाई देता हैं. उस ६ दिसम्बर के बाद से हर साल, राम को अपना बताने वाले कही न कही से सुनाई दे जाते हैं. कुछ लोग मंदिर बनाने की बात करते हैं और कुछ ना बनने देने की, पर बड़ों का राम भगवा वस्त्र में धनुष चलाते हुए एक गठीले शरीर वाला एक लड़का हैं जो कि बच्चो के राम जैसा नहीं हैं. बच्चो का राम तो ठुमुक चलने वाला उनके जैसा एक बच्चा ही हैं. वो पितृ भक्त हैं, एक आदर्श भाई हैं और एक रक्षक हैं जो अपने से ज्यादा शक्तिशाली रावण से सीता को बचाता हैं. वो राम अकेले नहीं, बल्कि चारो भाइयो और हनुमान के साथ आशीर्वाद देने वाला एक श्रेष्ठ राजा हैं.

ये दुखद हैं कि राम के नाम पर कथित राम-भक्त और राम-विरोधी दोनों अपनी-अपनी राजनीति करते रहने के लोभ से बाज नहीं आ रहे हैं. अयोध्या और बाबरी को लेकर लड़ने वाले दोनों तरफ के लोग न तो राम को समझ पाए हैं, न रहीम को. अगर समझते तो सबके राम अलग नहीं होते. कबीर ने भी यही कहा हैं "राम रहीमा एकै है रे काहे करौ लड़ाई.." मेरा मानना हैं कि बच्चो के राम ही असली राम हैं.. जिन्हे मन में भी रखो तो सब कष्ट दूर हो जाते हैं..क्या मंदिर और क्या मस्जिद !!

Monday, 24 April 2017

How to survive your toddler's question..

These days my toddler has become a big question bank. Whenever he comes across a new thing, he starts asking a question around it. A few days back, I was making him remember animal’s name. He asked me “Animal kya karta hai (what does an animal do?)..” I was confused for next two minutes. What I should answer him? There are many different kinds of animals, and each of them does different things, to which animal I should introduce him first? A few other questions that made me scratch my head were “ AC kaise chalta hai..?” “Metro track me kyu chalti hai..?” “Bird me petrol kyu khatm ho gaya..?”

From the time kids first learn to talk, they constantly ask questions. They start out simple, easy questions with simple answers but soon their questions start challenging their parents. Kids have voracious appetites for knowledge and an insatiable curiosity for how the world works. So they keep on showing their curiosity in the forms of queries. However, unless you have a doctorate in everything, their questions might quickly outstrip what you're able to answer. Or sometimes, you face the situation as I faced that you have an answer but you are confused whether your answer would be able to satisfy your little one’s inquisitiveness. And then, most of the times we parents go like “Ummm...”

Whether it’s a question that you don't want to answer that very moment (For example: How babies born?) or you don’t have an answer to any such question (For example: How AC gives cold air?), It can be stressful for kids if you don’t answer then. They look for everything to their parents and when parents don’t clear their doubts, kids lose faith in them. 

How to deal with questions of your curious kid :
  •  If you can answer, try not to brush your child off with a simple, "You'll learn about that when you're older,” Give them the benefit of the doubt and try to answer their questions to the best of your ability.
  • If you have time, search with your kid, the answers which you don’t know. Don't take it as admitting a weakness. In fact, you are teaching your children the valuable skill of learning.
  • And if you don’t have time and don’t have an answer, try something which can make him/her believe in nature and God. For example, God has made few things like this.
  • Over answering could also make a problem. A 2 years old can’t fully understand how we breathe so, you have to make sure your answer should connect to your child.
  • Sometimes "Don't worry about that, you are too little to understand." Can be the best reply. Not everything can be answered you know 😁
     Please add your thoughts and points that helped you in dealing with your toddler's question.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

आम और अमरुद की कहानी..

गर्मियों का मौसम आते ही आम के किस्से शुरू हो जाते है घरो में. कितने किस्म के आम आते है? कौन से आम ज्यादा मीठे होते है? और कौन कितने आम खा सकता है? ऐसी बातें रोज होने लगती है, कम से कम ईस्ट UP में ऐसा ही है. मैं भी वही से आती हूँ और बचपन की यादो में आम काफी जगह है. अगर आप अवध के किसी भी बच्चे से पूछे तो वो आम को ही अपना पसंदीदा फल बताएगा. वहाँ बच्चे और बड़े सब आम का बेसब्री से इंतज़ार करते है हर साल. और जैसे ही बाजार में आम दिखे बस आ जाते है खरीद कर, ये जानते हुए भी कि शुरुवात के आम खट्टे होते है.पर मेरा किस्सा थोड़ा अलग है. मुझे आम से ज्यादा अमरुद पसंद है. एक बार ऐसे ही घर पर बात हो रही थी और जैसे ही मैंने कहा मेरा पसंदीदा फल अमरुद है, किसी ने कहा "अमरुद भी कोई फल है, फलो का राजा तो बस आम है आम.." मुझे बड़ा गुस्सा आया. सबकी अपनी पसंद है भाई , क्या कमी है अमरुद में?

बचपन में मेरा घर कॉलोनी की जिस गली में था वो अमरुद वाली गली के नाम से जानी जाती थी. मेरे घर के सामने के सारे घरो में एक-एक अमरुद का पेड़ था, आगे के आँगन में. पेड़ की पत्तियों से कूड़ा बड़ा होता है तो मेरी माँ की इच्छानुसार हमारे घर के आगे वाले आँगन में बस फूल लगे थे. पर जब सामने के पेड़ो में अमरुद लगते तो मन में बड़ी टीस होती. गर्मियों में फलने वाले थे वो पेड़. गर्मियों की छुट्टियों में दोपहर का टाइम उन अमरूदों को दूर से देखने में जाता था. क्या चमकते थे अमरुद धूप में! चोरी से तोड़ने की हिम्मत नहीं होती थी तो मैं इंतज़ार करती थी कि कब सामने वाले के यहाँ से अमरुद आएंगे. पर इतनी आसानी से नहीं आते थे अमरुद सामने वालो के यहाँ से. जब उनके घर के लोग जम कर अमरुद के मजे ले लेते थे और फिर उनके खाने की इच्छा खतम होने लगती थी तब आंटी जी एक झोले में अमरुद भेजती थी क्यूकी पेड़ तो लदे ही रहते थे अमरूदों से.

अच्छा तो लगता था कि अमरुद आ जाते थे पर ये भी लगता था कि अब क्यों दिए, पहले क्यों नहीं? फेंक नहीं पाई तो बाट दिए मोहल्ले में! चाहे ऐसा सच में न हो पर मेरा बाल मन ऐसा ही सोचता था. फिर एक दिन मुझसे रहा नहीं गया. मैंने भी अपने घर के आगे वाले आँगन में एक पौधा लगा दिया अमरुद का. रोज पानी देती उसे. खाद भी डाली ताकि जल्दी बड़ा हो जाए. किसी बच्चे से सुना की अगर पेड़ की जड़ में एक सिक्का गाड दो तो पेड़ जल्दी बढ़ते है तो बिना सोचे वो भी कर दिया. देखते ही देखते मेरा अमरुद का पेड़ बड़ा हो गया. फल भी आने लगे और सबसे अच्छी बात ये थी वो बारहमासी था. सिर्फ गर्मियों में फल देने वाला नहीं. अब क्या पूछने थे मेरे. अपने लगाए हुए पेड़ के अमरुद, वाह वाह! रोज स्कूल से आकर मेरा काम ही था अमरुद ताड़ना अपने पेड़ के. फिर डंडे से तोडना और माँ की बनाई धनिया की चटनी से खाना, ये मज़ा आम में कहा था. कम से कम मेरे लिए तो ऐसा ही था. अमरुद आम से बढ़ कर था और आज भी है. 

आज भी जब कोई मज़ाक करता है कि अमरुद में ऐसा क्या है तो उसे ये किस्सा सुना देती हूँ. और फिर रामदेव जी की बताई अमरुद की खूबियाँ. अमरुद बस एक फल नहीं है, वो एक बड़ी अच्छी औषधि है जिसका फल, पत्ते, लकड़ी और जड़ सब बड़े काम के है और आम के जैसे अमरुद का कोई साइड इफ़ेक्ट भी नहीं है. अब भला रामदेव जी को कोई गलत कह सकता है, वो भी आज कल! कोई भी नहीं..सब मान लेते है अमरुद अच्छा फल है चाहे फलो का राजा आम ही क्यों न हो! 

"The Terrible Two's" How I Am Handling Them..

A few days back I was telling my husband that our toddler made me feel insulted in front of everyone in my office cafeteria. Actually what happened, one day we both mother and son were heading to the cafeteria for having our breakfast. The passage is also having lifts which many other employees were using. My 2.5 year old saw them and immediately tried to break free and rush inside a lift. I stopped him and forcefully carried him as he was trying hard to get his hand free. And then his anger came out! He pulled my hair, scratched me on my face and shouted to show his temper tantrum. Many of my office friends were witnessing this drama and everyone was like “Ye Vibhu ko hua kya hai..”

These days we both, husband and wife, are going through a phase we called “The terrible twos”. Many of the times, without any big reason, our son gets dissolved into howling puddle of misery. We try our best to distract him from the very reason of his temper but it takes time to bring his good mood back. His temperament is rebellious and his silly crying make his parents feel "har baat par rona aur jid karna hota hai ese.."
However, I have been observing my tot’s attitude for quite a while and found that few small tricks work for me to manage the stage:
  • His tantrum was high when he was sleepy, hungry or bored. When  I made him eat something, spot was better then. Parents can anticipate these outbursts by paying attention to their kid’s nonverbal cues and reactions to various situations. Give kids their favorite snack, settle them down for a nap or play something new with them. It works!
  • Many times, my son was wailing because he wanted to go out of the house and I was busy to take him out. At times toddlers want to feel independence and want to enjoy other’s company. So parents can take kids on walks, or allow them to safely run around outside. In my case, my boy loves to go to neighbors so to make him happy, I let him go to neighbor’s place or my husband takes him out.
  • With deep thinking, I realized that my son’s behavior in public doesn’t make me a bad parent. What I did to manage that kiddy violent situation (which I mentioned above) was, I took him to a corner where no one was sitting. Although he was crying, I hugged him and asked him if he wanted to eat or watch his favorite video. Slowly he started replying me and we both felt better. Public tantrums can happen but people do understand. Most of them don’t judge you.
  • Giving in on kid’s demand make them throw more tantrums. It’s important to remain calm and smile so that your kids get the idea of you being fine with their temper. Sometimes, ignoring your kid without making eye contact works best. This I mostly do :)  This will ensure you are not reinforcing bad behavior.
  • Most importantly, do understand that tantrums are normal for the development every kid goes through and will decrease with time. We think two years old is tantrumy. Well, even sixteen years old teen can also be opinionated. However, two years old is better in terms of telling you what he/she wants. Honestly, teens are more difficult to understand and care.
After the period of anger or temper, it is very crucial to let you kid understand that his/her behavior was odd and he/she needs to change his/her way of expression. Toddlers need guidance during their best mood to grasp it quickly and easily. Just reassure your toddler that you love him/her, then move on to the next activity.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

#MoreIndianThanYouThink Being an Indian Mother is Success for me

This world is a beautiful place. It’s really amazing how different countries with their unique cultures exist in harmony here. I know, there are some exceptions; however, I think that is almost negligible when I see the culmination of values and beliefs in our universe. Everyone is exclusive and different, yet all of us make this planet livable. As a mature person who got the chance to understand the ethos of a few other continents, I can proudly say that our country holds a different space in this world, a culture that is known for its strong family system and core values. Feeling proud about our mother land is no unique. But being an Indian, I have gained so much at my professional front.

Yes, I am a working mother of a 3-year-old boy. I have close to 9 years of experience in software industry and I am looking forward to work for more and more years. Being a mother and being a professional person bring two different kinds of challenges in life. And when you work for a demanding client of a distant country, the expectation automatically gets high. Last year I got aligned to a project which belongs to a US client and the client company is known for its rigid approach towards accepting changes. But work is work, no matter who is the client.  As a usual process of a US client project, our client team keeps on visiting India to see things more closely. So last year, client company’s the toughest person visited us. Jeremiah is the engineering VP of the client company. He is known for his rude nature and arrogance. Before he landed in India, the whole offshore team (that includes me) was given instruction about how to talk, how to ask a question and how to reply his queries. My India managers didn’t want to give any chance to Jeremiah to question over team’s capability and work ethics. His visit was planned for a week and the whole week went under pressure. Jeremiah called back to back meetings and discussions. The team was in fear of his questions. Although he tried to be friendly with bringing cakes for the team, still his way of talking was so blunt that people from the offshore team couldn’t connect to him much.

Jeremiah - My client
On Jeremiah’s last day of the visit, which was Friday and coincidentally Janmastmi, a team party was being organized. This was to say goodbye to him. I denied for the party because it was coinciding with my son’s daycare timings. Thankfully my office provides daycare for kids, so I take my son with me every day there and we stay close to each other. My son’s daycare span ends at 5 PM and the party was planned from 3 PM to 8 PM. My manager tried his best to convince me for the party but I gave him the reason of my son being in daycare. He then suggested taking my boy along in the party and that seemed to me a fair deal. I thought this way my boy would also get a chance to enjoy. He loves dancing and Indian music, especially Punjabi numbers.
So, we both mother and son reached the party venue with my other teammates and the party finally started with some ice breaking activities and quiz. I was 50% in team activities and 50% around my son. I was making sure he was not bored, hungry or tired. I kept on giving him snacks so that he could stay with me during those team games which were of no use for him. I must say that he is a jolly baby. He remained calm during the party and even enjoyed whatever way he could.  Jeremiah was noticing me and my son. Then suddenly he got injured and quickly I gave him a Band-Aid which I had handy in my son’s diaper bag. I also made sure he needed any other medical help.

This small incident changed his behavior towards me. My motherly instinct left a good impression on his heart. I and Jeremiah are good friends from that day. He cares for my late night calls and family time. I really felt happy when he mentioned, during an activity, that he found me a ‘Tough’ person who is able to manage work and kid with giving equal importance. If you ask me, the reason of his changed heart, I would say it’s our Indian culture and family ethics. In our country, a child is everything for a mother. She can forget to remember God once, but she can never forget to wish well-being of her child. These values automatically are imbibed in me and that’s why I don’t find interest in any such thing that can affect my son. For example that party. I found it worth going there only when my son was with me. We Indian mother are programmed to love our kid to a deep emotional level. As per the book “Cultural Variations in Psychopathology”, Indian mothers preferred to confront the child whereas the majority of German and US mothers expected the child to express his or her needs first. The book also says that Indian mothers are more sensitive and proactive towards childcare. I also feel being an Indian mother, gives me the confidence to put everything aside (even the demanding boss) and focus on my son.

It’s amazing that Indian values and belief made me a known face in my client team. They freely talk to me and ask about my family. We have a professional relationship but my Indian way of thinking, somehow, gives them confidence to talk to me in more casual way. This is a success for me, something which I got being an Indian mother. I can say that I am a working mother who is #MoreIndianThanYouThink.  

Let’s celebrate India’s growing global influence with Lufthansa. Do check their page at : 

I am sure you would love Lufthansa’s latest TV Commercial : 

Monday, 17 April 2017

White Vs Brown Bread : A quick read

I am always confused about one thing. Should I eat white or brown bread? 
Whenever I don’t have breakfast with me, after reaching office I ask the cafeteria wale bhaiya to give me bread-butter with chai. He is so informed that every time he asks me “Madam white or brown?”

My bestie Saumya has an inclination towards brown bread as she considers it healthier than white bread. But to be honest, leave aside the health factor, I don’t like the taste of brown bread at all. Also, I don’t think it is anyway better than white bread.
A few days back, I read a book “Unjunked” and it again made my belief stronger that it’s better to go with taking white bread when one has to decide between brown and white bread. As per the book

“Whole wheat bread has no added beneficial ingredient that can enhance the nutritional composition of that bread. In fact, wheat bread has extra gluten added to it to get the sponginess. Due to the presence of bran in wheat bread, gluten needs to be step up to 14% whereas white bread has gluten content of up to 12% naturally, extra yeast and sugar which increases the calorific value of wheat bread.”

This means, Gluten is definitely there in white bread, but in wheat bread, extra gluten powder is added. Few things we can compare ourselves. Like, the thickness of the bread slice in both the types. A slice of brown or whole wheat bread is thicker and denser, compared to white bread. So thicker one has more calories and is definitely a thing to avoid. Also, it’s obvious that to keep a thick stack of bread fresh for longer time, more preservatives need to added in brown bread.

Did you know
A 9cm/9cm slice of whole wheat bread has 87 kcal as compared to a slice of white bread, which is just 50 kcal

The book also presents the insight that

The Food Expert uses a GI scale called the Glycemic index (GI value) to measure the “quickness” in which a particular food, once eaten, turns into glucose in the blood. The higher the GI value more harm to body’s metabolism; leading to obesity and all manner of aging-related diseases. In a UK study, GI value of white Bread is 59 Vs GI value of wheat Bread is 68 (

So, when you are eating whole wheat bread, you are not only having more sugar, more gluten, more preservatives but also more calories. 

Think about it and give you comments!