Friday, September 27, 2013

Improve your parenting skills VI - Tips for widowed mother

This Post is published on TopYaps

Parenting is a very challenging job, especially being a mother. If you are widowed mother who is bringing up children without support of their father, parenting can be tight rope walk for you, with monkeys scrambling up your shoulders. Dealing with your own loss, grief and loneliness; you have to pick yourself up for the sake of your children. They are dealing with the void left behind by their father, which makes them feel vulnerable and insecure. You have to manage home and fulfill duties of both the parents. No matter how deep in trouble you are, life has to move on with all its ups and downs. Here are 10 tips that would provide some relief and help you deal with your traumatic situation in a better way.
10. You don’t have to be alone
Remember those good times when your family and friends had joined you in fun? Now it is time for them to share some part of your sorrow too, because that is what families and friends are for. Do not hesitate to ask for support and help, especially in the initial stages when you are still recovering from the shock.
9. Seek Counseling help
Being unhappy and sad is not going to work out for any of you. You along with your children will have to overcome the grief and continue with your life. Seek counseling support and help for your family. The professionals can guide your family towards emotional and financial stability. Your religious community or social group can take place of the counselors.
8. Identify your emotions
It is natural for as widowed mother for you to feel anger at the loss of your loved one, frustrations at having to deal with life all alone and desperation at not knowing how to handle the situation. Caught unawares in a crisis it is natural for you to vent out your pent up emotions on children, who are already feeling vulnerable. Though it is tough for you, identify your emotions and keep check on them.
7. Get Connected with Single Moms
No one understands your situation better than the women who have been there and done that. Connect with other single moms and learn from their life experiences. Discuss about remarriage and other options, because you have your whole life ahead of you. Children are not always going to be there.
6. Consult your children
At some point after the death of a family member, their possessions have to be disposed off in a proper way. It is also important for the proper closure of the situation. Do not make all the decisions on your own without asking for the opinions of your children, because they may have emotional attachments to few things. Moving ahead without considering their emotions may build unwanted tension in your relationship.
5. Do not overwhelm your children
Your loss and grief is unbearable, but it is not an excuse to pour out to your children and overwhelm them with your own loss, emotions, helplessness, anger or frustrations. You sure need an outlet. Find a friend, relative, support group or a therapist to unburden your feelings.
4. Check your financial situation
With the sudden demise of the spouse, there is going to be a great financial turmoil in the family, especially if the husband was the only bread earner. Check out your financial situation to understand how much resources are at your disposal. If you have to, pull the strings of your purse and stop spending on petty things. Explain to your children that conditions have changed and everyone will have to make some adjustments.
3. Nurture your children
Off course every mother, whether a widow or not will nurture her children, but a widowed mother has the extra responsibility of taking part of father and picking up the things he was doing for the children. If your son enjoyed football sessions with his dad, or your girl went out for long walks with her father, see to it they don’t miss it.
2. Concentrate on your children’s studies
As a single parent it becomes your duty to see that the children study well and get settled in a career of their choice. Do not neglect their homework and make sure that their notes are up to date. If it is too much of stress for you to handle their study time, then find someone to help you out.
1. Grab that ‘ME’ time
Remember being a single parent does not make you superwoman. Underneath all the responsibilities, duties and strength, you are still the same woman who has lost her spouse. Take that much needed break and grab that special personal time whenever possible. Do not neglect your own needs. Occasionally, pamper yourself to feel special and cared for. Look for a life beyond the confines of home and family. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21 World Alzheimer’s Day

Alzheimer’s is a condition which affects the cognitive abilities of the people by impinging on their memories and thinking process. Though initially there is only some lapse in memory retention; in later stages the condition will affect the daily routine of not only the person going through Alzheimer’s but also their care takers to a great extent.  Worldwide more than 26 million people are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and the number is increasing every year.
There is no cure for this genetic disorder for time being; thus it has to be accepted and dealt with the best a person can give, which becomes more difficult as the disease progresses. Being aware of the symptoms and identification of the disease in the earlier stages will help the people involved to take the necessary precautionary steps to manage the disease effectively.  Here are the ten most significant signs and symptoms that indicates onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Loss of memory
The state of forgetting things like dates, important events or names is the early sign of the disease affecting brain functions. The person may be able to recall the dates or events later. As the disease progresses the person may not be able to recall the information anymore. They often forget commonly used words like comb and may substitute it with words which may not make sense.
Inability to solve problems or make plans
Alzheimer’s disease affects the problem solving and plan making ability of the person. People with Alzheimer’s find it very tough to handle numbers and do mathematical calculations. They abstract thinking will be affected greatly.
Difficulty handling everyday routine
Alzheimer’s disease will show its effect on everyday routines when the patients slowly lose track of the steps involved in preparing the dish they have been doing since ages, important telephone numbers, and procedure for recording programs or rules of playing games.
Confusion regarding dates and places
During the middle stages of the progress of the disease, patients may suddenly find confusion regarding where they are, which day it is or how much time has been passed. They can get easily lost in their own neighborhood or places they are very familiar with. They will have no idea how to get back home all of sudden, though they have been doing it for a long time.
Trouble with chromatic vision and spatial relationship
As Alzheimer’s disease affects the chromatic vision, patients will find difficulty in recognizing colors and pictures. They also find it tough to determine the distance and spatial relationship of an object. With progression they may not recognize their own reflection in the mirror and may think it is some other person in the room.
Difficulty speaking and spelling words
People with Alzheimer’s face problem when they have to join a conversation or follow instructions. They may be at loss of words all of sudden in middle of a discussion and may repeat themselves often. They start messing up with their spellings as well.
Poor or declining Judgment
Patients with Alzheimer’s often end up paying more money while shopping as they cannot judge rightly. They make poor choice of clothing to wear and often wear warm clothes on a sunny day and scanty clothing for the cool evening. They may not groom themselves and maintain hygiene.
Withdrawing into isolation
As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s may withdraw from their work, hobbies, social circle and sports which they enjoyed a lot in the past. They find it tough to make decisions and communicate with people.
Misplacing things
Often the patients misplace their things in places where no one would look for them. Their glasses can be found in refrigerator or books in micro oven. In addition they cannot retrace their steps adding to the frustration. At times they feel that someone may have stolen their things and become agitated.
Changes in personality

Personality of the people suffering from Alzheimer will undergo remarkable changes with passing of time. Rapid moods swings will have everyone around them baffled as they may jump from one extremity to other. A person who was just calm and happy a moment ago may burst into tears or show hostility for no visible reason. The person who was confident and self assured may suddenly become confused, fearful, and suspicious. An independent person may start depending on someone for support. Once very active person will now become passive with no activities, mindlessly watching television and sleeping excessively. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Improve Your Parenting Skills V

Nothing is more rewarding than a smile on your child’s face, even when it is smeared with chocolate. The amazing part of childhood is that happiness is not elusive as it is in adulthood. Moreover, it is always the small things we do that mean the most to children, which they will cherish lovingly in their heart. You get what you ask for; hence to have a happy child you should want your child to be happy. Begin by rating their happiness above their success. Let the child have fun, because childhood is short and it is more about happiness than anything else. Here is the list of top 10 things that spreads smile on your child’s face.

10. Play for fun
Playtime is fun time. Do not start giving instructions to your child as how they should play a game. Children do not need expensive toys to have fun; even cardboard boxes can entertain them to no end. If the castle your child made with the building block is not straight, do not reprimand her. No one is living there. Do not be fussy with the little scratches or bruises they get. It is all part of growing up. Make sure that the toys children play with are clean and let them enjoy as they want to.

9. Give them a choice
As a parent you have your limitations. Giving a choice does not necessarily mean you give your child whatever they want. Give them a choice with what is available for them. When they ask for a bed time story, don’t tell them any story you want to, instead ask them what they want to hear. Is it about the jungle, princess, or funny story? Give them a choice to pick up the clothes they want to wear. Above all, give them the space if they want to be alone.

8.  Nurture
When their everyday needs are met, children feel safe, loved and happy. Children who are neglected and uncared for are the unhappiest of all. You don’t have to compare yourselves to ‘richer than you’ parents. Just because you do not provide your child with expensive things doesn’t mean you are not doing your best. Wealth is not equal to happiness, especially for children.

7. Discipline your child
This could be shocking to many parents, but scientific research has proven that being disciplined by the parents make the child happy. It sends a message to the children that you care for them and want them to be safe. Children take pride in following certain rules.

6. Surprise
A little message in the school bag, a delightful meal in lunchbox or a sudden trip to the place your child always wanted to go can make a child feel very cheerful. Children love surprises so much that they look forward to it throughout their childhood subconsciously. Make their dream come true with a bang!

5. Prepare them for the world
Too much of attention on keeping the child happy may prove exactly opposite in the long run. As a parent if you grant every whimsical wish of your child and give in to each of their demands, then they start living in a happy bubble which is not real. The true encounter with real world where they are just one among many other children may end their happiness forever.

4. Be a part of their childhood
Let your hair down and enjoy the growing years of your child by being one with him. Go biking, walking or on camping trips together. Involve them in your cooking, cleaning and decorating the home activities. When parents are a part of their children growing up years, they not only feel happy, but they will appreciate it greatly even in their adulthood.

3. Listen to your child
This is not just important for their happiness, but also for the safety of your child. Don’t hear them but listen attentively and understand your child. If the child is between important conversations, do not cut her off in the middle so that you can catch up with the soap opera on time. Children at times need time to come out with the real issue; as a result they often beat around the bush a lot. If you are patient, then the child will finally tell you what has been bothering her. Resolve their issues and bring back happiness in their lives.

2. Give them life skills
Life is as much about failures as it is about success. Teach your child to cope with disappointments, but before that you have to learn to deal with your child’s failures yourself. Help them rebuild their self-image and give positive strokes to encourage them. Let your child know that your love is unconditional, and you will be there with him through thick and thin. Give them life skills to deal with the ups and downs that they have to face.

1. Be happy

Happy parents make happy children. Children have keen sense of body language; therefore they pick up on your emotions and will react to them accordingly. Resolve any issues that lead to arguments and fights in the family calmly. Do not expose your child to the problems you may have with your spouse. Both parents mean a lot to the child; hence friction between them will lead to stress and unhappiness. 

Improve Your Parenting Skills – III

Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding Life.....

 When I was asked whether I would love to join the expedition to planet Zubago, I was in a not in a dilemma. I had nothing to look forward on earth anymore, other than the stinking prison life I was given for doing what was right. Wouldn't you kill to protect the woman you loved more than your life? That is what I did when those strangers crept into our home catching Maria unawares. I entered to horrifying sight of her being attacked by two strangers and in terrible pain. I was no more a man but a monster who wanted to kill and kill even the dead bodies of those creepy things who called themselves humans. The kick in the abdomen proved too much for my love who breathed her last 3 days later.
From the sudden beautiful romantic life with the woman I loved, I was shut in the prison as a murderer. The prosecution did a good job of convincing the jury with the gory pictures of the dead bodies of those rapists. Anyway that did not make any difference after all whether I would be locked in prison or set free. The world without my love would be same everywhere. The helplessness of not being able to save the woman who trusted me, not being able to say sorry to her, hating myself for stopping to buy her that beautiful butterfly brooch and not being able to change anything tortured my soul. The walls of the prison which locked hardest criminals inside its bosom failed to lock away the memories of Maria.
I signed the agreement with a stoic face. I wanted to get away as far as possible from the memories which killed me every day but still allowed me enough life to live and suffer. The expedition did not have a definite outcome because this was a new venture undertaken by the private company. Everything would be managed by machines other than the human perspective which I was supposed to provide.  The strenuous journey would last for 70 years, which I would sleep away. 70 years without nightmares, haunting memories, regrets or pain! Aaahhhh! How was life when I did not have this pain of losing Maria to deal with? I had no clue. I was now just a blob of pain and regrets.
I looked forward to the new adventure. Or was it danger I was looking forward to? Confronting the unknown was not something that interested me earlier, but now it came as a relief. So I slip carelessly into the Statis in a cryogenic sleep capsule as I did not have anyone to say goodbye to. May be the suspended animation of sleep would be able to erase away my pain.
I woke up the next morning feeling groggy and nauseating. They said it would last nearly 70 years and here I was awake in a day. Did the mission fail? Will I be back to the prison, locked up there once again with my haunting memories? Wait! I see something quite different out there. A small sun, red in color shines over a completely white planet.
©Farida Rizwan
 Has it been 70 years and I was near the planet Zubago. I look up the log. OMG! I have slept for 69 years and woken up in the strange land. The strange fear of unknown engulfs me, and then the horror of the memories strikes me hard. There was no escape from the memories what I had seen 71 years ago even when I had traveled light-years to some unknown land. The emotions associated with the known and irreparable was much worse than the fear of unknown and what would happen to me here. I do not care anymore.
The spacecraft was self maneuvered; in addition it took care of everything I needed. All I had to do was give a human perception of his strange land and enter it into the log.  Even though robotics had advanced in leaps and bounds, they still lacked the human compassion, perception, keen observation skills and insight. If the planet was inhabited by intelligent species who did not want to be discovered, then all they had to do was use some manipulation to throw the smartest machine off tract. We the humans have distinction of owning very powerful visual cortex's, which may have developed in the past out of purely evolutionary necessity. They rapidly parse through any distortions in the data in order to identify abstract qualities like pattern and organization, in addition to the sensing things which are visible to naked eyes.  This was discovered when the bots failed to enter the verification code on websites. This was the only reason why I was on board of this spaceship which could do everything on its own.

The geologist in me was now fully awake, as I watched the icy planet in awe. It was nothing but mass of ice covering the whole planet. The appearance of the planet clearly meant that it had water, so whatever could survive in the cold temperature could survive on this planet. I slipped into the special Planet Storme Explorer vehicle and hover on the icy expansion. No sign of life, not even a tiny movement caught my eye. The sturdy vehicle withstood the rough terrain as it hovered steadily in the rough and chilly winds moving at the speed of 200 miles/ph. I peeped out the window to look at the expansion of ice below.

 I had strict instructions not to set foot on the planet for another 3 days. I was tempted to touch and feel the snow. Was it the same as it was back on earth? The one which I played snowball with Maria throughout the winter? I tried to shut down the memories that followed the pleasant recollection. Here I could hear again Maria withering in pain and two men mercilessly brutalizing her limp body. I am late; the visions are haunting me again and sending waves of dark pain shadowing my heart. I hover over the planet for 7 hours. I come to the comfort and safety of spaceship once again. Tomorrow I go back there to explore some more.
I lie in my bed and look out of the window. Something catches my eye. A speck in the distant space was moving towards the planet or its star. The ship sets its camera’s ready to click the pictures of collision. The angle of the camera does tell me that the comet is going to pass close to the spaceship but not collide. It was on a collision course to the planet. Was this a co-incidence or had the spaceship woken me to be a spectator to this wonderful cosmic firework? I think of asking the spaceship the question, but then I cannot bring myself to talk to the machine. I sit near the microphone and start narrating the event as it happens.
The comet crashes on the icy planet, melting the ice around it. The burning comet forms a huge crater that covers almost ¼ of the planet. It was amazing that a small comet which looked just like a tiny speck a few hours ago now looked so huge immediately after the collision. It started disintegrating and seeping deep into the planet until it was one with it. The melted ice covered the gaping hole creating a huge body of water. Within an hour, everything out there had changed. Now I had a planet which was half covered with water and half with ice in front of me. I observed that the impact with the comet had changed its path and it was now moving closer to the star. The heat was melting the ice, creating streams on the planet. I could finally catch glimpse of some land.

I watch the planet for 3 days according to the instructions given to me. Then I get back into my sturdy Storme Explorer and finally land on the mysterious planet. I completely trust my companion which is a powerful vehicle built to be feared and respected by any terrain. This powerful machine with stunning gadgets and rugged accessories is a true explorer that hovers, cuts through and runs free, refusing to show mercy to the new planet.
Its robust turbos allow me to explore the planet without even landing on it, but then I want to touch the ground. I bring out its tires and start to drive. I explore the edge of the crater which had been formed due to the impact with the comet. The water looks exactly like it would back home, on our very own earth, but it is more bluish in color.

Some movement catches my eye as I look into the vast body of water in front of me. I see tiny specks in the water floating, no wait, they are not floating but they are moving. The planet is inhabited, though it is not by the creatures that I expected to see, it is indeed inhabited with life. They were smaller life forms that could withstand extreme cold temperature, or it may have received life forms from the comet that crashed into it 3 days ago. Did this planet just start its new life in front of my very own eyes? I collect the sample from the water along with the specks that were moving in it. I get back into my machine as the star Merrinatti goes down on the icy slopes.
It has been a month since the comet crashed into the planet Zubago. Everything has changed ever since. The planet is thrown off its orbit and has moved much closer to its star. The change in climate has seen the melting of ice into water which is already inhibited with small life forms. The mystery has not been answered whether the life forms existed on the planet, or was it on the comet that crashed into it. Seeing such a great cosmic event taking place in front of my eyes has changed me completely. I no longer feel the pain of the incident that happened in my past life. When seen through the space where even stars and planets are toyed with, we lose our own egocentricity and our importance.

Another long sleep awaits me as I travel back to earth, a changed man who is looking forward to share his experience and explore more unexplored lands. I had not only found life on a new planet, but had found back my own life. I am an Explorer. I welcome the future with a smile. 

This fiction story has been created for the contests I am Explorer! on Indiblogger by Tata Safari Storme.

The explorer pictures courtesy Animator Rayyan

Sunday, September 15, 2013

55 Fiction - Child Labor?????

Tired and weary, walking with shaking legs, she sighed as her back broke under the weight. 
She eyed the slum girls playing around happily and envied them. 
Finally, there was the door that led to her home. 
She pulled herself inside, threw the school bag, straightened her back and sat down to finish her homework.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The WWVortex

I slept in my bed peacefully, keeping all my regrets, frustrations and anger aside. It was going to be a long sleepy night because I was at peace,finally. Tomorrow is going to be different, the day when finally the sun will shine on my face.
Two years ago
Since the time Shana had left me for a Cyborg, life had been filled with boring days, sleepless nights and anger seething through my heart constantly. Anger against whom? Was it towards Shana, myself or the world where technology had taken over the warmth of love and relationships? One of the famed child prodigy that I was, I had helped to create this technology 2 decades ago. It was mocking at me today. I can afford any kind of Cyborg I want, as they are easily available for online purchase, but I don’t want to buy a spouse. I wanted to fall in love like I did at first sight with Shana, even if it meant being hurt and torn apart once again. Unlike in olden days where people bumped into each other, we had met each other on the dating site. We virtually fell in love instantly online and decided to live together from the next day itself. All it required was filling up few details in the mating database.
How much the world had changed in the past two decades? Did I imagine I would have items delivered to me through connection pipes that connected homes to online shopping? No never. I thought it is always going to be the person at the door who is going to bring me the product I ordered online. Internet had taken over our lives slowly. Just 50 years ago, the Internet as we know today was in the process of being birthed by the National Science Foundation. Once people went online there was no stopping them. E-mails, eBay, and social media connects became part of human life and in no time. Without anyone realizing it, internet took over our lives. With the burning out of natural resources, people were trying to travel to work as less as possible. Virtual offices were being set up in place of real ones. Earn online and spend online and be safe was the new internet mantra.
When did the real change happen? I did not even realize when I fell into the vortex and fully lost touch with reality. Last year we celebrated our yearly holidays on the hills of Himalayas even without traveling out of our city. All we did was get in touch with the travel agency which put us in the cubicles to enjoy our holidays. It was so real, the cool breeze, the snow and even the touch of Shana made me forget that I was lying still in a box like a doll.
When people started becoming pale and weak due to lack of sunlight, no one woke up and went out to get some sun but instead got sunlight from the cubicles installed in their homes, which were ordered online. 

No more did anyone even think of trying to step out of their homes. Which began as simple “Be Lazy – Shop Easy” marketing strategies by online stores, had eventually turned into the prison for human kind.
Until Shana broke my heart and connected me to the human feelings once again, I was completely lost in the sucking vortex of the virtual world. I enjoy all the benefits that come to technical minds in our times. We were the rich and rulers. From the comfort seat of my home, I could get anything I wanted because I was important part of maintaining the web that was suffocating life out of the world. Today, I question my contribution to the downfall of the human race.
I pull the curtains from my windows to have a look outside. The once crowded streets, full of pollution and dust lay clean and empty. No more pollution, no more dust and no more people on the roads. I saw the robotic birds flying around the bird house of my neighbors. When the real birds quit the cities, people wanted the artificial ones to decorate their gardens, into which they rarely stepped. 

This would have sounded so shocking to me a few decades ago, but today this is way of life. Leave alone pets, people tend to order parents, children and friends online. The relationships were bland, as there were rarely any differences among people.
If they had differences, like I did with Shana, they quit and ordered a perfect Cyborg to fit in their place. The fight between spouses which was long forgotten had taken place between me and Shana. I wanted us to have a child of our own, born out of our relationship, whereas Shana like many others wanted to order our baby online where she got to predict its sex, color, features and other qualities. The wonder of parenting came with the surprise part. What is great about having a child made to suit your choice? I recall how much my mom loved me, though I was nerd and computer freak. The beauty of her town, my mom wanted a girl who she could adore like her little princess, but she accepted me, her nerdy son and loved me all through my life with all her heart. I know for sure that she would not trade me for the most beautiful girl in the world. That was the beauty of human beings. Though there were no more wars, this world so calm and serene that it did not belong to us anymore. The more we progressed, the more we felt free, the more bound we became.
I am not going to sit and brood over what has been lost. I am going to fight the vortex of internet to get back our life and our world. Though full of chaos, I wanted our world to be back as it was because that is what is true. Children were supposed to be born to surprise their parents, we need parents who would think different from us, we need friends who would be moody, and we need the dangers of the roads and the dilemmas or real world. This was possible only if could shut down the connections and succeed in bringing people out of their homes. 
The E-Gov, the one single power that ruled the world with the help of internet will have to come down. We human beings should to be ruled by the kind of our own and not robots that were so perfect that they made politics boring. People have to elect their leaders, make mistakes and suffer because that is what true life is. What a great relief it was when the corrupt politicians were overthrown by the Cyborgs who were later replaced by perfect political robots.  But today, I yearn for those politicians who made wrong decisions, because we human beings are not meant to be perfect. We are us because of those flaws we have. Today we need to fight and win back humanity from the perfectness of organized world. I am going to do it.

After working for two years, finally I have found the answers. Today I release the mother of all viruses into the system which will shut down every single Cyborg, robot, computer and internet connection in the world. The web is going to break into threads for the first time since its birth. The genius I am, I have made a foolproof plan which no E-Gov could stop.

I sleep knowing that tomorrow I wake up chaos as to how to manage my life without being online. I am so excited to finally have a challenge of living day to day ahead of me. I sleep peacefully. 

I am submitting this fiction story for the contest on Indiblogger organized by

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A bubbly young entrepreneur with a dashing smile - Anjali Ajaikumar

I first met Anjali Ajaikumar, a young woman in her 20s with impressive smile, in the cancer support group, The Pink Hope. I wondered what could be the connection of a dynamic, lively, sparkling, and bubbling young woman to cancer survivor's group. To my amazement, I later learned that though only 27, she is the director of the HCG Foundation. Though many people of her age are just beginning their careers, she has already worked in USA, London and Spain. Unlike many NRI’s who love working in foreign land, Anjali found the life monotonous and boring there. She came back to India to work in her father’shospital. 

Not being satisfied with just giving the best treatment to the cancer patients who throng the hospital, she has found innovative ways to make the hospital a better place for survivors.  She is the young lady, who under able guidance of her mother Dr. Bhagya Ajaikumar has used art therapy to bring cheers to the hospital premises. HCG organizes various art exhibitions around Bangalore which involves biomedical industry giants like General Electrics, Siemens and Reddy’s who join hands to raise funds for cancer patients who are economically challenged.
HCG has a permanent art exhibition in their premises - Swasti Contemporary Art Gallery is a fundraising initiative started by HCG Foundation in 2006 from which the profits go to provide financial assistance to cancer patients struggling to meet their medical expenses.  The hospital hosts Music Mondays, every alternate week where musicians perform live. Anjali believes that music and art go a long way in healing people. Her enthusiasm has created a happy and lively atmosphere in the place which usually is dulled by pain and sickness. Bubbling with innovative ideas, she designed the dress for the staff of HCG, keeping their comfort in mind and yet giving it an Indian touch. 
Her fervor has seen a play titled ‘The Bend in the Road’ which tries to create awareness among the mass through humor becoming a hit. It was organized by The Pink Hope Support Group and HCG Foundation, in association with Movenpick Hotels & Spa Bangalore. The play is wholly scripted and enacted by cancer survivors and the funds raised is used to treat cancer patients at HCG.
Though she appears like a pampered kid, the entrepreneur in her does not lay hidden for long. Born and brought up US, shegraduated from Massachusets, USA. She further has a degree in politics and international relations.  She speaks fluently in Kannada showing us that she has not forgotten her roots.  

Being a breast cancer survivor, I find the work done by Anjali in both supporting the cancer patients and creating awareness about cancer very commendable. She sure deserves to be in the list of WEII.

Written for the Indiblogeshwaris Ladies Independence Special Contest in association with

A peep into initiatives of HCG Bangalore

Friday, September 6, 2013

Improve Your Parenting Skills IV

This Article is published on Topyaps
 Good parenting may be the toughest job in the world, but fortunately the reward is a healthy and happy child, which makes the tough task worth it. Though the area of parenting has been extensively researched, there is no sure way to tell what is right or wrong. Every child is a unique individual which makes their needs different from others. Here are the 10 ways that works for good parenting universally.

10. Adapt Peacefully To Changes in Life
Parents are often frustrated with the changes they have to make due to the entry of children in their life. Parents at times have to sacrifice their flourishing careers to take care of their children. As babies, they change the sleeping pattern, followed by terrible twos, and nothing beats the teen years. Preparing yourself for the change is the best way to deal with the frustrations that come with a child in life.
9. Accept Your Child for What S/He Is
Accepting the child for what they are is the first step on the road to peaceful parenting. When parents try to change their children into something they cannot be, it is not just tiring and exasperating experience for the parents, but also wears out the children. Every individual is born with some inbuilt talent and potential. It is for the parents to discover this talent and unwrap it slowly for success of the child.

8. Give Loads of Love
You can never spoil the child with too much of love. It is when you try to replace your love, attention and companionship with material things that you will spoil the child. Loving a child unconditionally is the right thing to do. Some parents confuse pampering and indulgence with love, which is unhealthy for the development of the child.
7. Spend Quality Time with Your Child
Just being with your child, while you watch television, surf on net or think about something is not counted as giving attention. Be there physically and mentally with your child, so that they feel connected with you. If there are more children at home, don’t make anyone feel left out. Keep in mind that being with your child does not mean you hover over them all the time and smother them with your presence.

6. Rules are Not Meant To Be Broken
Do not be enthusiastic with setting rules in your home which are bent or broken for convenience. Have few rules which are supposed to be followed strictly. Many parents worry that their children will not love them for setting limitations and boundaries. Research has found that children like the rules as it makes them feel cared, protected and loved by their parents. Do not give in when children cry or try to manipulate you to break the rules just for once.
Do not fear the temper tantrums

5. Improve Your Communication Skill
Communicating with children is easy if you say exactly what you mean to say. Often parents try to beat around the bush, drop hints or use sarcasm which does not work well with children. Communication need not be always talking, as listening to your child and being approachable is another form of communication. Your response, body language and tone talks more to than your words, as children have keen sense of observation.
4. Be Part of Your Child’s Life
Take interest in not just the studies or achievements of your child, but be a part of their interests, hobbies and friends. Do not ridicule if they show interest in something which you are not interested like music, movies, books or even friends. Respect their choice, though when you feel your child is not safe you can always create awareness in them. Never criticize or be judgmental about your child’s leisure pursuits, passion or friends as that will give vent to rebellion in them.

3. Be Patient and Check Your Response
Even a very loving and affectionate parent drop their guard and respond with a loud “WHAT?” to a confession of less marks, broken vase, spilled bottle of jam on carpet and many other such incidents. The fear of wrath will lead the child to hide things and lie to the parent. Being patient and responding calmly but sternly will have positive effect on the child. Staying calm when the child has broken the precious gift your Mom gave you may be very difficult, but then being a parent is not an easy job. Try to explain the consequences of their action to the child and it is not bad to tell them how hurt you are.

2. Say Sorry and Admit When You Are Wrong
Just because you are the parent and have more life experience than the child, it need not mean that you are always right. Many times children catch their parents on the wrong foot. At such times it is best to say sorry and apologize. You do not lose respect of the child by saying sorry, but you surely will when you do not want to admit your mistakes but try to give reasons. Know that the child will learn the same and pay you back with same coin later in life.

1. Trust and Respect Your Child
Though children need love, care and affection, not many realize that they need to be trusted and respected by the people they love and respect the most, i.e. their parents. Giving them responsibilities, involving them in decision making, listening to them and allowing them privacy when they need it is showing respect and trust and not doing what they want you do. Respect and trust is successful in disciplining children than punishments, criticism, bribes, threats or rewards. 

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Improve Your Parenting Skills – III

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weird Psychological Disorders..

This article was published on Topyaps

When you met Norman Bates in the horror movie Psycho, who developed a split personality to erase the crime of murdering his mother and her lover from his memory, you thought how weird it was! Believe me, there are more weird and bizarre psychotic disorders affecting people in the world which are quite unbelievable. Psychotic disorder affect the mind and thought process of a person, causing confusion, interfering with judgments and changing their behavior, as a result of which they lose touch with reality.
Here I am compiling a list of 10 weirdest psychological disorders beginning with a mild and less shocking one so as to not scare you.
The term kleptomania does not sound unusual or weird anymore, what with news flashing about famous personalities caught on CC footage lifting petty things from shop. This psychotic disorder urges people to steal things of little value which they don’t have any need for. The act of theft is followed by a sense of release in pressure which was building up in them. Not many kleptomaniacs are even aware that they are stealing.
Next time you visit a friend who has stacks of books; just make sure they do not suffer from an obsessive compulsive disorder called Bibliomania. People suffering from this weird psychotic disorder is so obsessed with book collection, including several copies of the same edition, that their own lives and those of their loved ones are destroyed. Stephen Blumberg is known to have stolen books worth $ 5.3 million, whereas Sir Thomas Phillipps collected 160,000 books. Apart from bibliomania, people are identified with bibliophilia – extreme love of books, Bibliophagy- compulsion to eat books, bibliotaphy- urge to bury books and bibliokleptomania – stealing books.
You are familiar with the term anorexia, but did you know that there exists an exactly opposite of this disorder known as bigorexia? People identified with bigorexia, also known as muscle dysmorphia, are obsessed with their muscles. No matter how well they are built, they feel they are not muscular enough. They keep looking at their body in the mirror, stick to their gym and workout sessions and at times take steroids. Often their obsession with body leads to failure in job and personal relationships.
 Stendhal Syndrome
The person with Stendhal Syndrome may suffer physical and emotional anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, dissociative experience and hallucinations when they are exposed to something beautiful or artistic, especially a place like art gallery or beauty in natural world.
Synesthesia is a genetic trait that causes confusion in perception of senses which is described as pleasant by synesthetes. In simple words we can say the people with synesthesia can taste shapes and see music where the stimulation of one sense leading to another is involuntary and automatic.  For them banana and tastes blue, letter A as red, letter  O as white or black and the city skyline tastes like blueberry. The perception may differ from one synesthete to other though there could be underlying similarities between them.
Everyone goes through the passing phase where they feel like pulling out their hair. Imagine having an urge to pull hairs out from scalp, face, eyelashes, ear, nose or even pubic area all the time, which is what the condition Trichotillomania does to a person. Some people are not just satisfied with pulling hair; they go ahead and consume it, leading to Rapunzel syndrome. 
In rare conditions, doctors have to remove a diseased body part of a person to save their lives, which is emotionally traumatic experience for a person. For people diagnosed with apotemnophilia, there is an irresistible desire to amputate their healthy limbs or other parts of their body. In extreme cases people are known to amputate their own limbs to satisfy their urge and are happy with their decision. 
 Alien Hand Syndrome
Those with Alien hand syndrome believe that their hand has its own independent life. Creepy, huh? Though they have normal sensations in their hands, they state that one of their hands has a will of its own and it is often errant, disobedient and defiant while the other hand is under their control.
 Capgras Syndrome
Capgras syndrome causes a delusion that one of their loved one or acquaintance, usually a spouse has been replaced by an identical looking imposter, or several people in some cases. This is not just the case where a woman complains “You are not the person I married anymore”, but a serious neurological disorder, in which the delusion primarily results from organic brain lesions or degeneration, identified more often in women than in men.
 Cotard’s Syndrome
Cotard’s syndrome also referred to as Walking Corpse Syndrome can be considered as the most weirdest and strange of all psychotic disorders. People who suffer nihilistic delusion from this psychotic disorder are convinced that they are dead, decomposing and they do not exist in the world. They often describe a loss of blood, organs and/or body parts. The syndrome is named after Jules Cotard who recorded the case of his patient who complained she had “no brain, no nerves, no chest, no stomach and no intestines.” So strong was her belief that she did not eat since she had no innards and finally died of starvation.  


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