Friday, August 31, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It Is Time We Women Learned Patience From Men

Should personal hygiene of a woman be hush hush issue? It is a personal decision according to me. Men do have their hush hush talks too, where they may not want the women involved in their talks. There is nothing to be ashamed of our body functions, but that does not mean we have to shout out loud for everyone to hear about it. If there is a need to talk then talk, or else don't. that is the policy I follow.

I have been hearing about the ad 18 again so often, that I am quite forgetting my age now. Many blogs, Facebook status, tweets and other communication media have been flooded with how discriminating this ad has been. The woman in the ad who is feeling like a virgin is dancing seductively as the whole family watches on, declaring it loudly, as she seduces her hubby; now is that what we call coming out in open about the women hygiene and putting health in front of other issues? No is the answer I have heard from every woman I know.

Oh No! Fooled again
I feel it is time for me to sit up and appreciate men for putting up with the ads for penis enhancement pills, surgeries, ointments, and what not, that promised them empowerment, without complaining a bit about how they have been discriminated. So many of them have tried it out, been disappointed quietly, and wept in silence,  without protesting against being duped. 

So failure after failure, where men did not turn into prancing horses or roaring lions, someone said, “OK let us try it other way around” and came up with 18 again for women empowerment. If you cannot empower the men, let us empower the women, said the wise man. But what do we see with this simple change? Every woman I know is upset and shouting out in protest against the discrimination being done. They were not feeling bad about all those ads that showed sad men feeling disappointed, and the ads told them how to find a cure for their failure in pleasing women in their life. So why shout in protest now, when the tables have been turned?
What is wrong with us women? Since when have we 'Indian Women'  become so sensitive to the reference of honoring the virginity? Did we not grow up seeing the ideal woman cry, “Main ab kisi ko moon bataane ke layak nahin rahi, mera sab kuch loot gaya” ? Isn't it great there is a product in market that can give them back all the loot? Did we not  often see on the big screen, women killing themselves after losing virginity? 2012, we will see them rushing to nearest pharmacy instead of a well or hill. Why kill yourself when you can buy virginity? If that is not empowerment, than what can be?

It is true that one of the great accomplished and empowered woman Mother Teresa would never need such a product to feel the power, but we cannot rule out it is good for all those people who do not have anything other than their sexuality to feel empowered about. As we are nation full of Celinas Rakhis, Poonam Pandeys etc, we should openly welcome the product and ask our grandmas to try it on too, as the grandma in the ad did, while the grandpa happily watched on from behind.  

I think it is time for us women to grow up and follow the steps of men who have put up so bravely with all those enhancement ads. I am not even a man, but still have received nearly thousands of spam mails that promised me a large penis.

I think it is time we stopped making fuss and start a mass prayer that due to some miracle the tightening and enhancing products don’t start working at once. We know that science is going to be the doom of human race someday, but we don’t want it to end because of the success of these medicines. I cannot imagine the situation a couple will be in, when both the products work for them... it is sure going to a pain in the neck(?) I hope you get my point. ;)

This post is a part of the weekend blogging contest at in association with

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Soak Us No More In Fear......Please

An image created by Rayyan based upon my idea. I am proud of him.
Do you feel that you're soaked in work and the daily grind? Or do you always find yourself soaked in rain when you need it the least? This question was asked by the Surf Excel Matic #SoakNoMore Contest on Indiblogger.
Casually I sat down to write a contest post and set my thoughts drift away freely. I was actually happy and was thinking about the time when we went to the event hosted by Indiblogger and Surf #SoakNoMore in Bangalore. It was funny co-incident where they said #SoakNoMore but summoned the rain Gods to soak all those who visited the event before they departed. What a joke! When I start to rack my brain, the thoughts and ideas formed are quite complicated, it is best to let something touch my heart before I write a post. My thoughts drifted over to the clothes getting soaked after being dried with lots of effort in monsoon rains. But with washing machine and dryer we do not face that anymore. I remembered being soaked in pee, while sleeping beside my child who wet herself in night. That actually brought smiles now, because that has been past too. I remembered being soaked in rain when I was rushing to attend an interview, but not bad either, as I was successful. 

Pondering over soaking experiences and smiling to myself, I was shocked when all of a sudden I remembered blood soaked cotton balls from my surgery days. Yikes! Never knew those blood and pus soaked cotton balls haunted my subconscious mind even now. I never thought they would invade my thoughts when I was happily reminiscing about a get together with fellow bloggers, but, unfortunately they did and took away the smile from my face. 

Cancer has been a part of my life, in a subtle way though, even when it is in remission, it does not leave me alone. It kept reminding of its presence for the past 16 years by making my mom miserable with recurrence, snatching away my dear friends and giving me panic attacks every time I felt a lump someplace on my body. I do find myself soaked in work, rain, love and many more things but I don’t mind it. It is all a part and parcel of life, and most of the time I do enjoy it to the fullest. Honestly, I don’t mind soaking clothes before wash either. We have wonderful detergents, washing machines and clothes to be washed. Let us be grateful and not grumble when we soak clothes a bit.

What bother me are those blood soaked cotton balls which haunt my life. My Mom underwent surgery and when she was recovering from it, when she had to receive the shocking news that cancer was back again. I still remember her shocked, ‘I can’t believe this’ expression when she heard about her recurrence. After giving up a part of your body, and going through hell, I feel a person will expect to get rid of cancer for a while. But that does not happen often. Recently I saw a young acquaintance of mine, going through all the medications, surgery and radiation only to die of recurrence within 18 months of being diagnosed. The trauma of all the treatment and suffering is living hell not only for the patient but for the family as well. My friend Paula fought a brave battle before cancer got an upper hand after nearly 8 years. A gusty woman, she fought it bravely but cancer was stronger as it was armored with metastasis and recurrence power. So did dear Lois who is a warrior in her own way. No amount of torture from cancer could steal the smile from her face. My friends Judy, Ann, Ellen, Elaine and many more are fighting a tough battle with the demon who doesn't die. He just goes into hiding, and we are not sure when he is coming back for us. A cancer survivor has no other option left now, other than to live a life soaked in fear about the recurrence. Will there be a cure for cancer in near future?

I hope there is going to be a cure sometime soon. I hear so many reports that say the cure for cancer is being held back for monetary gains by pharmaceuticals. Though we do not know the truth behind it, I really wish they would do more to find a cure and spread awareness of the ailment which has been claiming lives of many. We often hear scientists are close to a 'potential cure' for most breast cancer cases, but then it never reaches those who need it. WHY?  Technology is moving ahead in lightning speed, every day a new gadget hits the market, new vehicles are introduced on roads, speed barriers being broken. Then, why not a find a cure for cancer? Are we really not good enough to find a cure or is there is something else?

I have been lucky in a way that though I lost my breast, hair and went through six months of hell in the name of chemotherapy and treatment; I got to live 16 years with my kids. The trauma has been worth the time I have spent happily with my family. I feel bad for those people who go through all that just to have a recurrence staring at them within a few months, which means another ride through hell in a roller coaster.
Having watched my mom, sister and many friends lose their battle to a recurrence from cancer; I just pray that there be a cure for cancer soon. It has been enough of soaking for us in medicines, chemo-therapies, radiations and surgery without being sure of a cure. Soak us no more in fear, find a cure please.
 I have lost three wonderful friends from that picture, while
some are having tough time fighting breast cancer. 

Sharing a poem I had written when I lost a dear friend to recurrence:
Cure for my Fear
I am a warrior too, fighting without a gun or knife
As I fight not for political reason, but for my own life
My enemy resides within me
Lethally and slowly penetrating me
Silently, making no sound, causing no pain
Ruthlessly going about destroying me again and again
I hope and pray that I am not late
In finding this enemy who with all my heart I hate
When I win the battle and try to live on
I cannot as the fear in me grows strong
Cancer was not killed; it was only given a rest
So that in slumber it can recover to be its best
As I go about my life mending and darning
It will someday attack me again without a warning
With more vehemence being more fierce
Bones, Lungs, and Liver everywhere it appears
Find a cure please, I have promises to keep
Find a cure so that without nightmares I can sleep
Find a cure so the survivors can be rest assured
That we are free now- WE ARE CURED.
Farida Rizwan
( A lucky survivor living with remorse of losing loved ones to cancer)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sexy @ Sixty By Namita Jain - Book Review

Details of Book
Book: Sexy @ Sixty
Author : Namita Jain
Book ID:       EBK0302237
ISBN:  9789381626634
Binding:       Paper back
Publisher:     Westland Books
Language:    English

I decided to go ahead and do review of another book for Blogadda, because the title ‘Sexy @ Sixty’ looked different from what I usually hear, sexy @ sixteen. When I reflected about sixties, I could recall many women, unfortunately none of them appeared sexy to me, so I said why not check this out and went ahead to sign up for the review.
Blogadda selected me as one of the 10 bloggers chosen to review 'Sexy @ Sixty' and informed me they will be sending the book shortly. Meanwhile, while waiting for the book, I surfed net and found out who the author was. What I found out about Namita Jain was quite encouraging, which made me look forward to the book eagerly.
About the Author: Namita Jain has been in wellness industry for more than 25 years now, building up unmatched reputation in health business. Apart from writing for various leading newspapers and magazines on health and wellness, she has brought out several books like Jaldi Fit, Jaldi Fit Kids, The Four Week Countdown Diet and Figure It Out: The Ultimate Guide to Teen Fitness.
She works as a Clinical Fitness Specialist and offers consultations to a well-known hospital in Mumbai, structuring training programs for people with special needs, training the trainers and conducting specialized classes for her students. In addition she is associated with Diet Mantra, a nutrition partner for Miss Femina 2012. Unbelievable, but true that after all these activities, she finds time to hold classes in aerobics, yoga, pilates, step workout and  other health training programs.
Namita Jain’s Certifications :
  American Council of Exercise (Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant)
  American Council On Exercise (Clinical Exercise Specialist)
  American College of Sports Medicine (Health & Fitness Instructor)
  Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (Group Health Instructor)
  American Council On Exercise (Group Health Specialist)

Book Review:
The book comes in paperback cover which has a picture of two happy elderly couple enjoying good times on beach as seen in the picture above. The man in the picture looks much older than the woman, maybe he did not follow the fitness and sexy @ sixty rules. :)

On the back cover we have brief introduction to the book, which gives us an idea what to look forward to:
Sexy at sixty. Is that possible? Namita Jain, the prestigious wellness expert, shows you how in Sexy @ Sixty, which is a celebration of this wondrous phase in your life. She aims to make it even more wonderful by giving you enough ammunition, in the form of many helpful tips on lifestyle, food, exercise and staying positive, to slay the bugbears that threaten to rain on your parade. 

Aimed at the modern not so young man or woman, the book is full of practical, easy to understand information:
  • Tables showing you the exact calorie count of your meals ,
  • Illustrations for safe ways to exercise, whether by gentle stretches or strength training,
  • Chapters on how to tackle everything from skin care and weight gain to stress, arthritis and diabetes,
  • Easy to follow explanations for menopause or prostate issues.
    Join Namita Jain as she shows you the way to health and beauty at every age
A well summed up, tempting invitation to read the book.

Photo of the chapters covered in the book
As I turned the page, I found the book was divided into 17 chapters which covered up almost everything that affects person as they age. Wow! I exclaimed as I could not recall anything missing from the list.
After the Acknowledgement, a beautiful picture of Hema Malini greeted me; who looks an exotic beauty even at 63. So I felt more encouraged to believe the title, as the images of grumpy old ladies in 60’s started fading from my mind replacing them with Hema Malini and other beautiful women who do look sexy @ sixty.
Hema Malini has summed up the book very well in her words including issues related to aging problems, life in general and how to remain healthy and fit. An applause to her for saying it very accurately, just in few words.
Next comes the introduction from the author herself. She has given us a new perspective to aging and being in 60s as a wondrous phase of life.

I found the book very well organized. All the chapters have a uniform pattern followed:
·         They start with an introduction to the problem or issue.
·         Discussion about the solution to the problem, with highlights of important facts
·         Followed by NAMITASPEAK, where the author gives out her outlook on the issue, tips, advice and many more important discussions.
·         Every chapter ends with a fight plan to tackle the issue head on.
There is a real life incidence mentioned here and there about Mehul’s snacking habits, Arjun’s walking preference, Siddharth and his skin issues, Rita Joshi’s back problems and many other small references, which allows us to relate to the problem personally at times.
I love organized work when I am dealing with health issues, so I loved the book instantly.
As I continued reading, I found it very easy to understand, with good illustrations to help along and amazingly it also had tinge of humor here and there to keep me smiling.
Many have assumed by the title that this book is meant for those in their middle age, but I say it is good for youngsters too. The healthy lifestyle portrayed is good to be adapted as early as possible, so that damage will not be done to the body in the first place. Prevention is better than cure. I recommend it to every individual who has seen 20th birthday.
Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life, quotes Kitty O’Neill Collins, so if we wish to live longer than let us begin by following few rules of good diet, exercise and happy out look to life. This book will help our quest to a great extent.
I did not find anything in the book taking me by surprise, as the problems discussed and solutions given were something I have read in different health magazines and books.
For example we are familiar with Dietary suggestions like:
1)    Don’t eat fast
2)    Eat a healthy balanced diet
3)    Drink plenty of water
The exercises given in the book are also simple, that anyone can handle them without much guidance. What makes this book special? you may ask. The specialty of the book lies in the fact that it has all the problems dealt with deftly by a health expert, with her experience and knowledge assuring us that the fight plans are going to work. Another plus point is that the book handles every issue that would help making a person look sexy @ sixty.  Namita Jain has touched solutions which include, diet, lifestyle, exercise, medications, cosmetics, and finally even the cosmetic surgery and procedures.
Some important pages I am going to refer again and again are:
1)    The ABC of nutrition – This is a highly informative table showing us the Nutrients, their sources, benefits and signs of deficiency. Page 184
2)    Colour Code of Food – Very interesting and informative chapter that explains the colors of food in relation to vitamins and minerals. Page 186
3)    Simple Asanas with good instructions to follow. I may start on this immediately from today evening itself. Page 145 onwards
Going by my response, you can be assured that the book will at least make you start with a diet and exercise plan by striking just enough amount of panic needed to push you into action. It also gives out hope and assurance of healthy future. I consider it a good bargain.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Happy Birthday My Dear Son

I wish you many returns of the day Animator Rayyan.. 

Sometimes it takes just a simple comment from a stranger to make you realize the truth that has been staring at you all through, but still escaped your attention. One such incident happened around 15 years ago.
I used to regularly visit a shop with my children, especially Rayyan to buy toys and snacks. It was run by a very friendly couple, who with passing time became good friends with us. I learned from them that due to some medical condition, the wife could not conceive, but they had resigned happily to their life without children and hence did not consider adoption. I could see the unconditional love they had for each other and being childless did not much bother them. One day as we were chatting, they said something which made a huge difference to my attitude towards Rayyan. What the couple said was, “Many people visit our shop with their children for shopping. Usually the children are so inconsiderate and demanding that we feel glad as we do not have to deal with such children in our lives. It is only when you bring Rayyan here that we regret not having a son like him in our lives, or else being childless doesn't seem that bad at all. You are very lucky to have a son like him”. It was a simple sentence, uttered casually, but it touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.
It was as though the curtain was lifted and I could see what a blessing my child was. He was so calm and peaceful, never troubling me, not demanding anything, in fact refusing to buy something if he found it was priced high. I grew up assuming I was a perfect child, who every parent would love to have, because I worked very hard to be successful. But all of a sudden I realized that, what parents want is not high achieving child, but a child who loves, cares and makes life bearable for them. That is what Rayyan is. Even at the tender age of 5, he was a silent support for me during my cancer days. He was always ready to help me with house work, taking care of Farheena, running errands and many more. I am not sure that I did all that for parents in my childhood. All I did was to work harder to get more marks or win some competition, therefore I feel, though my parents felt proud with my achievements, they may never have experienced the pleasantness that I feel around Rayyan.
Every year I ask Rayyan what he would want for his birthday, and he always says, “Nothing Maa, I have everything I want in my life”, though, he lovingly buys me wonderful presents for my birthdays.
I have learned to know the goodness in my son and love him unconditionally, which is what he well deserves. Today I sincerely pray to God to give him health, wealth, love, happiness and success in his life.  He is the best son anyone can have.

Save The Child ... You can help too..

Jumpin has recently launched a new video " " titled ‘NaniVsNaani Faceoff’. It is a very entertaining and has brought back the much-loved song of yester-years, “Nani teri morni ko mor le gayi..”.

As a part of the CSR initiative, Jumpin has come up with a ‘Share the Video’ campaign where for every share of the video, Jumpin will donate INR 2 to the NGO Save The Children. Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children that works to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No More Soaking For Now..

My First Indibloggers Meet, Finally!

So, finally I made it to the Indibloggers meet on 4thAugust  2012, #SoakNoMore, after being a part of the group for more than two years. Indiblogger has been one of the motivations for me to go ahead with my life and achieve something.  I have been touched and inspired by many organizations in my life, my counseling center The Helping Hand, my cancer support group Ladybirds and the bloggers platform Indiblogger, and many more. All of them have helped me to a great extent in making positive changes in my life, though not many of them would actually know that. I am sure when the Indiblogger team started creating the wonderful site for Indian bloggers they had no idea that I even existed. This is something like you keep throwing water at a certain spot, and amazingly a plant sprouts there, using that water for sustenance. Indiblogger kept throwing contests at bloggers, and I used that as a springboard to jump high.
Advantage of the being a part of the Indiblogger is, you get attached to your Indirank, therefore do not want it to fall. Fearing the crawlies sent by Renie to watch over us will prompt us to keep blogging. Then there are the amazing contest with wonderful prized raining so often. We love soaking in that rain though. :) I have participated and won few of those contests. Winning the contests on Indiblogger gave me confidence that I can stand out in competitions, make a mark and get noticed for my efforts. It gave boost to the urge to achieve something in my life. The crowning glory of the all the victories was the Surf Excel ‘Get Smart’ contest where I won an Ipad2 for my entry, this is special because the brand was something my mom insisted I should use, and the prize was received on the day of my mom’s death anniversary. It was like she was patting my back for my achievements.
I was trying to get in touch with Bangalore bloggers so that we could meet, when Indiblogger went ahead and announced the bloggers meet #soaknomore in The Capitol. Wow! I could attend the bloggers meet with my family, that meant I did not have to worry about leaving Farheena behind in someone’s care. So, filled with excitement I started making plans of meeting those people of Indiblogger team who have made a huge difference to my life, and fellow bloggers who have been a huge support for me always.
My family and friends
Photograph by Harsha  Chittar
When I logged on to the forum, I saw that one of the youngest and famous blogger among us was looking for someone to tag her along to the meet. Pooja Pradeep or Princess Poo is Farheena’s age, I knew they would be friends in time; hence I tried getting in touch with her, so that I could take her along with me for the Indiblogger meet. That meant Rayyan had to go by himself, which was good as he is an independent indiblogger and was not coming over as my family. After some time issue etc, we did meet and took an auto from my home.
The Hotel Capitol is an amazing place to hold meets. The interiors are eye catching. 
The venue
Photograph shared on facebook by Tanmayee
When we finally entered the hall, we were greeted by a beautiful smiling Nandita, who asked us to log in our names. It was nice of her to remember not only me, but also Farheena, which made us feel more than ever welcome to the event. Thank you Nandita. 
We got cozy in the seats, when bloggers started trickling in. I met some of the wonderful bloggers, who, I have been interacting on indibloggers for a long time now, without ever meeting them.
Pretty Girl Shruti who brought me message from 
Zephyr Nag
Photograph by Harsha  Chittar
The special moment of the event was when the Vineet Rajan and Shruti brought me special regards from Zephyr Nag, a blogger I have very high respect for. There were other good moments like the Indiblogger team introducing me to Mr.Girish, the surf excel representative, as the winner of their contest, personally thanking Renie, Vineet, Anoop and Karthik for the amazing support they have shown so far on Indiblogger, meeting two inspirational blogger Raghava and Dr.Timepass who I had not known before the event, and many more.
I am going to dedicate a blog for the two bloggers I have called inspiring, because I cannot say anything about them in few words.
There were prizes galore in the form of bean bags, gift hampers, and even DVD players and that too nearly 30 in numbers. Wow! In addition there was excellent high tea with snacks served.
The introduction of the bloggers was interesting to me, as I could know what they blog about. Anoop, who gave an amazing presentation,  jumped up on the bloggers in between the introduction with some great blog related trivia questions, with some more hampers given away for right answers.
I got a gift hamper and 6 months surf excel supply, thanks to Leo Vinay who shouted at the top of the voice to give out an correct answer for the question by Anoop and we all who shared his row, shouted along with him.
When my turn for introduction came, I mentioned my reason for starting a blog, ie to share my cancer experience, but in years it went on to include every part of my life becoming exactly the chapters from my life. How the contests made a world of difference to my life blah blah blah…
There was a game organized by Anoop, and winners got T-shirts and Samsung DVD players. Being divided by my excitement to participate and being with Farheena who was sitting alone, I had a tough time making decisions. Anyway our team had to give away T shirts, after losing a round; as no one was coming forward I gave away mine and joined my daughter.Before that I got my chance of trying to throw the ball into the bucket which I missed. I couldn't watch much of the games going on, as Farheena refused to get up from her seat. I could hear a lot of excitement and fun going on there.
Bindu.. the only Blogeshwari I met at the meet
Photograph by Harsha  Chittar
We had a presentation from Surf Excel about their product soak no more. Everyone had the bean bags, dvd players on their mind, therefore no one paid much attention to what was being said. The guy could even get away with saying that washing machines were the best invention of science. Really???This is an age when man has landed on moon, artificial heart is beating in our chests, test tube babies are being produced and washing machines are the best invention? I don’t agree with that, for I have lived my life without a washing machine for 43 years and it did not make much difference. There was a question about what are the vibrating molecules, and I swear I don’t ever want to hear that question again. So many different answers were given and nothing made sense. Though, one of the answers made enough sense to Girish to award the DVD player to the girl, amidst protests from few participants. I still have no clue what the vibrating molecules are.
It was sad to see that some of the bloggers said NO when Anoop asked them whether they were happy with the event. The reason that they gave was--> they did not get the bean bag, dvd players etc. I think that is pathetic.
 There is so much more to share and so many stories to tell, but I know people get bored with lengthy posts.

Coming back in Auto with Pooja Pradeep aka Princess Poo.
Trying to capture her and Farheena in a moving auto.
The event was a great according to me and my family, and above all meeting bloggers who I have been reading for a long time like, Gyanban, Bemoneyware, Santosh Bangar, The fool, Leo, Nabanita, to name just a few was great experience. The youngsters like Pooja and Harsha Chittar were rocking through the event.
Farheena was extremely excited and happy throughout the function. She did not complain of being bored even once though I had left her alone for a while. Thank you my child. She made a sad puppy face that I did not win T shirt for her, which moved Vinay and Harsha (?), or some other blogger which I cannot recall, to give her two T shirts. LOL.

No more soaking, dry skin, dirty hands, unclean hair or bad odor for me, for another 6 months as I have come home with hampers from surf excel and Indiblogger.

Thank you Indiblogger and Surf Excel for the wonderful time you shared with us. Looking forward to another meet already……………………


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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