Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Milaap – The Amalgamation of Good Deeds

Earlier, I had written a post about a group of women who were still fighting for their freedom, even after 65 years of Indian Independence. Few days ago I visited the site of Milaap, and it was sheer pleasure to see that they were fully funded. I am not sure how big my contribution has been in the cause, even then I feel a sense of achievement. I am happy for these women. 
Success is the greatest motivator, and being motivated I wish to see another group of women achieve their goals. Kavita Sanadi and Group . 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mobile Apps to Mobilize India's Youth to Vote in 2014

Make Your Opinion Count by Casting Your Vote
Image courtesy: The Animator

2014 is the time when we get to make a difference to our country once again. When reading about the topic, “How would you inspire and mobilize India's youth to vote in the Indian General Elections 2014 using social mobile apps?” I remembered an incident which took place a few years ago in Byndoor.  It was election time and campaigning was going wild from all different parties contesting.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A very touching review of my blog

Rituparna Gosh, an amazing writer and blogger herself, has made a great effort in covering every aspect of my blog in her review on her blog THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER……and the scribbles that follow!


As a secret elf, I was chosen to review the blog ‘GettingLoquacious’ by an enthusiastic youngster Tejas Harad  who is (in his own words) Reader, aspiring wordsmith, Journalism graduate, proofreader by profession, soft-spoken, introvert, phlegmatic, minimalist, liberal. Try to live in the moment. Take a hell lot of time to gel with people. He is mainly interested in technology, media, linguistics and education. Essays and poetry are his most favorite literary forms.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Views and Review of Tablet PC

Nothing can beat the concept of trying to improve your life and finding a better way to do things. I have always followed the principle that improvement is not being better than others, but being better than what I was yesterday. Be it in studying, cooking, managing friendships, handling relationships or parenting, I always try to find a better way of doing things. Off course this includes using my tablets as well. Tablets have revolutionized our lives in a great way.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Proud Moment for Indian Health Science

The birth of a baby brings joy to the parents and whole family and this joy can be doubled by the arrival of twins. On rare occasions this very joy can turn to be a nightmare for the doctors and parents when they face great challenge to keep the baby or babies alive. This happens more in case of Siamese twins named after the famous brothers, Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker of Siam, who travelled with P.T. Barnum’s circus. Medically known as conjoined twins; these babies are attached to each other and at times share a single vital organ. Fortunately, this phenomenon does not occur too often. The birth of conjoined twins is seen as rare as once in every 200,000 live births, moreover their survival rate is also very low. Females are known to have higher survival rate compared to their male counterparts. Nearly 40-60 of conjoined twins are stillborn, and even among those who are born alive only 35% make it past day one. Even the 5-25 percent of twins who survive face many challenges throughout their lives. Fortunately, today medical science has progressed enough to separate the conjoined twins successfully to give them a chance to lead normal lives. I know the benefits of modern health care as  I Owe 17 Years of My Life to Healthcare…

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Bhag Farheena Bhag Episode...

This Bhag Farheena Bhag episode  was not as funny as it would sound on my blog.
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2013, Farheena informed me that she will have to go to the playground where some students were participating in the sports meet. With huge piles of work staring at me, I was half ready to convince her to sleep the morning off. But the girl was so bubbling with enthusiasm that I decided to spend the morning encouraging children to give their best.  Farheena got up early in the morning, even before the alarm could go off. We both were ready in a jiffy, but unfortunately there were no autos available for us. So I decided to walk with Farheena to a corner at the end of the street which is just a little distance from our home to look out for an auto. Farheena happily accompanied me until she spotted a cow. All of sudden the girl became stiff and cold. She is terrified of the cow and will not believe me if I tell her that those animals are harmless. She somehow believes that cows eat people or at least push them down on the ground and stomp on them. I have no clue where she got that misleading idea from.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Being lazy with internet shopping once again ;)

I have been missing on facebook from past few weeks, which should give everyone an idea about hectic life has been. I have taken few major decisions of life and it is eating up all my time. Thank God I am not regretting any of this.  For one thing I realized there is life beyond facebook too LOL.

Evaluating Religions

This Post is Published on TopYaps

As a child, I had trouble accepting the rules, regulations and rituals of religion. Fortunately for my parents, by the time I reached my teen years, I had learned to adjust and not argue much about religion. The creation or portrayal of God by man has always confused me. At times it is nice to know that even in the past there have been people who had trouble accepting religions blindly.  I found arguments against religion to be quite formidable.
Jules Renard said “I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't.” No one knows when religion and caste system exactly took its birth; but since its existence many people have followed one of the nearly 4200 existing religions among us. Religion is often a set of beliefs that tries to explain the nature, purpose and cause of our existence in the universe. Though majority of people have accepted it, there have been some strong arguments against religion even before science made its advent rationalizing thoughts. Diagoras, known as the atheist of Melos, presented a strong argument against religion as far back as in 1st century B.C. People who argue against religion often portray it as an outdated, discriminating, pertaining superstitious acts, immoral rituals and many more. It is true that religion is used as a political tool in the past and in present. Among the various arguments given against religion, I am trying to pick 6 strongest in the following article.
6. Ex nihilo nihil fit
Like Diagoras, Lucretius is known for his strong argument against religion and gods who could be bribed to interfere in our day to day affairs. His views are expressed through his work, ‘De Rerum Natura’ meaning ‘On the Nature of Things’. Lucretius introduced Epicurean philosophy to the Romans. Lucretius said, “ex nihilo nihil fit: nothing comes from nothing”, which explains how matter is required to make matter and that objects cannot spring forth without reasonable cause. He has explained this theory in his poem of which translates to English as
But only Nature's aspect and her law,
Which, teaching us, hath this exordium:
Nothing from nothing ever yet was born.  
Suppose all sprang from all things: any kind
Might take its origin from anything,
No fixed seed required. Men from the sea
Might rise, and from the land the scaly breed,
And, fowl fully fledged come bursting from the sky.  
Lucretius believed in Gods but he was against religion and rituals associated with religious practices. The belief that Gods interfered with human life and the world was considered as superstition by him.
5. Religion is man-made
Machiavelli, Italian politician, historian, diplomat, philosopher, humanist and writer, repeatedly argued in works that religion is man-made. He called the so called prophets as princes of the new age, who brought about revolutionary and innovative change in society. He gives examples of how people have killed their own kind and their use of large armies to fight for their religious dominance, to uphold his view that religion is often used in disguise by powerful men for their own political gains. Even to this day we cannot deny that political leaders often support and endorse religion not because of their undeniable faith in it, but in order to maintain power and balance in their countries. He assumed most of the people believed to be religious were so because for them “There is nothing more important than appearing to be religious.”
4. How the “One true faith” contradicts itself
Stephen F Roberts challenged the major religions of the world when he made his famous declaration "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Every religious body believes that their own religion holds the truth, even as they dismiss other religions as false and misleading. These inconsistent religious arguments based on revelations or messages of God itself stand against the existence of one true faith or one true religion.
3. Revelations about universe
Daniel Dennett presented his side of argument against religion saying that, most of the religions were formulated when science had not made discoveries about the universe. If the revelations were true than why they do not explain the solar and lunar eclipse, solar system or planets as they are. Along with Dawkins, Hitchens and Onfray argue about the truth behind religious beliefs based on scientific discoveries. It has been contended that people who still hold belief in lunar or solar eclipse or consider earth as the center of the universe around which the sun and the moon revolve is not just superstition or blind faith, but also irrational considering the evidence.
2. Religion is related to delusional behavior
Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Vilayanur Ramachandran and Sam Harris have connected the near death experience, phenomenon of mysticism, spiritual possession and other religious mysteries to delusions of temporal lobe seizures. The God Helmet which stimulates the temporal lobes of the brain with magnetic fields has succeeded in inducing the religious experiences in the user. In his famous book “The God Delusion”, Dawkins argues that religion is not a harmless nonsense but one of humanities most pernicious creations which has been responsible for many deaths. He further accuses religionists of fomenting divisiveness, waging wars in the name of religion and hindering intellectual progress.
1. Religion is a tool utilized by rulers

Karl Marx, Lenin and other socialists considered religion to be a tool utilized by the ruling classes to oppress common people. In his famous quote Karl Marx said, “Religious suffering is, at the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Through religion the oppressed poor are made to believe that their suffering in this world will eventually lead them to a better place in paradise. This prevents them from rising in revolution or making any genuine efforts to overcome their suffering. Karl Marx considered religion to be nothing more than escapism.  When people suffered, the blame was laid on sinfulness of humanity rather the social and political chaos. Hence, religion sedates people from fighting against authoritarian injustice. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In Natures Lap

The precious baby 
Our joy was boundless when Rayyan, my first born came into our lives. By ours I mean my whole family, not just the parents. His father was away at the time of his birth, but my own family made it up to him and me. The last time there was a baby at home was more than 18 years ago when my youngest sister was born. Rayyan was treated like a prized, delicate and loved child who needed protection from the harsh world. Every time he wet himself, pooped or cried for milk, I could see chaos around me with nearly 2-3 people rushing to set things right for him. I remember how everyone went overboard with his care other than me. To be honest I was kind of getting irritated by the fuss being made over the baby. But the big army of 2 aunts, 1 uncle, grandma and grandpa overwhelmed and smothered me to do as they wished. Finally what counted was that they loved him more than anything else in whole world.  What more can a Mom ask for?
Rayyan had low resistance to diseases. Any change in routine would make him feverish, get cough and cold or give him running stools. He was slow in gaining weight. My family took it upon themselves to protect him from the germs and bacteria which lay in wait to get him. So he did not get to play much outdoor games, eat street food or play in dirty water. I knew this was wrong, but then there was nothing much I could do. No one bothered to take my advice. Leave alone his drinking water, even the water he bathed was boiled and cooled. Every time he went out, one of my family members would escort him. He spent long hours playing with Lego toys, watching cartoons or painting. Though he loved cycling, he was never given the freedom to go out all alone. He had to go circles around our home even as someone kept an eye on him from terrace.
Indoor games, drawing and watching television
were part of his life
It was quite tough for me to deal with this situation as I firmly believe in keeping children close to nature which will give a boost to their immunity. The more we protect our children, the weaker their body will be to fight invading diseases. It was also important that Rayyan be given his own space and independence. To make up for his smothered life I used to take Rayyan for long walks in the evenings or occasionally in the morning. When Farheena entered our lives 4 years later, she became a part of the walks where the kids were allowed to touch and feel nature.
Initially I thought the fuss my family made would be over once there is another kid at home or when he grows up a bit. How wrong was I? Farheena’s entry into our lives had no effect on my family. As days passed and Rayyan was nearly 10, he was still treated like a baby and not allowed any independence. 
When I was confused about the upbringing of my children, there was a turning point in my life where I had to take a major decision. I had two choices in front of me. Stay in Bangalore and live with my family to adjust my lifestyle to their choices, or move out and go to my native village Byndoor to lead an independent life. As I sat pondering over what step to take, Rayyan was watching television, an activity which kept his boredom away. I wanted to know how many cartoons he could watch if left undisturbed. When the third cartoon started without Rayyan moving from his seat, I made my decision. It was quite tough decision to make but I finally broke free from the bondages of my family. Both my children were very close to all my family members and I was sure that they would miss them. But then it was high time that I took control of my own life and made my own decisions.
So off we went to the coastal village to live a life close to nature. After his first day in school, Rayyan could not stop talking about how active and strong the kids in his school were. These were the kids who played in fields, swam the rivers and ate fresh food. There were much stronger than the kids I had seen in Rayyan’s previous school. Without much physical activities, Rayyan looked so small compared to his classmates. I assured Rayyan that with proper physical activities and freedom to roam in the nature, he would catch up with his peers.
To make my children more active physically and mentally, I got rid of the TV. They could have fun on computer but TV was a big no. Both the kids spending nearly 5 hours in front of the idiot box was not acceptable to me. I knew we would miss it for a few days but then would get adjusted to the life without TV.
If you think life was dull and boring in Byndoor for my kids, you are in for a surprise. Our days were filled with fun, adventures, games and weekly visits to the beach. To make it more entertaining, I gathered a group of children from my neighborhood to join us on picnics, games and parties.
Fun time on Someshwara Beach

From being a protected child, Rayyan blossomed to be the responsible person. He started helping me in housework and shopping.  I had to be prepared for the chicks, kitten or fish Rayyan would bring back to keep as pet. In his new found freedom, Rayyan started exploring the town and its surroundings early in the morning on his bicycle. His immunity started improving and I could see the change in him. Earlier, every year he had to miss some monthly tests or exams due to his illness. Now he was maintaining 100% attendance in his school and setting record for perfect attendance.

Though initially Rayyan was accompanying me for his outings, he slowly weaned off and started to find a group of children who could join him on long hikes to the nearby mountains and to swim in the sea. Finally he started wandering off alone at times on his bicycle because there were not many children who could match his stamina and enthusiasm for long rides. His stamina was building up so much that he could beat most of the experienced swimmers at the local pond.
Our brood of Chicks
An Injured crow treated by Rayyan.

He started raising chickens but unfortunately they were not food for him but friends. Soon even I fell in love with his chicks. He became so lively and enthusiastic in the company of the animals.
The dirty water, exposure to germs or eating street food occasionally did not make Rayyan sick or weak as my family feared. His outdoor life made him strong and his healthy body could resist diseases on its own. I cannot recall when I have last taken Rayyan to a doctor for medication and he is the same kid who used to be sick for nearly 100 days every year.
Rolling in Dirt and Plunging into various sports

Rayyan enjoying diving and swimming

Rayyan enjoying his freedom in the lap of nature
      My own experience tells me that immunity can be built only when we allow our children to grow in natures lap. The fresh air, organic food and exercise are required to build a strong immune system. A lazy child who spends time in front of TV gorging on chips and soft drinks can never have strong immunity, not even if you give him/her high suppliments of energy drinks or vitamins.
Today, back in Bangalore, we do own a TV but my children are not interested in getting the cable connection. We watch selected program through internet TV. Rayyan has joined various cycling groups and events taking place around Bangalore. He is the only fit and healthy member of our family who has kept his weight under control and also he is only person in the family who does not need any pills or syrups to keep diseases away. Rayyan did not change his lifestyle after leaving Byndoor. He travels to his college and everywhere around Bangalore on his Bicycle. He also managed to survive the endurance ride to Mysore.It keeps him healthy and fit, moreover he is doing good to both the environment and my purse.

Rayyan's Active Life in Bangalore today..
Off road cycling events

Winning slow cycling race held at Decathlon
Conquering rough terrains

Celebrating Life ..

PS: Do not read if you hate Narcissism 

It is time to reflect back on my life today, as I celebrate my birthday. Has life been worth living? Yes off course! Unlike a few years ago, today I take pride in who I am and what I have done with myself. There are no more regrets in my life regarding where I went wrong. Today, I happily wish myself “Happy Birthday” and add “May you have many more” because there is so much in life to look forward to.
 ‘Be a woman of substance. Be a real woman. It is difficult to break down a real woman because she will learn from her mistakes, gather her strength from her struggle and overcome the obstacles courageously.’ – Unknown.
So true are those words when I connect them to myself, because, today I stand here on my feet, strong, unbroken, wise with the lessons life has taught me and gathering strength from my experience withcancer, bringing up special needs child and social, communal restrictions.
If you ask me to make a list women of who have stood against all odds to emerge triumphant from group of the women I know; the list would grow inexhaustibly like Hanuman's tail.  My life has been touched by many such ladies who have made a big difference to the course of my life.
At the same time I feel compelled to pat my own back, because I am one of those women who have refused to be tied down by any kind of bondage.

I have overcome the hurdles thrown at me like caste, culture, marriage, gender discrimination, disability, III stage infiltrating breast cancer, special needs child and many more to stand strong and confident today, ready to fly. I have not been the person who has aspired to touch the sky but always felt inspired to go beyond the limits of the sky.
Many eyebrows would be raised as they would consider it sheer narcissism by a simple woman who considers herself an achiever in the world of women who have made a place for themselves in the field of science, technology, arts and politics. What do I do? I blog, earn some income through freelance writing in addition to doing online counseling and mentoring students at Banjara Academy. Not many people consider me to be an ambitious achiever. But for me, this means a lot, as I know how tough it has been for 'me' to be where I am today.

 Even when people say they admire me or respect me, I notice an odd trend in them and feel it is all for the wrong reason. Most of them respect me and applaud me for surviving cancer, when they should be applauding my doctor for having done a great job on me. Did I have a choice of not fighting bravely against cancer? If I did not fight against the demon than I would have died at a young age of 29 leaving behind two small kids aged 1 and 5 years, motherless. Besides, I did not fight for someone else. I fought cancer and survived because I was greedy for life, I wanted to be with my kids, I wanted to live and achieve something before calling it an end. I wanted to reach for the skies before being shut in a grave forever. There, I was totally selfish and greedy, but people respect and applaud me for being a survivor for 17 years now, even as they sideline my real achievements.

Some say it is the attitude with which I have fought cancer that is inspirational to them. I was talking to a friend and mentioned to her how people consider my surviving cancer or bringing up a special needs daughter to be inspirational for them. What have ‘I’ actually done? Nothing much! I had to fight cancer and survive and I did. I could not give up on my daughter, so I love and care for her like any mother would. What is inspirational about me?
What my friend said when she answered my question rang a bell in my mind. She said what happened to me was just life and how I handled it, or precisely how I reacted to it was inspirational. It was not letting things pull me down, instead use it as a spring board to soar higher than I would have in normal situations.

Fighting cancer was easier when I was dealing with it myself, but it was tough losing my Mom, Sister and friends to the same disease that I survived. Dealing with the guilt of surviving something others have lost their lives to, is another hurdle I have jumped over. 

I was born a second girl child with a prominent club foot. It was tough walking with my right foot fully twisted and looking upwards. But it could never hold me from competing in sports or running long distances. I had never been able to consider myself a handicapped person, at least not until I tried to apply for drivers license. This is when my disability finally caught up with me at the age of 47 years, where I was asked to get certificate from Doctor ensuring that I have enough strength in
my leg to hit roads on a two wheeler. I was kind of surprised when I heard it, as I have almost totally forgotten that I have a disability. LOL.The dialogue between me and lady inspector went something like this:
Inspector : Do you have any problem in your leg?
Me: No. I just have a club foot.
Inspector: You mean you have disability?
Me: What? Is club foot a disability? It has not behaved like one so far.
Inspector: You mean, it does not bother you?
Me: No way. I have even carried my daughter until she was ten years old.
Inspector: Unfortunately, here I have to follow a protocol. You will have to undergo certain procedure before I can give you permission for the license. 

Being torn between what I want and
my loved ones want from me is tough
Though I was living in a village until a few months ago, where you cannot tell one woman from other when they belong to my community, I have made a mark for myself. Yes, I did walk around there totally covered with my black robe, where only my eyes were visible. I was commonly addressed as ‘Bibi’ when I visited offices, hospitals or any public place. The darkness is strong enough to overwhelm people and swallow them whole like a python.  I haven’t allowed the shadow of my cloak to overshadow me, I have found light and shone my colors through it. It may have swallowed many people like me, but I have escaped it clutches and I have discovered the real me. It is hard, it is dangerous and it takes a lot to hurt your own people, especially when you love them. I have felt torn between what I want to be and want my loved ones want me to be, not just once but many times. Finally, I am listening more to what I want to be rather than being what others expect me to be.

 It is tough to question what everyone around you believes in. I do not like be censored or dictated. I had the courage to stand up and say what I really am. Not until you are there will you know how it feels to be an ugly duckling among the chickens. 

After passing the milestone of 40 years, I have taken life with great enthusiasm. Instead of regretting about giving up my studies, I have completed my graduation and bravely shifted to a city like Bangalore. From a small depleted house, sitting in my small room, where my tall brother cannot stretch himself, I have reached out to the world and stretched myself far enough, nearly touching the skies. I have fallen down only to get up with more vehemence. 
When everything was fading away in my life, I picked up the leftovers and started to prepare a new dish to relish. I reached up and caught the rainbow of my dream – pursuing my education again at the age of 43, even with big obstacles strewn on my path, I am living my dream. At the moment I am further pursuing my ambition of completing my P.G. which is running smoothly so far. I have completed my first year of M.S. in counseling and psychotherapy and I am quite excited about the second year right now. I feel so relieved and happy to know that I am pursuing my dream. It is not easy at my age to sit down like a school kid, prepare notes and study for the exams. What with children, house work and my health issues distracting me. But I did. I studied hard enough to score first class passing marks in my graduation, and, the jewel in the crown was my scoring 92% marks in Psychology. It is something when you do that with your chemo brain. My brain is not what it used to be in school days, where I could memorize pages within hours.

I have never allowed anyone to treat mydaughter differently or without respect. I have been strong and fought to get her the love and respect she deserves. No one dares to fool around or mess with her. Bringing out this kind of behavior from people who were not used to it is something I have achieved.

 I have learned everything about internet and computers, surrounded by the walls of my room. All the help I got, was an instruction how to switch on a computer. Today, I am kind of computer repair person. I can almost fix my computer all by myself, install windows, create pages on web and win blogging contests.

My blog is something I feel proud about. It is not easy to share your problems, miseries with the world. Some say, pouring my heart out on the blog can take away my pain. Only those who haven’t lost a breast, been worried about the future of their child, lost dear ones to cancer or suffered as me can say that. Easing pain is not that easy. Even if I write thousand of blogs and millions will read it, the problems and pain will stay. For me blogging is leaving behind a part of me for everyone to see, even when I am no longer here. When I was supposed to be quite and walk in shadows, I dared to go ahead and share a part of me with the whole world. I received a lot of flak for posting my personal details, pictures and other information on my blog, but I decided to live my life my own way. It is not tough when you are independent financially and healthy person. For me, being a rebel meant a great risk. I did not have a job that could support me, neither was I highly educated. I lived in  fear. The recurrence of cancer which looms on my head all the time. These restrictions were pulling me strongly towards the gutter where I could lie, rot and be lost without trace after a few years which I did not want to happen. That is when I decided to jump and check the depth of the well. I survived and found a new way of living. Today, I am free from the chains that I believed to have bound me. I have learned to appreciate my achievements and efforts. This is something I would pat my back for if I could just reach it….
When I win, or achieve something- it could be a small victory for me, but a great victory for those women who are lost in the shadows. My problems, my disabilities do hold me back; distract me when I sit down to write a blog, do my work or even when I am on the road, but I fight back and bring myself out of the cave.
There was a time when I was quite angry and hated myself, but now times have changed. I love, respect and appreciate myself, because I know for sure unless I do that, how will others love, respect or appreciate me?

I am a person who doesn't want to touch the sky but want to go beyond it. I want my soar to be limitless. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How to prevent yourself from falling in love?

This Article is also published on TopYaps

Who would want to read an article that prevents you from falling in love? Love is what makes life beautiful; moreover you do not want to avoid falling in love for anything in the world. Most of the people often look forward to the magical moment when they will fall in love. Think it over once again. What is the real meaning of falling in love?
The warning alarm should be set off by the word ‘FALL’. Falling is described as an inevitable condition over which you have no control, often has drastic effects, cannot be reversed half way and makes you feel vulnerable. The English dictionary describes falling as coming down from a higher position to a lower one. Often the word fall is associated is disastrous happenings like, falling into a trap, falling ill or just the simple falling down. So, thread with precaution and be in a healthy relationship, love your partner and create a lovely life together based on mutual trust and respect. Don’t be in a hurry to find your ideal romantic dream and fall in love because in the wise words of Taylor Swift - "We should love, not fall in love, because everything that falls, gets broken." Here are the top ten ways that may succeed in preventing you from falling in love though I do not promise it.
 Identify the Emotion
Misled by an ideal state of romance created in your mind by books and movies, you may consider the emotions of being infatuated, physically attracted to another person or even sexual attraction to an ideal mate as falling in love. Identifying the emotion for what it is may take you away from falsely believing that you are falling in love.
Breathe and be calm
When you see a person and all of a sudden your heart starts pounding, blood circulation goes berserk, you feel giddy and nervous; calm yourself down and breathe. Don’t jump into conclusion that you have fallen in love. Off course it does mean that you like the person and prefer him/her as life partner. But it need not be that you have fallen in love and lost control over your emotions.
Stop the Obsession
Once you like a person and feel the pressure of emailing or texting him/her obsessively, stop yourself. Remember that obsessive pursuit of a person makes you lose your own dignity. Keep yourself engaged with activities to prevent someone invading your thoughts all the time.
Confess your feelings
No! I do not mean that you should run to the person and confess that you have fallen madly in love with him/her. I mean that you should talk about your feelings to someone you trust, who can be there for you if things go wrong. When you talk about your feelings, often you see the truth that the situation is under your control and you can do what you want, unlike what you believed earlier.
Don’t look for it
If you are a hopeless romantic and live just to fall in love, then you will keep looking around for opportunities to fall in love and even fall for strangers without knowing them well. Constantly thinking about love and romance creates an ideal love character in your mind, and you find it in the first most likely person you see. Don’t look for love, it will find you when the time is right.
It is about you
Often you tend to build parameters of an ideal lover and fall for those who meet those guidelines. Love and relationship in the long run is nothing about the other person at all. It is not about how they look, how much they earn or how romantic they are, but it is about how they make you feel about yourself.
Check out if you feel hurt
If it is love than you should have a pleasant feeling in your heart and not pain. Love does not hurt, but most often falling in love does. It could be consuming all your liveliness, focus, time and also your thinking power.
Ask yourself ‘do you want it?’
Remind yourself that falling in love will turn you into an obsessed, infatuated, insecure and deprived person which you may not want to be. Though thinking positively is good for you, check out the pros and cons truthfully when you think you may fall in love.
Fantasy and Reality
Riding on the wave that leads to the fantasy land of romance, may shut your eyes to reality. The high hormonal levels may force you to let your defense down, cross your boundaries and behave differently. Be aware and be awake. Distinguish your fantasy from reality which may give you a foothold, preventing the fall.
Agony and fear of losing a loved one

Know that once you fall in love you feel desperate attachment to another person which brings about the fear of losing the other person. You start going to through emotions of possessiveness, jealousy and as though you belong to the other person. Take control of yourself and remind yourself this is a passing phase of your life and this is not who you are. 

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


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