A rant of sorts . (I am human)

Maybe its me, maybe it’s my life. But people around need to learn to respect others. You can’t wake up in the morning and expect everyone to line up like soldiers and do the drill asked. It’s not possible. I have experienced time and time again the lack of respect for others in Hyderabad. No sense of space, no sense of hardwork, no empathy, and no regret. It’s like animals. Animals who just want what they want and don’t care about the other people around them.

It’s not a communication issue, because let’s face it, you can’t make a mad understand. You can’t ask a blind man to see, and yet you push, to try to explain and express, but its worse than talking to a wall. It’s worse.

Maybe I should make a ginormous bulletin board in my house and write down all the jobs/chores/to-do list items for the day, so that people would think twice before cramming it with their crap. As a mother you’re already on 24/7 duty, I hate it when I get so frustrated with added crap from random people that there’s no fight left, the option of fleeing away, or at-least the fantasy of it is all that’s there to distract me.

People here are lazy, selfish, self-centered, ungrateful, and have twisted values in the name of culture. Illogical living, too much haughtiness and disrespect. Anything you do in life requires, hard-work, persistence, and consists of inevitable road blocks. If we just understand that all of us are struggling we would just stop adding to the struggle of the other. It’s just too bizarre, too frustrating. We don’t own the lives, the bodies the time of others, so lets stop controlling what’s not ours.

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Teaching your children to give back

When a stranger asks your child what they like the most about their parents, the answer shouldn’t be that ‘mom and dad get me toys, or clothes or whatever I like’. Your significance in your childs life shouldn’t be based on material things, they should look beyond that, (appreciate it for sure) but look beyond and know their parents. It’s the character of the parents that will forever have him attached to you, not the material things, because eventually the child will become an adult and afford those things, where would that leave you?

ImageOne way you can teach how to appreciate what they have is to get them involved in doing charity/volunteer work, have them pick out what they should get rid of, and the manners of doing so. There are several ways you can donate, it’s always good to find a reliable organisation to give your donated things to, that way you will be certain that they will deliver the things in appropriate manner. A good donating campaign going on right now is the ‘share the love campaign’ by Johnsons baby I was pleased on receiving their emails on sharing this with my moms/readers. This initiative aims at encouraging mothers all over India to contribute old or unused items of their children to underprivileged children. For this specific project, Johnsons has partnered with and NGO, GOONJ. This campaign enables less fortunate children to experience the ‘joy of childhood’, Being in the education field I recognise the importance of play in the mental development of a child. What seems to us adults of hours of playing is actually a very educating process for the children. It’s obvious that the less privileged kids of our country aren’t getting the right standard of education too, so not only will giving them these toys will help them enjoy but also in learning.

ImageThis campaign started first in 2012 and has been a great contributor to various cities across India. Their aim became to bring some colour into the lives of aanganwadi children, sick children, children struck by natural disasters. And this year the collection centers are situated in 14 cities and Hyderabad is on the list. Other cities include Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Cuttack, Pune, etc. There are several touch points located across these cities, you just simply have to give a missed call on 1800 267 6767/ 1800 267 2222. You will be guided to the nearest collection center. This campaign will run for 3 weekends in a row so you have plenty time to gather up the items for donation and inform others about it too. The method of processing is very organised, each day all the donated items in the drop box are taken to the nearest Goonj Collection Centers. Here they are cleaned, sorted, pressed then they are transported to the local Goonj center and given to the needful.

So mommies, think wisely, you want to donate toys, books, clothes, even buy things if you can afford to. Take your child along with you for the purchase, make them pick out toys, convince them to let-go of certain items that you know they don’t need or play with anymore. Involve them as much as possible, take pictures, make it a memory, let your child know how important it is and that it’s something he/she is expected to do as a good human all their life.

Support Johnsons baby intiative and GOONJ on facebook and have a humble life.

The back burner life

When you just hear the confirming news of pregnancy, everything in life takes a back seat. We as women, let me correct that Indian or Hyderabadi women tend to shift everything to the back burner, surround ourselves with baby thoughts, baby shopping, baby everything even before it’s born. We throw ourselves out of the window like we never existed.

And years later…..many many years later when the kids are off to college or married and settled, we wonder who we are. I’ve noticed younger moms tend to get these thoughts way earlier than moms of past. We leave everything, abandon our identities, our to-do list of life becomes a mere wishlist. But why?, why do we assume defeat so easily? Why do we not pause between the nappy changes and think. Why do we not think about our lives, because lets face it, a happy mom, a content mom is a great emotional support for any child. We don’t realise that by giving up our lifes goals we become bitter inside, we change, we are resentful, frustrated. Not to the mention the unsolicited spice of the extended family, friends or cousins that adds to our misery and negative thoughts.

The bottom line is, there are two burners in the front, try to balance, try to give yourself priority once in a while. Try to balance, be happy, be content, be stable, be YOU. Our kids are living a different life, they will ask us why we made the choices we did in life, they will be bombarded with thoughts from their peers of what does your mom do, or what did your mom give up. Lets make sacrifice very clear from accepting defeat. There’s no need to give up every single dream, and goal in the name of ‘sacrifice’. Children grow up and within a couple of years are independent. They don’t need the amount of crazy that you are willing to ‘sacrifice’ and provide for them. The more independent you make your kid the better off they will be.

The best mother is the one who is a good support no matter where in the world the child is, no matter where in the world she herself is. We live in a world where modes of communication are abundantly available. We live in a world that demands us to look beyond our society, beyond our unchanging mind set, beyond the negativity we surround ourselves with. If you can’t do exactly what you want to, there are always bridges you can cross slowly till the children are ready for you to go full time with your passion. And this isn’t about a job, it’s about anything you like, reading a book, meditating,studying, doing crafts, decorating the house, volunteer work, doing social work anything. You are liberated as a mom, not a slave of the tag. Do what you like.

My point is that there’s no excuse. The world is already sad place and we don’t need sad moms to add to that. We need happy moms, satisfied moms, emotionally stable moms, moms who are role models and an inspiration to others; not a sad story based on sacrifice. You control your decisions, you control your happiness, your control your life. Control the amount of giving and taking, take control of you.

 

The Gordon Ramsay Obsession

One thing I do just before falling asleep is watch a great load of YouTube, or TV shows I’ve downloaded. I like really shallow entertainment at night, because my brain is exhausted and just doesn’t want to be strained. My latest obsession has been Hells Kitchen US.

I love Gordon Ramsay, he’s the bomb. I used to watch Hells Kitchen a long time ago when it used to air on TV. But then forgot about it, recently I had been seeing a lot of updates on the current season (12th) on Facebook and all around on the web. So I thought ‘hmm, lets go down that lane again’ and boy am I enjoying it!. Now the new episodes air every Friday, so you can get your torrents by Sat or Sun, however I like things fast paced. I like back to back madness. So I asked the husband to download the whole of season 10, and I finished that in two to three days, staying up till 3am, then it was time for season 11 finished that last night. And I have a new found love for Gordon Ramsay.

Image courtesy Channel4.com

I love the yelling, the screaming, the aggression because unlike other reality shows; this is legit. Gordon Ramsay is not the kind who can fall for overly choreographed crap. His passion for food is inspiring, it reminds you of how much you can love and dedicate yourself to something. Not only that, the contestants too are passionate, no one is hitting flukes. The moments I love the most about the show is when he gifts the challenge winners cookware, and knives. That’s amazing, the look on their faces for utensils, that’s what a true lover of cooking is. A true chef. And the cocky smile on his face when he’s making them do ridiculous punishments, hysterical challenges and pulls pranks on them.

Much respect for anyone who inspires you to have command over your career, you can demand respect, when you truly own expertise in a field. It’s about working hard, valuing the hard work of other, and moving forward with faith no matter how many failures you encounter. Gordon Ramsays energy is contagious, he makes me want to work harder and faster. It’s about being quick, and precise, maintaining standards, being yourself and not apologising for it.

While I am exhausted after watching two seasons back to back, I am going to take the sane persons route and watch an episode a week as it airs, and on my next book buy list is the biography of the chef himself ‘Humble Pie’. I am excited about that, found it on flipkart too, my go-to online book hauling site. Here’s a fantastic review of the book.

I haven’t ever read a biography, I’ve only checked out information online, but never read cover to cover. So I am excited to read this one. I am looking to forming a regular reading habit and not the audio books, physically READING, books. It’s been long, and it’s one of my goals this year; to get into the swing of regular reading, especially exploring works I haven’t ever tried.

So mommies (or non-mommies), what do you think about Gordon Ramsay? What are your current favourite reads? Leave comments below, I’d love to know about you wonderful readers!

Online shopping in Hyderabad

Shopping, yes, we women love it. But getting your ass out of the house with a child, or even without the child is a big issue. At-least for me it is. Malls in Hyderabad are not children friendly, no diaper changing tables, no feeding chairs, nothing. It’s almost like the malls want the moms to stay at home or get out sans child.

In my case, I live in the dear old city, everything is FAR away, and my daughter loves shopping but half way through our ride she’s exhausted and wants to get out of the car, and by the time you reach your shopping destination you have a cranky little person with you. I have had my very frustrating days, I like to get my daughter used to a certain lifestyle, so that she knows how to act and react in public. So far it has worked, but when it comes to shopping for myself, I prefer the peace of my mind, and the luxury to look around before buying anything.

In comes the online shopping to rescue my sadness. I have tried a couple of websites for various products, not just for myself but my daughter and husband. Recently I’ve been on a shopping fit. I am treating myself to holiday, and also returning myself for all the hard-work I put in last academic year of both my Sunday school and volunteer work at Focus High School. Lets start shall we?

1. Shoppers stop– This was my first online purchase, and it was a bag from FCUK. And since I was an amateur I opted for COD. They do a good job. Since then I haven’t made a purchase but have my wishlist filled with items. I browse through the website pretty regularly.

What I like: There’s a lot of variety on this website. Especially in the household category.

2. Flipkart– This is my holy grail for books. I’ve bought a tablet and other electronic items too. But hands down Flipkart has the best selection of books, even crosswords online website doesn’t have the books that Flipkart does. From fiction to non-fiction, to reference you name it and they have it. I’ve bought books for my daughter from flipkart and many of my psychology text books. Also shopped for stationery like files and notebooks from here. They have brands that are otherwise not available here in Hyderabad. I purchased a fun notebook for myself, and a present for a lovely friend from there. Will do a post on that later.

What I like: They have offers, and the notification, tracking of order and website is very organised. It makes it super reliable. Ive tried COD and pre-paid with Flipkart and have been more than satisfied. The packaging is very safe and prices are good.

My issue: Because Flipkart is mainly the portal that brings together various sellers, you are very much likely to receive each product on your order separately. Secondly, if the sellers are different the shipping charges are based on each seller not your whole order. So basically you may end up paying more, and have the deliveries going on for weeks, this can be annoying if you’re not at the shipping address all the time, it may also bug the person collecting the order at home. It psychologically makes you feel you shopped for more than you did. It can get border line annoying.

3. Purplle– Beautuy haven. I have shopped more than a couple of times and it’s my go to website to search for products not found in stores here. There are many brands that are affordable and do a great job, but just haven’t reached the Hyderabadi or even Indian market yet. Loving purplle for that. The website is very user friendly.

What I like: The enormous variety and constant offers. The packaging is sturdy and you have both prepaid and COD options. However I have always opted for the former.

My issue: Tracking your order. You have no information regarding the delivery time in the product description. Not only that after you’ve paid for the order you will not know when you will receive it, their order modification option is crappy, and updates are a joke. They recently added a little more direction on their website for tracing order but it’s still not satisfactory. Shipping the same order separately is just annoying. When I place an order for a few products the excitement is to get ALL of them together. That’s what gets me excited. the quantity.

What I like- I am a youtube junkie, so if I hear a beauty guru talk about a product and I know it’s a never heard brand in India I simply log on to purplle they will most probably have it. Their cart is very manageable and easy to check products on and delete them. I enjoy the shopping part because of the variety, even though more would always be appreciated.

Refer my new post on hating Purplle.

4. Jabong– I placed my first order with Jabong a week or two ago. And while I like the range of the products they provide I mainly liked the prices as compared to purplle. I only made cosmetics purchase a post on that coming soon. But they didn’t have one of my orders and it was constant sms alerts and emails regarding the issue. I wasn’t happy. The whole excitement of shopping just goes away.

My issue: The Javas service was crappy, the delivery guys spoke like animals and weren’t professional. My order got broken down into 4 pieces when I only ordered for 5 items. That’s annoying.

What I like: Compared to purplle for my recent purchase Ive noticed better prices and products. I was looking for a specific product and couldn’t find it at purplle. So had to shift the whole order to jabong just to get it together from one website. They recently added the Dorothy Perkins brand to their website which I am crazy exited about.

5. Mango–  This brand has the most lovely on trend products. And since the GVK One store has stopped stalking a lot of the accessories I was very exited to make a purchase from here. The website is inspirational to browse through.

My issue: No COD or Debit card payments, only credit card payments are accepted. That’s a BIG issue. And delivery charges are only exempted on a purchase of 6500 or above. That’s not a small amount. I can imagine young college girls saving up money to buy from Mango, they should lower it to improve sales.

What I like- well the products, the way they are packaged and sent, it’s all impressive. The sales on the website are insane!! I actually recommend to wait till sales but act fast as soon as they’re on, because those things fly off! Mango sales are the best.

6. Snapdeal– My husband had made an electronic purchase from here and well that’s about it. Not much to say, i was satisfied, it was a COD purchase and everything arrived safely and on time. I haven’t ever browsed through the website myself but do plan to.

7. Bigbasket– Basically delivering groceries to your door. In old city you definitely need this. Esepcially since the humble more store near my place got shut down, this has been a life saver.

My issue: I have always opted for COD with bigbasket, because it’s grocery, and there are major chances of a screw-up because these people deliver massive amounts of groceries to people in their trucks. And once and only once they had missed one of the items on the list and didn’t take the payment for it. So I was glad that I hadn’t paid in advance. I recommend COD for bigbasket unless someone else is going to receive the order. I also highly recommend going through the delivery religiously, the delivery guys are human they may miss something, but you don’t want messed up groceries!.

What I like- It’s got a decent variety. I really like the option of poultry and meat that is halaal, very important. Also the delivery charges are only Rs.50, very practical for the genre of products. You can select your time slots which is a very wise option to have especially if everyone at home works.

There are other websites that I have my eyes on like forever new, Zara, fab furnish, babyoye, etc. for various reasons and products.

I will be putting up a post on a collective haul, the stuff I’ve been purchasing over a couple of months but have been lazy to post right away. Also I am waiting on delivery on some orders.

What are your go-to online shopping stops?

 

Where have I been?

It’s shamelessly been over a month that I posted on this blog. I somehow was in a writers block and a lot has happened.

logos

1. I am now a graduate, even though I haven’t received all my documents. My university is yet to mail those to me.

2. I have successfully completed 8 months of volunteer work at Focus High School as a student counselor.

3. My Sunday school celebrated its third annual day on Sunday April 27th.

4. My application has been accepted at the Institute of Holistic Mental Health – IHMH for a post graduate diploma in school psychology. This will be my first official step into the field of educational psychology/School psychology.

5. The daughter will start school in June InshaAllah. I have started to make mental notes of school supplies and waiting eagerly to get more information from the school. I am going to be a mommy of a school going girl! so excited. Have started to mentally prepare her for the new chapter in her life. Both me and the daughter will be at the same school, only I will go twice a week and she won’t know I work there. More posts coming up on that soon.

6. I am also a part of an NGO in the making. more details on that later.

My folks here from Dubai for some work and Batool is over the moon with excitement. I am trying to get myself organised, cooked Hariyali chicken today, recipe to come soon.

What have you all been upto?

Why so dependant?

There are all types of women in the world, but when you become a mother, when you do the mothering you change. I believe there is something that takes over, a form of dependency. Because we spend endless amounts of time taking care of a little person who is dependent on us, we want similar pampering, we want similar over the top love. We forget we are adults and supposed to take care of ourselves.

Within India, I find so many girls that look forward to the yearly vacation or monthly escape to their moms homes. That’s a sorry way to live. It’s sad, and against everything an adult should be. We forget that life is about everyday not the few days of vacation with the parents and siblings. Why does it become so difficult for us to take a stand and demand a few minutes of peace everyday? Why can’t we have a vacation where our true family now is?. It’s an Indian thing, no matter where in the world you go, Indians want the extra mommy love, no matter how old they are. And here’s where the double standard also come in, as women we want the mommy escape, and given a choice maybe all of us would live with our moms forever, but when our husbands want the same; it seems off. Lets both get independent, independence is not a gender specific characteristic. Lets both become sufficient for each other, take from the parents the extra not everything. Lets make each day our everything, lets focus on growing together. Lets stay positive.

Image courtesy Happinessnslavery.

Happiness is where you want it to be, there will always be hurdles in life, and your mom isn’t going to be around all your life shielding you. Instill values of independence in both your sons and daughters, so that they are stable human beings able to handle what life brings their way. Why be dependent? Why not be happy instead?