What does Patience mean to us?

By far the most manipulated word I have come across is’ patience. Here’s a fun activity to do; ask people around you of varied ages what they mean when they say ‘have patience’. You will get a mixed answers, some may make you feel pessimistic about it, some may make you feel good. You see, patience is like a shawl that all of us have had to wrap ourselves with at some point in our lives, and based on how our issues were resolved we define patience. I know that a lot of the people around me take patience to be this miracle that will cure all problems, but their way to practicing it is just sad.

Patience around me mostly has been defined as to bearing with whatever is happening, basically putting up with whatever rubbish it is that is going on in your life. Now mostly our problems are due to others around us and not so much because of ourselves. So once we do whatever we can to resolve our problems, we have to be patient while others continue to be the way they are and hence continue to mess with our lives. Spiritual people will manipulate patience with no end. They will say God will reward you for your patience (as defined earlier in this para), you shall go to heaven for your patient (ditto) blah blah blah….But I was never satisfied, why would my own creator want me to just sit and suffer?

So I got very interested in the topic of patience/Sabr and found much to read, and understand. Some of the stuff didn’t set with me, as humans we always try to apply every concept to our own personal lives and see if it fits, and if it doesn’t or seems like it doesn’t we totally reject the idea/concept/belief. In Islam patience is of different types, there is much reward for the one who is practicing patience etc etc. Understood. My ultimate understanding of patience was discovered in an interview of Maulana Jaun, it wasn’t even on the topic of patience BTW, but in his talk he cleared the air about it. And that is when the cloud of confusion moved away. However this cloud is one stubborn cloud and keeps coming back, and pushes us to despair.

As struggles in life increase with age, I have noticed that the most difficult problems are the ones caused by others. We don’t control the universe, and anxiety can totally take over our sanity and leave us pessimistic, sad and depressed. The worst state that one can reach due to such happenings in life is despair AKA Yas. (It is the second greater sin in Islam). Basically once you reach there, it’s all downhill!

Anyway, today being the first day of the month of Ramadan, I decided to listen to a lecture I had saved in my ‘watch later’ list on Youtube. Usually in life I have noticed that I go looking for something, with good intentions but I most of the time do not end up getting it, however I end up with something more. I guess it’s Gods way of guiding His people. Just like the lecture above I actually went about to know more and learn more from and about Bibi Zainab (AS) since I share her name and believe it is important for us to understand the affect of the name of the person on whom you have been named.

It just so happened that Sheikh Jaffer in this lecture speaks about the various good qualities of her, but focuses the majority of his lecture on Patience, and while some of the information (like the types of patience) was already familiar to me, it was his explanation that answered some of my questions, brought peace to my heart, and most importantly gave me the inspiration to be more patient.

Patience in all it’s true meaning, means to be steadfast, while waiting for the results. And so you don’t sit thinking patience is the finality of your struggle, it is what will enable you to work, struggle, move to make things better.  The truth is that it’s a phase, and Islamically your patience being tested is a sign that you are chosen to be tested.

As mothers and human beings, we have the responsibility of a society on us as we nurture future adult members of the society. It also the responsibility of the fathers, but I am focusing on mothers because I am one. And I firmly believe and second Maulana Jaffer in educating and supporting our children in understanding what patience is. And most importantly as parents we need to not just jabber about the theory of patience, but be brave role models. We all know that children learn through what they see, and they should see the beauty in our struggles, so that they are chosen for bigger struggles and grow closer to their creator, and also become the support system for others who are going through a difficult time.

Anyone can make you laugh to take your mind off worries, but it is a true human who will help you through your difficult time by showing you how to be patient, and be patient with you while you struggle 🙂

Moms we should be talking about

Mothers Day went by and brought a lot of joys for moms across the globe. The social media exploded with posts, photos, heart warming messages and quotes, videos and loads of competitions/giveaways. There was happiness everywhere. I am a mom too, and I pondered over my life and the many moms that I know of. Deep thoughts made me realise that we don’t discuss some mothers. We are too caught up in the normalcy of life, and the struggles we see in common around us that we do not think beyond them to realise a fellow mom exists who isn’t in the same state as us.

This Mothers day I thought deeply of the moms like me, Moms who visit the courts to fight for their childs custody. I at-least have baby Abbas with me now, to feel more like a hands on mother, but what about the mothers who are struggling in our judicial system fighting in court for the best interest of their child? Dealing with an ego-centric ex-husband, not being allowed visitations! Thoughts led me to think about the moms who aren’t living the ordinary life. They don’t get a card or gift from their child, because their child passed away….Moms who are trying to make a living on their own as single parents, moms who have just separated or divorced and are trying to figure out the dynamic of their new life…moms who have child/ren with disabilities….moms who have children fighting for their life in hospitals..moms who chose to be moms and adopted children…..moms who have recently lost their moms…moms who may be battling a life threatening disease…moms who have been separated from their children due to war, moms who are unable to meet their children waiting for visitations rights….Moms who have children who have not turned out to be morally sound….Moms who are consoling daughters/sons who have been through abuse…..moms who became moms due to assault…They are all moms aren’t they?

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From my personal experience I have learned that; yes, in our country and culture moms are given much respect. But a lot of that is in words. “Maa” they say, but sometimes a mother can be another mothers worst enemy. I guess it’s only when you go through certain experiences do you recognise the honest people from the big-talkers. Everyone says moms are the most important person in the lives of children, yet we aren’t as aware of the severity of mommy struggles that surround us. Truly mothers are the strongest creatures on earth. I remember my moms prayers, whenever she used to hear the sound of speeding sports bikes in the late hours of the night, she used to say “May Allah give patience to the mothers of these boys”. I’m talking about school days, the thoughts that used to come to my mind were ‘oh cool, they’re going by like lightening…or I wish I could ride a bike that fast…..or why can’t be quieter….’ But since my mom voiced her concern as the mother, empathising with the moms of those biker boys I realised that there is such a solid perspective to this. How many times a day or month or even year do we think from the mothers perspective? How many of us have tried to think about the experience of the mother whenever her child goes through something?

I tell myself during my mommy struggles that, at-least I have faith, and the faith in God is the best. I am grateful that I am not a refugee separated from my child, I am grateful that my child hasn’t died in a shooting at school, or been killed by terrorists or extremist groups. As a mother I think it’s important to empathise, put ourselves in the shoes of other mums, even if it’s just in our thoughts and try to understand what the other moms are going through. Only a mom can understand another mom.

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This may not have been the most chirpy, candyfloss and balloons kind of a post, but important none the less. It’s extremely important for us to discuss the societal issues, and value EVERY mom, and think about the not-so-common struggles of a mother, and if not be able to help, be grateful that we aren’t facing them 🙂

I request prayers from everyone for my pending custody case, hope to get my daughter back soon and give her the life she deserves.

Trying food at La Mexicana

I am not a foodie, but when I step out of the house and have planned to eat somewhere the food better be good. As a mother who is the cook of the house I take my meals outside very seriously. It is my opportunity to eat something I haven’t sweat myself into cooking, which is also why I try new cuisines whenever possible or at-least something different.

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With baby Abbas’ demanding schedules it has been rather difficult to get anything done, let alone going out for lunch or dinner. I got a good reason to break that jinx when La Mexicana invited me to taste some of their food. Going all the way to KPHB from old city was 100% worth it, the food, ambience, staff everything is just wow at the place. Here are some of the dishes I tried:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bean Fritters- They were crispy and filled with beans and cheese, just yummy.

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Nachos Rancheros with chicken- in every bite the black beans just gave a burst of flavour I have never tasted before. The crispy tortilla chips and the cheese with the pica de gallo topped with the chefs custom made sour cream is just wow. It is a must try appetizer. I must say, for an appetizer it was pretty filling even though me and the husband shared it.

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La Burrito-half of the burrito was taken home for two reasons, one; we couldn’t just manage to eat it all, and two; we had to have people at home taste it. It is my sincere advice to order a take away for family while you’re there. The burrito is basically a large flour tortilla wrap which contains the black beans, salsa, rice, Mexican cheese and chipotle ranch dressing. Ours was with chicken, there’s vegetarian option for all their dishes.

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Quesadillas- This has to be my favourite dish served at La Mexicana (Although I haven’t tasted the whole menu). The flour tortilla is grilled and gives a slight crispiness and the  grilled peppers give it a rustic flavour even though they retain their juiciness.

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The next two were tried with a purpose, I could not have left without exploring their salad. It looked super appetizing in the pics on their facebook page. hence the Southwest Chipotle Salad was dug into. It is difficult to find salads that don’t make you feel like you’re missing out on flavour and good ingredients, this was obviously with chicken. And I loved every bite of it, till the end I could taste every ingredient, all of them were in balance. It was a good filling portion as well. The crispy Tortilla chips took the salad to another level!

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Enchiladas I was told the chilli in these were imported from Mexico, how could I deny not tasting then? I am not a chilli person but this dish wasn’t going to kill you. I have eaten some really dangerous food in Hyderabad when it comes to red chilli involvement. It was served with a generous portion rice and black beans.

And for dessert the Sopapilla, I loved it because it was the ideal dessert after eating all that food. It was light and sweet but not too sweet, the cinnamon powder and icing sugar gave it a melting texture in the mouth. This dessert should definitely be eaten fresh at the restaurant.

They have an open kitchen and the ambience is creative, there’s plenty Mexican inspired decoration on the walls, even some humor. It kind of transfers you into another place. This is the only quick service Mexican restaurant in Hyderabad and they’re good at what they do. The only problem is that it’s super far. I have been told that they are going to open up more branches in the city, hoping for one in Banjara Hills area (Fingers crossed).

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Totally recommend it, they have a kids menu as well, so if you’re a mom like me, take your kids to La Mexicana and have them experience a different cuisine as well. The good thing is even though it’s fast food, it’s healthy. They make their dishes from fresh ingredients and everything is made to order. Everything I have eaten was just bang on, I am looking forward to tasting their guacamole, they make it only when the avocados are in season, I respect that about La Mexicana, they definitely are focused on providing fresh ingredients to their customers, otherwise frozen avocados could very well be used like other restaurants.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried anything at La Mexicana, and what have your favourites been…

Baby Skin myths busted

Us moms have heard more than our fair share of unsolicited advice and have been bombarded by information that’s just false!. Some of us discover through experience, or via reading, or from using our own brain that some of these things are just not worth paying attention to. It’s only a matter of time that we realise that our instincts are the most reliable and mommies know what’s best for their children!

Here’s a post I wrote on World Of Moms on the same….Click below to read up and share the love!

http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/things-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt/1280/2?utm_source=vidya_suri&utm_medium=hyderabadimom.wordpress.com&utm_content=ithings-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt&utm_campaign=influencer_campaign_baby_dove

 

 

Winter Skin care products I love right now

Winter time calls for proper skin care. I am guilty for not being an avid moisturizer, but the pregnancy and the winters in Hyderabad this time around are screaming for skin hydration. Here’s a rundown of the products that I have been using, and almost done with! Sharing the love this winter….
1. 1. Himalaya for Moms Toning massage oil– I have already reviewed the product on my blog, you can check that out here. I especially love this oil because a winter pregnancy can be even more difficult on your skin. The non-sticky consistency, and calming lavender scent is divine. It’s easy to apply and definitely will purchase another bottle once I run out of this.

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2. Boro Plus Total results moisturising lotion (Grapes and Olive oil)- This lotion even though I applied on my face completely changed the game for me. My skin was a mess due to dryness, and while I was applying my regular moisturizer, my skin just needed something extra. The husband dropped by a pharmacy and picked this up upon recommendation. I love it!, it smells beautiful and does the job superfast. It says on the label that it’s developed by Ayurvedic and international skin experts to treat 8 signs of dryness ie unhealthy, itchy, tight, rough, papery, flaky, dull and no suppleness, sadly I was facing almost all except dullness. I used it twice a day as instructed and am a sure shot fan. Boro Plus is ayurvedic, strangely I didn’t know that. I am gravitating towards ayurvedic/organic/natural skin care and exploring more and more options not just as a mother for the kids but also for myself.

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3. Himalaya for Moms Body butter– This is my go-to hand cream substitute right now. You can read detailed review on my blog. I have already run out of the Lavender fragrance, and gave the rose one to my mom and am almost done with the jasmine. When you’re finishing off products, you know you loved them.

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4. Biotique Bio Morning Nectar– This lotion has been sitting around for quite some time. The bottle was already half empty when I found it in my stash, and decided to revisit it. I will definitely run out of this within few days. Again Biotique is an ayurvedic brand which has a vast range of products, readily available and at a very nice price point. They also do baby products. I am not a fan of their packaging, but product consistency is runny enough to be able to spread it evenly over your skin. The directions on the bottle talk about the face and neck, however I prefer using this on the body because of its consistency.

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5. Bio-Oil– This is my pregnancy discovery for stretch marks. A little goes a long way for Bio-Oil. Right into second trimester when I started to notice a visible increase in my belly size I decided I didn’t want to purchase the Palmers Body butter I used last time, it didn’t use much, I didn’t like the smell and stickiness of it and hence ended up with stretch marks. But this time I headed the trusty Bio-Oil route and purchased the 125ML size and love how effective it is. A little goes a long way. I only apply it to the stretch marks prone belly and waist area and the Himalaya for Moms toning massage oil for the rest of the body. So far I love it and highly recommend it. Application twice a day is justified and its nonstick nature makes it a very practical product.

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6. Lip care- I am almost out of my favourite ever lip balm i.e. Vichy Aqualia Thermal I have left the last half cm of it in my bag for one the go use. And am now back to basics with Vaseline, the cute tiny tub is handy and frankly I didn’t know it existed. I want to try out herbal lip balms from Kama Ayurveda. Will purchase once I am done with these.
Have you tried any of the Kama Ayurveda products? I am curious about their scent, that’s the only hesitation I have with ayurvedic products- the fragrance of the products.

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So that’s a run down of winter products…What have you been using?

 

Youtube Channels for Pregnancy

I love how interesting your pregnancy can be with the various modes of information available. I wonder how people back in the day went through pregnancies without books, videos, scans etc. to be educated on the progress of a pregnancy. Since most of current pregnancy has been bed rest I have been binge watching Youtube videos, and have a few YouTube channels that are great to subscribe to during pregnancy. These are in no particular order:

Intermountain Moms– Nurse Dani makes videos on questions asked by moms and gives information that is to the point and helpful. There’s no unnecessary rambling and plenty of guidance. She’s always sure to recommend consultations with your own OB provider for specific issues., which is important. It’s not safe to take general advice and follow it, each pregnancy is different.

Pregnancy Chat– I love the week by week videos on this channel. Monica Healy, talks in detail about not just the growth of the baby but also what the mom goes through each week. The information is factual, and precise. Every second of the video is packed with useful data. I mostly like it because it’s not a tiny video with four facts you may have already read. On the contrary, the video leaves you very satisfied with a clear understanding of what pregnancy would be like that week. A tip: The videos are titled as “32 weeks pregnant” which would mean the video should be about week 33, but it’s actually of the 32nd week of pregnancy. Something to keep in mind while searching for your particular week.

Consumer Health Digest– The week by week pregnancy videos come with 4D ultrasound images and pointers of what’s going to happen in the week. The playlist comes with other related videos that may be of help. I mainly focussed on the weekly growth. The information covered is precise, but may not be satisfying if you’re looking for something in depth. I enjoy the illustrations and the pleasant personality of the speaker is comforting.

What to Expect– Author of the ‘What to Expect’ book, Heidi Murkoff discusses your pregnancy week by week. The content is the same as in the book, and there are 4D images shown in the video. If you’re reading the book, you may not find the video very helpful. Fact is I wasn’t able to remember all information and found is easier and more convenient to watch the video. Didn’t enjoy them as much, but it’s solid knowledge.

While there are many YouTube mommies out there who document their pregnancy week by week, and share their experience, I personally found informative videos like the ones from the above channels more practical to be part of. A high risk pregnancy is nothing like a normal pregnancy, and it’s uniqueness heightens, even if other moms on YouTube are going through similar issues in their pregnancies, it’s no fun. However I did enjoy watching videos on hospital bag packing tips, and baby shopping, they bring a lightness to the pregnancy. Also good are videos that talk about healthy pregnancy diets, and clear taboos associated with certain fruits, vegetables, ingredients etc. Sometimes we consume a particular food, without knowing all its benefits for pregnancy and baby, it’s important to take every experience in life and make it an educated one. I personally live by that mantra, you don’t need degrees, and certificates to prove knowledge, you just need to be smart about what’s around you and learn from life situations. There’s no point having babies after babies and still not be aware of pregnancy facts, or be stained by random advises.

Just wanted to share my go-to YouTube channels that have been a major part of my pregnancy. There are many out there, and I am sure I haven’t seen all, but these are my favourites 🙂

 

Kompanions Solar System KUBE review!

I was sent this amazing educational game box by Kompanions a couple of weeks ago to review. I have to say I was intrigued from the get-go when I received their E-mail. I had never come across anything like this and didn’t know the Kube existed! I was sent the Solar System Kube targeting ages 9+. Read on to know more….

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The Kube is India’s first 3D Educational knowledge cube, it aims to revisualise education by making it interesting and fun for learners. So far there are 8 Kubes released by Kompanions, and as I mentioned earlier I was sent the Solar System Kube. The conception of idea is very unique in not providing theoretical knowledge, but also making it interesting, and giving a holistic understanding of the topic. The Kube is actually a cube box that houses all the content for learning the topic, a companion App of each topic and the Kompanions App help you as a parent and the child explore various features of the product. Here’s a list of content that comes in the Solar System Kube:

  1. Creative expression journal
  2. Fascinating Trivia Book
  3. Skill development kit
  4. Informative illustration of The Solar System
  5. Captivating Board game
  6. Exciting Edutaining App
  7. Manual of the Kube
  8. Brain Booster activity booklet
  9. Virtual Reality Kit
  10. Vocabulary builder

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The design team have made the Kube very user friendly, children who can read and have basic comprehension skills will be easily able to follow the manual,. It has been organised step wise and doesn’t hold lengthy written content. It’s visually appealing and of good quality. Children who are able to understand and speak English can learn a lot from the Solar System App, they can enjoy and build their interest via using the virtual reality kit and as they become more interested, can refer the poster and the book of content.

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Nothing about the Kube is boring, it is meant to give your child all the information about the solar system in various modes, the child can read the journal and make note of any questions he/she has, or simply write their own observations. The spiral bound book is a good size to carry around if you wish to enhance your childs learning by taking him to your local planetarium. When scanned via the app you can visualise each planet in 3D. For the parents, the Kube is a great edutaining gift to give their child, it’s got the information of an encyclopedia without the blandness of one.

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Screenshot from my phone of the Sun when scanned through the App

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Screenshot of Mars while scanning through the app. Information about each planet is on the right page.

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This is what the book looks in real, the 3D image comes after scanning.

The audio on the app that describes the solar system and the font of pointers in the Kompanions app are apt for any child. Parents can participate with the children in playing the game and not just learn themselves but also reinforce the knowledge. When your child is exploring the Kube, you know he’s not wasting his time, the games are educational, and yet very entertaining, even the time spent on the App is not wasted as it provides a heap full of knowledge. This is a great mode of teaching children with varied learning styles, you could have one child or multiple, it will excite all ages, just a basic grasp of the English language is required.

I love the packaging of this product, it makes it very organised, even the children will know to keep all content back in the box. The box also comes with two handy strings to be able to carry it, and material of the box is sturdy. Personally I think it’s a great gifting item for any child, it has the elements of fun games and education all in one. Even the most disinterested child will cultivate interest in the topic with the variety of modes to learn provided by the Kube. It’s a well thought after product, especially designed for the tech loving children and parents who want to enhance the learning experience of their children.

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You can find the Kube for different age groups they provide quite a variety of relevant topics per age group namely; Animal Safari, Marvels of India, Wonders of the world, Shapes and Dimensions, The Human Anatomy, Modes of transport . The age groups are Kindergarten(up to 6), 6-9, 10-12, 12-15. There’s no strict rigidness to the age, you can pick the Kube that your child will enjoy the most and take it from there, after all there’s no age for learning!

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The Kindergarten Kube retails at INR 4,499 while all the others for INR 2,499, they can purchased from the store on the Kompanions website or from Amazon.in from the links above.