May 27, 2015

#Dare2Stare: Giving Up The Bitterness!


Sometimes you get so engrossed in this journey of life that you end up forgetting there’s more to it than these mundane everyday battles. Circumstances and people change you constantly, often making it extremely difficult to look at life positively. The way you see the world is something that changes day after day, every day.

My outlook towards life when I was a 16 year old was one devoid of any bitterness. With age and experience, it changed. For good or for bad, well, that’s debatable perhaps or maybe not. Today though the way I view things are very different from when I was a teenager or even from two years ago because I have grown, evolved to be more cautious.

There are several things that have changed me as a person, several experiences rather. Of all, being hurt in friendship is one which has made me more, well, skeptical. I have this shell built around me now and I don’t allow myself to be swayed by friendships anymore. Acquaintances, yes, I have many. But everyone gets just one strike and once that’s over, I know how to keep the distance. I have not allowed myself to become emotionally attached to any ‘so called friend’ for many years now. I know it’s not healthy but some scars take time to heal or at times never really heal at all. Mine have made me see the bad in people first and block them from my world based on that. There was a time however when I only saw the good, ignored the bad but not anymore. I don’t like doing it but it has become my natural response somehow.

S keeps telling me I shouldn’t look at the world with so much distrust. Not everyone is out there to hurt me. Maybe he is right. Actually, I know he is right. So, perhaps the least I can do for him and mostly for my sanity is not be so bitter anymore. Just because a bunch of people ended up hurting me doesn’t mean others would do the same? Perhaps I can look at the world without misgivings starting today? I can still be careful, but not bitter anymore. Well, at least I can try to do that.

I remember reading somewhere what we send out to the universe comes back to us. We get back what we give, sometimes doubled. I know I want to make the effort to stop looking at everyone suspiciously. So, that is what I’ll do. I’ll stop being skeptical.

Forgive and forget is something that has been very hard for me to do. I have tried but it has never really worked for me. So, maybe, just maybe, I can forget the hurt for a change? If nothing else, I wouldn’t feel betrayed every time I look back.

I miss the person I was before being hurt by the harsh realities of life. Naïve perhaps, but there was a time when I never believed in disliking or hating people, even my worst enemies. But today, things are so very different. Hate is a word that I associate with people quite easily nowadays. And it’s not something that I like doing or do consciously. It just happens. Deep down I know that girl is still there somewhere and I wish to bring her back to the fore. This resentment is not worth it. So, perhaps finding peace within would help me change the way I look at people, this world, even help me enhance my world.

I wish to bring positivity in the way I see the world, don’t you? See the world with rose tinted glasses even! I’m tired of being hostile as if everyone is out there to get me. I wish to look at the glass as half full rather than half empty. And maybe, just maybe, in the process do something worthwhile like help someone to see this beautiful world too?



Such a touching video, isn't it? How would it feel to not be able to see anything? Scary to even imagine, right? This beautiful world with it's shorthcomings, I would rather be able to see it than not. And I cannot imagine how it must be for people who can't! 

Did you know that over 2.5 lakh blind people in India would benefit from corneal transplants from donated eyes? So, why not pledge to donate our eyes so that after you and I are gone, someone else can see the world? Sounds good? 

Let's help bring people out of darkeness for everyone deserves to see, every person in this world. So what are you waiting for? Let's take the dare2stare challenge and take the pledge to do something worthwhile here, live even after you and I are long gone!

Find more about Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital's #Dare2Stare Challenge here at dare2stare.in.

If you are still not convinced, maybe these will help you change the way you look at this extremely serious issue!











Change the world, I say.
Change how you see it.
Change how others see it.
Help someone see it!


May 19, 2015

What Can I Write About The Woman Who Taught Me Everything?


Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
~George Cooper

How do you write about the woman who taught you to write in the very first place? What do you write which does justice, even if remotely, to the woman who brought you to this world? Impossible, isn't it? No words, no posts could ever measure up to what she has done, none at all.

Maa, I don’t quite know how to describe her. Like every mother in every family, she’s our pillar of strength. She’s the center of our universe. If you ask me about Maa, the first thing that I have to say is that she’s unlike any other in the entire world and beyond. But then I guess everyone would say the same about theirs, isn't it?

© nabanitadhar.in

How do I put down in words the things she taught me, taught us? How? I want to write so much but I just can't form a simple chain of thoughts. There's too much to write, more than my ability to present something in writing really! Well, still a girl's got to try, right?

You know, my Maa has never been the conventional mother? She’s never restricted us with dos and don’ts as mothers often do. Perhaps that’s the best part of our relationship, the best thing about her? So, will it surprise you if I say that the greatest gift she has given us is in fact the power to make decisions all by ourselves? We have never been shackled by the need for approvals. Hardly ever.

She has given us the strength to face the world outside of our homes. Do you know that the toughest obstacles you face as a woman are the battles you fight daily, even for the simplest of rights of being taken seriously? Well, she has taught us how to win this battle every single time. She has taught us never to shy away from a rightful fight, especially when it’s for our rights. We are women, not charity cases. Yes, my sister and I have learnt that from our mother. 

Our happiness is ours to take, that's what she inculcated in us. Children often fall prey to peer pressure, right? Well, it was never the case with me or my sister. Maa made sure we never measured our joy by comparing it to another. Whatever I am today, whatever little sense prevails in me is all because of her. She has made me strong, so strong that I can face anything and still come out of it ready for another battle.

And then one of the reasons why issues concerning women are so close to my heart is again my Maa. She has taught me that being a woman is not the same as being the symbol of sacrifice. No, sir. Never during my childhood have I heard her say that cooking is an integral part of my education or that once I grow up I need to give up my dreams for my husband, my in-laws or anyone else for that matter. She has equipped my sister and me to live a life of our own choice, on our own terms, with no compromise whatsoever. Teaching us how to be independent, enabling us to speak our mind were right on top of her agenda as a mother and in fact still are.

Maa taught us how to live our lives unapologetically. She has shown us our worth. She’s my expert in life, the one who has never told me to dress a certain way just because I'm a girl. She's a woman of substance in every possible sense.

What do I tell you about her? It's not humanly possible to articulate what I feel. There are too many memories and stories about her, to try and write them down would be to attempt describing the enormity of the universe in a word. Possible? Well, not really!

“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” —Maya Angelou

***


May 18, 2015

A Good Decor #JustAClickAway at Durian


Where's that one place you rather be after a hard day's work? Well, home, isn't it? There's something about home that has fascinated poets and writers from times immemorial. It is a haven, a safe haven. It's our very own world within this big bad world. It's our very own space. Therefore, is it really surprising that the way we decorate it, keep it and adorn it reflects upon us, our state of mind and often helps us relax in this crazy rigmarole of life.

Of all the things essential to setting up your home, buying the right furniture is as crucial as, say, selecting the right house to turn into a home. It might not appear quite as important at first but trust me it actually is. Selecting those perfect pieces for every room is an integral part of setting up your dream home. Why? Well, your home, my friend, is an extension of who you are and you wouldn't want to get it wrong, would you? 

When it comes to furnishing, what you buy and from where you buy makes a lot of difference. And here's where Durian comes in.  An international furniture brand since 1981, it is one of the most well known names in India when it comes to the area of interior decor. 


Source: http://www.durian.in/

From sofas to recliners, beds to chairs, wardrobes to dining tables and more, Durian has everything on offer. But that's not all, it provides other added advantages as well, along with beautiful furniture of-course. Ease of paying for one, either through cash or card on delivery, easy finance through EMI option via Bajaj Finance Ltd and more. Then there is the option of checking out the furniture before ordering it. It has outlets across 29 cities across the country, open on all days of the week. Free delivery, 5 year warranty, free assembly to add to the list as well. But most important of all, 90% of the furniture that you would be buying from Durian would actually have been made in India. Of-course, a percentage of what you pay to Durian also goes towards CSR activities, an icing on the cake I should say.

Now, where were we? Yes, how to buy the right furniture for your home. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind because it is an investment you need to make wisely!

  1. The furniture should be well coordinated with your walls.
  2. Select a space efficient plan. You don't need a cluttered look. The rule of thumb is that every square foot is usable but intelligently. Don't overbuy without thinking about the space.
  3. Less is more but not always. It should not appear empty.
  4. Colors. Now, you need to carefully chose those colors for the rugs, chairs, sofas, wardrobes, even the smallest show-piece on your side table too. If possible, always use warm colors.
  5. Use multipurpose pieces, again intelligently.
  6. Don't mix and match too much. If you go with contemporary, stick to the theme. Don'y mix antique with it.
  7. Don't go over board with anything. You don't want a gaudy look for your home.
  8. Spend judiciously, brand names are not always the right answer.
  9. It's your home, it should be personalised and not appear as a guest house. Again, use furniture which complements your temperament.
  10. And last but not the least, listen to your heart. Pick that sofa or that bed which your heart approves of.
There, these tips should keep you sorted while you move heave & earth to pick the right furniture for your home.

And, if you are looking for some great furniture, remember it's #JustAClickAway at http://www.durian.in/.



May 14, 2015

Why Cross The Line?


What you are is never dependent on the world’s perception of you. Why? Well, because, trust me when I say this, the world will always find something wrong with you and they won’t stop short of saying it on your face. As humans we have this tendency to scrutinize endlessly, and more often than not in a negative way. For us, the flaws matter more than strengths. Yes, somehow we find it easier to see the worse in everyone apart from our very own selves.

You know, I have never found it in me, whether the courage or even the audacity, to comment on someone’s choice of clothes or perhaps food. And that to on their face. I find it to be an extremely rude and mannerless thing to do. But then sometimes I feel I’m the only one adhering to this unspoken rule of not crossing the line. Yes, maybe within the immediate family you can do that and it’s even expected. But not so when you are just an acquaintance. I don’t know, what do you think?

Just a few days back when my sister was placed in one of the top 4 consultancy companies of the world, a neighbor of my parents commented with her half-baked knowledge that it was one of the worst companies in the world. Now, she is sitting at home doing nothing, completely dependent on her aged parents without any clue about the IT industry. My parents could have said it on her face that she has no idea of what she is talking about, right there. But they didn’t do that out of courtesy but they did feel bad about it. At such occasions, I wonder if it is okay to cross that line and make it know to such nincompoops that they need to keep their opinions to themselves. But somehow I find it extremely hard to do that.

© nabanitadhar.in

And that’s not all, there are people who go on to talk about your weight, your teeth, your choice of accessories and what not! I personally feel that it’s not appropriate for anyone to do that. And here’s where being good turns to something uncomfortable. What happens is out of courtesy, you don’t retort back but that bad taste lingers. I have never commented on anyone’s dresses, shoes or anything else for that matter no matter how ridiculous they might have appeared to me. I have never commented on anyone’s choice of food or the way they eat. I find it astounding when people comment on the food habits of people from other parts of the country or even the world in a derogatory fashion. Where is the restraint? And yes, all this is not healthy banter. More often than not these things are said seriously.

While it is human tendency to think that what we do is the best, is it really necessary to make it known? Well, I certainly don’t think so.

Well, that is what I feel. Now, tell me what you think about it all. Am I just being over sensitive? It could be because I’m going through a phase of bad mood swings these days. Still, do tell me what you feel about this.

Until next time.
Ciao!

May 11, 2015

10 Rules To Living Better By An Awesome Dad


Sometimes the simplest of things in life become the source of great happiness; happiness unscathed by the banalities of life. Wonderful, isn't it?

So, the three of us, S, my sister and I, watched Piku this weekend. And tell you what, we really loved it. It is such a simple heartwarming movie with an endearing quality to it that all-in-all it was money well spent. A breather from the typical non-sense that Bollywood sometimes calls blockbusters! Of-course, we are partly to blame for that too but then I’m not here to talk about that.

Source:freedigitalphotos.net by photostock

What I want to talk about though is how a dad prepares his daughter to face the world. If you are lucky enough to have a doting father, you’ll realize how wonderful this rapport is, always equipping you to live better. And then of course you cannot go through a movie like Piku without thinking about your father. It’s a bond that goes beyond any said or written words. I have written about Baba many a times. But today I thought why not share just a few of the things that Baba has ingrained in our hearts and minds, enabling us to live freely and with respect.

So, here it is, just a few of the millions of things he taught us or at least tried his best to.

  1. The key to a happy life is to be independent and that happens when you take education seriously in your formative years.
  2. Whatever be it that you do, as long as you don’t have to depend on anyone for even a dime you are going to be alright in life.
  3. Neither lend nor borrow. And if at all you lend, do it for those who actually need it.
  4. Marriage is not the culmination of everything that a woman is. She is much more than that and she should never sacrifice her wishes, ambitions or happiness no matter what the world says.
  5. Choose your own life partner but make sure he respects who you are.
  6. Never cheat, never ever! Be truthful and you’ll be fine.
  7. If you find 100 rupee note lying on the street, don’t pick it up. Never take someone else’s money.
  8. Keep learning new things throughout life and you'll be more than just a person.
  9. Read for there's nothing more pleasurable than that.
  10. Always know about the world around you and beyond.

Well, these were just some of those things my dad often told us and still does. Fallible as we are, we often forget some of these but you get the gist right? I hope someday though I'll be able to pass these on to my children as well, whenever the time comes that is.

Do you have any gems or words of wisdom that have been passed down to you by your parents? Well, share it here then for I'd love to hear. 

Until next time then!

Ciao


May 9, 2015

My Flipkart, My Genie, #EveryWishFulfilled





Such a wonderful and heartwarming video, right? How a birthday blooper is fixed instantly to make Yashi's wish come true! Makes you wonder how easy it is actually to bring that precious smile on your near and dear ones faces. How every wish can be fulfilled? And of-course, what goes one behind the scenes as you wait for the thing you ordered. So many people involved in getting your joys and needs delivered? Interesting!

Remember the Aladdin story? Well, I’m sure you do. One of the reasons why I loved it as a child, and still do in fact, is that it had a genie in it. Yes, someone who could make wishes come true. Wonderful, isn't it? Who wouldn't want a genie who fulfills wishes at the blink of an eye? I know I would.

The genies of real life are a bit different though. It could be your parents, your spouse, siblings or friends. But it’s not limited to them. There are more genies, slightly modified I should say, these days who bring us happiness in various forms. Flipkart being one of them because they help us fulfill not only our wishes but those of our loved ones as well, loved ones who are sometimes miles apart.

Yes, it could be an e-commerce portal used by all but it not only delivers products, it delivers joys as well. There are several ways in which it acts as a messenger of happiness making #EveryWishFulfilled! In fact, why don’t you read a few of mine? So, here’s why I think Flipkart is the genie for me, simple yet very pertinent reasons I should say.

The best thing about Flipkart for me is the fact that I can use as many as 16 gift vouchers at the same time for making a purchase. Did you know that? Well, now you do and tell you what I recently bought a new microwave and a refrigerator, all with the help of vouchers that I earned writing articles. I don’t think there is any other website that offers this feature, for a voucher or two maybe, but for 16 not in the least.

Then there is speedy delivery! Whenever I order anything via Flipkart, I know it for a fact that it will be delivered at the earliest. It just comes naturally to it. So many times I have ordered gifts at the last minute and still somehow seen those being delivered on time.

When my sister was posted in Pune alone, there were times when she didn't know where to purchase a certain item from. Well, it was a new and unknown city for her so at times it was really difficult. Even then I remember using Flipkart to make sure that she had what she needed delivered to her doorstep. Truly a life saver at such times!

Books! How can I mention Flipkart and not talk about books? I think my association with it began when I first started purchasing books through it. Be sure that a book that you can’t find anywhere will most probably be available in there website.

My parents live in Guwahati which is miles away from me. Sometimes when I just wish to gift them something, a book for dad or a kitchen appliance for mom maybe, is it really surprising that I always turn to Flipkart? It always, always helps me pamper my parents even though I’m located miles and miles away.

There are so many gifts that I have received from my husband when he was away at client locations and most of them were ordered via Flipkart. Is there any doubt then that it has not only brought me precious gifts but happiness as well?

From best prices to best quality products, Flipkart brings all of it to our fingertips. But that’s not all, it also helps spread joy and fulfill wishes just like a genie!

May 6, 2015

Woman, Don't Compromise So Much Please!


Marriage is perhaps a word which is not as huge as the importance it actually carries in a couple’s life. It is a bond which if nurtured carefully is a boon. But if not it could well be a bond that suffocates you throughout life.

Source: freedigitalphotos.net by boykung

Now, I’m all for marriage, a marriage which treats both the husband and wife equally. In the interest of full disclosure, I must add that history is not my strong point but certain aspects of marriage as advocated in the Indian society are not for me. For example, I don’t believe in the philosophy of the husband being the all-important entity in a marriage and thereby the family. For me, it’s equality in all aspect and understanding that makes for a great marriage. When I speak about equality, I don’t mean how much money a spouse earns. No. For me it has to do with how the husband and wife treat each other and how they are treated by the families of both. Unfortunately, there are still some marriages in this present day modern India based on a bogus and archaic belief system that places the husband on a pedestal with no regards to the wife!

About 5 years back I had written about a man who wanted a wife only as a caretaker for his parents. I called him the anpad (uneducated) techie at that time. And looks like there are more like him around. A sad, sad fact but what is even worse is that women toil to put up with such non-sense. Of-course, I don't intend to judge them but I just wish they didn't put up with it.

For the husband who believes his wife is meant to be doing everything form household to office work, taking care of children to his parents, I suggest some soul searching perhaps? And the woman who keeps doing it, keeps compromising either for the sake of the love she feels for her man or because apparently this is how it is supposed to be, know your threshold please. 

My dear woman, marriage it’s not supposed to be an institution where you concede everything, even your self-respect. No! While love is important, I don’t think it’s your sole responsibility to maintain the relationship. Please don’t do this to yourself, if you fall in this category. I know it is drilled in our minds that marriage is a sacred institution and we must do everything in our capacity to save it. But do remember that a marriage in which you have no respect or where you get occasional respect is also no marriage at all.

To all those women who compromise every day in a marriage either to avoid conflict or to save their men from stress, I wish you read through this. And maybe, just maybe, it will help you someday?

  1. Your husband is not the one who runs your home, you both do.
  2. The onus of your relationship is not only on you but him too.
  3. Respect his parents certainly, but to run all the errands for them while your husband enjoys his life is not right. Responsibility in a marriage has to be shared!
  4. You are not an unpaid maid to his parents. And if he says you have to cook, clean and wash their clothes every day or else he will rebuke you, he doesn't deserve your love or respect.
  5. If he’s not there with you when you need him the most, then there’s no point of him being there with you at any other time.
  6. Fall in love but don’t lose your self-respect in the bargain.
  7. The moment he asserts that everything in your home happens at his approval, you should know what he thinks of you.

There is so much more I want to say, and I’ll do so in a separate post, continue from here. But the intention is only to say that don't sacrifice so much. A relationship which makes you cry and compromise on a daily basis while your man doesn't budge an inch is to me not a relationship you need to fight for. Realize your worth, please!
***

P.S: I know not all husbands are like this. So, please spare me the lecture :). Also, I know there are husbands who suffer at the hands of their wives, I'm sure someone will write about them too. I have written this post so that someone somewhere might perhaps gain the courage to make a positive change in life after reading this!