Let me be ME

This petite looking, a small structured girl is the right synonym of the Sutli Bomb(Jute twine bomb).

Nandita Pranajape Joshi

She is a powerhouse of endurance and strength.

Once a patient of sciatica, backache, irritable bowel syndrome , permanent asthma, several health issues, poor lifestyle-induced diseases to an Ironman Podium Finisher.

Here is the story of Dr. Nandita Paranjape Joshi, a 36 years old, mother of a five-year-old girl, Kolkapur based Gynaecologist and infertility specialist.

As Nandita shares her story,

National level lawn tennis player 

I had a beautiful childhood. There was a strict rule in my house that we siblings need to learn one art and one sport. I chose badminton but shifted to lawn tennis soon.

With the winner’s trophy for Lawn Tennis

I was pretty good at it (collars up) 

I represented Maharashtra thrice and played till nationals. 

Back then, participation in tournaments was a simple affair with non-branded clothing or shoes. I am from Sangli, Maharashtra, a small laid back town, and sports were all about strict training under my father’s supervision. Our relationship during the training was not like father and daughter but as a coach and a trainee, hence there was no mercy.

 Marriage, children and hectic work hours 

Children will always do the opposite of what their parents will tell them, and I was no exception. I did my medicine even when my parents asked me not to. Both my parents are doctors, and they knew the long working hours in the profession. 

I completed my MBBS from Aurangabad and DGO too.

I got married in 2010, and my daughter Nabha was born in 2015.

Nabha was eight months old when I joined back to work. 

Due to stressful work hours, an infant at home, and erratic work schedule, I developed a lot of lifestyle-related diseases. As the medical facility was easily accessible to me, I would do MRIs even for a minute symptom at the drop of a hat. I was in a persistent unhealthy phase. A childhood sports enthusiast was now under medicines and constant fatigue.

The push

All thanks to my brother, who pushed and pursed me to get back on track. With a lot of reluctance, I joined lawn tennis again, my lost love. But lost love doesn’t find existence in the present; hence I shifted to running.

I could not even finish 400 meters in 35 minutes or so. I was huffing and panting all the time. 

My brother made me do a 10K in some event, which I finished in 1.40 hours and slept off for two days. I cursed him with all my heart.

Being a doctor myself, I sensed my alarming physical state. I had to take charge and got into systematic training.

Races and training

A structured training plan helped me get back to my earlier fit and good form quickly. I took great care of my diet, as well. In 2016 I did my first Kolahpur half marathon. 

Things were going fine until I met with an accident. 

I traveled to Spain for a conference where I had a terrible fall. MRI showed ligament tear, and I was completely bedridden.

All my hard work came to a standstill. I had to start from scratch now.

At this point, a friend who was not allowed to travel on her own for the event registered me to the Belgaum Triathlon (sprint distance- 750 m swim,20 km cycle, 5 km Run).

I had no idea about triathlon, I followed the racecourse, and to my surprise stood 3rd! I was utterly clueless.

By now, I had started loving the entire endurance training and registered for Kolhapur Triathlon, Olympic distance(1.5 km Swim,40 km Cycle,10 km Run), and stood 2nd. 

Then came Goa Ironman, first-ever Ironman 70.3 (1.9 km Swim,90 km Cycle,21.1 km Run)event in India, and I enthusiastically registered for it.

I had never cycled 90 km ever before the race, and I seriously doubted my capability.

Podium finisher at Goa Ironman 70.3

Swimming is my strongest point as I have learned swimming in the river, but it was a tough course to tackle even then.

I was utterly exhausted in the last lap when I heard my husband and daughter cheering me, “why are you walking? Run! You are in the second position. Go run to the finish line”.

I was pumped up immediately and finished 2nd in my age category.

Training in a small town and Maharashtra flood hero

It is a challenging affair. I have to be very careful on the route, the hour of the day, and the company during my training. I was advised to dress up like a boy to avoid eve-teasing.

My training gear is either half or full-sleeves t-shirt and long tights.

There is always a lot of questions from the society and even peer group regarding my training. 

At one point, I started doubting myself on my competency to manage my family, especially my child, and focussing more on the training. 

I shared my concern with my husband, and he assured me of going by what I think is right.

As a woman, you have to prove your worth always, and it is pressurising. 

During the Kolhapur floods in 2019, I promptly took charge to rescue the trapped people and saved 50 lives. My name flashed in all newspapers, and since then, there are no questions raised on my training or races.

Personal growth

Endurance sports require strict discipline, hard work, and a tough mind. It sharpens your thought process and decision-making ability. 

After strenuous training and long work hours, I used to get irritated and vent out my anger on Nabha. With a systematic approach towards the training, I could manage my mood swings as well and developed self-awareness.

The field of Embryology and fertility requires precision, accuracy, empathy, attention to detail, emotional strength, and patience, and endurance training enabled me to acquire all these traits.

says, Nandita

I can tackle stereotyping with much grace and confidence. These things don’t bother me anymore.

Want to represent India at the Global Platform

Does hunger continue?

Of course! It will. It has just begun. I aim to work for better stamina and much better timing in all my races.

India lacks pro-athletes in international tournaments; I wish to represent India at the global platform.

Be fearless and independent. Nabha wants me to be the next Lucy Charles, and I’ll put all my efforts into being the best one from India.

Note to my daughter, nabha
Nandita and Nabha

Note to all the mothers.

Extract one hour for yourself for your mental and physical well-being. Each one of us is unique and fighting a battle of their own.Comparison is the worst enemy for growth. Do not compare yourself to anyone, it spills a beautiful relationship called friendship.

If you are happy, you’ll keep your family happy.

P.S: Nandita is also a great cook and a sculptor. She’s been making eco-friendly Ganpati idol for the last eight years at her home.

Small town to the city of dreams

Snail-paced cyclist to an Ironman finisher

Determination is the second name of Ritu Kudal, a Mumbai based 41-year-old mother of two beautiful girls. 

Bahu(bride)
To a babe !

Pallu (veil)clad Marwari to a girl in running shorts.

Ritu has quite a few finisher medals in her kitty like Dubai 70.3 (1.9kms swim, 90kms bike, 21.1 run) 2020; Kolhapur 70.3, 2019(Podium); Hyderabad 2018(Olympic Distance-1.5kms swim,40kms cycling, and 10kms run), Full marathon 2017, countless half marathons, 10km and 25kms pacer.

Let’s read Ritu’s story in her narration.

How and why?

I studied in Udaipur and was into sports right from childhood. Kho-Kho and running were my favorite sports; I have even played until the state level. I was selected for national and had to travel to Nepal for the race; my mother was in doubt. Firstly coming from a Marwahi community, there was a stigma for girls to participate in sports, and secondly, pursuing sports was not a serious discussion. Even I was unsure, so I left where I started and continued to study further.

Soon I was married, but I am glad that my parents respected my opinion to find an educated match for me. 

I came to Mumbai after marriage and continued to pursue my Charted Accountant course. My husband, Tarun being a CA himself, helped me in the completion of the course. 

I carried on with my duty as a dedicated housewife and managing children.

When my elder one was six-months-old, just to come out of boredom, I started to learn swimming. The oldest student was in the swimming class was 60 years old.

There is no age to learn anything new

First lesson
Ritu with her family

It was during the Ganpati celebration when I was sitting in the pandal, holding my second child in my lap when my elder daughter’s gymnastics instructor uttered under his breath that I look like a Ganpati. I went home and looked at myself in the mirror, and he was not wrong. What had I done to myself? With a chubby body and bulging belly, I surely looked like Ganpati.

Do not neglect yourself after childbirth. Your body needs a lot of attention.

Second lesson

I developed hypothyroidism as well.

I started walking and mild exercising until one-day, I met someone who had completed his half marathon. I was shocked by the distance he covered when I was struggling to walk even a 5K. When my younger one was six -months old, I ran my first 10K Pinkathon race in 2013 and finished in 1.02hrs.

It is always challenging to take the first step but dare to take it, and it’ll make all the difference. 

Third lesson

There was no looking back then. I did the Goa marathon, Kundalika river. Marathon, Stara Hill run and, after four years in 2017, ran my first full marathon with systematic planning and training.

The race moment

My first Triathlon was Hyderabad 2018, Olympic Distance. I chose to race here to test waters, and surprisingly, I stood 4th in my age category. Next was Kolhapur 2019 70.3, and the (OWS )open water swim came into existence. Ah! to face the fear of open water and then to swim through that distance was a tough task. I trained hard and was a podium finisher at the race.

Dubai 70.3 was announced by now, and after talking to Tarun, I registered. A race that I can never forget.

Podium at Kolhapur 70.3

My coach Viv Menon and swim coach Ashutosh left no stone unturned to turn me into a beast by gruelling training plans. My day started very early, and after preparing the breakfast and packing my kid’s tiffin boxes, I used to head for my training. There were days when my body gave up, and my legs ached, but I had a massive target in front of me, and I didn’t pause.

Before the race day, I packed my bike, learned how to mend the puncture, made my mind to travel alone. Yes, it was my first international travel on my own. It was a great accomplishment to get the visa stamped, issue a new SIM card, and manage everything on my own. 

After the trial swim, I was down with a cough, cold and high fever. I panicked as my body was too weak to face a tough race ahead. 

On race day, my swim went well, but due to coughing I had gulped a lot of seawater, I started vomiting while cycling. My left side of the body was almost frozen, and I had severe pain. I was tensed not because of my state, but what if something happens to me? I have children back home.

My mind could not register a DNF (Did Not Finish), and I pushed myself hard to the finish line.

Dubai 70.3

The glimpse of the India flag at the finish line, the sense of victory and achievement took away all my pains, aches, fever, and anxiety.  It was a moment of pride and triumph.

You have to put effort on your own to achieve the impossible.

Fourth lesson

Gratitude

Mom, you can do it

I am very grateful to my parents, who ensured that I get a proper education. I can’t thank my coach Viv Menon, Ashutosh, enough, who pushed me hard and beyond my limits.

Most importantly, I could have never done any of my races without Tarun. Whenever I step out for a competition, I always ask Tarun to put his hand on my head. It fills me with immense confidence and trust. That cheer from my kids,” Mom, you can do it!” kept ringing in my ears all through my racecourse.

Is the hunger over?

No, the hunger to chase the impossible will never get over. Once I was back from Dubai 70.3, I enrolled for the Goa swimathon for 5K. My coach asked me, “are you ready to fail, Ritu?” I replied, “it’s not about failing or timing, but I want to test myself.” I am glad I took a plunge and finished the 5K swim.

Dare to dream and have the courage to chase your dreams. What seems impossible now will become a reality soon. 

Ritu’s mantra

Learnings from being a Badass mommy

Getting married or having kids is no reason to stop you from achieving your dreams. Never stop learning, never stop dreaming, and be happy for yourself and on your own.

Dream Believe Chase Achieve 

concludes Ritu

In this fast-paced world, we lose our cool if the wi-fi is slow. Children hit the panic button if the smartphone screen hangs. Our patience level has gone for a toss, and all of us are aiming quick results.

How to control heightened emotions?

How to manage anxiety?

How to keep uncertainty and fear at bay?

One most crucial practice is Mindfulness.

But, the question yet again that arises is, HOW?

Everyone is not equipped to practice Mindfulness with efficiency and tends to drift our thoughts. It takes several years and many more years of discipline to attain a peaceful state of mind.

Out of several options available, learning art, of any form, helps a lot in calming down an agitated mind.

In my recent workshop on Mandala art, one of the participants asked me that why I insisted on not using the easer? My reply was simple, “concentrate, be patient and make every stroke with absolute precision, and then there will be no scope of using an eraser.”

The goal of art therapy is to utilize the creative process to help people explore self-expression and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight and develop new coping skills.

(Source-https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-art-therapy-2795755#:~:text=Art%20therapy%20is%20a%20technique,and%20work%20on%20social%20skills.)

My analogy and experience regarding the use of art for personal growth is,

When we draw patterns on paper, we are drawing patterns in our minds. The hand-eye coordination helps the brain to stabilize and avoid any diverting thought, thereby increasing concentration. 

Trick: Do not aim for perfection; draw. If you are seeking perfection, then you’ve already lost the joy of the process.

When we avoid the eraser, we are telling our minds not to haste but be very slow and complete the work with precision. It helps in building up patience.

Trick: Use lighter strokes if you are new to the art form so that when you go wrong, you can erase and draw again without leaving a mark. The same applies to life, as well. Be gentle in your process, and try not to leave marks that are difficult to erase.

When we fill the patterns either with designs or colors, we are not leaving any blank space. We are trying to make the pattern look beautiful, helping in limiting ourselves within the boundaries so that the final product doesn’t look messy.

Trick: Stroke in one direction so that the filled colors look uniform. In a way, we are telling our minds to fill the knowledge that is age-appropriate so that it manifests into something outstanding.

So, next time when you sit for an art session either on your own or with your children, then ensure you keep these little pointers in mind. Your experience will be way different and meaningful.

Participants in the workshop. (My father also joined!)

Epiphany#1

The other day a piece of news popped up in TimeHop (an app that shows nostalgic pics/videos). The story was about Sid’s climb to the ThotongLa Pass. It was back in 2018 when we completed the summit. Read a detailed blog here https://momthyname.blog/2018/06/13/annapurna-circuit-5th-19th-march-2018-hiking-with-sid-to-thorong-la-pass5417mts/ Sid was 12- years old and slightly shorter to me in height.

Sid in “My Powai” magazine

We were climbing towards the base of the summit after an acclimatization day. Sid is a natural climber and runner, and he was so thrilled to be climbing higher that he vanished out of my sight within no time. I was having trouble breathing; hence I was climbing slowly but steadily. When I could not spot him for a long time and the “motherhood-syndrome” activated. I was anxious. I kept asking each passer-by(although there were very few) about Sid, mentioning his looks and clothes he was wearing.
Finally, after a long walk, someone told me that he had seen a boy with a similar description upon a rock.

Sid on the way to ThorngLa Pass
Sid merrily balancing between the rocks

I had my stomach churning and suddenly I could feel the bile rising into my mouth. I was fuming in anger now. I speed up my walk and saw Sid balancing himself between two rocks. His palms tightly gripped on one side while feet on the other. He didn’t even bother to acknowledge my presence, nor was he aware that he has committed a “mistake.” As soon as I reached closer to him, he was excited to share his “discovery”. I reluctantly asked him about it. I was still fuming. He went ahead and showed two giant lizards on the rock and told me that he observed them climbing up the cliff.

Sid’s “DISCOVERY”

At that moment, I had no interest in his discovery or observation; I was obvious to make him realize that he has committed a “mistake.”
He could sense my rage but didn’t pay much heed. He said, “mom, I knew you are behind, and I wanted to run ahead. Above all, I know that this is a linear track, so where would I go? You could have worried lesser.”
I wouldn’t say I liked his comment at that moment. But, now, when I sit and think of it, he was correct, and I was getting hyper.


Last year a similar episode happened on our hike in Sahaydris too during monsoons.. He climbed up the slippery rain-drenched hills, and I lost my breath out of fear.

Epiphany #1: Don’t pass on your emotions to your children. They will learn and grow with the right exposure and experience.

Children are born explorers. They have their wild imagination. They are a gift of nature, and nature makes them learn the most critical life-lessons that no textbook ever can. They have a curious mind, which sadly gets tamed and influenced by us.

Sid wanted to be on his own; he knew where it was heading, he knew I was behind him and was confident that he would not wander anywhere, but I tried to instill fear in him out of my insecurity.


Let your children wander
for nature will teach them
Let them explore and feel
and you’ll see them turning into a gem

15 years itch

“Slap”
another, “slap.”
and, one more!

The child standing in the corner is stunned, hard-faced and cold
but the mother, the mother, is hard and cold too.

Why was the child punished?
He wasn’t fast enough to finish his meal or some other unsubstantial reason.

The world sees her as a heartless, cruel mother with no love for her child. She should not be a mother in the first place.

Who is this mother?

This mother was ME.
And the child was Sid.

What was the reason for this behavior? Sharing my experience here,

The month of June holds a special place in my life. It is a month of my birthday as well as my first child Sid was born on 22nd June.

I was so thrilled when I knew that I am pregnant that I went announcing it to everyone. I took my pregnancy as the most precious thing. I talked to my baby, heard Garbh Sanskar, went to pre-natal classes(sometimes), and did what it took to make my pregnancy look like a most sought after event.

With advancing pregnancy, my need to be loved, been taken care of, and nurtured increased. There was a significant gap here.

After the water bag bursting, terrible labor pain, and finally, a C-Sec Sid was delivered. When I held him in my arms, I had all the love for him. I promised to raise him to the best of my ability. I promised to give what it takes to be his shadow until he is on his own. I was oozing with first-time motherhood syndrome.

We were a riot

Sid and I made an excellent company. We played, laughed, ran, danced, and did everything together. I loved singing and dancing to him so that he eats one bite (he has been a troublesome eater). Everything was beautiful. I was enjoying my motherhood, and I had no time for anything else. Then came his stage of running around and throwing a little more tantrums. I was exhausted. With no significant help at home, Sid took my lot of time and energy.

Sid The Kid


I tried to get back to work, attempted a lot of gig things, but things didn’t work. Sid demanded more from me. The pressure to get back to work and contribute to the household was immense; I kept trying but in vain. I was frustrated, not understanding and accepting that the child needed me more than anything else. With no one to share, talk, or discuss my feelings, I aimed my negative feelings anger to the soft target- my baby. I was wild, angry, screaming, adamant, violent, and a very very bad mother.

Sid turns fifteen on 22nd June, and it took me 15 years to confess about my behavior back then.
It took me 15 years to admit that every moment I felt like a bad mother.
It took me 15 years to work on myself – still working.
It took me 15 years to realize and understand that neglecting postpartum depression is a disaster.
It took me 15 years to build up both physically and mentally.
It’ll take me several years more to move out of the guilt for being so harsh on my child.

If you have any pent up emotions, then speak up, talk it out, write it, it helps a lot. Unaddressed and unexpressed feelings will only lead you to depression and anxiety and can take a nasty turn, too, read here. Don’t do it, please!

We evolve with our children.

Thank you, my baby, for my Sid, to make me realize my weakness and strengths, and thank you for making me a Mom.

Admit and confess to your children because we love them a lot and will always do. Happy motherhood.

Do listen while you tuck your kid a little too much in you

If you wish to share your guilt and just want to be heard then reach out to any of the means as below:

Yes, you read it correctly.

Why?

Please don’t let your children dream success, name, fame, followers, money, luxury, or anything that gives them instant gratification. Dreams that foster ego give them a false identity, short term fame, and acquired credit does more damage than good to their personality.

Each child is born with lots of imagination and creativity; don’t tame their childhood.

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children, and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

Think about it.

Name and fame

The high- achiever feeling

The short term fame that children are aiming these days is not just dangerous but extremely hampering their growth too.

Youtube subscribers, Instagram followers, pinned at Pinterest, are just a few examples of a false ego boost. They feel the burnout very soon.

Each parent wants to see their child succeed, and if he/she brings them fame, then it boosts the parent’s ego as well, isn’t it? ‘ 

Recognition at school, medals dangling, certificates in hand, scholars badge on the blazer, wow! It looks amazing. There is no argument that the child has worked hard for all the accolades, but I am very sorry to counter-argue this statement.

Ask yourself. After so much of recognition, are you or your child prepared to face any failures?

Do they hang out with friends regularly?

Do they go out and sweat and play?

Do they have bruised knees to understand how it feels?

Are you raising them as dainty girls and rough boys only?

Aren’t you silently happy about the fame they bring to you?

If more answers are yes, then your child is in serious trouble.

Life is not flowery as you’ve made for them.

Young children are writing books /novels and sitting in closed rooms, in front of their tabs and typing for hours and days while they should be getting burned in the sun and playing outside.

Young girls are posting videos with suggestive poses while they should be exhibiting innocence.

Boys are learning abusive languages from online games.

And there are any more examples.

Who is at fault?

Our children are not at fault.

We parents make a mistake here. Our children are watching us every moment. If they see power, money, luxury with no discomfort, they’ll start aiming for such life because they are far from reality. 

How to enable them to make wiser decisions?

Let them fight their own battle. Please enable them to earn respect and followers from their sincere effort. Make them participate in an online essay or story writing competitions and win accolades, rather than you helping in vanity pub.  

Push them to chase the finish line in sweat and dirt. Let them fall, roll in the mud, and come back home with soiled clothes than perfectly clean uniforms.

What’s a good dream?

Yes, they do!

Children should be encouraged to dream of happiness, love, and empathy.

Make then chase butterflies, run in the wild, take those untrodden trails, play in the sun, lets their knees get bruised, let them sweat, play with strays, laugh loud, be as free a bird in the sky.

Make them share their knowledge, allow them to volunteer, and let them gain recognition by their humility. Involve them in gardening. Let them see the beauty of a growing plant from a seed. Read autobiographies. Watch cartoons and roll on the floor laughing with them.

Go out, go out, I beg of you.

And taste the beauty of the wild.

Behold the miracle of the earth

With all the wonder of a child.

 ~ Unknown

Run and chase in the wild

Children will see what we show them. Our dreams considerably influence them.

We have to show them magic and then believe in theirs.

Sharing some links for reference read,

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-trenches/201106/the-child-performer
  2. https://www.insider.com/youtuber-top-career-choice-for-us-kids-teens-2019-8
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/food-thought/201310/the-ugly-side-child-fame-jonbenet-corey-feldman
This beautiful childhood

Stretch-marked Mommy

“Ma’am, may I please ask you something” he dropped a text hesitantly
“Go ahead, please,” I replied.
In most humble tone, he asked, “ma’am that picture you posted on the Instagram story………..”
And,
Before he said anything ahead, I knew what it was about!
I respected his approach and listened to him patiently, and then with all the courtesy ended the exchange of messages.

Why am I mentioning this conversation?


Because there is a big misconception between fitness and six-pack abs. Ok, fitness and a super toned body to make it simpler.


Fitness is a state of mind.
Fitness is a life long journey and not a temporary goal. The results you want to achieve takes dedication, discipline, and, most importantly, consistency. Pushing yourself out every single day, wearing your running shoes, and hitting out for a run or a workout is the toughest thing a mind can do.


Each one has a different fitness goal too. For me, fitness is to stay active and build up the much-needed stamina, which I almost lost after two kids.
Each body is different and comes from a separate gene pool too.


I gained much more than the average weight in both my pregnancies. I had pregnancy-induced hypothyroidism and excessive water retention as well. As the skin stretched too much, I got return gift for life- stretch marks all over my tummy, inner arms, thighs, breasts, butts basically all over the body other than the face, Phew! That was some respite.


My sincere fitness journey started in 2015 when I was called as a “FAT SLUT” in my running group.


I am really grateful for naming me as it only made me push harder every single time and going much higher than what my body and mind could ever imagine.


The conversation at the beginning of the blog is in context to a post on Instagram where my loose belly is visible.https://www.instagram.com/momthyname/
The gentleman questioned me that even though I work out a lot, have an athletic physique, but still, why do I have a loose tummy?
Honestly, I didn’t feel awkward, I was calm and patient in listening to all the advice given. But didn’t give any explanation.


My thighs have celluloid, and my tummy has sagged a lot with that little tiny bulge.
So, should I hide it or feel ashamed about it?
No, not at all.
I don’t hide my stretch-marked loose baby tummy, but I proudly flaunt it. I have no shame in exposing my return gift.

Plank and the fall of the tummy 🙂


When I get into a plank position, my belly hangs, but I still do it.
When I get into squats, the celluloid of my inner thighs bulge out, but I still do it.
And I shall continue lifting those heavyweights, hang on bars, run long distances and plank longer.


I am surrounded by fantastic motivation that I am in total awe of these everyday fighters who are defying the stereotypes.


I know a new mom who works out every single day and holds her baby in her arms as the weight for squats.
I know heavyweight people who have completed their triathlons out of sheer determination.
I know many heavy females who are podium finishers in cycling and swimming and would leave the leaner ones far behind.
I know single mothers who have made their mark on the fitness journey while raising their children and also looking after their mental health.
I know of couples working out together and pushing each other irrespective of age and situation.


My running and ironman forum is filled with stories of extreme mental strength, and the body type doesn’t play any role there.


I didn’t feel the need to reply to the gentleman about his worry, query, and advice on my stretch-marked loose tummy because I knew that he has also correlated fitness with a body type.


My one hour of daily workout and the sweat all over my body is my way of meditation, it is my burnout, and it is a constant reminder to my mind to never ever give up.


So, all you beautiful mommies, your stretch marks are gorgeous, your loose belly is terrific, and you don’t need a corset to even it out. Your cellulite has nothing to with your inner beauty.


If at any point someone attempts to body-shame you, then remember, you have a middle finger!!


Give me a high five, “stretch-marked mommies”.

Staying fit is a happy state of mind

Dear Sid and Abhi, 01/01/2035

It is so satisfying to see both of you grow up and going ahead in your life, at your own pace, and liking, I feel happy for you. I wish you both only happiness and nothing more.

We have come a long way together. From a time where I wanted to disown you for your irrational behavior during the teenage phase to loving you both beyond everything else. We put through all, and now I see both of you towering me on either side.

No one gets a comfortable life, and each one faces his/her share of ups and downs. As you were growing up you shared some of your experiences with me and hid some odd episodes. And that’s absolutely fine as each one has a way of expression and I totally respect it. Well, I did the same too.

In this letter, I want to talk to you about the catastrophe the entire world went through almost a decade back.

I am unsure if both of you remember about the epidemic or not. I believe Sid will surely do. 

It was a tough time, my boys.

Let me narrate what I was going through that time as now you boys are big enough to understand my erratic behavior back then.

So, it is the year 2020. Abhi, you are 10, and Sid, you are 14 when the epidemic of Corona Virus hit the world and brought everything to a standstill.

The first quarter has just begun, and my excitement is at its peak. I have reasons to feel excited. New projects are coming my way. I have ventured into cycle tourism, and I am in conversations with venture capitalists, partnering organizations, and branding. I got back to work after a long gap, and I was making advances taking one step a time. Things are shaping up, and I was very hopeful that my enterprise will take off. I was working on not just one but two projects in parallel. I am also looking forward to spending a month of your summer beak in hills volunteering at a rural school. Additionally, a beautiful long hike with Sid.

Sounds super exciting? I am almost sitting on the edge of the chair and jumping with lots of excitement.

It’s March, and I am working on the financial year closure. The news of some type of virus borne disease has started spreading. It took no time to spread all over the globe. It is called a Corona virus. It originated from China and passed on around the world through people traveling and carrying the virus with them. This virus is no more restricted to a city, but it is all over the world now. It is a contagious disease; hence the government ordered a lockdown. 

Lockdown means when we are confined in our flats and not allowed to move out at all. All offices, shopping malls, schools are shut. Flights and trains are closed too. We are not allowed to even access the garden of our society.

I heard my parents talk about black-out during war time and they had to shut all the lights and hide in the pits to avoid any bombs getting dropped. I never understood how it would be , but now I can.

The entire world is jolted, and the lockdown is observed all across the globe.

I am anxious, scared, and very suspicious of everything around. I look at each person as a carrier of the virus. I am hyper at everything.

It is almost a month that you boys have not stepped out of the house. Daddy and I have moved out once or twice to get the basic necessities. We are locked in our own home. It is called house arrest.

The new assignments that made me excited do not exist anymore. My mails are turning a deaf ear everywhere. 

At this moment, I must get an additional income, but everything fell facedown.

People who I thought were my well-wishers all this while have turned a cold shoulder on me. I reached out to every single person I know, but trust me, my boys, there was no help from anyone. I was aggressively applying for jobs, but I didn’t get any response.

I wondered if Corona has taken a complete toll on my career path too.

I am scared of everything. I definitely fake in front of you and try not to show my worries, but at times, you catch me sobbing for no reason. I am sorry, boys, I could not fake smartly.

I used to be awake almost all through the night, either watching the ceiling or just lying blank. This lockdown appeared to be forever, and the predictions for the world economy said that the world will face a significant recession.

My anxiety levels were high. I found myself getting sad for no reason, I was crying every now and then, and I was sluggish with mood swings too. 

It was getting tough for me to manage myself. I had to buckle up. Hence, I started working on mindfulness.

I decided on two things; first, I will get into my usual high energy exercising without a miss, and I will not stop trying for new projects. Hard work never goes waste, it may take time or a very long time but it does bears fruits.

I am really grateful that you boys were so cooperative during that time.

The entire episode left a lot of life-changing learnings, and I want to share those with both of you. Hope you will imply them in your life too:

  • Get an education that gives you enough for your survival 
  • Learn to save
  • Value relationships than things
  • Don’t chase power, fame or money but chase butterflies, climb those mountains and bathe in the free-flowing river
  • Don’t fill your closets with watches, clothes or shoes but fill your heart with love and warmth
  • You need very few people in your life who matter to you so don’t go on obliging everyone around
  • Choose a hobby that keeps you occupied 
  • Play a sport and master it too
  • Love your body and worship it.
  • Learn to cook
  • Help anyone and everyone in whichever way possible
  • Be grateful always

We have battled the tough time together, and I love you for your patience. Not even once you grumbled for not playing your sport or moving out of the house. Thank you, my boys. You are my warriors.

Love you forever,

Mom.

Day one for Corona curfew completed.

I was mentally prepared for huge bouts of fights, tantrums, myself getting hyper, and I had visualized everything beforehand, which made me face the calamity in a better way(warlike preparation)

On the contrary to what I thought, I was calmer, patient, screamed less and was less irritable. I could work for a long hour and manage my time very well.

Life is peaceful

Now that the boys are home, I can take calls whenever possible and don’t have to restrict my work hours as per their school and extra curriculum classes. I don’t have to carry my laptop and sit outside their classes to finish my work.

Life is peaceful.

I would confess that day one of the house arrest boys had a lot of screen time in comparison to the allotted time-slot, but they have come into the holiday mode unwary to face final exams in the next few days. 

Well, worrying is just mom’s job, and I am doing it to the best of my ability.

In between my workday, I did Hotwheels car racing, frowned at my teen, and failed miserably in threatening him to eat food in time. But we managed to have lunch together and talked a lot too.

I was able to shut my laptop at 6 pm ..and I was jumping in glee. I didn’t take any calls or read any emails after that.

I was also able to do my favorite stress reliever work- cleaning.

Yes, I love doing that. I cleaned my kitchen slab, the gas stove. Dusted, mopped, and made it all sparkling clean.

The kitchen is the power source of the house.

We work hard to have a full tummy.

Children look forward to- what’s special, mommy?

A hearty meal is always satisfying.

My dad always says, the heart of a home lies in the kitchen. I have somehow taken up this very seriously.

I want my kitchen not just clean but very clean and smelling good too.

Living in small apartments does not give many options to have the stuff of your choice in the kitchen, and we end up managing in whatever space we have. But even though I like my shelves and Tupperware neatly arranged.

I do not get an opportunity to arrange and clean my kitchen regularly; hence I used to call UrbanClap and similar local services for the cleaning. But in the end, I saw myself teaching them the nuances of cleaning and arranging stuff. At times I wonder I am in a wrong profession, housekeeping may be worked better for me.(self-praise is fantastic, ahem ahem)

I find arranging the stuff therapeutic. at some point I would like to extend this service to whosoever likes organized kitchen(trust me, I am not kidding )

The way I find my solace in running similarly, I find my happiness in arranged cupboards and cleaner kitchen.

This works !

The kitchen and bathroom are two places where bacteria multiples in large numbers. It is imperative to keep them extremely clean.

The food that we eat should be cooked in an extremely hygienic environment. It is not just a clean slab, but we need to clean our equipment also regularly like knives, cutlery, juicer, mixers, lighters.

Sharing a few pointers to clean up your kitchen promptly:

  • Clean the gas stove regularly
  • Dispose of the utensil cleaning scrub every week
  • Dispose of the wiping cloth every week (‘The mop head tested was found to contain more than eight million bacteria per 100 cm2.’https://kaivac.com/a_77-Floor-Health-and-Phasing-Out-the-Mop  Do not leave the mops wet throughout the night; instead, put them put in the open to dry and use it the next day.
  • Wash cutting boards in hot, soapy water every time you use them. Discard cutting boards with deep scoring or gouges.
  • Change the kitchen towels regularly
  • Try not to follow the Indian tradition of using even the last bit of the old garment, get separate clothes for kitchen cleaning.
  • If you find cleaning as a cumbersome process, then take the help of your maid or family members. Make it fun by involving children as well.
Happiness is -cleaning the kitchen 🙂

To keep our family healthy, we need to keep our kitchens clean . with corona and cleanliness bug setting in a high tone, I am wondering it’ll be wardrobes or the fridge today?

What do you do to keep your kitchen germ free? Share some tips, and it’ll be useful to learn.

If you love the woman in your life, then surely gift her a pair of running shoes, and she’ll be thankful to you throughout her life.

Running is joy

By gifting her pair of shoes, you are not just giving her good health but a lot more.
Encourage and motivate her to take her first step towards fitness.
Running not just keeps your body in shape but your mind as well. The steps that you take say a lot about your determination, your will power to buzz off the alarm and move out of your comfort zone, your grit to beat any climate and be out in the open to run.
I come across several women who constantly grudge, “I can’t run,” and my reply to them is, “then walk,” but start.
As per the evolutionary history of humans, we are meant to run, jump, crawl, and be active. It is the life that we have started living has made us depressed, anxious, and above all, away from nature.
We have chosen a lifestyle of luxury and flamboyancy; hence hardships don’t come to us quickly. Our health is a clear reflection of our lifestyle. Bigger houses, bigger cars, luxurious holidays, name games, the race to chase the extraordinary, and to be on the top takes a toll on relationships, health, and self.
You can empower her to lead a life of her choice.
You can enable her to discover herself in ways she never imagined.
She will understand her body well.
She will be inclined to lead a healthy life. The woman is the powerhouse of the family. She will, in turn, teach the same habits to all family members.
So much positivity!

Why to your woman?

The happiness at the finish line: Age? Does it even matter?

A woman’s body deteriorates much faster than a male body. Cases of depression are more prevalent in women than in men. Our hormones are disastrous. Research and various journals have proved that exercise boosts mental health.
I am in total awe of females who cross the finish line despite various factors that pull them down, be it age, physical disability, personal issues, or even ailments.
Running reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, and uterine cancer. Even if you have arthritis or joint pain, start with brisk walking and then graduate to running at your own pace and comfort.
Running also keeps the monthly woes at bay. Your body toughens to deal with the pain and discomfort. Check this link for what little I add to my daily regime,https://www.instagram.com/momthyname/
Following a routine, religiously makes you focused and determined. You will look forward to that wind on your face. You’ll also have a lot of “ME” time.

No waiting time

It’s a universal “myth” that women spend a lot of time in shopping and other stuff which men find useless. So, if your woman is a runner, then she’ll not look for sale on shoes or branded stuff, but surely she’ll splurge on food supplements, running accessories, and a good sunscreen. Hence, you need not accompany her and wait in the shopping malls . Hurray! Isn’t that amazing?

Give her the wind she needs

Running is liberating. I’ve heard so many people telling me that we love your “shortie-shorts.” Trust me when I first started running in shorts, I felt very embarrassed. I was conscious about my celluloid thighs, stretch marks, and heavy bottom. Now, after years into running, I gladly run in my shorts and sports bra. I am not even bothered about my loose stretch-marked tummy.
Running transforms you; it builds up your self-confidence and enables you to stands tall, defying all odds.
Breaking the stereotypes doesn’t come easy, but then your mental strength gives you enough courage to go ahead like a dart.
You run for yourself and not for anyone else. You run for your freedom. You run for your happiness.
At some point in life, we all feel burdened, stressed, and depressed too. Seeking sympathy from someone may or may not give you the relief, but your running shoes will surely do. When you run, you release excess energy from your body and also breathe in the fresh air. It’s a meditative state when you breathe out negativity and breathe in positivity.
Give your woman the wind to fly freely.

Just run,

You not be a marathoner or be a fast pacer to run; just wear your shoes, shut off that alarm, wear your jazzy running attire, hold your head firm with a chip up and adorn that beautiful smile to take the first step towards- YOURSELF

I love you for you love yourself

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