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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
My dear teen, You know you are so terribly annoying That you are dragging me into a phase where I’ve never been. I am recording, registering and downloading every episode, In my drive, iCloud and memory with code. I will take full revenge in this life-time B’coz, you know Karma will come up sometime. I will come to your house with a grumpy face I will not talk or smile and will sit in one place. I will throw my footwear and clothes everywhere And mind if you ask me to keep in place I will scream, roll my eyes, bang the door, and make a disgusting face. I will leave the bathroom wet and towel on the bed Dare you question me Coz I’ll hiss without a miss. I’ll put all types of demands And maa Kasam if you deny I’ll create such a ruckus That I’ll drive you mad Once the dinner is cooked I’ll ask you to order food Food that I like Be it pizza or jalebi with malai You are testing my limits and patience But god forbid if it crosses my tolerance. Then it’ll be only Tsunami and earthquake So behave yourself for heaven’s sake. No, I don’t want to say,” I love you, darling.” C’coz currently you are terribly annoying Karma, my dear boy, Karma Wait and watch Wait and watch For your mom will turn into a witch I’ll wail and grin as I grow old And poor boy-your teen will come forth multifold Revenge…I smell revenge…. Hu..hu..ha..ha..he..he.
Ignorance is bliss when we are into unwanted arguments, but definitely doesn’t hold good when it comes to our health.
With few triathlons and marathons lined up all through 2019, I was in my all-time high of ignoring the pain, swelling and persistently strained IT band . When I enrolled for triathlon, I was in full enthusiasm and awe of that finish line, but I never knew what’s in store. Relentless practice, the guilt of missing out on any workout, conscious eating, backbreaking work, and discipline was the training part, but the significant component to take care was – time management.
With boys grades declining in each term, teenage catching up, workload increasing bringing in not-so-much needed stress and anxiety, I was in a zombie zone. Ice packs, signoflam was the love of my life.
I kept ignoring everything.
I understood the gravity of the situation when I finished my Standard Charted Singapore Marathon on 30th November 2019. After the mandatory posing with the finishers medal, it was time to walk to the metro station to board a train for my hotel. It was the longest and most painful walk of about a kilometer after finishing the half marathon. I was in a hurry to reach the hotel as Sid was attempting his first 10K the next morning, and he was waiting for me in the hotel. I was sore, limping, and had a swollen knee when I reached the hotel. As ever, my lover came to my rescue, and I can’t thank her enough, my dear Ibrufen Sid triumphantly finished his 10K, and we flew back. I was in so much pain that I had to ask for wheelchair assistance at the airport.
SCSM was the last race of 2019, and the final phase of my ignorance as well. I started with my physiotherapy regularly. I slowed down majorly. Listened to the advice given by my coach, followed the prescription, obeyed every instruction like a good student.
Came 2020 and the first race of the year also the most awaited one which was happening in my city, TMM(Tata Mumbai Marathon). I did not run. I collected the bib, didn’t calibrate it.
I saw the finishers pic of my fellow runners. I went through all the zeal and happy faces on social media. But, I did not run
I am often questioned on why I am walking and not running? Why am I not doing deadlifts in the gym? Why am I not lifting heavier weights? I always get a lump in my throat to reply- I can’t.
I cried out of my misery, my pain, my inability, and above all, my ignorance. But, I did not run.
I am still on rehab, signoflam, cold compressions, guided exercises, posture correction is a part of the routine. It hurts, it pains, it’s frustrating, it’s killing, but I am not running.
Injuries are a part of the life of an athlete, but listening to your body comes first.
My coach said,
“if you have to run fast, go slow”
It is said that God resides in each body, then the body is our temple, worship with all your devotion.
My recovery may take months, or I don’t even know how long but the journey right from the injury to ignorance till recovery is teaching me lessons of life which no textbook ever taught me. Patience Hold on Breathe in And Rise like a phoenix
Love yourself and your body the most, this is the only thing that will stay with you forever.
Whosoever said that having one child makes you a parent and having two you are a referee, was so correct.
Mommy, he is staring at me Mommy, he is saying bad words to me Mommy, he has taken my pen Mommy, he is very selfish Mommy, he is a dumbhead Mommy, he thinks he knows everything And it goes on!
The house is no more a lovely and peaceful place: fistfights, power play, teasing, bullying, nasty words, provoking, and then the blame game. No matter how hard I try, I am always bad. The comments, “you favor big bro more than me,” or “he is young so no one will say anything to him” come dashing each time. I am the youngest sibling of two elder brothers, and I’ve been tried and tested of all WWF moves, so it’s fun to watch a bit of my childhood but, it isn’t delightful, especially when heavens break loose at bedtime. I completely disown them and even their sight is a sore to the eyes. At times I wonder that I gave birth to two enemies who have come to this world to fight their animosity with each other than two loving siblings.
Sibling rivalry is a natural behavior, and we, as parents, have to bear the brunt of it regularly. One child will always blame for favoring the other one. Can we say that our right arm is better than the left or vice versa? But children don’t understand this, and at times more than anyone else, people around make us feel guilty. Every child is different, and every family is different. Parents know the best how to handle their children. We may be wrong at times, but we are also graduating as parents and have our own set of learnings. Sibling rivalry at one point is healthy, but when not appropriately addressed can lead to extreme results like hatred or jealously.
Sharing a few tactics which I adopt and keep tweaking them constantly, see what suits you the best:
Praise tactfully The child who is doing well, be it in academics or extra curriculum, will surely crave praising be it in the social circle or from the family. It is also advisable to appreciate to build up the confidence and trust in your child. But you have to define your limits here. Like, “darling, your paintings are commendable, and we are very proud of you, but I was also wondering that why don’t we start with our evenings walks regularly?” (or any new habit which you think will benefit your child) you are also allowed to ignore the accomplishments once in a while. When the child points out that, “mom, you don’t even appreciate my work.” You have to reply with a smile and hug, “dear, I definitely do, but if you are seeking appreciation each time, then I am not game. I want you to do stuff for your happiness and not to gain recognition. You are my child; I believe in your capabilities.”
Here it is crucial to involve the other sibling in all these conversations and give him/her constant attention.
Set boundaries (I fail here -majorly)
My boys get too much into a fist fight, throw, drag, punch mode. Many times it takes a nasty turn. They also get into the teasing-to-a-limit phase, where the other one gets wild and then becomes uncontrollable. Here I have to set boundaries not to use hands and legs to talk, or if the other person is not liking, then the tussle has to stop or total ban on the usage of few words. Children need to be reminded continuously that one has to respect other persons tolerance limits. They forget it, miss it, do not register it, but they’ll remember it subconsciously(I can only remain hopeful-pun intended)
Do not get involved When children fight, let them. Like I always tell me, boys, fight until the blood oozes, or if they start any argument in a public place, I suggest to “fight like hooligans, roll on the floor and get into a punch-me-hard game it’s much fun to watch then.” If they come to you to sort the issue, then you must have a simple answer, “I didn’t ask you to start the fight, then why should I resolve”. Be ready to hear harsh things after this.
Expectations vs reality everyone loves a high performing, well mannered and above all a pleasing child. But each child is different, so if the other child doesn’t fit into what-the-society-demands, then be it. We expect both children to be cordial and work in unison, but the reality is different, accept it, and respect your child’s individuality. It would help if you corrected him/her subtly for the unruly behavior in the best possible way your child will understand.
respect your child’s individuality
Lets-be-together-time Involve children into a common activity which they like or as a family. Here I do not mean watching a movie or a seven-star holiday. An activity that involves conversation motivates each other and has lots of laughter. Go for short walks, cycle ride, play a game, go hiking on trails, do wall painting, activities that involve body movement.
There are several sub-tactics as well, which we keep trying and testing. We all want to raise happy children, and if we have to do that, then the base criterion is that we as parents should be happy first and emote that joy and happiness on our children.
लड़ते झगड़ते कब यूँ ही बड़े हो गये
पता ही नहीं कब बड़े हो गये
अब लगता है वो झगड़ना ही अच्छा था
रो लेते ,मार पीट कर लेते
फिर भी कोइ बुरा नहीं मानता था
भाई चिड़ाहकर और माँ प्यार से मना ही लेती थी
बचपन के वो झगड़ते ही अच्छे थे
रूठना मनाना हंसना रोना बस चलता रहता था
Happy parenting and chin up referees . Boom bang…there is a battle on yet again.
I was searching for a cycling trip, and as ever, my focus was on my favorite destination, Europe. But by the time I decided and finally made up my mind, it was already winters, and Europe was ruled out.
The extensive search began again for the best countries to travel in December. None other than south-east Asian countries reflected in my search.
My cycling friends suggested doing Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam.
And I was back in my exhaustive search.
I was mailing to cycling touring companies, getting the best tour deals, searching for best deals on flights, AirBnB options, checking on reviews, bike hire, planning an itinerary. Phew! I was exhausted.
But finally, the plan was laid we were set of our trip, cycling in Vietnam
With fewer flight options, we took a flight to Hanoi via Kolkata from Mumbai.
No one knew what was in store. Not even me, even though I had planned for the entire trip.
We reached Hanoi in the eve, and after a little glitch in coordinating with the pickup guy(as language was an issue), we were heading towards our stay.
We reached the small bylane, and our host leads us to our apartment.
All the hotels and buildings in and around our stay were more vertical than horizontal, same as Hongkong. Our apartment had two rooms on each floor with three stories and a swirled staircase. We all captured one place each, luxury of staying in a condo than a hotel.
After a quick freshening up, we were out in search of food and beer. As we were walking around the street, we realized that we were staying in the central city, and we had lots of eating and drinking options.
We spotted a Czech bar and headed straight in without wasting much time.
According to figures by the Ministry of Transport, there are 45 million registered motorcycles. For a country with a population of 96 million, that’s close to one bike for every two people. Hence our guide,Tom suggested we move out of the town and then start the ride.
We reached our ride venue, assembled and checked our bikes, and were all set. The weather was terrific, and we traversed through beautiful small villages, rough patches, dirt roads, canopied trails, and places where you’ll not find tourists. We loved it. It was just our group that was riding on those beautiful trails.
We crossed Nin Bingh, did not go for the caves ride because it takes three hours for the tour, and we were running short on time. The ride around the mountains was breath-taking: beautiful, serene, and no traffic.
We carefully saw the banana and pineapple plantation.
After a great riding day, we packed our bikes and cushioned ourselves in the van to ride back.
We were up early and about for another riding day. Today we were to start our ride from the city and then move to the outskirts. While crossing the road, our guide was pretty impressed by our ability to crisscross the streets, after all, Mumbai traffic has taught us all!
We picked up the bikes from the cycle store and started our ride. We rode past the narrowest bridge I have ever seen, explicitly meant for two-wheelers. It rumbled, shook, and rattled as if it’ll breakdown any moment. I held my breath all through until I crossed it.
We then rode across the periphery of the city, crossing the cabbage fields, talking to farmers (google translate came handy here), flower fields, stopping now and then for clicks or just soak in the beauty around. Weather played a significant role in making the ride favorable.
Another fantastic riding day, and we were back with all smiles.
This eve we also went for a little stroll and watched the water puppet show. It’s just a 45mins show, and the artists clad in traditional dresses, playing traditional musical instruments narrate different scenes which are common in Vietnamese culture. Go for this show ONLY to experience the music. I booked the tickets in dance via Viator; you can choose your preferred timing and seating. Opt for the first row if possible to get you a clear and uninterrupted view.
We then chose to sit on the rooftop café and sip our coffees and also roam around the night market. The place was vibrant and lively. We loved the vibes around and spent almost entire eve here.
It was a day to fly to a close-by island. We packed our backpack (as Veitjet Air allows only 7 kgs of handbag and you pay for everything else – that’s how low-cost airlines work) and headed to the airport. There are very few domestic airlines that fly between the islands; also, they are very poorly schedules and unorganized.
But we had no choice, and with few glitches, we landed in HoiAn. Our host was excellent and very prompt in communication, and she also arranged a vehicle for the pick up at the airport. We enjoyed all these luxuries because Vietnam is not an expensive country to travel, and we were paying bills like a multi-millionaire in lakhs and billions. Uh, la la !
Our apartment was a beautiful two-floor bungalow and all to ourselves. While searching for lunch, we landed at a beachside restaurant with a breath-taking view. Vast, beautiful sea with lovely breeze made the environment all the more soothing. We had a heartfelt meal and were not at all keen to go anywhere else but just plonk ourselves on the couch.
We somehow forced ourselves and landed on the cycle seats. We decided to explore the night and lantern market that day. It was a beautifully lit market with well-placed shops and neat lanes.
I would suggest visiting the night market at HoiAn than Hanoi.
After exploring almost every lane and tasting the food and drinks, we rode back to our apartment.
It was a beautiful eve as we sat and chatted for a very long time and ended the day with a great spa.
Another amazing day
We took the day easy as the weather also demanded the same. We went for a stroll by the beach and had a sumptuous breakfast cooked at the apartment. We then got on to our bikes and, after a little discussion, decided to head towards the pottery village and coconut village. Knowing nothing about the route, we started riding. Our google map showed coconut village closeby, so we obeyed every direction instruction.
While on the way to the coconut village we saw a beautiful café and we stopped there to have a coffee. We chatted with the host and sipped our coffees. We then continued our ride in search of the coconut village. A lady midway guided us to the village, and we were there within no time. We hopped on the round boat and went an hour-long ride. The experience was terrific. A must-do when I Hoi An.
We had our lunch, which was the toughest part for me. Myself being the only vegetarian in the group found it challenging to remove chicken from the chicken fried rice and eat, but I had to as there was no other option. That’s how travel makes you learn and adjust to all types of situations.
We strolled all through the town and were back to our apartment by evening to board the flight back to Hanoi.
We planned for a short ride around the town but visited the local cycling shops instead. After a hitch start as there was an ATM fiasco that took time to get sorted, I left the situation as it is and headed for our destination. Another learning, struggle until you can else leave the issue and move ahead. We then walked around local markets and shops until it was time to leave for the airport.
The beautiful, mesmerizing, filled with laughter, secrets revealed, countless beers and so much chatter in this trip.
Our last lapse of the trip was here.
Back to the pavilion and reality.
Must do when in Vietnam:
You can land at Hanoi or HoChiMinh city; both are crowded and chaotic
Don’t expect clean and organized lanes. You’ll have a Bangkok and Mumbai feeling there
Do use google translate, and it helps a lot
People are amicable, sit with them, and talk. It’s a beautiful experience
Leave the central city as soon as possible (if you are keen for main tourist attraction then visit water puppet show, night market and center of the town)
Look out for experience tours where they take you to local villages showing you the essence of a country. You can opt for walking or biking tours
Cave boat ride to Nin Bingh
Halong Bay Cruise
Try egg coffee, coconut coffee and even other flavors of Vietnamese coffee
Eat local food, also if you are vegetarian like me do try the regional cuisines
Two days at each place is more than enough
You can club Myanmar and Combodia too
Check for hot air balloons over golden pagodas in Maynamaar
Hoi An has lots of high-end hotels as well so if you are keen for luxury can check those too
Shopping, eating is very cheap there so look out for pieces of stuff made out of bamboo
You can easily create a week’s trip in less than 60-65K, which will include your flight, stay, eating, shopping, and roaming around.
I started running in 2014 I started running when I had given up on myself, was hopelessly hopeless, overweight, in inferior health form, when my legs used to wobble even at the shortest distance. I got into proper and systematic training along with a monitored diet from 2017. A disciplined life without a single day of excuse come what may change my entire form for both body and mind. Today in 2019, when I see my medal hanger, I cheer for myself,” Disha, you didn’t give up- not at all.”
As I write this piece on children’s day, I feel overwhelmed as deep within, and I know that my children are my strength. At every finish line, I virtually see loved ones. I hug them and always raise my arms to be grateful for surrounding me with so much innocent love.
My boys have seen me in my pain, they have seen me crying, they have seen me drained out after an event, seen me sweating, they have seen me eating sensibly, they have seen my ice packs on swollen muscles, they have seen my bruised knees, they have seen my operated arm, they have seen my fear of OWS(Open Water Swim) and Sid giving me tips as, “mom, just jump.”
The last push during the labor or the feel of that prick in a C-sec has no match to the smile I waited to see. All that pain, discomfort, and the agony of that deformed body vanishes as soon as that tiny little thing is handed over, saying “your” baby. As you both are growing up and I see a little bit of him and me in you, but I want you to grow up as only YOU. You make me learn and grow each day. You teach me how to love unconditionally. No matter we fight, scream and have a difference of opinion but you get up to hug me the same way each morning.
I strive to be a better human being each time because I know you are silently watching me.
I strongly believe in human relations, and you are tiny messengers of god himself. Someone who listens to me provides me strength in need and loves me beyond without being judgemental. I fail several times in your expectations, but still, you never demean me. I have cried so many times in front of you, I have shared my failures with you and you boys stand with me like my most significant pillar of strength. You boys make me push my boundaries because I know I need to match with your pace and energy; after all, the mother of boys cannot be at rest.
Thank you for calling me mom. Thank you for coming to me as my babies Thank you for giving me immense mental strength Thank you for all fights, bouts, back answering yet ending with cuddles and warm hugs
Thank you, Sid ,Abhi and Tango
Happy children’s day to all of you and hug your kids a bit tighter today as many don’t have this privilege