Thursday, 23 May 2013

Few Questions which we have to answer...

I remember her dark, large eyes which spoke thousand words. I can still recall her cheerful laugh which greeted us whenever we visited her. My nose is still able to remind that lingering aroma of the hot and delicious ‘Luchi & Aloor Dum’ she offered us. She had the perfect housewife or Grihanee skills imbibed in her soul.
I was barely in my pre teenage days when one of my playmates cum neighbor informed me that ‘Sen Dadu got married again’. Mr. Sen was our retired neighbor who was in his mid-sixties and was widowed couple of years back. With due course of time, we came to see new Mrs. Sen whom we addressed as Sen Dida (A bong way to address grandma). Although Sen Dida in her thirties was too young to be termed as grandma but her relation with Mr.Sen automatically upgraded her position as universal ‘Sen Dida’. Soon, all the neighborhood kids including me became great fan of her. She helped us in our school craft projects with her creativity. She seemed like some angel who was able to transform trash items into splendid craft work. While we visited her place to just sit and watch our art work being made, she sneaked in between to get scrumptious snacks & eatables for us. Those days we were too young to notice any discrepancy in her perfect life other than her thirty years of age gap with her spouse.
Few years passed on, Sen Couple shifted to another locality of the city. We almost lost touch with them. Also, with growing age, I came to know many veiled facts about her gloomy life. Sen Dida was eldest of three daughters of her parents and she lost her father while she was still in her teens. She struggled hard to maintain her studies and started working at an early age to meet the ends of her family. Time flew and she found herself at the threshold of thirties after she was able to marry off her sisters with her meager income. Her mother’s demise instigated her relatives to bundle her off to marry any Tom, Dick or Harry whoever came across their way. They never thought twice before arranging here alliance with a man more than twice her age. She was almost pushed into an unequal, loveless and abusive relationship by the society who thought that without getting married she might remain incomplete in her life!
Mr. Sen was an autocratic, misogynist patriarch who held his bad temper as the alibi to hit her regularly. She tolerated all his atrocities silently and never raised any bleak protest. I saw her again after many years when I went for my tuition classes in her locality. She looked visibly ill. Her blank stare which refused to recognize me cemented the rumor that she had lost her worldly senses because of violence she is subjected to in her house by her husband. I came to know from grapevine that she was never provided any professional medical help by Mr.Sen even after she got badly injured on her head once when he threw a vase on her. She died after few months pathetically struggling for her life while her body refused to recover from the internal bleeding & injuries.
I still wonder why a literate, skilled and jovial human being like her has to suffer throughout her life.  I am not merely pointing out here that the domestic violence in her house could have been stopped by timely intervention of neighbors but I am trying to sketch out the deeper reason for the whole scenario.

Why it is important for a female in Indian culture to get married? I mean, she would have led a comfortable, peaceful and above all sane life if she had not been forced into this marriage. She had the skills; she could have done something better to her life on her own rather than subjecting to inhuman torture by her whimsical spouse. Why it was necessary to pass the baton of control to a man through the institution called marriage?

Why was she never able to muster courage to get a divorce? Just because that her parents were not alive, but, I know numerous similar cases where the girl’s parents are alive but always ask their daughter to ‘adjust and compromise’ with their abusive spouses rather getting divorced and being called as ‘Chhodi hui aurat’. You see ‘Getting married & Staying married’ is far more important in Indian society than any individual’s life.
Why was she never able to give back to her psychologically & physically abusive husband? It has been ingrained in our society to consider husband as demigod - Pati parameshwar! A girl child since her birth is made to understand that she belongs to the inferior race of mankind. Her will, her wishes, her dreams, her opinion does not stand anywhere in front of her male counterpart. She is born to exhibit her sacrificing skills.
These questions do compel me to ponder that the violence or atrocities against women can only be eliminated by change of mindset of this Neanderthal society which hides behind the curtain of culture whenever these kinds of happenings takes place. The outlook towards women has to be changed. Society has to accept her individual human being, who is not inferior or stands lower in social pedestal, who has mind of its own, who is able to take decisions of her life.

This is an entry for 'Ring the Bell' initiative in association with Indiblogger.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Modernday Health care - Fight with Fate

Elated and excited, I came back from my first ultrasound sonography session which confirmed my pregnancy. I was short of words when I tried to describe the emotions to my mother. She was equally happy and hugged me. Weeks went by, and my regular sonography reports  kept on showing us the growth and development of my unborn baby. In later months of pregnancy, I used to miss meeting ( err..watching her on screen) her if any of my scanning session was delayed. When my mother noticed this, she just narrated her experience. She told me that in her time, she went to see the doctor only in her seventh month of pregnancy!Gosh, I was taken back.Even she mentioned that modern day healthcare amenities have made our life so easy & blissful.
Now a days, any case of pregnancy can be monitored through advanced aides from the first week and even sometimes prior to that. 'Follicular study' has helped numerous couple to copulate at the right time and increasing the chances of getting conceived without waiting for the destiny to answer their prayers. Many miscarriages can be averted with regular monitoring & advanced supplementary medicines. Earlier it was quite common that either of the new mother or the infant might struggle for their life due to various pregnancy complications. The infant mortality rate was quite high and common man had accepted that as their fate.
But, now times have changed. New age medicines and vaccinations have changed the face of the infant mortality rate.Not only small babies, but this advancement of technology in health care sector has saved millions of lives of all age groups. Organ transplant, heart surgeries, cosmetic surgeries, advanced physiotherapy has helped many people to rise from almost their death bed. 
Unlike past, Parkinson's disease & Alzheimer' disease are not termed as mere old age ailments but can be brought under control if detected on time. Angelina Jolie has braved the stereotypical world by getting her mastectomy done to avoid any risk of breast cancer. Had it been many years back, she would have suffered with the horrible disease and silently drifted towards death.  
From common cold to deadly cancer, modern day healthcare has helped us not to succumb to the desire of fate but to fight with all our might to live an healthy & fit life.

Friday, 22 March 2013

The Braid -Tale

School days remains etched in most of the people’s mind for assorted reasons. Assembly prayers, recess bells, bunch of friends, hawk eyed teachers, annual sports day, missing homework and the endless list continues. Apart from all other sweet n sour memories, my childhood tales are incomplete without the mention of my ‘heavily oiled-tightly braided’ look accessorized with two strands of colorful ribbons. I still remember how everyday my mother tied my hair in two braids tightly after applying generous amount of coconut oil. In those days, I detested that smell of coconut oil to the core and hated it more when my grandmother caught hold of me for weekly head wash.  She boiled shikakai, reetha and many more so called ‘nutritious for hair’ ingredients and washed my hair with that concoction. Gosh…I really wished for magical disappearance of Sunday from the calendar so many times.  But, somewhere inside I was even proud of my lovely hair and relished the jealous eyes of my class mates.

Coutesy: Google Images

Tying a perfect braid is no child’s play. Its foremost feature has to be healthy hair without any split ends. Dodging the split ends is always a mammoth task. Balanced diet, proper care and nourishment and appropriate can save the hair from getting damaged to certain extent. So, nice symmetric braid is possible only with healthy hair without any spilt ends.

Time moved on to college days and two braids disappeared to give chance to stylish hairstyles. Mother and grandmother have to surrender to the independent teenager who vehemently opposed any application of any healthy or nutritious items to her hair. As a result once healthy, voluminous, shiny hair had to face the brunt of this neglect gradually.
After that, many years flew in between. Now, I am a mother of a hyper active toddler whose primary motto in life is not to let her mother park her butt for a minute. After running around the house with messy cuckoo’s nest hair on my crown for many days, 

Coutesy: Google Images
I discovered the utility of braids once again. Once made neatly, you can even sleep with them so at least you can look bare minimum presentable in front of whole world even when you do not remember to comb your hair for long. Another feature is that your toddler cannot dishevel your hair by merely pulling out a single hair clip from your scalp. So, I went back to my braided look but this time not two just one. But the task is more difficult this time. Tying braid to a bunch of already damaged hair with no time to pamper self with any oil massage or herbal wash became quite challenging for me. Still I managed to bring out a decent braid from the reminiscent tresses of my scalp.
My toddler observed me intently throughout the whole procedure. She seemed quite happy with the end result. She took the long braid and started playing with it. Suddenly she shouted…ouwwww, oouuuwww. I turned back to realize that she was rubbing my braid to her cheeks and the SPLIT ENDS hurt her. She pushed back my hair and shouted “Jhaooooo, Jahooooo”. She calls a broom ‘Jhaooo’ in her accent. I was heartbroken and aghast. My mane-my pride was crushed into pieces.
Here came my rescuer when I saw this advertisement. 

Dove has the perfect solution to keep your hair beautiful till the ends! The Dove Split End Rescue Shampoo is a part of the Dove Damage Solutions range, specially formulated to help bring split-ends together. It has fiber actives that work on the deepest level of your hair, to give you up to 4x lesser split-ends*.

I bought it with a determination to fight against the damaged hair with this marvelous weapon by Dove. After using it for almost a month, noticeable changes appeared in my hair. Split ends were visibly less and the healthy look sneaked from all parts of my hair.

Even HD (Hubby dear) noticed the change and my new found confidence with my braided look when I teamed up this loosely tied side braided hairstyle with a chiffon saree for a party invite. With an intense stare he complimented me and I was in seventh heaven. But the best was yet to come. My li’l daughter lovingly touched my braid and said “Mamma….Jhaoooo nahin…pilky pilky”. She meant now it does not look like a broom but silky & smooth. I jumped with happiness from seventh heaven to cloud nine. Thank You Dove.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Chicken stew for kids cooked in Fortune RiceBran Oil

Rice Bran oil: 
Numerous studies & articles floating throughout the internet validate the health quotient of Rice Bran edible oil. It is the healthiest oil which has ideal fat composition. This oil is light and food cooked in it absorbs less oil. It is less greasy and just perfect for deep frying purpose. Its ten benefits elevate its position in any health conscious mind.
My Recipe:
I found this Rice Bran oil a good medium to prepare tasty food for my kid. I prepared Chicken stew for my daughter with Rice Bran oil. It turned out really appetizing for my little one. A moody picky eater who has to be distracted or coaxed during meal time to slid food down her throat, asked for more ‘stoooo’(as she pronounces stew). This recipe is bit deviated from the traditional recipe which I have done to suit my kid’s taste.

Chicken                 cut into small pieces (you can opt for boneless as well)
Onion                    1 Big, chopped
Potato                   1 -2, cut into small pieces
Carrot                   1-2, cut into small pieces
French Beans         7-8, cut into small pieces
Tomato                  2 medium, cut into small pieces
Garlic                     4-5 cloves shredded
Fenugreek leaves    20-30, washed
Salt                         as per taste
Sugar                      as per taste
Turmeric powder    Couple of pinches
Cinnamon               a small stick
Green cardamom     2-3
Cloves                    2-3
Raisins                    7-8 (optional)
Fortune Rice Bran Oil      1-2 table spoons

Heat the pressure cooker and add 2 table spoons of Fortune Rice Bran Oil in it. Once it is heated, add cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves. Add onion and garlic and sauté them for a minute. Add all other vegetables except tomato and sauté them for 3-4 minutes. Now add the chicken & tomato and let it cook for few minutes. Add salt, sugar & turmeric powder. I am adding sugar here as kids loves the tinge of sweetness in this recipe. Add 2 cups of water and close the lid of pressure cooker for 4 whistles. While serving spread the raisins, however this is optional. My kid loves raisins therefore I added it to the recipe.
Serve this hot with Rice or chapatti.

This post is a part of Healthy & Tasty Recipe Contest with Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil &

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Corporate Lesson - Satin Care Saviour

She is known as the ‘tough task master’ at her workplace. Her charismatic persona, assertive looks, 'chin-up’ attitude always coerced people to look up to her as a show-stopper.  Her average looks never had been a hindrance in her confident presentation skills. Every time she stood up to discuss her presentation, many heads turned around to notice her magnetic personality.

It was those chilly days of January. She was perfectly dressed up for office. A smart pair of beige trousers teamed up with aqua-green sleeveless top and a warm pea-coat. She had taken extra care to dress up appropriately for this big meeting.

But, as soon as she entered the conference room she sensed something wrong. Why is she feeling so hot here? The temperature outside is almost touching zero degree Celsius. Inside the office it should have been a couple of degrees more, then why is she feeling unusually warm. She got tensed and assumed getting a high blood pressure attack. But, she never had any BP problems earlier, might be she need to slow down on job stress – she thought in her mind.

Almost all the meeting invitees had gathered in that room and suddenly the facilities manager appeared there uninvited. He proudly announced the installation of central heating system in their office effective that day. Everyone applauded this change with lot of comfort. But, she was not able to enjoy that warm comfort at all. She started sweating inside her heavy wool pea-coat. She wanted to take it off but alas! She cannot.

She thought ‘I wish I had opted for my hair removal’ of arms & under-arms. She thought she could do away with those hairs in refuge of woollen wears. She had never imagined of such kind of tricky situation. It was so embarrassing. But, one thing was for sure that she cannot attend the complete two-hour duration of meeting in that condition. However, she cannot even leave that meeting half-way.

It was still ten minutes left. She rushed to the wash-room and hunt in her bag for that magical wand of the moment: Gillette Satin Care. 

There it is, she found it. Then within minutes she got rid of those unwanted hairs. She felt the satin touch of her soft hair free arms. She folded her pea-coat nicely and walked confidently inside that conference room to achieve another milestone of her success path.

This post is a part of the Gillette Satin Care contest in association with

Monday, 7 January 2013

Mid Age crave vs Shave

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with

Few call it mid-age crisis, some name it 7 years itch. But Mr. & Mrs Joshi has already spent their life together while crossing three times this seven-year itch. A complacent life engulfed in their comfort zone. Now, sometimes they can even guess in advance what their spouse is going to say!

Mr. Joshi comes back home with an elated expression one day. Mrs. Joshi figured out his happiness by his soft humming of bollywood song. Mr. Joshi started, 'You know, I received an email invitation for our college reunion.'
Mrs.: Wow, that is so great! When it is slotted, I hope it doesn't coincides with our visit to our son in Australia.

Mr: It is scheduled on this Sunday. Wouldn't it be awesome to meet up with our old pals.

Mrs.: Ohhh yes, I need to look best. I am dying to see how our batch mates look now after almost 3 decades. I want to see all those three butterflies of that over rated stylo - gang with white streaks in their hair.

Mr.: Arre, one of them, that Suchi had a huge crush on me.

Mrs.: Ohh that's fine. She was anyway so air- headed . How can you forget my fan following! Almost all guys of your group wanted to date me.

Mr: (Trying to put up a brave face).....Ahh that was so many years back. I am sure everybody is well settled with their kids now.

Mrs.: But still I want to look best.

Mr.: ( thinking in his mind) Whatever! who is gonna flirt with a half -centurion lady!

But Mr. Joshi was so wrong. That day, Mrs. Joshi took extra time & care to groom herself. Contrary to that Mr. Joshi just managed to slip in his Balck tux which Mrs. Joshi got altered.
His evening stubble was gleaming with dots of white beard. But, he was not able to drag himself out of laziness on this December evening. Thoughts of shaving errrrr contact with cold water pricked the balloon of his remaining zeal to manage a clean shaven look.

As they entered the venue, Mr. Joshi felt his spouse almost zipped back through time-machine and looked like a twenty something who was undoubtedly, show-stopper of the day. She was indeed cynosure of all eyes with her stunning appearance.

Soon, all the guys errr men of their old group were found openly flirting with Mrs. Joshi. Time & age has aided them to fulfil their dormant wish in a very non-offensive way. Even, Mrs Joshi was enjoying the attention. Mr. Joshi obviously looked quite pale and lustre less. He has never thought that he would feel so much craving to gather attention from his wife and that after so many years of marriage.

He sneaked out of the party. After sometime, Mrs. Joshi realized his absence. After unable to contact him by phone, she started searching him frantically. Somehow, feeling of guilt crept in her mind.

Suddenly, she spotted Mr. Joshi entering through the main gate. Ohh man, he went for a shave! He looked really presentable with black tux, gelled hair, matured confidence & shaven look. With a wink in his eyes Mr Joshi approached her. He extended his hand alongwith a victorious smile to her and asked her for the couple dance.
 Mrs. Joshi blushed & moved forward to dance with love of her life.