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TOTAL RECALL.

Petergate with a view of York Minster, York, UK

It’s been a while

Since I walked those paths

The paths I avoided

That I didn’t wanna cross

 

The streets that diverged

And with others they merged

Leaving a memory in every corner

Of someone who was a charmer

 

Nothing has changed from then

To now – the sameness surprises

I would’ve wanted to remember

Or could’ve pretended to have forgotten

 

But they all come crashing back

Stark and clear, sweeping me off

The deluge catching me unawares

Taking the wind out of me

 

A bakery here, a cafe’ there

the curio shop and the book store

Every where I go, I see them following

The memories that were buried

 

What was I trying to erase?

Why was I even trying?

Memories after a while

Always bring back a smile.

For – The Mag

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NOT JUST A BATH TIME.

Bath time for my babies was never a happy one. We, Indians, have our own ritual at home when it comes to giving bath for the babies. First the  oil massage and then the very hot water bath…works for many kids and they do sleep like ‘babies’ but it never worked for my kids. It was obvious that I was doing something wrong and decided to let go of the old ways and release them from the misery of this bathing ritual. I switched to Johnson’s products. And here’s why.

Bath Time is Learning Time for your Baby, Not Just Cleaning Time

The next time you sing a song to your baby or play with their little toes and fingers notice how they radiate with happy zealous emotions. Wonder why this happens? Simple rituals and simple gestures actually have a significant effect on your baby’s development and growth. As soon as they are born babies use their sense of sight, smell, touch and sound to learn about their environment. They enjoy activities that stimulate their senses, so the nurturing that parents provide during everyday rituals have a profound impact on their reactions and development.

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Most parents are aware of the importance of the time spent playing, interacting and bonding with their child but one of the daily rituals that parents don’t even realize is a great learning opportunity for babies is bath time. Parent’s become key to this learning experience through the interactions they have during bath time.

As a baby care expert, Johnson & Johnson India is now advancing new research that that explores the science behind happy, healthy baby development. The research shows that babies typically sleep for 16-20 hours in a day and the only time they are introduced to a new medium is at bath time. The bath is a place where touch and smell contributes to your baby’s development. Bathing can also helps relieve stress in your baby. The sounds, smells and physical contact during bath time become a magical place for your baby.

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The Magic of Touch

A baby’s first emotional bonds are built from physical contact, or touch. A simple but powerful way to increase the impact of touch is through a baby massage, before or after a bath. Giving your baby a massage on a routine basis during is instrumental to their development and can lead to improved physiological, cognitive, emotional and social development. The consistent and nurturing touch of a parent has benefits beyond the moment – it can help babies develop self-confidence and the ability to relate to others.

 

There isn’t a prescriptive method or time for massaging your baby but here are a few helpful tips:

 

  • Wait for a time when your baby is relaxed, not hungry or cranky to allow for maximum benefits and enjoyment
  • Consider playing gentle music in the background while you massage & bathe your baby
  • If possible, find a warm room when giving your baby a massage to keep them comfortable
  • Place baby on a soft surface during the massage and be gentle with the water
  • Increase the pressure of your touch to avoid tickling.

 

Smell Contributes to Lasting Memories

Newborns use the sense of smell right from birth to familiarize themselves with their environment, more than any other sense. A baby’s brain starts to make learned associations between scent and the emotional connects within the first few weeks itself. In fact, babies can recognize their mothers by smell alone. Smell triggers more emotionally vibrant memories than other senses. Pleasant smells, when paired with the loving touch of a parent, creates powerful positive memories that will last your baby a lifetime. Using a bath product such as a cleanser or a lotion with a fragranced smell provides a rich experience of thoughts, memories and feelings.

JOHNSON S_PowerofSmellandTouch_Infographic-page-001

 

 

While bath might seem like just a daily activity with your child it can be so much more powerful. Bath time helps create a lasting emotional connection between parents and baby by providing an opportunity to nurture your baby’s ability to learn, think, love and grow.

JOHNSON S_Corporate_Infographic-page-001

Needless to say, I made the right decision.

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST.

 

 

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SYNCHRONIZED DANCING.

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Savitha snuggled against Inder and let out a sigh. He enveloped her in his arms. She relaxed more. Next his hand was on her breast, squeezing lightly. She stiffened.

“What? Tired as always?” he hissed in her ears; “I am a fool to be expecting some love from you,” he said withdrawing his hand. Savitha turned towards him and kissed him squarely on his mouth, drawing him towards her.

Ten minutes later, exhausted even to think she drifted off to sleep.

There had been days when she was angry with herself for letting Inder get his way when she wasn’t in the mood for making love. But then again he would keep on cribbing about it for some time that giving in was better than listening to his lecture.

Savitha’s day started everyday at 5 am…in fact, 5 or 10 minutes even before that. She would beat the clock by waking up before the alarm went off fearing the sound would rouse Inder and put him in a grumpy mood through the day.

She then drank her tea in peace when the rest of the house still slept. The frenzy started from 6, the time the milkman arrived. Her routine, a clockwork precision – boil milk, do the dusting, soak the clothes for washing, prepare tiffin boxes for kids and hubby, wake up kids and Inder…. many a times the clock would be embarrassed for not keeping up with her.

“What will you have for breakfast?” she asked Inder as he read the newspaper.

“Whatever is convenient? What are you having?”

“Ragi malt and fruits.”

“Hmmm. Anything is fine.”

After sometime when Savitha had laid out his breakfast of bread toast and omelette on the table, Inder looked at it distastefully. “How quickly can you make me some upma?”

She gave him a hard look as she went into the kitchen to make upma. After 13 years of marriage she had been so used to his mood swings that she had stopped protesting or even think about the inconveniences he caused her. She was glad that her girls did not give her hard time as their father did. Both the girls would get ready by themselves. The geyser had to be switched on, their uniform kept out and they would appear at the breakfast table fully dressed and ready to go to school.

Inder called her immediately after reaching the office. “Hey, I forgot to tell you. We have a product launch party today. It is a formal event, so wear your gown. We have to leave by 7 pm,” without even waiting for her to reply, he disconnected the call.

Savitha sat heavily on the couch. Party meant leaving her kids at her parents place for the night and then again arrange for them to be taken to the school from there the next day. She first finished making lunch and then packed their bags for the overnight stay.

That done, she got about getting ready for the evening; getting her favorite red gown out and ironing the dress and laying out the accessories she would wear with it.

That evening she looked beautiful all dressed up. Inder was proud to show her off to his colleagues and other guests. She was poised and savvy. And as they danced together that night, everyone admired how they looked lovely together. They were in perfect sync. He was an attentive husband and always had a protective hand over her. Savitha smiled at the irony, only she knew the way he made her dance to his tunes.

 

FOR : The Book Club’s Picture Prompt #2

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SURROGATE.

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You are my closely guarded secret. You were a sin which I committed when I was helpless. I was young and I needed the money to fulfill my dream of getting into the University. It is only when I let you go did I realize that I loved you. I still do. Though you were not mine ‘technically’ you were every bit of me. I nourished and nurtured you. I felt you grow within me. I watched as you grew limbs and your features began to form and your heart began to beat. I could feel your heart beating within me long after you were gone. I was shocked when I first felt your kick in the middle of the night. I was carrying a life form, the reality which I realized then, at that moment. I used to talk to you, sing to you…and I still do sometimes when it rains as it was raining on the day you were born. They let me hold you and see you for few minutes, those minutes were worth a life time. You looked at me with such beautiful eyes. You were so tiny and perfect. Your parents were whooping and crying with joy. I had realized their dream of becoming parents. I had become a mother too. I was ecstatic but no one seemed to notice me. Today, I have two girls of my own. When someone asks me, “How many kids do you have?” I bite my tongue. I wish I can say three.

 For : The Mag

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IF YOU CAN’T LOVE THEM, DON’T HATE THEM.

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It was a couple of years ago that I chanced upon a video that went viral on Facebook and other social media sites. The video showed a teenage boy holding a cat in his hand and kicking it with his foot as if he was kicking a football! And the boy looked triumphant! The glee on his face stuck in my mind and I did not sleep the whole night. It was in the video that the boy was from Mumbai…the city where I lived too. The boy’s face seemed familiar. Two days later, I read in the newspaper that the activists fighting for animal rights traced the boy in the video and he had been remanded to judicial custody. I also came to know from my kids the identity of the boy. I had known him as a boy. His family had resided in our apartment building some years back. I remembered him as a sweet and silent boy. But how did the boy grow up to be this violent?

 

Few years back, one late night, my husband and I heard some voices of a couple fighting and the screams from the woman as she was repeatedly beaten. It was from the apartment a floor above ours. We went out of the house and made our way up the stairs all the while debating whether we should intervene or not. My husband finally rang the bell of the house. After a couple of minutes, the lady opened the door. Seeing us she broke down. We accompanied her inside and by the window, seated was her husband and he was drunk. A year later they moved to another place and we lost touch. The boy in the video was their son! I came to know that as a teenager he had become a drug addict and was kicked out from school. The parents then sent him to live with his grandparents in their hometown, as he was becoming an embarrassment to them.

 

I also remember of another incident from my childhood. I must have been around 7 years then.  A boy, younger to me, who lived in the same locality, at the very young age of 5  had tortured a pup to death. The kids on the block started to avoid him. He not only used abusive language but also picked up fights easily.

 

Where do this anger and violence in kids stem from? Parents do not realize that it is from them that the children learn to be abusive. The kids learn that with violence comes power. They learn that with power you control the other person, by instilling fear. This fear is instilled by verbal and physical abuse.

 

I have seen kids throw stones at cats and dogs hurting them badly. Their emotional insecurity is not addressed properly and they resort to what they have seen played in front of them. Stray animals become easy targets for these kids who have lot of pent up anger in them. And when you tell these kids not to hurt animals, their parents appear from nowhere to shield their kids and in turn advise us not to preach them.

 

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.
– His Holiness The Dalai Lama

 

Be it kids or adults,  don’t think much before hurting an animal. Why should the poor animals suffer for nothing? This place is as much theirs as it is ours. But we are not only encroaching upon their territory but also making them move away from ‘our’ habitat. Animals are the perfect example of compassion. Care for them once, and they love you unconditionally for life. Man thinks that he is a supreme being just because he speaks and thinks. It is rightly said that you  judge a man by the way he treats animals.

 

If you cannot love an animal, don’t hate them. Animals have every right to live as much as you do. Respect them. And this is relevant to all the things – living or otherwise – in this world.

 

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