Friday, 15 September 2017

Parents Travel Woes - Shooed away with these Tips and Tricks

Travel, as good that sounds but as the travel dates approach closer, the planning involved around it begins to weigh you down. This is especially true for parents, even specifically Mothers.

Mums some how have a zillion things to plan, pack and organise before, during and after a holiday. Sometimes a holiday really seems more work than an rejuvenating experience. I am a mother of two very active brats and in the beginning the 'itinerary' would take a toll on me, but not any more. I will share my tips and tricks, of the trade, that I follow to keep my sanity levels in check. Hope this solves some of your woes.

1. Top Down Approach - Works well in all situations..ahem ahem..especially travel. Plan two weeks before you travel. Make a mind check of the supplies, clothes that you might need, any prep work needed for the vacation. The supplies planning will make sure you have minimum wastage. Sometimes you would want to carry certain set of clothes, which might just require that last minute washing, drying and know - the works. And yes, some vacations needs prepping too, like a hiking trip, or a trip to the mountains will require special attention, or not to mention the bookings and travel plans to be reconfirmed.

2. Lighter Brighter - Travelling lite is always a plus. But most times is  tricky with kids. My kids mess themselves quite often and need frequent change of clothes. Planning kids clothes that are light and easy to wash, quick to dry are always a wise choice. Instead of the bulky towels, I opt for carrying the microfiber beach variety. Shoes too, I have found kids are most comfortable in their slip on, be it shoes or their crocs. Number of days of travel plus one or two sets of clothes is a good rule to follow, be it kids or adults.

3. Hunger Pangs - Have you observed as a mother, that the kids are instantly hungry and thirsty the moment you are out of the house. I never understood if it was really hunger or the plain excitement of the holiday. Over the years, I have learnt to carry a packet of two of the favourite cookies/ biscuits, in case of the hunger pangs. Juices/ Milkshakes are not the best choices as spillage is most likely and difficult to clean (Speaking from the numerous times, I have cleaned the mess). And Mothers, relax, fussing over your child's meal on a holiday isn't taking you anywhere, if they are hungry, they'll eat.

4. Entertainment - Kids usually are lost for activities during travels, or reaching from point A to point B. Keeping their favourite reading book, toy, or a movie handy on your phone is a great idea. Whatever your kid fancies. This will definitely shoo away most of the kids chatter, giving you ample time to have some grown up conversation and time.

5. Live and Let Live - Yes, Finally...we all want our personal space by the end of it. When on a holiday, please let the kids be. They are entitled to some refreshment and fun (as long as they don't hurt themselves). This is only time when they can let loose, so mums please take it easy. Trust me this will help you make most of the holiday.

These were some of the things I do and follow. I am still learning so I might add a thing or two more post my holidays but I do hope this helps.

Bookings, check. Taxi, check. Luggage, check. Tickets, I go....
Oops, Kids, us go..

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Some dreams don’t let you sleep..

Before you start reading this lemme warn you that this particular blog is nothing else but mush. So friends please read the following at your risk. OK it’s not that bad in totality but then..

So back to my topic for the week “dreams”-funny things. You dream to aspire, you dream to become something in life, follow someone as a mentor or it may be a zillion different things. I too have a set of dreams, some which make me smile, some that make me ponder in emptiness, some so weird that I am like…whoa and some I have are good enough to be made into horror movies.

Then why am I writing this, are you wondering the same thing? Yeah me too..but I swear I am getting there. So often, off late when the entire household is asleep and finally when I am done with the day, I am either found with a book and some green tea or watching some of my favorite comic series on telly. I enjoy this ME time so much that I generally get too excited to sleep and then sleep wanders off. So until sleep bestowed upon me, I used to watch some more telly or would browse or re-read or do something of absolute no importance. Finally one night I decided to do nothing but think, I mean not of things to do or anything or about the day today life..just think. And then is when it all began.

You know the possibilities of what is going happen in your future or re-doing some fun bits of your past are so engrossing that it will most likely put a smile on your face. Like I remember walking on the beach at wee hours of night with my college friends, such a stupid idea in today’s time and unsafe. But every time I go back to relive that memory it is exactly the same amount of innocence and fun like it was back then. This one time my grandpa made me write a letter to the municipal commissioner requesting to repair and renovate the children’s park in our town, and guess what I even got a reply back from him. Was only about ten I think. I also think a lot more about the crazy young days I had and trust me I am ready to trade some of my future years to relive those, all over again.

The future is no less enterprising, I see a happier me. I see my future embellished with the love of a pet. I can totally see myself doing the ‘’eat” thing in Italy. The smell, the vision, the taste are so clear in my mind that only for the sake of reassurance of my imagination, I would like to do in the future… again. The future insights of fun filled times with friends and family makes me feel secured. I see tears of pride in my eyes on the achievements of my children. And at the same time I don’t want them to grow up ever. I see myself in the Himalayas, enjoying the peace and calm. I mean, see how good my life is already.

I know you are wondering why I haven’t mentioned about all the struggles and about moments of hardships, of course they are there but the positive of the fond memories and the wondrous life ahead makes it easier. When has ever thinking about things that did not happen helped in getting answers? but looking at the present and the treasures of life that might unfold are much better perspectives of life.

By the end of it all, I am happy to have re-lived the past and tried my hand at the future. And slowly I drift into the cushioning of sleep cuddled up with a smile on my face.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Itch Syndrome..

OK it’s me again, back after a break. I sure missed writing about a lot of things that strike when you meet interesting people. One such term hasn’t left my mind since I heard this from a friend in a different context and I haven’t stopped being amused or intrigued by it. So I wanna share with you all what a “the itch syndrome” means and its possibilities.

An interesting thing to know about an itch is that it’s a reflex which originates in the lower part in the spine region. Science experts haven’t yet been able to decide whether it should be regarded as a feeling or sense or whatever…You get the point.

So what is this itch syndrome? An itch is definitely is what we want to pay foremost attention to when it comes knocking and be done with. God help you if this Mr. X crosses your path in public and in most tense situations.

How many of us have a list of things you haven’t done but want to, or have those 10 things to do before I die thing. But much to dismay we don’t fulfill a lot on that list treasured somewhere in our minds, hearts and in secret places. As life begins to pile on its seriousness we forget the small wishes and slowly these turn into a pile of dust in a corner of your junk. So scared we are of our physical selves that we are insured for health, accidents on road/air/water and who knows these smart cookies from insurance companies might come up with a plan for safe guarding from bosses & in-laws in the near future. But we don’t do anything about living our lives like we always wished. We turn sore, irritated and totally buzzed by the parallel graph of life. That’s when the inner self seeking calm and happiness starts looking for the “list” and turns it into an itch syndrome which you will have to deal with, the first thing on priority.

Mid life crisis, life is a bitch, mundane, monotony, “I wish” are the kind of terms that become regular visitors to your vocabulary. So cutting to the chase, all what I am trying to say here is that ripple those still waters and give yourself a chance you deserve. There’s only person who you need to please and its YOU. Don’t bring yourself to a state where you can’t come back from.

We all have the gift of life, let’s live it. One life deserves attention in all its seriousness and not the other around. All the bonds and ties in life are to hold us in balance and provide happiness, not to weigh us down. So I am not saying you should turn into a rebel and become a bio-hazard. Have fun, live life and rub your back like a bear to the tree of life until its pleasures you. Trust me…you might just be pleasured when you have satisfied the itches of your life. To life, love and happiness…

Friday, 14 August 2015

Can you please mind your child? err NO…Could you show me please

I have grumped and made faces when there was an unruly child in the vicinity. And I have most intelligently even made a comment or two as how I will be a strict mother, whenever that day comes and how parents don’t put enough effort to straighten their wards. So here I am after ten years of saying what I did earlier and I am eating my words right back where it came from.

So how many of us still frown when a child cries in a movie theatre or on a flight, how many times have we fought the urge of beating something black and blue when have been forced to watch an annoying sounding cartoon on telly while we could have clearly watched a sensible movie or a scoring point of a sport. Yes we all have been there and done that. And here I am now a mother, not understanding what the fuss was about.

Coming back to the blog’s header. In fact yes someone did say that to me and I can sure as hell tell you it wasn’t what you call it a pleasant experience. Here we are on a weekend, clearly physically tired of the weekday activities and mentally exhausted with all the homework that comes back on a Friday. So Saturday is a celebration, in joy of making it through another week, tackling another challenge with success.

As a reward to our excellent performance of the week, a fine dine family dinner is what was decided as the winners trophy. We are a dash disappointed to know we have to wait for the table at the restaurant but then we were there already so changing the plan now was out of the window. We get a table after a decade long wait of 30 min, considering kids decided to play pee-ka-boo around the restaurant. Upon being seated as well, the game did not end. Though the kids were just playing among themselves and did not break anything or cause anyone any physical harm, this fine looking lady who looked no more than in her mid twenties and was accompanied by two other friends looked at me sternly and almost rudely says to me, “Can you please mind your child?”

I felt a jab of embarrassment and even felt a lil bad for her but then I thought, hey kids are supposed to be like that. How can you deny kids the very innocence and I don’t care attitude they are born with. I can understand that a stupid crying kid must have caused ruckus and spoilt your precious moment, but of course one can have a big heart, smile and let it go. I think we are losing are patience about small things and we levy our impatience on anything that we possibly can.

So next time you see a “naughty” child, the one who is loud enough for the entire place to grab attention, the one that broke a plate, the one who enthusiastically bored you with all the stories in their kitty…please sit back for a moment and think that it isn’t easy for them to be adults as yet. Fake smiles; adjust their attitude to suit social requirements and forge a personality that everyone admires is not how they function.

There’s a reason they are kids, so pure and untouched by the bewilderness around them. So miss whoever you were and my reply to the number of whoever’s I am yet to have the pleasure to meet, the answer is No I do not know how to adulterate minds so pure. I can teach them to respect people, to appreciate nature, good values but I cannot tell them not to behave like kids. They will be adults when they are ready to be, no sooner not later.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

What is your purpose in life…Woman? Go figure...

I clean, cook, provide, maintain and after all of the above, if have any energy left in my fragile mind, go out to work to“contribute” in running of the house. If I earn money, I am called the working housewife else everyone just passes me off as- the housewife. Such is my life. I am a successful daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother but am I a good individual? Do I stand up to being a WOMAN??

Let me start this controversial topic by saying that I am happily married and am a mother to the two most wild, wonderful kids. So before you write me off, I suggest hearing me out first. My main aim of writing on this topic is the failure of finding reasoning to a lot of things women are put through...not that it’s a lot different for men but then there is a slight gap.

A few days ago at a spontaneous lunch with friends, someone suggested taking a holiday to Goa. It was a great idea but I knew practically I was far from it. I mean who would pack my sonny boy to the school and braid my princess’s hair, I don’t have to worry about hubby too much but then I can’t have the poor soul running the household on his own while I say cheers and enjoy the sandy beaches. I shrugged and brushed away the thought, but upon being asked by my folks about my lunch, since social outings are rare, I happened to mention the idea of the group taking off on a break. That is when it all began…

So my poor mum who was in the middle of taking another morsel, stops to look at me for proper 2 seconds and asks me “OH SO ALL THE COUPLES ARE GOING HUH?” Good!! You need a break. I can take care of the kids. To the already hysterical state, I add, No only friends are planning to go. It’s not really the same with spouses. Ya Alright!! I had her undivided attention now. I know I know… I am being melodramatic here but for the sake of a lil jazz let’s just believe this is how it happened J

After my innocent shocker, it was my turn to answer a questionnaire. How many people? How many boys…err men? How do you know them? How many women? Have you discussed this at home? blah blah blah blah blah blah……..OMG right? I understood the concern my parents and my hubby had. It’s when I realized how many things around me question my stand as a person. Like you will still be looked upon strangely if you use cuss words. You will be opinioned if your bra straps shows out of a low cut blouse/ kameez and God save you if you decided to wear a pink/read/blue/yellow one on that godforsaken day. And do you even want me to anywhere near the topic of a woman, mother and wife enjoying a drink. Yes you know better.

I mean why are so many bad things, liberal things and manners of the society adjustable for men but why fringed upon extending the same to poor mortals like us? I am not saying that I want to break loose and run away from my responsibilities in the name of freedom but it’s my life and my say will be nice once in a while. I shouldn’t be looked down upon if I decide to take a break from the mundane routine. No one other than me can decide how much spending is reasonable spending. My time isn’t free only coz I am at home. I am a person who serves others, but wishes to pamper thy from time to time. I am no slave to the chains of society; I refuse to be weighed down by the rules for I am a woman an individual.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A ill man's tale

OK, first of all it should be an ill woman’s tale and not an ill man’s tale which happens to be me in this case.

You would have found yourself at one of those times of the year where weather takes an ugly “u” turn and you out of all people fall sick. Yup that does happen, doesn't it and that time one feels that the gods are raining torture only on you. One by one…like some sweet revenge…been punished for that gossip shared, or that piece of cake that was forbidden to eat but you ate anyway, that thing you did….then…

So coming back to this incident a couple of days ago, my better half’s family paid us a visit. Apart from having to add a truck load of work of cooking and cleaning to my existing chores, it was a pleasant visit as we rarely have guests. Plus the kids had a blast. So here I was on my toes and didn't pay any heed to my killing back aches and frequent headaches. I thought since I was giving my lazed up #@*& some working out, this was bound to happen.

Here we were wishing hubby’s uncle aunt adieu when my body finally succumbed. I was so tired that I took the luxury of taking a nap that afternoon with the children, only to be woken up by painful shivers of chill. I immediately knew I had high fever. My eyes were burning and I couldn't find any will or wish to get out of the thick blanket to call hubby at work and tell me to come back home. The kids had woken up by that time as well. I was living my worst nightmare. I was sick, hubby at least an hour’s drive away, kids milk time approaching at lightning speed …urghhh…I was clueless and helpless…

Anyway I somehow managed and hubby comes dashing from work the fastest he could manage.  He gave me some meds and tended to the children. Every shriek in the household seemed as if it was coming from miles away yet drilling my ears at the same time.  It was as if time had suspended and not in a good way.

The night passed with fever paying frequent visits and another day passed with me throwing being sick tantrums. Two days passed when I finally decided to say hello to my doc. And by the way at this very period of me being sick, my brother was hospitalized for severe bronchitis infection and my sister was running very high fever with symptoms of bronchitis infection. Both of them had visited the same doctor so it came as no surprise to her that I was there too. She also made a joke that you guys should get a family room at the hospital, that way the three of you will have company and you can look after each other as well. Grrrrrrrr…was my reply in my head….of course…

The doctor did her doctor-ly things, wrote an prescription and gave an injection for pain. And then came the words I was dreading to hear, “I think you should get these tests done, I am suspecting that your case looks like dengue”…….DENGUE….have you gone mad I was screaming inside my head. I can’t be so sick I said to the doctor but there she insisted again that why take any chances, get the tests done anyway. We came back to the car and I was absolutely mum, hubby was dead silent as if I had swiped his over credited card to buy shoes. God knows I wanted to bury myself.

The lab where I was to be tested was full and the lab technician told us that typhoid was hot that season and mostly all the bunch that got tested turned out positive. I was sooo angry for falling sick as it was killing me from within and further more that I was being tested for dengue, which made me think that wasn't I keeping my home neat enough.

That night was so difficult to get through mostly I was thinking that if I were to be hospitalized for dengue then how things would run at home. How will my poor husband manage himself and the kids? The following day we got the reports suggesting that I only had some minor infection and nothing more. I took a sigh of relief and cursed my doc through and through. I know she wanted to be doubly sure that I was well but I felt that she wanted to be too safe about her own judgment and wanted to make an extra commission at the lab for recommending those numeral tests.

What did I learn from all this?

a.       That one should fall sick with caution
b.      Falling sick is a expensive affair
c.       And sometimes your own doc makes it worse for you…

Now that I am all hale and hearty I wish everyone good health with empathy , its terrible to be ill.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Fooled at a restaurant....yes sir I was...

Yes another amateur blogger is on the loose trying to give people free opinions and a piece of her mind…ok not literary but kinda…

So back to my saga of being given crappy food at one of the fanciest places in the city. We went to dine at Smoke House Deli to celebrate my dear brother in law birthday. As a mother of two young kids aged 3 and 1, I hardly ever have the time or patience to visit these type of places so I was really looking forward to relish some great company and food.

The place is done up beautifully….I mean they have really worked on their d├ęcor…the entire place is sketched….yup hand sketched...It’s also pretty roomy for being located on Lavelle road…After a look at the place my expectations jumped a few more notches…

So here we are seated at the table and handed over our menus…everything looks so nice….it’s basically a selection of sandwiches, pastas, risotto, pizza, desserts and coffee….yup I forgot cocktails and drinks…that’s because I didn’t order any J

I scan through the menu and seems like I am in culinary dreamland…I order saffron infused risotto which is off the menu...but since the server suggested it, I went along with his choice. Meanwhile we get a small “potli” of bread aka bread basket which is great…then we get our starters of jalapeno toast and paneer skewers which we happily chomp on as we were real hungry.

Before my main of risotto arrives let me tell you what risotto is…for of course those who don’t know…it’s a Italian khichdi typically made using Arborio rice(grown in a part of Italy), which is very high in starch content and a splash of white wine, stock and loads of cheese. It’s uses slow method of cooking where rice is cooked over open pan using a ladle of stock at a time and stirred so that the rice is sticky and cooked to a slight bite. I am an adventurous home cook and like experimenting as I don’t get to go out as much…so thanks to my culinary guru Nigella Lawson and Sanjeev Kapoor, my interest in food as evolved. Yup so…

Finally the server with an invisible angel ring appears carrying my “Saffron infused Risotto” which I am most anxious to gobble down…and here I am sitting with a big platter with risotto placed on with geometric expertise. I pick a spoon and take a blissful dip into the risotto…and I wished I was in heaven but was far from it….my risotto was cooked without any wine, low on cheese, a lil dry and most shockingly cooked in haldi instead of saffron…..What was I to feel….anger, dismay, cheated…I was feeling all of it…here I was seated at the of the best hangouts in the city with the finest company of family and crappy food…

However on my protest to the risotto the server takes back the dish a gets me a new one which is in their menu…the server avenges me by getting my repeat order of risotto after everyone else on the table is done with their mains and are onto desserts…this one also wasn’t great or even authentic just about ok to eat. The desserts were superb but I left the place pretty disturbed. I felt cheated, people take out their precious time and money to visit restaurants/ places to enjoy food that they possibly cannot make at home or find it difficult to find shopping for items to make these dishes and yet here we are being fooled…

Leave a comment if this was your story too…