All posts tagged: Musings

Pets & Kids

I never had pets growing up. I think my parents had their hands full just managing us three sisters.  We got our first pet, a tiny puppy when I was in college. He sadly died within a week. We were all heartbroken. For a long time after that, none of us had the heart to get another dog till one just pawed itself into our lives. We called her April, and we all loved her. Soon, another 4-legged moppet just meowed herself into our home. We loved having them around. They made you feel extra special just by choosing to snuggle next to you. Moreover, the combination of having a dog and a cat co-exist never failed to get a surprised reaction from outsiders. Over the years, they have given us company or a hug whenever we needed them. They have loved and trusted us without reservations. When they passed over the rainbow bridge, we felt their loss. Our only consolation being they lived a good full life. Babies: Human vs Furry When I got …

Living Through a Global Pandemic

I have to say, even in my most paranoid moments, living through a global pandemic was not on my Bingo card. I am not one to get easily frazzled, but this has come close to completely unravelling me multiple times. At the beginning of 2020, I was just adjusting to a new home, my husband to a new office, and our son to a new school. We were dealing with health issues in the extended family, and we had to cancel a few plans. It wasn’t a chirpy start to the year. When reports of a novel virus came pouring in, I was concerned but only from afar. We stopped reading newspapers or watching the news on TV a few years ago, preferring to quickly catch up on events online. Once the virus started spreading, we were cautioned but not anxious. The sudden lockdown in India took everyone by surprise. The weeks that followed were heartbreaking because of the mishandling of it. News from other parts of the world was even more distressing.  Every day …

Lone black duck in a lake

Taboos: Seeking Therapy for your Mental Health

Have you ever been to a therapist? Or thought about seeking out one? Would you tell people if you did? Mental health awareness is shockingly negligent in our society. So many of us are broken, and we’ve been told to just deal with it on our own. Seeking help for your mental health is seen as the absolute last step you can take before it is too late. I had studied to become a counsellor, but life took me on another path. It made me realise how helpful a counselling session could be for someone going through a difficult time. Over time, as life went by, I never gave another thought to it. Then I became a mom. Every emotion seemed intense and amplified. It was challenging to manage them all at once. Even with a supportive family, I felt I couldn’t express all I felt. I feared judgement and hurting their sentiments. After my first session itself, I felt such an enormous boulder had lifted off my chest. I could say whatever I wanted …

Travelling with Big Expectations

Do you have a travel bucket list? What are the places on it? What is your dream destination? Have you ever been to one of the places on your bucket list? Or to your dream destination? What was your experience? Did it live up to your expectations or did it leave you underwhelmed? Dream Destinations via Social Media The prevalence of social media and photo sharing apps have no doubt increased in our lives. The temptation to visit picturesque places only to be able to share them on social media is strong. These pictures in turn tempt other travellers to add it to their travel lists.  Many a times, the narrow framing of a photo doesn’t give you a full picture. The beach picture someone’s posted looks aweome and serene. What you don’t see is the pile of rubbish nearby or the hoardes of people crowding around and making a ruckus. Dream destinations that have let you down! The Eiffel Tower of Paris is a fixture on many travel bucket lists no doubt. It was …

father and son in playful embrace

Fatherhood

Fathers have a profound influence on their children by just being there for them and teaching values through actions rather than just words. The role of a good father is immeasurable. This is of course only applicable to families where fathers are present. When fathers are good role models, they set the behavioural standard for the child to emulate and for all other men in the child’s life. Fathers have many different roles in their children’s lives. Fathers need to make sure they do an excellent job in those many different roles. A father who is a good role model will help their children respect themselves and those around them. The changing role of the modern day father Many fathers limit themselves to a box when it comes to parenting. They see themselves as the hunter-gatherers but not the nurturers. Even younger parents, I find, are not able to see beyond this role. Changing diapers, feeding, teaching and learning activities, or even dealing with the child’s emotional needs are all delegated to the mother.  This …

How to practice Gratitude?

I am grateful for a lot of things in my life. When I’m having a bad day, I think about these to help me re-focus on what’s important. Bringing gratitude in life has helped me through the pandemic times. When I felt stuck at home, I gave thanks that at least I had a safe home; when I got tired of home food, I gave thanks for the food we had in abundance; and when my son got on my nerves, I gave thanks for his health and happiness even in these glum times. I first became aware of the need to practice gratitude after listening to a podcast by Brene Brown. She asks if you look at your child with a heart full of love then immediately think about how something bad could befall them? I did this all the time. From when I was a kid, I remember being told by various people that if you are too happy now then it means you’ll be very sad soon. I’ve always carried that worry …

Statue of Mary with a golden crown and sceptre, and Jesus

My Introduction to Becoming a Parent

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a child? Is it hard? Is it stressful? Do you like the changes that are made in your body, your life and yourself when you become a parent? Can you still have a life after a baby? Before you become a parent, every parent you know will tell you how your life is going to change completely. You nod politely thinking yes, of course it is going to change. I know that. Having a child changes your life. What you don’t know is just how completely it does actually change every single aspect of your life. No one can prepare you for that.  It’s not just your daily routine that changes, or it’s like some minor inconveniences that you have to face. Rather, it’s your whole perspective on love and life that is overhauled.  The love you feel for this tiny human cannot be compared to anything you’ve felt before. The responsibility to be the best parent you can be, especially when you’re running …

Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader with the cover of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Paper Books vs E-Books vs Audiobooks

If you have ever tried to decide between getting a paper book, ebook or an audio book then you understand the challenge. While they all contain the same information – there are differences. If you’re trying to cut your reading expenses and make reading more efficient I will explain the differences and help you choose a format that works best for you. A few years ago, if you asked any boomer or Gen Xers if they’d switch to e-books, you’d probably hear them gasp and scowl in horror at the thought. E-books are so impersonal. I could never give up the touch and feel of REAL books. It’s blasphemy to even think of reading on a screen. I know because I was one of those who turned their noses up at the thought of anything apart from a paper book. (We shall discuss book snobbery in another post.)  Physical paper books have been around from centuries and will never go out of fashion. But they are not the only option anymore when it comes to …

Mom looking lovingly at her new baby in her arms

Does having a child ‘complete’ you?

Short answer when I want to avoid further discussion: Yes Long answer: Yes, but only if you really wanted one in the first place and have some sort of a support system that will ensure you retain a basic level of sanity at most times, and at other times they will take care of you and the baby, because MY GOD the tiny things can be loud and deprive you of your most basic needs and make you want to leave everything and sleep peacefully for just one hour. But look how cute they are when they sleep…awww.  A new adventure, a new world to discover! That’s what becoming a parent has meant to me. I never knew I could love someone so much and that becoming a parent would change my life completely. I knew it was different and expected it to be difficult but nothing prepared me for it. When I was a kid myself, I loved babies. Then as I grew I understood it’s not all chubby cheeks and cute gurgles. By …

view of the city below from a flying plane with the airplace wing showing

Travel Pains

Do you love to travel? I’m not talking about seeing new places, I’m talking about the actual travel to get there. I love being in different places as much as I hate getting there. Doesn’t matter if it’s by road, rail, water, or air – I’d opt for instant transfer if it ever became a reality. Beam me up Scotty! I envy people who think of travel in a romanticised way: Enjoy the journey not just the destination. I’ve just never learned to do that. Impatience and inconvenience are big obstacles in my quest for enjoyment.  I’ve gone on road trips in and outside of India. I love the views, especially travelling in the hills with some heavenly music playing. But pretty soon you’ll get bumpy roads, traffic and dirty loos. It doesn’t help that I get motion sickness on those gorgeous mountain roads.  I’ve travelled by the Indian railway system countless times. In Mumbai locals and between cities. The longest I’ve travelled by train is from Delhi to Kerala – about two days. The …