Month: January 2014

Cooking Therapy….

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I am very fond of cooking….so much so that I consider it therapeutic. I cook non-vegetarian dishes for my family, even though I am a vegetarian by birth. Some of my friends find it quite amusing that I can find pleasure in something that can be so monotonous. However, for me it is a mere expression of my creativity…it gives me joy and is a very effective way to make use of my time.

Eating habits do change with time and kids…I need to concentrate on their nutrition, health and at the same time cater to their evolving taste buds. So, from my perspective it is not that monotonous.  I have to constantly challenge myself by presenting them mouth-watering recipes with the strangest of combinations that they would otherwise shy away from. Food has also served to be a great conversation starter…when all the friends and family are sitting for together.

Cooking has also helped me improve in many other ways.I have learnt to appreciate feedback (children can be harsh and rude critics!!) It has also helped me in contain my patience and temper (remember the hour-long preparations to dish out something nice!!) I also need to develop on my cooking techniques with the new world food habits.  I read all the culinary materials that I can lay my hands on. At the same time, I also feel responsible as a parent, to introduce them to the traditional family dishes. This does not mean that I try to keep them away from the so-called fast food stalls. But the point is that instead of resorting to retail therapy as some of my posh friends call it, I would still be more conservative and stick to cooking therapy.

My Experiences of Learning Enlgish …

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I am not a native English Speaker. I was introduced to English in my school. I went to a so-called English medium school, where the first language (supposedly) was English. Although all our books were written in English, our medium of communication among friends and peer groups was in Hindi. While learning the nuances of English Language, the pressure was more at an academic level rather than social. So, we toiled doing grammar exercises and reading classics, participating in debates, plays …hard work!! The only opportunities of listening the language came in form of class lectures and later through television programmes and few shows. Despite of all that, I would say that I came out pretty well, not just academically but also when it came to social encounters.

The second phase of my learning English happened during the years spent in England…the land of native English Speakers. I got to learn the terms and expressions through interactions with the natives. Some of them are:

Jumpers( sweaters), Bin(trash/dustbin), Telly(TV), Fries(chips) and Chips(fries)

Surgery(dispensary, doctor’s room), I’ll give you a ring(I’ll call you)

You are alright!( General greeting), Cheers( Thank you) and so on and so forth.

My days spent there, introduced me to a different level of English langauge. Here kids learn to speak the language naturally and learning grammar comes later, in schools. The outcome of this stay was that my kids now think in English…and they translate it to Hindi, when talking to family and friends. This is just the opposite of what I did in my childhood!!

 While I was doing all this, the third learning was happening from the virtual world. For long now, I have used the virtual social media to stay connected with friends and family. This has slowly and steadily brought many additions to my vocabulary..Now I use words and phrases like LOL(laughing out loud), Tweet, Ping, Wall(my FB profile), DBA(Dont bother asking),IMO(In my opinion), KML(killing myself laughing), DND(do not disturb)etc. And I find it pretty acceptable terms in interactions that are happening around.

Today, my kids find it more comfortable to interact in English and watch more movies or programmes in English than I would have ever had.  They do not see the need to read those many classics as we did, yet they feel confident in correcting me with grammar and pronunciations. And as for me, I am still as fascinated by it and intend to continue my learning….

Love..

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Being in love is the most wonderful feeling in the world. It’s pure ecstasy, no matter whether you experience love in your teens or at a ripe age. Love has the power to transport you to a beautiful world where pain, self, jealousy and all such negative emotions have no place. It fills you with happiness and internal bliss. Many poet, writers and artists have tried to give verbal or non verbal expressions to this beautiful feeling of love, but there is so much more un- explainable.

Love is pure and sublime. It is eternal and every form of life experiences it in some or the other way. It is the only emotion that has the capacity to bind communities. Love can create miracles and heal souls. Let’s just spread it..adore it..and bask in it.

Games We Played…

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Yesterday morning, I heard voices of children playing outside. It was music to my ears. Children nowadays hardly come out to play. I asked my son to go out and join them. I thought he would eagerly run, but to my surprise, he was reluctant and wanted to stay inside. I had to finally, bribe him…can you imagine!!

As I heard them giggling and playing with their ball, I could not help but think about my childhood days. I and my brother used to come home from school by afternoon. My mum made sure that after our meals, we had a small nap alongside her. As soon as we would realize, that mom is in deep sleep(poor thing, she used to be so tired looking after all of us!!), we would slide away and run outside to the nearest park or open area. The next thing was to collect all friends, find some stuff and start playing. Those days we didn’t have fancy equipments but pleasure and fun was certainly no less. The only measure of time was somebody’s mum shouting them to come back. Occasionally, we also stopped when it used to get so dark that practically we could not see from one end to other.

Some of the games that we played were:

1. Hop Scotch – One practically needs no equipment. Just a piece of chalk, flat pebbles lying around and your hopping legs 🙂

2. Hide and Seek – You only need a good pair of eyes

3. Cops and Robbers – just a gang of good friends would suffice

4. Simon Says – Intelligent tags to fool the group

5. Marbles – Few ordinary marbles

6. Tug-of-war – A rope or mum’s old scarf would also  do 🙂

7. Dodgeball –  A ball and few friends

8. Chasing Games – A pair of strong legs to carry yourself

9. Duck Duck Goose – A group of friends…

10. Double Dutch(Jump Rope) – Skipping ropes and at least 3 people

so on and so forth…The list is really endless. It was more about getting away from home and being with friends. Company was the compensation for endless stock of materials. If we had equipment, fine. If not, any make shift thing used to serve the purpose equally well. Today, my children have all sorts of board games and outside equipments. But, they are more eager to play on tablets, computers, video games and handhelds. And it’s not just about them. A latest survey proves that worldwide kids have ditched the traditional games in favour of high-tech gadget games.

I keep talking to my kids about the benefits of playing physical games. I convince and bribe them to go out in fresh air rather than sitting glued to screens. And I am hopeful that some day they will start playing the games we played…

 

“I had a mind once…now I’ve small children”

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I have a fascination for fridge magnets. The latest one to my collection is one similar to the quote above. It occupies a prominent place in my displays. It has also proved to be a great conversation starter.
Retrospectively, my priorities have inevitably changed over the past few years. I always knew myself to be an independent girl, carefree in my thoughts and actions. I was quite a risk take and a go getter. I decided my own principles and rules. Seemingly, all decisions in my life were taken by me and powerful mind. Marriage added an entirely new dimension to my personality. I saw myself acting more responsible and a mature adult. Love, care and trust became the guiding factors. All the decisions in life were still being taken by me but in thoughtful consideration and consultation with my better half.
But, the real twist came with addition of children. I love my children with all my heart and soul. They have widened my sensitivities and added meaning to my life. However, the go getter attitude has gone out of the window and I find myself preaching about wants and needs. I see the rules and principles bend and remodelled every day to suit the occasion. I try my best to be sure that they take informed and careful decisions. I struggle to meet deadlines and my schedules reverberate to eternity. I find myself calculating and planning to the point of frustration…all this and more. In hindsight, I sometimes find it difficult to relate to the previous me.
Does all this really translate to that I don’t have a mind now??
I don’t think so. I believe that this is the new me with an evolved mind which feeds off the smiles and hugs of my kids. My decisions may not be entirely driven by me now, but, kids truly are the raison d’être. Everything else revolves around them.
Coming back to the fridge magnet, that I bought, it still proudly remains at its place. I look at it and feel blessed about every single moment of my life that I share with my small children.