It’s all coming back to me

“Reminds me of our first Indigo travel.”

“What Indigo?”

“Indigo – Flight – Plane – AEROPLANE……jjjjzjzjzzjzzz,” annoyed, she made the plane action like how she would explain it to her toddler son.

Her sharp stare made him realize the mistake he had just made. After all he could have pretended that he remembered some Indigo. Now it’s too late to pretend anything. Bad beginning! For the rest of the journey, he will be treated with stares now, uff!  But did he really travel in Indigo before?!

Still annoyed, Piyu turned her face to the window. The long stretch of lights on the runway brought her back to the warmth that she had felt a little while ago – the warmth of the bygone memories. It was a week after their wedding. Ram and Piyu were excited to take-off their first adventure trip to Himachal. Ram was so excited that he announced to the aunty sitting behind him in the Indigo flight that they are going to their honeymoon. How embarrassing it was then! Yet, it brought a nice feeling about him today.

It was all Ram’s plan. He preferred their newly married days to be adventurous than romantic. That was Piyu’s first experience to sit near the train door with her feet hanging down during their journey to Simla by the Kalka Express. As a girl, she was never allowed to do this at her parent’s home. And the first thrilling horse ride at Khufri! Phew! Her horse almost missed the valley in a few inches. But those two days at Sangla turned troublesome than adventurous. The place of their tent house seemed deserted except for their care taker. It seemed they were risking something big. Though they went out for a walk near the Baspa river, enjoyed the trek around the hills and had a day-out to Chitkul, the fear factor kept them gripped up all the time. But after they left Sangla, it seemed wonderfully funny.

The tree house cottage stay at Kulu, the screaming joy rides at the Kulu Dusshera festival, river rafting at Kulu, paragliding at Manali, Hot springs bath at the Manikarnika ghat…..they’ve done so much together! And Ram promised there would be several such adventurous journeys in their life ahead. But here he is today asking, “What Indigo?”

What had changed so much in just three years?  She thought.

She could hear the announcement about take-off and seat belt fastening. Ram was, as always, trying to figure out what to fix with what. Piyu quickly held his hands with her left hand and fastened his seat belt with the right. As her hair brushed her face and her hands touched his, he seemed to remember something. Yes, the last time they traveled together in the flight, it was again she who fastened his seat belt. Whoa! That was what the Indigo all about, uh?

When both settled down, he quietly spoke, “That was a beautiful trip, isn’t?

“What trip?”

“Kalka Express, horse ride, our tent house, Chitkul day-out, Kulu Dusshera festival, river rafting, paragliding, our tree house cottage, Manikarnika ghat………,” he turned to her with the pride of his stunning memory.

After all he did not change so much in three years! She thought.

This post is written for Indi Happy Hours sponsored by Parachute Advanced Body Lotion.

Tweet about bringing life back in relationships #BringBackTheTouch

Some Beautiful Kitchen and Wardrobe Designs

I am certainly an admirer of contemporary home decors and furniture. Here are a few beautiful stuff that I’ve come across from Porcelanosa. Keep these bookmarked in case you find anything impressive from here. It will be a nice guide when you have to get new stuff for your home one day.

Also keep 24k Province bookmarked for new residential homes.

Kitchen is my love! Also the one place I hate. The place that can make my day when it’s all cleared up and cleaned to the edges. And the only territory of home that can make me crazy and wild when it’s M-E-S-S-Y. In fact I am a little possessive of it. By chance, any body else gets to enter my kitchen, I keep a watchful eye of them about what they are doing inside. Even if they are going to move a glass from where it’s supposed to be positioned, I go screaming inside to set it right :)

Most impractically, I like kitchens in white. Of course, the most deadliest chore would be to keep it in white forever. Yet, it would let me put that little more effort to take a dear care of it. Here are some beautiful kitchens in white.

cocina_gamadecor_03cocina_gamadecor_20cocina_gamadecor_03This one below is compact and would hold everything closed. That would save my dusting time!

cocina_gamadecor_21The one below, I like for the warm feel of it. A vintage look!

cocina_gamadecor_23Wardrobe is another beautiful place that makes me or breaks me. No matter how many compartments the wardrobe holds, there would always be a houseful situation all the time. More the number of racks, more I sort things into groups which I often wonder whether is really necessary. I feel clothes remain safe when it’s in the laundry bag. The moment they get washed and dried up, they become a huge burden of time. Until one fine day when they get to placed neatly in the wardrobe, they sadly wander through all the territories.

armario_gamadecor_03I like this one above with those big sliding doors though I am not sure the space inside is as big as it its doors for all the sorting out that I love to do.

armario_gamadecor_04It is exciting to see neat chest of drawers because that means more sorting out! I like the drawers of different sizes in the wardrobe above. More often, it’s frustrating to accommodate things of all sizes into one big space. Ties, socks, my clutches – everything can have a space for themselves in this one. Didn’t I say it’s exciting?!

vestidor_gamadecor_02I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the designing of the wardrobe above. Wardrobes doesn’t necessarily be closed. Handy to use, this design definitely would help the last-minute hurrying-ups.

vestidor_gamadecor_03 And the last one – this is my favourite of all! Your clothes and accessories have a territory for themselves! Whoa! But they are not alienated as it is see-through on all sides. Stunning idea!

Everyone Needs a Toilet!

Wonder what the title means?!!!

It means exactly what it says:

EVERYONE – NEEDS – A – TOILET!

While there are high raise buildings and villas spreading out across major cities, do you know that there are 597 million people in India who do not have a toilet to do their daily chores in peace? Pathetically, most people who are accustomed to open ground defecation do not believe that a toilet system is essential for health and hygiene. Since defecation in the open was practiced from time immemorial, villagers strongly believe it does not affect the society they are living in. They ignore the fact that in old days, infant deaths and deaths due to stomach infection were a lot more common than today. Yet several other villagers who realize the importance of a sanitary system lack money to build one for their own.

When Meena Kinkar, a daily wage labor in Junapani, a small village in Maharashtra was interviewed for her views on building a toilet for her home, she says her son often falls sicks due to stomach upset. However, she refuses to agree that it has anything to do with the lack of a toilet. And even if she wants to build one, it is not going to be affordable for her.

Everyone Needs a ToiletPhoto Courtesy

http://www.scind.org/23/Social-Issues/defecating-in-open-shame-for-our-incredible-india.html

I believe that almost all of those who are reading this post would be using a good sanitary system. I am writing here today to request each one of you to contribute your part to make India free of open defecation. While we are busy working hard to pay our EMIs for our new apartment, let us also work a little, if not harder, for the betterment of somebody somewhere who only needs a small space for toileting. Here are a few initiatives that you can support:

1. You Click Domex Contributes

You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

2. Help Domex Toilet Academy

Domex has announced the launch of Domex Toilet Academy to mark the occasion of World Toilet Day , November 19. The academy aims to build 24,000 toilets by 2015 in areas faced with the problem of open defecation and where people do not have access to improved sanitation.

3. Spread Awareness

If you hail from a village, take time to conduct gatherings in your village to educate people about the necessity of building toilets in your village. It might seem embarrassing in the beginning, but you will feel wonderful when you start seeing the changes that you can bring about.

4. Donate or Lend

There are several people who are looking for loans or donations to build their own toilets. You can find genuine requirements through authentic sources. You may also volunteer for someone you know in your own place who needs a good sanitation facility.

For Happy and Healthy children!

Blessed with a baby boy!

If you’ve ever updated your FB status to this, you will know what joy it brings. I mean not the FB status, the baby! It happened to us one day as well.

Feeling sick!

If you’ve put this status after you get a baby, it mostly means your baby is sick. And you would know what hud hud would go within you till that cursed virus or bacteria leaves your little one. It happened to us as well.

Exactly a few days after my son’s first birthday, I visited our neighbour’s house for an evening chat. My son hadn’t started walking by himself till then. He walked holdings things but always on his toes and never tried to keep his heels down. The neighbour uncle said it looks a concerning thing and we must see a doctor. I wasn’t sure if it really was.

But his remark hadn’t left me completely. The next day we took an appointment to his pediatric. She did a gait test and a few physical check up. And declared he needs a MRI of brain and spine taken immediately. That would also need a mild anesthesia. I couldn’t think or speak anything till I finished crying for a while. The happy and healthy child as he was for one whole year needs what?!

There cannot be anything worse that can disturb a parent as knowing there’s something not well with your child’s health. It was our time of life! A series of investigations, hospitals and doctors could actually do nothing about it; not even diagnose rightly what it could be. We only heard exaggerated assumptions from their clinical experiences of medical terms that could doom any parent on earth. I don’t even want to recollect such terms ever. It did take a few weeks of therapy of the unsure sort. But not too long, he started walking perfectly one morning. 6 months past his first birthday, today he can do all that a spider man can.

Neither do we or doctors still know what had happened and how it got undone.

Out of the several miseries around us, I now know how it is to be a parent of a sick child. Even a common cold on your child is not going to let you sleep well. And when it is something bigger, it gets difficult, especially in cases like our’s where we didn’t know whom to believe and what to assume.

We can never take control of certain situations. Never! Sometimes we are merely puppets in life. But it just takes the human in us to do certain deeds like this:

Prayers and donations!

You don’t have to believe a GOD to do prayers. Whole-heartedly send good wishes to every child who may be sick at this point, anywhere around our globe. Believe in your act. Encourage your children to do the same.

Many children are unhealthy because their parents do not have enough money for treatment. Help them. Even a little will mean a lot.

Visit this site for health tips for your children.

Letting go Diwali…..?

From a month before, I’ve been seeing ads for discounted sales for furniture, clothing, soaps, mugs, hair pins…….and what not?!! It seemed like yet another spike and sell business of these vendors. Nothing did actually remind me of Diwali. From a week before, I had neighbours asking me when are you going home? Are the tickets booked? When there was no answer, the next question was Oh, are they coming to your place? “Who?” I thought. Yet Diwali hadn’t got into my mind really.

But yesterday, our neighbour aunty asked me if the shopping was done. She was sad about the Chennai rains that she couldn’t visit TNagar this time and have to compromise for a nearby petty sale place. Then it lightly struck me, Am I missing something about Diwali? I came home. The Diwali shopping conversation was still going on in the background. Am I missing something about Diwali? I wasn’t really crazy of dresses or crackers, so Diwali shopping isn’t a big thing, after all. Yeah, true. But is it only about clothes and crackers? Am I missing something about Diwali? After the third time, it heavily stuck me, Don’t you realize, not something, you are missing just everything about Diwali!

The most exciting time of the year, year after year, was Diwali. In the then childhood days! Amma would have prepared the third round of sweets by the time Diwali actually arrives. Big drums of Muruku (Chaklis) and white ladoos were the most sought-after possessions of the house. After a few rounds of ladoos, I was prohibited to enter the kitchen. So I had to wait when amma goes for a bath or the next house aunty finds a new gossip in the colony.

It mostly used to be glossy colourful traditional clothes for Diwali. The modern types frocks were reserved only for birthdays. It was a little torture to wake up at 4 and follow the bathing protocol of amma with eyes still half closed. But a little later, when we start hearing the dishums, damals, dups, we will be fully awake in Diwali. After lunch, covered plates would be manually couriered door to door. Of course being the younger one, I always did the courier service. Somehow the ladoos delivered from other houses were always a little more interesting than our’s.  For a reason, I hate these special programmes on television on special occasions as this because the way they dilute the fun of the celebration. Evenings were more wonderful which reflected the real sense of Diwali. Getting back to school after the holidays would feel like the new academic year has just started. Delightful chats would go on and on for at least a week after the festival. And our English teacher never missed to assign us the Diwali essay: Write briefly about how you spent your Diwali this year.

And here I am still writing how I spent my Diwali in childhood because literally there was no Diwali after I stepped out of my parents’ home!

Well, what wast it that actually went missing? Definitely not the clothes, crackers, sweets! I had only one reason every year to let pass Diwali without an excitement, What big Diwali? I am not a kid anymore! But there’s another reason to save it from extinction now, I have a kid at home! And I want his Diwali essays to be as exciting as mine. I have the responsibility to recreate my happy childhood. My children deserve it as well.

In a sense, Diwali is just one of them. One of the some little things that bring our childhood back for the sake of our children. I admire this human cycle invention of God’s. Once we grow up and when our childhood slips away, we somewhere in our hearts, become like blind people in a dense forest. It is to retrace our steps back to life, that a whole new generation is procreated. They restore life before we let go of it!

Time to call amma for the Muruku and Ladoo receipes now :)

Take a few minutes to watch the heart-warming video embedded above and visit this site to send free Diwali gift hampers home. Get drenched in the memories of Diwali back at home.

Happy Diwali!!!

2 Small Actions that make a BIG difference!

Catharine Jawahar

Catharine Jawahar is raising funds for Mental health research. I am sure all of you might have been touched by a story of a friend or relative suffering from depression or the likes at one point of their life. At the age of science where a blood test can diagnose your disease, diagnosis of mental illnesses is yet to catch-up! Research can find solutions, so please donate!

Donate Now!

Visit Catharine Jawahar’s Page

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About Catharine Jawahar

I am a researcher trying to understand how chronic stress gets under our skin and into our brain and disrupts normal function and therefore our mental health. Increased ways of diagnosing mental disorders would help identify patients earlier than at present and help them before its too late. Mental health research can help improve this, so please donate!

About The Society for Mental Health Research

The Society for Mental Health Research aims to prevent mental illness by supporting mental health research, and researchers; facilitating collaboration between different disciplines of mental health research; raising awareness of mental health issues and supporting the inclusion of mental health issues in the development of health policies, funding and services.