GAIL-Indian Speedstar rings a wake up call to young Indian Athletes

There was a surge of emotion through my veins when I first read the news of Dipa Karmakar being selected as the first Indian woman gymnast qualified for Olympics. It was the emotion of being an Indian! Dipa’s achievement captured my admiration in particular because it is from the field of sports which often seems neglected in our country. How many young Indians are trained and encouraged from their childhood towards a sport of their interest? We certainly do not have considerable numbers.

But from now on, we’ll see a change in the trend!

Yes, as a means to uplift and train budding athletes in our country, GAIL (India) Limited has launched the GAIL-Indian Speedstar program to identify, select and nurture the hidden talent in athletes.


About the Launch Event

GAIL (India) Limited and National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS), launched a grassroots athletics program GAIL Indian Speedstar on the 22nd of March, 2016 at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.

National Yuva Cooperative Society has tied up with Anglian Medal Hunt Company as its Technical Partner for The GAIL-Indian Speedstar project. The persisting, epoch-making attempt before – focused grassroots program aims to create a pool of athletes with knack which will possibly bring honor for India in track events at the highest echelon of sporting events – the Olympics 2020/2024.

Legendary athlete P.T. Usha launched the initiative alongside the organizers Dr. AshutoshKarnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL (India) Ltd, Rajesh Pande, President, National Yuva Cooperative Society Ltd (NYCS) and Maneesh Bahuguna, CEO, Anglian Medal Hunt Company.

Aim of GAIL Indian Speedstar

GAIL-Indian Speedstar is aimed at unearthing young talent across the length and breadth of India. The reason to launch this program is to identify, select and nurture the hidden talent in athletes. The targeted age group is 11 – 17 years in 100m, 200m and 800m track events across.

The GAIL-Indian Speedstar Selection Committee


A panel of eminent sportspersons like P.T Usha, Rachita Mistry, Anuradha Biswal & Kavita Raut have been appointed in the selection committee to support selections and guide coaching camps. As members of the selection committee their role would include creating the selection criteria or the GAIL-Indian Speedstar program, and developing the training plan and module for the selected athletes at the National Level.

District Trials

Earlier this year initial trials were conducted at 55 districts across 10 states in which more than 25,000 children participated out of which 850 children made it to the State level.

District trials were conducted under the watchful eyes of coaches and selectors, appointed by the selection committee. The selection of the athletes was based on talent identification and selection criteria set by the selection committee.

State Level Camp & Trials

The first State level camp and trial was organized on 27-28th of February in SawaiMaan Singh Stadium, Jaipur where 60 boys and girls participated out of which 4 have qualified for the next level.


The state trials were held in Odisha (14 Selection), Delhi (28 Selection), Kerala (28 Selection) & Jharkhand (4 Selection) followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat in the last week  of April.

Watch Treasa from Thrissur, the winner of Kerala state trials, sharing her goals to win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics:

Intensive National Level Camp

The shortlisted children from the State trials will then participate in the National camp and selection which is scheduled to be held in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Shortlisted athletes from state trials will attend an intensive national level camp. At the conclusion of the coaching camp, final trials will be held.

Winners will be selected based on the qualification criteria and their potential. The winners will be given extensive training throughout the year.

The top 9 athletes will then be provided with a world class coaching for over a period of 5 years with an ultimate objective of one of these athletes to represent India at the Olympics.

GAIL-Indian Speedstar is a true wake up call to all young Indian athletes! Let’s not stop with reading this post. Let’s be an active participant of the program and encourage the selected athletes by watching out for the program updates at the GAIL-Indian Speedstar website and sharing their social media posts from GAIL-Indian Speedstar Facebook Page and tweet your hearts out for Indian athletes at their Twitter Page (@Indianspeedstar ) using #GailRaftaar.


Kidoonz, a new Shopping place for Kids

I am a crazy toy shopper. My shopping cart in the last few years had more toys and kid’s accessories than kurtas and handbags. And believe me, I’ve never been bored at a toy shop. Every kid’s venue is an exciting place to explore and there’s no dearth of new kid’s products in the market.

To add to the excitement of mommies like me, Kidoonz, a new kids start-up, aims to make ‘cool’ kids product more accessible and affordable.

Rishup Gupta, the founder of Kidoonz, says, “Shopping for Kids in current times online is not very ideal as everything is too expensive or just harder to find the right things. Our philosophy is simple; first think like kids and then think like their moms. Kidoonz begins right from that intersection point.”

Here are a few details about Kidoonz that you might like to know:

What are Kidoonz’s products based upon?

The focus of Kidoonz is about experiences of mothers and general attitude of kids, which makes the brand relatable to their target audience. Kidoonz is determined to evolve as a brand with ‘Kidditude’.

“We wanted to make fun kids products accessible to all at affordable prices, because at the moment the sector is still evolving and from a personal perspective we saw a huge gap in how relatable a brand is.”, says Dipenty Gupta, the co-founder of Kidoonz.

What does Kidoonz sell?

Kidoonz sells basic kids products like kids bottles, bags, toys, accessories and gears – all with an oomph factor. The founders believe that the quality and affordability makes Kidoonz an ideal brand for parents. Check a few of their interesting products:

Kidoonz Water Bottles

Kidoonz Bottles

Kidoonz Photo Bags

Kidoonz Minions

How do you buy from Kidoonz?

Currently the sale is via online marketplaces like Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart and they plan to start their own store by end of the year. You can visit Kidoonz’s Facebook page for updates. The showroom is open for private viewing of the products at Delhi. 

Contact Phone Number: 011-4701 3400

Contact Address: Kidoonz Showroom, 1, GT, Karnal Road, New Delhi – 110033

Hope all the mommies out there have a great shopping experience at Kidoonz. Please leave below your personal experience of Kidoonz shopping.


Launch of IndiPR, a Content Marketing Platform

Anybody can become an entrepreneur today, regardless of education and experience. As long as passion is the driving force, a new start-up isn’t a far-reach. However, not all businesses reach far, because not all entrepreneurs can become efficient marketers.

Do you own a new business and looking out for ways to connect with relevant influencers? Or perhaps, do you want to expand the audience of your established concern?

Well, IndiPR has something valuable for you!

Anybody can own and run a blog. In fact, it’s easier done than said. However, not all influencers are privileged to connect with leading brands and sponsors.

Are you an ardent blogger with a great zeal for publishing first-hand marketing content? Are you waiting for brands to knock your door?

IndiPR has something valuable for you too!

Exactly! IndiPR connects businesses and influencers! Take a quick glance, below, of what it is and how it works:

What’s IndiPR?

IndiPR, launched by Indiblogger, the largest Indian blogging platform, is a system designed to help businesses with their content marketing needs and reward quality publishers with an income.

How does it work?

For digital marketers:

You have a press release for your product or company and you would like to get it published across top blogs. Here’s what you would do:

  1. Visit IndiPR and sign-up
  2. Select your budget
  3. Pay online
  4. Upload your Press Release
  5. View the published articles on your dashboard after only 72 hours of posting your project

Who will be your influencers?

You ought to know them, well, not really! IndiPR includes the smart ‘Automated Influencer Targeting Engine’, or ‘AITE’, which utilizes a combination of quality checks, internal scores that have been tracked for over a decade and your ratings of the articles written for you to intuitively serve your requirement. That means, you do not have to manually select the influencers.

IndiPR Automated Influencer Targetting

During IndiPR launch, Karthik DR, Co-founder & Business Head at IndiBlogger said, “The amount of time that people spend in trying to identify and contact influencers is huge. With, you don’t have to worry about any of this as the system just needs your Press Release. The rest is history!”

Can you try IndiPR before paying?

Yes. IndiPR offers an ‘All access Free Trial’ to your company when you sign-up. You can expect a maximum of 5 articles from your free trial.

Do you want to know more?

Read IndiPR FAQs here and contact,

Anoop Johnson

Phone – +91-9900-001655 or 0124-4891498

For bloggers:

You are a blogger who publish content on one or a few specific areas, for example, technology, fashion etc. When a brand related to one or more of your blog’s niche areas posts a press release, how do you get to publish it on your blog and get paid?

  1. Visit Indiblogger and sign-up. Register your blog if it complies with the given guidelines.
  2. When a new project is posted, the system alerts all the registered publishers and you will be able to apply for it.
  3. If chosen from the pool of applicants by AITE, you can reject or accept the project. Once you accept the project, you will not be able to cancel it for any reason.
  4. The system automatically dispenses publisher payments within 14 business days from the day the project is posted.

Renie Ravin, the Founder and CEO of IndiBlogger, says about IndiPR, “We believe that this system will help Influencers with fresh and new content on their site every day. In a way, you could be writing about the next Google without even realizing its immense potential.”

Do you want to know more?

Read IndiPR FAQs here and contact,

Anoop Johnson

Phone – +91-9900-001655 or 0124-4891498

Credihealth Blog

Credihealth: A Resourceful Online Platform for Health services

There are times like relocating to a new town or starting a new life in a new city, when, out of the blue, we find ourselves in need of finding a reliable doctor and hospital. Trust me, much of general search in the internet has never been helpful in this case. Most of the general information and reviews about doctors and hospitals in India, available online, aren’t backed up with sufficient and dependable data.

To cater to this inevitable need of the time, Credihealth offers thoughtful online consultation for locating the right doctor and hospital to cover our needs and preferences. Here’s a quick list of how and for what Credihealth can be beneficial:

Credihealth Features

1. Get access to a reliable database of doctors and hospitals: When on the look-out for a specialist, we might spot a few clinics while driving or a neighbour might recommend someone. However, it might not be a comprehensive list. That’s the first step where Credihealth comes to our rescue. The website provides a wide source of credible information about doctors with respect to their specialization, education, years of experience, their practicing centres, consultation charges, to name a few. Additionally, one can shortlist doctors according to locality or other preferred criteria. For instance, below is a snapshot of pediatrics in Chennai, listed by Credihealth. Likewise, information related to hospitals based on locality, insurance coverage and facilities are also provided.

Credihealth Find Doctors

2. Choose doctors of a preferred criteria and compare: One might prefer a doctor at a near-by locality for convenience; other might weigh experience than other qualifications, yet some might be keen spending less for consultation. Depending on our individual preferences, we can select the doctors and get a comparative chart with Credihealth. For instance, I have chosen three pediatrics from the list mentioned above, based on the years of experience and here’s the comparative chart given by Credihealth which helped me to make a decision.

Credihealth Compare Doctors

3. Watch doctor interviews and patient feedback: This is a unique feature of Credihealth to further assist us in getting to know the doctors through their video interviews and through first-hand feedback from patients.

Credihealth Doctor Videos

4. Get personalized assistance through the journey of hospitalization: The database is only to kickstart your search. And Credihealth services just begins there! Do you want to book an appointment with a doctor or at a hospital from the comfort of your home, without going through the hassles of call waiting and IVR? Do you need further assistance in getting to understand the kind of complication your body is going through? Are you apprehensive about how much the overall procedure is going to cost you? Leave your worries to Credihealth! Their medical experts shall provide you guidance through every step of your medical need – from booking an appointment (with more than 500 hospitals in 10 major Indian cities) to taking care of the discharge procedures. The good news is that these services, including a comprehensive surgery estimate from 3 hospitals, are free.

5. Credihealth Blog: Their blog needs a special mention because it defines their true spirit of imparting health information and education to commoners. Diverse areas of health are covered, written in simple language without complicated medical terms. When you visit Credihealth, remember to see through the blog, you might find a few posts that would answer your quick health questions. 
Credihealth Blog

To get further insight about Credihealth, you can browse through their website, use the Credihealth Android app and look through their social media channels.

Asian Paints Woodtech Emporio PU

Revamp an old Furtniture with Asian Paints

Over the years, our ancestors keep leaving their existences one by one. However, one or few of the arts and the things they used might have remained somewhere in our homes, silently connecting us with the then lifestyles of the bygone eras. One such wooden furniture that had been close to my great grandfather is the table you see below.

Wooden Table

He was just sixteen when he had made this table by himself with the little money he had earned as a little boy. After him, this table had seen several hands and homes of our family members and now it is under my nurture. The coldness of the years were visible on the table when it reached me, so I decided to refurbish the piece such that it can make a statement in my home decor.

I plan to set up a small room of antique collectibles which will include several valuable memoirs of our family and placing this table in the room will be a perfect addition. Initially I assumed that re-working on furniture is all about applying a paint of my favourite colour on the table. When I researched a little on it, I realized how ignorant I had been in this subject. Inspired by the Asian Paints Woodtech Studio, I decided to consider their woodtech solutions for my new DIY project. Asian Paints brings its state of art technology under the new brand name of “Asian Paints Woodtech”. It offers a range of wood finishes products in association with their new tie up with Renner Italia Spa.

When I went through the details in their studio, I learnt that first I need to select a wood with which I want my table to be restructured and then continue with the selection of wood finish to suit my decor. Thanks to the description of characteristics of each of the wood types offered by them, I could choose Pine wood for its light weight and easily-workable nature.

Selection of Wood Asian Paints Woodtech

Interestingly, Asian Paints Woodtech also offers translucent wood stains in many shades which can impart shade to an interior wooden surface.

Wood Stain Shades Asian Paints Woodtech

For instance, if I chose a green shade on my pine wood, it would look like this:

Wood Stain Green Asian Paints Woodtech

Next comes the selection of wood finish. Asian Paints Woodtech offers a superior range of wood finish products which one choose from with respect to their requirements of resistances against heat, stain, solvent, scratch, high gloss retention, durability, non-yellowing property, clarity of image and speed of drying. From their Italian range of wood finishes, I chose Woodtech Emporio PU because of its accelerated drying, high calibre hardeners that can withstand deep impacts and chipping and super scratch and stain resisting properties. Its available in several shades including metallic colours and comes in both gloss and matt finish.

Asian Paints Woodtech Emporio PU

To suit the theme of my antique collection, I chose metallic gold shade in matt finish for the antique table.

Woodtech Emporio PU Metallic Shades

I consider my DIY project as a beginner’s work as an expert’s advice has been missing in it. However, if I can visit one of the Asian Paints Signature Stores in Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata, it can make an additional difference with expert guidance.

Do you have an old furniture at home which you think can transform to your style statement? Get, ready, visit the nearest Asian Paints Signature Store and see the magic which unfolds!

Bunty The Sailor Doll

Bunty, The Sailor Doll

We had completed class seven then. My best friend and I opened a library during the summer holidays. We named it ‘The Golden Library’. We collected all kinds of books from both our houses and begged a neighbour aunty to give us space in her huge veranda. With the help of a few wooden racks, we set the library. We decided to collect 25p for every book rented for a day. Initially, none were interested in our business. So we went door-to-door canvassing about our library. When parents finally visited us, unable to tolerate our pestering, we would encourage (literally force) them to choose a book for their children. Slowly, we picked up speed and in fact we did really encourage the habit of reading in our neighbour circle. And we managed to earn Rs. 200 in a month before our school reopened.

At the end, we spit all the books into two and took them back home. Many of my books reached her place and I received a lot of her’s too. That’s how Bunty comics – The Sailor Doll came to me. I’ve never been fond of comics. Once I had bought Archies comics and had it lying in my shelf for years before I gave it away to somebody. For some reason, this particular comics interested me.

Bunty comics

It is a fantasy comic of a young girl, whose name I don’t remember. She has a doll called Sam and they board a cruise on a school trip. During the course of the sail, Sam exhibits strange forms of communication as though he is trying to tell her something. One day, Sam slips off her and she is intrigued because she felt it was almost Sam had voluntarily slipped by himself.  She gets a dream where she sees Sam calling her name. And one day, she discovers a note from Sam’s pocket which reads Titanic and the date April 14, 1912. She finally understands that before Sam came to her, he was with a girl who drowned during the Titanic wreck. Strangely, the ship they were sailing in has close similarities like the name of the captain. At te end, exactly on April 14, Sam again slips off her hand, this time she is sure he did it and drowns into the water.

Bunty Comics April 2012

The emotion she feels after Sam falls into the water is what has made me remember this tale even after so many years. Both Sam and the girl love each other but it was something like unless Sam sacrifices his life in water, their ship would also have to meet the same fate as Titanic and the girl would have lost her life. The eerie incidences and the touching end has made an impact in me as a child.

Bunty Sam

Every time I hear the word comics, my memory drifts back to this story. Adding to my fond memory, this is in fact the only comics I’ve read till today!

Do you have a memorable comics-reading experience to share? Please share, I would love to hear.

This post is inspired by Indiblogger’s Indispire Edition 106:

Comics are something we all loved during childhood but now in the digital age many have closed down. Which ones were the ones you loved or if got a chance to read them, would love to have them again? #Mycomics

Posted by Shwetabh Mathur under Hobbies

Photo Courtesy

Header Image:

Other images:

After the Floods by The Chennai Bloggers Club

Upcoming Release: ‘After the Floods’ – An Anthology of Short Stories by The Chennai Bloggers Club

Authored by Members of The Chennai Bloggers Club

Edited by Mahesh Lakshmanan

Book Cover Design by Kishor LN

The trials, emotions and triumph of the city of Chennai, stirred by the 2015 floods, have been thoughtfully manifested into an anthology of short stories by The Chennai Bloggers Club (CBC). This upcoming anthology, ‘After the Floods’ is authored by twenty bloggers of CBC who have earnestly brought out the voice of Chennai in their stories. Written in diverse genres, the anthology is certain to delight readers of various interests. While the book is awaiting its release, next month, I request all of you to watch out for updates about the release or bookmark this page for updates.

Did I miss to mention that I am one among the 20 authors?! Yeah, I feel excited to be a part of this and glad, for this will be my third short story publication.

About the Book

In late November 2015, Chennai was hit by rains of unprecedented proportions. Even before the rain waters could drain away properly, December saw severe rains caused by a cyclone. The streets were flooded and thousands lost their homes and livelihoods. Chennai picked herself up and inspired the world around her.
The Chennai Bloggers Club (CBC) is bringing out this anthology of short stories inspired by the floods. Each story has been penned by a different blogger from CBC. The tales have just one core message – “We shall overcome and stand united as a city that cares for itself.”


Note that the links will take to their respective blogs.

Book Video Trailer

Video animation by Kishor LN
Video Music by Vignesh Vijayakumar


Snippets from the short stories


Continue reading “Upcoming Release: ‘After the Floods’ – An Anthology of Short Stories by The Chennai Bloggers Club”

Xin Da Educational Computer

Xin Da Educational Computer: Toy Laptop Review

Xin Da Educational Computer Review

Xin Da Educational Computer is a toy laptop, admirably designed for toddlers. Like an adult laptop, the Xin Da Educational Computer has a keypad and a open/close monitor which flashes digital display of alphabets and numbers in red colour.

Xin Da Educational Laptop

The Keypad includes a power button, volume keys, numbers 1- 10, alphabets in both upper and lower cases, a mathematical function key, two keys for fruits (Watermelon and Strawberry) and two keys for animals (Gorilla and Panda). The keypad also includes a speaker that renders good quality of audio.

Laptop for toddlers

Laptop for children

Xin Da Educational Computer features the following functions:

Here’s a video demo of the functions:

  1. Languages: Children can learn in English and Chinese using the respective language keys.
  2. Letter Mode: After keying in the ‘Letter Mode’, when an alphabet key is pressed, the respective alphabet is displayed on the monitor and a computerised voice pronounces the alphabet. In the letter mode, when numbers are pressed, musical notes are played. The fruits and animals keys will speak the names of the respective fruit/animal.
  3. Word Mode: After keying in the ‘Word Mode’, when an alphabet key is pressed, the audio of a word beginning with the respective alphabet is heard while the monitor displays the letter. Note that the sticker images that the words denote can be found around the monitor. For instance, if you key in ‘A’, the monitor displays ‘A’ and the audio pronounces ‘Airplane’, the image of which can be found around the monitor. In the word mode, when numbers are pressed, the respective number is displayed on the monitor while the computerised voice pronounces the number. The fruits and animals keys will speak the names and the sounds of the respective fruit/animal.
  4. Spell Mode: In the spell mode, when an alphabet is pressed, it spells the word which begins with the respective alphabet. For example, when ‘A’ is pressed, it spells the word ‘A-I-R-P-L-A-N-E’ and the monitor displays the respective alphabets’A-I-R-P-L-A-N-E’ along with the audio. The fruits and animals keys willspell the names of the respective fruit/animal.
  5. Music Mode: When the ‘Music Mode’ is pressed, it plays the music of the ‘ABC’ song.
  6. Singing Mode: When the ‘Singing Mode’ is pressed, it sings the ‘ABC’ song.
  7. Asking Mode: When the ‘Singing Mode’ is pressed, it will ask a question. If the right key is pressed, it will declare that it is the right answer. If the wrong key is pressed, it will say that it is the wrong answer and inform what was the key that was pressed. For instance, if the question is, “Press the alphabet ‘Q’, if you press the Q key, it will say that it’s right. However, if you press ‘R’, it will inform that the answer is wrong and what you had pressed was ‘R’. More examples of questions: Where is Gorilla? Pressing the animal (Gorilla key) key will give the right answer. Where is Square? Pressing the alphabet ‘S’ key will give the right answer.
  8. +/- (Mathematical Function) Key: When this key is pressed, it will ask an addition/subtraction based question. Example, 6+3= what. If you press the ‘9’ key, it will declare it is the right answer.

Laptop for Kids

The Xin Da Educational Computer can offer great entertainment and learning for kids of around 2 – 5 years. It is portable with an handle for easy carrying, weightless and occupies less space. It comes packed in a compact cardboard box. It requires 3 AA batteries for operation. The size is compact for a toddler. The visual, audio and the key pad quality are good. It is available in online shopping portals and quite affordable.

Boat ride

Mia & Grandpa go for a Boat Ride: Children’s Story (Ages 4 – 12)

Story and illustrations by Nandhini Chandrasekaran.

You might want to read my previous story, The North Star, Nature’s Navigator.

Mia is at Grandpa’s home for a holiday.

“Little Mia, my neighbour has lent us a boat for today. He needs it in the morning though,” Grandpa informed Mia.

“Wow! Boat ride would be fun, grandpa!” exclaimed Mia.

“Yeah, it will be. But, we will have to leave early. Else, we would have to return home in the dark,” Grandpa sounded a little concerned.

“In the dark? How will we find our way back in the dark, Grandpa? That would be scary.”

“We don’t have to get scared. There’s a lighthouse near the beach, so that should help us to navigate,” said Grandpa.

“What is a lighthouse, Grandpa?” asked Mia.

“I shall tell you when we get into the boat. Let’s wear our life jackets now, pack water and some snacks and start right away, lest we might get late,” said Grandpa, pointing to the life jackets.

“Can I take my sand toys too if we are going to the Merry Beach?” asked Mia.

“Of course, you can, my little Mia!” said Grandpa, picking up two life jackets.

“Why should we wear a life jacket, Grandpa?” asked Mia, extending her hand to the smaller of the two jackets.

Mia and Grandpa buckled their life jackets tight while Grandpa began to explain, “Life jackets prevent us from drowning, in case we accidentally happen to fall into the water.”

“How does the life jacket work?”

Exercise I: You will need a bucket or a vessel of water, a spoon and a paper boat. Follow Grandpa’s instructions below.

Place a spoon in a bucket of water. Observe what happens. The spoon would get to the bottom of the bucket. Why? Because, the spoon is heavier. Now place a your paper boat on the water surface inside the bucket. The boat would float instead because it is made of paper which is light in weight. This is exactly how a life jacket works. The inside of a life jacket is made of a material called foam, which is lighter in weight, keeping it afloat on water.

Grandpa continued, “That is why wearing a life jacket is an important boating navigation rule. Also, we must take care to wear the right size of the jacket. If you were to wear my jacket, it would be too loose for you, making you less fit to float. On the other hand, if you wear a tight jacket, it might tighten your neck while floating.”

“Now, it makes sense to wear my life jacket. But, Grandpa, why are life jackets orange in colour?” asked Mia.

“Imagine that someone wearing a green or a blue jacket is crying out for help, after been caught in sea waves. How likely are you to spot the person from a distance?” asked Grandpa.

“May be not easy,” answered Mia.


“May be because green and blue are too close to differentiate,” reasoned Mia.

“Brilliant, Mia! Orange, yellow and red are bright colours that can be easily identified even from a distance. That is why most life jackets come in these colours,” explained Grandpa.

Exercise II for kids: How many orange jackets and blue jackets can you find in the picture below?

Life Jacket

If you could spot three orange jackets and five blue jackets, you’ve found all of them! Check the circled life jackets in the picture below.

Which colour was easier to find?


Mia enjoyed the boat ride as Grandpa moved the boat away from the shore.

Grandpa began, “Do you see a tall building in white and red, near the shore?” asked Grandpa.

“Yes, what is it?” asked Mia.

“It is a lighthouse,” answered Grandpa.

“Why is this building so tall, Grandpa?


“I’ll tell you why,” Grandpa continued to brief a few facts about the lighthouse:

  • A lighthouse is a tall tower, located mostly near the shores of oceans or seas, which helps the sailors in navigation.
  • The top of the tower has a bright light which keeps rotating in some light houses. During night, sailors can spot the light from the lighthouse even if they are sailing far from the shore, because the light in the lighthouse is situated at a huge height from the land. The light warns the sailors that a shore or rock is near.
  • During times of heavy fog, the light from the lighthouse might not penetrate through the fog, to be seen by the sailors. In such times, a foghorn which produces warning sound, operates from the lighthouse.
  • Thus, navigation in dark is made easier by the light and foghorn from the lighthouse.

“Awh! The lighthouse is interesting, Grandpa.”

“It is, little Mia. Here we come to the Merry Beach. Let’s get down to play.” informed Grandpa. Mia had fun building sand castles while Grandpa enjoyed the fish bites on his feet in water. As dusk had set in, Grandpa called out Mia to get back to the boat.

Sand castle on the Beach

It became dark and the light that reached them from the distant lighthouse, helped Grandpa to keep a track of the direction they had to move towards.

All of a sudden, halfway through the sea, the light from the lighthouse went off. Grandpa and Mia were caught in darkness.

“It’s unfortunate! I’ve hardly seen the light go off in several years,” exclaimed Grandpa.

“Can we still find our way, Grandpa?” asked Mia.

“I don’t think so,” replied Grandpa worried.

A thought struck to Mia, “Grandpa, which direction should we move towards, to reach home?” asked Mia.

“The North, my little girl,” answered Grandpa with worry and concern filling his voice.

“I know how we can find our way back home, Grandpa. Last week, Mommy and I were at the terrace where she explained how the North Star can help sailors to navigate,” spoke Mia with great interest. (Check the link to the previous story where Mommy explains Mia about the North Star).

The North helps in Navigation

“The North Star? Yes, you are right, Mia. The North Star always points to the North which has helped sailors in early days to navigate through the seas. I used to tell stories about the stars and moon to your mother and uncle when they were little children like you,” said Grandpa.

“Yes, it was one of your stories that Mommy told me the other day. I think I know how to find the North Star. First look for the Big Dipper. Hmm……here it is. Isn’t that the Big Dipper, Grandpa?” asked Mia, pointing to the sky.

“Oh yeah, you are right! That’s the Big Dipper,” Grandpa sounded relieved now.

“Locate the two stars that are farthest from the tail end. Here they are. Draw a line with your vision and come a little downwards…..and here it is, the North Star!” screamed Mia in joy.

“Good job, Mia. I am impressed with your navigating skills,” appreciated, Grandpa. “Let’s ride our boat towards the direction of the North Star, we shall reach home in sometime,” said Grandpa, feeling happy about how one of his own stories has come for their rescue, after several years.

Thus, guided by the North Star, Mia and Grandpa reached home safely.

It was an interesting boat ride, wasn’t it?

If you and your children enjoyed reading this story and doing the exercises, please drop in a line below. I would love to hear your experiences.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

ChuChu TV

ChuChu TV – A Peppy & Inspiring Musical time for Toddlers!

If you have a toddler at home, I don’t have to explain to you how indispensable YouTube nursery rhymes have become in our lives. For children, watching rhymes is not only fun but is also a stimulus for musical and visual cognition, learning and imagination. For parents, it can mean a little time off from the kids or an interesting bonding activity with kids or an easy way to make them have food or simply a re-learning of the nursery rhymes:) However, it is inevitable that children must be rightly guided about the limitation of time they spend watching videos.

Most often, parents search for a specific rhyme or nursery rhymes, in general, in YouTube. From the list of search results, they play videos in random. It might feel alright in the beginning. However, with time one would want to play videos which are more meaningful and different from the older versions of nursery rhymes, to their children.  If you are looking for something similar, you may want to try ChuChu Tv, a YouTube channel of creative, music-filled, nursery rhymes and songs for preschoolers.

I’ll tell you why!

As a child, I often wondered why the black sheep had to give the third bag of wool to the little boy who lives down the lane. The pictures on the rhymes book would depict a happy boy playing with the black sheep. I assumed that the black sheep gave it away to him because he was his friend. These popular rhymes are just age-old rhymes and they don’t allow little minds to infer logic or a message. Well, that’ s what I had assumed, at least.

Now this is where ChuChu TV makes a difference! Here’s the new version of ‘Baa Baa Black sheep’ by this channel.

Doesn’t it make much sense now why the black sheep gave the third bag of wool to the little boy who lives down the lane?

As a matter of fact, a moral message in the form of a song, precedes the rhyme. It goes like this:

Sharing makes our life happy Baa Baa

The more we share the more we have Baa Baa

Sharing makes our life joyful Baa Baa

Sharing is a way of caring Baa Baa

The rhyme makes children learn the moral values of sharing, caring and helping people who are in need. A two-year old might not relate the fact that sheep can help in offering its wool to knit a sweater which in turn can help the little boy from the cold as he lives on the lane. However, this video has been thoughtfully developed which clearly educates children of the message the rhyme intends to deliver. The images below, taken from the video, are an example of how the developers have gone that extra mile to bring meaning to the rhyme.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

The little boy who lives down the lane

Another rhyme that caught my attention from ChuChu TV is ‘Chubby Cheeks’.

As you would have known, this rhyme describes the features of a little girl and says she is the teacher’s pet. Indirectly, it implies that it is because of the cute facial features and her fair complexion, the girl deserves to be the teacher’s pet. As a parent, I would definitely not want my son to learn such values. I assume no parent would want either.

The traditional rhyme includes these lines:

Rosy lips, Teeth within.

Curly hair, Very fair.

Eyes are blue, Lovely too.

However, ChuChu TV’s new version goes like this, instead:

Smiling lips, Teeth within.

Curly hair, Flows in air.

Eyes are cute, Lovely too.

This is one place where ChuChu TV stands out in its innovation.

From the image below, taken from the original video, you can see that the rhyme describes features of five little girls of both dark and fair complexions and different hair colours. Thus, what reaches children is that beauty and complexion are independent of each other. I would definitely want my son to learn this value. As a matter of fact, all ChuChu TV rhymes portray children of both complexions, dark and fair. It is said that what children see and hear while young makes significant impact in their mind. In order to break the obsession of complexion (which is deeply rooted in India), rhymes like this are what we must choose for our children to watch.

Chubby Cheeks

The rhyme doesn’t end here. It continues in the same rhythm with a moral message. Here are the rest of the verses:

Helping all, Big or small,

Makes you loved, by one and all.

Smiling face, And friendly ways,

Care and share, That’s a lovely pair.

Teacher’s pet, Is that you?

Yes, yes, yes!

Thus, it says along with adorable features, moral values like caring and sharing makes them teacher’s pet.

Apart from innovation and moral values, the animations and music are done well too. Most of the rhymes repeat thrice, each time with different sets of beats and rhythms. The rhymes include wide varieties of musical compositions. Children get to listen to melody, fast-paced scores and other attributes of music.

The next time you open YouTube for your child, remember to check ChuChu TV Kids Songs. A good news for parents is that on request from their one million plus subscribers, the rhymes are now available for download. That means the videos can be carried wherever you go. Great, isn’t it?

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


From the Secret Admirers

I am writing this post for the “Write a love letter campaign by Chennai Bloggers Club

The love letter campaign mentioned above said:

“We all have a love letter we want to send. We all have that one letter where we had to pour in all our emotions and let the other person know what we feel like, to let the other person know of our deepest cravings and fears. Write such a love letter and post it in your blog.”

In the last four days since this campaign was announced, I had been thinking if I had anything like that to tell anybody I’ve met. The answer was clearly a ‘No’. All of a sudden when I read Mahesh quoting this lyrics, Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta, Yahaan Pyaar Zindagi Mein, there was an awakening in me! The kind of Love I am going to relate here is something none could have experienced in life because it exists as much as it doesn’t exist.

To my Secret admirer,

I’ve met you in my dreams countless times ever since I was born. I’ve met you in several identities, in several appearances and with several different names. Even as a child, when I wouldn’t have known about the terms ‘love’ and ‘marriage’, we have met, sharing a beautiful feeling. We didn’t meet to express anything explicitly. We didn’t fancy getting married or having children or anything of that sort. If I look back, I don’t remember what we did in my dreams. All that I remember is we were just there.

I could always recollect my dreams with you with vivid emotions of, I don’t know if it can be called ‘love’, because this term has several known and unknown attributes. When I wake up to recollect my memories with you, I get filled with an unexplainable feeling of contentment. I feel as though my soul went in for a thought wash, refreshing my being thoroughly, that nothing else can do to me.

As a teenager, I fancied that you will come into reality one day. When I neared the marriageable age, I assumed you are the one on the horse, coming my way. However, when I got engaged and married, I understood that we were only secret admirers who will continue to meet only in dreams. And I knew meeting you has nothing to interfere with my married life or anything to do H or just anything else about my life. Though it might sound weird, eerie or senseless to others, I am glad that being with you, I’ve learnt what Love is. I shall try here to frame into words more of what these secret admirers are about:

I am not curious to know who you are, I am not even curious to know if you exist on this Earth.

I don’t fancy that you are a soulmate who I met in my previous lives because I wouldn’t know it anyway.

I don’t assume that you are a sub-conscious projection because I don’t think a three-year old’s mind could have something like this in store.

I never had to explain my thoughts to you. You know me even without having to communicate. So do I!

I know there can’t be anything to hurt us because we are beyond time, space and distance.

I don’t long to meet you. Longing has never been in our dictionary.

I don’t miss you. I don’t know why.

I don’t know when I’ll meet you again in my dream. It doesn’t matter even if I don’t meet you again. Love of this kind doesn’t expect a physical manifestation of togetherness.

I don’t know if we began somewhere or if we will ever end somewhere. Again the eternity of it doesn’t matter.

I don’t know if anything else can be written. Perhaps, the first time this Love has failed me of something!

When I see so much of suffering around ‘love’ between mortals, I deeply wish that everyone can find their secret admirers so that they don’t need a human to complete them.


Your Secret admirer

If you assumed this was a fantasy fiction, you were wrong!

Photo Courtesy:

Children's Story North Star

The North Star, Nature’s Navigator: Children’s Story (Ages 4 – 12)

Mia and Mommy were gazing at the night sky from their terrace.

“When we were kids, we often gathered at the terrace soon after dinner. We would sit around grandpa to listen to his stories about the stars and moon,” began Mommy.

“Wow, stories?!” exclaimed Mia.

“Yes. Let me tell you an interesting story about the North Star today,” said Mommy.

“What is a North Star, Mommy?” asked Mia.

“Before we begin, let us discuss about directions. Do you know the four directions, Mia?” questioned Mommy.

“Sun rises in the East and sets in the West,” answered Mia.

“That’s right. East and West are two of the four directions. There are two more: North and South,” explained Mommy.

(Exercise I: Make sure your child can identify right and left, before you read on. Now follow Mommy and Mia.)

“Mia, imagine you are facing the North direction. Now turn towards your right. You are facing East now, where Sun rises in the morning. Again turn towards your right. You are facing South now. Once again, turn towards your right. You are facing West now, where Sun sets in the evening. Turn for one last time towards your right. Which direction are you facing now?”


“Wonderful, Mia.”

Mommy continued, “Now how do we know which is actual North?”

“What is actual North, Mommy?” asked Mia.

“In the above exercise, to begin with, we assumed you are facing North. What if you had turned to your right and then assumed it to be the North?”

“Oops! All the directions would have changed their positions then,” reasoned Mia.

“Exactly! That is why we need to find the actual North.

“How do we find the actual North, Mommy?” asked Mia.

“By simply looking at the night sky!” replied Mommy.

“That sounds interesting!” said Mia.

“It is! In earlier days, sailors read the sky for navigation,” said Mommy.

Sailors Navigating with the help of the North Star

“What is Navigation, Mommy?” asked Mia.

Navigation is identifying where one is and finding the direction towards which he has to move in order to reach his destination,” explained Mommy.

“That is what the GPS device in dad’s car did when we went to the picnic, last week, isn’t it? asked Mia.

“You got it, Mia! The GPS device helped us to navigate to the place where we wanted to reach,” said Mommy. “Like how GPS is a tool for navigation, nature has provided us with some tools too, for navigation. Come, let’s take a look at the sky to find nature’s navigator, the North Star.”

(Exercise II for Parents and Kids who live in the Northern hemisphere: Make sure that your child is familiar with how a kite looks like. You may use a real kite or a picture of a kite to help your child get familiar. Take your child to the terrace on a night with a clear sky. Now follow Mommy and Mia.)

“Mia, take a thorough look at the stars that are widely spread across the sky. Tell me when you can identify a group of stars that resemble a kite,” instructed Mommy, pointing to the sky.

Mia looked up quickly and immediately said disappointed, “No Mommy, I don’t see.”

“Well, you only focussed at one part of the sky that you are facing from where you are standing. Now look at the sky again while turning around yourself, standing at the same place. Tell me if you see a kite-like structure in the sky,” instructed Mommy.

Soon after Mia turned around, she exclaimed, “Yes, here it is, I see the kite!” pointing to the group of stars that formed the kite.

The Big Dipper (Saptarishi Mandal)

“Good job, Mia.” appreciated Mommy.

“Can you count the stars that form the kite?”

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.”

“Well done, Mia! These seven stars make a structure that resembles a kite. This structure is called as Saptarishi Mandal in Sanskrit and Big Dipper in English. As you know, a kite has a face and a tail. Look closely at the stars which make the face of the kite. Identify two of the stars that are at the farthest end from the tail. Follow this drawing I pen now. This is the Big Dipper. Can you identify these two stars in the sky?” asked Mommy, pointing to the stars she had coloured in yellow.

 Urva Major

“Yes, Mommy,” answered Mia.

“Good. Now try to draw a line, with your vision, that connects the two stars and bring it further down. Follow what I draw now,” Mommy continued, “Do you see a bright star now?”

 The North Star

“Yes, Mommy!” Mia sounded excited.

“Great! This star is called Dhruv Nakshatra in Sanskrit. It is also called as North Star or Polaris in English,” explained Mommy. “The North Star indicates the direction of the North. If we were to live at Earth’s North pole, the North Star would be directly above our heads. We shall learn about Earth’s poles, another day. If you follow closely, you will find another smaller kite with its tail end at the North Star.”

“Yes, it’s too smaller though,” said Mia.

“Yes. That’s why it is called as the Little Dipper. If we were to come to the terrace after a few hours, say three hours from now, The Big Dipper and the Little Dipper would have changed their positions. However, the North Star would remain at the same place. That is because, as Earth rotates, The Big Dipper and the Little Dipper keep swinging around the North Star. The North Star is like a hog of a wheel, around which other stars seem to revolve. That is why, no matter where we are (in the Northern hemisphere) and at what time of the night, the North Star will always point the North direction,” explained Mommy.

 Locating the North Star

“This is so interesting, Mommy! Shall we come to the terrace every night to see the North Star?” asked Mia.

“Of course, yes! And I shall tell you more stories from grandpa’s night sky collection,” replied Mommy.

If you could locate the North Star with your children, please leave a line here. I would love to hear your experience. Read how Sarah learns to absorb the rhythmic sense in music with the hep of her dolphin mate, Merry here.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


My Relationship with my Mangalsutra

Warning: For all the women who consider mangalsutra very close to their hearts, as a must-wear tradition, as a cannot-dare-to-be without, this post could be shocking. Scroll down at your own risk.

I love to exist with a free neck. Wearing something constantly on the neck feels like a tied dog. For college studies, for the first time, I moved to one of the smaller towns.

“Sheesh! Did you forget to wear your chain? Your neck looks bare.”

I’ve heard someone or the other exclaiming this statement, almost every other day. In fact, it became a matter of being looked down upon, for it indirectly indicated my financial status. If you don’t wear a chain, at least an artificial one, it means, you can’t afford one.

“Bare?” “Poor?” It felt as silly as irritating it was. In spite of the conflicting opinions, I was matured not to get into arguments but neither did I change ‘my’ tradition.

Note: Was any of my male class mates ever looked down for being ‘bare’? No, they weren’t even noticed!

A few years down, a relative or a known acquaintance would comment, “How will anybody consider you to get married if you remain without wearing something around your neck?” It’s a hard truth, but yes, a girl cannot appear presentable to the potential grooms and their families, unless she agrees to hoard a necklace on the ‘day of presentation’.

Does a potential groom have to sign such agreements? Not required!

The wedding! No, I didn’t decide to be bare-necked on my wedding. However, I couldn’t see myself as a jewellery brand model either. The few hours of being a bride is an experience of it’s kind, which one cannot relate to unless if been one. A bride is a judgement factor of her father’s wealth. She is a display of how well her father has done financially, all his life. In spite of her father’s monetary achievements, if she fails to do the right ‘display’, her mother should take the blame for not bringing her daughter rightly.

Can I not, instead display the minimalist in me? Can I not let my father’s life history take a back seat and instead show off the woman I want to be? Can I not take the blame on my individuality instead of dumping it on my mother, who has actually grew me up to a sensible woman capable of taking independent decisions? Like an angel, my sister came for my rescue and we decided what I had to wear. Of all the big outings and occasions I had to dress up for, my wedding was the day I felt the most confident. And you know the reason; I wore what I felt comfortable wearing. My wedding picture (the header image) is one of those treasured captures of my life events, more because of this reason than the significance of the event itself.

Did you even think if the man who sat next to me was eyed for what he wore? How could he be? And he didn’t have to make a choice about it either because it was his birthright.

I thought all is well that ends well, when after all, it was the beginning and not the end. How can a married Hindu woman ever remain without her neck being labelled with the mangalsutra?! My in-laws were very generous. They selected an heavy gold chain + a 3D mangalsutra + around 20 different additional pendants. That equalled to almost 7 sovereigns of gold! Note that they had the choice to select what I had to wear, every single day, for the rest of my life! And what choice did the person who was destined to wear, have? Nothing!

Do men have any such signature possession to display their married status? Why is the tradition so partial towards men? If tradition took care that married women shouldn’t invite other men, why does it leave married men astray?

I respect the culture. I respect the tradition. I respect the vedic rituals that have gone in, by a learned priest, to make it a sacred treasure. I understand that mangalsutra gives a status and statement to married women. But I simply couldn’t imagine sleeping, walking, swimming and just ‘being’ with a load of gold on my neck.

What could I do with this forced life-long accompaniment?

Should I nod to the customs, accept it as a burden and change my appearance for the sake of social concerns? Or break the norms, get labelled as a rebel and remain my real self? I could understand that my in-laws had great respect for the tradition. I have no problem in that. And I knew they wouldn’t in turn understand the conflict of beliefs I was going through within. Even if I try to explain it to them, they will try their best to convince me on the name of tradition.

Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:

a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.

b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.

c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.

d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.

In the early married days, I did carry the heavy baggage. In fact, once a relative commented, “You are a new bride. You shouldn’t remain with the mangalsutra chain alone. Your neck looks empty. You must at least wear another small chain.”

7 sovereigns looks empty?

It was only a matter of days. I had to wear T-shirts. I had to wear a swim suit. I had to wear kurtas. And  H was the first person to ridicule the ‘combination’. So you know what I had to do!

I began to work. Now I could find a reason to explain to my in-laws. ‘It is not safe in a metro’. Thus, I brought the 7 sovereigns to 3, with smaller attachments. With pregnancy and child birth, I had to remove it on and off. When my son grew up to the playing age, I found another reason. ‘The 3D structure hurts him often’. Since then, I could decide when I wanted to wear it. Of course, I make sure to give its due respect during traditional occasions. But I am relieved that my mangalsutra is no longer a burden to me. I wouldn’t have respected this possession as much while keeping it away as dragging it on my neck. I found this more important than others respecting me for the traditions I am able to carry.

During times of worry, especially when H is out to explore a dangerous trek, I unknowingly pray to my mangalsutra, even though it might lie safe in the locker. We don’t always carry a copy of all our favourite Gods with us, do we? Thus said, I am not against the tradition. But I don’t feel right about people and society who judge me based on how I appear to them. I don’t feel right about their judgement about me as an uncultured Hindu wife based on the absence of a physical evidence. If I don’t wear my mangalsutra, it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t value it. It simply means it wasn’t designed in the right way to suit the life of today’s women. The faith, the trust and the life-long bond it promises between the couple, are deep in my heart, regardless of whether I wear it or not.

Which sounds right? Curse it and wear it as a burden? Or keep it away and regard it as sacred? I know I did the right thing!

However, in the beginning, if I would have raised my tone with my in-laws regarding this, it would have made everything –  a whole lot with the marriage – sour. As a new bride, I was expected to behave a certain way. I did. With time, they could see me beyond what my jewellery and ‘my’ traditions dictated about me. They could accept me for what I liked to do even if it didn’t convince them. If relatives were coming home or if we had to go for a visit, my mother-in-law would secretly whisper into my ears to remind me. That says the ‘space’ I found in my marital connections. Today, I can write this post for public reading and can tag my in-laws in social media because I know it will no longer be a concern between us. I am thankful to H and my in-laws for not making ‘my choice’ a problem in their lives.

I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.”

Past Life Regression

Can Memories of Past Lives be Real?: A Personal Experience

An earlier post written on past lives in 2013, can be read hereIt describes what triggered my interest in navigating to a life in the past – a powerful dream where I witnessed a different story of me. Intriguing enough, I took a personal interest to explore this new realm of past lives.

Note: You can continue reading this post even if you don’t want to read the earlier post. They are mutually exclusive. 

It has been a few years now since my exploration found an end. To those of you who fantasize navigating to another time of life, here are my realistic views from my experiences. Note that I am definitely not an expert on past lives and do not claim to have explored enough. This is my personal perspective and does not intend to contradict any other opinion.

Hey, that’s my old wooden cupboard. All those petty things I’ve fondly collected during my childhood days – my drawing class paintings, pencil sketches on four-lined papers, that little stamp book, passionately preserved greeting cards, 5-star wrappers………all have been lying in the cupboard, I am not sure for how long; but must be very long. And there I am, squatting on the floor, trying to sort out the newly-found old stuff.

It suddenly became dark. I mean really dark!

It’s a scary night. I am moving fast. My heart must have been pacing double it’s normal. Yes, I am galloping that fast. I am not riding though. I am safe behind somebody. Behind my warrior hero! He is so focused on his horse that time seemed to be null for both of us. My (some) people are chasing and we had to flee our border in another few minutes. It’s too narrow a mud path, but he seems a skilled horse rider. A few minutes went galloping.

Now we are safe. We’ve traveled very far. Everything is calm around now. It’s just the two of us, the horse and the breeze. We haven’t spoken in hours but I know I am safe with him…………

And yet another day, I had another such dream. Perhaps navigated to another life and another me in another story. If you’ve read the earlier post, you would know what I mean.

I didn’t know yet what to infer about such dreams and there was nothing that I could do about it as well, till serendipity played its part!

Dr.Brain Weiss Books

I adored platform book shops in Bangalore those days because they were the only place I could get a book for Rs.50. One day I happened to pick Many Lives Many Masters by Dr.Brain Weiss. Coincidentally, it was on past lives. For your information, Dr. Brain Weiss’ book series are his real-life experiences of taking his patients, back in time, to previous lives as a part of psycho therapy. Following Many Lives Many Masters, I completed reading all the five books of the series.

My curiosity did not end with the books. I browsed for Dr.Weiss kind of people in India. Eventually, I landed at the basic workshop on past life regression by Dr. Newton of Life Research Academy. The workshop included five, guided past life regression sessions and one progression to the future life.

Following the workshop, I completed the basic course on hypnotherapy at the Indian School of Hypnotherapy. And I was also privileged to be a witness of several, live, past life regressions conducted by a well-known therapist to her clients.

That was all, which were a part of my little exploration I did during those two inquisitive years!

That means I did time travel to my past lives through regression and I tried to understand how this therapy works.

Well, you saw your past life. So what now? How can you be sure it’s your past life? First of all, why do you want to get into the past?

Such questions and criticisms doesn’t surprise me; doesn’t annoy me either because I have asked these questions to myself several times before I could hear from others. But, did I find answers to the most stirring questions?


Let’s check.

Are past lives real? Did I really exist before I was born?

Yes, I believe.

Can it be be proved scientifically?

No. I don’t know if anybody can prove with certainty whether we’ve lived before to continue to carry a baggage of karma or not. It may not be a science thing yet. As a matter of fact, science is ever-expanding. Before Newton found the falling apple, gravity wasn’t included in science. Perhaps, all of it in the universe cannot be yet confined into something man-made called science.

Are past life memories that come up in dreams true?

An inner instinct says it is. But again, I am helpless when you demand for a proof though I can list out a few clue to recognize a past life dream.

  • Such memories are dug from a layer of mind that’s deeper than from the ordinary dreams where you forgot to wear your dress or late for exams or have an urgency to pee. I mean, you can feel the depth of such vivid dreams!
  • When the dream begins, you might be doing something related to the past. For instance, in the example of a past life dream I’d written above, I was finding my old collection of childhood things.
  • You might identify yourself as ‘I’ but not necessarily with the name, place and personality of you. In other words, I might not identify myself with the person named Nandhini in the dream.

Past Life Regression

Is past life regression an authentic phenomenon?

There are several controversies regarding past life regression therapy. Some people argue that the scenes visualized by the patient are manipulated by suggestive words by the therapist and not exactly a past life. With my experience, I am equally not sure if what one sees through regression could really be a true memory from the deeper minds. But what it made me to believe is that the story that goes on during regression definitely has a connection and a reason of its own, whether of a past or not. In the sense, I feel it is not important to verify if it is a past life memory or not rather the story by itself speaks some hidden part of what one is. The fears, the longings, the guilt, the forgotten desires, the anger, the love, the pains, the sufferings – all that have buried over the years (may be even from the present life) takes a form of a story board with people, locations, clothes, time that is chosen in an interesting way. I say everything else other than the story is chosen because of two interesting encounters I had of the same past life; I mean the same story but the background, clothes, location were different from one another.

If the visualizations might not be real, then what is it that matters with past life regression?

That I could navigate to some part of my subconsciousness, if not a fantasy travel back in time!

This is exactly what I identified as truly essential. And this is exactly what I would advocate others to do – to get in touch with their subconsciousness patterns. What we perceive ourselves as could be superficial. And what drives us every day, every moment could be, in reality, from somewhere deep within us.

Can we remember the visualizations and stories we see during a regression?

Absolutely yes! Our conscious mind will remain perfectly alert. That’s the difference between the states of sleep and regression. During regression, our bodies go into a deep state of relaxation whereas our minds do not. During sleep, both our bodies and minds get into a relaxed state.

Does regression carry the risk of getting stuck in the past?

Not if done by slow, guided relaxation method. It is safe to experience. I have never followed quick hypnotherapy methods, so cannot comment about it.

Should everybody learn about their past lives?

No. Not unless there is an innate urge to look into the past.


Photo Courtesy

Dr.Brian Weiss’ books:

Past Life Regression:

Do your Homework

A Homework for Parents!

When I watch my toddler boy hit the football like a pro, I feel exhilarated that he can become a great football player in the future.

When I see him racing his toy cars, I am scared about what if he chooses to become a racer; definitely the speed factor makes me feel insecure. 

When he examines my heart beat with his toy stethoscope, I imagine him becoming a doctor and then there arises a worry about the huge amount of money that his study would demand. 


As parents, we wouldn’t realize when exactly we begin to envision our children’s future. Their random little acts often take our minds into deep probing about who they might grow up to. What’s interesting is that while we are busy dreaming their path, children too are perceiving their interests from quite an early age. When I ask my son what he would like do when he grows big, sometimes he would answer that he wants to do mountain-climbing like his dad and sometimes, do cooking like his mom. Though such trivial conversations seem funny, there are times when I am left at the end with anxiety or fear, like my imaginations of my son becoming a racer or a doctor.

This reminds me of the Do Your Homework video on YouTube. The video features an interesting experiment conducted with a group of parents and their children. Parents were provided with painting sheets to express their imagination of what they would like their children to become in the future. Similarly, children were given drawing sheets to draw a picture of what they would want to become in the future. It was surprising to note that children’s aspirations were way different from what their parents had imagined.

Do your Homework

Well, now I am imagining what my son would draw if we participate in this experiment and the surprise he would have in store for us😆 May be a boy climbing a mountain or a boy cooking Chappati or something totally unexpected! And whatever be it, I know I must be prepared. If being prepared mentally is one thing, being prepared financially is another mandatory to-do thing. Ironically, with lakhs of Rupees expected to be spent at the kindergarten levels, I can’t even guess how much I would require for his education after 16 years from now.

Phew! As parents, we have a lot of homework to do!

Axis Mutual Fund

While browsing in these lines, I stumbled upon Axis Mutual Fund’s #DoYourHomework campaign which includes interesting tools to plan for child’s future. The campaign has been conducted at 17 Crossword Book stores across 7 cities and Kidzania, Mumbai for three weeks. The ‘Take the Test’ tool is an education calculator that can provide us an estimate of the amount of money we would require after several years for kids’ education. It does the calculation based on our inputs of the chosen stream, level of education, country and study age. It is notably helpful in that we get to know how much we must begin to save today for the future. This feature is also available as a mobile app for a handy usage. Apart from the calculator, a few story and colouring books to educate children about various career options available in a fun way, can be downloaded for free.

When one day, my son reveals his passion, I know I can stay calm because I shall get prepared to look forward to the unexpected, starting today. And I am relieved that I am informed of the financial aspect of his ambitions; I shall begin to look into the savings and investment options available. A look into the ‘Taxman’ campaign which created awareness about ELSS (Equity Linked Saving Scheme) with the message to pay less tax and save more, may also be helpful.

When one day, time attacks us with a sudden financial blow carrying our children’s future, we shouldn’t be stranded defenceless. We must be armed with adequate funds to strike back and lift their future high. Let’s do our homework today for brighter tomorrows of our children!

Image Credit: Axis Mutual Fund Do Your Homework Official webpages

Old people using Facebook

The Hilarious Impact of FB on my Grandma

“What’s this Facebook?” asked my Grandma one day. “Rekha aunty cribs everyday that her sons are crazy about it.”

So, at last the FB thing fell into her ears, I thought. “It’s for teenage people, grandma,” I played safe.

I know of my friend’s grandpa who constantly meddles with our peppy conversations in FB with his neatly typed, long, boring, philosophical advises. And I felt it was best to keep my grandmom away from it. I remember the days when I taught her the basics of using a computer and internet. It took several days for her to identify where exactly the address bar was located. Once, when I was in the middle of an important lab experiment, she called me to ask how to find Google on the computer🙄 So now I know how much I need to work hard to introduce Facebook to her.

After a few days, I happened to talk to her about an old neighbour who I had recently discovered in FB. Eventually, a Facebook account was opened for her. For several days, I didn’t accept her friend request😆 I mostly used her FB account to check how my account information appeared for a non-friend or friend of friends. However, with increasing family members accepting her friend request, I had to do too.

Facebook quotes

Initially she was excited to discover several of her connections and go through their photographs. One early morning, she called me, a little agitated about a cousin who had posted this message on ‘her wall’: ‘Mistakes are a proof that you are trying’. She was hyper angry on him that he was pinpointing some mistake of her’s while she couldn’t identify what it was and she decided that she is going to unfriend him. I had to immediately login to her account to find the mess. Guess what?! She had assumed that every quote, every photo and every silly status that appeared on her wall as a personal message to her. No matter how much I tried to explain her that ‘the wall’ is a common place where she can find posts of all her friends, she was still angry on my cousin. Finally, I kept both our FB accounts opened, side by side, on two laptops to make her understand the wall thing. From the next day, she was in constant praise for my cousin for the thoughtful quotes he kept sharing. Now she assumed that my cousin was the master brain behind the philosophy and designing of the quotes😦 She began commenting to every posts of his, appreciating his skill and understanding about life. For one another time, I had to explain her that he is simply sharing the quotes, like how we forward emails. Instantly, she posted a comment to him, advising not to waste time on forwards. My cousin had enough of her and unfriended her😆

Old people using Facebook

The first time she posted a birthday wish on someone’s timeline was like this:

Dear XXX,

Hope this finds you in good health and cheer. Wishing you a happy birthday.

By Your’s Loving,


😆 A perfect example of an encounter of the ‘Letter Writing’ generation with the Facebook generation.

Now, over a year, she says Facebook is boring. “Everybody go to a restaurant in the weekend. Everybody celebrate their kids’ birthdays. Everybody watch movies in a cinema hall. What’s so much about posting all of it in Facebook?! Useless people!”

And this was the latest from her: “It’s been sometime since Lata posted photos. I think she must have become fat.”

Whoa! None could have understood Facebook better!

There’s so much more fun people of the older generation do with social media. However, I am glad that at the age of 75, she is able to use a technology that has never been a part of her generation. I am glad that she is not confined to watching TV and sleeping on the name of relaxation. I am glad that she is able to connect with several of her family and friends, on her own. Above all, I am glad that she could re-connect with a few of her school friends, nearly after 50 years!

Photo Courtesy

Facebook quotes:

Grandmother on Facebook:

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Children's Books

How to make reading books to your children a peppy experience?

Children's Books

Spend a few minutes to make a list of activities your children take part on a daily basis.

If your list doesn’t include reading, you are missing an important role in parenting. Books are as important as toys to children. As a parent, I personally recommend reading books to children for two significant reasons:

  • My son began to read alphabets on his own when he became two. Strangely, the first word I spotted him reading was the alphabets on his dad’s car steering wheel as I.T.U.R.A.M. If you could have guessed, yes, he had the habit of reading alphabets from right to left. The first few books he opened were always from the last page and then backwards down to the first page. Children are not born with the knowledge of reading ethics. The regular habit of reading helps them to understand the left to right and top to bottom orientation of words.
  • Of course, children are not going to read words and phrases on their own until they become a little older. However, reading aloud to them stimulates their imaginative abilities, develops their vocabulary and language skills and improves their cognitive understanding of illustrations.

On the other hand, what if you have indeed shopped several books for your child but feel it’s difficult to get him/her interested in books? This is quite a common scenario with many children especially with those who are restless and hyperactive. Here are three ideas you can try, to create peppy reading moments for your children.

Connect books with their corresponding animation series

Reading books to children

What makes children feel excited about cartoon characters? Yes, animations! Watching Spiderman crawl over his web is definitely more interesting than to see a picture of the same in a book. To begin with, if your child shows no interest in reading books, choose the characters thoughtfully. A new character on a book might seem boring. Try getting a book of the same characters that she enjoys watching. If she loves watching Dora series, she is likely to connect better with a book on Dora. This might initially help in spurring the interest in books from where she might gradually begin to explore new characters.

For instance, one of the early characters my son enjoyed watching was Peppa Pig. When I got him a Peppa Pig book, it was interesting for him to see the same character in a different version. In the picture above, you can see a video of Peppa Pig played alongside a Peppa Pig book.

Relate books to peppy playtimes


Children enjoy playing with toys the most. All else, including having food, is only secondary to them. Imagine how lively they shall get if the characters in the books can pop out to become their toys. Buy or create toys of characters that appear in the books. Make such toy characters enact the scenes which the books have it in words. For example, in the picture you see above, a book on Peppa Pig narrates a school bus trip. As I read out the pages, I also make paper Peppa and her friends to board my son’s toy bus. This way, it will make him curious to know what’s on the next page. In other words, we are bringing books to life!

Associate book reading to role plays

As you read the story, assign characters to people at home. Let your little one too take a role. Speak to each other the conversations from the book. Make realistic expressions that are narrated in the book. Recreate the book into a lively drama. They are sure to ask you for more books!

Recent studies have also shown that children who are good readers are more likely to be good writers as they grow. Reading gets them involved with words, their meaning and usage in phrases. Imagine your child reading out a bedtime story to make you sleep! You are sure to smile through your sleep:) Let us all invest a little more time and focus to make our little champions, good readers.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Dolphin Children's Story

The Music Fest: Children’s Story (Ages 5-11)

On one sunny morning, as Sarah recited the morning prayer, she excitedly remembered yesterday’s announcement at her school. She was one among the top five swimmers selected for the Dolphin show at the Music Fest.

The Annual Music Fest in her school was about to begin in a week’s time. The teachers of the school encouraged every child to take part in at least one musical event. Yesterday, the teachers suggested events for each child, based on their school records. For her extraordinary swimming ability, Sarah was chosen for the Dolphin show. In a Dolphin show, a Dolphin and a child will pair to make a synchronous performance with the music played in the background.

It was Sarah’s first day at the practice. Ms. Diya arranged a small classroom for the five children, near the huge swimming pool. She explained a few interesting facts about dolphins.


“Dolphins are lovable and intelligent animals like dogs and cats. They live in the seas. They live in groups. A female dolphin is called a cow, a male dolphin is called a bull and a young one is called a calf.”

“Like the cow family!” exclaimed Tenny.

“You are right Tenny,” said Ms. Diya.

“What do dolphins eat?” asked Sarah.

“Dolphins feed on fishes and squids. And they use a method called as echolocation to find their food,” answered Ms. Diya.

Dolphin Echolocation

“What’s echolocation?” inquired Shikha.

“Dolphins are intelligent animals. They send out sounds into the water. When the sounds hit on an object, say a group of fish, it will reflect back as echo. Listening to the sound of the echo, dolphins can judge where exactly the group of fish is,” explained Ms. Diya.

“And they move towards that exact place to catch their prey,” reasoned Bala.

“Exactly, Bala. Do any of you have more questions about dolphins?” asked Ms. Diya.

“Yes. Dolphins must be drinking a lot of water from the sea. How much water do dolphins drink in a day?” asked Naseem.

“Ha,” chuckled Ms. Diya, “Dolphins do not drink water from the sea because the sea is made of salt water. The water they need comes from the fishes they eat.”

When there were no more questions for Ms. Diya, she took the children to the pool to introduce Mr. Aamir. “Sarah, Bala, Naseem, Shikha and Tenny, here we have Mr. Aamir, the dolphin trainer. He will help you with the practice for the dolphin show.” During the rest of the practice hours, Mr. Aamir helped the children to slowly feel comfortable with their respective dolphin mates.

Merry was Sarah’s mate. She enjoyed watch him dive and jump in the waters merrily. In a couple of days’ time, Sarah and Merry bonded well. After every swimming session, Sarah and Merry would come out of the water and Sarah would gently pat oh his head.

Now it was time to begin the practice along with the music. A peppy music with rhythmic beats began to play.

Mr. Aamir instructed, “The music has a set of 20 beats that will be repeated 5 times during the show. Now listen carefully to the order of the movements:

  • For the first 5 beats, the children will swim under the water while the dolphins will make a dive.
  • For the next 5 beats, the children will come out of the water to wave their hands while the dolphins will swim under the water.
  • For beats 11 to 20, you will hold one of your hands with your dolphin mate and swim along a circular path.

We will repeat this five times. Isn’t it simple? Let’s begin now.”

The music began. All were busy practicing their moves. Merry did the first dive perfectly. But Sarah failed to get out of the water at the exact time to wave the hand. The music was played several times but still she couldn’t keep pace with the music. By the end of the day, all the children except Sarah could do their moves synchronously with the music. Sarah felt down. It was difficult for her to keep a count of the beats. No matter how much she tried, she was late for all her moves.

The next morning, Sarah sat sadly near the pool. She wondered why understanding the rhythm of music was so difficult. Merry came near Sarah and gave an understanding look. He suddenly whistled at her. Sarah was amused to hear him whistle and that made her feel good. The practice began again. And Sarah failed again to keep track of the music.

Dolphin Children's Story

During the resting hour, Sarah again sat sadly starring at the waters. Merry, for another time, came to her and whistled. Sarah suddenly understood the cue that Merry was giving. Immediately both dived into the water. Noticing their sudden move, Mr. Aamir played the music. This time, when it was exactly time for Sarah to come to the water surface, Merry whistled. Sarah, with the help of his whistle sound got the clue when to push herself upwards. After repeated practices in this way, Sarah finally absorbed the rhythm into her body. She felt over-joyed at the inspiration that her newly found music sense gave her.

After the resting hour, the practice resumed. To everybody’s surprise, Sarah followed the music perfectly. She thanked Merry at the end of the practice and he gave an understanding nod.

Thus on the day of the Music Fest, Sarah, Merry and the other children with their Dolphin mates made a stunning show.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Life in the Womb

Navigating through the Womb: A Paranormal Fiction

And I pass through a tunnel. The darkness grips me with a sudden fear. But it wasn’t for long. I reach the other end which is still darker. I am now confined to a body. But my lady angel tells me that I have freedom for ten more months to navigate in and out of the womb.

In the first few days, I watch the new, quiet family from near a lamp shade in their room. None seem to recognize my presence. A little girl, at times gives me a glance when she is in the room though she doesn’t seem to be interested in knowing me more.

The lady who seems to be ever-irritated carries a junk of thoughts in her head. Before I can follow one of her thoughts, ten more get jumbled into it, so I refrain from venturing into her mind. Sometimes, when she begins screaming, I quickly get into her tummy to feel safe. The man is addicted to his laptop for most part of the day. His head is pre-occupied with meetings and power point presentations, not a good place to dwell in, you see. The care-taker girl does dual roles of taking care of the little girl, in the presence of the lady and the man at home, and being a fantasy girl friend to her beloved over the phone when they are away.

The lady is at the hospital today. The doctor confirms my presence in her. She seems to be relieved because she wants to get rid of her duty of begetting the second child before her next promotion is up. She immediately texts the man and he replies with a smiley.

It is four months since I slid into the tunnel and my angel tells me to feel the connection with my mother, father and sister instead of considering them as lady, man and the little girl. And I slowly begin to feel the connection.

For the first time, mom places her hand on the tummy and she is over-joyed at the little kick I gave her while turning around. She immediately calls out to my sister, Emma who barges her ear into her belly button to hear me again. And for the first time, I feel the excitement  in them towards my being.

Dad returns from work. Emma gives him a hug and excitedly announces the gifts she received for her third birthday. She is specifically fond of the animal puzzle and asks him if they can solve it together. He is no mood for a play and plainly refuses it. Sadly, Emma walks to her mom who is busy drying the clothes from the washing machine onto the hangers, constantly muttering to herself how burdened she is all the time with house chores. Emma understands her mood and sadly walks into the room.

For the first time, Emma twinkled at me today. She sends me a non-verbal request to play with her puzzle. I giver her directions and she animatedly fixes all the 24 pieces. She drags dad to show him the solved puzzle. Though he is a little surprised at first, he gives a gentle pat on her back and slides into his thought processes about tomorrow’s meeting.

Annie, the care-taker girl comes out of her bath. She literally pours the cooked food on to Emma’s plate and informs her to have her dinner. Emma is engrossed in watching Dora and the food lies at the table, as always. When she hears mom’s car in the parking lot, Annie hurriedly throws the plate contents into the dustbin. For another day, Emma goes to bed without food.

It’s a weekend. Emma is happy that she will be taken out. It is exciting to go to the toy shops with mom, dad and Emma. Emma gets five new board books and a Barbie play set. Mom buys some new sets of infant stuff for me. For some reason, I feel moved today. She is constantly nagged with loads of work at home and office. For most of the time, she feels guilty in not spending time with Emma and she isn’t happy with Annie either. But they have home loan and car loan EMIs for which she cannot dare to quit her job. Amidst her stressed lifestyle, she plans for my arrival, during weekends. I think she loves me.

Life in the Womb

Good news! Annie is away for vacation and our grandparents will be with us for a week. For the first time, in the last seven months since my crossing over, Emma, mom and dad have good food. The love, care and warmth I feel from them is unexplainable. I wish they stay here forever but mom wouldn’t like her mother-in-law meddling with her family life for long.

Emma opens one of her new books on sea animals. She takes a sad look at her parents as they don’t seem to take their eyes off from their laptops. She suddenly spots me looking at her and runs to her room in joy. We discuss the sea creatures, we relate the Octopus and Sea horse pictures to the cartoon we watched earlier that day and we she falls asleep with the book on her chest.

As I watch Mom, dad and Emma sleeping, I think of how my future life at this home will be. Perhaps, I will yearn for my parents’ attention as Emma does now. Perhaps, Emma will replace their absence. Perhaps, I will remain unfed by Annie. It’s almost nine months now. My lady angel warns me not to stay out of the womb for long from now on. For one last time, I share my sadness to my angel:

“Am I going to be alright here?”

She gives me a warm touch. “That’s why you are summoned here. Soon after your birth, a huge catastrophe in the family will make your mother leave her job. In sometime, when things get settled, she will be the best mother ever to both of you. This is the first step in your lifetime towards creating peace. I will go now and you shall soon be joined by another one like me.”

We are at the hospital. The last voices I faintly hear are “Baby boy”, “3 Kilos”, “Congratulations”.

Photo Courtesy:

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


Nobel Prize Winning Brain’s Navigation system!

It has been quite sometime since I drove through the Hebbal to KR Puram ring road. Recently, when I did, I was stuck half way. With the building of new flyovers, I couldn’t recognize where Hennur Cross was. Though a passer-by patiently explained to me the change in the routes, I simply couldn’t perceive a word of his. I smiled to myself thinking that the former route already coded in my brain needs to be re-run with the new route installation.

After all, I wasn’t wrong. While I was reading the recent Nobel prize winning discoveries, I felt awed for the discovery of the GPS systems in our brains just like our mobile phones and cars have. This fascinating discovery has fetched the 2014 Nobel prize in Physiology and medicine to three European scientists – Prof John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser.


For eons, scientists have wondered how our brains are able to locate where we are and how we are able to navigate from one place to another. In 1971, Prof John O’Keefe of University College London, discovered a group of cells called ‘Place cells’ in the Hippocampus region of our brains. He studied how these cells behaved in rats with respect to the location of the animal. He concluded that when the rat was located at one particular area of the room, a corresponding set of place cells were activated. However, when the rat moved to another corner of the room, another set of place cells were activated. Unfortunately, his findings failed to get noticed then.

Later in 2005, May-Britt and Edvard Moser of Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, studied the former findings of O’Keefe further. They discovered “grid cells” in the entorhinal cortex of rat, which worked in close association with the place cells in directing the animal to navigate from one corner of the room to another. This discovery marks an history in Neuroscience as similar grid cells and place cells have also been found in the human brains as well.


To explain with an example, remember a day when all of a sudden the red building located at the corner of a road where you usually take a turn, is demolished? You might have got confused if it is the right place where you need to take the turn. That explains it! Your brain’s grid cells and place cells make a route map in your brain for every route that you take physically, associating with prominent landmarks, like the red building. When one day, the red building goes missing, your brain’s GPS gets slightly disoriented for a while.

To explain it further, your grid cells and place cells help you to understand where you are positioned and help you to navigate with respect to the position of your destination. It is through the brain’s GPS that, if you happen to miss a particular lane, your brain can understand that you can take a parallel lane which would again connect to the missed lane through a cross lane.

This research also explains what patients of Alzheimer’s have it disordered in their brains. As more neurons that make the grid cells and place cells degenerate, the disease progresses, making them inefficient to find their way back home often.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.