Saturday, November 30, 2013

When The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short

“The days are long, but the years are short.”  ―  Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

Though I am yet to read this bestseller, but I have often come across this quote. And I am sure you must have too [especially if you are on any kind of social media]. This quote comes back to me every now and then when I realize how fast my son is growing up.

It wasn’t too long ago, he wasn’t even there in our lives, and look now, our whole lives revolve around this person. It is hard to believe sometimes that the star of our lives, little D, is already 2!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Pseudo-Expert

Recently, a friend [fed up of all the Facebook Shares that I do of my posts on Parentous, I am sure], raised his concerns about my ‘expert advices’. I will soon complete one year with Parentous, in December; and therefore, I take this opportunity to clarify that I have always been a contributor, never an expert.

If only, I had everything worked out in my mind, parenthood would not have been as challenging and as revealing as it actually is. He said, ‘for all the advices you dole out, who knows how your own son is going to turn out in future’. And he isn’t wrong. Frankly, I welcome [if not encourage] such comments because they help me take a step back from my situation and try to look at it objectively.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Brighter Side of this Diwali

Diwali is that part of the year when festivity is in the air. It is sort of a community festival. It is the only festival which we celebrate with zest. We are rather lazy in celebrating any other festival.

In this post, I am going to talk about the brighter side of this Diwali for me:

1. Books
You cannot avoid reading about books here, now can you? Well, the day we came back from our Rajasthan trip [just before Diwali], I had a bunch of books waiting for me [review books and one from Smita, gifted via Flipkart. Thanks a ton Smita for the lovely book J]. 
And that is how my Diwali began. But that’s not all. I ordered 2 more books for myself from Amazon because they had 50% offer going on some selected books. These two caught my eyes. Hope to read them next year!

2. The Corridor Wall

Image courtesy: Google
I am sure; those who have seen ‘Wake Up Sid’ will clearly remember this lovely wall from Konkona Sen’s home in the movie. I had fallen in love with this wall, and I was just waiting to replicate it at my home. I had done my corridor in a lighter hue of yellow, some 2 years back. Just before Diwali, I decided I should finally give it a try. 

I wanted to do something new for Diwali without spending too much. Well, the best thing about my husband is he is extremely cooperative in my creative pursuits. In fact, I would go on to say that usually I am the one who ideates, and he accomplishes. I had loads of cleaning to do, and yet I threw this idea on him. He had loads on his platter too, and yet he was extremely positive on this. The day we went for Diwali shopping, we also bought some wire from a hardware store on our way back. What was available was thicker than I wanted but I took it. I got the wire for Rs 80. Then we bought some brown chart paper for Rs 10. At night, the hubby drilled 2 nails on the wall, and wound the wires around it. It was not easy because the wires were quite thick and they are still not really sticking to the wall too much. I drew the birds and put them up on wires. This was also not as easy as it sounds. The process resulted in paints chipping off from many places owing to he adhesive. Those chip-offs have been camouflaged with the strategically placed birds ... ha ha!.

Here’s how the final thing looked [below]; all for below Rs 100 and some hard work. And the more I see it, the more I love it. There are several decals of wires and birds available in the market, but such raw feel appeals to me. Even all my photo collages are handmade from scratch. When you create something together, it has more meaning to it. 

3. Passing smiles

Money cannot buy happiness but it can bring some cheer to those who don’t have much. I do not really donate systematically. I give away money as and when I feel like it. But it looks like I should take it seriously now. Recently, I gave 100 bucks to an old lady who comes to pick up the garbage and she was so happy. I was thrilled but also embarrassed at the same time. I could have given her more. I realized how much we spend on a single lunch / dinner / coffee outside of home, which can otherwise add so much happiness to a person’s life. I think this thought is worth pursuing in the days to come.

On a lighter note, here is a conversation I had with my husband:
Me: Look, I think we should think about donating now in a planned way.
Him: Sure!
Image courtesy: Google
Me: To begin with, let us donate the money we spend on crackers from next year. It is so much better.
Him: Certainly, but that's just Rs 50!
[We don’t burst crackers, but hubby gets some every year in the hope that he would. Of course, I dissuade him before, during and after buying crackers. So, he never gets around to bursting them. This year, we got 2 sky lanterns believing they were eco-friendly but I just learnt that they are no less harmful for the environment. But I am glad I am passing on the message of 'saying no to crackers' to my son. He would say 'no, no, crackers!'].

4. Cleaning

If you know me, you would know how much I love cleaning my home. Cleaning is therapeutic for me. If I have time, the first thing I do is clean and organize everything. And Diwali brings the best excuse to do that. I completed a massive cleaning of the house, and loved every bit of it. The only thing that stopped me from going up the stairs every single time and getting into every nook myself was the toddler, who had to be held all the time as he was itching to get into trouble in all the cleaning frenzy.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Travelling With A Toddler: A Few Learnings

I know, several parents have already chronicled their travel experiences with kid/s here but I would still go ahead and offer my two pence on travelling with a toddler [mine is 2 years and 3 months old]. I am just back from an 8 day trip to Rajasthan. Barring the flights we took for reaching and leaving from Jaipur, rest all travelling involved road trips of long hours. We travelled to Jaipur-Pushkar-Ajmer-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer by road - one of the road trips lasting for as many as 10 hours! Had it been just the two of us, it would not have been as maddening as it eventually turned out to be. But sigh! You do and you learn. Not that I had not read hundreds of articles about travelling with toddlers but nothing can truly prepare you for the actual experience [much like having a baby].

Here are my learnings from this amazing trip on travelling with a toddler, which included air and road travel: