Sunday, May 26, 2019

One step at a time

It's officially the middle of the year, and time for reflection. 2019 has been filled with mixed emotions for us so far. We welcomed babies in the extended family, we lost beloved ones. Also said hello to new opportunities, opened some hidden doors and distanced myself from a few 'friends turned acquaintances'.

What I truly believe in , is one step at a time.

I have never been the one to rush and now I understand the meaning of keeping things flexible all the more. I'm no longer in a rush to prove myself, justify my decisions or portray a certain image to the world or to someone.

Holding myself accountable for the decisions I make, has really helped me think about what decisions I am making in the first place. It has helped me understand the larger picture and I am able to shove the more trivial bits aside, matters that I used to previously obsess about.

Half a decade ago, I was very keen to please everyone around me whether they cared for me or no. I used to make time for people who wouldn't spend a second of their day thinking about me. And to add to it, I used to be upset if those people didn't reciprocate my emotions and I would think it's because I was lacking in some way. In short, I was ridiculously clingy and it didn't do me any good.

On the other hand, as a giver, there are people who I used to hold long conversations with, and it suddenly dwindled to just a random monosyllabic hi, to zilch. Yes, nothing at all. No replies or responses received.

We have to understand we are 'enough'.

I now consciously steer clear of people who intentionally start 'discussions' that very evidently cross the line, or those people who dole out free advice when they weren't asked for it in the first place. These conversations give off red signals in our consciousness from the word 'Go' but somehow we are conditioned to believe we deserve to hear what such people say to us.

By the way karma has no menu. You get what you deserve - be it exceptional love and luck or the reverse.

I wish you all a beautiful second half of 2019, and hope you all get what you've been waiting for. Maybe the key to it is hidden just where you haven't been looking :)

Thursday, April 4, 2019


What are the expectations you have from yourself in general? Have you ever thought about it? If not, do give it a thought now. No, I don't want to know what society expects from you. Or what your family expects from you or your kids. No. It's kind of irrelevant. 

For a minute, remove everyone else from your mind. Yes, those chattering noises that overcrowd even your silent moments and prevent you from thinking about yourself. Now think that what is it that you want from your life? Remember life is very finite and if you have to put your foot down and make some changes, today is the day and now is the moment. 

I read a lot online and also have really deep conversations with my friends and what I have realized is that people are too occupied with fulfilling expectations of people around themselves that they fail to understand if this is really making them happy or no.

To be honest, no one will really care about your happiness. No sir. If you are waiting for that day, you can wait for the rest of your life. No one will ever ask you that important question so it's time you ask yourself - ARE YOU HAPPY?

See, I understand that many people especially women are brainwashed and mentally conditioned to such an extent that they have tied the family's happiness with their own. Undoubtedly, we all have our duties towards our family, children, parents, inlaws whatever. Not saying it's not important. The question again is priorities. Where do you put yourself in this hierarchy? 

Coming back to the expectations - do you expect that you should fall in line with what others are doing or does being a leader excite you? What are you passionate about? What invigorates you? 

Get there. Do it. Feel it. Never ever too late. Begin today! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hello 2019 !! Who's perfect?

I'm still here!! Wishing all of you a very happy and healthy 2019!

If you're reading this post, thank you so much for being a part of my blogger audience and thank you for your support and love always!

I'm not going to give excuses for why I didn't write even a single post in the last 6 months - but all I can say is that living life in the fast lane has taught me so much.

The best part is that happenings in my life always give me opportunities to learn and I'm so grateful for that! I have learned to approach life with utmost positivity and to have absolutely no expectations when it comes to people or situations that are not in my control.

My older one started secondary school (gasp!!) and everything is so new for him. He's getting a good grip on academics and also enjoys his creative pursuits so much. I love this guy for how chilled out he can be, sometimes way too chilled for his own good though HAHAHAHA.

As always I love observing people and quite often I seem to note the presence of these 'perfectionists'. The ones who claim that they are perfect with this and that. And pray where did they gain this notion from? Either (a) it's self created or (b) people around them keep calling them perfect.

Well, to break the bubble - there is nothing that's 'perfect'. Some people are organised and some thrive in chaos. Some have OCDs and some come alive when there's disorder around them. The important part is respect.

It's ok to not agree on a single point with someone, yet treat them with respect.
It's ok to never see eye to eye on any topic with someone, yet show them respect.
It's alright if someone isn't as perfect as we think they should be, because perfection is a perception.

Some people perceive themselves to be a version of  'perfect' and somehow get so absorbed into proving that to the world that they cannot see how insensitive it is making them.

I live in the UAE and the government has announced this year to be the Year of Tolerance. I so love this, because that's what our society needs more of. We need more people respecting each other the way they each are. To identify what makes us unique. To come together and celebrate differences.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

D is for Disappointment

Folks, it's been a while.

Half a year flew past, eh? I see and mentally note so much on a daily basis and this is something I've been meaning to write about for a long time.

I see way too many parents these days rushing to cushion their child's life from every angle. So much so that the child does not know what's disappointment, or does not know how to react to rejection or the word 'NO'. Yes, this is happening for real.

Now. I'm all for happy childhoods. Every child deserves a happy and secure environment where they are free to be themselves. Free to be the cheekiest, corniest, craziest version of themselves.

At the outset, I'll be honest. I'm not super perfect mom. Quite far from it by the way.

Yes, my children know how it feels to NOT get their way all the time. They are in multiple scenarios even at home on a weekly or a monthly basis where they realize that a mild level of rejection or disappointment is normal.

Don't fight your child's battles for them. Let them figure out their little strategies for themselves. They'll thank you for it later.

Accountability is the other thing.

Mommies and daddies - make your child accountable for their daily chores or decisions. For example: In our home, my children know to look at their timetable and ensure their PE kit or swimming kit is packed the previous night. Yes, even my 6 year old.

They do realize that if they forget their kit due to laziness then mom i.e Me,  is not going to get into emergency mode and go rushing home to pick and deliver the kit in question.

One main reason why they should learn the basics of accountability is because we parents won't be around to help them forever. And such children who are mollycoddled at home, do end up floundering when thrown into the big bad ocean by themselves because they don't have these basic life skills.

Today's responsible child is tomorrow's sorted adult.

Let your child face life's little situations at a tender age. If possible, share stories with them about children who are not from privileged backgrounds and who have to take life in their stride everyday. Let them understand the value of working hard for something and then receiving the rewards.

It's our duty as parents to empower our children by giving them opportunities to develop basic soft skills, and not decapacitate them by doing everything for them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Staying Afloat

Yup, you read that right. No this post is nothing to do with water or swimming. Ok, I'll be honest. It is is about swimming, but maybe in the context of life. 

Let's face it, noone's life is perfect :) 

I have a couple of friends who are currently going through a physically and emotionally difficult journey in their lives and we share our thoughts with each other on an almost daily basis. The subject for this blog post struck me as I was writing my thoughts in a way that I could be a source of support and light to them. 

We all have ups and downs in our journey of life and on some days it feels like there are more downs. Somehow, everything seems to be going wrong; be it relationships, work, life, kids etc. Sometimes even health? 

I feel like it's then that we have to take a step back and think. It's important to focus on what really kept us going in this journey so far. In the case of relationships, it's imperative to focus on the happy moments and think of them often during those low moments. 

Image result for happiness jar
(Image courtesy Google Images)

This is a wonderful idea shared by many on social media. If maintained regularly, this pretty little happiness jar concept helps us analyse and understand our emotions - and in turn it helps us value what we have rather than worrying about whatever may be out of our control.

Each time you feel like giving up - tell yourself that you won't. Vocal reaffirmations are very powerful !! Remember that there are ALWAYS reasons to stay afloat. Some reasons may be really small to you but they are important. 

Think about what got you through your journey AND what helped you reach this point.Write your thoughts down or draw to express your feelings.

And finally, remember that you are not alone. Find an outlet for your feelings, speak to friends, listen to music and BELIEVE in the power of finding a solution. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Empathy and Being Real

Happy 2018 to all reading this post - May only the best come your way this year!

This post is linked to what I wrote previously on Acceptance.

Being empathetic is really important in this day and age. There is just too much hate in the world right now. What if we tried to treat others the way we'd like to be treated ourselves? What if we only said to others what we'd love to hear being said to us? The world would transform. It's like I always like to say : Every Drop Makes An Ocean.

Last year was a revelation of sorts. Without getting into details - it suffices to say that I evolved as a person in the year that went past.

We all learn everyday. Some lessons are taught to us nicely and some we learn the hard way. Sometimes drawing a line verbally or physically is necessary. Sometimes crossing over a fragile line to give the other person a hug is also equally important - more so when you realise they were literally craving for it.

Something I also learned last year was to let go of expectations. Here it's important to note that I had a lot of unrealistic expectations from myself. I'm not the first mom to multitask and I'll not be the last. Women in the previous generations had it harder because blah blah - but that does not take away from the fact that in this day and age, it's quite tough to present the balancing act. I learned to do only as much as I could handle and take some time to rest. It did wonders for my mood and self-esteem.

And coming to the topic of social media. Yes I'm on social media now more than I ever was. I like observing people and trends. Hands down, I have more respect for people who portray their real selves on social media because it takes guts to do so.

Be real. Show real emotions. Say what you mean and mean what you say (they're both different by the way).

On that note, I'll sign off !

Monday, September 25, 2017


It's been a little more than 2 months since my last post. Needless to say, school has reopened this month and I'm getting my precious 5 hours to myself when the kids are away. 5 hours may seem A LOT but to be honest, it's not much :)

On a daily basis, I enjoy observing people and making little notes when I interact socially. I can strike up a conversation with anybody; so it's win-win :)

I can't believe we're hurtling towards the end of 2017. This year has mostly been very good to us, and I'm quite grateful for it. In this day and age; if you have a home to come back to and a family that loves you for who you are - there's nothing more you can ask for .

And that brings me to the topic of acceptance. What is acceptance? It's when you are judging less and introspecting more. It's when you're not trying to be one up on someone and instead, walking hand in hand with them. It's when you're not crushing someone's self esteem to bits and instead, showing empathy.

'Cuz remember, we don't know what the other person is going through. We haven't lived even one day in their shoes; so we are no one to advice them about what they should do with their life.

How about we say; 'Hey, I know how hard this is for you. I'm always here if you need me'.


'Hey, I know this is tough. Hang in there buddy, we're in this together'.


'Hi! Just checking in on you! How are you feeling today?'


I think judging and criticizing is a very sadistic behaviour. It is done for the sole purpose of belittling someone and not 'for their benefit'.

The world needs more of people who love unconditionally and who can accept each other regardless of size, shape, looks, clothes and all such irrelevant and trivial parameters.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our Italian Sojourn - Part Two


We arrived in Florence by train at the Santa Maria Novella station which is HUGE and has a lot of cafes and even a nice supermarket. It also has a Mc Donalds and yes the veggie option is available too (what a relief).

An important note here:
All public toilets are of the paid category, it costs anywhere between Eur 0.50  - Eur 1 to use. The other option is to go to a cafe, eat something and then use the toilet there for free. And of course - no water in the toilets. We are so used to this coming from India and having lived in the Middle East that we take it for granted. Flushable wipes are a good option to carry though I don't know how eco-friendly they are.

Keep an eye on your valuables at all times and I don't recommend wearing expensive jewellery. It's best to keep the gold and diamonds at home and go to Italy wearing something very inexpensive - saves a lot of headache! If you're using a backpack, wear it in the front .

After checking into our hotel (no recommendations here, our hotel was comfortable but not the sorts I can recommend), we relaxed a bit before heading to the Eco Florence tour in the evening. This is a highly recommended tour! The pick up is at the Church of San Philipe in the main square - our guide was a lady who drove an electric cart and we were given audio guides to listen to. The biggest highlight of this tour is the Piazza Michalangelo, which is a uphill drive to a point where one can get the best view of the city of Florence! Thumbs up !

You can read more about the Eco Florence tour online and it is bookable on TripAdvisor/Viator etc. 

Florence is SO beautiful - it has the old world charm, the cobbled streets and there's all the beautiful Renaissance architecture all around. 

The next day we headed off on the Best of Tuscany Tour. This is a group tour, travel is by an airconditioned bus and the points of sightseeing are the towns of Sienna, San Gimignano and Pisa. It is a full day tour and can get a bit hectic with little kids but given that there's a lot of travel by the bus, there's plenty of time for them to get rest and sleep off for a bit. The Tuscan countryside is a sight tto behold! After our trip to Sienna, we stopped at a farmhouse for an authentic Tuscan lunch with homemade ingredients. We also tasted the wines - Yum !!

Sienna is very rustic but beautiful, San Gimignano is vibrant with little shops selling trinkets and cafes etc. And Pisa!! No words to describe what we felt at seeing the Leaning Tower - it's surreal!

The Best of Tuscany tour involves a LOT of walking and especially in Sienna and San Gimignano - all of the walking is uphill. I recommend wearing good walking shoes - I practically lived in them all through the trip !!

This tour is also bookable online and a big thumbs up from us - highly recommended!!


After enjoying Italy for a whole week, we travelled to Milan by the super fast AV train that departs in the morning. Overall, our experience with Trenitalia has been very positive including interactions with their staff at the customer service desks everywhere and even the staff on board. They are very kind, very helpful and supportive. 

Milan - what can I say! It is one of the fashion capitals of the world - it is stylish! The architecture is modern, everyone is on the go. The city has a fantastic subway network of 4 lines, of which one line has a driverless metro as well. Because there are 4 lines, the subway routes are not as easy to understand as the one in Rome, but what I especially liked is that you are never too far from a metro station. The metro connects the whole city and is a VERY convenient mode of transport as compared to taxis which are expensive. 

We stayed at the Novotel located near the Ca Granda metro station - an excellent property and highly recommended. The shopping district of Milan goes by the name of Buenos Aires and it is located very close to the Duomo - some great deals are always available on the choicest of brands. 

We went on two tours in Milan - both extremely good and recommended. Do remember that none of the tours offer a pick up from your hotel - so it is your job to figure out how to get to the meeting point. The first was a tour to the village of Turino from where we boarded the Bernina Express towards the Alps and onwards to the lil Swiss town of St Moritz. The highlight of this tour is the train ride through the mountain passes - it is very exciting for kids and adults alike! The climb is quite scenic and your eyes will never tire looking at nature's bounty. Keep your camera(s) charged and ready to click !! It was 28C in Milan versus 10C at St Moritz - cold!! The guide took us on a beautiful walk along the lake and then there was some free time to spend drinking in the natural beauty of which we could never get enough!

The other tour we did was that of Lake Como and Bellagio. The drive to the village of Como is so spectacular, and once we get to the village, there's a little cathedral there to see. We spent the best time lounging by the side of the pier on the benches there. There are free bikes to ride around a LOT of space for children to run - win win !! The tour continues with around a 45 minute cruise to the village of Bellagio. Sumedh was happy to look at all the ducks that seem to love the waters in Italy and at one point we also spotted a gorgeous Big white Swan when we docked at Bellagio! 

It is worthwhile to mention that we had Indian food delivered to our hotel twice by the Taj Mahal restaurant and they offer excellent service! Here's a link to their presence on Zomato  (

We flew back home from Milan with our hearts bursting with memories - this is a trip we'll always remember. We managed to fall in love with everything - the culture, the vast blue expansive skies, the friendly amiable Italians and the yummy food! 

And yes we're already planning our next holiday next year to a new destination - let's see where we end up going!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Our Italian Sojourn (A Multiple Part Series) - Part One


Early in the month of March, we decided to finally plan a holiday after  a 3 year hiatus. Our last holiday was to Greece in April 2014. 

There was no such reason for not going except that our little one is not very comfortable in confined environments such as flights, so we wanted to wait till he was a bit older. He is nearly 5 now so we thought better now than never!

As we looked towards European destinations - Italy came to mind. I have always wanted to go see the Leaning Tower in Pisa, and the ancient historic sights of Rome. But the south of Italy is said to be beautiful and very picturesque - the Amalfi Coast is very popular with tourists.We spent a few weeks of debating whether we should visit the south of Italy or the north . We had only 10 days in hand - and ultimately we decided on the North.

So we chalked out a route which would be Rome - La Spezia (Cinque Terre in the north west) - Florence and finally Milan. The plan was to fly into Rome and fly out of Milan and our dates were June 23rd - July 4th. 


We landed into the Fiumicino Airport and we were aghast to see the horrific queues at Immigration. About a 1000 odd people crammed into the hall and obviously the airconditioning was not able to support the load so it was sweaty and hot. There is no priority for elderly folks or families with kids - we requested them but we were turned down. We did see Australian and US passport holders being fast-tracked - no idea why.  If we were warned beforehand, at least we would have kept some extra food and water for the kids. Eventually when we were an hour away from the counters, we requested a lady ground staff and though she was quite rude, she fast-tracked us. 

We checked into the Mediterraneo Hotel at the Central Termini, which is a beautiful location to stay. It's very close to the Metro line and all major locales such as the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain etc are just 2 stops away. The hotel also has a lot of cafe style Pizzerias all around so there's no dearth of choice for meals. The Central Termini is full of branded stores and it also has a nice McDonalds that does stock the McVeggie burgers. We needed a break from pizza by the 2nd day, so this was a nice option for us to refuel. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our half day tours of the Colosseum, the Vatican and we explored the Spanish Steps etc by ourselves. The Colosseum is exactly how you see it in photos - huge, imposing and the history of this space literally pours out of each facade. Our guide led us through the history of this arena, and the way she was explaining it, we could imagine the scenes in our minds.

The Vatican City is inside Rome and has its own entry point demarcated by a huge wall. The tour we went on basically covered three points - the Vatican Museum, St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. The Museum is filled with paintings from that era and plenty of frescoes. There is a lot of walking and stair climbing which is ok but it got uncomfortable due to no air-conditioning. The St Peter's Basilica is enormous, with beautifully carved gates and columns; but indeed the Sistine Chapel is the best of the 3. Serene, tranquil and it houses the best ceiling frescoes painted by Michaelangelo. In those days, without any equipment and just using vegetable dyes - he has truly painted masterpieces, some of which are 3D. The intricate detailing of each painting there literally gave us goosebumps!!

We got stuck in a heatwave that hit Rome - temperatures hit 35C which is not very high if you consider the heat in the UAE but it was HOT outdoors.
Luckily, the evenings were very pleasant and post 4 pm it was quite nice to be outdoors. Considering that sunset is only by 9:00 pm , we had quite a lot of time to tour in the evenings.


After 3 days in Rome we headed to La Spezia. There is a direct train (Trenitalia of course) from the Central Termini and the journey is about 4 hours through the picturesque north western terrain. I highly recommend getting the Eurail pass, we got ourselves the 4 day pass and it was quite useful. The trains are extremely comfortable and there's enough space even for big pieces of luggage.  

As the train approaches La Spezia, the glorious seascape comes into view. Imagine the turquoise languid waters that gently splash over the rocks ashore - bliss!! La Spezia is a small scenic village and it is through this station that the train departs towards the Cinque Terre (the 5 villages). Many tourists like to hike through to the villages, it's not too far. 

We stayed at the CDH La Spezia, a 10 minute taxi ride from the railway station. This hotel is right at the central square, just minutes away by walk and there are ruins of a castle in front of it.  The village square is a delight to just stroll around, there are little shops everywhere and even a small kids play area. Overall, we were enraptured by the ambience and the vibes all around. A village is a village - wherever in the world you go ! :)

We took the little train to the 5 villages, but got off only at Vernazza and Monterosso. The village of Monterosso has a nice small beach. Oh and if anyone prefers cruises, there are day cruises that depart from the dock at  La Spezia too.

After La Spezia, we visited Florence - keep watching the blog for further posts!


Monday, May 8, 2017

My Age is more than just a number

Oh yes, you read that right! 

Sometime in late March, I entered my mid 30s. My older son Samarth was busy announcing my age to all and sundry and I heard a lot of chuckles around and was beginning to wonder why. What is so great in hiding one's age? 

My age is my badge of honour. I very proudly say it loud and clear and don't attempt to hide it with a tee-hee or ha-ha or some joke.

So apparently there's this saying, that don't ask a woman her age and a man his salary. Because a woman never lives for herself and a man never earns for himself. Really? Is that even true in today's day and age - I think it is really outdated. 

I can surely speak for myself. I enjoy my me-time as much as I enjoy my mommy+wife+multiple role time with the family. Yes, I am not ashamed to admit that those snippets of time recharge me and remind me about what I am as an individual and allow me to reflect on my journey so far. After all one cannot pour from an empty cup!!

I wear my age proudly as a title. I do not care if 'I look my age or younger or older'. I am so self-assured that comments do not matter to me anymore. I think all women should be comfortable enough to reach this point in life where nothing can shake them anymore. 

If anything - my age has taught me to reflect on the inner core rather than the outer shell. It has taught me to look through the facades and masks that some people insist on wearing. As I enter a new year in life, I have learned to tune into my instincts more than ever and trust them to help me make decisions. Yep, I'm certainly doing a lot of important decision making these days :)

Ageing gracefully is an art and I do intend to take baby steps in that direction. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

In 2017 : Emotions, Prioritizing and more..

How soon two months of the new year have flown by us!
Towards the end of 2016, I learned a harsh lesson and learned how to cut off toxic people from my life. It really felt like a breath of fresh air!  Getting angry and giving an intense reaction was the easy way out and it would have been so convenient to choose it. But I chose to give a cold shoulder - something I thought I could never do. For me the most important thing was that my kids were watching my reaction and they were simultaneously imbibing. At that time, I felt a bit like the lion in this pic below :D
Every time life gets tough do you give up? Do you find an excuse not to exercise? Remember that you are a role model for your children and that they are always watching you. If you enjoy exercising chances are they will too. Kids pick up your behaviors. Exercise is important know matter how old you are. Kids should be getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Make a change today! Show your children how important it is for them to take care of their bodies. It's the only one they have.:
I realised that only when we stick up for ourselves and prioritize our feelings and emotions - will other people do the same. We need to be stronger and sometimes more vocal - not to be confused with being rude. Being vocal is being assertive - and yes it can be done very politely.
Here's something cute that has been doing the rounds on the internet lately - How to convert your 'sorrys' into 'thank yous'. Reducing the number of unnecessary sorrys - also aids projecting a more self-confident version of ourselves.

One of the images I liked from that link is this one below. What a difference words can make!


Vocalising is so important - it is something I am learning along the way. Body language and mannerisms that accompany the words - can change the meaning altogether. Assertiveness is important and so is realising the importance of self-respect.
If there's one thing I am working on changing in myself this year, it is my reactions to unpleasant situations. I want to be calmer, I want to be more composed. It would be more of a personality overhaul, I guess. Over time, I have realised that people who intentionally want to hurt us by way of their words or actions, are fuelled by our reactions.
The easiest way out is to keep quiet - and let them know they have not affected you in any way. Barking dogs, seldom bite.
Here's to a year of positivity, a year of making slow and gradual changes. Wish me luck!! :D

One step at a time

I t's officially the middle of the year, and time for reflection. 2019 has been filled with mixed emotions for us so far. We welcomed b...