Gadgets Ahoy!

I strongly suspect that the Hindu ritual of seven rounds of marriage is kept long for a specific reason. The ritual is so complex filled with unknown mantras that there is no exact moment where the bride and groom say “I do”. Hence by the time they contemplate whether the marriage will bring them happiness or not, the Pandit has already announced that they are married. If it was as simple as a Christian wedding, I strongly suspect that more would be husbands would have been left at the altar.

On a lighter note, armed with a yearlong experience of marriage and inspired from Mrs Funnybones blog, I have taken up the task of preparing a list of gadgets that my fellow wives will need, to withstand the annoying habits of their better halves.

1.Mood detector glasses (Google Glass v2.0):

Glasses for husbands that detect the mood of the wife automatically and suggests the right thing to say at that moment. This will be very useful while shopping when you need to comment on your wives clothes in the trial room. Also good to know when the wife is going to throw a fit on you and take immediate steps to prevent it.

2. Reminder application (Amazon Echo Dot v2.0):

Application that reminds you when your wife’s birthday is or when your marriage anniversary is nearby. In addition to reminding you the occasions, it also does a quick Amazon search and suggests you the best gifts to buy for your wife.

3. A drone to drown his voice

Every time your husband tries to interrupt your line of thought when you are penning down something, the drone should go off to tell him to shut up. This drone will also be handy when the husband talks over you in an argument, drowning out your views. Point the drone to start buzzing loudly till he does not keep quiet.

4. Tasking Robot (Boston Dynamics Next Gen):

Fed up of reminding your husband the tasks he needs to do! Let this robot to do the honors of tasking the husband to remind him his household duties I am so impressed by my Roomba, that I hope this robot will function like a Roomba too and follow my husband till he finishes his tasks. This robot can also be equipped with a poking device. Whenever the wife is busy with her household chores and the husband is idling in a corner, the poking device will keep poking till the husband starts working.

5. Snore detector (Snore Lab Next):

On the lines of SnoreLab, a snore detector to detect the resonant snoring of the hubby and aim a water missile on his face every time he snores to make him change his sleeping position.

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Live, Laugh, Poop

Long before I wanted to become a Software Engineer, I wanted to be a Doctor who studies Poop. Human poop to be precise. But well, that didn’t work out. However, after watching the movie “Piku” which talks blatantly on the different types of poop, I am even more encouraged to write my thoughts on this thing lovingly called “Potty”, scientifically called “Excreta” or “Feces”.

Even at 25 years of age, I don’t understand why we don’t discuss about Poop more openly. Women have so forthrightly started speaking on periods through blogs and other social media. There are books and websites dedicated to educate girls what changes their body is going through. But Poop is a phenomenon that all men and women face everyday! Its an important waste that needs to be pushed outside the body. We need to share our knowledge on this poop, to better our body! And to tell you a fact, amongst all religions, all nationalities, all time zones, from the rich mansions to dhobi ghat, and from the President to the homeless guy on the street, if there is something that binds us all commonly together, it’s the Poop!!!

Admit it or not, best days of your life are when you’ve had a good poopoo in the morning! In fact, I find every Great poop to be a reason to celebrate. Green poop, brown poop, dark brown poop, loosey poop, the poop where you have to strain to get it out of your system! I am sure everybody for a second does analyze the poop for the day! And the days we don’t poop are the worst! Coz we are constantly wondering why we didn’t poop that day.

I also tend to associate most of the everyday illnesses with the body. I remember explaining this concept to an ex- roomie when she complained of headache. Usually if we don’t have a poop or we have an unsatisfactory poop, the food of the previous day has not got out of the system. Our body always prefers to be in a steady state equilibrium. The amount of food we input should proportionately output outside this system. When this output is less/nil compared to the input, it does tend to upset the working of the system. That’s when problems like headache, cold, cough, feeling bloated creep up. I am not denying other factors play a role in these illnesses. But somewhere the body is upset because of the waste it did not push and tends to take revenge in some or the other way.

Studies show that many people who tend to underreport their problems with poop is because they find discussing poop to be embarrassing. Not many like to go to a doctor and say “I am not shitting. What do you have for that Doc, hmm?” I believe the more people are open on this topic and discuss freely, the lesser people face Potty Issues. Potty is the beautiful mess of our human body and its really important that we all make sure they are ship-shape all the time. Ship-shape potty makes for a brighter and healthier future.

And while you ponder on your ‘Poop of the day’, here’s a great article to check out how to get a great Poop!

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22358/7-habits-of-people-who-have-great-poops.html

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Bold and Behenji

“Woah, why do you always dress like a behenji, wearing long kurtis everyday !!”- a close friend of mine remarked to me one summery evening few years back. I was surprised to hear that. Kurtis and long tops were my comfort clothes. I loved to slip into a kurti often, it helped me forget my surroundings and focus on my work.  I was in the college phase of life in those days, fully obsessed with course assignments and projects. I tried reasoning out to her saying how I preferred comfort over style while I am working and why the behenji tag was so unfit. But well….I sighed with some amusement and exasperation and left the conversation. Of course as a women, I loved to wear my flowery dresses and skirts as much as my kurtis (though with not equal comfort), but what I wear is my choice! How does wearing dresses and gowns, wearing an immaculately made up face make you more modern and urbanized ?

As a society, we often judge the personality and traits of a person by how well he or she is dressed, how fair her complexion is etc. All the rest of the qualities fail to overlap our expressions. Women not only have to worry about looking presentable but also have to worry about they will be perceived. Most of the times, working women adjust their image according to the clothes perceive to appear.

According to a Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India, 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks. More alarming is the fact that around 64% of women agree that the judgements passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential. 70% of women agree that majority of judgements on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers. This tends to hurt more as we have more confidence in the judgement of people near to us than unknown strangers. Also 72% of women agree that working women face more judgements on their looks or their clothes than housewives.

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Over the years, people have started spending money on self-grooming, including getting “under the knife”. Beauty tips are on an increase and You-tube is full of videos on how to dress perfectly to office or how to alter the black dress to hide your tummy. Women not adhering to the standards are naturally standing out, just to be labeled behenjis or simpletons.

Often motivational books and counselors preach on “Loving yourself the way you are, be comfortable in your own skin and mind” philosophy. However I don’t believe we tend to practice what we preach and tend to act contrary to this. It shall take some time for people to change their mentality and shift focus. Till then and beyond, more power to us ‘behenjis’ who wear their hearts on their sleeves and work as no tomorrow. As Kurt Cobain once said “I ‘d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not”.

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

This blog post is the winner for the Nihar Natural’s #IAmCapable activity organised by BlogAdda

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A Day without Internet

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Indeed the Internet has made the world a small town again! It helps me connect with my friends and long lost relatives with ease. I can talk to my parents over video calling and send them pictures and emails which reaches them in a jiffy. When I shift to a new city, the Internet helps me identify the grocery place, farmer’s market, the library as well helps me identify events of my interest happening in the neighborhood. Thanks to the Internet, I am not rushing to my heavy cook books for recipes anymore nor I am visiting the library every time I want to research on a topic. The new information technology, Internet and email have practically eliminated the physical costs of communication.

However, everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. We are forgetting how to communicate with each other. Adults are letting “social media” ruin their relationships. Inboxes, likes and retweets are furthering the communication gap. Social internet keeps us connected with the outside world, but we first should connect with ourselves

The people of our sophisticated civilization chose to come home regularly from work and sit staring at the Computer screen and watch You-Tube videos or the Television. We are advanced that we can interact with our loved ones over huge distances of hundreds and thousands of miles but a lot of us hardly meet each other face to face on a day-today basis as we have become used to meet our friends in a virtual reality over social media.

Hence I would like this cocoon of Internet taken away from me for a day.  I believe staying away from the Internet would help improve productivity, release stress and vent emotions with people we love.

As I get ready for work, I would like to look upto the sky to tell me what the weather will be like today and not the WeatherChannel.com. I would turn to my kitchen to whip up a Sunday Special meal. Looking at the ingredients, I can rack my mind to make something innovative instead of turning to Chef TarlaDalal.com to help me. Instead of the Wunderlist, I would prefer using a PostIt notes to jot down the things-to-do list. I am no longer distracted or interrupted by Twitter, Whatsapp or Facebook but focus on my hobbies like painting or jotting down my own thoughts. Staying away from the internet, I can mingle more with the environment by planting trees or go for walks in the forest.

Without the continuous distraction the internet provides, I feel a lot more relaxed. It is easier for me to set priorities and spend more time in a productive way, instead of allowing it to pass by unused. It makes me realize that internet can definitely be a very useful tool, but it can also become an addiction that captures your mind on a certain level, holding you back of what you could be truly capable of. It is the re-remembering of what you were truly designed to be: a human and not a calibrated robot that connects back to its network as often as possible, in order to receive the latest updates about the most relevant things.

So here is my suggestion:

Select a day in a month and turn off internet connectivity to all your devices. Rack your minds to get going through all the tasks and allow yourself the Roaring Laughter !! Give it a try and feel the joy.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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The First KC

My Dear Husband,

It’s our first karva chauth today and we have been busy preparing for this day for the past 1-2 weeks. Shopping for mithais, getting all the fruits and flowers ready for the fast etc. It’s time we take a break on this day and look back. It’s been one year one month since we first saw each other on that misty late afternoon at the hotel entrance. From the hotel entrance to the wedding to our first karva chauth, time has flown so quickly.

Saying ‘yes’ to you for marriage was probably the only easiest thing in this whole adventure. We have worked exhaustively – day and night, striving to achieve our goals, sacrificing our restive weekends for scores of work pending. There were adventurous times and also times when we rejoiced. We shared the fruits borne equally and celebrated small steps towards our goals.

Past 1 year, I have learnt a lot from you. The true nature of a hardworking person, finding happiness in moments spent rather than materialistic pleasures, simple living, etc. And of course things like eating fruits every day, keeping a check on health and limiting chicken and chivdas in our diet.

Of course, I have learnt to put up with your 101 questions that burst onto me every minute. I should have taken a cue from our first phone talk where you bombarded me with rapid fire questions. It makes me smile how you manage to conjure up so many questions for me always – Why, Where, When, How and then again back to Why (because each question needs to be answered twice). You are probably amongst the few in the world who would rather gift their wife a pair of shoes or jeans because that is much more needed for everyday office life rather than a piece of jewelry which may see the light of the day once a year. . And if nothing else, you’re ‘to do lists’ that precisely reached my inbox at 1 AM some of the nights – because you like to rub your ‘hard working’ trait on me at times. Oh well, indeed I have learnt many lessons from you.

I believe it’s our maturity and understanding that has led to a happy 7 and half months of marriage. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. Both of us put in the pieces we uniquely hold and when all the right pieces are put together, they form a beautiful picture.

Oh, I must admit, I have never been the ideal ‘Patni’ always. Indeed I have taken the sadistic pleasure in irritating you in my own ways. Like making ‘Shepu’ for Sunday lunch! Or eating apple precisely at the time I am supposed to drive the car. And making sure there is ‘Lauki’ on the table at least once a week.

Its only 11:40 AM now. 10 hours to go before I can break my fast. I am still unsure how this mystical spell works. How on earth does my feeding on limited food items help you to live a longer life! Surely the wife of the Galapagos turtle must be fasting everyday so that her Man lives upto an average age of 100 years!!! Well, all this does go for a toss as I sincerely hope this fast will have some positive effect on our health and well being of our family.

Looking forward to the Moon Rise today evening and many more to come in the future,
Your modern cum traditional Ardhangini,
Shubhi

A Healthier Tomorrow

First comes Love, then comes Marriage, and then comes the EXTRA 8 kgs worth fat. All the pre – wedding diet and gym goes for a toss once we complete the seven rounds around the agni. Of course as newly-wed wives, we want to try our new recipes gathered from books of Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor, topping our food with extra ghee and oil to pamper the husbands. No wonder the nutritionists say most married couple gain serious weight during the first five years of marriage!

So when my Man of the House found it difficult to fit in his Levis jeans, I decided to take matters in my hands and made him take the ‘Weight-Heart Test at www.saffolalife.com. The results helped me chalk out steps to #ProtectHisHeart and take preventive action in time. Below I share my plan for maintaining a healthy heart.

By bidding bye to fatty snacks, I can ensure that he stays away from foodstuffs bad for his heart. For this, I plan to keep my fridge stocked with the greens, fruits and fibrous vegetables. Packing lunch for both of us ensures we eat the healthy food and not grab the oily cafeteria food. I also plan to not skip breakfast at all as breakfast helps to kick start our metabolism and helps control hunger throughout the day.

Exercising together is another way of ensuring both of us remain fit. Increased physical activity improves heart health by decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure. After a hard day of work, it’s so tempting to plop myself on the couch and relax. However now I plan to utilize this time to relax in other ways such as doing yoga, going to gym or take an evening stroll.

A healthy heart can be maintained by ensuring a stress free life. A settled married life ensures both of us to immerse ourselves in hobbies like reading books, gardening and travelling to new places. Spending quality time with my husband ensures better communication and a healthy lifestyle.
 

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“I am joining the Saffolalife #ProtectHerHeart initiative and pledging my support to better heart health in Association with BlogAdda.”

The Walk

One fine evening

I was walking in the woods…

Thick and green, on a tiny trail…

It had been walked through for years yet there were so many paths that diverged from it.

I kept walking on my own created path..

Several animals came by…

The deer’s chasing each other, black bears walking back to their shelter.

The cranes catching their last meal, a hare hopping to his den..

I looked up and saw two stars, shining bright in the sky,

As if giving me company on this lonely night

The road became narrow and steep at places.

With all its curves and bends..

And some paths led to dead end too..

All I knew was how the destination was supposed to be..

The mountain people had told me that the trail could take any amount of time.

So I used my supplies sparingly.

At times I found corpses of those who could not make it

That shuddered my spine and gave me a chill..

And the only warmth I got was from the two stars that travelled with me.

As the paths got curvy it was difficult to see beyond few meters,

I asked for strength from God.

And I walked and walked

Through the dense trees, disappearing in the fog.

At the far end, I saw my destination.

Someone was waiting for me, ready to guide me into my next journey

And I realized I did not have time to look carefully at my destination.

The next journey was waiting for me

And I looked up in the sky

Two stars shone bright over me

And I smiled….

tangytuesday Chosen as a ‘Tangy Tuesday’ pick by BlogAdda on September 29, 2015

Pune to San Jose: Cherishing the Library Fervor

“Ooooh, Agatha Christie!”

A huge exclamation, enough to startle my Man of the house and embarrass him as I spot my favorite author’s books. It’s our first visit to the Public library near our home and I am already behaving like a 12 year old kid.  Rows and rows of books, the quietness comparable to a church, the familiar smell from old novels have always thrilled me.

Weekly visits to the almost 200 year old Pune Club library were our family tradition. Every Saturday-Sunday, I would wear my frilly frock, comb my hair into two pony tails and eagerly wait for my parents to take me to the library. The library was able to feed my voracious appetite for reading – works by authors like Enid Blyton and Ruskin Bond, Malgudi Days, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Classics like David Copperfield, Treasure Island filled my imagination. And once I got exhausted of children’s section, I started raiding the shelves for Agatha Christie’s, Jean Sasson, Robert Ludlum’s.

Then I grew up and Boards exams took over my time. I had a brief clash with library again when I worked as a Student Assistant in my Grad school library. Interacting with students and alumni and discussing their taste in literature while helping them checkout books felt less like a job and more of recreation.

Now I am a grown up full time working women. I have finally found that time to be delighted by hours spent roving in the stacks.

The best thing I have liked about America is the free access to the Public libraries and their presence in every area. It’s easier to become a member of these libraries than it is pass the DMV test or open a bank account.  I have seen good quality of books ranging from fiction to nonfiction, history, finance and huge separate kid’s sections too. These libraries allow patrons to travel the world, encounter countless adventures and solve murder mysteries all housed under the same roof. The Internet, eBooks haven’t yet replaced the traditional sanctity of libraries and I dread the day they will.

Even today, it’s still the weight of the book that calms me, the feel of the paper under my fingertips as I turn the page that grabs me. The libraries help me foster my love for the written word and encourage my curiosity. And today as I tuck in my new find “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, I feel my life is complete.

Mulaqat

First meeting in an unknown city

Two strangers

Few phone calls, emails exchanged between the two families

 and here they were

One evening to decide their lives

Stealing nervous glances

Few pleasantries and polite conversation

However the unspoken words

Were louder than the din in the lobby

Expectations exchanged

Simple stories and family life

Thoughts deep from the heart and clear in words

Less romantic, more realistic

“They just knew it” in their hearts

And made their decision that evening

Six months later

They met again

Only on their wedding day

Shy smiles

Emotions in their eyes

No one would say its their second meeting

They seemed so much in love already

Truly said

Sometimes Love is found

In Simple moments