Life is not easy. It mostly sways you into things which you should not do. That swaying looks real, but it is just bringing you away from your goal. If you have set your goal loud and clear, you can always bounce back but if you are not sure what your goal is, you can get distracted very often. Distraction can be detrimental to progress. In getting swayed from goals you start feeling powerless. Getting your power back is the next big thing to do when in situations like this.
But what if you don’t know whether you are swaying from your goal?
State your goals on a plane piece of paper everyday before you start your day. If it is a journal, well and good. Write down 5 things that you need to do for that day on a paper and follow it till the end of the day. This would give you the purpose for the day. Remember, you can only do maximum 5 things in a day. Once you are done with these 5 things. You are done for the day. These five things that you are noting down are essentially small steps towards your goals. If none of it is happening and you are in turn doing something else, that means you are totally swayed and distracted from your goals. It is time to take further action to bring things back on track.
How to bring things back on track?
There is a certain power in routine. By routine, I mean consistency. My grandmother who is around 87 years old has been following a consistent routine throughout her life. She never used any journal per se but her timetable for the day was impeccable. Looking at the clock, I can tell what she would do at a specific time. How many of us have such consistency? I bet only 25% of us probably. Bringing in consistency would help you feel that you are in the control of the day and my grandma knew this secret early on. Taking control of the day, helps to feel assured and hence minimizes impulsive actions.
While the outer world pulls all your senses in all directions, it is you who must pull the whole world in.
That can only be possible if you concentrate on all your senses. Here are some things which would help to get more conscious of yourself.
- Observe Breathing
- As simple as it is. When I feel I am not aware of myself and too much into something else, I start observing my breathing. Just observe and be.
- Be aware
- Be aware of your body. Your palms, fingers, feet, toes, back and all other internal organs which are at work at an instance. Flex your fingers, stretch the palm to feel good about the constant work the body puts in to make you feel better.
- The best way to get in touch with yourself is to workout. It can be anything. I have personally found that Running is more like meditation and it is very effective to calm the senses. Working out 5 days a week is NON NEGOTIABLE.
Bring back the focus
Setting a timetable and cutting down your earlier activity at a correct point helps to bring back the focus. When you don’t have a day planned, you can spend huge time doing something which is not required at that point.
Setting up a 5-activity routine for a day is the key to get your power back.
- If you have set your goal loud and clear, you can always bounce back but if you are not sure what your goal is, you can get distracted very often.
- Write down 5 things that you need to do for that day on a paper and follow it till the end of the day.
- Remember, you can only do maximum 5 things in a day
- Taking control of the day, helps to feel assured and hence minimizes impulsive actions.
- Just observe and be.
- Flex your fingers, stretch the palm to feel good about the constant work the body puts in to make you feel better.
- Working out 5 days a week is NON-NEGOTIABLE.
- Setting up a 5-activity routine for a day is the key to get your power back.
It has been a while that I lay my hands on something which matches my mindset. To tell the truth, I have been brought up in a very orthodox brahmin household where God was everything. We literally grew up thinking that HE is our family member. For me it was not very clear till recently, but my sister was and is a staunch devotee of lord Vishnu. I wasn’t the bhakta of a type, but I used to read a lot and interpret books related to mythology my way. Ranjan and His Many Lives was a sort of an eye opener.
Ranjan and his many lives brought back my childhood and in a way adulthood too. Ranjan’s contemplation with god (or his own self) are something we go through everyday at every point in life. His understanding of Bharathi’s songs and mythological stories (especially Mahabharata and thus Geeta) is impeccable. Understanding is not enough sometimes; it is also important to pen it down for others to know. When they say Geeta, Bible or Quran, people step back and think before they could decode it. Prakash Balasubramanian has done his best while decoding many stories and instances in Mahabharata. His perception about different stories gives you a better outlook of the contemporary world.
Ranjan’s Contemplation and the ability to relate it to different situations in Mahabharata and other stories in Indian Mythology is a unique way to connect the ethos of ancient society to the modern world. As we go back with him, we also see that those values are still applicable at every step of our lives.
A well to do family and a poor but upcoming family is neatly portrayed by the author. Being in Chennai from the last 10 years I could see all the scenes as they were narrated in front of my eyes. Amma and Appa, Tara, her kids, Lekha, Kanagamma all of them are effortlessly portrayed.
I lost my Mom to cancer, so despite the will to live, I am not sure what happened to Ranjan. The author has wisely left the end of the story to be interpreted by the reader.
A very nice and easy read with italics for Ranjan’s Conversations.
I give the book 4/5.
You can get the book here.
Ranjan and His Many Lives
Me and Shrilekha have been working out and following our food regime since last 10 years. We both were obese throughout our childhood and when we grew up and started being on various diets, we lost a lot of weight but were under nourished. It is through that undernourishment that we had to suffer through issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Thyroid Malfunction. We learnt a big lesson, that weight loss does not mean undernourishment. It means better nutrition. So here we are sharing some important snippets of these important lessons. Understanding some aspects would help you keep things in perspective regarding weight loss or even maintenance.
What Are Calories?
Calories are a unit of energy. They are nothing but the energy which people get from the food and energy they consume throughout the day, which is used as a fuel for physical activity. The nutrition world always talks about calories consumed by a person.
Weight loss, Maintenance or Weight gain
Whether you got to maintain your weight, whether you want to lose, or you want to gain, it all depends upon your calorie consumption. But is it possible to check calories of each food item that we eat? And is it not too much? The answer is yes, we can check calories of everything that we eat, and we can log it too. Nothing is too much if you want to achieve optimum health. As you keep logging in your food intake in food diary (online or hard copy) you will come to know how much you need everyday and whether you are overeating or under eating on a day.
How to Calculate Calories Required?
Before monitoring calories, we need to identify how many calories we need per day. The calorie calculator is based on many equations like the following:
For men: BMR = 13.397W + 4.799H – 5.677A + 88.362
For women: BMR = 9.247W + 3.098H – 4.330A + 447.593
BMR means Basal Metabolic Rate: If you add values to the above equation you can arrive at a value which is the number of calories your body would need even when you are at rest. (You can also identify your BMR using body composition monitor in any of the gyms)
For example, if my BMR is 2039 calories a day the my maintenance calories at 2000 calories per day. I can lose weight at a slow pace at 1700 calories per day, at 1300 calories per day I can lose weight at a pace of 0.5 kg per week approximately.
It is said that to lose weight effectively, one should have a calorie deficit of 500 calories.
How to Monitor Calorie Intake?
This is the easiest part and very rewarding. My favorite apps for monitoring my food intake is my fitness pal. It is easy to operate and tracks your daily weight if you are monitoring on daily basis. It has all Indian food listed so that you can quickly add it to your diary.
I haven’t used any other app. But you can also check out other apps available. Apart from that just to check out your calorie consumption on fitness bands like fitbit, Apple watch, MI bands and so on.
Keeping 500 calories deficit is the mantra for weight loss. You can also keep it under maintenance by watching what you are eating.
If you have questions kindly comment below.
As they say, no two pregnancies are same. Everybody is different, each body responds to the changes in a different way. The world and specially moms are celebrating International Breastfeeding week from Aug 01 to Aug 07. Most of us (our readers dads as well as moms and grandparents) would have passed this phase in their lives. Some may term it just as a single phase in their lives and some like me would say, it was a life changing experience. In my life, exclusively breastfeeding my little one is a greatest chapter which I will never be able to erase from my heart.
Not having a mother to help me with my motherhood was the biggest challenge that I faced during my delivery. That is where my dad stepped in and he helped me being my mother in every challenge that I faced. I hope my breastfeeding story inspires other people.
Dr. Jayashree Jayakrishnan of Happy Mom helped me immensely in this journey of Exclusively Breastfeeding my little one.
Since, 5th month I religiously attended her pre-natal classes and as per her suggestion, I kept myself active throughout the pregnancy. The best part about her classes were the handouts that she gave for practicing the exercises at home. The last scan revealed something else. They said the baby was too heavy to be a normally delivered baby. As I had planned and visualized, I could never get any labor pains at home. We went to St. Isabel hospital after one day of the due date to be induced. After the induction, I gave birth normally to the little one after being in the labor for 5 hours. She passed meconium while in stomach, so she was in neonatal care for around 7-8 hours.
Later at night, they bought her for the first feed. Latching was an issue; she could latch but I was not feeling that she was comfortable. I was diligently noting down her feed timings to show it to Dr. Jayashree as she stepped in the hospital the next day. She helped the baby latch properly and told me the right hold. Taking a pillow below the baby helped me with my posture and prevented backache.
We continued breastfeeding exclusively, in between I had my own struggles as around 3rd month I had to resume my office. The lil one was in no case ready to hold bottle in her mouth. So, I got an Avent Breast pump. It was a great help. La leche Pan League group from Facebook was very helpful here. I would get up at 4.00 am, pump the milk, keep in freezer for my dad to thaw it and feed the baby using bowl and spoon. It was a couple of months till the ordeal went on before we could feed her some raagi and semi solid food. He did it with all his heart and my office people helped me too. During the lunch hour, I used to go to my female colleague’s place who stayed nearby to pump the milk again for the next day.
After a point of time, breastfeeding is not the child’s need but more of the mother’s. I needed that time to be with her. My bonding with her was only those couple of breastfeeding sessions through the day as I was a full-time working mother.
They say breastfeeding works on the demand supply concept. I would say “Yes”. My grandmother made sure that I ate everything nutritious during those crucial first 2 months. Eating a lot of greens, fenugreek seeds and the delicacies made with it, ghee, ahleev kheer and other kheers helped me enormously.
Me and my daughter felt like a team when we started the journey and around 2.5 years. It continued till she went to Kindergarten. I did not have to wean her using anything else but just my talk and assurance. She weaned off it just in a day, this again with the help of Dr. Jayashree and suddenly, I was back to be who I was 2.5 years before. I was no more her comfort food source. I was no more a breastfeeding mother. It has been close to 6 years, but the memories are as fresh as it all happened yesterday.
Once you are keen on what your child needs and are ready to provide it “Come what may”, place is seldom a concern. “We got to do what we got to do” – was my standard concept when I was breastfeeding. My family protected me from those odd glares which did not bother me because I was the mommy on the JOB.
Happy Breastfeeding Week you all!! Hope we raise a lot of awareness for making the world a better place for breastfeeding moms.
Snehal – A Happy Mom
You can check my testimonial just after my daughter was born here
What is “Sant Smaran” program?
The “Sant Smaran” program which takes place annually at Maharashtra Mandal, Chennai was initiated by Mrs. Mayatai Joshi in the year 1988. It is also great to know that she contributed a certain amount to the Mandal so that the program doesn’t stop due to the want of funds. Sant Smaran literally means remembering all the saints. This can be best done by singing the Abhanga, Bharuda, and other devotional songs written by them. Thus, this program holds its importance in the light of “Ashadhi Ekadashi” Ashadhi Ekadashi is an annual festival celebrated in Maharashtra. It is believed that Lord Vishnu enters his state of Yoga Nidra on this day every year. Numerous Vitthal Devotees walk their way from far away to Pandharpur to get the divine glimpse of their dearest Lord. Vari, as it is called, can be a
separate blog in itself.
Know more about Bhaktidhara Group!
This year also Maharashtra Mandal, Chennai celebrated “Sant Smaran” with great enthusiasm and fervor.” Bhaktidhara group” with its experienced and expert singers like Ms. Lata Karnad Rao, Ms. Uma Sheshashayee, Mrs. Kalpana Rao, Ms. Shraddha Thatte, Ms. Surekha Palekar, Mrs. Meghna Dandekar, Mrs. Snehalata Datar, and many others has been very instrumental in continuing the rich tradition of this Sant Smaran program since the year 1988. The seed of this 30-year-old group was sown by Mrs. Mayatai Joshi not knowing that the tree would grow up so wide and would accommodate many new people like Snehal and me. We, the 5 am mommies, joined this group and have learned a lot about music and devotion since then. We take this opportunity to thank everyone in this group who made us feel at home.
Have a look at the program through my eyes!
It was one such Sunday and we rushed to the Mandal with the enthusiasm of a small child. After all, this was one of the most awaited functions. Mrs. Joshi( Daughter-in-law) of Late Mayatai Joshi was offering garlands to the various saints. The photos of the various prominent saints like Sant Tukaram, Saint Dyaneshwar, Sant Namdeo, Sant Ramdas Swami, Saint Eknath Maharaj were beautifully decorated with flowers and amidst the arrangement stood the “Vithu Mauli” with its own grace.
People from all over Chennai started coming for the program and after the mic testing, the program started with a small address from Secretary of Mandal, Mr. Ashutosh Apte. Lata Maushi started the anchoring and Bhaktidhara group sang “Ekdantam Umasutam” to invoke Lord Ganesha. The song was followed by an Abhang “Vitthal Geeti Gava, Vitthal Chitti Dhyava” which literally means we should always sing Vithhal songs and meditate on HIM.
This year also marks the birth centenary of three stalwarts of Maharashtra namely
Pu.La.Deshpande, Sudhir Phadke and G.D. Madgulkar. We celebrated the same in Chennai by singing the songs by these legends. “Utha Pandharicha Raja” by Devraj Patil won great applause from the audience. It literally created an atmosphere where the devotees are waking their God up. This was followed by “Nijrup Dakhava Ho” song from the movie “Zala Mahar Pandharinath” by Joshi Sisters. Any such celebration is incomplete without the famous “Majhe Maher Pandhari” song by Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Mr. Pravin Vaidya with his deep devotion wonderfully justified the Abhang and took us down to the memories of Pt.Ji songs. Lata Maushi in her melodious voice rendered “Indrayani Kathi” song. It was surreal as we almost reached Alandi-the Samadhi place of Sant Dynaneshwar by listening to the song.
It is magical to see the younger generation understand this culture and little Ikshika and Purav Sarode mesmerized us with “Hari Alla Rey”. Chokhamela and his abhang “Abir Gulal” is etched in our memories from years together. Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki has sung this song and Snehal Sham dared to attempt it. We could visualize the flare of Abir, Gulal(black and pink colors) being played by Lord Vitthal in the hall.
A man with several hats, Ajit Joshi, showed us the picture of Lord Vitthala in his “Roope Sunder Savala Gey Maye” song. He was excellent at his play with Tabla. Shraddha Thatte, a Radio Jockey and a professional singer, gave the entire program a different shade by singing “RhunuZunu RhunuZunu Rey Bhramara”. This song is originally sung by Latadidi. She along with Lata Maushi made her mark in our hearts by singing “Kanada Raja Pandharicha” meticulously. Bhaktidhara group sang “Pandharisi Chalala Vaishnavancha Mela” and “Vithu Mauli Tu”.
Mrs. Dandekar took over the stage and extemporaneously sang abhang “Teerth Vitthal” with great devotion and brilliance of a pro. The star of the entire program, of course, was Babu Sir. He accompanied us for all the songs on the harmonium mellifluously. His play of music was euphonious and soothing. Each Swara was hit directly from his heart and yes it reached the heart of every other person seated in the hall. Bhairavi,” Jani Namyachi Rangali Kirtani” summed up the entire program. Vitthal Arti was carried by Manju Joshi and Mrs. Joshi.
We thank each and everyone who attended the event. Our warm regards to all the elders at the event and love for all others. We appreciate the efforts of our mike and sound system organizer Mr. Limaye. Let us meet next time for the same event. Till then, “Amcha Ram Ram Ghyava”.
Be it any season, Summer, Rainy Season or Winter, Sensitive souls are always excited to welcome the new season. Those who love food, welcome different seasons with suitable food choices, the choice of clothing changes as per the season and some people change their song preferences too. We are glad to be a part of Growing With Nemit and Tuggu and Mommy authors Neha and Gunjan. It has made us a part of their blogging journey with this birthday celebration. Monsoon and melodies have something in common. Both are soothing in their own way. Even if it is not monsoon, the rain songs are sure to make someone feel good. As you listen to these songs, they transcend you to a different world. Through songs we can relive the forgotten moments and what is the best occasion than the first shower of rains.
Sawan Barse Tarse Dil:
One of the most iconic songs of 90s. It was in the list of most of us while we were in college. The movie is easily forgotten but the song stays relevant to date. Sonali Bendre and Akshaye Khanna have just set the screen on fire with their expressions. Sawan Barse Tarse Dil is my favourite monsoon song.
Tip Tip Barsa paani:
Tip Tip Barsa paani has the true combination of everything Swag. Ravishing Ravina Tandon slays. Akshay Kumar is not a great sight in the song though. I love the way it is sung by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. This song can be considered as Epic song of Bollywood with all the quintessential Latkas and Jhatkas.
Megha Re Megha :
Starts with melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar, this song is packed with Sridevi’s expressions and her dance. She looks beautiful wearing maroon colour Ghagra Choli. This look is one of Sridevi’s iconic look in my opinion. Lamhe is Yash Chopra’s most underrated movie till date I feel.
Tal Se Taal Mila:
Amazing backdrop of Chamba, Aishwarya in white chudidar and incessant rains..this is Tal se Taal mila song for you. AR Rahman’s music is the icing on the cake. These were the times when people were huge fans of Rahman’s music mixing and recording, usage of various instruments in one song to give the surround sound kind of feel. It was new to the industry then. The music was way ahead of its times.
Chham Chham Chham:
I am not sure whether Baghi movie was hit or not, this song is a new time monsoon song for sure. Shraddha Kapoor and her dance moves wins hearts hands down. I felt the Barish dance moves little technical but never mind. We liked the music.
So grab your headphones and a cup of chai, if it is raining in your town…great..if it is not..never mind…tune in to the monsoon melody.
This blog is a part of a #BirthdayBlogTrain hosted by Gunjan Upadhyay http://tuggunmommy.com/ and Neha Sharma http://growingwithnemit.com/. Introducing Kushal of cafewhiz.com.
Thank you so much, Surbhi (www.surbhiprapanna.com) for introducing me.
Mythology is my favorite subject. Mostly because of the environment that I grew in and are married to. From the central part of India to southern India, one thing remains the same which is the understanding of the mythological characters. Ramayana and Mahabharata was an essential element while growing up.
So, here I got this wonderful E-book written by Suhasini which is based on all the mythological characters that we know or may not know. Mythology for some is interesting and for others, it might sound boring. But Suhasini has kept every chapter crisp and short with some relevant images. Be it a well-known story of Bheema, where he feels it is easy to lift the tail of the Monkey ( Hanuman) or a story of Arjuna ( who is a devoted Sishya of his Guru), there is an ease with which Suhasini tells these tales. And this ease makes every story interesting for the reader.
The layout of the book is well thought and one can read it in an hour or so. I liked the font of the book and the letters are neatly spaced.
Aptly, Suhasini has put Golu (which has almost all gods) on the cover. In South India, during Navratri, Golu ( Nine steps adorned with various mythological characters and their stories) is celebrated. Before Navratri, we get idols of all characters and the stories behind them. When we visit other people’s Golu, we come to know about different stories which we have never heard of. I felt the same as I read Suhasini’s book. It is an amalgamation of stories woven with love. They aren’t just the stories but each of them has a moral behind it. The moral is explained in a very friendly manner and I am happy that the book does not sound preachy.
Suhasini’s book is just what we need for a weekend read or every night read for children and adults alike.
Loved the book and my rating for the book is 4.5/5
Thank you @Blogchatter for introducing me to Suhasini’s book.
This review is written as a part of The Blogchatter’s book review program.
A new journey of a writer could not have been possible without some guidance from The BlogChatter. The creative writing program is what every writer needs to be sure of the creative process.
Creative writing is not a natural progression to blogging, but it can be so, if you bring in the right kind of people to guide you of the path they have already walked on.
What was the purpose of this creative writing program with The BlogChatter?
- To help writers capitalize on their ideas of writing
- To structure the book by developing interesting plots
- To develop the characters
What was the process?
- In today’s digitally advanced world we were blessed to have our creative writing mentors on IG live or FB live.
- Anand Neelkantan, Chitra Divakarun, Dipankar Banerjee, Samarpita, Posham Pa,Kanchana Banerjee, Kiran Manral, Saumick Pal were the mentors and we were glad to ask them questions for strengthning our creative writing process.
Take away from The Creative Writing E-Course?
- Creative writing is more about flow, one can not restrict it. We can condition most of it with the data available and research. Authenticity of creative material entirely depends on the data on which the author relies so, going ahead if there are any facts which need to be put in the book, research is necessary
- Character development should happen in due course of time. One can not completely develop a character based on some ideas. The character has to live on in the mind of the author and the author has to bring it on paper.
- The tone of the character can be defined with words. The best way to set the correct tone is to read the dialogues out. This was one of the best methods of setting up the tone of the character in the book.
- If the book is based on Mythology then, it is necessary to back it up with necessary research also bringing in all the rasas from natyashastra would make it a complete package.
- Self publishing and marketing are the toughest tasks that we have at hand as authors but those can be handled by smartly sharing on social media.
- Sharing the excerpt, graphics on social media so that people get aware of the book is always welcome. One needs to check out whether the posts are getting repetitive.
These were our take aways from the Creative Writing E-Course. Hope to learn more.