Category: random thoughts

A loaf of bread and a lesson on ‘receiving’

A loaf of bread and a lesson on ‘receiving’

The other day a friend of mine, who is taking baby steps in baking, got me a freshly baked loaf of bread. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am exceptionally fortunate when it comes to friends.

I’d have been fine with a slice or two, but she insisted I keep the entire loaf, ‘I baked it specially for the children,’ said she. I felt a little awkward but she insisted. After a bit of a back and forth and a promise that she’d charge me for it I accepted, with a heartfelt thank you. ‘I hope the children enjoy it,’ she added giving me a hug.

We are all a little awkward when it comes to receiving, aren’t we? I know I am. It’s like an obligation which, I feel, I have to repay. That’s the way I was brought up. The idea was ‘If you cannot repay a favour, don’t accept it.’

I grew up meticulously keeping hisaab, refusing favours and always remembering to give back if I did accept something. Receiving made me uncomfortable, a little smaller, perhaps.

We talk of giving all the time and I’m all for it, but isn’t receiving an equally important aspect? There has to be a balance of come kind, I presume. After all there can be no giving without receiving.

Five ways receiving enriches your life Click To Tweet

Here are five ways receiving enriches your life

  • You form an instant connection. Accept a favour and see how quickly you form a bond with the giver.
  • You give the other person the chance to feel good about themselves. Isn’t that just wonderful? That you’re bringing happiness to someone?
  • Oh and conversely, you feel good about yourself too. The fact that someone wants to give you something reinforces your sense of self. After all who would want to give something to someone they don’t quite like?
  • You learn humility because you’re accepting a favour.
  • And you learn gratitude.


As moms, parents, adults we are used to giving all the time. It would do us good to sit back and receive for a change. So all of you out there:

  • Receive help. Ask for it and accept it with gratitude.
  • Receive compliments. A simple thank you without putting yourself down does it.
  • Receive gifts, yeah why not?

Accept, without any thought of paying back, simply with an open heart full of gratitude and nothing else.

PS: In case you were wondering, the bread was absolutely scrumptious – soft, flavourful and ‘cinnamony’ with a mild sweetness and nuts and raisins that sprung a delicious surprise in each bite.



and with #ChattyBlogs from Shanaya Tales

Stressed out by technology

Stressed out by technology

The other day I went out for a spot of shopping. Since I’ve become a SAHM/WFHM going out is a bit of a treat. I look forward to it. So the plan was I’d finish the chores then sit at a cafe and watch the world over a cup pf coffee. The kids don’t get back home till 3 pm so I have plenty of time.
I left the house at about 11am. Half an hour later I realised I’d left my phone at home. And that was it. Just like that my trip was ruined. I rushed through the chores, getting impatient at slacking salesmen, worry clouding my mind.
What if something happens at the children’s school and they need to contact me?
What if the Husband calls?
What if my parents need me?
What if? What if? What if?
One part of my brain kept telling me I was being ridiculous, that nothing could go wrong in the space of two hours. And yet I couldn’t shake off the worry. The coffee, of course, was abandoned. I came home with a throbbing head only to find the phone lying innocently on my dresser with just the usual, inane, WhatsApp messages crowding it.
It might have something to do with the fact that the Husband is out of town. Being the sole person responsible for the kids makes me continuously anxious, perhaps. 
Or is it just that I am over-dependent on the phone? That I have fallen in the habit of checking it ever so often? That I need the content reassurance that all is well? I do know the kids are safe at school. How else would I let them spend the better part of their day there? That’s what the rational part of me tells me. And yet the worry doesn’t leave.
Our parents were happier ..
My sister and I went to a school some 10kms away, which by our small-town standards, was really really far. The bus stop was over a km away and we walked, on our own. We didn’t have a phone at home, not even a landline. My dad could be contacted in office of course, but that was it. And we survived.
The thought then was, ‘The girls are at school, what can happen?’ 
All I think now is. ‘So what if they are at school, anything can happen.’
That, when schools today are better equipped to handle emergencies, with full-fledged sick-bays and well trained staff.
Technology, I am sure was made to reassure us, instead it has made us so much more anxious. Maybe we simply need to put our phones away and learn to get used to it, to give up the urge to check them constantly, almost like we were expecting bad news.
Do you do this too? Do you check your phone often? Do you also feel insecure if you’re separated from it?
Linking up with Mel at  Microblog Mondays.
I’m in charge of my celebrations

I’m in charge of my celebrations

The twins had a poem by Byrd Baylor in their last unit titled ‘I’m in charge of Celebrations’.
It is about a girl who lives alone in the desert. She’s not one bit lonely, though. She makes  her own celebrations. She celebrates sandstorms, rainbows, meteor showers and whirlwinds. She celebrates whatever makes her happy and writes it down in a little book because she ‘wants to remember it all her life’. “Last year I gave myself 108 celebrations other than the ones they close school for” she says.
Isn’t that delightful?
Here we are, living in a wonderfully vibrant country that embraces all kinds of people and gives us hundreds of real reasons to celebrate. However, we’re so constricted by the narrowness of our own minds that we’d much rather give it all a miss. We’d rather go out and mess up other people’s celebrations, or make fun of them, or label them anti national or post caustic updates on our Facebook and twitter feeds.
We’d rather celebrate hate than love.
With Valentine’s Day round the corner the debate of ‘should we shouldn’t we’ is sure to come up yet again. How about we let everyone be in charge of their own celebrations? And get busy planning our own. Just for a change, maybe?
A DIY perfect day

A DIY perfect day

If you were given the choice to put together a perfect day for yourself what would the ingredients be? 
I’m not talking about special days – weekends, holidays, birthdays, celebrations – not those. I’m talking about that regular, routine day. What would go into making it perfect? 

What are the things that make you happy everyday?

When I was working I used to buy one single rose for my hostel room everyday on my way back home and that was the perfect ending to my day. It could be something like that. It could be meeting your daily deadline at work. If work’s not really happening maybe it’s the daily lunch with office pals you look forward to. Or maybe a glimpse of your office crush :-).
Or it could be turning in a decent piece of writing, publishing a blog post, reading hundred pages of a book or watching your favourite soap at the end of the day. It could be anything that’s part of your routine and that makes you feel really happy and/or accomplished.

Of course you have to cross out things you cannot control

For instance you cannot say, ‘Not seeing that colleague I detest’ but you can include, ‘Not getting into an argument with that colleague I abhor’. Just like I cannot include ‘The kids  going off to school without an argument’. However, I can include ‘Not yelling at the kids in the morning’.
Are you getting the idea?
For me the very basic ingredients of a perfect day would be:
1. A good night’s sleep
Like I’ve said before this plays a huge role in beginning my day well.
2. An hour of exercise in the morning and another 15-30 minutes in the evening
The morning exercise gets me my endorphins for the day and those 15 – 30 minutes in the evening get me a good night’s sleep and also serve as a reminder of my continued pledge towards good health.
3. A half-hour decluttering.
I’m not obsessive about cleaning but I’m not fond of clutter either. So a half-hour clearing up makes me work better and feel happier.
4. One complete piece of writing. addition to whatever assignments I have for the day. This one’s important. It adds meaning to my day.
5. Healthy eating through the day.
Well, obviously. Healthy meals are a definite check for me. For someone else it might be that single sinful chocochip cookie, and that’s fine too.
6. At least half an hour of leisure time with the children. 
This does not include the morning hours or study time or the time I spend sorting disagreements. This is the time we spend talking or reading or making something together.
So there: those are the essentials that make me feel accomplished and happy at the end of a day. If I manage to tick them all off – well then, I have my perfect day. 
That list keeps me focussed. Of course there are days I cannot get it all done – when assignments spill over or the maid decides to stay home. But even if I manage most of them most days it isn’t too bad.
It’s worth a shot to try to make each day perfect rather than living for weekends. Or hanging about, waiting for a holiday to come by. After all it is these mundane-everydays that make up most of our lives. Makes sense, then to try to make ‘everyday’ perfect, isn’t it?

What do you think? What would your perfect-everyday list look like?
Picture Credit: Pixabay.
The problem with Kajol’s sari

The problem with Kajol’s sari

I finally watched Dilwale. Yes that
Rohit Shetty film with SRK and Kajol and the two new bachchas. It’s old news, I
know. The whole world has watched it and not quite liked it too, which I might
not agree with, but then that’s my own thing. I didn’t mind it except for this
one issue – the issue of Kajol’s sari. But first, if you haven’t watched the film
you need to know a little bit about it. I promise to keep it to five lines –
brace yourself.
So Kajol and SRK belong to two warring
mafia families. Point to be noted here is that Kajol is as kickass and as
worthy a scion as SRK. The two fall in love. A misunderstanding crops up, Kajol
shoots SRK and they go their own ways till their siblings find each other and
fall in love too. After some ‘Dobara aaye to jaan le loongi‘ bit’s and a
few sadish songs, the misunderstanding is sorted and voila! All is well
(Writing this down I can get a vague idea why some people wouldn’t quite have
taken to the film).
Whew! That’s exactly five lines. *Pats
self on the back*. 
Anyway the point I’m trying to make is
this – towards the  end of the film SRK’s brother is shot at by a 
don (yet another one) and Kajol sits there all abla nari cradling his head and yells for SRK,
“Kaliiiiii……,” she screams and SRK comes flying out brave and macho
and well obviously, he saves the day.
Why, tell me, doesn’t she reach for her
own gun? She’s as worthy a ‘donness’ or whatever she-dons are called, as he is,
right? She steals the sona from him at the beginning of the film,
she runs a restaurant and has some mean shots to throw when faced with a
kidnapper. She’s brave and smart and wily and strong so why oh why would she
scream for SRK instead of going behind the bad guys herself? Wouldn’t instinct drive
her to go for it herself?
And so I thought maybe it was the sari.
Maybe it was the sari killed her killer instinct. Or maybe she didn’t want to
spoil her look by hiding a gun in that sari. I mean a bump at her hip would
have looked odd, no? Yet, one would have thought she’d have found a way given
that she’d been outdone by it once earlier. Remember Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai and that basketball match? She lost to SRK, despite being the
better player all because of that five meters of gorgeous georgette. Over a
decade later and things haven’t changed. This Senorita doesn’t learn from her
Or maybe… she yelled for SRK because
she just liked having him around, in which case it is perfectly understandable.
I’d call for him all the time if I had the faintest hope he’d come. The brown
eyes, the intense looks, the crooked smile that dimple to die for and the
stubble … ooh the stubble.
Yeah if it’s not the sari it most
definitely is SRK’s fault. 

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