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Showing posts from 2017

Kerala Christmas Celebrations: What makes it so special and how differently Malayalis celebrated it

Christmas is not a religion's festival but a feeling that comes from the heart.

Growing up in Africa, my sister and I used to look forward most to the festive season of Christmas. The whole world around us looked as if it had come alive,  decked up in bright red and green. Even our home, being a traditional Hindu Malayali home, always had a beautiful Christmas tree, with its tinkling bells, silver and gold cones & ribbons of different colors along with bright and sparkling balls of chandeliers. Our closest family friends, the Nettikadan family, used to make the festival mindblowing for us. Grace aunty used to come over and bake the yummiest cakes. 


On Christmas Eve, we used to hang up our stockings and have sweet dreams of Santa Claus climbing the chimney and leaving Christmas gifts under the tree. I really enjoyed was reading out Santa's long letter that always concluded with the words, ''Be obedient to your mom, she loves you a lot, so …

Childhood is the best part of life

Memories have a funny way of coming back into my head, sometimes when I am about to get ready to go to work or sometimes like a flash from the past. It happens to me all the time - swathes of childhood memories flooding back. This time, as the first touches of winter began to make itself felt in Delhi, I went on a trip to Goa with my son and close friends. From the moment I landed in Goa till I got back, I was on a happy high, like a teenager who's going on a much awaited holiday.  Let me tell you a funny thing. I even went and bought myself a swimming costume to wear for the first time since my teenage years but guess what? The funniest part comes now - I never got to wear it. Maybe the idea was just to feel like a teenager again as I am growing older, not wiser! Hahaha!  [MUST-READ: Mahashivaratri - I'm loving it!]


The Goa trip was an incredible experience that took me back to where I really came from, where my heart has always been - Blantyre. Th…

Conversation with a friend: How to deal with the death of a loved one and Three Lessons I learned

The simplest lessons are always the toughest to learn.This December, a classmate passed away and I was totally shocked to hear the news. Another shock came my way. I heard that another classmate's husband had passed away and when I received the news, I felt very deeply for her.
1. Reach Out, Show You Care and Be Honest
For me, my classmate is someone whom I had shared countless jokes and conversations with when we were young. Our conversations and happy moments have never faded though we have become different individuals with completely different journeys in life.  So, yes, I plucked up the courage to call and show that I am with my friend through this moment of grief. The experience of the conversation we had humbled me like a lesson of life and the blessing was that I felt much lighter within. 

2. Honour the need of others to grieve in their way
I believe that the ''body'' alone perishes but not the soul. I don't offer my beliefs  to those who …

Are you into blogging? Here's a hilarious story of how I got began with a job interview!

The first time I heard the word 'blogging' is when I went for a job interview. The lovely young lady who interviewed me asked, ''Are you into blogging?'' At the time, I didn't even know what blogging was. She left it at that and thankfully, didn't pursue it. I got the job, but more than the job itself, that lady's question ''Are you into blogging?'' changed my life. I became a blogger.

The first thing I did when I came back home was to google ''blogging''. I didn't have a smartphone then just in case you are wondering. A whole new world opened up before me. I had no clue then what I wanted to write or for whom - after all, no one in the world was connected to me through a blog. That seemed exciting enough to take the risk - the feeling that I could write, convey my feelings and my personal stories and send it out to the world and just wait to be discovered and read by people I had no idea about.

For a mother whose r…

Winter months have begun and I Have Learned Many Lessons This Year

In my part of the world, it is winter already. For me, it means that there is more work to be done at home. Winters are a time when I used to love snuggling into the blanket and sleeping for hours. Now that I am a mother, it feels like a distant dream and a luxury that I cannot afford. The truth of life is that mothers don't usually get that kind of luxury, not even on Sundays!

My experience of Saturday mornings is attending a full-fledged PTM that continues from 9 AM to 1 PM, my weekend is literally over, because I've got tasks pending at home. Of course, there are tons of chores that pile up like cooking the daily meals (wracking my head for something beyond the comfort food called dal) and all of it has to get done by the end of the day. [Do read: There's No Woman on The Moon]

Of course, I also have to remember to take out the family's treasury of sweaters and keep them ready in the wardrobe for daily use.  Plus, I am always excited about making time for my varied int…

Tumhari Sulu movie review: Vidya Balan makes you laugh, cry, croon and fall in love with 'Sulu'

I have always looked forward to watching Vidya Balan's films, which is why I watched her latest one, Tumhari Sulu, and decided to share this movie review. I read many reviews which bring in the feminist aspect of the narrative. I want to look at the little details of an ordinary life that are portrayed by Vidya Balan's extraordinary acting.  As ''Sulu'', Vidya Balan breathes life into the character of bubbly housewife, whose life revolves around her husband, son and of course, her favorite hobby of participating in all kinds of contests and winning them with a die-hard spirit. 
                                        [Image: Vidya Balan's Facebook page]  Vidya Balan's mastery over details comes through in every scene - shooing off birds so that they don't put ''potty'' on her clothes, posing in front of the mirror with the kind of bag that working women use and pretending to be one, and even the air of confidence she wears to mask the …

Six Happiness Lessons I learned from a Baby in a Boutique

Happiness is a strange thing, at least in my life. It is always the little things that bring a big smile to my face, not that I have any big things lined up in my life.  But I must confess that happiness is not what I expected to feel when I popped into the neighborhood's busiest boutique! 
[READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He Loves]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST Last evening, I had just dropped in to collect some materials that I had given for stitching at the boutique. Besides long traffic jams on the route,  I was stressed out. I needed to complete some paperwork at the private bank and that had just got done at the last minute. I had to pick up groceries on the way and the list was pretty long. Then I had to reach my son before a certain time as per schedule.
So, when I spotted a baby in the boutique, I felt instantly happy.  As our gazes locked, the three-month-old beauty began to smile, stretch her tiny palms to me and our eyes locked for several minutes.  She began to…

Best sweet shop in Noida: Ring in the festive spirit, celebrate Mithai time!

This is the festive season and though Diwali is over, we have Christmas and the New Year coming up, don't we?  This Diwali, I was on the lookout for the best mithai shop in Noida and guess what I found?  There are plenty of options but none that I particularly liked. However, get yourself the most delectable mithai from Hira Sweets, Sector 51, Noida. They also have an outlet just near to JAM Shipra Mall at Ghaziabad.

Now I know you are looking out for the best sweet shop in Noida, which is why you are reading this. But it may help to know that Hira's sweet shops also offer a wide range of varieties of pastries, namkeens, snacks and chaat as well.  Note that their mithai boxes are on the expensive side. When you have a special celebration at home, your guests are bound to be impressed by the taste - I can assure you that from personal experience. It's lip-smacking delicious, mind it!
I have no idea how the months seem to fly off the shelves and suddenly, we are almost racin…

Diwali celebrations at home: This amazing bestie taught me that it's okay to feel vulnerable

The festive month of October seems to be flying past so fast that I feel almost breathless. This Diwali, I celebrated in my new home and it felt great though it heaped upon me many new challenges. But the best part is when my closest friend Millie and her family came over to spend Diwali with us. Given the fact that decorating on festive occasions somehow doesn't interest me, Millie brought diyas and fresh flowers to decorate our place and her daughter Anushka decorated it so well that it brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. 
Seriously, the things that best friends do for each other - we can't ever understand it logically, can we? It comes from the heart.
[READ: What shifting to a new home has taught me]

After lunch, we sat and talked about crazy stuff, we chatted a lot about our mood swings and how the feeling of reaching the age of 40 impacts the choices we make daily. I'm not kidding - I feel pretty old right now. Or rather my system is beginning to feel its impac…

Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?

Many people ask me this question, ''Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?''. Mantras always work but the problem is that we are often not open to believing this.  The query about whether the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra works comes in different forms, sometimes by email, in the comments section or in person. Most people are curious, some are interested but few are committed to sincerely want the answer.

I am just an ordinary seeker on the spiritual path but my experiences have taught me valuable lessons and I am sharing this with you so that it helps your spiritual progress.
From what I have learned from my grandmother, who was a devout Shiva Bhakt throughout her life, the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is a powerful mantra that has ancient sounds which provides an aura of protection to those who chant it with faith regularly and it triggers powerful energies to remove sufferings and diseases. This is why Hindus believe that the one who chants the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra will be blesse…