Review of The Misters Kuru – a return to Mahabharata


Blurb

The Pandavas are back!

Draupadi, Amba and Kunti are well settled in their modern-day Kalyug in New Delhi. So, imagine their surprise when, completely out of the blue, Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva – the Pandava brothers – drop into their world from the heavens. What follows is even more laughter and tears as new battles are fought, old fires are rekindled, and the men find their place in the modern world. If you thought the women had the adventure of a lifetime in Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas, the men from the Mahabharata will certainly give them a run for their money. One thing is certain – by the end of their visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

My review

I grew up listening to mythological stories from both sets of grandparents. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata took time immemorial to complete. I would await story time to know what next.

The characters fascinated me and I never felt bored if the stories were retold how many ever times they were. The curriculum followed in my school also had moral values as one of the subjects which took deep dive into the epics but in a much more engaging way.

So my interest in mythology went on to continue. I would love to read books that either were a retelling or a book that has a different point of view. So I could say mythology was one of my favorite genres.

The author’s previous work Ms. Draupadi Kuru, definitely was made many heads turn back. Not because the story was a retelling but the conceptualization of the author and the characters she sketched to suit the current scenario.

So when I knew that the sequel is releasing, I knew I definitely had to give it a read. Draupadi, amba and Kunti descending on Earth, setting their wrongs as right, adapting to the modern life in Kalyug, the then Indraprastha.

Love how Draupadi as a character screamed boldness and loud. The Pandavas deciding to come down and bring back Draupadi is the outline. But will they be able to and how do they do is the plot on which the script is centered.

The earth and the mortal life doesn’t seem the same way as it was thousand years back. Do the Pandavas adjust to the current scenario. Do they keep up their virtue?

I loved the fact that the author did not deviate from characters and their natural traits. Just a weave of modern life situations like fashion shows, cricket, talk shows, vibrators (yes yes you heard me right) and fitted jeans definitely add in a lot of interesting scenarios in the subject.

Arjuna and his ball, nakul and his looks taking him to modeling are definitely interesting twists to the original portrayal.

Life is not as easy when they were down here. They have shocks waiting to startle them, do they handle it well? Will they convince Draupadi to hey back? Not to forget the gossip king Narad Muni being a cook who prepares inedible food.

Who would have thought that he would now hold a ladle? What does Draupadi question Arjuna? Does he have the answers? I leave it to you to read the rest.

In love with the authors writing style of keeping it simple and precise. Not to be told as an exact retelling but a current scenario adaptation of an epic is definitely a good sign.

Click below to buy book

Love love love the caricature on the cover design. Draupadi being depicted as the modern day Goddess definitely lifts the expectations.

Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata

About the author

Trisha Das is the author of The Mahabharata Re-imagined, The Art of the Television Interview and the internationally acclaimed How to Write a Documentary Script. She has written and directed over forty documentaries in her filmmaking career. Trisha has also won an Indian National Film Award (2005) and was UGA’s ‘International Artist of the year’ (2003).

This review is part of Blogchatters Book review program bookchatter.

How to boost happiness

“SUCCESS IS NOT THE KEY TO HAPPINESS,
HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS”
— Albert Schweitzer

We have all crossed the baby phase where all we did was eat and sleep. We had nothing to worry about. We were well taken care off and our every need was met without any strain. We made people happy just by our presence. Being happy and carefree was how we spent life.

But as we grew up reality hit us hard and we understand what life is , how complicated it is. We face challenges to help us grow. We were also thought that if we don’t win them we might be overtaken. So to not be left-behind we were forced to push ourselves hard to keep up with others.

We realized that happiness is not just eating and sleeping for us like how it used to be in the past. Welcome to adulthood.

Life is not complicated unless we put it that way. The carefree happiness of childhood slowly vanishes as we get to know reality and understand feelings lie being cheated or cunning, betrayal. We also fail to understand happiness is within us and our personal trait.

To come out of worst conditions in life stronger and powerful our mind must be trained in a way that no matter what conditions we are put in, it cannot obstruct happiness and inner peace.

Practicing habits can help increasing happiness and make you calm from within. You will not only notice difference in you, but also radiate the vibes to others so people would look forward to having your company. Doesn’t that sound reassuring?

How to boost happiness?

START YOUR DAY ON A HAPPY NOTE

The start to your day has a lot about how your day goes on. A smile and a rough plan on what to accomplish is a great start that gives you the needed motivation to get up. A dull morning isn’t productive so you need to keep a check on your sleep routine.

Less sleep isn’t good for your mind. Taking a nature walk or exercising is a great way to start and keeps you up throughout the day.

BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

When you look around you will notice that a lot of people or even you might spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others. This will only plant negative thoughts and lead to disappointment.

Focusing on what you have and utilizing them is a great habit. Learn from people and take inspiration but don’t compare. Focusing on the self will give more time for you to grow and understand yourself better. Try to be a better person than yesterday which is the only competition for you.

FOCUS ON THE INTERNAL

Internal well-being is very much important. We spend a lot of time to make ourselves look better in front of others. A happy mind and a beautiful soul will definitely radiate a good personality.
Overthinking, procrastination, stress and laziness could be some of the things you need to work on. Learn how to deal with them, shoo them away from the path of happiness.

MUSIC THERAPY

Good and soothing music helps in alleviating sadness and stressful moments.It helps release tension and makes brain release happy hormones which will make the mood light and happy.

Compile a list of songs or music types that would lift your spirits up.

HAPPY PLACE

Change in environment can make you feel cheerful and give you a breath of fresh air. It does not necessarily need to be a physical place. Surrounding yourself with people who understand you and make you feel happy would also work.

Staying connected with happy people will unload stress and make you feel lighter. Keeping unwanted stress at bay is one of the key areas to focus on.

COUNTING BLESSINGS

Whatever hard time you may go through be thankful for what you have. Nothing other than the sense of gratitude will make you stay grounded and content from within.

Being thankful for what we have with us will make us feel happy and cheerful.

LISTENING TO BODY

At times in order to achieve our goals we tend to overwork the body beyond its capacity. Post the threshold the body starts sending out signals that it needs rest. Be on the lookout for these signals ignoring which will lead to stress, lethargy and anxiety.

Have you noticed some people being frustrated all the time. They probably don’t rest their bodies and overwork the capacity. Create a work-life balance which will keep a check on your happiness too.

REMOVE DISTRACTIONS

Check around you and if you find something pessimistic or negative stay away from it and cut it off immediately. Things and people who promote negativity are not worth your energy being spent.

The roller coaster life has its ups and down. That adrenaline rush can make you happy while going up and sad when you suddenly fall down. Prepare you mind to handle them both.

You needn’t follow them all. But trust me making at least two changes from above will surely make a difference in your way of life.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

How to stay happy

“THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE IS TO BE HAPPY”.
~Dalai Lama

Everyone agrees in unison to the above thought but a question that lingers in their mind is how to be happy always?

Happiness means different things for different people. For me it would be a good night’s sleep and for you it could be something different. There could be some similarity in things that would make us happy but on rare occasions it can be a probability that same things could make people happier.

We juggle a lot in life. Career, family, education but in the end we always want to feel good by being happy. Happiness can’t be bought by exchanging money in supermarket nor is instantaneous if we switch on a button. I hope somebody invents with that innovative thought, so that many people who are in search of happiness would benefit.

But do we realize that we always look out for something or someone to make us happy. So just like it is a known fact our happiness depends on external factors. We fail to recognize and we are definitely missing out on something that is so very near but not seen or felt. Any guesses?

Start believing that happiness exists within us, our thoughts,beliefs then your goal of becoming happy is easily reachable.So a pleasant feeling in your subconscious mind is dependent on the choice of thoughts that makes you happy.

It is all interconnected. Thoughts, emotions and state of mind. If confidence, focusing interest, anger or fearing is an individual trait don’t forget to include happiness among them.

If you can work on making yourself a confident person or to focus attention keeping yourself happy by inculcation of position thoughts and beliefs shouldn’t be difficult.

There are a lot of of ways that help in understanding how to stay happy .

Here are ways you can keep yourself happy.

ENJOY THE PRESENT

Most people either brood over the past or think too much ahead about future that they fail to enjoy what is happening at present. In short they fail to live in the present. Make sure you cherish what is happening right now so that doesn’t add up to your thinking bucket of past. Most important secret of happiness is to live in the present.

REMOVE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Unhappiness is due to negative thoughts which make your mind scattered. As a result your mind focuses only on picking negative vibes. Channelizing your thoughts on the right path is the best solution. Observe negative beliefs or thoughts, remind that you deserve only happiness and do this constantly. Replace the negatives with positive thoughts. Whatever you focus grows so let that be positive always.

PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Honest and sincere expression of gratitude is the birthplace of happiness. Be thankful to who you are and what you see around you. Have the feeling of content and be grateful for what you have. Did you know that you attract positive vibes when you express gratitude?

DON’T CONTROL OTHERS

The most important thing for happiness is that to understand and accept that you have no control over other person’s action or thoughts. You are going to remain unhappy if you decide that you could change people if you control them.

SELF-AWARENESS

Identify what you are good at. Your strengths, abilities are what you should be aware of and that would make you happy. List them out and start focusing on them. Channelize your thoughts on those positive beliefs. Tap out the huge potential that lies inside you.

GRACEFULLY ACCEPT CHALLENGES

Who doesn’t have challenges. Life could be partial but definitely everyone has challenges at some point in life. Challenges are only to test your inner potential. Unless we face challenges we are not aware of what we are capable of. Overcoming challenges makes you stronger.

SLEEP AND WORKOUT

Ample and adequate sleep is necessary for peace of mind. The body and mind are connected and if you do not give enough rest to the body, you are putting yourself under stress, confused mind and unhappiness creeps in.

Exercise or workout on the other hand helps in release of hormones that help in physical and mental well-being. Practicing breathing exercises increases oxygen flow and makes you feel fresh and energetic.

HELPING OTHERS

Learn to be a giver in life. Helping others definitely gives a sense of satisfaction followed by happiness.

Money , vacation,property give you temporary happiness. Only if you are happy within you can enjoy them. You should focus on your long term thoughts by setting priorities in life and take control of your thoughts and live a deserving life.

Our thoughts, emotions and mindfulness will land you a happy life. So it is never late for you to start building habits that will guarantee a happy and fulfilling life.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

Water mistakes to avoid

Water forms about 60% of our body. Not getting enough of it leads to dehydration. We have all been learning from lower grades that our body requires about 8 glasses of water daily.

The moment the body is dehydrated it sends out signals in the form of symptoms like lethargy and
fatigue.

Drinking adequate water is need for optimum body functions and metabolic processes to take place the right way.
It is not just about reaching the target of drinking adequate water that we need for our body, it is also about drinking it in the right way.

Did you know that drinking water the wrong way or at wrong time has bad effects.

Here are the mistakes that you must avoid while drinking water.

Drinking water while standing.
Many of us have the habit of just picking a bottle drinking water from it and moving on. We do not sit when we drink water. Is this good? No. Drinking water when you stand directly sends it to the tummy. The nutrients of the water are not absorbed and doesn’t reach the organs it should. So the next time you pick up the bottle make sure to sit down and drink.

Drinking during exercise
Many people tend to sip water in between their workouts. Though this might be to quench the thirst, it might not be enough that is needed for loading your body before the workout. This will definitely cause headache. So it is always advisable to consume water before working out.

Drinking water before and after a meal
You shouldn’t be drinking water just right before your meal. The water might actually fill up the tummy and spoil your appetite. Do not drink water right after your meal as it may intervene the process of digestion and even lead to vomiting.

Substitutes of water being caffeine and tannic acid
The amount of water that is required by the body cannot be compensated by the amount of coffee or tea that you consume. Though it might be black coffee or green tea eliminating milk, it has to be water and water only.

Drinking very little water
Drinking very little water leads to dehydration. The body might feel deficit with the amount of water that has been consumed to carry out regular body functions and metabolic processes.

Drinking water by gulping
Many people gulp down water at one go. This rushes the water to sediment the impurities in the kidney and bladder. Therefore it is always advised to drink water in small sips.

Drinking too much

Drinking too much of water has no health benefits but leads to water intoxication. It can lead to low sodium levels, and swelling in the brain causing coma and seizures.

Right way to drink water


Drinking water on empty stomach

Drinking water on empty stomach helps in flushing out toxins, relieve constipation and alleviate issues in digestion. It keeps you hydrated throughout the day. Drinking infused water of various herbs or seeds has greater benefits.

Drinking water after working out

Drinking water after working out helps in restoring the electrolyte loss and helps in coping the water shortage post working out.

Drinking water half an hour before and after the meal
This will help in not intervening with your appetite, reaching your target for water levels and helps in relieving constipation. It also helps in avoiding you to overeating. This is different if you have water right before the meal, because that will spoil the appetite and make you avoid or eat less of nutrient rich food.

When having a headache
Headaches can be a sign of dehydration. It can also trigger migraines, so in take of water helps to decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines.

Before bath time

Drinking a glass of water before taking a bath helps in lowering your blood pressure.

Before bed time

Drink about half a glass or water before your good night’s sleep to replenish fluid loss that could occur during the sleep. You can also have a glass of water beside your bed to prevent dry mouth. This is common to people who are on medication.

Drinking water at room temperature
Cold water disrupts the digestion process. It decreases blood supply to organs leading to constipation. Room temperature water can help in digestion and metabolism in turn resulting in weight loss. Room temperature water also helps in reducing symptoms of bloating. Warm water helps in controlling the cholesterol levels in body and flush out toxins from arteries making it clean.

Drink when thirsty
The body sends signals when it needs water. So make sure you are aware of the thirst cues it sends so that you reciprocate by drinking water at the right time.

Noticing cues which signal dehydration
Dry chapped lips and dark yellow urine are signs of dehydration. So make sure you take these cues into consideration and start consuming enough water.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

Reasons to include fenugreek in diet

Fenugreek or methi is an ingredient commonly found in the Indian household. Found to taste bitter these tiny golden seeds are a storehouse of various benefits.

Fenugreek finds its way into alternate and Chinese medicine for a longer period of time. Because of it’s property to help in thickening, it is also used in gravies though it adds a bitter taste.

Fenugreek also finds itself in the list of ingredients in making soap and shampoo.

The leaves from methi are rich in fibre and used to make numerous dishes to add flavour. Did you know its so very easy to grow fenugreek even in your balcony/kitchen garden?

REASONS TO INCLUDE FENUGREEK

Because of the soluble fibers present in it, fenugreek helps in lowering LDL, reducing blood sugar levels and weight loss. It also helps in fighting against colon cancer and also treat acid re flux and heart burns.

Fenugreek herbal tea helps boost breastmilk production. Hence a lot of new mothers instead of taking over the counter medicines to boost milk supply could resort to home remedies like these to help in boosting their breastmilk production.

Fenugreek when consumed regularly by men helps in boosting testosterone and therefore as a beneficial effect show increased libido.

Fenugreek helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Fenugreek plays a major role in improvising insulin levels and the high fibre content helps in maintaining the sugar levels.

Appetite control and weight loss- Fenugreek helps in appetite control aiding less intake of fat and overall reduction in appetite. Hence consumption of fenugreek on regular basis aids weight loss.

Fenugreek helps in reduction of frequent heart burn symptoms thereby reducing the intake of antacid medication. It strengthens the digestive tract and helps keep a check on gastritis and bloating.

Fenugreek since it is rich in fibre and also amounts of antioxidants helps in flushing out harmful toxins from the body.

Fenugreek is a great addition for intake for people whose body is dominated by kapha. The seeds helps in generating heat in the body, because these people are weakly immune and mostly prone to flu, cold and cough. The heat generation helps in immunity boosting.

Fenugreek leaves are great for skin health. The rich amounts of antioxidants and vitamins helps in tackling skin problems.

Fenugreek helps in reduction of hair fall and boost hair growth. It can be taken in powder form mixed with buttermilk to reap this benefit. You can also apply soaked fenugreek paste or fenugreek infused coconut oil on your hair to tackle hair fall and boost hair growth.

Fenugreek helps in treatment of fever and sore throat when consumed in combination with lemon and honey.

Fenugreek helps in treating uterine problems like menstrual cramps, period pains and hot flushes. Fenugreek water helps in easing the pain during the time of menstruation.

It is said that fenugreek empowers the mammary glands and hence encourages development of breast tissues. This helps in increase breast size.

Fenugreek helps in destroying free radicals in body and fights against skin problems like dark circles, wrinkles and age spots.

Fenugreek seeds benefit pregnant women by stimulating the labour and uterine contractions, they are also said to decrease in pain. However if taken in excess it leads to miscarriage and preterm labour.

The compound galactomannan present in fenugreek helps in tackling cardiovascular diseases.

HOW TO INCLUDE FENUGREEK?

  • Fenugreek can be soaked overnight and seeds can be consumed in empty stomach in the morning.
  • Fenugreek can be soaked overnight and the infused water can be consumed on empty stomach.
  • Fenugreek herbal tea can be consumed by adding two teaspoons of fenugreek to a glass of water. Boil and reduce to half and consumed.
  • Fenugreek can be roasted and made into powder. This can be taken with buttermilk, water or even added in curries or gravies.
  • Fenugreek can be sprouted and made into sabzi.
  • Fenugreek leaves can be included in diet to make rotis, dal or gravies.

FENUGREEK FOR HAIR

OIL : Roast about 3 teaspoons of fenugreek . Mix in about 100 ml of coconut oil. Let it infuse for a week and it can be used for hot oil massages for the hair.

MASK: Fenugreek can be soaked overnight , ground with water or curd and applied as a hair mask. Wait it out for about 30 minutes and shower with regular shampoo and conditioner.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of blogchatters half marathon.

All about Simple nail care

As much as we do the skincare and hair care, when it comes to hands and nails , they always take the back seat.
Most people opt for manicures or pedicures only at the salon. Not sure if it because of the lack of time, or not willing to invest in the products. I do not comment on it, but getting it done is what matters.


Life came to a standstill with the pandemic, salons closing and a major setback for people because their now at their own risks for hair cut, spas, pedicure and manicure. With that said, taking care of yourself in terms of skin, hair and nails isn’t a big deal if you are willing to spend some time for it.

When it comes to nail care, we commonly find two sets of people. People who can do manicure with closed eyes and people who do not know the difference between the cuticle and the half-moons. No matter whichever category you belong to, here are tips that make nail care easy.

DO NOT BITE NAILS
Though most people do it out of stress or being tensed, biting nails just as we learnt in primary school isn’t a great habit. We are either directly feeding on the germs from the nails and spoiling the nails which already had a good manicure. In short to avoid it, you could maybe cut it out immediately once it grows big, have a peer signal you when you are about to bite. Nails do not taste great anyway.

MOISTURISE

Dish washing, sanitizing, using hand washes frequently wipe of the natural oils from nails. It makes the nails brittle, crack and split. The best way to moisture is to use baby cream or vaseline. Just massage the nails until the cream is absorbed.

LENGTH RECONSIDERATION

Nails that chip along edges or are stripping of at the tips need to be reconsidered for length. If you are someone who does daily chores like dish washing , peeling I hate to break it, it is difficult to manage with long nails. You could maybe reconsider the length to a level just above the finger that can be manageable.

NO CUTICLE REMOVAL

Cuticles signify the nail health, so do not break the barrier, It can easily lead to inflammation. Cuticles protect your nails from infection and removing them can cause nail infection for a longer duration. You can invest in a cuticle oil to take care of your nails.

WEAR GLOVES

In case you use harsh soaps for cleaning, be it the house or vessels, make sure you wear gloves when you touch the detergent. Harsh chemicals might prove bad for nail health. Also make sure to wear gloves so that your nails do not chip when your either cleaning or gardening.

EAT WELL

A well balanced diet is very much necessary for overall body maintenance including your nails. A healthy diet can guarantee you healthy nails which are supple. Vegetables, whole grains, seeds, legumes and nuts when included in diet regularly help in producing nutrient rich blood which help in boosting mail health.

DO NAIL FILING IN ONE DIRECTION

People naturally tend to file nails in back and forth motion. What actually needs to be done is doing it in a one direction motion. Doing it in back and forth makes the edges rough.

DO NOT PEEL GEL NAILS
When you want to remove gel nail polish from nails, do not peel them off. They will strip the nail off and also the natural oils. They might even lead to brittle nails. Make sure you soak them with acetone and a cotton ball to remove the polish.

LEAVE THEM POLISH FREE

Once a while leave the nails polish free cause they need their breathing space. If nails turn yellow or are being very brittle, the nails signal you to give them some polish free time.
So go polish free for about a week or two, give the nails a good massage. Once they turn healthy you can resume to applying nail polishes.

SIMPLE NAIL CARE ROUTINE

  • Remove nail polish with remover.
  • File the nails.
  • Push the cuticles back
  • Cleanse the nails.Wash the hands thoroughly. Pat dry. Use acetone to remove any moisture.
  • Apply base coat.
  • Apply two coats of nail polish.
  • Clean the area around nails
  • Apply the top coat.
  • Apply hand cream

I hope the above tips and routine might make it easier to manage nails in our busy lives.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is a part of Blogchatter ‘Half Marathon.’ 

5 must have indoor plants

Well it is said that you can name yourself an adult when you have a bar cart, book shelf and nowadays people include an indoor plant. But I’d say to have a green thumb you needn’t be an adult. The age as a number isn’t a deciding factor here.


Where to start is the first step and probably most people get stuck here. This is where brands pitched in with starter kits or list of plants that you could choose to start having at home. Before that we must decide what part of the house would look much better with all the greenery.


The next thing that needs to be considered is the climate. And the windows in our house that would let in light. So the amount of light that would be coming in and the climate we’re located in play a major role in deciding what we get home.


Interacting with indoor plants in a way helps in reducing psychological and physiological stress. They help bring in a positive impact on mental health. Calming anxiety , helping in realigning your focus and making you more productive are much more benefits of having indoor plants.

And if you are in an apartment this is a great way to bring the outdoors home.

So here are reasons for you to join the bandwagon of having indoor plants at home.

Help in purifying air– House plants helps in purifying harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia and pollen. They could cause headache, allergies, fatigue and sickness. These plants help improve air quality and make the air cleaner for better health.

Stress reduction– Besides the making the air cleaner the psychological benefit of helping in reducing stress is another important advantage of having indoor plants. The plants help in reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and also helping in spreading positive vibes.
Great for styling vignettes- They’re a great fit for the shelves. They help in adding break ups along the hard lines of continuous range of books and stuff.


Help in sharpening your attention– When you work alongside with live plants on your desk, you could notice a difference in your level of attention. On contrast plastic plants do not provide you the same benefits.


Increase recovery rate- The recovery rate from an illness, surgery or an injury is faster when you look at plants or flowers since it is therapeutic when you take a glance.
Help in adding colour- Plants help in adding colour. They help in adding much more texture and colour.

5 plants with easy maintenance

Money plant or devil’s ivy – The plant can withstand extreme climate conditions and requires minimal maintenance. It is one of the most common plants which can grow on fences and in pots. It helps absorb volatile organic compounds and helps keeping air cleaner. If you are a believer of vaastu, the plant is said to bring in material abundance.


Snake plant -It has sturdy and pointy leaves which are long and helps in keeping air pure by absorbing almost 100 different air toxins like oxide, chloroform and alcohols. The plant releases oxygen during the night hour in comparison with other succulents thereby making it a perfect plant for the bedrooms.


Aloe vera– Another common plant in most households known for its numerous benefits in terms of health and skincare. It exudes positivism and hence is great for the living and bedrooms. An ingredient that finds its place in many home remedies, cause of its goodness to skin and hair.


Bamboo palm– The plant has an affinity to benzene, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. It grows quick and helps in eliminating toxins. Also known as butterfly or areca palm and also grows in dry weather conditions. It helps in purifying the air making it a great indoor plant.


Peace lily– Very commonly found across the subcontinent. It is not only visually eye-catching but also great in absorbing toxins emanating from the electronics indoor. It is known for its adaptability to extreme and sudden weather changes. Its also intelligent to let you know to water it when the leaves droop. Great when it is placed in areas prone to dampness say your bathroom.

The list curated above is specific to Indian maintenance and keeping in mind the sub continents climatic conditions.

So plants can only thrive with people who have green thumb is logical to olden days. Some of these plants require low or even zero maintenance. Though some may not help you with keeping the air clean, but are a great addition to decor and no compromise on the psychological benefits.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

How to teach money to kids

Talking finances and money to kids isn’t complicated and something shouldn’t be ignored anymore. Gone are the days when it is fine we reply saying money “money doesn’t grow on trees”. This is the piece of financial advice we were handed those days and it ended there.



If we want our kids to manage their money without issues in future then teaching them about financial responsibility at an early age is the solution. A habit that can take more time to build is saving. We can clearly say that quite a few adults are yet to master it.



As parents we want our kids to have the best. Not only the best in toys, dress, education but most importantly we want them to be safe and secure. A key lesson that needs to be taught which will guarantee they will do well is the lesson about money. This lays the foundation which will make them do well in life.



Many of us now wish that we could have been taught more about managing money. Missing the opportunities and being reluctant to talk about finances are reasons many parents give on why they couldn’t discuss with kids.
Children are very eager to learn about the wisdom of finance we have. So giving them the gift of financial literacy would be the best foundation we can do for them.

Here are ways you could start teaching money



Start early

Math forms most part of money knowledge. So the learning about money could start as early as when they start learning math. What is money?Where and how it is used are the first and foremost concepts.
Also they need to know where it comes from. They need to clearly understand that it simply doesn’t come out of the wallet. Make them understand that we get paid when we work. SO no work results in no pay. This would make them understand that to earn they must work.



Give allowances

Assign a chore or ask them to run an errand and reward them. As they age you can increase the amount. Teach concepts like save, invest and spend. In this way they will know to allocate what they receive. Creating opportunities for them to earn is a great way to learn about money and to understand that their work is rewarded.



Teaching them to save

It is important to let them know that money is not only for spending but also to save for future. Saving will help in teaching discipline, gratification, setting goals , planning, being prepared and most importantly feeling secure and independent.
Giving them chances to set short term goals like to buy their favourite stationary or favorite toy will make them more enthusiastic to save. TO begin with they could start with saving in a piggy bank and then proceed to opening a savings account once they are old enough.



Make them understand and make decisions

Tracking where money comes from and how is it going to be spent teaches children to make smart decisions. Make them understand that they can pay people to get things done for them when they grow up or also spend in getting things for themselves. The key here is for them to understand that it is going to cost them either way.



Involve them in financial decisions and ask opinions

When I say ask opinions it doesn’t mean you have to go by it. It will help in boosting their morale that they are becoming mature and capable of becoming a good adult. They will also get to know how you handle the situations and learn to model you. Start this in their teens, the goal here is to talk about money freely and not getting stressed up.

See where they go wrong and grasp the situation to teach

There might be situations where the kid spends the entire money , or cable bill rockets and so does electricity. DO not cave in. Instead use this opportunity to make them understand that if money is gone it is gone . Let them know that extra TV hours count, leaving the light on counts. This will make them realize and start acting responsible.



Work on your relationship

Kids learn by mimicking our behavior. So if they notice that we are stressed, spending beyond boundaries and keeping the finance scare they are most likely going to become like you. They cannot think it is normal if you spend money beyond limits so act responsibly and be a good role model.
This also sends out a strong message that you practice what you preach. Talking to them about saving and investing and on the contrary ending up be scarce doesn’t picture a good role model.



Teaching differences

Make sure kids understand differences between needs and wants. Let them be responsible for the decision they make to spend money on a trip to circus or a video game. So later they cannot blame you. Let them enable themselves by making a priority on what do they want first. Making them understand what is their dire need and what is a want helps them make better decisions.


Gratification

Kids need to understand that they don’t always come with a bag of goodies after leaving a store. Visiting every time doesn’t mean we spend and buy stuff. The goodie will make its way during an occasion and not during every store visit. Making them save money for their most wanted goodie is another way they learn to save. And once after they purchase you could see how thoughtfully they make use since it came out of their own money.



So it isn’t late if you haven’t started. There is no right time and no time when it denotes your lagging behind. If you are reading this and plan to start, I wish you the best.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

5 reasons why we procrastinate and how to overcome it

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” – Benjamin Franklin



An act of unnecessarily postponing things , decisions or actions is called procrastination. People often confuse this with laziness but both are very different in their own ways.



Procrastinating is active meaning you chose to do something else instead of the actual task that you are supposed to be doing. Laziness on the other hand is being inactive and not deciding to do anything at all.



Procrastination is usually ignoring an important task in favour to something else that is much more easier to complete. Minor instances of procrastination can make us pay a heavy price. So it is always better not to give in to it, even if it is a smaller instance.

Primary issues cropping up would be demotivated behavior leading to low performance. But if it continues in the longer run it might lead to depression due to accumulated stress and degrade physical and mental health.

Most often misinterpreted as a matter of willpower, people fail to recognize that procrastination is something much more complex. Self-control is most important to give us the push to complete a task. We often get demotivated when factors like anxiety,negativity, failure interfere with self-control and take us in the opposite direction away from motivation.

Exhaustion and delay in receiving the reward for completion of task may make you disregard the value of the reward which interferes with the self-control and motivation. We must keep in mind that both self-control and motivation work hand-in-hand for us to complete a task or do an action. Anything in interference to these two will definitely have a negative impact.

Why do we procrastinate?



Unclear or abstract goals


When you have a concrete goal that is clearly defined you are more likely to show greater interest in completing the steps to achieve it. Contrary to this if your goal that is set is abstract or vague you are more likely to procrastinate.



Late rewards



When tasks come with the late reward package you are likely to deem it unimportant because the reward is getting to you a little late. Delay discounting where people tend to discount the value of rewards that they would be receiving later crops up. So people become biased to tasks which offer them a reward earlier and would be much interested to complete it first even if it is not critical.



Disconnect with future



A disconnect between the present and the future individual known as temporal discontinuity causes procrastination. People become carefree that the present is the only time to be concentrated and the future can be handled when it comes with the flow.


For someone who is advised a healthy diet by the physician failing to do so because, it is only the future individual who will be the sufferer. They fail to realize it is the individual’s present eating lifestyle that would cause the problems in future.



Optimistic future



People procrastinate because they are optimistic about the completion of tasks in future given the fact that they are confident of the availability of time and their ability to complete. Most often they fail when it comes to calculate the inadequate time at their disposal to complete the task and console themselves by saying the next time it would be different if in case it is a repetitive task.


Inability to make decisions



People procrastinate in situations when they are unable to decide the next course of action. Given the fact that the options in front of them would be too many to choose from, too important to choose and too similar to choose. In such cases the individual is said to have indecisiveness to proceed.



Anxiety and being overwhelmed



Sometimes when people feel anxious and highly overwhelmed they tend to procrastinate. Overwhelming could be due to situations where there is a single huge task or a couple of simple tasks. Anxiety on the other hand will have the capability even to put this into a loop- Anxiety and procrastinating due to anxiety.



Fear of failure, evaluation and negative feedback.



Exaggerated and unjustified would be right to name the fears in most cases when people procrastinate. The fear of being evaluated and given a feedback from the public make people worry and end up in procrastination.



Fear of failure is another important factor that plays a major role and could also be considered a subset of the evaluation and feedback fear. This would make them continue to work and not come to completion because of the fear.


How to overcome procrastination?

Agree or identify that you are procrastinating

The first step is to Identify that you’re into procrastination. Most people fail to recognize that they are procrastinating and think what’s stopping them.

How do you identify?

  • Waiting for the right time to work on it or make decisions.Read the instructions again and again but not taking any action or devising a strategy to work.
  • Low priority tasks are filled for the entire day in your planner.
  • Putting off a task in to-do for a long time though you know its important.
  • Try to fix why you are procrastinating.



Most times it is because of the task that is presented if it is vague or too simple or is overwhelming to be completed. Not having a proper strategy or the fear of success and failure could make you procrastinate. So identify the why and try to fix it.



Stopping the habit of procrastinating by adopting anti-procrastinating strategies.



If its an old habit it takes time to die hard. So understand that you cannot overcome this overnight. It takes time to forget the habit. Think how you could adopt strategies that will help you not procrastinate.

Strategies that help overcome procrastination

  • Forget the past.
  • Self-rewarding
  • Be capable of taking decisions immediately rather than postponing.
  • Peer pressure works so have someone check on you.
  • Commitment to the task
  • Lessen or minimize the distraction
  • Act on the go.



Take more control on the task. Think of it in a way that you choose to complete rather than you need to or you have to.



Procrastination is not a disease. It is not late to start correcting it, even if you are a senior citizen. Everybody gets a chance make mistakes, learn and bounce back. Make sure you do not procrastinate to getting started on the way to stop procrastinating.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of #causeachatter for blogchatter

5 reasons why women should start investing

Gone are the days when men were the only earning members and the finance minister of the house. We now live in a period wherein men and women play an equal role in working to raise the standards of the family and also help provide a better lifestyle. So if both work hard the odds of leading a high-quality standard of living are guaranteed, once they earn, how to plan on the expenditure and investments is all together with a bigger subject that needs more knowledge.



We surpassed the period where men decide the expenses and allow the budget for household expenditure. The world we now live in wholeheartedly accepts or to put it better believe that women can handle finance equally or should I say much better.



The world of smartphones gives her easy access to buy a gold bond if she wants to invest in gold. Not only that gone are the days where it’s difficult to know how to make money or how to invest. All this is now available at her fingertips just by a click or by asking a query( thanks to Alexa and Siri). Shoot the query and within a blink of an eye, you get results and solutions. It’s now even easier to get certified in the financial sector with the wide range of courses available online through various learning portals. Women can not only equip themselves with knowledge but also start making money by investing and saving. Not to forget that life and medical insurances can also be applied with a click from an app.

The modern world truly opened doors wide for women of this age to explore the world of finances from the comfort of home.



Since women are much better to handle situations and multiple events happening they also forecast long-term plans and can make better investment plans to improve the quality of lifestyle and achieve future goals.



Here are the hows and why I urge women to start investing.


Future goals: Women always think ahead be it the five-year plan or a ten-year plan. They make the blueprints and work on achieving the goal. Improving the quality of lifestyle, acquiring properties, higher education, vacations, and whatnot. Ask her what she wishes for in the future you will get your answers in a jiffy and that too with proper planning and priorities sorted. This is ideally the goal most women have be it someone who works in the corporate or a housewife who helps manage the home.



Learning about investment: Online classes are not only for school-going kids these days but also for adults. Virtual learning opened doors to many fields including finance. Learning centers, youtube, and dedicated Facebook and what’s app groups are now becoming better options to kick start financial learning. Doing this will not only enable you to manage finance at home but could also open doors to various job opportunities which would mean extra income to save more.



Advisors: If managing it on your own is a situation that happens not to worry when you have experts in the field to guide you through the process of selection of investing in where and what. It is completely ok to not know the technicalities and how-tos of investing and take help from experts. As long as your goal is met, this is not something to be worried off.

But make sure to convey what your goal is and how you plan to achieve meaning the milestones that you would want to see before the final goal.



Being financially independent: Every woman working or no, married or single must be financially independent. Unforeseen events can happen anytime with no warning. This could be a recession, loss of property, theft, or even problems in the relationship. If you are financially independent there is nothing to worry off, as long as you can take care of the situation on your own and not sit and brood thinking that you are hopeless and need money.



Better investor: Studies on comparison between man and woman bring out results that women are willing to access risk, patiently learn the how-tos, and not expect quick outcomes. This slow but patient approach marks them separate as better investors than men. They don’t choose shortcuts but are willing to take the longer route to attain their goal.

The lockdown last year saw a lot of women giving wings to their entrepreneurial spirit and give it their best. Supporting them gave me a lot of happiness. Though I’d say that I gained no monetary benefit, the feeling of uplifting people definitely is something above money. But don’t let that die out your dreams.



So if you are someone who is still depending on your better half for finances, there is no much better time than now for you to make the decision. Take smaller steps, take the time to gain expertise, explore the opportunities, choose the best of what suits you, invest, save and live a carefree life and the life of your dreams. Be financially independent and make the world yours.

Saving is an important habit that can be cultivated over time. What matters is to get started and be cautious of how the money is spent.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.