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.

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.’ 

Book review of Stress free education by Deepa Gandhi

Blurb

Are you looking for ways to make education stress-free for your kids? 

Education can be fun and stress-free only if you know how to approach it in the right way. This Ebook shows you how. 

It is a parent’s guide to raising happy kids who are not stressed out due to academic pressures. Deepa Gandhi writes about education on her blog and believes that kids should be taught how to think and not what to think. 

My review


A lot of little busy minds that were awaiting their summer holidays or for some who were just about to enter the world of schooling, there awaited a much bigger should I say happy or a sad announcement. The schools were closed almost indefinitely. What initially became a news of enjoyment of never ending holidays for the children also opened up a new sense of adapting to education online. Not getting to see the teacher, the chalk dust, the bell ringing after each hour all suddenly became far from happening in the real time.



That’s when homeschooling started to make a boom. Though the concept of homeschooling has been there for long, it was the pandemic that made many parents take this decision of imparting education to children. When they say homeschooling it doesn’t mean having fun at home while learning. It is an extension of making the environment much more child-friendly and making the curriculum interesting based on the child’s perspective.



Deepa’s book stress free education becomes a handy guide for every parent who wishes to home-school their child in a stress-free manner. Homeschooling isn’t very difficult if the planning and preparation is done well. There are a lot of resources and forums that help parents incorporate homeschooling concept. With homeschooling also comes in a lot of responsibility and challenges and working on getting them right is what parents need to do in a stress-free manner. The tips Deepa offers are very practical and doable by every parent who wishes to home-school.



But if ever you are in a dilemma to whether start with homeschooling or stuck in between to make a decision, Deepa also offers reasons why homeschooling is a great way to adopt and impart education to the child. Time, resources, material and skills are now at your own discretion because you are the best person to decide what would suit your kid. The reasons are very compelling and make you understand why this can be a better option in times like these.


The one word every child fears during school is “EXAMS”. Be it someone who always studies on a day to day basis or someone who just prepares burning the midnight oil, the word examination is sure to give jitters. Deepa’s next chapter in the book deals with is “ tips to deal with exam pressure”. I loved the fact how the author chose to provide tips for both the parent and child since pressure is contagious and can have dangerous effects when not handled properly.



Making a child learn better and excel well is what every parent tries to accomplish each day. Making your child stand out better in everything and every way has become a common dream or an expectation. Deepa offers tips on how to make the learning methodology fun and engaging be it for a toddler or a kid. The tips help parents think in different perspectives to follow an approach that suits the kid.


Reading books is a great habit and does wonders in terms of development in the child when inculcated at an early age. They say that reading to kids can begin even when they’re in the utero, but to physically teach them and inculcate the habit also has benefits in terms of cognitive development and their wide exposure to the language. Deepa addresses the needs of why reading should be inculcated earlier and what benefits it would reap when you sow the habit earlier.



Keeping healthy is also essential for the overall development of the child. Offering balanced meals that help in getting good nutrition and offers good stamina during exam preparation is also very much necessary. Deepa breaks down information in detail on what needs in to be included in a balanced meal. On an addition she also offers a sample diet chart which c an help you plan meals. Makes it easier when you have a blueprint in hand doesn’t it?



Deepa also touches on how parents can make the child handle bullying at school, tips to make homework easier and how soft skills can be imparted. All these are much needed skills that require mild changes in the way of parenting to see greater astonishing results as the child grows up handling situation.


Two chapters by Stuti Mehrotra where she discusses why a parent should choose the montessori method and one by Divya Malhotra that outlines importance of team sports in children. These topics on addition make the parent think on why should they specifically opt for this teaching method or this physical skill and what does it hold in itself as advantages to be chosen by the parent.


The book overall helps the parent plan the educational as well as overall development of a child in a stress -free manner. The writing is simple and crisp making it easier to understand. Deepa’s tips shows her experience in parenting in a stress-free manner

Author Bio

Deepa Gandhi is a postgraduate in Food and nutrition. She is a freelance Dietician and a writer in many fields like parenting, health, and travel. She shares her experiences as a mom and as a nutritionist in her blog https://kreativemommy.com

She has published 3 eBooks – Parenting Tips and tricks, Healthy Recipes under 30 minutes, and memoirs of my travel which is a travel book.

Deepa travelled a lot after marriage and now stays with her husband and two daughters in Bangalore. Contact can be made via email at deepagandhi21@gmail.com or director@kreativemommy.com

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.

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.

5 reasons to track your periods

The four-day bloody show for each women may stir in many emotions depending on their need. For some it might bring happiness, for some a feeling of dejection and a good-to-go for the rest. It not only helps you to plan natural conception but also also helps prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Tracking periods



Did you know that your period could also give you the hint that your body is working fine? Women who do not track their periods end up giving a blank stare when they aren’t sure of the day of the last period. It’s fascinating and at the same time empowering to track the cycle. Tracking periods makes it easier to identify gynecological problems at an earlier stage and also in understanding the sexuality and our body. Regularity in getting your periods is one of the key indicators of overall well-being.



Most women have a 28-day cycle ,whereas it’s generally considered to be normal if the cycle is anywhere between 21-35 days. Tracking the cycle also helps to identify the ovulation period that makes it easier to plan conception. Understanding your cycle and your ovulation dates makes it easier to plan. Women ovulate 14 days before each cycle, depending on the length of your cycle. So planning conception during ovulation increases your odds of becoming pregnant.


At the same time, it also helps prevent unwanted pregnancies when you avoid intercourse during your ovulation period. So the tracking of periods play a major role be it planning for a pregnancy or not to becoming pregnant as well.



But if your periods aren’t regular, which means your cycles do not fall between the normal duration it indicates an underlying health condition that needs to be checked. Vaginal infections, fibroids, pelvic inflammation, PCOD could be reasons that your period is irregular.



The best days to go for vacation or party can also be done since you might be well prepared with period supplies like the pads, menstrual cups. And save the nicest white pant from the bloody show.



Tracking periods also helps in understanding mood. Irritability, anxiety could not just be part of PMS but mood swings during the menstrual cycle helps understand the rhythm of the cycle. So the moods are much more than PMS, knowing and tracking them makes you well prepared to manage them.



We now live in a world that every human being owns a smart phone and has it loaded with apps starting with one for work, meets and even tracking drinking water. Why not have an app that lets you know about your bodily functions and help in your well-being.

What to look for in period tracking app?

  • Easy to understand tracking mechanism.
  • Clear instructions to input period start date and end date along with flow, discharge pattern and moods.
  • Indicate fertile period and ovulation date.
  • Reminder before couple of days to period start for keeping supplies handy.



I tried out a couple of apps to track my periods that really helped to understand my body better. It also helps in calculating your LMP when you miss your period and helps to calculate the due date.



Here are three apps that I tried and recommend for period tracking.

PERIOD CALENDAR:


Period calendar helps in tracking and predicting period dates. Major advantages are the prediction of fertile window and ovulation date. Tracking of temperature,mood,weight, birth control and intercourse are additional features.


Additional feature of pill reminder helps when you take supplements or birth control pills.



Available on android and iPhones.

Download

FLO PERIOD TRACKER



Flo uses machine learning to accurately access periods and ovulation dates. The calendar is simple and bold helps in tracking moods, symptoms and sex drive.



Sleep cycles, water consumption and physical activity can also be tracked. The dashboard that portrays the insights help in making us understand more about body and cycle.



Available on android and iphone.

Download

CLUE



Ranked as the top app for tracking periods and ovulation by the obstetrics and gynecology journal this app helps in identifying unique patterns in menstrual cycles. There is no pinks, butterflies and the app caters to all age groups. The app uses science to keep track of moods, periods, health log and exercises.



The unique algorithm uses the data that is input to provide predictions, so the more the usage the smarter the app.

Download



Now that you know the benefits of tracking periods, start doing it and thank me later. When you have tonnes of apps for everything you need or sometime for things not needed, why not have one to track your health.

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.