Saturday, September 21, 2013

Motherhood lessons sundry - part 3

Having discussed the two important lessons of motherhood from my experiences here and here, it's time to have a look at the miscellaneous lessons (pardon me, unable to avoid the terms sundry and miscellaneous, being a business management student) learnt.

  • Stereotyping: I go to the toy shop and the shop keeper asks for the age and gender of the child. I tell him. "Girl child aged 3? We have got a new kitchen set and doll house mam" comes the reply. I purposefully avoid it. I had mostly dressed up my girl in t-shirts and pants until she was two considering the cold weather in Bangalore. Try what may, I failed in keeping my daughter away from stereotypes. The environment influenced her or it was instinct, I don't know. Blue color and cars fascinate boys while pink color and dolls interest girls, naturally. On second thought I felt there was nothing wrong in a boy behaving like a boy and a girl being like one. However, it is our duty to teach them that boys can cook while girls do become firefighters as well.

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         "Mamma, can I wear that pink frock today?" she asks. I take a deep breathe and nod with a  smile.

  • Over and again: "Do you want me to read the story of Cinderella again? But you had been reading it from last week."
          "Daddy, why dont we sing boogie woogie? " (Not again! Daddy escapes with the excuse of      having a meeting)

"Mamma, I want only idlis for lunch. Please"

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Do these statements sound familiar? Well, I can empathize with you. Children seem to have a  taste for a particular thing and like to stick on to it till they get bored. It's as if they enjoy it thoroughly and finally discard it, only to get back to it after a full cycle. Though offering varieties are important, it is fine if they donot want it for some time.

  • Eat out: I being a over-concerned mother,used to pack dal chawal for my daughter when we went out. My friends were extra happy if I was coming as their kids would also get home made food, sometimes even snacks from home! When the child was 2, she refused to take a single bite after knowing that she was fed the same old stuff while we relished on colorful eatables. As we introduced her to outside food, she started liking the experience though her intake was less. If she is not allowed to choose when everybody chose, she might never develop a liking for food, I thought. Now, my girl happily hops into restaurants while I proudly flaunt the imported mini hand bag!


  • Milestone developments: "My son can say hippopotamus from the age of one year two months" preened an acquaintance."Really?", I sounded impressed though I felt the father in the camera advertisement asking his two year old son to repeat Czechoslovakia seemed more reasonable.


 "I trained my daughter for potty at the age of two" said another mother. I felt guilty. But my daughter did learn it a little later. Every child has a pace of learning which differs for various skills. Although I say this, I admit that I cannot help feeling bad when my child is not doing as much as the other kids. But I have seen that patience and constant encouragement lead to positive changes. Next time when I hear a mother boasting "my seven year old helps me chop vegetables ", I must try not telling, " Could you please send her home for some time? My husband is not well since yesterday."

Motherhood lessons - part 2

I had discussed about the first phase of motherhood, looking after a newborn in the previous post. My second phase was more of disengagement and self sympathy. I felt I had given too much and had forgotten to look after myself. I decided to take out time to relax and enjoy along with babysitting. Initially, it served as a big relief and boosted my morale. Slowly, the leisure activities and main work swapped. I insisted on finishing the daily bit of relaxation prior to other tasks. I began avoiding playing with the child. As I was desperately waiting to get her into school, it became more easier to reduce conversations with her thinking she has many other people outside to talk to.

After a few months, the child's attitude changed. She became adamant, angry and less sociable. I thought of it as part of growing up and ignored. Only when the problem persisted, I felt something was wrong. Then I knew it was more of my fault. Lesson learnt:


Lack of acknowledgement by parents affects the child's development. I have increased my interactions with her. Earlier, a family outing was seen as an opportunity to spend time with the spouse while the child enjoyed observing the surroundings. Now, it's also a time to interact with the kid and help widen her horizons.

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"Baby, that is a museum where old artifacts are kept. We can go one day" , I told her though I was very sure that she would not understand it.
After a few seconds, she replied' " mamma, is it the same museum that Peppa pig visits with her family?"
I was surprised that she could recollect and relate it with a cartoon seen long back.
I was happy that I had taken the right decision.

Better late than never, right?

Motherhood lessons - part 1

DISCLAIMER: The author of this post is not an expert in parenting and only intends to share her learnings as a mother till date. The lessons learnt are subject to alteration based on her experiences in the coming years. The author cannot be held responsible for the same.

Motherhood, the most divine status bestowed upon a woman, transforms her and takes her into a roller coaster ride, hiding and revealing all that was unknown to her. This is my story of it and and I guess most of us do have something in common to agree with it.

Efforts vs results: The baby is born and like most of the mothers, I beam with pride and joy to see the little one sleeping peacefully. Not for long, though. Baby girl had taken amniotic fluid and had to be under the doctor's supervision for 24 hours. When she arrives with an injected wrist, the tiny hand with bandaid as she was fed through it for a day, my hear sinks and tears roll down the cheeks. She is fine for now. Evening becomes night and now starts the journey of motherhood!

She screams, cries, nobody knows why. I feed her and sway her but she whines the moment I let hold of her. Time I took up the challenge. I , mother of X, swear that I would strive hard to be the best mother on earth. The sacrifices begin. Sleep, food, clothing all adapted to suit her needs. Still she cries. Neighbors and family members curse the mother for not looking after the child properly. Doctor simply call her ' colic baby' . Now, why isn't my research on parenting all these months, helping me solve this issue? As months pass by, the child calms down. Too many methods adopted making it difficult to name one that attributed to the solving of the problem.


I can see the child's growth and development being directly proportional to my efforts. I put in more efforts hoping for better results, and I did get it until she was 12 months. I had one more challenge. As a kid being a poor and fussy eater myself , I had decided to do all that I could to ensure that she was NOT like me. I wanted to see her as the ideal chubby Amul baby of yesteryear and not the skinny barbie girl! The day she learnt to say 'NO', the results began declining. I tried hard, all shortcuts but the results were short-lived. Later I realized my mistake and the takeaway being:


Yes, like us, they had a body and a mind of their own. And their food habits are influenced by the parents habits both consciously and unconsciously. If I donot eat apple, I may not buy it often, and consecutively when the child is offered it once in a while, she may refuse it. "She is always a fussy eater. Never eats fruits".We conveniently reason it out. However, the child might love bananas, and will demand one everyday. This doesnot mean that we need not try feeding the child with all possible healthy options. Try your best even if the result is not proportional to the efforts. My eating habits changed when I grew up and all the health benefits my mother had listed with each food was remembered and followed (a few permanently deleted from memory:).

Believe me, you never know when your words would strike the right chord but they will fetch you results some day.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sop in shopping 2030

Trends in shopping have evolved over time, keeping pace with changes in tastes and technology.
The advent of electronic media paved way to smart shopping trends such as online shopping and home deliveries. What next is the question that beseech marketers. Here are a few probabilities that could take shape in the future of shopping some seventeen years down the lane.

  • Vending machines: The usage of vending machines in India has been primarily limited to CVMs  ie. Coffee Vending Machines, Condom Vending Machines or Cash vending Automated Teller Machines. Though vending machines are available for various products across the world such as the bicycle tubes vending machine in Germany or the book vending machine in the United Kingdom, it has not been very successful everywhere. If CVMs are possible, then there could be AVMs, BVMs, extending upto ZVMs, right? An improvisation would be Brand Vending Machines.
Rice Vending Machine in Japan

             Suppose every brand, like the banks, maintain accounts of customers pertaining to their purchases. If I am in urgent need of product X of brand Y, I could use the brand's vending machines located in different places and purchase using the brand card. Adding to it, the proposed technology by experts in the field such as Cisco where virtual product trial is possible could make it more attractive.Installation of Artificial Intelligence systems to track down the products used by celebrities of your choice and those that could suit your personality could be an added advantage.

    • Customised entertainment: We live in an entertainment era, seeking fun and frolic in all our activities. Play schools, office outings, video games, 4d theaters are all a result of this need. Product and service customization are common today. Moving one step forward, entertainment could equally be customized. I could experiment with listening to Justin Bieber singing 'why this kolaveri' or Madonna shaking to 'Jalebi bai' with the help of technology. Also, one could gift entertainment vouchers where celebrities would exclusively perform to personal favorites. For instance, the famous magician Dynamo might perform exclusively on a virtual platform to YOU (of course at a cost)!
    Why this Kolaveri?!!

    Portable homes: The boom in realty sector coupled with the availability of amenities inside the gated communities made people feel the need to buy flats. Builders marketed their houses as situated in the heart of the city or with advanced amenities such as shopping malls, swimming pools, sports clubs inside the community. Still, we wanted more options. Now, instead of making all the facilities fixed inside your house, how would you like being transported along with your home to the place of your choice?

                                               Home Home Go Away, Come Again Another Day!

    The concept of portable homes is not new. The oldest mobile home dates back to the 1950s. Because of non-durability and other factors, it was not an option considered by many. But today, our busy lives and the craving for variety in every aspect of lifestyle choices could make it a hit.
    Imagine it is the end of the financial year and you are forced to stay in office for days. The better option could be shifting your house near to you place of work. The long annual holidays leave you and your kid feel bored. Why not shift the house adjacent to the best park in the city? And when it is shopping season raining discounts everywhere, wouldn't the women love to shift themselves closer to the shopping centers? However, this involves consideration of many aspects such as space allocation based on demand and pricing,on seasonal basis.

    These are only a few possibilities that could bring about a radical change in the way we shop in 2030. Inventions and constant innovations in technology may provide more opportunities to cater to the shopping needs of the people. One thing is for sure, the need for more will never fade thereby welcoming all positive paradigm shifts in shopping trends.

    Image courtesy : wikipedia

    This post is written for 'The future of shopping' contest by Indiblogger, in association with

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    Redolence of nostalgia

    Among the different senses that a human possesses, the sense of smell is unique.  It is associated with a vital body part, the nose, without which existence is ruled out. While a person could be visually/hearing impaired or handicapped or mentally retarded, it is not possible  to be completely devoid of olfactory perception.

    There are various smells that remind me of  different stages in my life. I have attempted to classify them under different categories below.

    I. FOOD: The first thing that strikes me is the aroma of hot piping rasam in my house. The combination of tomato, jeera, tamarind, asafoetida and coriander leaves makes me ask for more, by the mere smell of it. I cannot forget the street hawker who sold fried groundnuts with a tic-titictic rhythm in his frying, everytime I eat groundnuts. One could sense it miles before he arrives by its whiff in the air. Not forgetting to mention, the aroma of freshly brewed filter coffee. Yes, they make the breakfast complete. These aromas take me to the days where I had to sit back and relax while I got all I wanted without having to get up from the chair!

    Image courtesy:,


    II. PEOPLE: It is scientifically proven that human beings have unique odors just like fingerprints. And I can differentiate the smell of three intimate people in my life, mother, grandmother and husband. Mommy had a scent which was a mix of the fragrance of jasmine flower worn in her head, sweat and her perfume. Grandma on the other hand possessed a blend of strong sweat(she perspires a lot) smell and kitchen masala. I am planning to gift her a good body spray. Hubby has an oily skin and I could smell it along with his deodorant. When I encounter people using the same brand of perfumes and deos, I am reminded of them. Not being a perfume-person, I had always wondered how I smelled to others?!

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    III. SEASON: Each smell reminds me of the season associated with it. The moist smell during winter, smell of fireworks during festivals, new books at the time of school re-opening, incense of agarbathis  during poojas, cosmetics while going to parties, milk powder and baby wipes after child birth, the list goes on.


    After we bought a car, I somehow didn't like to travel in it. Every time I sat inside the car, I would wait impatiently to get out of it at the earliest. Then I discovered that it was the odor of closed space that caused that nauseating feel. We settled with an ambi pur car air freshener with the suggestion of friends. Today, I wait impatiently for a ride in the car. Also ambi pur room fresheners come handy during get-togethers in the house. Now, I happily associate a pleasure ride and fun filled party with ambi pur.

    How do you associate the different smells and fragrances with your life?

    This is a post written for smelly to smiley contest by Ambi pur India.