Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Moving on Lalitaji! Ariel Matic #LaundryGoesOddEven

Before we talk about how we scored on our odd even challenge, a few thoughts...

The intent behind this exercise is gender equality. A tough job in a society where your character is a foregone conclusion based on what you wear. While a woman in our society may not dress as she chooses, society compensates by letting her do all the washing. (An English Major student might say that analogy is more off kilter than John Donne's verses but any way...)

I am aware these are not as tough a time as our granny's...I mean

Granny's Sunday look Before Marriage

Granny's Sunday look after marriage

All humour aside can we gauge a society's progress via the laundry business? I mean it is a two decade old story when Lalitaji and Deepikaji decided what detergent to buy. Yes, it was considered a landmark advertisement as it portrayed the woman of the household making a choice in buying a costlier soap powder and hence affecting the monthly budget. I think that is not a reflection on the brand but rather the erstwhile society.

The next positive landmark ad came almost a decade later. How different was it? The mom wore a dungarees instead of a sari, while she did the laundry using her washing machine. And if you count she did not have a "ji" attached to her name. That is absolutely all!

So it is perhaps due that we talk why such a simple chore is still the homemaker's responsibility. Since as an upwardly mobile society we Indians, most of us, have come to a point where a gadget takes care of washing, it is the right time to challenge the spouse for an equal share in the washing duties.

If I am honest this duty has swung a few times to the hubby already. But it swung back to me when the quintessential red tshirt bled into the whites. Or the paper in our daughter's unchecked skort pocket started its own papier mache project during the cycle. All rookie mistakes I tell you!

So I assure my husband that it happens to the best of us and that is no reason to maintain an amateur status. And here are the notes we made to be referred to in case this turns into an Olympic event.

1) A good quality detergent is good even in small quantities.
2) It is good for delicates as well as whites.
3) Whites shine like pearls when you add a bit of bleach.
4) Delicates become soft like clouds with a bit of vinegar.
5) Whether you are a male or female, it does not hurt if you do a load of laundry.
Last but not the least
6) Engineers of all kinds will enjoy the challenge as it gives one the opportunity to try out different settings that the better half may consider useless.

'I am taking part in the #LaundryGoesOddEven Challenge by Ariel India at BlogAdda.'

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Motherhood and Nurturing Through Spirit

Whether we are religious or just feel spiritual in the sense that we feel a connection with the universe, we have to admit that some experiences are well beyond mere joys and seem to leave a permanent imprint on us. It will remain completely unadulterated by any other experience we will have. Motherhood is one such experience.

No matter what culture, motherhood is looked upon as more than a biological experience. Motherhood is a connection stronger than the umbilical chord and deeper than the blood and flesh the mother and child share. What will remain the most intimate experience is the nine month gestation period. Here are a few things that will help in ensuring you as a mother, and the baby, are nurtured in the spirit as well.


This is where we can use all of India's goodness and spirituality. Holistic care of the baby is what will help the baby find a good mind-body balance in the future. It is amazing that we had figured out this psychosomatic relation so early on as a civilisation. Meditation can be very beneficial to a new mother, it relaxes  her mind while it energises the body. As new studies assure us it is not just hocus pocus. It helps us align our body and regulates our breathing ensuring that we have a non-toxic body. We know good health can be achieved when we eat healthy but for the sense of well being we have to be a happy person in both our mind and body.What could be better for a baby than a happy mom!

It won't be advisable to start yoga or other gym exercises at this point if you were not doing them. And even if you were a health freak it would be advisable to give up on heavy duty exercising. Just a half an hour walk in the morning and in the evening can do loads of good.


Music is almost surreal in how it works on us and it is more mysterious than could be measured in a lab. While we don't have units to measure its goodness, there is enough evidence to say that music, especially classical music, is of great value. New borns who listen to classical music when they are in their mother's womb are calmer and show higher intelligence than other kids. The serenity of classical music has soothing effect on the child and it makes better neurological connections in the child's brain resulting in higher intelligence.


As I have said before, food is important but what and how matters the most. The food must be nutritious, containing no preservatives or oils and must be eaten in small portions. If you have heard the word saatwik, which is a diet that makes the body alkaline is the ideal food through the pregnancy. Amyone from your granny to mom could advice you on this. Or perhaps a Jain diet consisting of raw, nutritious food eaten at the right time when the metabolism rate is higher.

A new mother has a wonderful adventure waiting for her. She will be taking a wonderful journey together with her new family and the most important thing is that she enjoys it thoroughly.

I’m writing about my wonderful journey of pregnancy for the #YummyMummy blogging activity at BlogAdda in association with Marico Bio Oil

Motherhood and Nurturing The Body: Being a #YummyMummy

You will have heard it, but you will not know what the big deal is until you become a mother. Sure you have looked at babies and thought they were cute alright but you will have to wait to have one yourself to know exactly how cute.

If you are already pregnant you have an inkling what I am talking about. And yes, you are right. You are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. Your life has taken a turn for good and what is called gestation by doctors is your time to nurture dreams that will manifest in a matter of nine months and fulfil during a lifetime.

Here is my story about the wonderful journey I am taking and how I nurtured my dreams.

The Positive

The anticipation that would-be parents feel from the moment they take the pregnancy test to the moment the test turns out positive can flood a city, can flood hearts. Various thoughts some wise, some happy and some crazy will run through your minds. And once the test is positive you know you have to get going and you have a lot to do.

The Good News

When you share the news with the family you will add them to the happy chaos. All mothers in the family will have advice for you. Listen to them  even if they are repetitive, those have come from experience. If they hand you over books, read through them. Here is how I balanced the advice I received from the experienced mothers and experts in the books.

I will divide them as Nurturing Through Food and Nurturing Through Spirit, both very essential for the growing baby.

Nurturing Through Food

You will wish, perhaps, that you should have been eating more healthy. And if you have been eating well and taking prenatal care, kudos! But if not, you have nine months to do that! Because you know what, the nature is wise and has perhaps foreseen this and you have not lost time.

Here is a rough chart to help you sail through the nine months ensuring you give your baby what it needs. The pregnancy can be divided into three trimesters, each trimester marks a stage of development in the baby and each stage has a special dietary need to be fulfilled for the baby's specific growth needs.

First Trimester: The Most Essential Stage. This is the month of development of brain, heart, the rump and the spinal cord in the embryo. The food you need to consume has to be rich in Iron, Citrus, Omega 3 all these foods help in the creation of the most important organs. Some foods that contain this are all kinds of iron rich foods like sweet potatoes, yam, kidney beans, raagi and corn can be very beneficial. Citrusy fruits like orange, grapefruit, walnuts and fish.

Of course, all other stages are just as important but I hope you see why this one is the most important. It also that month when you are not supposed to run, watch scary movies, visit an amusement park or do anything that will put your body in a stressful situation. While you keep yourself safe you also need to be happy, so watch a happy movie, read good books. 

Second Trimester: This is the time for formation of skin and the other systems such as nervous system, respiration, intestine and such. A lot of protein and calcium rich food should be part of your diet. Although it is best to have protein at all times of pregnancy as we are made up protein, our skin and tissues. But bones also begin to form now so calcium rich food is essential. These can be found in lentils, eggs, poultry and many more.

Third Trimester: This is the time when the baby is fully formed and will start preparing itself for the birth. The baby till this point is very thin but will now start to gain weight so that the fat will cushion the baby during the labour when makes its passage into the world. The chubby cute fat that we see on the baby is to avoid any damage to its internal organs during the birthing process. 

The healthy food we were eating in the previous months must be continued as the embryo is still growing at a very fast rate. Consume a lot of fibrous foods in fruits and veggies. Aside from all this mothers will benefit a lot from eating green leafy vegetables, raw veggies, nuts and eggs mainly.

Ghee and Pregnant Mothers

It is great that our mothers and grandmothers will be making a lot of laddoos to be eaten by the pregnant mom. While that is great we must not over do it with ghee and other fats. Perhaps one spoon (in all of the food combined through the day,) is more than enough.

Cravings and Junk Food

You might have heard some women say pregnancy is a time to eat without worries, because you are eating for two. But no, you are eating for one and 1/4th. You will only need about 500 to 1000 calories in addition to your regular diet.

It is true we have cravings but cravings are an indicator of foods you might not have consumed when you were not pregnant. If course you can binge on some favourites because it makes you happy and being happy is important. It is especially not advisable to eat a lot of junk food like burgers and fries. If you eat a lot of paanipuri, chaats and pickles, you will have to go through unwanted bouts of acidity.

A lot of mothers start consuming lot of fats in the form of cakes, cookies and other oil and butter rich food but the bad news is that the fat consumed during first trimester does not reach the baby but is absorbed by the mother, hence it is advisable to eat such food modestly in the first two trimesters, and consume well only in the third.

In all other times, these dietary recommendations might have seemed like too much but the fact that it will benefit the baby, we are encouraged to follow it. The most important thing is that we enjoy the experience of having to nurture our babies while they are within us, which is a priceless experience.

I’m writing about my wonderful journey of pregnancy for the #YummyMummy blogging activity at BlogAdda in association with Marico Bio Oil. Thank you for helping me relive the moments and share the experience of motherhood.