I have now been freelancing for more than 3 years. My work involves fulltime blogging and Instagramming apart from managing a couple of social media accounts for clients. I’m my own boss and I don’t think I can have it any other way. The five years I worked in a corporate set up, I was surprised that I was constantly told how to dress up so that I don’t attract too much attention and senior women in HR would put me down just because they had the authority to but no reason to. I acknowledged that maybe I’m too sensitive to work in a set up like that so doing my own thing was the only choice I’m left with. While freelancing comes with a lot of good things, it has a lot of disadvantages too specially if you don’t have any intern or team. Continue Reading
I have been meaning to write this article for sometime now. However, I was hesitant as no two situations are the same and I’m no expert. But like always I would like to share what’s in my heart and my experience of managing my son for almost 3 years all by myself. Social media makes my life look pretty good and I can’t deny that it has been good and I’m blessed to be making a living out of what I love. But it’s not easy. I’m not able to give as much attention to my son as I would like to and the guilt gives me many sleepless nights. I have had days of complete meltdowns and I have screamed and pulled my hair. There are a lot of days I have taken refuge in bed and then days where I haven’t wanted to go back home. Continue Reading
I have always loved wearing sarees but I started working towards bringing the saree back when I wrote the article on the 100 Day Saree Pact last year. I found myself wearing sarees and handloom more and more, especially after my mom passed away. I don’t even know if there is any connection (she had stopped wearing sarees as she grew older) but maybe it’s my way of holding on to my roots and memories. And, however insignificant it might be, I decided to work towards promoting it in my own small way through my blog and Instagram. Continue Reading
Home is my happy place. It’s my ultimate headquarters for blogging, some meetings, quality time with my 12 year old and of course, creative thinking. It has been my perfect abode of peace, laughter, musings, some cooking and often…well, just nothing! You know you are home when you can lie on the couch, feet up and hair down, and drown yourself smugly in a world created by you!
Therefore to me, my home is so much more than square feet, furniture, walls and shades! My home defines that island of happiness, of tranquility, where I can literally escape from the madness outside! So, needless to say, I do go out of my way to bring in fresh air, sounds of music, healthy vibes and of course the very necessary chaos without which any home is so incomplete. No, my home isn’t the perfect ‘home décor awards’ house, neither would it win me an award in “tidiest piece of habitat”. But yes, challenge me to one of those “happy homes” contest and there’ll you’ll find me in all probability with a medal of honor.
My Ingredients for a Happy and Healthy Home!
So, here’s what makes my house a home that’s healthy and full of joy.
I am a music person. And who isn’t!? Music helps me tide over stress and pain, helps me ride through storms. Music is my first appreciation of myself on those occasions when I make myself proud. If you ever feel you are in need of exchanging notes on jazz or pop, county or blues, gazals or Bollywood, drop me a note.
Music kills my negatives, helps me emerge and evolve, because being healthy comes from the inside, and it begins in the mind. Music is said to have healing powers. It helps restore cognitive, sensory, and motor functions in the brain. Just 15 minutes in a day dedicated to a playlist of my choice calms my nerves. In addition, I find it therapeutic to arrange and clean my music devices and discs regularly.
Did anyone say pets? I have recently turned into a cat and dog-loving lady and can’t put in words how much I love the feeling. Pets complete us. By adding to the fun, the noise, the cuddling, and the mischief. We raise some, we adopt some. At the end of the day, they are my second and my third children! I have always believed that growing up with pets is a great way to teach a child compassion and responsibility. Above all, they have loads of good times playing and bonding!
When it comes to pets, maintaining hygiene may seem a little tricky. Pets, like kids, will never understand that they are not supposed to step into a puddle or touch their food with dirty paws. So, I make sure that I am as strict with my pets as I am with my son. And it’s more than just keeping their litter box clean. Pets need to get dewormed, made tick-free, and be groomed regularly.
I love to get my walls repainted every now and then. I believe that every house reflects the character of the person who lives inside. And, the colors of a room set my mood. While warm colors like yellow and orange are welcoming, blue and green are a burst of energy. Neutral colors like white and grey create a beautiful balance. Black, on the other hand, adds a touch of luxury. Grainy, woody textures make things rustic and familiar. And textures reflect my whimsical sense of art.
However, it came to my
notice only recently that the wall paint can affect the health of my family. It
was one of my friends who had pointed out that interior walls can also be a
source of infectious bacteria. The harmful bacteria get
transferred to us over the course of time. Ever since I have known about this,
I have made it a point to shift to Asian Paints Royale Health Shield which reduces
indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde and kill 99%# infection
causing bacteria. Another thing I love about them is the extensive color
palette that they offer. It truly gives a great luxurious finish to the walls. It
has Silver Ion Technology in it that is recommended* by Indian
Its 2020, and every inch of every city is covered in concrete and pollution. It is important for me to build a little piece of greenery amidst that. And, I keep hoarding plants. From flowering plants in my balcony to succulents in a special corner in my drawing-room, plants adorn my home. I even have my own herb garden in the kitchen! And, I love it when I can spend some time with Kabir, teaching him about these plants and how to take care of them.
There’s very little I need to say about plants in the house. They purify the air and help me create a world where my family and I can breathe freely. They bring the temperature down. And, in general, I find the presence of plants really soothing. The greenery soothes my eyes and my heart; I think I have spent countless hours watching rain drip down from the leaves during monsoons.
What’s your vision of a joyful home? Mine has always been of a simple room with nothing but a bed and a bookshelf, and golden sunlight pouring in from a large window. And, as an adult, when I finally had the opportunity to build a “home”, I made sure that the decor is minimalistic, to ensure there’s enough space for light and air. Fresh air and lots of natural light is the key ingredient for happiness – and great selfies!
Once a month, I go all “Marie Kondo” on my home and enjoy a decluttering spree. I have my own rule: if I have not used a particular item in the last one month, it goes. If it’s a book that I have read and not reread or lent to someone, it goes to a local library. If it’s the pair of clothes that I can’t fit into, it gets donated. That’s how I ensure that I don’t need extra furniture to store unnecessary things. I’ve noticed that the more space there is, the less I have to worry about dust gathering in odd corners, or my home looking dark and dingy. And who doesn’t feel happy and healthy, living in a spacious, well-lit, airy place?
Needless to say, maintaining a healthy home is so crucial to me. It brings me peace of mind to know we are entering an abode of hygiene and health. Using the right disinfectants (especially because of pets), instilling in Kabir the use of hand wash, making sure that every piece of garment worn is fresh and ironed, are but basic needs. With an active 12 year old and two pets, there’s almost always a chance of something tripping over, getting spilled and coffee on the sofa ☺ So, ensuring a clean home soon after “mess time” is over, is an absolute must! My mantra always has been ‘give them space, but keep things clean”. Above all, it’s about taking care of each other – not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. It is about finding a reason to smile, from the inside.
Home is where the heart is. My home is always my favourite place on earth. Isn’t yours too?
#Royale Health Shield with Silver Ion technology, within 2 hours of exposure kills 99% bacteria on walls.
Refer to ‘Antibacterial Silver’, 1994, School of Chemistry & App Chemistry, the University of Wales by Julia Clement & Penelope Jarrett.
*Fomite Infections (bacteria) can spread through infected walls among other indoor surfaces in homes and offices
For complete disclaimer and more information, please visit www.asianpaints.com/healthshield
As we packed up the Diwali lights this year, Kabir was fervently telling me how he couldn’t wait to resume school and meet his friends. Dad and I were discussing how we could shed all the holiday weight with regular morning walks. I, more than ever, was honestly looking to get some productive writing done and step out to wrap up all the procrastinated chores. But as usual the blanket of haze over Delhi this time of the year morbidly washed down our plans. The capital city’s pollution had escalated to an alarming level and brought schools to a standstill till November 5th.
Every newspaper circulation in the last few days reiterated how fallible we have been in arresting the rising pollution levels. Those with delicate health problems are severely suffering and the rest are unable to cope with the ‘worst’ air quality recorded in this season.
Before the city’s unorganised chaos blew up, I thank my stars for having the chance to get my hands on the Havells Freshia Air Purifier ahead of time. The ‘air purifier’ scenario is still relatively new and not many are aware of the amazing health benefits an air purifier bring to your home.
Air purifiers – necessity or trend?
An air purifier is an effective way to clean the indoor air. It kills contaminants, allergens, foul smell, bacteria, viruses and propels a better quality air for us to breathe and also improves general health including better sleep quality. Air purifier is an intelligent investment especially when you have children and elderly citizens at home.
So, the positives pacify the debate. Air purifier is a necessity; especially for urban homes.
When it comes to giving yourself and your loved ones the gift of longer and healthier lives, it is always wiser to make a well-informed choice. It’s not only about the product quality but in this case, after sales service is equally important as the filter does need to be changed at least once a year.
Havells is once such leading Indian brand popular for fast moving electrical goods. So, when they invited me to check out their new range of Freshia Air Purifiers, the opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. While I can do very little to control the type of air outside the comfort of my home, I can absolutely try to purify the air indoors and protect the health of my family. If given a choice, I would rather be at home than step out and into the mouth of the hazardous monsters – air pollution, traffic and scorching heat. But, that’s not possible!
All you need to know about Havells Freshia Air Purifier Range
Havells recently launched the Freshia Air Purifier range in four uniquely designed products which provide a rich consumer experience. The four products AP-20, AP-40, AP-46 andAP-58 are made from HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter technology. What’s HEPA you ask? So in simple words, it primarily works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.
As per your space requirement, the AP-20 and AP-40 are most suitable for smaller spaces such as a kid’s room or office cabins. The AP-46 caters to master bedrooms and conveniently large spaces. While the AP-58 model is best suited for living rooms, office and fairly large spaces. You can always inquire with the store staff to help place your air purifier in a strategic location for optimal performance.
Now you would want to know how the Freshia models are priced. With pocket-friendly pricing starts from MRP 9,000 upto 32,000 for the top-end model; trust me when I say it’s a great investment!
A big shout out to the unique safety controls, real-time display features and powerful allergen & filtration technology. The entire Freshia range comprises of a noiseless AC Motor therefore the peaceful aura in your room is not disturbed. Everything is made easy with a touch and press from a remote control. Because we are all human and sometimes forget to turn off appliances, the super-smart ‘sleep mode’ helps with ‘forgetfulness’!
Except AP-20, rest others have a UV and child-lock mode along with dust sensors. AP-20 and AP-40, both have 5 stages of filtration process; whereas AP-46 and AP-58 models have 7 and 9 enhanced stages respectively.
What’s interesting is that there is an automatic filter replacement reminder, so even when you fail to remember to pay attention to your filter needs, the machine send a reminder and you are sorted. I was really impressed with the aesthetics of the touch screen panel. The controls are intuitive and the colour indicators help understand the current status of the air in the room. With 2-year warranty on every model, be rest assured that service is easily available.
I just can’t say enough great things about the Freshia Air Purifier range by Havells; except for the fact that I wound up buying two of them! One is plonked happily by my dad’s bedside and the other one is my son’s healthy companion in his room. I sleep better knowing my family breathe clean air when they are indoors.
It never ceases to amaze me that however things might change, basic human truths remain much the same. When I was a young girl, societal conditioning had me believing that no matter what I did, I was always less than perfect, I wasn’t only dealing with severe body image issues but also thought that there was something wrong with my vagina. Ever since I hit puberty, I thought my vagina was too dark and I started feeling miserable because of my periods, discharge and odour. As a result, I used to vigorously scrub myself until I started chafing and got wounded, not feeling clean despite that. I always thought there is something wrong with me and there was no one I could talk to. This wasn’t only until I was a young girl but it lasted until I was in my mid-twenties. It was only much after the birth of my son that I started reading and realising that there was nothing wrong with me, never was. But the years of feeling inadequate because of casually flipping through beauty magazines had done its work and even though I started feeling more confident about myself, doubt always crept in.
The other aspect was lack of knowledge about how my body reacts in different situations and experiences. For example, for the longest time I didn’t know why I felt sudden dryness and itchiness in my genital area whenever I was down with throat infection and on heavy does of anti-biotics. And I didn’t understand that I might get a serious yeast infection just because I decided to stay in my sweaty tights for too long post a run. And finally, when I did, I didn’t understand why I would choose to stay in denial.
For this and many other reasons, I started taking a keen interest in issues that affect women and girls. Finally, when I could, I started writing and sharing whatever I could to help, with only one thought on my mind, that even if it helps one woman, it’s worth it.
When I got the opportunity to create Imbue (with my partners) I didn’t just see it as a product but as a platform and an idea. One, if it became big enough, would become a haven for women to understand their own bodies. Even now our social media channels focus less on the product but instead talk about intimate hygiene and other issues that women face on a personal level. We want to tell women that there is nothing wrong with their bodies and there is indeed nothing they need to be ashamed of. We want to use our channels to discuss the basics of a woman’s anatomy in a matter of fact of way. We want women to understand when they need to seek help from a gynecologist and more importantly, we want them to understand that their vagina doesn’t need to smell like flowers. Which is also probably why I fell in love with our Intimate hygiene foam and wash and have such a strong conviction to take it forward. It offers a simple solution to the real problem of dryness and itchiness.
It’s like I have been given an opportunity to create something I always thought I needed and now the onus lies upon me to fulfil this responsibility well.
For more than two months now, I have been battling severe anxiety for various personal and work related reasons. Despite having dealt with post partum depression, I was yet again deeply ashamed of how I was feeling and internalised the whole thing. It took me a while to understand what was happening even though I found myself crying most of the time and stopped going to Crossfit, which I love to bits and is one thing that usually sorts my head.
If I was to describe simply how my days have been, it would be good and bad days. On bad days, I find myself holed up in my room, not leaving my bed, avoiding phone calls, crouching, crying and in pain. It would also involve me hiding from my dad and son so that they don’t see me in this state. And then there are good days. Those are the days I squeeze in all the work possibly I can (because I know it might not last), pay my bills, take my son out and meet friends. There have also been several days when I have dressed up to step out but some kind of unexplained fear takes over and I just end up crying myself to sleep.
I refused therapy because just like during my post partum depression I know if I’m deeply aware, I will figure a way out. The awareness comes from the fact that depression runs in my family and I know how it looks. And today as I watched this Ted Talk shared by a friend on FB by Johann Hari, it made complete sense. To quote him “Your depression is a signal. It’s telling you something. The very first step is we have to stop insulting these signals by saying they’re a sign of weakness, or madness or purely biological, except for a tiny number of people. We need to start listening to these signals, because they’re telling us something we really need to hear. It’s only when we truly listen to these signals, and we honor these signals and respect these signals that we’re going to begin to see the liberating, nourishing, deeper solutions.”
Of course, I realised that I need to do something to get out of it but I wasn’t able to think. I wasn’t able to think because I was distracting myself away from the problem by binge watching Netflix, being excessively on social media, eating and drinking erratically. Also, it’s easier to fool myself that way as my work involves using a lot of social media. Basically, I have been ignoring the signals.
I have been taking it one day at a time and however, anxious things, surroundings and people make me, –
1) I push myself to go to Crossfit even though I cry at times during my workouts. Sharing my anxiety with my instructor helps and being regular has started making me feel better.
2) I can’t sit through 20 mins yet of meditation so I play Tibetan Bowls meditation. I can’t reiterate more that it always helps.
3) During the time the meditation music plays, I get answers to some of my questions.
4) I have identified some of the triggers and I am approaching them very gingerly. Tackling them slowly.
I started out my blog and Instagram because I wanted to help others and somewhere I got really busy. Single motherhood might look like fun but it hasn’t been easy despite the support I get from my dad. Start up life might look like something to aspire for but trust me it takes a toll on you. And somehow in being consumed to make a living, it started eating me up that I’m not adding any value to either my life or anyone else’s life. And this thought started clawing me from the inside. The Ted Talk made it very clear to me today that my anxiety is giving me a signal. I haven’t found any answers yet. May be I need deeper connections, I need to start writing again and let myself be loved.
Too many external factors are responsible for our health conditions these days and being healthy consistently is a task that most of us fail to master. With the levels of dust and smoke present in the air we are breathing today, one might consider getting admitted to a hospital and breathing oxygen straight out of an oxygen cylinder! And it is this polluted air that our children breathe, which most often leads to Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, COPD and various other respiratory problems.
The factors to be blamed for respiratory problems including climate change, vehicular smoke, dust from the road and building construction, not to mention countless smokers surrounding us! We know just how torturous it feels to have a sore throat, leaking nose, bronchitis, and chest pain when we catch a common cold, suffer from sinusitis or bronchitis. And once our kids get affected, the added fuss to the mayhem is to have them take medicines they absolutely hate!
I have always been into fitness and have made sure Kabir too has some healthy habits; however, sometimes maintaining your son’s health is not that easy. I can’t stop him from doing the average stuff kids do! How much can I protect him from exposure to the heat, dust and infamous Delhi pollution! And believe me, I know as a mom what it takes to make your 11-year-old take medicines which aren’t exactly tasty! I know a couple of kids in my neighborhood who were suggested hospitalization every time they needed nebulization.
In simple words, a nebulizer is a drug delivery machine which converts your liquid medicine into aerosol droplets that the patient can easily inhale through a mouthpiece or mask that comes with the nebulizer kit. It is no longer a necessity to have a professional nurse hook you to a large and noisy nebulizing machine. With independent alternatives available for everything we do, easy-to-use nebulizers too are now all over the market.
While I see my friends discussing and debating on the best nebulizer to get for their children, I came to know from a close family friend about Omron’s Nebulizer NE-C101, a portable nebulizer for children. This nebulizer is very easy to use and takes little effort to understand how it works. It is one of the easiest and most portable breathing devices I have come across and is quite handy if you have to carry it with you.
The nebulizer you choose will ensure whether your medicine reaches the upper airways, mid airways or the lower airways depending on the one you need. Nebulizers are great if you are suffering from Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever), Rhinitis (Common Cold), Sinusitis, Laryngitis, Bronchitis, Bronchiolitis and Pneumonia and by just breathing you can be relieved. Check the particle size of the nebulizer and don’t fall prey to the myths that say the more mist produced, the more effective treatment happens, which is often the case in using steamers.
A pack of Omron’s Nebulizer NE-C101 consists of a mouthpiece, nosepiece, nebulizer kit as well as an adult mask and a child mask made of PVC. The transparent design and wide medicine chamber make it easy to check how much medicine you are pouring in. All you have to do is let your child breathe for 7 to 10 minutes and the nebulizer will deliver the medicine to the target problem area with no extra effort, which seriously is one the best features of this device. An added advantage is that the nebulizers manufactured by Omron are less noisy, making its use on babies nice and easy without getting the little ones startled by the weird noises the general devices make. You can readily administer the medicines even when your baby is fast asleep.
Cleaning a compressor nebulizer is easy too, though it might sound tricky! Just like Omron’s portable mesh nebulizer NE-U100, the compressor nebulizer NE-C101 is easy to clean by using lukewarm water to disinfect the nebulization kit (mouthpiece/nosepiece/mask /medicine kit & pipe) which is known to be one of the most convenient ways to disinfect tools and attachments of medical devices.
So to all moms out there, all you have to do is make your child sit with his favorite cartoon or Lego set and put on the nebulizer for him and all the medical job of getting the medicine into his system is done, as he simply inhales through the mask. No more running around to force down bitter pills or having to get the little ones to adjust to a noisy steamer. The portability of Omron only adds to the advantages.
Life is in the breath and he who breathes half, lives a half-life . Breathing keeps us alive. While we are not sure how much pure air we inhale, the bodily function of pumping air into the body continues to work incessantly as long as we are alive. However, rarely do we realize the importance of the respiratory system in our body. But a slight breathing problem can pinch you to the gut and that’s when we realize taking care of it is really important. I have faced several alarming issues in the past with my son Kabir when he was really young. Continue Reading
A recent visit to my son’s optician opened my eyes about the eyesight problems that begin to appear at a nascent age and grow exponentially. He also threw in recent facts and figures that around 20% children in India in the age group of 5–12 years have poor vision. The risk of a child collapsing into the ‘poor vision’ criteria could be anything from undernourishment to excessive electronic devices. Chronic dry eyes, negative impact on co-ordination of vision and motor skills, and problems shifting their vision from near to far are early alarming signs.
Now coming from an educated and privileged part of the society, I am thankful to look at these problems closely, get professional help and make people around me aware of these pinching problems. But what about children who belong to the economically restricted class? A large population in our country is visually impaired only because they do not have access to an eye examination and a pair of glasses. This is a bigger concern in underprivileged children as they are ignorant or economically constrained from getting the right treatment even after diagnosis. Undetected vision disorders obviously result into devastating academic, economic and psychological problems in these children. Continue Reading
Approaching the last month of the year we’ve got a number of festivities and holidays that have kids and adults excited just the same. With a busy lifestyle as a mother, someone who loves shopping and fitness enthusiast, it is important to find things to do with my son that we both love and which gets us both the needed calorie burns! Umm, not really. When it’s time to have, it’s fun with no bars hold 😊 Continue Reading
There’s nothing quite like spending time, even if it means laborious hours in the kitchen, cooking up something your child really loves to eat. ‘Maa ke haath ka khana’ beats any Michellin Star dish! But can you ever compare that to a priceless gesture of your child surprising you one eventful evening with a lip-smacking spread of your favourite food? Continue Reading