An update in pictures

I have ideas, and think ‘oh I should blog about this!’ and then that mental note remains just that-a mental note.

Days have been flying by, and I have not changed, keep piling up more things to my schedule. It will take me a lot of time to truly make my mind stop rationalising a mad schedule for myself.

Anyway, I was taking pics, and while they may not be super interesting, it will make up a decent enough blog post for you guys. Some thing is better than nothing, isn’t it?

Took quite a few selfies;

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Captured some moments of the daughter enjoying at the play area at school;

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Got her a haircut on Guru Nanak Jayanti holiday on Wed! Oh how this one enjoys them….

Admired her sleeping…..It’s actually therapeutic, I always imagine what she must be dreaming about. When she was little she would smile in her sleep…

 

Admired the greenery at school…I spend so much time in my room with students counseling all day, I didn’t notice the lovely green plants all over the entrance. Had to take pics!

Did some colouring, trying to find things to relax me, getting out of the house is not a ready option. Plus my busy schedule doesn’t allow me to be able to do that. My HAP course ends in a week, I shall be having more time after that!

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I had ordered The Story of Psychology, after being reommendation by Dr.Diana Monteiro (My teacher at HAP), waiting to finish off with the David Sedaris book before I indulge into this.

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On Thursday Mir Imran the scientist visited the school to interact with our students. It was not my working day, and I just wanted to sleep in, had a few things on the agenda (I must admit), I somehow got myself to school and well, was inspired. The preceding day I had a ginormous mood swing, and desperately needed some inspiration. Was glad I attended the session, came to realise something crucial that has given me insight.

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Decorated Batools school binder. Feel like a proud mom! Loved using all the glitter, was so fun!

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Distributed inter-madrasa competition certificates to students on Sunday, below I give one to my daughter!

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Hmm, that’s about it….Probably will post a rambling post soon…..

What have you been upto?

 

Unconditional Positive regard :)

Relationships aren’t meant to be stressful. I am talking about all the relationships we form during the course of our lives. Friends, family, lovers, spouses etc. They are meant to provide something beautiful, they are meant to liberate us.

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Your friends shouldn’t make you feel restricted, your husband/wife shouldn’t make you feel bound, your family shouldn’t make you feel contrived. In my little experience in life, I have started to value the relationships that are consciously formed, we can’t change the people who are part of our lives because they’re linked to us by biological bonds. This makes it crucial for us to create an environment around us that makes us feel free, stable, connected and liberated at every step. For this first we need to know who we are, and what we are looking for in these friends, partners, lovers, etc.

upr31344115437730Some people are not capable of giving this freedom. Avoid them, they’re toxic, they will take everything you have and leave you wondering why you even bothered. These people are in majority, I am warning you. I learned the hard way, well, at some level I consider myself stupid beyond explanation of naivete. I really was taken for a ride, but learned my lesson, learned more about myself, and while trust issues may be part of my life for some more time, I have realised that it is not wrong to stand up for yourself, and demand the respect which was supposed to be given by default. When you let go of such people, they will reveal even more of their colours. But they will never see you the way you are, they’re blind to goodness, unfortunately. And if you’re lucky and strong you will get yourself out of the environment such people create.

I am glad I have a support system that makes me feel thankful to Allah every moment. Friends who know when to do what, how to make me laugh, when to provide support, how to be blunt and honest, most importantly they are 100% welcome me for who I am. It is important to have this bunch of people, and important to reciprocate these relationships with the same respect and sanctity. Apart from my lovely friends I also have a lovely partner who is supportive and liberates me, accepts me, has unconditional positive regard for me. The freedom that comes with adding someone to your life is something to be experienced, words can not describe them. I am content. And with the sanity, and faith I believe we all can be honest, and accept people, and demand acceptance, pity those who can’t get out of their bubble and enjoy life and relationships to their best. We only have one life on this earth, we ought to make the most of it.

Let’s make a conscious effort to not judge, have unconditional positive regard for people around us, so that we can enjoy every relationship to the fullest and feel liberated. It’s challenging, but definitely not impossible, and worth your while. Trust me on that 🙂

A quick haul and what's next on the reading list

I don’t remember when purchased the items below, but I remember vividly it was a bad day, that had to be turned into a good one and some shopping doesn’t do anyone harm, now does it?

Let’s get started, not going to go too much into details…..More pics, more fun…

IMG-20151001-WA0016The truck pocket notebook from Letternote. My previous ‘Do Epic Shit’ book got over!, and I had to purchase another, love the quality of letternote notebooks, this is A5 size and colourful wanted to buy something that would lift my mood every time I say it. This notebook is with me at work, in class, wherever I am. The book itself will last me over a year, I’ve started to make more notes, but I also like to not waste space, so I will usually draw a line and jot down stuff, it gives a very loved vibe. The notebook is from Letternote but I ordered it on Flipkart.

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I’ve been looking for a small size sudoku puzzle book for quite some time. Usually they’re super thick and hence impractical to carry around. This one looks cool as well, and has the elastic to keep pages together. I’ve finished a few puzzles, use it in autos, or when in waiting for doctors or appointments. It has other puzzles too, I have never even heard of them, but am willing to explore. Variety is the spice of life init! Got it at Crosswords (City center, Banjara Hills)

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Flipkart purchase, looking forward to reading Commonsense parenting, it’s going to definitely be an interesting read. Indian authors talking about Indian parenting issues are always more relate-able.

CAM04358At crosswords I found a few really nice Nigella Lawson cook books, but I neither have the time nor the space to cook them recipes!, So I decided to be practical and splurge on books that I can’t even store anywhere. And these were a great find, I think they do a better job at serving the purpose of cooking than collectibles. Tarla Dalal, haven’t tried anything yet, Shameless I know!, but when I do, I shall blog and boast! 😉 These I think are good random gifts for close friends who already cook or want to venture into cooking, they’re very affordable, and can also be added into a random gift basket of various fun items.

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CAM04356And on to some random stationery purchases, needed book marks, and purple being one my favourite colours, I had to go with this ombre purple pack. Also bought a ink pen by Parker, trust me the only reason I did was because it came with two extra cartridges. However I noticed the one in the pen was empty and is refillable like a syringe, which was a relief!. Loving using it and somehow, I am conscious of not misplacing it and it definitely isn’t allowed in the hands of the daughter. I am the queen of misplacing pens BTW!, I will buy them packs of ten one a bi-monthly basis. Will always have one in every bag, and the daughter will totally open it up and misplace some piece and the whole pens useless.

CAM04348Another catch point about the pen was that it’s ox blood red which I love. Using an ink pen reminds me of school days, in-fact, when I was using it in school earlier this week one of the staff members exclaimed “ink pen!, haven’t seen those in a while’ which I think is sad, kids should enjoy the beauty of using an ink pen.

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And finally the book that’s next on my reading list is: Me Talk Pretty One Day

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Will review it once I finish, haven’t started yet! Long ‘life is busy’ reasons! What have you bought recently?

Book Review: Sh*tty Mum

This is a must read for any mother. Gift it, share it, keep it in your collection. This book is an ultimate mood lifter for mother all over the world, goes belong culture boundaries, all you need is a sense of humor!

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Adding humor to life not only brightens your day but makes life simpler, as moms it’s always comforting to know that your struggle isn’t yours own, and that there are many other moms out there who’re facing the same challenges in parenthood. This book covers them all, with classy humor, abusive language, sarcasm, and touches on all forms of parenting a mother can take up!

I think it’s a great gift for a mommy friend you have. It’s written well, is a light read, and is sure to crack you up. I had tears in my eyes reading several pages, and I shall warn you, if in public places be ready to let out a louder than expected laugh, you just can’t see it coming. The humor is spread throughout the book, and is just refreshing.

A big thumps up for Sh”tty Mum!. Have you read it?

House arrest

I’ve been busy, that’s an old story at this point. I’ve been busy with life that gets me out of the house every single day! It’s not the same thing though, some days it’s class, some days it’s school, some days it’s chores, etc etc. You get the drift.

But since last Saturday I have been having severe lower back pain, which has made me unable to do the many things that I do outside the house. Top it up with ‘absolute bed-rest’ by the orthopedist  (Who BTW I recommend for all your bone needs, he’s v good; ‘thorough’ if you may) and you’re game for boredom. So really what have I been doing? I don’t know how time has passed and another Saturday came. I will go back to work on Tues. But I’ve realised a few things in these days of rest.

1.I deserve a break! it actually felt good to tell everyone I won’t be available, be it school, class or madrasa. I just told everyone to just “manage”. I don’t know if it’s me in my little head; that I believe the worlds weight is on my shoulders and shit won’t happen if I don’t move. But everything happened. Everything happens, Life goes on. This is a relief especially considering that I plan to move out of Hyderabad.

2. Amazon.in aint that bad! I was going to blog about the pathetic service of Amazon, but that I’ve decided to put that aside, because I received my book, super early and it has been my savior. Sh*tty mum is a must read! (review coming soon, I’m almost done), give it to your friends, buy it for new moms, gift it to your wives/sisters! Everyone deserves to have a copy of their own. This book cracked me up like Gordon Ramsays autobio did. Only this is hilarious from beginning till the end. This also made me realise that I should just buy myself more books and take time out to laze around and read. It aint no crime!

shitty mum3. I am not the stay at home typa person anymore! This is probably the biggest realisation, I can’t stay at home, I am craving a walk, stood in the balcony for good 20 mins just to “see” the world. I was never this way, this is the new me I guess. Just like keeping busy, no matter how much it tires you, you’ll still like to be busy. I have discovered that I no longer can be home. Soooo looking forward to meeting the 450 kids at school and the holy little ones at the madrasa.

4. There’s an uncomfy phase to divorce, I can and maybe should just write a book on this. I don’t know how the divorce experience is for people in other cities or countries, but it’s pretty awkward here, especially if you’re surrounded by people who know your in-laws but aren’t related to your in-laws. It’s just weird. My hospital file still says ‘Mrs’ and ’19yrs’ for age, but when the concerned person changed the raggedy old file and moved papers into a new one, she copied the same details. I didn’t know that this happened BTW, I submitted my file, and waited in the seating area with my ‘sh*tty mum’ book, floating on a cloud of humor, and when the Dr. saw my file he said “still 19?” I responded “no” , and well, he changed the age, I wanted to add “not Mrs also”, I don’t know what stopped me though. Sometimes I feel I say shit like it doesn’t mean anything, and don’t want to be taken for a fool, but hey! it’s a fact init!. I am comfortable with my Ms, Mrs, Mx, or whatever, but how come we think about other peoples reaction? How come we are taken aback by their judgement? At this point I feel we should just accept that we will be judged by anyone walking and just do what we do best. Muhahaha (Evil laugh). I changed the ‘Mrs’ to ‘Ms’ BTW. Need to set the record straight on that one. Maybe I should learn new ways of handling the situation without looking childish about it (That shall be difficult considering my personality). Sometimes I just feel like screaming, announcing it to the world “I am divorced” just to take the “suspense” off my life. Nip it in the bud, let everyone know, wear a t-shirt maybe that reads ‘happily divorced’. (If you have ideas leave them in the comments below)

I also have a theory like Maslows hierarchy of needs, about relationships. Let’s call it ‘Syedas hierarchy of relationships’. Now;  Imagine a pyramid and at top of the peak is being ‘happily married’, just below that is ‘happily divorced’, mind you, not courtship, or dating, or engagement or any of that. NONE of that. That’s my thing. It’s a two level pyramid I guess then. Everything else is meaningless, and only that is the truth, according to me, you can differ. Many psychology theories are questionable including Maslows.

5. Men in Hyderabad need to learn self-grooming. This is just general advice, outgrown beard, shabby hair, ill fitting clothes, you know what I’m talking about. You don’t realise how ill-groomed they are till you see someone who is well-groomed (which is as rare as a shooting star). Here’s a fact, we don’t see ourselves, we can’t unless there’s a mirror, so we should have the manners to consider how other people visually perceive us when we step out of the house. Hyderabadi men need a lesson or two in this. I can blog a two part series on the topic. If you find well-groomed men you’ll find them in doctors, go to LVPrasad, you can make out who means business there, people who know their eyes. Ditto with me Ortho Dr.  apart from being good at what they’re supposed to, you don’t mind bad news about your health when it’s coming from a person who took out 5 minutes to trim his beard! I’m sure there’s some psychology theory in there too! Don’t get me wrong, there are some proper appalling doctors out there too!

So that rounds it up, I shall resume laying around as today is the last day. Will finish off the book and write a review soon. I have so many blog posts pending that I am not going to bother building a guilt pool for myself 🙂

Scholastic Haul book review 1

I had blogged just few days ago about the 9 book purchases I made. And it’s time for some reviewing!

1. Who wears Glasses? by Ana Galan, Illustrated by Seb Burnett

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Batool simply loved this book, being a spectacles wearer herself she was happy to see animals wearing them just like her. The book itself is well written, the content rhymes, and is funny too. Batool understood the humor in the book, and one would think that it’s going to be a book that won’t provide any substance to the reader beyond the satisfaction of others wearing specks, but it has depth. The specks are animal appropriate, relating to their physical features, interests, environment, activities etc. Each animal has it’s own personality, which can be understood by their specks.

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CAM03053 This is a great book for children who like animals, have siblings or friends who wear specks, they can learn to respect them instead of bully. And obviously for the child who wears specks this is going to be confidence build up.

2. Clifford goes to the Doctor by Norman Bridwall

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As mentioned, I was looking forward to introducing Clifford to Batool. She enjoyed reading this, found it incredibly funny how the whole check-up with grown up Clifford went. This was a good first book for her, she’s already asking me to start reading the other two! so that’s a great response.This book is about not rejecting, and solving a problem. In the beginning Clifford is a tiny puppy, and has his first appointment, and by the next one he’s a giant healthy dog, but the Dr. doesn’t ask him to leave because he can’t fit through the door, she instead transports him on a truck, weighs him on an industrial weighing machine and does the whole check-up. This is a lesson for kids to not give up, and try to find creative solutions to problems.

She could relate her doctor appointments with Cliffords, one of the reasons why I picked up this particular doctor visit book is because she’s having vaccinations lined up this year. And it’s been quite a while since she’s experienced one of those. Will be reading this book again, before her vaccinations next month, just to ease her into it. I liked also that the Clifford book didn’t have any inappropriate illustrations, the doctor was not wearing unreasonably weird clothes, and the colours in the book are vibrant and illustrations easy to visualise for her.

Observations and tips:

1. Batools picking up books and trying to reach phonically on her own now.

2. Introduce sight words to your child, and initially let them read a word or two on their own while reading with them. Praise them when they try also, this will make them feel proud, and motivate them

3. Make reading an enjoyable experience, books are not to make yourself feel lonely, they’re to make sure you can enjoy your own company. Take pics, make memories.

4. Batool laughed heartily while reading the Clifford book, the Dr. having to climb on his tummy, and entering his whole mouth to check it. She laughed out even later remembering it all.

5. Reading a tiny book with children is a great way to bond with them, they won”t judge you so make it fun for yourself, change your voice when delivering dialogues of different characters, re-read funny names, spend time exploring the illustrations, ask the child ‘imagine if your dr. entered your mouth’, they would relate everything.

6. Answer questions when the child asks while reading, they are visual and so will have questions about the illustrations more. And while that may seem to us like they’re distracted, they’re actually trying to relate the image to the story. The illustrators of childrens books are no ordinary people, they spend endless hours trying to make it the most stimulating experience for the child. Let them absorb the vibrant colours, shapes and scenes. Let the child visit the vet, the doctor, the market etc. through the illustration.

7. As parents we should read the book alone first, try to derive hidden lessons in them, and then give a full experience to the child. Childrens books are meant for educational entertainment. Because they’re at the peak of learning and absorbing, it’s a great way to give them exposure to long term wisdom through tiny books, with funny stories and endless illustrations.

Have you read any of these books? What are your tips on reading to your child?

Scholastic haul

The school had distributed a hand out by Scholastic for books to order. It’s their initiative to promote reading at schools. Batool has always loved books, and enjoys it. And I thought this is a great way to just purchase selected books for age levels. So I got all excited and ordered few, it was my first experience, and even though I was tempted to buy almost all of them, I tried to keep in mind that they’re for Batool and not for me to explore!. So I decided to go for books that she didn’t have, variety to expose her to.

The great thing was all these books arrived in separate parcels, which made it easier for the teachers also to distribute them at school. Let’s get some picture in shall we?

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1. Trees to paper- This is a science based book, and since the daughter knows what paper is and trees are, it would e of interest to her. The concept to learn is how things come into being.

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2. Trash crafts- I mainly got this to have fun activities to do with her. This should be interesting

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3. Fly Guy Dinosaurs- She loves dinosaurs, there was no other reason to this order

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4.Night Sky Glow- Batool hasn’t shown much interest in space, and I had once almost picked up this ginormous book at Crosswords on the planets and space and all that beautiful stuff. But then I thought she needs something simpler, I should expose her to the idea first and then pursue it if she enjoys it. Because these space books for kids are a litle on the expensive side, they have many pictures, and textures too, some even have stickers. They make it super interesting. Anyway, when I spotted this on the list I thought this will be a great way to introduce Space into her little head. It has radium content also, that should make it grasping.

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5. Enjoy Phonics level 1- I wanted to explore this frankly, the book is nice and colourful with a CD too. There are writing activities as well, she’s just been introduced to the various lines (standing, sleeping, slanting) at school, so good timing.

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All of these books and others can be found on the website. Reading is the best and safest habit that can be inculcated in children. And the sooner it happens the better.

If you want a detailed review of any of the above books do let me know in the comments below. Happy reading.

heading the e-book way and reading update

It’s been long since I posted a reading update. I had made and list and everything, but I have to start working on sticking to schedules.

Anyway, the autobiography of Helen Keller was too dry for me to pick up everyday and want to read. I then decided to make a book purchase, but felt guilty. The problem was there was no time for book reading except at night right before dozing off, and my lovely daughter broke my little reading light. And I decided to venture into the e-book zone and see if it’s any good. And was I glad! Instead of wasting time watching random videos on youtube, I found the perfect solution to my no reading issue. I purchased ‘Adultery’ by Paulo Coelho, downloaded the Flipkart e-books app on my tablet.

I don’t recommend this book at all. I skipped through insanely boring paragraphs about Geneva and some historic crap, the ending is just stupid. It has very low moral value and presents the concept of adultery in the positive light. I don’t like it when authors or celebrities or anyone emphasise on ‘love’ so much that they tend to not bother about what’s right and wrong. We’re not animals, we’re human beings. Anyway, I didn’t enjoy the way it was written also. It wasn’t all that gripping, and half way through I was just reading it to finish it.

I personally feel our lives are too small to always look for ways to get lost, it’s important that we are reminded of our purpose in life which is beyond ‘love’. Anyone who believes in anything more than themselves will know the importance of thinking about others, and living  life that ends with a purpose.

Anyway I guess all of us expect different things from books. I just don’t enjoy hypocrisy.

Have you read this book?

BTW i just bought my next e-book, a rather impulsive purchase keeping in mind I should be working on my submissions. And it’s:

What have you been reading?

Tip Tuesday: Buying books for your child

English is our second language, and I love a kid who can articulate his/her ideas in both the mother tongue and their second language. The best way to keep your childs English skills improving is to have them read. Reading increases vocabulary, keeps the child in touch with the language and is a a great creative escape.

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Here are some tips on buying the right books for your child:

Tip 1. When purchasing a book don’t restrict yourself to the age mentioned on the book. English is our second language, so your 3 year old may not ready for the books for that age. Buying books marked lower than your childs age doesn’t mean your child is dumb. Its best to get the books that they can actually read, or listen to you read and enjoy. The idea is to make the kid fall in love with reading, it shouldn’t be a difficult task.

Tip 2. If you like a series and it’s at an affordable price range never buy all four or all three in the series. Buy one or two and see if your child enjoys them, if he does then you can always buy more. Kids are very picky, that’s why there’s a large variety of books available for kids. Some may like colourful animals, other kids might like cartoons etc. I always pick one book and see if my daughter enjoys it. And then I purchase more.

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Tip 3. Always keep books at the childs level. They should reach out for books himself, and select the one he wants to read. A small shelf, or a drawer dedicated only to the childs books can build a sense of ownership and responsibility in the child. They will also learn to keep the books back in place after reading. This is very important.

Tip 4. Libraries are a great way to head when your child is older and able to read more or less independently. However I do suggest to have a mini library at home, so that your child no matter how old he is can always revisit his past books. This also builds a sense of responsibility, and builds organisation skills in the child. It’s also a very fulfilling feeling when they can pass on their favourite books to their siblings!

These are some of my daughters favourite books (I always get mine from Crosswords):

ImageI have yet to discover the books section at Himalaya and Walden. I love Himalaya for stationery shopping. I buy my books online at Flipkart. In fact I have ordered a Dr.Seuss book for the daughter which should arrive on the 19th, so excited. It was recommended by my very good friend and new mommy.

Did you find these tips helpful? Have any suggestions for tip tuesdays?, feel free to leave them in the comments box below.