Upgrade yourself

There has to be a way of life. And the current world isn’t giving the best kind of role models

for us. I love that we have access to so much, through out phone and internet, it’s amazing to be part of this generation. But when it comes to mindfulness, and living a slow paced and more productive life, I feel at a loss.

I am so glad for bullet journaling, it helps me stay on track and visualise the mess in my head. It is so crucial for all humans to figure out their purpose in life. The sooner, the better. It’s funny how the more knowledge we gain, the more insightful we become about our purpose in life.

Last night, I was looking for a book on the topic of money management as per Islam, and came across a very helpful book. It is primarily about business ethics, but the first few chapters discuss money, earning, saving, and investment etc. I would highly recommend it for those who want to know about anything money related. Even those who are employees should read this book. It explains the way of life of Islam, and brings clarity on when your earnings can become worldly.

I am 29 years old, and the only time in life I have had epiphanies is via knowledge. Not information, but trusty, thought provoking knowledge. The sources of which can vary, and I don’t discriminate. I believe after a point in life, we just need to have the sense of filtering what’s not fitting with out values, and where we want to go in life.

You see it’s not fair for us to live, without understanding what potential we have, where we are headed and if we are fulfilling our duties. We are too smart, too good of beings to be living aimless, and winging our life as we age. We are meant for more, we are meant to be better, we are meant to conquer ourselves and inspire others every single day!

Minimalism according to me

Minimalism and the lifestyle has been catching up. Youtube is filled with videos and documentaries on the Minimalist way of life. You watch a couple of them and you kinda sorta get an idea of what they’re trying to tell you, but then it starts to seem black and white and depressing. It’s difficult to ever imagine yourself being able to maintain a balance in your life in that manner.

But I tried to ponder more, on my own, whenever possible. Started to observe my lifestyle, and that of other around me. took mental notes of what I liked and disliked, what i agreed and disagreed with with this new lifestyle. And like always I try to bring all my cluttered thoughts to religion to seek guidance in the right way. Because the base of all my beliefs is that if there’s a right way to do anything my Creator knows it, because He created me and everyone else on earth and beyond. And so I did that.

Minimalism is not out there in that term, but there’s a term that would drive you to minimalism. And it’s a simple concept, a concept many of us have come across way before minimalism itself. Extravagance, in Arabic ‘israaf’. Israaf is not just a disliked activity in Islam, it is also a greater sin (Gunah e Kabira). So, there you go, forget choosing a lifestyle, you may have very well been sinning all this while! hehe.

We have taught Israaf on a basic level to children at madrasa for years, it is part of their ‘manners’ curriculum. And while we teach it m we only discuss it on the surface. Anyway, rightly assuming I don’t know anything about the topic I started reading the chapter of Israaf in the Greater sins book. It’s amazing how we are able to relate to examples as we grow older, and observant of people around us. Their decisions and their doings and how everything makes sense on a deeper, more productive level. Needless to say, I had multiple ‘aha’ moments, and forwarded the link to few people on my whatsapp contacts.

I had never looked at israaf beyond its basic definition, honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it deep enough to realise how much of it I do on a regular, basis. And most importantly,  need to be more mindful of these things. As a parent if I practice these day to day things correctly, it won’t be as much a struggle for my children.

To sum it up Israaf can and more often happens in our time, our physical and emotional efforts, our energy, our mental abilities, our money. In fact, every breath can become a victim of extravagance. If we realise that, and work towards eradicating this leech we would not only reduce wastage, but increase efficiency by putting in efforts where they’re needed. being mindful of israaf can actually enable us to not do it in things you don’t even currently posses. That’s the beauty of this concept. And while we all need to and are ordered to live up to our standard as per our means, we are also supposed to think about those around us who are in need before spending our time, money and energy on things we don’t need, but want.

As a human ending her 29th year of life, I would like to be in a state to be able to pass on wisdom, and gain more each day. Otherwise, it’s an israaf of my intellect. This made me realise how much I have already wasted, never to regain. We don’t see how much israaf negatively impacts our everyday lives on an individual and social level. It’s not a philosophical concept, it’s a realistic concept that every child and adult can relate to. I am so glad that I have a better more clearer perspective on things, another curtain has been lifted from my intellect and I am looking forward to (more than ever before) uncovering more wisdom in the future.

 

A little inspiration

Gobble down some coffee after opening your fast and YouTube one of your favourite subscribers to chill. I have a tonne of work to do, I have two teacher training workshops coming up, the madrasa starts on 3rd July, my uni classes start on 2nd July and have a pending post of Himalaya, the product stares me everyday. Story telling sessions lined up for my internship, and while I contemplate the to-do list in my head, I went on to Fleurs YouTube channel after a very long time to just chill.

And after watching a couple of videos I stumbled upon this one. And even though she’s basically just talking about herself, and working as a full time YouTuber, I found some inspiration to focus on the tasks I have at hand (Which as I enlisted are MANY).

I admire people who are freelancers, or their own bosses. There’s something more demanding about a job like that, you have to be super organised and constantly prove to yourself that you are just as inspired as you were in the beginning.

In life we may find inspiration from and in people, places, a simple quote, an image just about anything, but the real challenge is always to maintain that level of passion. Especially if you do multiple things, and have multiple responsibilities, it gets rather difficult. Not because the to-do list is longer, but because you have to constantly prioritise everything on that to-do list.

Here’s where my struggle usually lies. Should I first finish work, or blog? should I cook now and then do laundry? Shall I take a nap or stay up and finish the reading work. Add to that parenting and well you’re set for a busy busy schedule.

I liked from this video that she decided to show the side of life of a YouTuber that isn’t all glam. That isn’t as materialistic, and makes you appreciate the efforts that go into any job. The  most successful and richest, people in the world struggle, it’s just that their struggles are not what are photographed and talked about. We only see the greener grass, or rather are shown the greener part of the grass.

What I have learned from expereince is that it is important for us to take time out and ask ourselves every few months if we really truly want the things that we are working toward?, are we really getting there or getting side-tracked? Because as we evolve we may not want the same things from life, and it’s better to know sooner rather than later. It is important for all of us to maintain a balance in personal and professional life, just what our goals in general are, and stick to our decisions. Being aimless is the most disastrous thing a human can do for himself.

It’s always good to hear, watch success stories. And it makes me genuinely happy that people are open to share about their experiences, and inspire others.

 

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;

CAM00141

 

 

CAM00330

 

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

CAM00417CAM00411

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!

CAM00430

CAM00419

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.

CAM00408

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.

CAM00455

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

IMG-20151126-WA0005.jpeg

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

IMG-20151122-WA0039

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

What have you been upto?

 

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!

shitty mum

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

CAM03031  CAM03037

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.

CAM03052  CAM03054

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

CAM03055  CAM03056

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 book fair haul

Batool school is having the scholastic book fair on at the moment. And to me that’s just an opportunity to buy more books (9 to be precise). I think it’s almost like a disease. I haven’t received the scholastic book order I placed via school yet, but that didn’t stop me. Naah! Never!

CAM02998 CAM03019

In fact right now all our stuff is in cartons and suitcases, we will be moving once the house construction is over. It’s only when I was packing up her and my books that I realised we hCAM03020ave quite a collection. A variety, mine are mostly text books and the few books I’ve mentioned already in the blog. But hers are truly a variety, from behaviour books, to story books, picture books, activity books, educational etc. I gave a few of her books that she has outgrown to cousins. I think that’s a good way of letting go of books, Batools attached to some of her books, those are the ones she wants to re-read, and always enjoys. Those usually are succumbed to so much love they look rather shabby. I won’t part with those. Will keep them for her to cherish and revisit when she’s older.

Moving on;  I will post a detailed review on first  impressions and review, as and when we explore them. The first book I picked up was ‘who wears glasses?’ by Ana Galan. I am also looking forward to introducing Clifford and Dora to Batool. She’s has recently started showing interest in stickers, (I was waiting for that phase) so I made sure I pick up books that will satisfy that craving.

CAM03025 CAM03027 CAM03031

What books have you enjoyed reading with your kids? Any recommendations?

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?

CAM02502

CAM02503

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.

CAM02504

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

CAM02505

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

CAM02506

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.

CAM02509

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.

CAM02507

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?