Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WWW Wednesday 1 (26th June 2013)

This is my first WWW Wednesday post. WWW Wednesday is a weekly reading event hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, you just have to answer the following three (3) questions…
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
She started this event way back in the year 2009. And it has slowly become a kind of trend now. I got to know about this event from a friend/blogger who wrote her WWW Wednesday post last week. But unfortunately saw that on a  Thursday and so had to wait a week to post mine.

Being a avid reader and a bookworm since childhood, I feel this is pleasant new way to discover new books.
My answers to the above questions are:

What are you currently reading? I am reading "The Aviary Gate" by Katie Hickman. It is about a English girl in the harem of the Sultan of the Ottoman empire.




What did you recently finish reading? I last read "Small Remedies" by Shashi Despande. You can see my review at http://natasha-pointstoponder.blogspot.in/2013/06/book-review-small-remedies.html





What do you think you'll read next? I am most likely to read "A Quiver Full of Arrows" by Jeffrey Archer as I have a copy of the book. I am also planning to get a few new books.





 
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or share your answers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!


Book Review: Small Remedies

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

this book is very different from books i have read..the writing style, the way the characters relate, the plot, etc. it's not really a happy book. it is quite intense. the writing style is like giving the reader pieces of a jig jaw puzzle, and you can see the picture bit by bit. loved the book in a melancholic note.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review: To Sir With Love

To Sir With LoveTo Sir With Love by E.R. Braithwaite
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

the book is the author's experience of the first seven/eight months of teaching at an East London school. the writing is to the point and crisp. the book talks about respecting each person as an individual and that if you want respect, you need to give respect first.

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Book review: Chanakya's Chant

Chanakya's ChantChanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

this book is all about the person behind power of a leader and to what extent he can go to make or break someone. the book is fast paced with interesting linkages. stories of both ages go hand in hand. the only weak point of the book for me was the relation between the two ages. it could have been more solid i guess.

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Book review: How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company

How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded A Million Dollar CompanyHow I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company by Varun Agarwal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun one. If you are an all-time lover of serious books, then this is not for you. This is a story of a regular indian kid who has to strive under the Anu aunties (mother's friends). Any Indian kid can easily connect to some part or the other of this tale. If you want a break after a in-depth book, you cab definitely try this one.

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Book review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

this might be novel of childhood, but it surely is a book for adults alike. it's a book of values, principles, truth, human nature, prejudice, family and childhood. Loved it.

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Book review: Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges

Turning Points: A Journey Through ChallengesTurning Points: A Journey Through Challenges by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

i am a huge fan of this fan and in love with his vision and thoughts. If our political leaders adopt and inculcate even 10% of his ideas and suggestions, India would become a better and happier nation.

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Book review: The Palace of Illusions

The Palace of IllusionsThe Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I simply loved this book. Although I wanted to know the end, I did not want the book to end. It is the Mahabharata that almost all Indians know about, but narrated by Panchaali. May be being a woman, I was able to relate to the protagonist in depth, her charisma, her enigma, her dilemma. To me this book was a love story which was not meant to be achieved in life but in death.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

What makes a happy mother?

Last month, Sulekha.com held a number of blogging contests, one of which was on the eve of Mother's Day. I entered into this particular contest and blogged on the topic "What makes a happy mother" (http://homeneeds.sulekha.com/what-makes-a-happy-mother_602849_blog)

Last month the results were declared and I was elated to know that I had bagged the 1st prize!(http://creative.sulekha.com/announcement-contest-winners_604029_blog)

I am sharing my entry below.


A mother is happiest when she is near her children. So it is her children that makes a happy mother. And I can say this is true of all the mothers I know, especially my mother and my mother-in-law.

The moment a child is born, a mother is born too. A mother's world revolves around her children. As long as they are with her, she has something to look forward to everyday. Taking care of her kids, making them their favourite meals, washing their clothes, tidying up their stuff and rooms, cleaning up after them, playing and spending all her time with them is what she knows best.

A mother who has grown up kids, who do not live within her proximity, is never truly happy. Although she has now more time for herself, she prefers spending it in thoughts directed towards her children. All day long she wonders what her child is up to, what he/she is eating, whether he/she is sleeping well, taking care of themselves. She mentally keeps count of the number of days before she could see them again. She waits for their call, and when it does not come, she does not hesitate to call them herself. She longs to know how her child is doing without her. She loves to know that her child still needs her and her advice.

A mother is usually always worried; worried about her children's well being. She is worried when her child is playing, sick or travelling, when he/she is writing exams, on job, staying away from home, seeing someone, getting married, having kids and hence worried all the time.

A mother has some advice on everything under the sun. As Harriet Beecher Stowe rightly quoted, "Most mothers are instinctive philosophers". We might complain as much as we want, but it is true that we can not do without her advice either.

A mother misses her children whenever they are not around. When they are not home, she prefers not to prepare their favourite dishes. And when they are home, she gives up her share so that they can have more. Tenneva Jordan correctly quoted,"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for a pie".

A mother is happy when her children are near her, but she is happier when she knows that her children cares for her and loves her too. As children it is important for us to show her that we care, in whatever way possible. It is our solemn duty and responsibility to take care of our mother's needs. However, we might get her any material thing, but it is our time and love she needs most. She needs our heartfelt care, sweet words and unconditional love.

So next time you wonder what makes your mother happy, just remember that it is you who makes her happy, happier and the happiest.

Should A Homemaker Be Paid A Monthly Salary?

In the month of March, I entered a blog writing contest hosted by Sulekha Rivr on the eve of International Women's Day. There were several topics and I chose "Should A Homemaker Be Paid A Monthly Salary?".  Results showed that  I made it to the top ten entries (http://creative.sulekha.com/international-women-s-day-blogging-contest-winners-declared_600757_blog). My entry and its link is as follows:

http://officeneeds.sulekha.com/should-a-homemaker-be-paid-a-monthly-salary_600164_blog 

Duties of a homemaker
I am a working woman who recently got married. I am kind of between  (salary paying) jobs now as I have resigned from my current job and would be relocating to Delhi, where my husband resides, in a month's time. Since the wedding, I have been travelling to and fro frequently and spending around 2-3 weeks at a stretch with my husband and his siblings.

The first few days seemed fine and I even enjoyed my job of a homemaker. The job nature of a homemaker is basically a cycle--cooking, cleaning, washing, and organizing. But after  a week or so, the cycle started getting on my nerves and I started wondering how my mother is spending her entire time doing these chores. Both my mother and mother-in-law are housewives and it dawned upon me that they and all the other housewives have been doing a full-time, lifetime and 24X7 job of a homemaker. Apart from being unpaid, it is an utterly thankless job.

A woman is usually appointed a homemaker as a consequence of marriage or of just being a woman. The employer is usually the husband or the eldest member of the house while household members are the customers.

A homemaker is not paid, does not get a day off and of course not appreciated. Apart from the occasional compliment on the food, there is nothing else. She has to ask money from her husband when expenses are to be made and of course the husband says that she spends whatever he earns.

She empties the laundry basket everyday--washing, drying, folding and keeping the clothes in their assigned places. Nobody notices that. They only notice when their required item of clothing is not in place and the homemaker is accused of not doing her job.

She cooks every meal and places it on the dining table on time. And when the customers sit down to eat, they will either compliment or complain. But they do not understand what goes behind every meal. The homemaker needs to plan every meal, procure the ingredients and start cooking on time. The customers never bother to offer to help or get the ingredients. They just expect special and delicious food every time.

The homemaker struggles continuously to keep her kitchen clean and organized. The bottles, jars and utensils are used by the customers occasionally as well, but are replaced out of place mostly. the customers love to pile up used utensils in the wash basin. They never for a moment think  how much utensils are washed by the homemaker in a single day. And the saddest part is they do not even care.

A homemaker organizes and cleans the whole time. And if she does not sub-employs a maid to do the floors, that too falls in her kitty. She straightens the furniture, the furnishings and the decor. She picks up the things the customers leave here and there and keeps them in place. She picks up the plates, bowls, glasses and cups the customers used to eat and drink around the house, but did not bother to wash or at least keep in the wash basin.

Apart from the above, the job description of a homemaker also include cleaning every nook and corner of the house, ironing clothes, getting groceries, maintaining accounts of household expenses, playing host and helping with children's studies.

After a day's work, which ends only with doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, the best gift for a homemaker is a bed which is ready to sleep on. But she is seldom fortunate to have that.

In this world, services which are not paid for, are unappreciated and taken for granted. And a services of a homemaker is no different. How often have you ask your mother, aunt, wife or sister if she has eaten anything, if is she feeling tired or sick? Have you ever thanked her for cooking you a meal or washing your clothes? Have you helped her in doing the dishes and cleaning the house? Have you ever made her a cup of tea or a glass of lemonade? Have you ever granted her a day off? Sadly in this industry, there are only a handful of homemakers who actually get help in the form of family members.

The job of a homemaker is like any other job. So yes, a homemaker should paid a salary. If you can pay your maid, cook, gardener, driver, tutor and/or housekeeper, you can also pay your homemaker (who is all-in-one). And if you can not afford her services, then pay her at least in the form of love, respect, care, acknowledgement and empathy.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy Unhappy


Life is mischievous. When you are happy, it starts giving you innumerable options to be unhappy. Even on days when you wake up with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, it tries  to make you go to bed that night on the lowest note possible.

Unhappiness and dissatisfaction are so very treacherous. They can not just leave you alone. They would make you see and perceive things exactly the way they need to manifest themselves on you. They make you look at those transitory loopholes only, which have the capability to drive you nuts.They would make you constantly compare what you had and what you don't now, what you could do and what you can't now.

And how can you forget expectation, the root of all misery. We are told that if we want to be truly happy and at peace, we should cease to expect. But is it really possible to give up expecting when we do that in the smallest of things.

It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness.  Poverty and wealth have both failed.  ~Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard

When I was in school, I remember reading a poem about happiness. It talked about people going crazy about finding happiness but they do not realize that it is within them. That they have to go nowhere else. That happiness is all about controlling the mind, the heart and the thoughts. Most of us do know and understand all of this. But still...

Madonna sings,
"You only see what your eyes want to see 
 How can life be what you want it to be  
You're frozen 
When your heart's not open
 
You're so consumed with how much you get  
You waste your time with hate and regret  
You're broken  
When your heart's not open"

The frozen mode is not new to me. I go into the brooding mood from time to time. And I know I am not alone and this knowledge comforts me. It assures me that nothing is seriously wrong with me and I am a normal woman.

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.  ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

But I try, I honestly try to rise above the temptations to upset myself and be more than a normal human being. I try to remember that for what I have missed, I have gained something else. I make attempts to pick up the perfect moment from the day when I go to bed. I attempt to think about my good moments when I can't sleep at night. But again I am still a student in this field. And I know I have a long way to go.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.  ~Frederick Keonig