English sikhoge?

“I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda

I came to this new society around 3 years back.  Soon, I found a good and sincere lady who started working as a house-help with me.  She has 2 kids, a son and a daughter who go to a local school.  Things were going fine until one fine day life turned upside down for them.

Their slum caught fire because of 7-10 cylinders bursting together.  Many, many home turned to ashes.  All the meager belongings that the poor people of the slum had was engulfed by fire within no time.  My maid was also one of those unfortunate families.  I still remember the day she came to my house wearing a tattered saree, asking for clothes and food.  Within no time I helped her out.  Like me there were many families and NGOs who helped these families re-establish again.

Because of all this chaos, the children suffered.  They didn’t have shelter, food or clothes, and amidst all these their schooling suffered.  They couldn’t go to school for quite some time.

Life started limping back to normal again after a few months.  The kids started going to school again but their studies had suffered.  My maid’s son because of all these unwarranted circumstances and poverty suddenly wanted to grow up soon.  He wanted to help his parents in taking care of the family.

My maid often tells me that his son wants to some job after 10th or 12th but because he studies in a local school he doesn’t have exposure to English language.  There are classes that teach English but she cannot afford them.  The NGOs which offer such help are far off from their place.

I often wonder how could I help them.  Due to my own time constraints and responsibilities, I don’t have time to shoulder such a big responsibility.  At the same time, I understand the little boy’s emotions and want him to learn English and fulfill his dreams.

Then I came across Nihar Shanti Amla’s Pathshala Funwala’s toll free number 8055667788 which gives such children easy access to learn English in a fun and easy way.  This is a service which is free of cost, easily accessible and very easy to learn.

I was extremely happy to know about this number.  I have decided to give my maid this number so that both her children can benefit from this awesome initiative.  I will ask her to spread a word about this number to all her friends whose children can easily learn English free of cost, which will help them in life.

Being a social media specialist, I intend to spread awareness about 8055667788 through my social media pages and different groups.

Let the future of a better India learn and learn easy.  Because of this initiative now I can ask any little child who truly wants to learn English, “English sikhoge?”

Is your child a bully?

There is no child who has been spared by a bully.  Right from the time a toddler starts being social, starts going to the park, playschool, neighbors, he/she definitely faces another child who loves to bully; loves to hit, push, throw toys, snatch toys, can’t take NO for an answer, loves it when the other kids cry.  Why is it that some children love to bully others?  What is it that makes them a bully right from their childhood?  Is it just their fault or somewhere the parents are at folly too?  What gives him the “authority” to tease, hit, push, irritate others?  There is a difference in being naughty and being a bully.  As the child starts growing and if he is not controlled the bullying tendency spirals.  The parents have a big role to play here.

Imagine a scenario where a cute little kid goes to the park with his parent and is waiting for his turn in the slide.  Suddenly the child standing behind him pushes him and with a glee slides breaking the queue and also hurting the other child!!  Sounds familiar?  Just think, is that bully your child?  You might be in denial.  You might say that my child is naughty like any other child of his age, but just sit down and think isn’t there a difference in being naughty and being a bully?

Who is a bully?  A bully is someone who uses power to intimidate others, hurt others, tries to thrust superiority upon others.  Such kids are used to having their way at home, who cannot take NO for an answer, who are used to throwing tantrums.  Are you the kind of a parent who gives in to the child’s tantrums always?  Do you laugh or go gaga when your child hits you or others, throws things, shouts or yells at other kids?  Do you believe that this is a sign of smartness?

Parents are the first teachers of a kid, they lay the foundation of the child’s behavior.  We all love our children and love to watch their new antics every day.  But hey, do learn to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.   Correcting a faulty behavior, learning to discipline or saying No might sound difficult but it is really not.  Often as parents you might think that the child is too young to understand what we explain but the age-appropriate channel of communication should be started pretty early.  Children also emulate the parents a lot.  So, just keep an eye on your own behavior.   As parents, as citizens keep a track of your own behavior.

If your child is a bully, you will tend to get complaints from other children and their parents.  Don’t become defiant (just as your child).  Listen to the others patiently; just do not dismiss their complaints.  Also, don’t start scolding your child then and there itself.  Talk to your child when he and you both are calm.

Parenting is a big challenge in every step.  Don’t ignore or panic if your child is a bully.  Take charge, after all you are the parent.  Help your child to shape up into a better individual.  He will learn to be considerate, compassionate, make more friends.  If he continues to bully, he will be left alone.  Other children will fear him, ignore him, hate him, and he might remain friendless.  Socially the parents will boycott your child.  He will become more resentful.

As a parent, learn to say NO, give him rewards and time-outs as and when necessary.  Keep on talking to him.  Tell him being bully is “not cool”.

Help your child to attain a healthy and happy childhood where he should be social, not anti-social (bully)!


The healer with a magic touch

You must do the things, you think you cannot do.. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Where there is will, there is a way!  Shambhavi Chhugani’s journey is one such live example of this saying.

Her journey to the spiritual world started when she was all of 16 years. She comes from an erstwhile family of Bihar,where it was mandatory in her family to be spiritually qualified, as much as they paid importance to the formal education.  Her first tryst with the spiritual world came through reiki, nyaas healing.

Shambhavi has gone through many ups and downs in her life.  But she has always emerged as a winner. Its very interesting to sit and learn from her, the journey’she has covered to reach where she is today, the long hour hours she’s  invested, the hardships’s she has gone through. If it was anyone but Shambhavi, trust me the person would have given up.

After college, Shambhavi worked in Bangalore and later moved to Pune and settled there. Years later, She came to Mumbai and soon carved a niche for herself in the City of Dreams. She journey of achievements started from here.

Shambhavi’s journey has been very interesting and inspiring. She has been an accomplished Tarot Reader for over 18 years.  Her other areas of expertise are Colours Psychology, Logo Analysis, Space Cleansing, Vaastu, Switchwords, Doodle Analysis, Meditation, Healing through art and Dreams Interpretation & she is a Life coach to many.  She has won many awards and accolades for work with a lot of positive feedback from her clients.  She also specializes in Runes Guidance & Healing, First & Second Degree Reiki, Basic Nyaas Yoga to name a few.  Her knowledge has made a lot of difference in the life of many people.

As she galloped with love and confidence, Shambhavi made a mark in the hospitality & corporate fertinity,she partnered with big brands like JW Marriott, Renaissance, Oakwoad and Out of the Blue.  Shambhavi is also associated with corporates like Future group (Pantaloons), DLF, JLT, ORRA , Lavasa and L& T Reality to name a few.

Shambhavi has also been a part of the prestigious ELLE Carnival, held in Mumbai to raise funds for breast cancer patients and has been written about in their magazine.  This is the philanthropist side of Shambhavi.

She was also awarded as Grand Master in Tarot Prediction by Inspire Awards and later was also bestowed with a WOW Personality Award which is Winners of Worthiness, in Excellence in Tarot.  That’s quite a feat to achieve in such a young age!

The young feminist..

Interpretation of a 20th Century 1980s song by a 21st Century girl.

Yesterday while surfing channels I stopped at a music channel which was playing 80s songs. It was playing the song “Ye tera ghar ye mera ghar” from the film Saath-saath where a couple happily sings about their new abode. My daughter was watching that song with me and after a while she remarked, “Why is it that the woman is doing all the household chores like washing utensils or cooking while the man is smiling and standing? Then why is he singing Ye tera ghar ye mera ghar when he isn’t sharing the chores?” While growing up I could never imagine that someday this song will be interpreted like this!

The social media syndrome

I am very active on the social media.  I am a part of many groups, I write a lot, interact a lot.  I even work as a social media specialist.  In short, social media is an integral part of my life.

But I guess reading too many articles on parenting, relationships, women has its own effect.  I remember when I got married and became mother social media was just budding.  It wasn’t so prevalent or popular.  But when I come to think of it, may be I was happier and less crankier!  Ya, ya..I blame my “hormones”, pressure of handling work, husband, children and other stressors of life but hey I was much “stressed” out may 10-15 years back!

I was raising 2 little kids, working from home, handling everything yet I was a lot less crankier.  Why?  May be because of social media exposure, I have started comparing my life more with others.  I feel may be the others are more successful, richer, happier, luckier than I am!  Going through various do’s and dont’s write-ups about parenting makes me feel may be I am a very bad parent!  When my husband requests me for a cup of tea suddenly the words of an article flash in front of my eyes where the husband subjugates the wife or doesn’t care about her!

None of this is true.  But as we all know, if we get exposed to particular things day in and day out somewhere it starts impacting us.  Often little issues are blown out of proportion in our minds.

When I got married, I was very happy to be a wife and mother, as frankly, I was yearning to play both these roles and God had been kind.  I loved taking care of them and I still do.  But somewhere reading about feminism daily, the daily dose of stay-at-home versus working mom battle, how women working in the kitchen is demeaning, how a woman’s life is finished post motherhood and so on and so forth drills ideas that I am not supposed to think about!  I have a very loving husband, 2 beautiful well-brought-up children, freedom to do anything I wish to..still!

May be this is the social media syndrome, which is affecting all of us in some way or the other!  May be life without too much exposure was better and less complicated…

The Lost Little Boy

The parents were frantically searching for their little boy as he was missing.  They had by chance gone to pick him from his tuition class where he his heart stopped for a minute when the teacher said that he hadn’t come to the class that day.  It was raining and hence he went to pick him up.  They would keep his cycle on the backseat.  He had waved them goodbye and left for the tuition class on his cycle.  Where could he be?  He was only 9 years old.  He didn’t have a mobile.  The father cursed himself that he didn’t know the names or whereabouts of his friends.  He couldn’t go back home empty handed.  His wife was already in a state of despair.  The mother went back home and started searching in the neighborhood.

What might have happened to him?  Did he meet with an accident?  But in that small patch from their home to the class there was no evidence of any fresh accident.  In a small town like theirs people could easily tell about any such incident.  Did he get kidnapped?  He couldn’t remember of any enemies that he had other than the occasional tiff with the contractors with whom he worked.  But they wouldn’t stoop so low.  Where, where was his little boy?

Drenched in the rain with the rain washing away his tears the little boy sat all alone crying bitterly.  He was lonely, frightened.  He had decided that he would go back home once the rain had stopped and the tuition time was over.  His parents wouldn’t know that he was not in the class.  He didn’t want them to know that he had skipped the classes few times before too.  He didn’t have the guts to tell them why?  He was shivering, felt hungry, yet he felt better sitting in that rain where no one could watch his tears.

The father was literally in tears when he couldn’t find his son anywhere.  It was getting dark and the rain was unstoppable.  He had decided that he would search in the area they lived in for one last time and then go to the police for help.  While searching the whole area and nearby places suddenly his father had a gut feeling to search the local school nearby which would be closed now.  Though he was sure that it was not the best of the places to search still he decided to take a chance.

As soon as he opened the old creaky gate he could see a small boy sitting on the stairs.  He was crying, frightened, shivering; he was his little boy.  The father ran towards his son, embraced him hard, and burst into tears.  Those were the tears of respite, relief, fear, happiness..

When they entered the home, the mother literally crushed her son in her arms and cried bitterly.  She said, “Do you know what we have been through? Why did you do this?”  She bathed him, changed him into fresh clothes, fed him, and when he was in a better shape, the parents again asked him, “Why did you do so?”  He kept quiet, his eyes brimming with tears.  The parents didn’t want to force him.  So, they let him sleep.  They kissed him good night once they felt he had slept.

The boy simply pretended to sleep.  How could he tell his parents that his tuition teacher, a young man in his 20s, asked him to take off his trousers and…..


It was my last day in the city..



This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Having lived in small towns all my life, I was elated when I came to Mumbai after marriage.  Who doesn’t want to live in this City of Dreams?  But wait..it was not easy.  I was slowly getting used to the hustle and bustle of the city, the traffic, the liveliness and was beginning to enjoy it.  Three years later, my husband got a promotion.  Being in a bank, it was mandatory to serve a rural posting.  Since he was born and brought up in Himachal Pradesh and it was his home state, he opted for posting in Himachal Pradesh.  Wow..again another dream come true!  Since childhood I had always wanted to visit Shimla but for some reason or the other could never visit it.  But now..I was going to live in that beautiful state!

Soon with a lot of excitement and dreams, I along with my husband and toddler son landed in the beauteous Dharamsala.  I was mesmerized to see the magnificent Dhauladhar mountain range.  It was a picture postcard.  Soon, we rented a house.  It was a huge house after Mumbai’s 1 BHK and the rent was also very less.  My son started with his playschool there.  Everything was fine except that like any hilly place or small town people winded up pretty early.  Every shop was shut by 7:30.  This was in stark contrast to Mumbai, a city that never sleeps.

After a year my husband was transferred to Mandi.  We rented a house just next to the Beas river.  Everything was beautiful but I missed the vibe of Mumbai.  I missed the hustle and bustle, the liveliness.  We enjoyed the long drives till Kullu, drove down to Chamba, Shimla, everywhere.  Still, everyday I prayed that some miracle happen and we go back to Mumbai.  My husband still had to serve his rural posting for some time.

One day out of nowhere, my husband got a call from another private bank for a job offer.  It was a position based out of Gujarat.  I was happy as my parents were in Gujarat.  A month later my husband got his appointment later and we were going to shift to Baroda, coincidentally a place where my parents lived!

I was happy.  This is what I had wished for, isn’t it?  I wanted to move out of Himachal and I was moving out.  But somewhere I felt sad.  Funny..right?  I myself didn’t realize when I had got attached to the state of my husband’s birth.  This was a place where my son started with his education.  This was a place where we soaked in the beauty of each and every locale.  This was the place where the people were simple and down to earth.

We drove down from Mandi to Baroda.  On the last day while we drove down, I bid adieu to Beas river, to the greenery, the mountains, the now-familiar locales, the roads, the market, the bridge, the temple, the Gurudwara…

Present day I am in Mumbai but still I get vivid dreams of those days in Himachal..