I’m FAT, but I’m HUMAN !! and that says it all.

About a week ago, when I went shopping for myself, I was surprised to get my package with something extra. It was a coupon: a coupon to purchase chocolates and cupcakes.

I love cupcakes! But did I really need a coupon to purchase them to come with my clothes?

And yet, I hardly think it’s pure coincidence that I came out with a coupon for cupcakes and chocolates.

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You see, I’m fat. So I went to a plus-size store to buy some great stuff. From a marketing standpoint, it makes a lot of sense, right? Plus-size stores need fat people to stay fat in order to stay in business — so if they toss a coupon to buy some pizzas and cupcakes in, with the clothes, then it’s a win/win for them. I get cupcakes and I remain fat so I have to keep buying my clothes as this store.

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That thinking reckons on one of the biggest stereotypes of fat people: that we (fatties) all eat ample amounts of food, all the time. But we don’t. Or rather, like not all thin people eat salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fat people, like thin people, come in all shapes and sizes, they also come with different appetites, metabolisms, and food preferences. Some days I eat a lot while other days I don’t. Some days I exercise for an hour and other days I don’t and behave lazy.

 

I’m fat but I’m human. Fat people are no more or less likely to eat a bunch of cupcakes in one sitting than a thin person. We must have all noticed at some point, when your friends or cousins or siblings eating lot more than what you eat, still thin. And we just breathing more air and drinking more water, raises the number on the weighing scale. Fat people are fat for any number of reasons, and some just are.

I’m fat for a combination of reasons — everyone in my maternal family is fat, I have hormonal imbalance issue (hypothyroidism), AND also I like to eat! I think that’s probably the case for a lot of people, like, their bodies are the way they are for a multitude of factors.

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Curvy, fit, strong, chubby, heavy, plus sized– I’ve held each of those titles at some point through my life – but never small, never petite. From a long time it seemed as though beautiful only came in one size. At the age of 34 I’ve made peace with most things about me. Yes, I’m plus sized right now, and no I’m not happy about it, but that doesn’t take away my beauty, my spark. I don’t need to sit in the sidelines while others take the stage. It’s where I’m on the scale – it is not where I am in life. With the plus sized status, I’m also beautiful, smart, funny, witty, introspective, creative, open minded and great.

 

Actually, I don’t want anyone to judge other people for their appearance. Most people have something they would like to change about themselves, something they are sensitive about – whether it be their weight or hair or nose or chewed nails, their height or their stature. It doesn’t mean they aren’t good, kind, smart and intelligent people.

 

It doesn’t matter.

That’s right, it really doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you live your life. I plan to live it—fully, unapologetically, and no longer wastefully. Life is not about fat legs, or skinny legs, or being perfect. Life is simply meant to be lived!!

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And now some TRUTH:

  • Fat people don’t hate themselves!! I don’t wake up every day loving myself, but no one does. That’s a problem that disturbs us all, not just fat people.
  • Fat people are not lazy. Many of us fats are quite active, smart, and gorgeous, even if you don’t think so. (Which is okay!).
  • You cannot tell if someone is healthy simply by looking at them. I’m fat but I’ve got no significant health problems. No back issues, my blood pressure is awesome, my cholesterol is perfect.
  • It’s not possible for everyone to “just lose weight” even if they want it bad enough, try hard enough. I would bet you money that most fat people you’ve met have wanted it bad enough, do try incredibly hard, and have tried every way under the sun.
  • And the last of all — All bodies deserve respect. Even if you think I’m gross because I’m fat, I at least deserve to be treated like I’m a human being. Because I am !!!!
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THANKSGIVING : Practicing Gratitude

Thanksgiving, a holiday that’s celebrated in the USA. It’s a time to realize gratitude and our many blessings. Traditionally, the families gathers in giant circles and says out loud what they are thankful for. Although we do not celebrate thanksgiving here in India, but it is always good to teach children about such holidays. They should learn to give and share with love, they should be thankful for whatever they receive, and show gratitude. I love sharing stories and knowledge with my kids.

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When at the dinner table we discuss endless things, this time we talked about Thanksgiving. After explaining the importance of the day, I asked my 7 year old girl, what is she thankful for. And her answer rolled instantly, “My new Barbie, the princess dress and the games and books…..” that I got for her. These are exactly the things she should be thankful for. She is just a kid and her list made me smile.

 

All I want my children to think beyond their little world of toys, dolls and friends. I want them to know not every child has a huge number of toys, not every child is privileged to go to a great school, wear fancy clothes and have lavish meal-time.

 

No, we were never living in poverty, but after my husband, those months of very little income and tightening the budget tremendously – taught me that material possessions are something one should never take for granted. There are some weird facts about surviving with very little but I want my children to know and talk about it all.

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Sanmati Baal Niketan Orphanage

This Thanksgiving, gave me the opportunity to talk about it in ways they can understand. As we planned to visit the orphanage SANMATI BAAL NIKETAN again this year, (which I have fixed visiting every year, to mark the date it’s the death anniversary of my husband) we got to talk about donating stuff and food. We discussed how valuable small amounts of food are for families and kids, eating just one meal a day. As a mother,  when I feel about what it means to struggle, I can’t help but want to do something. I try to do what I can and I teach my children to do the same. Even a small gesture of helping others makes a difference. Each small thing is a contribution to a great world.

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Kids enjoying special meal (with sweets)

 

 

I would say in 2015, I’m thankful for. . .

 

My kids, my parents and siblings.

My close friends. I have a few of them.

The fact that I got a really nice job, that redefined my economic standing.

I have a lot to be profoundly thankful for this year. Transition isn’t easy and no one does it alone. This year, I’ve gotten to spread my wings and truly fly. I’ve been both fortunate and privileged and that’s something I don’t ever want to forget.

I am thankful for all I have in my life, I could have more, but I could certainly have a lot less too. I have more than I need and I have the privilege to share, I am indeed a lucky woman.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone !!

Spreading LOVE

Yesterday was a big day for me and kids. Not because its some special day but because we visited an orphanage, which actually brought  a gush of emotions and compelled us to think and view a different side of life. We (TEAM HAPPY FEET) can happily say that this outing proved to be a milestone to us and kids as a tool for learning and fomenting thought development. Not only that, we are also certain that we will be learning a lot from them as well, including experiences about life such as being grateful and being genuinely happy with what we have.

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Before we even got to meet the kids, we were offered a tour around the property. Walking around, it was a pleasant surprise to see how my expectations of a dusty and sad place were replaced by the reality of a heartwarming, and welcoming environment and the children smiled with sparkling and curious eyes as we walked by them. We were pleasantly surprised to encounter such happy and lively kids who we could get along with easily. And we were even more surprised to see how they warmed up to us.

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Once we finished our tour around the property, we gathered the kids for some interactive session with them to help us get to know them and encourage their trust. We got to know a lot about them: their favorite colors, what they like to do, what is their favorite sport and also their favorite subjects. It was good to know that all the kids were attending school.

sindutai - CopyThe experience was, without shadow of a doubt, one of the most rewarding and fulfilling we have had. It was an afternoon spent with fun and getting to know the children a little better. By the end of the visit, we had learned most of their names and they had learned ours. It is an understatement to say time passed quickly, when we realized we had to go, it was well after the time we had intended to leave.

Now, for my reflection of the experience I had, it’s very heart-warming. Looking at the happiness and potential of those kids, I asked myself, isn’t it unfair for them to be here? But there’s a reason for everything. The lives of these children can mean a lot of success stories. They can change the world if they would want to, and their lives can be an example to the fatherless, for those who have fathers and mothers, for those who grew up in their families. This visit brought the raw emotions ring loud and clear. It’s so hard to come to grips with the realities of the world.

I was almost numb when the kids gave us two special numbers. They sang to us their two prayers. One which they recite before meals and the other is the evening prayer. The lines that struck me were the words that go something like this:

We were unfortunate–barefooted, no shelter, no life. But God sent you here to let us know that we are loved, nurtured, and… Thank You, God for we are precious in Your eyes, a precious heritage, Your child!” ( it was in Marathi ). I couldn’t remember the exact words.The other one was “tumhi ho mata pita tumhi ho…..” ( in Hindi ).

This experience gave me deeper love and understanding for the children, particularly those who are abandoned, neglected, and orphaned. And I hope, through sharing this experience, you would also love them too. It has made me realize how fortunate I am to be living where we can easily take things for granted. We complain about the smallest things and crib about useless stuff and yet seeing the children from the orphanage made me realize that they live a very simple life and yet they are very happy.

This visit was actually a part of project given by the school. After the visit the kids realized how important it is to have parents, what all they provide them without even thinking twice. The girls accompanied us were all class five students of St.Mary’s School, Pune. While coming back from there,on the way, we had a deep discussion about the kids and their daily routine. Throughout the discussion I realized that the girls have been really moved by their gesture, though the kids there were orphans.

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Through this visit our kids learned the little things in life can also make you happy and content. The unprivileged lot were without accusation, criticism and grievance. Our kids were educated about humanity and mankind. Also the parents of the girls, who visited the orphanage with me observed changes in their behavior. They were more thankful and respected the parents.

20140918_154122Many of us have already visited the place and tried our best to help them through donations which are used for their education and well being.They do not accept outside food except biscuits and other packet snacks. Anyone who would like to visit the place, below are the contact details.

After visiting the place, I, Myself have decided to visit the ashram once a year, and to keep myself reminded about the date, I chose the day of the death anniversary of my husband. Each one of us should try and do something to help the needy. There are various such organizations which are helping the poor, needy and the orphans. Try and locate one in your community.

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Life can be unfair at times but trust like this, people like Sindhutai Sapkal known by all as “MAI” makes me believe in goodness of life. Last but not least, we would like to give a special thanks to Mrs.Madhvi for allowing us to visit Sanmati Bal Niketan at Manjari,Pune and for guiding us the entire way. Also thanks to the staff of that wonderful place, for motivating us to interact with the children.

for contacting them here is the link http://sindhutai.apneareamein.com/

CHEERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

originally written for mycity4kids.com

She flies like a bird…… gliding!!!

Zip… Zaaap.. Zooooom…!!!! And here goes my little bundle, my sweetheart !!

With a dream in her heart and the passion in her eyes, she flies like a bird, with her skates on, aiming to touch the sky and fly beyond.

It all started at a tender age of 3, when she saw her cousin skating in his society. All she wanted to do was, wear his skating shoes, although they were at least 2 sizes bigger. We tried to convince her but in vain. She started up with some tantrums and we had to give her the skating shoes. The smile was priceless when she tried to move with them. Fell several times, got up, started again, fell down and the same was repeated, until she banged the front door and got a bruise. As we were sure to receive a shrieking and wailing episode, we were stunned to know, that the girl didn’t cry instead got up and started back. That was just the beginning for her, and we thought it will be over after this.

Again, after few days we went shopping and she saw the skates on display, seeing her so keen on wearing them my husband decided to buy them for her. Fortunately, we have skating coach coming to our society building and I started her coaching. In no time, almost less than a month, she was able to glide so well. Being in the category of Early Starters she picked up quite appropriately and smoothly.

It developed into a fabulous hobby for her, we could sense the intensity and efforts she was putting in to learn. Her coach guided us well and started sending her in competitions after 4 years. Her perseverance and dedication showed results. To our surprise she stood first in age group category. And then there was no looking back. She is 7 yrs and still skating, now with the professional skates. I feel so proud to see her, every time she flaunts with her skates, but she deserves to do that.

For anything that a child is putting his/her cent percent, it is necessary for the parents to give in their best input, coaching or equipment required. A child can show very early traits, which need to be noticed and appreciated by the parents to bring the talent out and help in reaching new heights. We are happy that we were able to find an early starter in our daughter.

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For her, skating is intrinsically satisfying, she is naturally inclined to the movements that she experiences while skating. It has provided her self confidence and also helped her develop physical and mental success. She has a burning fire for skating. At this early age not only she is living skating but breathing it. She is very keen on learning different heights, technical movements and speed.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to make every experience into fun and valuable for the child. A child needs to have positively boosting experiences that delineate them how they can solve problems, attain goals, and have control over the direction their life will take. Phenomenally, the concepts that are learned while achieving a skill are just as important as the skill itself. A young person who experiences the success of attaining set goals, has developed a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem, can also relate and interact positively with others, is undoubtedly going to approach future challenges and obstacles in life with increased chances for success. When exploited properly the act of skating can literally be the channel to enhance adaptations to almost any challenge or experience she may confront in life.

I do not expect her to become an Olympian or a national player, I just want her to live her dream. I want her to remain fit and build self-esteem. She is growing fast, and changing everyday. Her dreams and her goals may also change. Her interests and her participation in activities and sports are ought to change. But I only know this, that I need to be supportive while she strives to find her niche in life.

#EarlyStarters #Aviva #contest #article

originally written for mycity4kids.com

Parenting at a Better LEVEL

You should have met me 10 years back. My life was well straightened out, like a catalogue, coordinated and tabulated. Then I had the opportunity of becoming a mother for the first time, and an excuse for being the forgetful, perturbed person. A chunk that was existing, vanished after my second child was born. The title of Stay-At-Home-Mom sometimes seemed like the Sloppy-And-Heedless-Mom (SAHM).

The age difference between my kids is 6 years, which keeps me juggling amid their routines. When the young one needs to be fed, cleaned and potty-trained, the elder one is to be dropped at school and different activity classes. Maintaining a balance, I try hard to keep them fixed in their schedules. Although I stick to the routines, I tend to skip here and there.

Being a parent is a tough, hard and challenging journey. The great thing about living in a digital world is that there are a lot of apps out there today to help make jobs a bit easier. Whether it’s having fun with kids or helping manage schedules, there is this app for all that. Of course, there is no app that can make you into a perfect parent, but there are apps that can help with bits and pieces of parenting (advice, scheduling, tasks and to-do’s, education, etc.)

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/foods-and-fads/article/parenting-at-a-better-level

#FamilyOrganizerApp is a new app designed for parenting with children from the newborns through the different age groups.

It is a user-friendly innovation designed for i-phones, androids or i-pads to make high quality, research-based information available for parents. To reach all parents with key information that can help them to spend more resourceful and fun time, and support the parents as their children grow. Entering updates is effortless, the user interface is easy to use, and reporting features are neat.

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For parents with babies, it’s a great way to track blogs and share experiences about sleeping, feeding, growth, health, key milestones etc. Similarly there are discussions on blogs, activities in and around your city and other information for all age groups. This is surely parenting at a better level.

#FamilyOrganizerApp is FREE

It manages the chaos of tuitions, classes, school assignments and everyday life. It’s a must-have app for the families :

  • It will help keep a record of schedules and activities.
  • You can make and share the grocery or shopping list.
  • Discover events for children in your city.
  • Helpful guide for moms and dads through the parenting blogs.
  • Following your favorite bloggers.
  • Access and update from any mobile device or computer.
  • The app also features a to-do list tracker.
  • Choosing a color code for every member of the family makes the work more easy.

This app’s features will provide you with almost everything you need to keep your family organized. It’s the free app for new moms, already couples into parenting and among parents with children of all ages.This app is also great for busy dads. It allows them to keep the whole household (schedules, activities, appointments etc) all in one place. No more questions about what‘s going on with the entire family schedule.It is a social network just for your family. It’s completely private and your own. Technically this is called #ParentingFromTheSamePage .

sponsored write up for FAMILY ORGANIZER APP at www.mycity4kids.com

Humanity washed ashore

We are Human Beings….. the so-called race, capable of understanding Humanity and compassion. Are we supposed to keep our feelings contained, for no good reason, like pouring the water in the glass until the glass overflows?

One particular image that haunted me as many others.My mind immediately thought of my own children, of sand castles and ice cream, of shrill of contentment as the waves came in. I thought of those ominous waves taking the life of a baby, and yes I wanted to hold my children tighter, with guilty relief they were safe. Being a mother to two beautiful kids unquestionably breeds up your emotional quotient.

A comic series by Symbolia and Years of living Dangerously gives a detailed series of everything you would like to know about Syria.

Like me, you may have paused a moment to think about how lucky we are to live in countries where bombing raids are not everyday occurrences, where death doesn’t come hurtling from the sky. I have felt shock when I saw the photo of that little boy. It took me a few moments to understand what I was looking at, that this wasn’t a baby sleeping, but a lifeless child being washed by waves. I felt a chill on the perception and was unable to stop the tears that followed.

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I realized that the news and social media are going to be dominated by just one story, so I turned off. But I can not turn off my empathy, my sorrow, or my compassion, I knew they were there. So often when a tragedy is making headlines we can feel we must look, despite the pain it might cause us. There are lots of discussions about, whether the image of Aylan should be shown and shared or not. Is it important to bear witness or ignore the sufferings cowardly?

We are strong, we are brave and we care enough, still no one can know what is in our hearts, no one can decide the exact or the correct amount of pain. All this, in fact, shows that our hard and strong emotion is somehow our weakness, rather than a sign of our humanity. If we get caught up in the need to be brave, or strong, or whatever term society teaches is better than showing our emotions, we can end up in a far worse place. We can actually end up unable to do anything about the situation which is moving us.

It is OK to accept your humanity, and say, I need to look away, It is okay to look away, I need a pause, a hiatus from these feelings, I need to hug my own children, and look at them.

All said and done, what we can wish for is ONE WORLD. A world without the boundaries, without the limitations and without the geographically depicted edges and channels, where people can travel openly, with discretion and pleasure, without despair or doubt, no worries about Immigration Laws and Visa. Without calling them “refugees” and “aliens”. Are we not humans, irrespective of what land or what nationality we belong to? We all fit in one race – Humans. And if humans can’t help humans than nobody can. We see humans everywhere without a sign humanity, and that have been recently proved through the Syrian crisis, to survive you need to bribe, to take shelter in another country you need to wait, wait until you exist no more.

I am not sure how the European leaders will tackle the refugee crisis, but it is a shame on the world.

The Indrani Mukherjea Matrix

Indrani Mukherjea saga persisting these days is like watching serials on COLOURS and STAR PLUS. Every time you watch them inconsistently, you will find the male lead with a new wife. There is lot of drama,multiple relationships,  complicated upbringing, never ending lies and of course suspense and thriller….. from childhood to old age, similar to this case. Media and bloggers are comparing her to Donald Draper of MAD MEN or GONE GIRL.

A 2nd wife of her 3rd husband is charged along with her 2nd husband for killing her daughter from her 1st husband who was having an affair with her 3rd husband’s son from his 1st wife….. it’s so convoluted. One,actually,needs to sit with a pen and a paper to understand this knotty family tree and the who’s who of the story. That what I did,I literally drafted. And just when I had done with the perceptive, there emerged the fourth and the fifth man in Indrani’s tale.

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Let us first understand the case.Sheena Bora, a 24 years old girl was murdered by her very own sister Indrani Mukherjea, the wife of  former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea. Indrani was arrested by the police on the 24th of August 2015, after more than two long years of the murder. The case took a sensational twist when Indrani told the police that  Sheena Bora was not her sister but her very own daughter. The case took another sharp turn when the Mumbai police arrested the former husband of Indrani, Sanjeev Khanna, in connection with the case in Kolkata. Sheena is stated to be Indrani’s daughter from her first marriage with Siddharth Das. The reason of the murder was still a mystery when the case encountered a new turn of Sheena having a relationship with Rahul Mukherjea, son of Peter Mukherjea from his previous marriage and Indrani was not very happy with their relationship. So the reason of the murder can be anything from money to honor killing or may be something entirely different from the conventional murder mysteries, no one knows that but only Indrani.the rise of Indrani

Murder cases are not new to the Indian society. Many areas of India find cases of girls being killed by their own parents because they dared to marry without their approval, although now the police rules out honor killing in this case. Murders due to money or properties are not alien. There are few questions that come up.

Then, what led this case to seek an immensely humongous attention? Well the answer is simple, this case consists of a web of money, power, prestige, lies and confusing relationships.

So, does the case reflect the truth of the High-profile society?

Not exactly true. High profile or otherwise….. people can get morbidly sick when it comes to money, power greed etc. This is the consequence of the actions of a bunch of such people. May be this unfortunate girl was close to pulling the rug from underneath their deceitful ways and they couldn’t let that happen. So they didn’t care if it was one of their own.

Indrani Mukherjea’s case also openly reveals the dark sides of a woman’s lust for money, power, sex and dominance. (Not being generalized. I am also a woman. You could easily replace woman with man here. Men also have lust for power, money, sex and dominance). What Indrani Mukherjea’s case tells us is same as any other case, some people are disgusting, terrible and full of shit. On a general note, I do think women are sometimes pitied and given benefit of the doubt for no reason, even if they might be guilty. It is indeed ridiculous to assume every woman being greedy. Most of us work very very hard to reach where we are.

Now comes the role of the media. Media covers the case in some other dimension altogether. This is a murder case. The reason has got nothing to do with the what expensive brands and makeup Indrani Mukherjea wears, the number of marriages and relationships she have had, her proximity with “other men” in her Facebook profile pictures, the number of children of hers with her different husbands, her ever smiling face in various pictures with men, the pictures of hers with a glass of champagne enjoying her holidays, the possible reasons of her broken marriages, she being influenced by the western culture and the modern lifestyle. The murder case is being molded to something else which represents nothing but the absolute absence of the right direction.

As far as Sheena Bora murder mystery is concerned it will be a hot topic for media to increase their TRPs. The jokes and memes on the social networking sites will continue.

But if you look from common man’s perspective it’s not at all concerned to their day to day life also it’s impact is low. They still want to know when the onion prices will go down?

And I want to know how old is Indrani Mukherjea 😉