Naani Ghar: A Real House of warmth! 104

For me, summer vacations and Naani(grandmother) ka Ghar were synonymous and my best time of the year. Mid- May our summer vacations used to start and our preparations.. well they started much before that, somewhere around April end or so, good 15 days in advance!

I was always very excited and happy to visit my maternal home where there was joy and happiness all around. My Naani ghar was a huge house with massive ground full of trees and plants and once out of the boundaries of house, there were padded fields for us to trace down till we had the energy to walk. This house was my first ever encounter with the essence of India and maybe that was why I love it so much.

All that we see in Bollywood movies today, the ones that want to be realistic and show the rural India, I vouch that they are only able to show 10% of what rural India is. I remember as soon as we used to reach naani ghar , my grandma used to, first of all, rotate a huge jug filled with water over us, to shoo away any evil eye(buri nazar) that might have accompanied us in the road journey from our place to her’s. I still fail to understand the logic but then if that made her happy, it had to be okay!

Then, as soon as we(me & my sis) entered, our faces used to have a broad smile on greeting our girl squad of 4 sisters there. That was “my gang”, partners in crime for everything that was to come in 1 month of our stay. We were then offered a glass of sharbat(mix of chilled water from the well, lemon juice, sugar, pinch of rock salt and love) and homemade sweets. I remember there was no fridge and believe me there was no need also since the water from the well used to be really soothing and had a very addictive taste, much much different and refreshing from the cold water that is kept in our refrigerators.

The food was made on mud chulhas and trust me till date never ever have I had such satisfying, yummy and tempting food in any of the five or seven-star restaurants that I have been to. A simple yellow daal and rice with phulkas from that mud chulha can make your day much brighter and happier and when this was accompanied by my grandma’s special mango pickle, well I have no words to describe the taste.

After lunch, we used to play under the shades of trees and plucking mangoes used to be our favourite thing. The greenery, padded fields, mud roads, old architectural style doors, windows and house, all this and much more has left me with so many memories that every time a memory crosses my mind, I can only smile.

Those nights, when all us kids used to lie down on our cots in the open ground, under the moonlight, protected by mosquito nets and gazed at the starlit sky and the jugnus (glow worm) around. telling each other stories and slowly going off to sleep making plans for the next day, how can one ever forget those!

Every morning, waking up to the sounds of birds and lovely sight of a beautiful peacock dancing around you, can anything be more enchanting than this? Nothing, Right! That is exactly the charm that this place used to hold and is the reason why my summer vacations used to be the best time of the year.

As soon as the day to leave arrived, my gang and I used to be so gloomy, sad and teary eyed. We used to make promises to each other to meet soon with new set of ideas to play and have fun but even this gloomy mood was turned into a super happy one by naani when she used to give us our gifts, she was a real magician.

With years galloping away and responsibilities piling up, it has been difficult to visit naani ghar, but these memories.. they refresh me and make me happy whenever I think of them.

At times, I really miss my Naani(she is in safe hands of god now) and Naani Ghar.

What is your favorite memory of summer vacation…especially Naani house?

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“I Fear a Relapse”, Says Deepika Padukone. 1359

The trailer of the most awaited Padmavati movie was released making us wait on a tiptoe for the movie to be released soon which is actually on December 1st, 2017 (See the trailer here). While on-screen Rani Padmini fights for her honor, the actress who plays the role, Deepika Padukone is fighting altogether a different battle in her real life.

While shooting for the Happy New Year movie, Deepika was fighting her inner battle of depression. Although she did not realize it then. Her mother who came to visit felt there was something wrong and requested Anna Chandy, a psychiatrist from Bengaluru to talk to her daughter. Though Deepika ignored it for a period of time, she finally recognized her problem and took steps to cure it. However, in a recent event, while talking about the Jauhar scene of Rani Padmini in the movie Padmavati, she revealed that she lives in a constant fear of a relapse of depression. She said “ I don’t think, I am completely over it. There is always a fear of relapse as that phase when it happened is the worst experience in my life”.

Since her opening up about her condition in public, there are numerous articles written about depression and there are plenty of suggestion available for someone who is looking for help. But, the truth is a lot many of the population who are suffering from depression do not know that they have it and they need help. Most of them try to think it is nothing but stress, fatigue and they are over-worked.

Like Deepika said in one of her interviews earlier while talking about her feelings during the time, being sad and being depressed are two different things. When someone is sad, they look sad, but when someone is depressed, most of the times they hide it. They try to behave normally while the feeling of emptiness keeps nagging at them. You do not have to be poor or have to lose something in life to be depressed. Sometimes the feeling of depression has no reason.

How to recognize the signs?

When someone is depressed, you may notice certain changes in them. Such as,

  • Less interested in daily activities
  • Loss of appetite and weight changes (can lose or gain)
  • being angry and irritable most of the times
  • less energised
  • self-loathing
  • reckless behaviors
  • Change in sleeping patterns

These are some of the changes we notice in a depressed person, not for few days but on a regular basis. If you spot these in someone or if you are facing it yourself, get help. There is no age or gender who are affected by depression.

Recognizing and understanding the symptoms of depression is the first step to finding a solution. Once you know, meet a good psychiatrist and get help. There is no shame in finding help to cure a mental illness. We meet our doctors for physical illness. In the same way, sometimes our mind also need that extra help too.

Do not, I repeat do not ever be afraid to ask for help!!! Because you might be surprised that there are so many good people around you who really care and want to help you.

Marriage – the funniest ironical institution in India 225

Many people would not be able to figure out the mistake in the following figure. Well, there is no grammatical mistake, there is no printing error or any other fault in it. If you still haven’t figured it out, I have an answer for you, I would like you to face the ironical reality of the modern world or the 21st century where the thoughts and ideologies of Paleolithic age still prevails.

Women have always been considered as a pillar of the society, we have given her various names, we worship her, pamper her and consider her to be the live giver; there is nothing wrong in it. However, it blows my mind to see such kind of ideas still prevail in the society. I personally feel that a woman gets a chance to change her life, the first time she is born, the second time her life changes when she gets married and the third time she changes her life when she gives birth to a new life. But, amidst all this ebb and flow of life cycle, why is there a question that she needs to answer every time. Why is there a need to prove that she can equally love her parent and in-laws? Well, if you feel that I am proclaiming something different, then you must have a look at the picture here.

I find arrange marriages to be the funniest institution in India. Irrespective of the fact that I am a party to it, I still believe that it has some funny traditions and beliefs flowing in it. I would like to highlight a few-

  • The first thing that we say in India is, “Shaadi hamesha barabari ke khaandaan mein honi chahiye (One should get married in a family who is equal in status with the other),” Well, if that is true, why this equivalence is only restricted to money, why no one questions on thoughts, beliefs, ideas, vision etc. Yes, money is important to run a family, but imagine a situation where you have a big house, a big car etc. but both husband and wife are never on the same page. Is that the mantra for a happy married life? At least I don’t feel so.
  • Another popular phrase which we commonly here during the marriage is that “Shaadi to parivaaro ka mail hai ( Marriage is not between two people, it is the bonding of two families,” if that is so, why a girl has to put her in-laws first and ignore her parents. If that’s not the truth, I would again request you to run through the picture above. Why can’t both the families co-exist. Although, things are changing, the ground reality is different.
  • One of the common things I have heard is, “ Ladki ko sasural ke hisab se adjust karna chahiye (girl must learn to compromise and live as per her in-laws and husband),” there is nothing wrong in it and I too believe in it, but what if we tweaked this scenario, like both the parties can make slight adjustments so that everyone is happy and the guy or the husband doesn’t have to take sides.

What I have written is not new or neither revolutionary, I have actually started to find our society to be hilarious. We are never in a phase to create an equal world, rather we always pester on the fact that one has to be above, I think this hierarchical ideology is still haunting us since the time of Britishers. I don’t know how much change will come in the times to come, but, even if one person transforms after reading this, I will feel content.