Monday, December 30, 2013

Celebrating 2013, being happy!!

Once again, the 365 days, are over. It's a year gone again. Another block of life. A hillock climbed, a paddock crossed. I am really excited to celebrate this new year. Not to ring in 2014, but to celebrate the accomplishments of 2013 - personal, professional and societal. 

So now, how shall we do that? Holiday? Party? Well, OK, Let's go for a holiday. OK. Where to? Copenhagen? Hamburg? Mora? Salen? Sundsvall? Where? Well any one of the above destinations could be like a 3 or 4 day break from Stockholm. 
Air? Train? Road trip? Ok, se we zero it down to a road trip. Hotels have rooms. 
Final question, keeping on mind V, my pre schooler. So- things to do? 

Amusement parks - closed
Nature reserves - closed
Santaworld - closed
Restaurants - closed
Most of the family options which come to your mind are "closed". 

What will we do at temperatures ranging from -2 to +6 degrees? Nothing? Yes, that's Europe. 

So here we are, watching back to back movies, with family, spending quality time with each other and with ourselves, happy. 😊 A visit to city centre for midnight fireworks will be a must. 

PS: Reminder set to grocery shop in the first half tomorrow, the world shuts done after 2pm (including supermarkets), to reopen on 2nd January 2014. 

Happy New Year

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wishlist for my child

Vihaan, my little bundle of joy. He is an extremely inquisitive and positively hyperactive 5 year old pre schooler. Being a first time mum was an overwhelming experience. Time has passed very quickly since then. As Vihaan turned 5, he has slowly grown up to be a boy from a baby. As most kids of his age, he is more independent, and likes to spend time with himself, his books, his whiteboard, his paints, his iPad, his games, his puzzles, and the list goes on. This has given me more time for myself including time for my hobbies and development of my thoughts for my boy.

Being a member of blogadda, I keep checking the prompts/ contests on the site, and try to blog my thoughts about them. HDFC Insurance contest was one such prompt which made me write this post, even though its the last day of entry today.

"5 presents which I want to gift my child in life" - well, I can list down plenty of them. Books, toys, new McQueen bed, or what not.. But the real present would be what will stay with him, forever. So here I pen them down. 
Every man makes his own destiny, but there are some factors behind his success and happiness. I would like to play my part as well. 

1. Good education. 

An educational institution (schools and graduate college) make the base of life. A school moulds a person to a considerable extent, not only with knowledge, but also with a personality which they carry forward in their life. That becomes the real you. 
I will enable Vihaan with the best education possible - best schools and best teachers. The definition of "best" may differ from person to person. For me, a good school is one which is many years old, which has brought out gems in the world, which focuses on making a human being and not just a career. (This can be discussed in a separate post altogether).

2. Enable him to tap his potential

I believe that every person on this earth, has a talent. Lucky are those who are aware of it. As a parent, I will help Vihaan identify his talent. This is easy. I will expose him to different options - physical sports like football, mental sports like chess, dance, drama, music - instruments and singing, books, writing, technical skills like helping his dad fix the car, cooking by helping me cook in the kitchen, and very many more, which again can be discussed in a separate post. I hope that this will help him understand his passion, which will be God's gift, his talent. 

3. Enable him to pursue his dream

What I love to do turns to be my life's dream. Some people call it your "hobby". Playing football or singing was once known as a hobby, a pastime.  Well, not anymore. One can and one should dedicate your life to what you love to do the most. 
Once step 2 is achieved, the important stage will come of nurturing it. Whatever it will be, he will have to nurture and polish it. If painting is what he wants to do, then he will need to learn the art of it. I will help him focus on the potential, instead of becoming a doctor/ engineer/ investment banker (if these are not his passion to be, ofcourse). 

4. Embed the virtue of fearlessness and being bold

Being bold in life is one if the important virtues of a human. Leading a fearless life is worth living. Do what you want to do, that, will make him happy. Having his own opinion without getting influenced, going forward and doing what is right without thinking of social consequences - will make him a satisfied man. And I wish to inculcate this in him. The world has many examples of people daring to tread a different path, and live a fearless life. 

5. My time, all through my life

This is the most important, and the most difficult being a working mum. But that is the challenge. Being with my son when he needs me - as a support, as a listener, as a teacher, as a friend, as a guide. In whichever way he needs - I promise him my time. My quality time. 

And this, my little love, is my wishlist for you, so that you fulfill your dreams - dreams of love, dreams of passion, dreams of joy. 

Love and hugs

This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Secret Santa loves his treats, @ Aishwaryaeats

Its that time of the year again - when the dark engulfs you at three pm and everything around you is snow clad. Along with the gloom, are the stars and lights in every window (almost like Diwali),  colorful scented candles at every corner of the room, cozy warmth of the couch, wine and warm food. 
And then comes Christmas, the birth of our savior, Lord Jesus. 

The joy of christmas is associated with happiness and love - hymns, mass, prayers, the christmas tree, presents, Secret Santa Claus, Rudolf and christmas dinners - turkey, cake, sausages, wine and lots more.  

This is a secret Santa post, the idea of which originated from, where I am proud member. Interested bloggers were allotted a blog to review. 

And I proudly present the food blog of Aishwarya Lahiri, the Masterchef and our very own Perky Angel Eyes indiblogeshwari-

The blog is all about the love of food, which Aishwarya carries in her heart. the blog has recipes, restaurant reviews, and some posts about "the rest". Each post has a signature, Aishwarya style. 

For someone with a sweet tooth, (I finished half a bounty and a bar of dark chocolate already), the blog is irresistible. Recipe posts focus on a lot of sweet stuff - all for the love of desserts and baking. (75% posts to be precise). The recipes are a delight to read, written in first person narrative and penned in a very easy to understand and easy to cook manner. Ingredients used are easy to procure. The posts are given full justice with elaborate and colorful pictures, watermarked as "Aishwaryaeats". 

There are some tempting posts of food, and my personal favorite is 

Coming to the restaurant reviews, it is important to mention here, that Aishwarya is a member of Bloggers table on the very popular "Chef at Large". The reviews are professional, supported with pictures of raw materials used in the restaurant kitchen, the actual cooking process, the presentation of food on the table and everything which would or would not pull the reader to the reviewed place. 

This maybe because for the love of my home town, dilli meri jaan,  Connaught Place and ofcourse the restaurant under review. 

Aishwarya has some personal reviews (non CAL posts), which focus on Pune and Delhi food junctions. 

A few posts, here and there, seem to speak the foodie's heart - with focus on the love for food and family - parents and grandparents. As they truly say, food cooked with love is much much tastier than any spread at any Michelin star restaurants. 

I, as a reader, would love to read a lot more posts from the talented Media planner who cooks with all her heart. I couldn't do much justice to the blog, but I hope the cheeky post title, will pull the Santa to your blog again and again and again..  

Wishing Aishwarya Lahiri all the best for a wonderful journey called life. 

And in the end I would love to say - 

Joy to the world,
The Lord has come,
Let earth receive her king,
Let every heart, prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing..

Merry Christmas!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

And miles to go before I sleep..

The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.. 

Robert Frost

Quite recently, there was a discussion amongst a group of bloggers, where I realized that it is high time I should think about my passion for life. What all do I want to do before I die? The list I penned down was endless, and impractical, sometimes way too optimistic. So I shrunk it, edited it, did some Ctrl - X, and wrote it down here. 

1. Work for children in India, for their education, for children with special needs. It could be volunteering or opening up an NGO. A small non government organization, or simply permanently attaching myself with some society for this purpose.

2. Travel every bit and part of India - cities, villages, towns, mountains, beaches. 

3. Write and publish a collection of prose and poetry - short stories, or a novel - fiction.

4. Own a small studio apartment in Mumbai - some 20th floor in South Mumbai AND Own a small cottage or an apartment in Landour, Mussorie. 

5. See my little boy, Vihaan, grow up as a well educated, well bred human being, excelling in whatever profession he choses for himself. 

Too much to ask for? 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I was surprised to see a parcel with my name on it - A birthday surprise!!!

It was A cold and snowy day in Stockholm. The flakes covered the city white. It looked beautiful from inside, but the temperature was hovering around -18 degrees. It was the16th of January 2013. That kind of weather was normal during those months. Mid noon, the sun decided to say hello, shine bright on the white. Trust me, I have never seen a more beautiful sight than that. It's like glittering diamonds scattered across all around me. 
In this part of the world, sunshine is taken as an opportunity to go out for workouts, walks, runs (yes, you read it correct, running on snow) etcetera. I was in the need of fresh air, i went out for a walk, 

A person like me, a birthday addict (my friends know this fact), just 2 days before my birthday, this one was walk down the memory lane, memories of my childhood birthdays, fun and frolic of the college days, birthdays with hubby darling, birthdays with bobo, and a lot more. I may talk about all that in a post next month, around my birthday ;). 
After an hour of day dreaming in the freezing col, walking around the frozen lake, my hands were numb inside the gloves, and my nose was pink and frozen. I decided to walk back home. 

Ting tong.. a super excited bobo opened the door for me, and was jumping with joy. Okay, what happened this time? "Moma, there is a parcel for you, with you name “Arpita Sharma” written on it. Open it mama, please…” 
I was surprised to see a parcel with my name on it, and there it was, sitting on the centre table, a big brown cardboard box, totally non-fancy, with lots of labels and seals. i started opening it. The articles were wrapped in the page 3 of a top Indian daily, and a part of me was tempted to read the paper before opening it further. Anyways, I tore it open, not one, not two, but three layers of it. 
and out came three beautiful books, the latest bestsellers, and a handmade card - from my mom and dad. “Happy birthday betu”, and a few more words full of emotions, and blessings. 

This was one of the best gifts I have received on my birthdays, because of the two factors - they were books, the source of joy, and the fact that it was a surprise, and a extremely joyous one. 
Thank you mum and dad, for that and everything, always.. 
Love you!! 

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