Do Small Things in a Great Way

Martin Luther King Jr once said, ” if I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”. This inspirational quote literally means that great things need not always be a convoluted plot or an elaborate task. Doing everyday small deeds of kindness could also amount up to greatness.
There are many examples of highly celebrated philanthropists. However, today I will speak of a lesser known lady, whose greatness even moved King Edward VII of Great Britain.

Dokka Seethamma was born in the mid-1800s and lived her life during the British colonial rule. She was born into an ordinary family in Andhra Pradesh but married a rich farmer. Her greatness lies in the simple life she leads while doing great service to the poor and the lonely. She is known for her extreme generosity at serving food to everyone. She made it her life goal to feed any and every traveller, poor and homeless person that she encountered. Any time if the day or night, if anyone asked for food, she was ready to serve. She and her husband Dokka Joganna spent their life’s earning to ‘annadanam’ for the needy and the poor. Her name and fame spread far as ‘Apara Annapurna’. The title is representative of her role as someone who feeds the hungry.

Annadanam program at Tirupathi Temple

When King Edward VII heard about this great lady, he sent her an invite to come for his birthday celebrations. When the chief secretary of Madras presidency went to invite her, she politely declines. She said that her goal was only to feed the hungry and not the gather fame or publicity. The king was moved by her ideas and placed an honorary seat with her photograph at his table.

Srimati Dokka Seethamma, with a simple deed of feeding the hungry, has achieved the greatness that few can dream of. She has proved to us that however small a deed may appear, when we do it wholeheartedly with good intentions, only greatness results from it.

The Election Results Are Out…..Now What??

India had its first General Elections in the year 1951, since then India has conducted elections every five years to elect the Prime Minister. This year, the Lok Sabha elections were held for the 17th time. Lok Sabha is the lower house and with this election, the members of the Parliament are appointed. Every state also conducts its own elections, called the Assembly elections.

The state of Andhra Pradesh was formed, recently in 2014, and they held their second general elections this year.

election winner

For the past several months, there was a frenzy of activity for elections and the media covered it all. Any channel you tune into, one could hear all kinds of analysis, opinion polls, predictions, pointing fingers and breaking news upon breaking news. News anchors appeared out of the blue on busy streets and bazaars for interviews. They would stick their mic into the face of unsuspecting strangers asking, “Who do you think will win this election and why?” The politicians went channel hopping giving interviews, sitting for discussions with their pet channels. They would rain spit over the microphone during heated arguments with political opponents.

The electorate of India lapped up all this and more from the social media which has now become the informal fifth leg of the government. The Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary are the three pillars of government and Media is the fourth pillar.

But, now social media has become the new fifth pillar. Social media was super active with comical gifs, images, trolls and what not. After all the din, the elections were conducted in a free and fair manner and the results were declared.

election winner 3

The outcome of these elections is that Narendra Modi has won the Parliamentary election and Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy has won the Assembly elections in the state of Andhra Pradesh. My hearty congratulations and best wishes to all the winners. The supporters of the winning parties all over the country are in celebratory mode and the losers are no doubt feeling low.

Like they say: “Success is never final and failure never fatal”, there is no need to feel depressed. People will never fail to notice sincere hard work, loyalty, talent and skill to lead the country in the right direction. This loss is a time to reevaluate the work they have done for the country and victory is a time to make good use of the trust that people have placed on them. In short, the mantra is: Work in the best interest of the country and its people.

Most people might feel, now that the elections are done they can get back to their routine. I beg to differ. Actually, the story begins here. Given the existing challenges, we need to see how they deal with these problems and what kind of decisions they make. Today the world political scenario is volatile; this adds greater responsibility on the Prime Minister. Andhra Pradesh needs to build a proper capital city and develop its infrastructure while they are cash strapped. It has to be seen how Y.S. Jagan will deal with these challenges.

After the elections, we need to work with the government by encouraging the ministers for the good things they do and let them know when they make decisions that are not in the best interest of the people and the country. After the elections, it is time for us to forget all about which political party we backed and actively work towards the development of the country and its people. Where there is a will there is a way, so look around and see what little one can do to contribute towards the greater good and do it.

Sometimes we take the power in our hands for granted. There are countries in the world that either don’t have a democratic form of government or it is some other form of government cloaked in a democracy like the proverbial wolf in sheepskin.  People in democratic countries need to understand that power lies in the hands of the people and they must value this power. Work with your leaders to make democracy a success. Today, irrespective of which political party scored the max votes, it is Indian democracy that has triumphed.

First Review Of Aladdin

Hello everybody. Yesterday, I went to watch Aladdin on the opening night, here in Jamaica. Wow! It was wonderful, I loved it and so I am here to write about it and share my feeling with all of you.

Aladdin

It’s a story that I read countless times since childhood and watched even the television cartoon series also during the 1990s. I went to the movie expecting the same old stuff but wanted to see how Will Smith played the Genie. I liked it so much that I want to watch it another time.

The 2019 film Aladdin was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by John August. Will Smith played the eccentric and comical Genie with easy and he nailed it. Mena Massoud as Aladdin looked very handsome and perfect for the role, Naomi Scott as Jasmine looked beautiful and Marwan Kenzari played the evil wazir, Jafar. Alan Tudyk gave his voice for Jafar’s pet bird Iago. Abu, the kleptomaniac monkey pet of Aladdin, was cute. The comical, musical, fantasy did not miss a single beat. I enjoyed all the songs and was waiting for the old favourite “A whole new world…”. The costumes were dazzling, and the sets were superb, it was a splash of colours on the screen.

This movie is a total entertainer. Some dialogues of Will Smith had deep meaning. For example, he says something like… “the funny thing about wishes is that the more you have the more you want”. Overall I loved the movie and I can watch it again. A big thumbs-up from me.

And, I will rate it 4 stars out of 5.

Kemmangundi Hills: The Hill Station Of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV

In the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka, there is an idyllic hill station located at 1434 meters above sea level. This hill station is Kemmangundi hills or KG hills, as it is commonly called. The place is located in Terikere taluk in Chikkamagaluru district. It is close to 250 km from the capital city of Bengaluru.

There are many places to visit in Kemmangundi hills and the surrounding locales. With rolling hills, thick forest cover and the many waterfalls, KG Hills is unmissable. Here are some of the more popular spots I have visited in KG Hills:

  • Trek to Z Point
  • Trek To Gorilla Point
  • Hebbe Falls
  • Kalahatti Falls
  • Shanti Falls
  • Mullayanagiri peak
  • Baba Budangiri peak etc

The weather is also quite ideal all-round the year. The highs always stay within 30 degrees Celsius and the low goes up to 10 degrees Celsius in winters. I have included pictures of the foggy mornings and amazing view from the peaks.

The Lessons I Learnt from an Unpleasant Friendship

She was not really “my” friend, she was introduced to me as my husband’s friend’s wife. That’s how I met her for the first time. Since then this friendship became a test for my patience. Patience that could not last beyond five years and one day I had to put an end to this ordeal. Today looking back at those days I wonder if there is anything that I should have done differently?

unplesant friends

Right from the very start I felt she was boastful about almost everything she did. She talked greatly of herself, her kids, her life and carrier etc. In her view, she is never wrong and she is always the best. Every decision she took, be it great or small, she had the desperate need to explain to people what a great thing she did. The icing on the cake was how she insisted others should follow suit. If by any chance she felt that someone else is doing better than her, she would spread lies about them or put them down publicly, say hurtful things and embarrass them.

Jealousy

This level of overconfidence, overbearing attitude, intense enviousness, pompousness was too much to swallow. It gets dark and unpleasant when she looked upon others as lower in intellect and class than herself and was never shy of showering her arrogance.  She once said, “There is no one and nothing in this world that money can’t buy”. People should not be treated so cheaply I thought.

Most of the time I listen to whatever she had to say about other people and about me and responded only with a smile. Sometimes I tried explaining to her but she never tried to understand. I noticed a total lack of empathy for my feelings, needs and wishes. I did a lot of soul searching and self-assessment due to the fear that I might be misunderstanding this person. In the end it was irritation and a feeling of hurt that got me because she treated my friendship like use and throw. I redoubled my efforts to get along with her by filling my mind with positivity but the hurtful things she said already caused a lot of damage. Probably I shouldn’t have put up with all this, I should have told her right at the beginning that she is stepping on my toes.

The only people who were still her friends were those who could put up with her awful treatment and those people who were obviously in a much better position than her. Today I feel much better that I no longer have to put up with her. But it does make me wonder what could be done and how to deal with people like this.

This a list of points that came to my mind:

I am the BEST and I LOVE myself

  • Be self-reliant and expect no help or favors from them because these people will talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
  • Be prepared to shower praises on them. I know! We have to lock up our inner voice for a while. Praises, I notice, always send them to the seventh heaven.
  • Never fall for the falsehood they spread about others. Always assess people with your own fair judgement. You might be surprised that they are not as villainous as they were portrayed.
  • Keep conversations with them short and simple. Get out while you still can.
  • Never fall into the trap of show off. They love to gloat and we will definitely lose all our self-respect in a gloating contest with them.
  • Most importantly don’t lose sight of your goals and work diligently to achieve it irrespective of what anyone says.

These are the lessons I learnt from my experience. If you meet any one like this (I hope and pray that you don’t), I hope my suggestions will be of help to you. And if you have any more points to add to or correct in my list, please feel free to comment. I like to hear from all of you. All the best and wish you all a wonderful day.

Can we block unwanted thoughts??

Your mind is like a hummingbird that is constantly wandering from topic to topic, looking for a thought or feeling to latch on to. This sometimes leads to the discovery of some hidden talent that brings happiness, and sometimes it leads you into a spiral of unwelcome thoughts and undesired emotions. Many a time these unwanted thoughts are difficult to get rid of. They leave a lasting impression on you and alter your attitude and personality. Not all undesired thoughts are detrimental; in fact, some of these thoughts can trigger a change for the good. But, what happens when you encounter negative thoughts?

Time and again, one hears about how your mind just ran away with a thought and you end up feeling depressed and lonely. As the old proverb goes ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’ and having a chaotic mind makes it a very busy workshop for the devil. To stop this flow of thought, many of us take up different activities. Some take up hobbies like gardening, cooking, craft work etc, while others take to penning down thoughts in blogs, journals, stories etc.

These are the more constructive ways to deal with an idle mind. There are other, more harmful, habits like drinking, drug abuse, smoking etc that trap you while you are in such a vulnerable state of mind. It is easy to get into these habits, but very difficult to get out of them. You get stuck in this quagmire with no means of escape. The downward spiral that they lead into might have deadly penalties.

So, how does one break away for this chain of events?
How can you stop your mind from wandering into these unsolicited thoughts?

I strongly feel that our mind is strong enough to stop these very thoughts that it triggers. I find that our own fight or flight instincts can be used to escape this quagmire. Everytime our mind starts wandering into this dangerous territory, our conscience always warns us. Our conscience dispels all doubts and negativity. I have experienced phases where i questioned my decisions and doubted my abilities. The only way I was able to get out of this dark place was by listening to that positive voice.

Sometimes, that positive voice is not necessarily our conscience. It can be the voice of your friend, a teacher, a parent etc. It could even be the free advice given by a random stranger. The only way to make sure that you heed it is by having a strong belief in yourself and faith in your actions.

Having a strong belief system is critical to everyone. It can be your belief in god, in a certain value like equality or justice or in your own wisdom. You can draw your beliefs from anything, but it is important to stay true and stand strong to these beliefs.

Self Awareness is the key to better life

Self Awareness quite literally means to be aware of one’s true self. It means to be aware of the true worth, one’s strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of the honest truth about oneself that we mostly hide. It sounds like a very philosophical and spiritual matter that sages and dreamers speak of. However, it is an essential and practical requirement that everyone needs to know.

Let me start with a simple example to explain the relevance. Many times, we perceive our self-image to be one thing, though in reality, our true self is very different from our own perception. Our perception of self might suggest that we are honest, straight-talking individuals or that we can give as good as we get etc. However, when the time comes to actually display these qualities, many of us are unable to. We are held back by fear or personal gain or sometimes apathy. We might give reasons for backing down, but the truth remains that we do not display any of these attributes. I do not want to speak of just negative instances. Sometimes, we might consider our self as weak or timid, yet when faced with the situation, we display great bravery and courage.

This may well be the truth about half of all people. So, how does self-awareness help us in such a situation? When I am fully aware of my abilities and my limitations, then I can be prepared better. When I am not brave enough to stand alone, I will first seek out those who are brave enough and take their support. When I need to be heard, I will speak through those who have a competent voice. We can build strong teams and work together to overcome each other’s weaknesses and capitalize on the strengths.

This might seem very whimsical and simplistic at first glance. It, however, requires great strength of mind and will power to be really honest about our limitations and weaknesses. Once we have found our weaknesses, it is crucial to align our self with the right people. We have to set aside our ego, look at the bigger picture, shed any inhibition we have etc. We all experience this on a smaller scale at different stages in life, be it the workplace, family or friends and college life.

Most of the time, self-awareness takes place unintentionally, or it goes unnoticed. We must change this and start focusing on our self more. Seek out situations to find more about our self and take to mind the lessons we learn. This will lay a strong foundation for a better and more peaceful future.

Have We Lost Our Sense Of Wonder?

There was once a time, when we were kids, that beautiful things amazed us. Shiny lights, fireworks, porcelain dolls, huge trees, ferocious animals, the list is endless. As children, we would watch everything with a sense of wonder and incredulity. As we grew, it is only natural that we lose some of that feeling. However, I feel that this generation particularly lacks the sense of wonder. Everything is seen with a blasé attitude. In fact, they are more cynical than ever. In a time of great scientific growth, 5G wireless internet, new knowledge of black holes, pulsars, etc. why have we become so jaded?

We recently had a family reunion and many of our grandparents, uncles and aunts were present. As with all such events, the topic soon deviated into reminiscence. As I heard their stories of simple childhood explorations and their first time experiencing technology, I was enthralled by their feeling of shock, fear and amazement. An elderly uncle described his first experience in the cinema hall. He spoke about his first time at the talkies (the talking movies as they were called). It was a mythological film and he described how everyone got down on their knees to pray when the image of the lord came on the screen. Another grand uncle spoke about the first time he saw an automobile, it was during a parade by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad. There were many more such stories doing the rounds. What saddened me, however, was my lack of such experiences.

Do not get me wrong here; there were many great innovations and new creations in our generation too. The personal computer, mobile phones, smartphones, internet, Wi-Fi is just a few examples of the great scientific breakthroughs that we have seen. Yet, I could not conjure up one memorable event that truly amazed me. I realised that I took all of this for granted. All these major, life-changing gadgets were just another gadget that would become obsolete soon enough. I refused to get excited over the mobile phone since the smartphone was just around the corner. A personal computer did not excite me as a laptop and then a tablet was available.

With this blasé attitude, I have realised that I have lost out on many extraordinary landmarks. Moreover, with this attitude, I started to feel old and tired. I felt that I am unable to keep track of all the developments. I felt like one of those obsolete gadgets. I realised that I, urgently, need to change my attitude. Lucky for me that scientific progress doesn’t stop, so, I can still find something new to fascinate me.

Wondrous Nature in all its beauty

If you have been on the same road as me, then wake up. It is not too late yet. Make an effort to gain back your childlike wonder. Open your eyes to all the fabulous sights and sounds around you. Start feeling young again.

Review of a short film: Juice

Published by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films on 22nd November 2017, Juice is a brilliant film with a power message written and directed by Neeraj Ghaywan. It was produced by Lalit Prem Sharma. It is 14minutes and 39 seconds long. If you haven’t watched this one, here is the link to the video:

Juice is a film par excellence. The story is very realistic, the direction is superb and acting of all the actors and actresses is perfect. In fact, it feels like a page from the life of any regular, middle (or upper middle) class Indian woman. I saw this drama unfold countless times at get-togethers within the known circles. The only difference between reel life and real life is the last scene in this movie. Well! You understood. In real life we rarely, or should I say never, try to do what Manju Singh, the main character, has done.

Manju Singh and her husband are hosting a get-together at their house for a group of friends, on a summer evening. The movie depicts what generally happens at such get-togethers. All the men are sitting comfortably in the living room with the air cooler taking care of the temperature. The coffee table is filled with a delicious spread of appetizers all prepared by Manju. She serves the guests, while they are relaxed and gossiping about different topics. The children are in a separate room playing video games and having conversations of their own and all the ladies are in the hot, smoke filled kitchen engrossed in their conversations. Every now and then, they wipe the steam of sweat, fan their faces with the pallu of their saree and complain of the heat in the kitchen. Manju and her maid, Parbatiya, are the only persons doing most of the work while the rest of them are just hanging around and chatting.

This story has so many layers to it. It shows the complexities and hurdles in the path of women who desire so much to break free from the shackles of male domination in the society. Simple conversational dialogues show the viewers how much and where we have gone wrong. It is gender bias, class discrimination and male chauvinism against women all cooked into one short story.

Men alone are not responsible for this disgraceful state of affairs; it is some women who feed fodder to this kind of deplorable thought process by their mindless actions. This is quite evident when Mrs. Sarla, one of the guests, calls Dolly, the girl child, to help her serve food for the men but allows the boys to continue playing. The women don’t help each other as we see in the case of the chicken getting burnt while the two ladies standing right there and watching photos on the phone. They sermon the other ladies that women have to choose either motherhood or job but not both. Mrs. Chawla, the guest offers tea to the hardworking domestic help in a shabby steel glass while they drink in a decent porcelain cup. The list goes on and on.

Meanwhile the men in the living room have even American political scenarios dunked into the gravy of gender bias and presented it. They call women weaklings but they need women to take care of every single thing for them. They behave as if they are glued to the couch and the only movable part of their body is their mouth.

Every single dialogue in this short film has volumes to tell and every scene adds flavour to the story. In short it is a must watch. Shefali Shah plays the role of the hostess Manju Singh effortlessly and she has done an excellent job.

Summer vacations- The fondest memories

It is summer time in India and it is the time for mangoes and summer vacations. These are the two best things from every Indian’s childhood. Though, I am sure that our parents have a different perspective on summer holidays.

Every summer, we hear parents discuss different ways to keep their kids occupied and away from mischief. Some plan to enrol their kids for coaching classes so that they are ahead in the syllabus when the schools reopen. Some others plan to take their kids out of town to have fun. Some also plan a roster for spending time with all our cousins and relatives. My mother dealt with summer differently. She enrolled us in a hobby class every summer. She said that this way we can cultivate a new hobby and find out what we are good at.

This plan of hers worked for both her and us kids. My sisters and I were busy learning and practising our hobby, while my mother got the much-needed peace and quiet. It, however, made many interesting memories as well. One summer, my sisters and I enrolled in drawing and painting classes, another summer we went for needlework and crochet classes. I also learned singing one year and craft work with clay another year. The most memorable years were when I learnt swimming and cookery.

One might think that swimming was the most natural activity for summer, right?? Well, not for me. I have aquaphobia, so I was not keen on swimming at all. However, my mom felt that I needed to overcome this fear at a young age, so she enrolled me for swimming classes. As you can guess, I did not have any fun in the pool. My swim coach did not help my case in any way. She felt that dunking me under water would bring out the natural survival instincts and teach me to paddle my hands and legs. It only made will cling onto my coach’s back more tightly. It was one embarrassing year for me. However, I did learn something. I learnt that I wasn’t scared of water as long as my feet were in solid surface. I only had a fear of drowning.

Cookery classes were a different experience altogether. I found my love for baking that year. While my sisters learnt to cook new cuisines, I had a knack for baking. I was finally able to bake a cake and eat it too. That summer, I had the most fun ever. We also learnt the combinations of flavours that didn’t go well together, by trial and error of course. I can still remember the horrible taste of the lime and banana cake.

All things notwithstanding, summer holidays were a time of self-discovery and adventure. I learnt that I like morning walks better than evening walks. I discovered I love classic rock music more than heavy metal music. I also learnt that the sun was the best compass to find your way back home. There are many more memorable and unforgettable lessons from each summer. I hope to hear some of your stories in the comments section below.

Indian home remedies passed down from my grandma

Every once in a while we have all faced some sort of health issue that was too small to visit the doctor, but troublesome enough to make us lose our sleep. Every time, in such a situation, we turn to those trusty home remedies that are passed in our family from generation to to generation. Sometimes, even suggestions from friends and neighbours help us. I have tried to make a compilation of those remedies that I have heard of an tried. I only hope to share them and see if others will find it helpful too.

These home remedies are those that I have learnt from my grandmothers and old aunts that did not have immediate access to a doctor in the old days. Some of these remedies suit Indian climate more than other colder locales. They are all harmless and can be tried at least once before you can decide upon its usefulness.

  • Curd and Fenugreek paste: They say that curd and fenugreek paste, when applied to scalp will help to fight dandruff. Make a paste of fenugreek seeds soaked in water and mix the paste with sufficient curd and apply to your scalp. The mixture leaves a bit of a stink if you do not rinse it off your hair completely.
  • Sesame oil mixed with Camphor: Mix camphor powder with sesame oil and massage it on your joints or painful muscles for instant pain relief. This trick worked well for me. It is an old grandmother’s remedy for arthritis and other rheumatic pains. It helps to improve circulation when you massage well.
  • Gelatine paste with Turmeric and Honey: This mixture helps remove blackheads and white heads on the skin. Mix 2 teaspoons of gelatine powder with a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey. Apply a thin layer of this on the affected area and leave it to dry. Peel it off your skin to see all your blackheads removed.
  • Paste of yellow split pea (besan) to lighten hair growth: This is an age old technique that South Indians use to lighten hair growth on hands and legs. This besan paste when mixed with rice flour and dried orange peel makes a bath powder. It is supposed to lighten hair growth over repeated use, but the process is very slow. It takes many months to see even a slight change. This paste however is good for the skin.
  • A decoction of cumin and coriander seeds will cure stomach cramps and period pains. This is another old wife’s cure. Drink half a glass of this decoction daily. It takes a few weeks of regular use to start showing results. It is good for digestion, smoothens skin, reduces pimple breakouts and alleviates cramps.
  • Toothpaste to remove pimples: Apply a generous blob of regular calcium toothpaste on your pimple in its early stage. The calcium and the anti-cavity medicine in your paste will prevent the pimple from aggravating and erupting.
  • Triphala powder helps with incessant toothache or bleeding gums. Triphala is an ayurvedic mixture of 3 fruits in the dried form. When you use this powder to massage your gums and teeth, it helps alleviate bleeding gums and received tooth aches. It also strengthens your gums and fights cavities in early stages.
  • Holy Basil: It is a commonly called Tulsi in most Indian households and it is a godsend for most ailments. A tea made with Tulsi leaves helps to fight the common cold and allergy symptoms. You can add a squeeze of lime and a spoon of honey to this tea in case of cough and sore throat.
  • Vaseline Jelly:  Petroleum jelly or Vaseline jelly works excellently for cracked heels. Every night, before you go to bed, wash and dry your feet and apply Vaseline to the cracked heels. Put on socks and go to bed. In the morning you can wash of the Vaseline. In a week’s time you will notice a big difference.
  • Hibiscus flower: Boil the petals of the red hibiscus flower in coconut oil until the flowers are charred. Filter out the petals and use this oil to massage into the scalp. This oil helps to promote hair growth and keeps the hair black.
  • Fresh garlic cloves with warm milk help with blood pressure control and fights cholesterol. Boil one close of garlic in a glass of milk and drink it on empty stomach in the morning. It tastes pungent and is basically yuck, but, is an effective remedy for high BP.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe has thick fleshy leaves with thorns on the edges. Aloe Vera has numerous health benefits. The one that worked for me is that it helped me get over the acid burning sensation in my stomach and esophagus. How to use: scrape the outer green skin and the thorns. Take a piece of the white gelatinous part and wash it thoroughly in running water to get rid of as much slime as you can. I used a piece half the size of my pointing finger, dipped it in sugar and chewed it thoroughly and swallowed it with water. This has to be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach and do not eat or drink anything for the next thirty minutes. I did this for ten days. This remedy worked very well for me.
  • Coconut Water: Coconut water is the most wholesome food that one can survive on. It provides the body a concoction of all essential minerals and vitamins. In case of nausea, diarrhea or severe stomach agitation, drink a glass of coconut water every few hours to replenish your lost body fluids.
  • Potato peel is good for skin lightening and acts as a mild bleaching agent. Wash the potatoes to remove all dirt and take out thick layer of the peel. A paste made from this peel can be applied on your skin to help lighten it.
  • Onion Juice: Onion juice is known to promote hair growth. Take a quarter piece of red onion and grate to using a grater. You will be left with onion pulp and milky white liquid. Strain this juice and apply to your scalp and hair roots in the affected area. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse with water.
  • Ginger juice with Honey: Ginger juice with honey is an old remedy to remove impurities from the blood. When you have frequent acne breakouts and skin rashes you can try this quick trick. Take a tablespoon of Ginger juice and add a dollop of honey to it and take on an empty stomach in the morning. Sometimes you can also chew on a small piece of ginger dabbed in salt. It will reduce the occurrence of puss filled boils and those white top pimples too.

I am sure that you have heard of quite of few of these preparations from your friends and elders too. They have served us well in the olden days before advanced medicines and medical procedures were invented. However, do not depend on these remedies when a problem persists, always consult a medical doctor and take the right medicines. These home remedies are something to help along with the doctor rather than to replace them.

Your Life is Your Journey

Since childhood, we are programmed to listen to the elders in the family. This is a good thing because the voice of experience is wiser than the curiosity of young minds. I benefited a lot from following their advice and will forever be indebted to all the grown- ups in my life for guiding me onto the right path. However, looking back at all the years, all those friends and acquaintances and all the experiences, I realized that many of us simply existed and at least fifty percent of our life was lived by someone else.

“When you grow up you can do whatever you want.”, is a standard dialogue that resonated in every house. And “Good children don’t argue they do whatever they are told to do!”, is another tag line that was attached to every sermon. We religiously followed every instruction to the dot. For some people, this eventually becomes a habit. Even after they are fully grown adults, they can’t think on their own. Every decision needs to be discussed. If by any chance, they have to think on their own, fear grips them and self-doubt and nervousness makes the decision making process pure hell. I’ll say good for them, if that is the way they prefer to live.  

If you notice, you will find people who give free advices and lecture others to do everything their way and people who follow these advices. What happens to those who want to do what they think is best for themselves? These people like to think on their own, not afraid to make mistakes and don’t feel ashamed to learn from experience. Don’t get me wrong, they do take advices from time to time whenever they feel the need to so but they don’t depend entirely on others to make every decision for them.

When one enforces their opinions on to others, or forces their decision on others, they are living the other person’s life. They snatched the other person’s right to choose what to do. Now this other person has to live with the consequences of those decision. if the results are good, then they get addicted to the support and if the results are bad they will forever blame the adviser and never take responsibility for those consequences. Isn’t it?

 I admire those free independent spirited persons who like to live their life their way. A friend of mine, let’s call her A, advised another friend, B, to begin her day listening to devotional music and it will dispel all her troubles. B replied that she does not believe in spirituality. Since that day A made it her life’s sole task to get B involved in spirituality even though B constantly scraps out A’s attempts. I wondered why she won’t give up. It’s her life, her wish.

In another incident, an elderly lady walked up to a younger lady and asked “Where is your son? Why didn’t you bring him to the party?”. To this the younger lady replied that he has school work to do and has decided to stay back at home. The older lady gave the young lady a long lecture on parenting and importance of socializing and that she should have forced him to come to the party. I couldn’t help but laugh.

If you are one of those people whose life has been controlled by dominating persons around you, and if you really want to take matters into your hands then you have my full encouragement. It’s never too late to go ahead and live it up. Don’t let them tell you that you are too old to watch cartoons. Oh! No one told that to you? Well, I was. I told them they are right and continued watching. Here is a list of things I heard the control freaks say to others:

  • Your children are into their teens now, stop wearing jeans and shirts. You have to wear sarees so that you look like their mother. Next time you come to the party make sure you are wearing a saree or else…
  • Girls cannot do a certain profession e.g. mechanical engineering, computer hardware engineering, orthopedics etc. These professions are better suited for men. Girls can’t manage it.
  • Tell me when you going out shopping, I will come along with you. You will not be able to choose the right products. You will waste all your money.
  • What is your child doing? Why don’t you send him for football training or swimming classes? (even though the child is not interested or is attending some other classes)
  • If the child is doing some school work, they say “Why is he/she sitting with books all the time? Ask them to come out and socialize or go out and play.” And if they are playing, they say” Ask him/her to stop playing and focus on studies after exams he can play.”

The list goes on endlessly. The more we allow others to make choices for us the more we lose control over our life and we become puppets in their hands. There is a danger that all decisions made are not to your advantage. This is like you sit down to play a game of chess and your opponent is playing his game and your game too. Obviously he would make your moves to his advantage. Right?

God has given us this one life and it has to be lived by us, not others. Each one has their own life to live. One can’t go about …I will live my life and I will live your life too. We learn from our mistakes, when we fall we learn to get up and the next time a similar situation arises we make a smarter move. Some times what goes for the goose does not necessarily go well for the gander. In effect your life is your journey, enjoy every moment of it and live it to the last second.