life

My Mom…

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”

Sarcasm Much???!!! *smirks*

This mother’s day let’s all take some time to thank this SUPERWOMAN.

My mom is a teacher and she has a physics major. This surprises me the most as I hated to study physics in school. In  general, this job as a mother is the hardest and the most expensive jobs ever. It means you need to wear different hats as a mom. Yeah!! my MOM acts as my mentor, teacher, art teacher, personal chef, hair stylist, Stylist, big sister (yes, we share clothes), gossip partner and what not.

The most astonishing thing about my mom is that she takes care of everyone in her family, where she forgets herself. For instance, she always made sure I got new clothes and a cake for my birthdays, but she never remembered her own birthdays. Now that I am a big girl, I make sure I buy a cake for her.

Whatever you may call it, a mothers touch can never be replaced.

I never valued anything she did for us, until she had a surgery into her eye as the retina got displaced. I had to travel so much to work, come back home and do the household chores. That is when I realized that it was always hard for her to manage her work and home. She did it all like a pro. Even the insignificant details matter in a house to make it a home.

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Now that is me after doing household chores after two days

I am kind of a very demanding person when it comes to food. I used to be very skeptical about even a small change in the taste of food. I have mercilessly yelled at my mom for that reason. Yeah I was wrong and I still regret.. KARMA. After I went to hostel, I was craving for my home food. ( Literally the story of every kid who moves out for the first time) I grew up mentally. I accepted the flaws. I was actually proud of her for managing work and home efficiently.

Not a single day is a holiday to her, even when she broke her leg, only because she couldn’t rest as she was so used to running around tirelessly.

She is the person who brought me to this world, made me live, made me talk, made me study, make me sketch, made me dance, made me read, made me create,made me manage my finances, made me write and everything I am today.

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That is one important lesson my mom taught me 

To all the moms out there, you may be the single mom, surrogate mom, super mom, fashionista mom, career mom, perfectionist mom, messy mom, master-chef mom and every mom possible, you are the best and no one can ever make it up to everything you ever did.

Wish you all a happy mother’s day..!!!

 

Written by Divya Shankar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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life

Bharat Mata ki Raksha

“What had human beings become? Did war make us evil or just activate an evil already lurking within us?” 

                                                                                      – Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the sea

This is a society where values are considered to be the most sacred thing of all. On the other day when I was discussing about live – in relationships with my mom, the discussion took a new pace about opinions. My argument was that everyone has their own lives and we are nobody to interfere and there is nothing called right or wrong until it affects a fellow being. Then came the subject about recent happenings in our country. The Rape case of Aasifa. The subjects touched were the ones which were usually discussed by all. 

Everything starts with this patriarchal society where no one questions about men about what they do, where they go or who they hang out with. On the contrary, the woman is questioned even in the most insignificant thing she does. Here, in this country, a girl has to remain virgin and it is no doubt the most necessary thing you save up for your husband. Yes.. the husband owns you. There are tests like white bed sheet test where the girl has to bleed the very first time. Really??!! There is no way to prove one’s virginity unless the girls confronts and reveals it. But, no one cares about the guy. And after the marriage the guy acts like he owns the girl and rapes her even when she is not ready. This is not even considered a crime since it is the husband after all.

The guy can literally do anything he wants. He can rape anyone and just get away with it. RAPE is the highest possible form of violating the human body. Never ever say that the rapist is an animal, NO he is a monster. At least animals don’t rape, their mating is consensual and it happens naturally by attracting the mate. So be ashamed as a human being. When there is a murder, the criminal is blamed and this is literally the case with almost all the crimes. But in case of rape, the victim is blamed. Why?? the girl has enticed and given a chance to rape her.

In case of nirbhaya, everyone’s concern was why did the girl go late at night. Truth is 8:30 or 9 Pm is not late in my city’s standards. I go home after work at that time. So does that violate my character??? A girl’s character is questionable when she drinks, smokes, independent, bold, opinionated, has premarital sex etc, and this girl deserves to get raped, molested and killed. On the contrary, Aasifa was a eight year old kid whose only fear must be refrained from playing not getting raped. Since this kid was playing, does that make her get raped in the so called holy place?? So the issue is with the source – Men.

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Revealing or not, she is not asking for it

 

Virginity is purity – who set up all these norms??

Purity in a relationship comes from heart not virginity. why this statement??  Because a few years ago I saw a video where men are asked if they would marry a rape victim. Most of them said the girl should be pure before marriage. It is not the victim’s fault. Why punish her??? When a rape takes place, the girl gets devastated, her honor, her family’s respect are all lost. In our society, it is considered to be the doomsday for the girl. She would be that living-dead corpse who would not be able to lead a normal life and not brave enough to take her life as well.

3

If she is out late at night, she is not asking for it. 

It is up to you to anything with your body, sex can be consensual, but RAPE is wrong, VERY WRONG. Don’t ask the girls to defend themselves, rather teach your sons not to rape. 

1

If she is drunk she is not asking for it.

What do you teach???

  • You have no rights to do moral policing, everyone has a choice of their own.
  • you are nobody to decide what other girl wears or where she goes or who she hangs out with. In case you don’t like her choices, do not judge.
  • Respect women. They are fellow human beings too.
  • A clock’s needle doesn’t determine a woman’s character
  • When a woman says NO, it is a NO. May it be your wife, a friend, a girlfriend, a stranger or a sex worker. When someone says NO, you STOP.

4

You do not rape. Period. 

Until next time, Happy blogging everyone.

 

Source:

Inspired from the movie PINK, documentary on India’s daughter. 

finance

Credit cards…

Your goal should be to pay off your credit card bills in full at the end of each month and set aside money toward your emergency savings. 

A credit card is a very convenient financial tool, but it comes with the risk of hurting you if you don’t respect when it comes to spending. When zeroing in on a credit card, ask yourself what you will be using the card for?? If you are going to use it for most of your financial transactions, evaluate if you will have the repaying capacity when the payment is due each month.

Next, look for a card with the lowest charges – these could be by way of annual fee, late fee and interest charges when applicable.

If you frequently use your card to refuel or buy airline tickets, look for a co-branded card to derive additional benefits. Most importantly, check the credit limits you are entitled to and make sure at no time this limit is so high that you get into a situation where you are unable to repay. As most cards come with incentives by way of reward points, do check what is on offer and how you can benefit from it before zeroing in on a credit card.

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How does the credit card EMI offer work??

First things first, credit card companies make money by earning interest on late payments that you make. If you are paying off your credit card bills within the due dates then, essentially, you are not contributing to their profits. By enticing shoppers to make easy repayments on their credit card through EMIs, card companies have devised a system to make money. Yes, it does offer the cardholder respite with payment but, in reality, EMI on credit cards works like a loan – you pay the principal and interest each month and clear off your debt over a period of time.

 

Source: Outlook money, 17th anniversary issue.  

 

life

The one who shaped me to what I am today…

” Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber and future of an individual.” 

Teaching is a very noble profession. And it is indeed a complicated profession. It demands broad knowledge, enthusiasm, caring attitude and a love for learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques and a desire to make a difference.

Yeah!! Why am I writing this??

Because, I met my teacher who taught me in my first grade in the most unexpected way possible. I joined one of those Kendriya vidyalayas close to where I lived. I knew nothing about the locality or anything. Okay!! I was a five year old. My first day to school was bad. I was this very quiet child who never spoke a word to anyone. There was a lot of cultural differences. I was helpless. Then, My class teacher, Ms. Annie brenda. Yes!! I should mention her name, She made me into what I am today.

Since, I was this quiet kid, no one actually knew what I was. After topping the class, she started noticing me. She called up my mom and met her personally. She told my mom ” I thought this kid had a problem, she is introverted and does not say a word in the class, But then she topped the class. Make her interact with everyone and bring her out of the world.” That was a turning point in my life probably. My teacher who encouraged me in every way possible made me come out of my bubble. I started participating in competitions and won prizes too.  Once she gave me a chocolate that costed 10 bucks for keeping my progress report neatly. (Yeah!! I am a 90’s kid and 10 bucks was a big deal back then. ) She still is my best teacher indeed.

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That’s what sums her up…:)

 

Then came my Hindi teacher. Her name was Ms. Padmini. She is this beautiful looking woman.  She is my neighbor now. She taught me everything possible where I am able to communicate at ease where people ask me where I am from. I was into all the writing competitions and won prizes nevertheless it was not my mother tongue.

After a long period of 20 years, I still think of my teachers who made me a better person in every way possible.

This is one of those very few noble professions where you are able to light up the other person’s life, where you are the role model for everyone of them, where you are considered trustworthy, where you find those hidden talents from every kid, where you treat everyone equally regardless of their backgrounds, where you shape someone and much more. It cannot be described by any combination of the alphabets put together. 

It was a stroke of luck when I met my teacher in a restaurant after 12 years. I could see that love and compassion in her eyes when I introduced myself. OMG !! That was one of those moments which you always remember for a lifetime. She was oh so happy when she heard that I am doing well in my life. After my mother, she is one of those most beautiful women I have ever met.

Today, I am a confident and an  independent woman, who is still struggling to come out of my bubble. But, for what I were before, I have come a long way. Had I been the same little girl, I would not be doing anything I am doing today. I would always thank my teacher for that note.

A teacher’s profession is truly a blessed and a very strong one and the love is just nothing compared to all the money in the world. They are our idols indeed.

Until next time!! Have a nice day!!

 

finance, life

The basic finance I learnt from my dad!!

“In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.”

                                                                                          – Robert Arnott

How did it all start???

It all started when I started earning a stipend of Rs 5 k per month in my fourth year of architecture, where I am supposed to work as an intern in a firm. I was in my own city, so I never had to worry about food or shelter. So, spending on little luxuries was my thing for the first two months, then I started keeping some money in my account, which I would call saving up.

After a period of eight months, I opened a demat account as my dad was bugging me constantly. (Yeah!! when you are in the phase of growing up, your dad looks like your biggest enemy in this whole world, ironically, you realize everything later when you face the world.)

So, I would really state the difference between saving and investing. Read it carefully.

Savings refers to that part of disposable income, which is not used in consumption, i.e. whatever is remained in the hands of a person, after paying all the expenses. On the other end, Investment is the act of investing the saved money into financial products, with a view of earning profits. It alludes to the increase in capital stock.

I started with a mere amount of Rs 10 k in June 2015 and invested in some stocks. I was seeking my dad’s help shamelessly for the market study because I never had this finance or economics study background in my life. It did take a lot of effort to learn but it was all worth it.

Where did all the money come from when I went back for my final year?? Yeah!! It was all the money which my relatives, grandparents and my parents gave me with a lot of love. The same disposable income we spend on eating out and getting other luxuries. I kept investing all of it.

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Compounding was the key. 

Now, how to diversify your investments?? 

  • Fixed deposit- Fixed deposits are a high-interest -yielding Term deposit and offered by banks in India. The most popular form of Term deposits are Fixed Deposits, while other forms of term Deposits are recurring deposit and flexi- fixed deposits (the latter is actually a combination of Demand deposit and Fixed deposit).
  • Mutual funds – an investment programme funded by shareholders that trades in diversified holdings and is professionally managed. I invest 3 k every month and it has given a good returns. It is a period of seven years that I opted for. I have chosen DSP Black rock mutual fund.
  • Share Market – a market in which securities are bought and sold; a stock exchange to be put in a single word. This requires a little more effort and needs a proper study or guidance. You need to watch the market carefully. Websites like Moneycontrol.com, Capitalmarket.com can be used to track your portfolio. You need to take every move carefully. Even a mere sum of 100 bucks would come in handy at times.

“I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffett
Be prepared to invest in a down market and to “get out” in a soaring market.

These are some of the strategies I follow. I am a proud owner of a portfolio of Rs 2.5 Lakhs.

Whenever I have an urge to spend on shoes or lipsticks, I follow the principle of DELAYED GRATIFICATION. ( I love to splurge.. )   What is it??? It is to control your urge or your temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. As a 90’s kid, I was taught to be content and be happy with whatever I have. I have always seen my parents as examples, who never faced any financial crisis during the month end or while building a house or buying the first car. Back then, my mom was not working and  with one man’s salary, my mom has planned it so well that we enjoy now.

I would also say that I was lucky enough to experiment with various options as I don’t have responsibilities to take care of my family. I would suggest you to start as early as possible to exit the rat race. Think before spending on those shoes. Do you really wanna buy that when you already have 15 pairs of shoes?? Or you wanna invest the same money in share market or mutual funds??

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Once you invest a significant amount of money, you will get a good returns from the interests, dividends and what not!! Money would work for you. Yeah!!you heard it right. 

I am no pro and you need to do your study right away and check what is good for you and start building up your empire.

Happy investing folks… !!!!!!

And watch this space for more!!!

 

References:

https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0511/the-top-17-investing-quotes-of-all-time.aspx

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_deposit

https://www.google.co.in/search?rlz=1C1CHBD_enIN775IN775&q=Dictionary

Illustrations:

Mine!!

 

life

The notion of a ‘perfect body’..

“A woman is helpless, only when her nail- polish is drying.”

– M C Mary Kom

 

The figure of a woman.. Why is the world obsessed by it?? No one really cares about how a man looks. In this misogynistic society, whenever I get approached for marriage, all they really see is how I look or if I would be putting on weight after the wedding. But then, when I look at the physical appearance of the man, I am tagged as opinionated.

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Which one are you???? 

 

The body of the woman depends on various factors such as medical issues, which may include, thyroid, PCOD,  post- par tum and most importantly the self-less love towards  her  family  where  she  forgets  to  take care of  herself.

In an  old  Tamil  movie ‘ Sathileelavathy’, the woman gains so much of weight after giving birth to two kids and taking care of her endless family needs. And her husband is shown to have  an extra marital affair with a thinner, younger and an attractive woman. When there are perfectly skinny models are shown on screen, we tend to believe that it is normal to look like one. If my mom has to look like them, she doesn’t have the luxury for all the time and effort spent , she definitely can’t take care of her family even though my dad helps her in every possible way. And think of women who have to do everything on their own, and alas!!! they never find time for themselves, they don’t get weekends nor do they retire.

When the skinny models are considered to be beautiful or perfect, the chubby women like Namita or Sona are considered to be sex symbols. Why? Who set all these??

Is 36-24-36 really the perfect woman?? Why not a curvier or a plus size woman??? It all depends upon how you carry yourself or your attitude towards life or towards your fellow beings. 

Look beyond her looks… perhaps her thoughts, actions, intelligence, determination, endurance, perseverance and what not…

Beauty is largely subjective. It may be anything in a woman.

When M S Subbulakshmi’s eyes are closed and immersed in her music or when my mom is sweating after preparing the best food for her family or when a woman carries a baby in her uterus or P V Sindhu swiftly hitting on the court or  it could even be how every girl used to come back home from school, hair undone, dumped in mud or dirt – These instances are much more than how their bodies are or the color of their skin.

Let’s embrace ourselves, and accept every woman to be beautiful. It might be hard to love yourself in the beginning, look beyond how far you have come across, YOU ARE THE BEST, NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!

 

Written by

Divya Shankar

Image source: https://qz.com/367114/its-time-we-stop-comparing-womens-body-shapes-to-fruit/

life, Uncategorized

Saving up or piling up???

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today??? “

                                                                                                                                   – Steve Jobs

 Once a sage was asked about the attributes and traits which make the human beings  unique.  He said,” everyone and everything in this world has an end, but man saves  up as if he is gonna be  immortal.”  Due to evolution ,  all the living  organisms  save  up for future and it becomes a necessity. This trait is actually inherited biologically.

For a thousand years, after  undergoing so many  famines, the  body  tuned  itself  to  save up the unused calories as fat, which could be  used up when  there is no  proper  intake of food. So, again, when the fat stored becomes excessive, it becomes fatal.

When you plan so much for the future, you lose all your present moments. In this run, we end up thinking, what if it is not enough; hesitate to spend what ever you actually  have in abundance. You keep buying things and keep running a rat race  to save up even  more, endlessly.

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As said, excessive consumerism is bad, Excessive saving up  is  also bad. Of  course,  being  stingy and carefully  planning expenses,  are way different from  each  other.  There is  a fine line.  When it rains,  if you are planning  to save up some  water  after taking  a shower, it is called saving up. And on the contrary, when you  don’t  take a  shower  when it is summer and wait for the monsoon, it is called stingy.

Happiness- the one magical word everyone is running  behind,  is  usually  decided  upon  having a master-degree  from  a  reputed  college, 6 digit salary,  8 digit  bank balance,  being a NRI,  holding a green card  and what not.  And you  don’t  keep  a  limit  to yourself.  We set a goal and decide to smile from the heart only when it is achieved. But do we? No,we keep running for more and more. But to be happy, all you need are those little priceless and magical moments.

In a high- rise apartment, there lived a miser who accidentally slipped off the  terrace. In the  process of falling down, when he came near his balcony, he screamed  and asked his wife not to prepare breakfast for him as  he would  be no  more  and  food would get wasted. Alas!! He died.

On the death-bed,  no one actually thinks about  saving up or  anything of that sort,  all they regret is those moments  they could have had or the time  they  could have  spent  with their families.

There are certain kind of people who have this habit of not discarding things which    are  utterly insignificant. It is actually discovered to be a mental disorder. It is termed  as  hoarding disorder. Those posts, letters, old calendars, bills or receipts  etc  are never  thrown away by these people. Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or  parting with possessions  because  of a perceived  need  to save them.

A person with  hoarding  disorder experiences distress  at the thought of getting  rid of the items.  Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.

Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes  may be  filled  to  capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Counter tops, sinks, stoves,  desks, stairways and  virtually all other surfaces  are usually piled with  stuff. And when there’s no more room inside, the clutter may spread to the  garage,  vehicles, yard and other storage facilities.

When someone saves up more than needed, he is tagged a thief. You are stealing everyone’s wealth.

“That balance between consumerism and saving up needs to be maintained, then peace  shall prevail. “

Written by- Divya Shankar

 

Source:

The hindu, Tamil – by Dr. Ramanujam, 27-jan-18, Saturday

health

My PCOD story- my best friend

“I am so classy that even my ovaries have pearls in them”

                                                                   -sincerely the girls who are suffering from PCOD

What is PCOD??

Patients suffering from poly cystic ovarian disease (PCOD) have multiple small cysts in their ovaries (the word poly means many). These cysts occur when the regular changes of a normal menstrual cycle are disrupted. The ovary is enlarged; and produces excessive amounts of androgen and estrogen hormones. This excess, along with the absence of ovulation, may cause infertility. Other names for PCOD are Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or the Stein-Leventhal syndrome.

How did it all start??

No one actually knows what causes PCOD. But in my case, I would say the change in my lifestyle. I happily ignored the problem for three years like the other girls in my class. Later, I found out that the main cause was my hostel life for three years which led to an unhealthy lifestyle which included bad food habits, lack of any kind of physical activity, irregular sleeping patterns, stress etc. These were some of the known factors and it need not be affecting everyone who go through this. Whenever I maintain a better lifestyle during my break, the condition gets better, but the moment I get back to my old ways, I get affected. The moment I found that my conditions are escalating, I approached a gynecologist.

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My bad food habits… yeah look at that grin on my face..!!!

How do you know you are affected by the condition??

The symptoms varies from person to person. I had the following symptoms:

  • I was a person who was known for my fiery metabolism, where no matter what I eat, I never gained weight. After I started gaining weight, I actually felt happy. Later, I was diagnosed for PCOD. The weight gain is one of the prominent symptoms.
  • The Weight gain was very evidently seen in my lower part of my body, i.e. my tummy. It was oh so disproportionate.
  • Facial hair increased as well.
  • The pimples on your cheeks are a sure shot sign to watch out for. I got pimples on my right cheek on my face, so that means I have cysts on my right side ovary. ( I never had pimples in my teenage years)
  • The next strange symptom was my blood sugar levels and I had high insulin content in my body. I had to include more sugar to keep me going. High insulin level also causes pot belly.
  • If your hair-fall pattern is very evident, do consult a doctor. The androgen secreted in a female body goes higher when there is PCOD, which results in hair-fall.
  • Irregular sleeping patterns- You may be sleeping too much or too little.
  • Severe cramps in your abdomen during your periods.

How did I get over??

I had a great skin back then, once I screwed up my body, I lost all of it; the skin, the hair and my confidence altogether. So after taking the pills suggested by the gynecologist, I feared that it would cause side effects. I did a lot of research and put forth a lot of questions to my granny about what she used to do in her teenage which apparently gave answers to all my questions. Yeah here it goes, How did I actually cure it???

  • Do not take stress– when you are stressed out please meditate and try to keep a cool-head. Please develop a hobby, may it be reading or painting or anything you love.
  • Spend sometime for yourself– Self care is important, and take short trips where there is less pollution.

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  • Exercise– At least run for thirty minutes a day. You may try other forms of fitness like zumba, aerobics, etc. As the amount of work we do these days is not enough for our body to sustain.

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Run for at least 30 minutes… yeah it has a lot of benefits

  • Diet– Okay! this is a very common thing suggested for almost all the issues. Stick to your local diet especially what your mom cooks than all the processed foods. Your body would thank you later. Include fruits, vegetables, proteins, calcium, iron and sunlight. As always, take more water and stay hydrated.

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Make a schedule and stick to it

  • Reward yourself for every little thing you follow. This would definitely keep you motivated.

Did I actually get cured???

The answer is HELL YEAH!!!!! I improved. My body looked toned. Hair condition got better without the use of many products. My skin texture also improved and my scars faded away ( It is been two years, since I stopped using makeup), Yeah It felt good. Consistency is the key and it would take minimum of 3 months to make little difference. It means it is actually a healthier lifestyle altogether than a goal that is to be achieved.

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Reward yourself…. yeah princess!! wear that crown!!

So keep going girls!!!!

These are some of the things I followed,  I would include more on my next post. Till then keep sparkling my beautiful people.

 

Written by Divya Shankar