Monday, July 11, 2016

Parenting Woes

The toughest job in the world is parenting and this I realized when last year I quit my job and opted to take a break from my professional life, so that I could spend more quality time with my daughter. Now that I’m back to working all the difficulties of balancing of professional and personal life are back.

As a working woman, I spend an average of 4 to 5 hours during the weekdays with my child, and the task that gets me most worked up is feeding dinner to her. When she was 2 years old, I had to employ all tactics that I was aware of to get her to eat few morsels of food. I used to take her outside and try to distract her with sounds and sights of nature (of course it was pitch dark so she was not so easily distracted), I tried to feed her while showing cartoons on TV, I threatened, bribed, begged-all my creative talents came to the fore in those 45 minutes and at the end of dinner time, it was like the end of a war. Sometimes won, sometimes lost.

Some practical mothers would advise me not to fuss too much over the child’s eating. Do not give options, do not create distractions, just put the plate in front of her and when she’s hungry , she will eat. That does sound too good in words but in reality-well, let’s just say that the food ended up everywhere in the house except in her mouth. And the end result? A cranky kid in the middle of the night demanding food. And a cranky mom in the office next day.

As a working mom, I can say that my biggest anxiety is how to provide her the required nutrition. How to get her to eat the veggies and fruits. My daughter is 4 years old now and fortunately she is not that fussy at dinnertime but she still refuses to eat vegetables. Also since we don’t eat non-vegetarian food, she is missing out on vital nutrients. In this competitive and fast modern world I don’t want my daughter to be left behind just because she is not eating proper food. She studies in Kinder Garten and the homework that she brings home every day make me wonder how I coped when I was her age.

I’m sure that most mothers would agree when I say that a major concern of every mother is the overall development of a child-both physically and intellectual growth. My daughter is at a vital age of development. She is physically active and she is curious about so many things that she sees. I realize this from the questions she asks-just the other day she asked me why fishes have fins and not hands and legs. I may not have the right answer every time for her questions but I can ensure that she receives proper nourishment to aid her growth.

Fortunately my daughter loves to drink milk and the essential vitamins she misses when she refuses to eat her veggies can be provided by health drinks like Horlicks Growth+ which help in weight gain in kids and support complete all round development. My daughter starts her day around 7.30 in the morning and I make sure that the first food she has, is a tall glass of milk fortified and made more appetizing by Horlicks. Her hours are similar to mine-she goes to school between 8 and 12 in the morning and then to her daycare. She comes home only at 7 in the evening.

When I’m in office I worry about her- if she’s eating well, if she gets along with her friends, if she can cope up with her studies and if she misses her home and mummy. So as I said in the beginning, parenting is tough, your kids can try your patience to no end, it can leave you frustrated and helpless at times. But when at night my daughter holds me tightly and goes to sleep, I feel that I can do the whole thing all again, I feel it’s all worth it.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Lone Traveler on an Ideal Yatra

“Free as a bird to settle where I will.
What dwelling shall receive me? In what vale
Shall be my harbor? Underneath what grove
Shall I take up my home? And what clear stream
Shall with its murmur lull me into rest?
The earth is all before me.”

Wordsworth may have been delighted to leave the humdrum life of the city and settle down in the meadows that were home to him during his childhood but to escape the everyday grind of our mechanical life I need a vacation. And not just a vacation, I need a dream vacation. I need to feel the sand below my feet, I need the soothing sounds of the waves lapping at the shores, I need to wake up to the chirping of the birds and I need the mouth-watering aroma of food to tempt my dormant taste-buds. And I know the perfect destination where all my wishes can come true. Mauritius! Yes, that’s my dream vacation (of course I’m a Piscean, so I’m going to choose a beach destination)

With prior scheduling using the help of travel planning sites like Yatra and some meticulous comparison of flight prices it is possible to book international flight tickets at reasonable rates and cheaper flight tariffs mean more money for shopping. Yay!

Fortunately for me I can book a ticket with Emirate Airlines from Namma Bengaluru. But you know what I would desire to do? I would like to travel solo. Going on a vacation alone and exploring the world as a solo traveler- just thinking about it makes me feel exhilarated and nervous at the same time. It would be a new experience and I’d be checking off an item from my bucket list. So that decided, all that was left would be to plan my itinerary.

Ideally I would like to spend a lifetime lazing on the beautiful beaches, reading a book and taking moonlight walks in the night, but a little thing called reality creeps into these daydreams of mine. So I have opted to spend maybe 4 days on the islands of Mauritius (keeping in mind my budget constraints). One choice which wouldn’t be compromised for the sake of budget would be my choice of stay at a resort. Mauritius is home to some of the most exotic beach resorts and I would be spoilt for choices. I would want to stay in a room where I can be greeted in the morning with a view of a glorious sunrise. Now that’s some way of waking up, isn’t it?

The day would be spent indulging in various water sports and other water activities. The beaches of Mauritius are so pristine and clean that deep sea diving and snorkeling would be an amazing way to explore the marine life and the coral reefs. I have heard that the underwater sea walk is a unique experience that one must try out in Mauritius. The first day of the vacation would be devoted completely to beaches. The La Cuvette beach in the northern region, The Blue Bay and Belle Mare beach in the South East are perfect picturesque locations. The beaches are not very crowded and my plans to dip in the water for a swim and relax with a book fit in magnificently.

What better way to end the day than a drive in the Mauritian countryside with a wind tousling my hair and a drink in my hand. That is the way to live life, in my opinion.

The next day will be spent exploring the culture and the small, almost hidden, villages. The interesting thing about Mauritius is that the land is inhabited by Hindus, Tamils, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians and all of them peacefully cohabit respecting each other’s religion. In fact there is no “majority religion”, so temples, churches and mosques are all monuments that reside alongside with no violence. Maybe it’s time we took a leaf out of the Mauritian culture and learnt how to mutually respect each other?

This melting pot of land also has a mixed cuisine and the best way to taste the local cuisine is to hit the streets. The street food of Mauritius is a culinary paradise and one gets to taste the intricate flavors that are sure to titillate and fire-up the taste buds. Just yum!

Visiting Mauritius and not getting a spa luxury? That should never happen! So the next day would start with a rejuvenating spa therapy session. After all I’m on a vacation and I’m allowed to splurge a little. Mauritus is not just a beach destination but it also has lots of interesting museums and galleries. The La Vanille Nature Park is another tourist attraction which houses giant tortoises and crocodiles. The mystery of Chamarel, also called Seven Colored Earths because of the different hues of the soil is another must visit place.

The last day of the vacation would be completely devoted to lounging around the beaches and absorbing the mesmerizing scenes of Mauritius. What I wouldn’t give to have my own private piece of this paradise but all good things must come to an end and this vacation too would end. But the glorious memories would still linger in my mind until the next vacation. A new place to explore, a new land to visit and lots of food to eat!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Tornado Giveaway 2: Book No. 75: WRONG FOR THE RIGHT REASONS by Ritu Lalit


Author: Ritu Lalit

Read some reviews:

1. Rubina Ramesh 

2. Inderpreet Kaur Uppal

3. Nikita Jhanglani  

The Story:

Shyamoli Verma’s timing is wrong. In her late twenties, she finds that her marriage is irrevocably broken. She comes back to her parents with her pre-teen son and an infant daughter, only to find that she is unwelcome.

Independent and brash, she decides to bring up her children and also get a divorce without any support from friends and family.

Written with wry self deprecatinghumour, this is the story of a divorced woman's quest for love and security.

You can also buy @

About The Author 

Ritu Lalit 

Ritu Lalit is a corporate slave turned fiction writer. A voracious reader, she is a gold medalist post graduate in English Literature who spent most of her childhood in remote areas in the northeastern parts of India, lying on grassy hillsides daydreaming and reading books.

She loves spinning tales, but no longer has her captive audience as her children grew up and flew away from the coop. Her three dogs don’t pay much attention. She began writing in the vain hope that the characters she creates will listen to her, even do her bidding.

She has five books out in the market, A Bowlful of Butterflies, HILAWI, Chakra, Chronicles of the Witch Way and Wrong, for the Right Reasons. Her fifth novel, His Father’s Mistress is coming soon.

Stalk her @

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Now for the Rafflecopter: Gather as many points as you want to. The more points you get, the more you have a chance to win it all. Show your love for books.. Tweet, Like and Spread the Word... Thank you for being a Reader... You keep the Authors motivated... This is our way of saying a Thank you :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#TornadoGiveaway is an initiative of The Book Club. Click on the icon to go to the event page of the Tornado .. Lots of fun awaits you :)

Tornado Giveaway 2: Book No. 74: TO CATCH A KILLER by Lindsay Downs

Name of the Book: TO CATCH A KILLER

Author: Lindsay Downs

Read a review:

Amy E. Baggott 

The Stories:

The Masked Lady and The Murder

When Lord Robert Markson, Viscount of Hampshire, is force to return to England to find out who murdered his father and older brother he’s in for a surprise.

It comes in the guise of Lady Kristina Rosewood, daughter to the Earl and Countess of Crossington. To many she’s quartz but to him a multifaceted diamond.

While recovering from an attempt on his life which thrust them closer together they work through emotions for each other while sorting through letters sent to his mother years ago. Slowly, they’re able to discover the one man who could have set the murders in motion. The only problem, he’s been dead for years so who could it be and more importantly why now.

Once all the evidence is compiled the answer is something neither could believe as the threat comes from within the late viscount’s house.

The Guilty Countess 

Accused of murdering her husband, Lady Donna Kersey turns to the only people who can prove her innocence, her brother and his new bride.

As Robert and Kristina start their search for the real killer they learn the murder might be more complicated than first thought. Uncovering evidence sends the three in pursuit of a possible suspect only to find this person is innocent, or is he not guilty of the murder but not something else.

When Robert and Kristina learn Lord Kersey might not be exactly who they believe him to be that’s when the facts become murky. It takes a surprise visit by Kristina’s brother to help set the record straight which only adds more confusion to the facts.

Will Robert and Kristina find the killer of Lord Kersey before the authorities take Lady Kersey away in irons?

Highland Gold

When Lord Robert and Lady Kristina Markson arrive at their estate in Scotland they find that not everything is as it should be. Questions are left unanswered and a mystery unfolds.

Once they start investigating further, they realize the castle and the grounds are in shambles. Then people start to die, and Kristina fears the worse.

Her older brother, Lord Ethan Rosewood, shows up and makes unreasonable demands upon her and Lord Markson. Kristina and Ethan have never been close, and wherever Ethan is trouble seems to follow.

When missing pieces come together and the puzzle is forming, Kristina and Robert realize people aren’t as they seem and they must figure out who can be trusted.

Who is the killer? Does he walk among them, or are the clues to the mystery leading them down the wrong path?

You can also buy @

About The Author 

Lindsay Downs 

Stalk him @

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Now for the Rafflecopter: Gather as many points as you want to. The more points you get, the more you have a chance to win it all. Show your love for books.. Tweet, Like and Spread the Word... Thank you for being a Reader... You keep the Authors motivated... This is our way of saying a Thank you :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#TornadoGiveaway is an initiative of The Book Club. Click on the icon to go to the event page of the Tornado .. Lots of fun awaits you :)

Tornado Giveaway 2: Book No. 71: ALL ABOARD by Kiran Manral

Name of the Book: ALL ABOARD

Author: Kiran Manral

The Story:

When Rhea Khanna is dumped just days before her wedding, by her boyfriend of four years, the only thing she wants to do is to get out of the city to clear her head.  The opportunity presents itself immediately when her aunt, a retired school headmistress, invites her to accompany her on a Mediterranean cruise.

As Rhea struggles to cope with her grief of being dumped at the altar, she finds herself getting attracted to the seemingly unavailable Kamal Shahani—the infuriatingly attractive ex-student of her aunt and a hot shot entrepreneur.  To add to the confusion, Sonia, Kamal’s very attractive ex-girlfriend boards the ship in a bid to win him back.

Will Rhea heal her broken heart, or will she end up even more shattered than she was when she got on this cruise? Read, to find out.

You can also buy @

About The Author 

Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral worked as a journalist with The Asian Age and The Times of India before she quit full time work to be a full time mommy. One of the leading bloggers in India, her blogs were listed in Labnol's list of India's top blogs, and her parenting blog was ranked among the top five parenting blogs in India by Blogadda. She was also a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues.

She was listed among the 10 non-celebrity 'social media stars' on twitter by the TOI and IBN Live named her as among the 30 most interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter in 2013. Fashion named her as amongst the most stylish authors in India. listed her as one of the 20 women authors from India to be followed on twitter.

Post the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, she founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims, amongst others. She was part of core founding team behind Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month ( and Violence Against Women Awareness Month (, two very well received social media awareness initiatives.

Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2012 and her second novel Once Upon A Crush, was published by Leadstart in May 2014. She has three books due for release in 2015, the first of these being All Aboard! from Penguin Random House.

She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi, an Author Mentor at and a columnist at She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013.

Stalk her @

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Now for the Rafflecopter: Gather as many points as you want to. The more points you get, the more you have a chance to win it all. Show your love for books.. Tweet, Like and Spread the Word... Thank you for being a Reader... You keep the Authors motivated... This is our way of saying a Thank you :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#TornadoGiveaway is an initiative of The Book Club. Click on the icon to go to the event page of the Tornado .. Lots of fun awaits you :)