Navi Mumbai’s Autowalle Bhaiya in Limca Book Of World Record

Santosh Gaikwad with a little cute monster

Santosh Gaikwad with a little cute monster

Mumbai local train is called as Mumbai’s lifeline, but the auto’s and taxi’s which ferries its passengers from their home to the nearest railway stations cannot be sidelined. They are as important as the local train. They are on duty right before you sip your morning cup of tea and carry you halfway to your workplace till wee hours of the night to drop you home safely from the railway station.

The importance of autos cannot be ignored by any Mumbaikar, right? But somehow I feel the equation Mumbaikars share with most of the auto wallas is not good. The aggression, the bashing continues from time to time. I keep wondering why? I too have had my share of disagreement with a few of the auto wallas when they had refused to travel to places which are too close and at times I felt their meter is tampered. These incidences keep happening and I think will continue to happen. But after I met this man called Santosh Gaikwad, my outlook has changed a little towards them. This autowalla bhaiya was making a difference and helping people with whatever small ways he can.

I got to chance to speak to him in our society while he was dropping a passenger. You will find this man in Navi Mumbai and can recognize him with his auto which is decked up with flowers and bright lights. The moment you enter his auto you will be amazed to see how he has customized his vehicle with newspaper, magazines, pamphlets to keep enlighten you while he drives you safely to your destination.Untitled design

The best part is not only the literary collection that he has but giving free rides to physically handicapped people. Yes, you read it right, this man gives free rides to the differently –abled. His grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and one of her leg got amputated, he saw the difficulties faced by her and decided to help those people to ease their pain a little. His philanthropic work got recognized and was included in the Limca Book Of World Records in the 2014 edition. Isn’t it awesome?

Limca Book Of World Record certificate

Limca Book Of World Record certificate

Santosh Gaikwad is a very simple man, who inspite of being not so financially sound is doing his bit to help those who need support. I think he is doing a great job and we all should come forward and support him. He also told me that now a few of his fellow autowalla friends are also doing the same.

Not only this he told me that he also supports social causes like Education For Every Girl Child by giving information to socially backward classes. Awareness about road safety measures is another issue which is being addressed by this Good Samaritan.

Hats off! Respect!

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Yes, I think I am raising a left-handed child

The brushing tale!

The world celebrated the Left Handers Day on 13th August. Well, I wasn’t aware that such a day is also celebrated. I think is awesome to celebrate such a day as only 11 percent of the world’s populations are born left handed. And the reason for writing this blog post is also that I am raising one of the 11 percent myself.

Yes, I recently found that My 2 years 10 months old princess also prefers her left hand to perform most of her daily tasks. When she was over a year old, she at times used to hold her toys with her left hand but that time I rarely made a note of this. But now the preference has become more prominent as she has started scribbling and coloring. She prefers doing that with her left hand. Though at times she also uses her right hand but again switches to left just because she is more comfortable.

I tried to find out a little more about this phenomenon and found out some of the below facts-

Do not jump to a conclusion

You can make a final assumption about your child’s hand preference only when he/she starts schooling. Eating, playing or doodling does not require fine motor skills and the toddlers can perform these activities under the influence of rapidly developing brain. So, don’t come to a conclusion until your little ones stats schooling.

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Your child is different

If you are raising a left hander child, then remember that your child is different from the rest. How? Let me explain. I will try my level best. The left side of the brain which is responsible for controlling speech, math’s , logic, science, writing and language controls the right hand while the right side of the brain which controls the ability for art, music, emotion and Imagination controls the left hand. So, we can say that the brain is cross wired; right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa. In left handed people’s case the hand dominance is connected with brain dominance on the opposite sides, hence we say that only left handed people are on their right minds. I will find it out myself in the years to come.

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Encourage her

Ok, now that you had discovered a great mystery do not try to force your child to behave and act like the rest 89 percent of the world’s population. Respect the fact that she is unique and let her make decisions. Do not get worried thinking that how on earth she is going to deal with things when she grows up. Left handed people, to the best of their ability know how to deal with things. So, bit back, relax and watch them grow.

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Invest in friendly equipment’s

Although I am not quite sure but I have heard that you get specially designed art equipment’s or sports items for the left handed fellows. Imagine them getting irritated by using scissors meant for us. Do a thorough research before inventing.

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Be happy

Yes, you have a strong reason to be happy. Don’t get disheartened thinking how you child is going to manage things. There’s a whole bunch out there who are managing it quite well. Right from Barack Obama to Rafael Nadal to Lewis Caroll and Bruce Willis; they all are managing quite well aren’t’ they?

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All the best to me and to all other doting mom’s who are whole heatedly performing one of the difficult tasks in the world. Stay happy, positive and calm. I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on this. Do drop a message.

Ciao

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“Papa Loves Mambo.”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.”

Pic Courtesy: fabulousfashions4sensiblestyle.blogspot

Music, I believe plays an integral part in one’s life and it did in my case as well.

Music, while growing up was very soothing and relaxing; which still resonates in every Indian’s mind I guess. I grew up listening to songs from 60’s to 80’s era and I am sure no one is going to point a finger at me if I say the songs produced during those times are timeless. The music produced at those times were so melodious and mesmerizing that even today when I sit and listen to them I can imagine myself going back to my childhood days. In other words it transport me to my good old days when I lived a carefree life. Papa had an amazing collection of audio cassettes which he would play while getting ready for office and after coming home in the evening. We would all enjoy the songs in the background and keep doing our mundane tasks. It lifted our spirit.I still remember when we (me and my little brother) used to jump up with joy when Papa would play Shammi Kapoor’s “Suku Suku” and “Yahoooooo,Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe”song. Such joys of life.

Also we would only listen to songs, as during those days (80’s and early 90’s) there was just Doodarshan and the video access to songs were very limited. So, on Sundays we would all get up early and sit in front of the TV and wait for Chitrahar to start sharp at 7am, which was a weekly presentation of both new and old songs. Mumma would give us our sunday breakfast (Puri with aaloo ki bhaji) and we would all sit and enjoy our fav songs with real actors and actress performing. It was fun watching all our known songs come alive.

Talking about the effect it had on me, I would say it did had a tremendous effect. I still likes to listen to music which calms me and soothes me. I like to stay away from loud music and even if I like them its only reserved for certain occasions and lasts for a few days only. The old golden classics or even the more recent ones which has a softer tune lingers on your mind.

Food for the Soul (and the Stomach)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach).”

Right now I am craving for something which is boiling hot with steam coming out and a little spicy as much as my taste buds can handle. Well, yes I have got a cold and its driving me crazy with a blocked nose and not being able to breathe properly. I think its annoying to breathe the whole day and sleep all night with your mouth open. Err..I did that last night. I slept the whole night with my mouth wide open.

I remember when my mom used to make me feel better by preparing spicy curries. Moms know the secret and the cold used to disappear all of a sudden the next morning. But now I am helplessly hoping the cold to get better by doing stuff within my limit.

If I forget about the cold for sometime then I really like to bake a cake. It does take a little time and a little more effort but when you see the it rising inside the microwave you feel good. And then when the rich aroma is spread across the house it makes you feel even better. Then comes the time when you cut the cake and serve it to your loved ones and its gets over in no time. This feeling is not so good to be very honest as I love to eat a slice of cake the next morning with my morning tea. But then that’s fine, it doesn’t matter. I feel good that it got over or else I would have had to spend an extra 15 mins at the gym.

Such are the joys of life, sometimes good and sometimes even better.

Right now I wish I could get better by tomorrow.

Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake

“Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

(Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).

Pic Courtesy: Pinterest

Pic Courtesy: Pinterest

My fist attempt to the Daily Post Writing Prompt.

“Dictionary, Shmictionary.” sounds so much like “Chai, Wai” or “Paisa, Waisa”.

Well, there have been many instances which I do not seem to remember in particular right now. I think every writer face this situation while they are trying to draft something when a certain word pops up in your mind and you just write it and then write click to check its synonyms. It happens with me most of the times. I don’t know from where those words come from but they just appear. I think our brain is a mini dictionary which fits up things even if it appears before you for a fraction of a second and before you could see it or apprehend it the brain stores it right away.

I remember while I was in college doing my Bsc we had one Prof. who used to teach us Botany. Now every time he came we used to control ourselves because the way he pronounced certain terms tickled out bones like hell. E.g Fungi he would say “FuunGaai” and Algae he would pronounce as “Algi”. On a certain day I and my friend just could not control our laughter and we giggled like small 3 year old girls. Anybody would get offended, he was too and yes we were pushed out of the classroom. It was so embarrassing. And the most embarrassing thing was that Prof. was my neighbor.

Ok, now I remember one more instance. Yes, the brain dictionary has stated functioning all of a sudden 🙂

The word -“puddle”. Yes, that’s so embarrassing to confess that I discovered the meaning of the word puddle after I started working (that must be some 5-6 years back). So, I had to go and interview somebody (I was a reporter) and it was in the month of July. I was in Pune and my colleague advised me to take an alternate route as the other must be full of muddy puddles. I promptly said yes and then again went back to my desk saying I had forgotten to take print out of the questionnaire (Obviously I lied). I went back to my desk and goggled “Puddle” to know what it meant. That time I didn’t had a smart phone.

Well it was very embarrassing. But then you keep growing and keep learning all the time.

My little one who is 2years 10 months now keep saying “Mumma, lets jump on the muddy puddle please”, I smile and say, yes muddy puddle, why not, lets jump right away.

Such small joys!

And yes, I made a post on Muddy Puddle few days back. If you want you can check that out too 😀

Saas! Bahu! Beti! Behen! and the list goes on

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Pic Courtesy: Pinterest

I was just trying to kill my 10 minutes which I had before stepping out to pick up the kid of the house when I switched on the TV. Its been a long time I had stopped watching the daily soaps. Well, no I don’t miss watching them now. I had to force myself into watching them 3 years back just because it helped me earn my bread and butter (I used to work for a TV channel).

So, today morning I just realized that while our beloved TV channels have been striving hard to improve the status of women in the society, the government is slowly waking up to reality. Women today rule many things in a way and our position is not at all inferior, not any longer fellas!

Switch on the TV set you will find out that I am not kidding. All thanks to the umpteen number of TV Channel which are airing endless numbers of women centric shows day in day out. The term Saas-Bahu has become so familiar that this has become synonymous with Tom & Jerry, Ram & Laxman or Laila & Majnu.

If we divert our focus for sometime from the fiction to non-fiction shows then we witness the same thing. You say “Big Boss” and you remember Veena Malik or Dolly Bindra more then you remember Khali or Bindu. You say “SplitsVilla” and you remember Sakshi, Pavitra or Joanna more then you remember Mohit or Siddhartha. We women rule baby!

No one can deny the fact that women rule the small screen kingdom. As soon as you switch on the TV set you enter into a world of saas, bahu, beti, maa, behen, baby, chachi and the list continues. The number of women centric shows on TV is astounding. Do you remember any of the shows which are or were based on men? I seriously don’t remember any and now I am forced to think as why till now there aren’t any public objections for slandering all men on television.

Well… don’t you think it’s an insult to the mankind? Now that we have brands selling out men soap and talc why can’t we have a show on TV based on their life? Just think about it.

Anyways, although the woman portrays various roles on TV, they all have almost the same duties and responsibilities in all the show. As a wife/bahu/maa a female is portrayed as being loving, caring and submissive; as a beti/behen she is shown as lively, full of life and restricting herself from any kinda night outs because her family is too conservative or protective. Yeah! I don’t remember whether I have witnessed a single scene in any of the shows (since the time I have became a TV addict) where the daughter of the house goes out for night outs, and parents are cool about it… Most of our urban parents are today cool about daughters going out for parties… Actually, the protagonists’ parents aren’t cool, her friends’ parents are!

Now let’s focus on the sasu maa’s.  Well all the saas of the present day shows have undergone a major transformation. They are not acting like the typical saas all of a sudden. By transformation I don’t mean a full transformation but saasu maa’s are suddenly behaving a lot better then what they used to be in the past (atleast on TV).  So suddenly we see the saas helping out her bahus in the kitchen in the morning rather than expecting her to prepare a full course breakfast for the entire janta at home. She also accompanies the bahu to the beauty parlour and enjoys having pani-puri with her. The bahus too have stopped nagging against their saasu maa’ and have closed playing the blame game and exaggerating and complaining to their hubby’s about his mother’s behavior.

Remember the days when the female protagonists used wake up with untouched heavy makeup and jewelries. Well I always used to make fun of my mother for watching such unbearable stuff on TV.  But this trend has changed all of a sudden. The ladies have started wearing night suits or at least if they are not wearing one then they are minus their lipstick and jewelries, which is acceptable to me as a viewer.

A woman is portrayed differently on TV today. Gone are the days when you used to see women in saree and salwar suits only. As soon as you switch on you TV sets you will notice a sudden switch from an urbanized look to a more rural one. It’s good to see a change in trend and get away from the monotony. And the best part is we in the cities have taken to wear clothes like our rustic sisters in some of the shows. And how proud my grandmom must be feeling when she sees me fully clad… Priceless moment (Psst, little does she know my influence is my new friend TV, and not so much her conservative thought)

But then, having said that – something which concerned me was that all these series speak of many causes. Like for example child marriage,education for girls,family values and so on.

So it’s the power puff girls everywhere who are stealing the limelight. The females are driving the small screen in India, no doubt about it.

But keeping all the above said good things aside, I still don’t want to watch them. I wish the production houses in India comes up with better ideas which will keep us hooked up to the TV sets in near future.

Sigh!

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Pic Courtesy: kitabandiduniyan

It was all about getting wet and playing in the muddy puddles

10448772_10152557579531252_5325488663745588809_nAs soon as the summer used to settle down with its fist downpour, the child within me used to rise beyond measure. A July born, I used to love the rains and how. It’s needless to go back to childhood and describe my feelings then because I guess each and every child loves the rain. Getting wet, going out with their own tiny umbrella’s, wearing their gum boots, jumping in the muddy puddles; well which kid doesn’t like rain?

As I started working in a place away from home, this feeling still stayed within me. The morning shower would leave me a little exhausted and would make me walk with an umbrella and with an office bag to find an auto/taxi to reach work on time. I would crib about this and that in front of the bosses but I didn’t have any hard feelings from within. I enjoyed getting drenched, reaching late at work and joining the conversation of how we all fought like great warriors to reach at work on time.

But now the feelings have changed; just because I am a mom now. A sudden outburst of rain or even a slight change in climate drives me nut. It’s my 3rd monsoon with Pahi and this has been the best one so far as compared to the last two. Not going out in public places, not letting her mingle with kids with running nose, not letting her step out without wearing full sleeve clothes, not letting the mom in me sneeze, taking antibiotics to suppress the cold so that the infection does not pass on to her and all those crazy precautions.

It feels like ages that I have enjoyed getting wet in the rain; that I have enjoyed smiling at the onset of monsoon; that I have danced in the first downpour; that I have jumped in the muddy puddles. Now the fist thought that creeps in instantly is whether Pahi is dressed up properly; whether she should be sent to school or not; whether she should be given a bath or not and how to prepare myself for the cold and cough if by any chance she gets an infection. In short we mommy’s get so concerned that we forget to enjoy the beautiful happenings around us.10565260_10152627287186252_6716176049431677536_n

So, yesterday I was enjoying an episode of Peppa Pig on You Tube with Pahi. We lately got addicted to it and I must tell that it’s a must watch for all the toddlers. We saw Peppa Pig and her family enjoying jumping in the muddy puddles. Pahi got up from her tiny red chair and asked “ Mumma, why can’t we too jump on the puddles? Why do we not do this? Look, they are having so much fun”, and I was astonished at her thoughts. I said yes why not, we can also start doing this. And so the next morning it rained and in peppa pig inspired moment Pahi decided to jump on one of the puddle while going to school. Thank God the puddle was not muddy or else I would have had to take her back home to change her uniform.

Such small joys!

I now wonder how sometimes so ordinary and naïve things become so narrative and change our perspective all of a sudden.