Weekend Links

How are you doing this weekend? I am enjoying the last of the winter days. There is hardly any spring season where I live. It's either hot, very hot or less hot. Less hot for me now, so it's A-OK. Here are some interesting links from around the web:

Let us talk about the divorce settlement of World's richest woman.

Kumbh mela in pictures. Wow!

An interesting take on the #10yearchallenge.

Unfair and Lovely

On letting a child just 'be'.


THE Youtube channel for the millenial lady.

A cutesy cosy winter cardigan
Such cute baby socks!

Have a good weekend!

How To Choose The Man You Marry

The simplest way to decide whether you should marry the person in question is to ask yourself,

"If you had a son, would you like him to be a man like this?"

If your answer is yes, marry him. If your answer is no, don't.

(Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Unsplash)

My Pregnancy Story

If you know of my relationship with God, you would know that I never ask for anything when I visit temples. I always thank God for everything in this world and leave as it is. I actually visit temples just to experience the good vibes or sometimes because they are a historical or architectural marvel. However, today is different.

I am at the Siachen Glacier Base Camp. THE fricking SIACHEN. I had never ever imagined I would be here. I had come on an impromptu trip to Ladakh to surprise my younger sister who was getting posted out shortly. We had initially not planned to go anywhere. I was okay with just resting in a room for the next one week as this trip was about spending time with her and not about crossing the touristy checklist. I had planned to do that sometime later on another trip with my husband. 

However, here we were, after a very sudden last-minute plan and 6 hours of breathtaking mountain ride (in a very comfortable car). A couple of miles from where we stand is the snout where the legendary glacier begins. I am standing in the legendary 'OP Baba temple' where a special aarti is being conducted as today is the 'Bhandara day', an auspicious day on which the designated soldiers begin their treacherous journey to various posts in the 70 km long unforgiving glacier. As hundreds of bells chime ryhtmically in the icy wind, soldiers take the blessings one by one and leave for their duty, some never to return back.

As I take in the beauty of the razor-sharp summits of mostly naked mountains around, I take a few seconds to close my eyes to the deity ahead and say my typical prayer, "Thank you for these soldiers. Thank you for my husband. Thank for my family. Thank you for everything. A baby, maybe?" I am surprised by my own admission. It had always been somewhere at the back of my mind but it suddenly flashing in my prayer was a shock to myself.

Our visit goes smoothly except for the dance in my belly lately which I had accredited to high-altitude acclimatization. I am so mesmerized by the beauty and sorcery of this place that on my flight back home I message my sister, "If I ever have a daughter, I am naming her Siachen." If only I had known...

I wish we were one of those annoyingly sweet couple who had a cute story of how they made their baby. Unfortunately, we don't remember. Except, that the only possibility it could have happened was the brief window we got just before I proceeded on a trip to Ladakh.

We had decided to try for kids at the beginning of the year, except, by twist of fate and ever changing plans, we barely were together throughout the year - I had been constantly travelling and when I was home, it would be my husband who would have to be away on a course or training etc.

So when the two pink lines appeared on my pregnancy test kit a few days after my birthday, it came as a pleasant surprise. Also, a feeling of, "F**k, this is it!". I faintly remember having a similar feeling a day before my wedding - excited about something yet knowing it has the power to change your life entirely.

I was happy, but mostly freaked out, "How would I ever go through this? Am I able enough to carry safely a child? What if something goes wrong? I've never been a baby person - will I make a good mother?" The first trimester went by in a weird mix of excitement and fear. And A LOT of medical tests. Few weeks in, I had my first ultrasound scan - which, because I was in such a hurry to pee - couldn't focus myself to see (also because of the weird position of the screen). Just an answer in affirmative to All ok? and  I rushed out like a Shatabdi.

I started taking care of my diet and having more fruits and milk than I had since I left school. I was really really anxious to get through smoothly and safely. It helped that I had quit my job and  joined in a PhD program just a couple of months ago so at least I didn't have the pressure to balance my life with work.

At the end of  my first trimester, I moved to Mhow for the next three months to be with my husband who was on a course there. He had already been there for a couple of weeks and as we received our accommodation late, I travelled alone in the train. The three months there were very pleasant. I loved living the small town life in our two room house, with friends all around and so many options to eat! We tried everything for classy restaurants to roadside panipuri to poha on a thela

I cannot thank God enough that I had an incredibly smooth pregnancy. Like I didn't even puke once, duh! I did not display any other pregnancy symptom as well - no nausea, no cravings, no paon bhari hona - in ALL THE  9 MONTHS! I had already had a round chips-and-cola belly before I conceived so till the fifth month, I didn't even get to see that 'baby belly'. Heck, I kept on doubting if I was pregnant AT ALL! But the ultrasound had been showing a baby inside, so decided to have a little more faith. It did eventually appear and the baby ensured to make his presence felt through regular kicks.

Somewhere around the beginning of my third trimester, we moved back to Jammu. It had been just a couple of days in when terrorists attacked our station. We could  cruise through the incident safely and while in the coming weeks the husband left for his field tenure, I started preparing for childbirth. My in-laws moved in with  me in my 8th month and on a regular hospital visit my gynaec informed that my baby would be arriving at least two weeks earlier than my due date because of my higher sugar levels, freaking me out!

Nothing could prepare me for what was about to come...

Weekend Links

What are you upto this week? Living right now in a little township, we have nothing but the winter sun to sustain us through the weekend. Nothing else to do here. My son has recently started singing and his continuous musical performances keep us entertained. If you're like me, inside your quilt wanting to read some good stuff around on the internet, here's my pick for you:

Firstly, all hail Gita Gopinath, the first woman Chief Economist at IMF!

What a beautiful house!

This movie has me excited!

These World Heritage Sites in India. Wow!

On skipping all the traditional ceremonies for your baby.

Real-life Swades.

Just ordered this riveting book for my sister.

I wish I could dance as fluidly as this. Playing on loop.

Zero-waste wedding. Yes, pelase!

Beautiful tote bags! Planning to buy one. Help me select one!

Hope you have a good weekend!


What Are You Reading Currently?

I must tell you that I am a sporadic reader. Sometimes you might find me reading days on end and sometimes not once (like I did all of last year). Also, I also like to read multiple books at a time - different books for different times of the day depending on my mood - so you'll always find at least 3-4 books on my bedside table In an effort to read more this year, I picked up the following three books that have caught my attention lately:

The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath - I absolutely love reading good travel stories especially when it is by a woman on a journey of her own. This book exceeds my expectations in its sheer honesty, genuineness and simplicity. The best thing about Shivya is that she is one of us and it is so easy to relate to a normal middle-class Indian girl wanting to travel just cause as compared to a wealthy New Yorker on the brink of divorce (though I 've liked this book as well!). Broken down into small breezy chapters narrating episodes from her various travels across the world, this book feels less of a narration and more of a friendly chat with your long lost friend, an admirable feat of writing given this is Shivya's first book. Definitely recommended!

Notes for Healthy Kids by Rujuta Diwekar - I have been a fan of the food philosophy of Rujuta since her first book and while reading her book on pregnancy when I got to know that she is writing a book for children, I had to have it at the earliest - so, this book is the first one I'd ever pre-ordered in my life! However, I do wish she had gone a little bit more into the details of food for kids under 2 years of age, because that is what I am dealing with right now. It would make a great read for anyone looking to get back to basics of healthy eating and living of kids, especially those aged between 5 to 15 years.

The Art of the Good Life by Rolf Dobelli - I originally bought this book as a gift for my sister while visiting her last month. I got to read it this week and it has been a warm experience till now. Through 52 simple and thought-provoking chapters, Dobelli simplifies the foundations of a good life. I am liking the non-preachy tone of this book and that it genuinely aims for you to strive for a better life by making you re-think your attitude towards daily life philosophies. This book also makes for a lovely and thoughtful gift.

So, these are my three books for now. 

What have you been reading lately? Would you recommend me any book that I could follow up with?

Looking at 2019

Two days before 2019, my grandmother (Nani) left for heavenly abode. She was staying here at my parents's place for a while and even though the previous night was like any other routine one where we talked, had dinner and played with the little one, except, the next morning, she didn't wake up.

So 2019, for me, began with an unexpected harsh jolt of reality. She was the last living member of her generation in my family, and other than the fact that I had seen death for the first time up so close, the suddenness of it shook me to the core - How could she go just like that?  She wasn't unwell. She didn't even give a clue. We didn't even get to say goodbye!

Even though life looks pretty much normal again, the truth is, I haven't been able to process her death completely yet. I feel like she has just gone away on a holiday and will be back again.

Except, she won't.

So, yeah, 2019 for me has begun with a mixed feeling of conflict and contentment - the drive to pursue passions I've always left on backburner while 'life' took over while also wondering how much of it all does it even matter in the end.

For now, I do know that motherhood continues to keep my hands, legs and brain full and I would really like to share a lot of it here. Raising a child has also resulted in me reconsidering my lifestyle and this year I would make an effort to incorporate the concepts of minimalism, eco-friendly and low waste living into our lives. My exploration of helpful sustainable products will continue and may be I could review them for you if you'd like so.

I have also strived to make this blog a happy, positive and safe space for women to talk, share and learn freely. Building upon the same, I look forward to bringing the stories and experiences of a lot more women from different walks of life under the various sub-categories of motherhood, beauty, career, health and design.

Very importantly, in 2019, I intend to get back to reading. Yes, I can pretty much say that I never managed to finish a single book (fiction/non-fiction) in 2018. If you have any good book recommendation,please let me know. For now, this wonderful travelogue is keeping me hooked.
On travel front, the Bub & I look forward to joining the Soldier in Kashmir over summer and day dreaming about the same is going to keep me busy for the next couple of months.

In a nutshell, all I intend on doing thisyear is - Connect more.

So yes, these are pretty much my (tiny) hopes from 2019. What are yours?