Get your Aadhar card done in Hyderabad in 1/2 hour

aadharAadhar card is mandatory for every Indian. As with every other thing, once it is mandatory – I have the skill of pushing it below the to-do list. My entire family got it done, while I still lazed quoting my daughter. When I came to mom’s place – I *had* to take my grand mother to get her Aadhar done. So, I went ahead and got mine & my daughter’s done – as it looked very obvious for any more excuses. We started from home at 8:15 AM and again back at home by 10AM. Amazing! The entire process at Aadhar card enrolment center took us about 45 minutes.  Here is the venue:

HYDERABAD – KARVY NAINA TOWERS
KARVY NAINA TOWERS,
8-2-609/NT, Road #10, Banjara Hills
HYDERABAD
Andhra Pradesh
India
PIN CODE: 500034

Once you go there, this is what happens:

a) There are Karvy staff at the first table you see after you enter in. They take your documents and verify. After verifying the xerox ( and sometime originals – do carry yours) they stamp your document. For kids aged below 5 yrs,  just remember to carry date of birth certificate.

b) Go to the next counter and get your token. Wait inside to be called in. The process is simple – the operator digitally enters your information.  Follows is the photo and thumb impressions. You get a receipt of the enrolment and you are done.

* The entire process is free of cost.

The best time to go to Aadhar card enrolment center is morning 8 AM. You will be back in 1/2 hour time. What are you waiting for? GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

How to instantly stop your toddler from crying?

SAM_3542Today, an interesting thing happened. I must share with you all. After my daughter Saanvi has officially got the status of a toddler, her screams have gotten louder and louder. Usually ,my techniques involve distracting her. They work best during daytime because the whole word is wide awake and you have lot of things to distract her with. What about bed times? After having a particularly eventful and playful day, my daughter just bought my iPhone with her on the bed and started watching videos in dark room. I was very very worried that her beautiful eyes will get spoiled because of the dark room and bright light from the iphone. Considering the situation, age and the time of the day – I did not find reasoning a very good option. I once told her why watching iphone at that time is not good for her and immediately snatched the phone off her hands. Everyone with kids can imagine what might have happened – she cried at the top of her voice, with no tears in her eyes yet. I had a bright bulb in my mind – I slept beside her and started rubbing my ear. I told her it hurt me a lot. She started becoming curious and asked me what happened. I told her something hurt me while coming back, and i have to rub for some time to settle it down. After I engaged her with my fake ear pain for 2 minutes or so, she started to smile and help me come out of my pain. I was relieved and so was she. Finally, saanvi went off to sleep quite peacefully.

Lesson learnt: Any time of the day, do what is good for your kid. Find a way to manage their tantrum afterward. Never give in to their demands when you fully know that it is bad for them. Be creative and find ways to distract them.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

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2 States by Chetan Bhagat : Book Review

2StatesEver since my movie date with Saanvi to watch Kai Po Che, I was eager to read every single book of Chetan Bhagat. Love stories are good, aren’t they? I picked up 2 States to read after finishing the heavy-read Thousand Splendid Suns. Two birds at one shot – read long awaited teen flick and increase my book count.

The book is an extremely easy read – finished in one sitting of around 3 hours. After reading the book and complaining about it to my sister in law, I put up a facebook status message:

Sometimes, you just wish you hadn’t read that one book – you’d still be holding the author very high. Chetan Bhagat – not the same in my eyes after reading 2 States.

That actually sums up my review for the book. But, i still did get over from the complaining mode, so here we go on a lengthy account on why I did not like the book:

Inter religious and Inter State marriages are not easy. And in no way funny. Only people who can survive them are the “decided” ones – who know in the deepest of their hearts that the other person is “THE ONE” for them. In a novel that talks about Inter state marriages and goes on and on how they convince each other’s parents – how can it miss out the obvious chemistry part : What makes them convince themselves that they are made for each other? From my personal experience, it takes quite long time and some level of maturity to come to these decisions. The relationship between the main protagonists is really shallow. College students, studying together and spending all the time with each other. In real world, how many of these spend-all-time-together relationships culminate into marriage?  No where in the book the author attempted to show atleast one deep conversation between the couple. It is embarrassing to note that, the main lead Krish tells guruji about his father, not the girl who’s parents he’s been trying to convince since last 6 months. Sigh.

There are other problems with this book as well. Important one is a very cinematic way of dealing with each side’s parents. Is that all it takes – a powerpoint presentation and a music concert to win over hearts? Don’t think so. It would need some hard-hitting conversations between the girl and her parents. In the whole scheme of impressing her parents, the girl just goes on week-long trips outside the house and let the guy handle her parents. Wish it would be so easy, isn’t it? And the least talked about the guy’s family the better.  His father, who gets slapped because he did not support him in his previous love matter goes all the way to the girl’s house to convince! He who does not value his own wife – talk about getting a daughter in law for her. It must be some kind of joke.

End of the day – not one incident in the book looks realistic. However, I am pretty sure the book would make a good romantic movie. In all in all, the only thing I liked in the book was the dig taken at punjabi and tamil cultures – also the only saving grace of the book.

If possible, just stay away from this book. Chetan Bhagat, we the readers deserve much better.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Saanvi Chronicles: enduku ala ..!

It is fun to recollect what your kids have done, after they have stopped doing it. These series of blog posts are just for that one purpose – record Saanvi’s cute little and annoyingly original words before she and me forget and move on to more interesting one-liners. Here we go:

a) Enduku Ala : Now, she really has to understand what makes mommy behave in a certain way. Imagine, i sit at my laptop and smile at a joke that appears on my facebook newsfeed, I immediately have a CID Question: ” Mamma, why are you laughing”? Then I answer her that it’s the joke. She goes away. After a while, when I try to feed her, and she keeps refusing,  I tell her – ” Little Devil, show me your teeth. Have you any??”. She opens her mouth only to ask me.. “Why did you call me Little Devil”?. As of today, I get atleast 20 – 25 questions every single day questioning my facial expressions, actions and lack of.

b) Fatt( For First) : Saanvi has learnt to pronounce all the letters except “L” and “R”. When we play, one of them would be to keep an object at a distance and see who goes first. So, she would tell me..”Mama, lets see who goes fatt”.  Instead of going, I start laughing and try to correct her. The more i correct, the more she shouts – “Fatttttt!!!” and goes out to get the object first.

Cannot recollect much at the moment. Hibernating after eating a big bowl of ice cream 😛 Will update once she manages to make me laugh out loud again.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

 

 

Thousand Splendid Suns : Quotable Quotes

TSSunsThis book was referred to me by my lovely sister in law, who has books last thing in her mind. Knowing the kind of person she is, I had the compulsive urge to start reading the book immediately. This is my fastest book in 2013 – finished reading in 2 days flat. The movie traces the lives of 2 afgan women – no where connected in the beginning, to their hatred, companionship and in the end – living for one another. One cannot expect to be moved by the happenings in the book. As I read on, I at some time felt blessed to be in a country where bombings, where i did not witness men beating up women brutally in front my eyes and where you had to live, picking up the remains of your loved ones any single day. This book left me both sad – for afgan women and blessed – for never being there. But I could not wonder for a long long time, how can one person endure a life like that? I’m sure the novel cannot be entirely fiction.

Usually i defer from writing  the story line with spoilers in my reviews. Whatever touches my heart remains with me. I do not need any rewind to keep such books in my head and heart forever. For my beloved readers, I bring quotable quotes from this book:

1. Nana said,”Learn this now and learn it well, daughter : Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always find a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.”

2. She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up in the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below.

3. In that week, Laila came to believe that of all the hardships a person had to face none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.

4. Laila, my love, the only enemy an Afgan cannot defeat is himself

5.One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls

6. You can be anything you want, Laila, he says. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over, Afganistan is going to need you.

7. “I’m sorry”, Laila says, marveling at how every Afgan sory is marked by death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet,she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on.

Go ahead and grab the book. You will never regret reading it,for your own personal reason.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

What things to do you talk to your kid about?

I have a wonderful app on my iphone – “Parenting Reminder A Day A Tip”. One of my favorite quotations is the one i got on April 15th:

Parents should consider themselves actors on the stage. Of course, we all know who’s in the front row of the audience: the children. So, go ahead and give the performance of a lifetime.

ImageThis is so so true. With toddlers, they have so much energy that if you want to improve on few things – you’d not know when to tell them. Closer to the point of mistake, true. What if they are crying at that moment? From my personal experience, I have figured out a way to put my thoughts into my daughter’s brain – the best time is night time when she snuggles beside me to get into sleep. The best age is when she understands whatever i say and truly believes everything i say is correct. No cross questioning started 😛

So, you all might be curious what i talk to my daughter? Every night, i tell her that mama will tell her important things. She knows the meaning of “important” and not every word mama says is important. So, she sleeps beside me and stares at me with her eyes wide open. Here goes my list:

1. What happens if saanvi eats well? She would have lot of energy to play around. And then, because she has lot of energy to play, mama will take her to exhibition, play ground and shopping mall. She also gets lot of books, toys and clothes. What if Saanvi doesn’t eat well? Her stomach would be so empty and she would be so hungry. As she would not have any energy to play around, mama will not take her anywhere..”

To this commentary, my daughter usually listens to the first sentence and responds to me by saying that she is a good eater today, and has eaten all her meals. I appreciate her, and recollect all the things she has eaten in the day. On the days like yesterday where she’d not touched anything the whole day- I make it a point to tell her that mama did not take her to exhibition today because she didn’t eat anything the whole day. You’d think i am talking to a wall – but she really understands well.

2.  When Saanvi wants to cry, she can come and  request bear huggy from mummy.  Mummy would give her bear huggy, wipe her tears, give her a kiss on her cheek and tell her that she is mummy’s best best baby.

This is the best part of important things for my daughter. Usually, when i ask her what she wants to do when she cries, she will recite the entire sentence in a comically sing song way. After about 15-20 days of continuous telling, now if she really is cranky and wants to cry out loud, she has started coming to me and asking for bear huggie rather than blowing my roof top off.

3. When Saanvi wants something, the only way to get it is by asking slowly. If she screams, cries or demands things – no body would listen to her. The only way is to ask slowly.

For this important thing, she emotes the various ways (screaming, asking slowly) and then goes ahead to teach me what works and what doesn’t. Ofcourse, this hasn’t really come to practice yet – she still screams and cries when she wants something – but we as parents have the responsibility to tell the kid what works and what doesn’t.

4. When saanvi sucks her finger, the upper lip bulges up and becomes ugly. Then mamma takes her to the doctor. The doctor removes her upper two teeth. It is very painful and saanvi cries a lot. That is why mama tells saanvi not to suck her finger. When saanvi doesn’t suck her finger, mama gives her a sticker as a token of appreciation.

The last one makes me look as if i am heartless, isn’t it? telling the little girl a mocking horror story of her habits. My daughter has been finger sucker since she’s been few days she is born until today. I noticed that finger sucking is a way of comforting herself. So, although i searched for various ways to remove her finger – I did not resort to any of them. Afterall, how would you feel if you all-the-time comfort was forcibly taken away from you? So will she feel. But, i thought this is a good time for me to try to stop her finger sucking – when she understands and believes me 100% as a mother. So, I wanted to try to stop her finger sucking by psychologically motivating her not to put her finger in her mouth. My logic is simple – put those thoughts in her brain which will work even when i am not physically around and monitoring her. Much to my amusement, when i just started on this “new important” thing, i bought her to my mom’s place. My dad and my grandma had immediate doctor appointments and they both came back from dentist appointments  consecutive days. So, my important thing was spot on, supplemented by real world evidence. Much to my happiness, the last 2 days – usually when she goes to sleep with her finger sucking, she did not put finger in her mouth while going to sleep.  It came from inside her, not by my proding.

My list of important things changes with time. As of now, the things i need to address with my ever active toddler are : Diet, screaming & crying,  labeling emotions and finger sucking. Those have been incorporated in her important things. The list will change as as when she starts changing.

What things do you talk to your kid about? It’s time you start thinking.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina : My takeaways

Image

Reading this book was really a breeze. Managed to finish in couple of days with fixed early morning reading.  It is not jargon at all, and it did provide me with valuable insights on how to deal with my toddler at home.  The two most important insights i took away from this book are :

1. Any person in this life is as happy as stable his emotional connections are. It is really imperative that a parent put the child’s emotions in the centre stage and work around accordingly.

2. Empathy is a must when dealing with toddlers. Help them label their emotions. It will help them to deal with big emotions in a balanced way. In order to do this, it is important for parents to practice empathy in everyday life and start labeling their emotions.

I’d like to put an example with my daughter Saanvi, which i put into practice after reading this book. My daughter since very small, has his habit of going awake until her scheduled sleep time is over. After that, she creates a small scene and cries nonstop. She cannot understand that she is tired and she is sleepy. She needs to sleep immediately. Instead, for every single thing, she falls on the ground, get irritable and goes crazy. I used this technique after I finished reading the book.

This round she started going crazy, I told her – “you know what this is called? this is called getting sleepy. You should get some sleep”. She still did pretty awful things – but she definitely calmed down and after a while she asked me – “So, am i getting sleep now? Is that why i am behaving like this?!! I will go to sleep now”. Haha, and she slept much earlier than the previous circus drama routine.

Another example. As we have summer around, I stopped using hot water for her bath. When I started using cold water, she was fine in the initial days. One day, she suddenly decided that water was too cold for her. The next day, I planned to make a trip to my mom’s house. I did have water mixed up with both hot and cold – but she just refused to come inside the bathroom. I started in my usual way, trying high and low to get into bathroom. Suddenly, the lecture on empathy dawned on me. What if she is scared? I stopped talking,went to her, took her in my arms and asked – “Are you afraid the water is still cold”. She had tears in her eyes and a fearful expression in her face. I am glad i did that. It still took me good 10 minutes to get her into bathroom but after my question, things were working my way rather than against my way.

Your kid’s emotions are the most important things you will deal with, throughout your life. If you want to be a better parent, THERE IS NO SHORTCUT.  Studies show that if your 30% of interactions are full of empathy, your kid will surely turn out better.  Generally speaking, help them out to label their emotions.  Take time and learn to label your emotions too.

Another important takeaway from this book is, the way of disciplining the kid. When you tell your kid not to behave in a certain way – that must be followed by 2 things : Why and what is the kid is supposed to do then. Just yelling and telling them to do because you told them will only work in the exterior. It will not arouse their moral compass.  Once you consistently apply this, the kid will have the reasons engrained in their mind. Next time, even if you are not around – the sentences you speak regularly will originate from their mind. That is what you want, isn’t it? Kids don’t get it the first time – it will need consistent application of the same principles again and again.

The behavior your kid will get by the age of 5 will be the maximum contribution you will be making in their life. Isn’t it true – because now whatever we speak is THE TRUTH for them, and their brains start hardwiring in a particular way.

Effective parenting needs patience and practice. I would like to end my review with the most favorite quote from the book which says – Kids give a lot than they receive.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!