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From my last post it has been obvious that life had taken a fast forward mode.

I think it was somewhere in January end or February beginning when i started with a bigger bump and the related twitches and turns from within and the feeling of ‘being pregnant’ started settling in well.

Before i could blink and realise it was June. My hospital bags were packed, the post natal massage lady booked, my mother in law got to town, the doctor’s visits were no longer monthly but getting to bi-monthly and weekly.

On a June morning, my mom seeing me commented, ‘you bump is getting low. Baby will be here anytime’. I was 37 weeks that day and officially full term. Guess it was her words ringing in my mind the whole day, i ended up in the hospital that afternoon with some false pains. With some education from the nurses and consoling from the doctor i went back home.

I was on the lookout for all the signs that the nurse had instructed me every day then.

I went on to the 38th week of pregnancy.

It was 26th night, with so much symptoms i went to bed.

It was about 11.20 in the night and I thought i was passing urine on my self. I though i had lost control on my bladder but then it struck, was it my water bag? But then isnt the water bag breaking a gush of water?

But soon, i realised that my ‘ assumed’ urine leakage was wetting my cloths.

Mom was sleeping; i woke her up requesting her to help me clean up but what followed was a commotion and we were hospital bound.

27th June Early Morning 0100 hrs

On checking the nurse in the Labour & Delivery ward confirms- i am leaking fluid and needs to be admitted now. Was admitted and waiting for the pain to set in, as i was already 2 cms dilated.

Quickly was strapped to the ctg to monitor my contractions and baby’s heartbeat.

0300 hrs

Amidst a lot of deliveries happening (i hear a lot of wailing from the near by rooms); my doctor comes to check me and says he shall wait till 12 noon and then decide on the further course. To speed up the process, medicines were administered to induce labour along with a drip.

0600 hrs

My husband and mother in law comes. My super excited Rajesh had clicked a few pictures before i could go into labour. I smiled through the cramping i was going through.

0800 hrs

Cleaned up, enema administered and waiting for active labour to set it, though i was having mild cramping and not so strong contractions.

0900 hrs

Everybody goes to have some breakfast while it is a liquid diet for me.

1130 hrs

No progress. Dull contractions, still 2 cms dilated (for the baby to come out-the cervix needs to be dilated 10 cms).  Doctor changes his mind, ‘The baby is doing great. Lets wait till evening 8’

The ctg measured my contractions at an unit of 8-9 while actual labour needed a measure of 100 units and above. I was waiting while i was administered the same medicine again to induce the pain and second round of drips started.

The full day cramping was tiring me and the people with me kept waiting.

2000 hrs

The doctor checks me again.

Progress 3 cms dilation but the same dull contractions (i was getting tired by now). The doctor suggests we get an ultra sound scan to be done to see what is hindering the baby from descending into the birth canal, as the baby was still positioned high up.

It was decided that we wait for a few more hours.

The labour induction (which was necessary as i was leaking fluid), being unable to move (as i was strapped to the ctg machine) and the all day lower abdomen cramping and dull back pain was unbearable. My 9 months of pregnancy wasnt as uneventful as this one day was getting.

28th June 0000 hrs

An internal check reveals that i was now 4 cms dilated. Though dilation was progressing pretty slow, my pains were intensifying. A wave of pain would hit my lower back, like a wave move to the lower abdomen, make me feel paralysed for a minute or so and then leave. More than anything, it broke my heart to see my mother by my side, trying to keep her sleepy eyes awake every time the pain hit me and my poor Rajesh sitting helplessly on a sofa nearby.

0300 hrs

Doctor comes in again. I am still 4 cms dilated!!!

He suggests that since the baby is doing good, he is going to wait till 12 noon that day and decide. Rajesh suggests if we can go for a csec. That was exactly what i had in mind. My body couldnt take it anymore, i was exhausted, famished and tensed if the leaking fluid was harming my baby.

The waiting game was on.

0800 hrs

The shift in the hospital changes and the nurse who had admitted me the previous day walks in to see me and asks, ‘You are still here?’

It seemed like i was there forever. I wanted to cry.

0930 hrs

Doctor comes to check again. Now each time i got the pain, I would lose my senses and felt i was going blind. He checks and says the baby is doing great but we cannt wait beyond 12. If there isnt any progress till then, we shall have an emergency csec. I was now looking forward to 12 and my csec.

1050 hrs

I was given a mask to breathe through when the contractions hit me; i felt rajesh hold my hand as i was breathing through it. ‘ I cannt take this anymore, i dont think i will survive this; i cannt do this- pls take me back home.’ i told him. All he did was hold my hand tighter as another contraction hit me harder.

LifeLine (my hospital) had some very friendly staff and nurses. The head nurse feeling bad for me, would drop in several times during the day and enquire my well being.

She came in and asked me how i felt and suddenly she asked me if she can do a quick internal check. Now no pain mattered and i agreed. On examing, everything seemed to change and there was commotion. It seems I was now 9 cms dilated, the baby’s head was really down and I was having the real pain.

In between a few nurses hold my hand and say, ‘we are praying for you. God is with us!’  Nothing seemed to make sense to me. I was in pain and wanted the csec soon.

1100 hrs

Suddenly there was chaos!!! My bed adjusted, my legs raised higher, my doctor and a battalion comes in. He does another internal check and instructs me on pushing; i didnt follow a word.

More people come into the room and some harsh lights switched on. The pains suddenly seemed to hurt more or was it because of all the people around, i didnt know. A wave of pain hit me and i hear my doctor and the head nurse say, ‘PUSH PUSH PUSH!’

I couldnt.

A nurse held my hand and said, ‘you have to push’

Another chorus shout- ‘PUSH PUSH PUSH!’

I didnt know what to push, there was an intense pressure down there but i wasnt able to push it away.

‘Comeon PUSH Sithara, PUSH now’, the doctor said.

Along with that i heard a familiar voice, ‘ Chinnu PUSH, our vava is here. PUSH’ that was my rajesh and my needed energy boost. The pain intensed, the pressure grew higher and i thought i was passing out, i pushed!

I opened my eyes, everything was blurt- the chaos grew. My eyes fell on the doc, he had a baby. Was it mine?

I heard some one say,’ baby girl, 11.10 birth time.’.

I saw them pass the baby to another team and in between i saw rajesh with tears. But the doc was still at work. There was a lot of blood around and that made me feel sick.

From somewhere, a nurse hands me a small bundle. The bundle had the prettiest eyes i have seen and it looked at me as if she has been searching for me.

She was tiny, she had big eyes, lots of hair and was pink. Her cry was like a little kitten purring. I couldnt believe that this was the tiny life that was inside me till the last hour. I thanked God for this gift and called her kannmani (meaning apple of the eye in malayalam), she stopped crying, looked at me for a second and then gave me a friendly ‘meow’ kind of noise.

Rajesh comes to me, with a look as though he has conquered the world. ‘Nammulede mole sundariaa, chinnuvinte mooka vavakye (our daughter is beautiful, she has got your nose), he said.

Life had changed and i realised a lot more colors has been added; the baby suddenly became everything.

We have named our little starlet Nakshatra..

My Happy Birthday…

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I have been bad with my blog this year; the last post was in the beginning of the year and the comes closer to the mid year.

But I have always come here to share the pleasant moments of life and today my happiness would not be complete if I didnt write about my happy (or maybe the happiest) birthday in these last 26 years (i have qualms mentioning my age!!!)

Before I write further, i must thank all you lovely people who remembered and wished me birthday; I am touched; all those phone calls, text messages, FaceBook wishes, community messages- all mean a lot to me. I love the fact that for a moment of time, I crossed your minds; so here’s cheers to our friendship- let the sparkle get brighter all through the coming years.

So coming back to  May 8th 2012; a prelude to that!

As many of you know, this is my first birthday post marriage and for the person I am (whom my friends are familiar with, loves surprises) have been looking forward to this from January 2012, well right after Rajesh’s birthday.

Rajesh, my husband, first surprised me on the eve of his birthday. I was busy baking him a cake. That being my first attempt in baking, I was pretty disappointed when I couldnt slice the cake for the cream filling. “Why are you complaining, it anyway needs to be cut and eaten up- so what difference would it make if the slicing is crooked?”

I, most of times dont have an answer to his rational thinking.

A week before Valentine’s Day, I was checking receipes and asked him to get us a cake, the coming week to celebrate our first V-day. For the communist that he is (and I suppose he will be), it was unacceptable to celebrate love and the ‘usual’ question, why celebrate it on one day? And why on February 14th?

No amount of reasoning helped; but for my sake, he took me to the cinema and later some food on February 12th.

The next month, I was excited as March 11th was approaching; we were completing 6 months of a marriage.

I asked him what has he planned; he asks me, “Why give significance to the number 6 when you havent done that to 5 or 4?”

But he was kind enough to buy me some frozen custard from the nearby supermarket on our 6th month anniversary and later during the weekend we dined out (but we do that often!).

I had learnt my lesson, and since I am at my parents’ place- I had decided to do something on my own for my birthday.

May 7th 2012

Ever since i am at my parents’ place, Rajesh has been staying late back at work. I called him post my evening walk and unusually he was home early and somewhere in our conversation he mentioned about my birthday the next day. So I am glad, he remembers!!

Though we (well I) telephone him at the drop of the hat (all through the day); we spend an hour at night texting each other (Thanks to WhatsApp). We spoke about our day and he told me of all the stuff that he needs to finish the next day and some MIS report seemed to be the highlight, and not me!

May 8th 2012

As soon as I wake up, I run to my mobile phone, only to see a number of missed calls (from friends) and an sms from my husband wishing me a happy birthday (well the start isnt bad though). 

It was time to give him his wake up call.

6’o clock – he picks the call and requests me to call back in 5 mins. 

6.10 – he is feeling tired, he wants to sleep more and be woken up at 6.30

6.25– finally sleeps decides to leave him, and before hanging the call he wishes me happy birthday (it isnt that he is being indifferent, its just that a birthday is like any other day for him)…

I didnt actually have the time to brood over it, as the day was flooded with calls and messages. 

It was mid morning and I thought, its my birthday and if not anyone- I should do something and celebrate. I decided to bake a cake for myself (which I can also send over for Rajesh); since every time I do chocolate, this time it was an orange on the agenda.

I began working on it post lunch; and was chatting with some of my girl friends.

It was usual of Rajesh to send me a message around 3’ish in the afternoon; and he enquired how my day is progressing. When I told him about the cake i am baking , he texts back (after long stating) that he wants to bake me a cake on Friday and what flavour do I fancy.

SInce I was busy gossiping with my girlfriends, it was a smiley face that he got back as a reply.

1600 hrs

I was checking on my cake, when Rajesh calls. He is actually late today, his calls at about 15.45 usually. 

You think I cannt bake a cake?

I was a bit surprised and didnt know what to reply, “I didnt say you cannt bake a cake, but you are better valuating those semi finished goods and processes”

Hmm, open the door

“Where are you?”

Open the door

I leave everything to go to the door and find a bouquet of roses and a cake on the doorstep.

“Where are you?”

… and there comes my Rajesh (all tired and sweaty- thanks to the summer’s scorching heat and lack of parking under my building).

“What are you doing here?”

I have come to celebrate your birthday

Thats it, he hit the chord right- giving a head start to my very happy birthday!!!

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Post dinner- Rajesh, my parents and myself sat chatting. 

Out of the blue, he asks, “Are you happy?”

I wasnt happy, I was (and still am) in a state of ecstasy…

 

My 2011 Roundup!!!

… now this is a post which I had in mind from December (2011); keeping in mind that I have not written for a very long time, I thought I will do justice my writing a post on how my 2011 was, something like a looking back.

I hear a lot of people cribbing about this past 2011; some not so good things have happened to many of my dear and near ones, but is it really the year, because I think life cannt always be nice and rosy. If there are no downs, you surely wouldnt get that extra adrenaline rush when life takes you up.

2011 was eventful (in its true sense); I must share this interesting ride that I have had (jotting down the memorable ones, excerpts from my diary)

JANUARY 2011

Its new year, new hopes, lots of celebrations and right in the middle of the month; achamma (grandma, i.e. dad’s mom) passes away. 

I was never close to my achamma; she was one of those people whom I used to visit every year when we visited my father’s ancestral home in Kerala.

She was a pleasant image of kindness. I remember of the times when she used to take my hand in hers and ask me stuff. She used to run her fingers in my hair and tell me, “You must apply oil, your hair will grow thicker and longer.”

She used to sit on something wooden (or was it something else); it was quite an airy room which overlooked the gate and entrance of the house. She used to look into far away distances with tears rolling down as she spoke of my cousins.

When dad broke the news, more than grief what came into mind was a picture of that room without her. Some kind of emptiness; I will miss her for something which I dont know!

But so is the way of life.

FEBRUARY 2011

The year didnt start on a nice note; but of course we have a long time until 2012.

Its the “love month”, like every single (hopelessly romantic) girl I too was hoping for a surprise gift and card to come by my way from any stranger; but it was a dull month. Thank God feb has just 28 days; I wouldnt have been able to stand it any further.

MARCH 2011

I was waiting for March from January. I am on leave for ten days (yay yay yay!!!).

I spent my ten days relaxing at home, chilling out with friends and hoping that I could get my leave extended. Well the wish did come true but not the way I wanted.

I was returning from the spa (pampering myself as I get back to work the next day), when I got the news. We (my colleagues and I) get a notice that our company is closing in ten days. TEN DAYS!!!

I dont understand why is March unlucky for me (every single year!); so here begins my job hunt all over again.

APRIL 2011

A pretty blah month! There are no jobs more me in the market; I flunked my first parking test (though I cleared it in the second; nobody whom I know has ever flunked a parking test. Comeon who doesnt know to park!!); the summer seems to set in; I had to give away a Pataya trip (which I won in a Radio contest because I was still on my company’s visa but unemployed officially) and the usual;  handle people’s questions and my mom’s grumpy face because of my single status.

The first four months are over and havent been any great. No hopes for 2011 (buuuuuuuh!!!)

MAY 2011

Its my birth month.

And did I enjoy my birthday, every single bit of it. I actually celebrated my birthday on every weekend of this month. May has always been a joyous time for me every year; my birthday, mom’s birthday, dad’s birthday and their wedding anniversary. It is the month of celebrations and the icing on the cake- i passed my driving test.

How I wish every month was the May month!

JUNE 2011

… and half the year is over. I havent done anything great this year, it is not because I dont want to, but things dont seem to be in my favour as of now.

So the highlight of this month- parents introduce me to this guy, seems ok- educated, earning well, fine looking, well mannered but he is  confused. He tells me he likes me, but he isnt sure if should marry be but wants to marry me (which to date, I cannt figure what he wanted)- I found it stupid that I am hanging on to his decision for a yes or no. It isnt like he is the last guy on the earth and by hook or crook I should impress and get him.

But the real catch was, I have turned 25 this year, 25 percent of my friends are married, of those married- a good 25 percent is expecting their first kid and all this was taking a 250 percent toll on my parents.

After hanging on for his decision- the alliance was called off. There is a sense of relief but I am not sure how I will face my folks.

 But the good thing, I am happy- actually happier than I have been in these few months!

JULY 2011

I have heard of dreams coming true (for others) but never knew it could happen to me.

( I am smiling bright as I write this); on July 15th this guy and his family comes home. I have always wanted to be swept off my foot when I first see “my guy” and something of that sort happened as he entered home. A nice long conversation about nothing and we decide that we want to live our lives together forever and ever.

July gets  magical- I cannt wait for my mobile to ring, those text message beeps got my heart racing faster, I kept counting hours as when it would be night and we spent hours chatting. Days didnt seem to move to friday- when we met (again and again!)

He doesnt seem to promise me any diamonds or cars,  but I liked it when has promised to make me smile for every hour for the rest of our lives!

AUGUST 2011

My oldest friend (or maybe I should say my first friend) is a mommy! Seena has given birth to a little doll, it was a real delight seeing her baby all wrapped up tight and she looking at her baby with such fond emotions.

Like the baby, I have wrapped myself too in a dream world and seena’s good news just added a sparkle to it.

But even before I come out of my fantasy world, I find myself boarding the flight to India. I am getting engaged this month on 22nd to Rajesh.

What followed made me believe I was one of those characters in a hindi serial;  series of phone calls, trips to the parlor, shopping for hours, running to the tailor, laughter and frolic with a house full of relatives. Suddenly everyone seems to fuss about me (how cool that can get!).

How I wish life just stopped there!

SEPTEMBER 2011

Every sunrise and sunset took me closer to September 11. Though I kept drifting through the dreamy clouds of happiness, things around me were zooming. For everyone (except me!) the mornings started earlier than it usually does and the nights were longer.

I noticed that my parents were beginning to look like zombies, no food or sleep; my cousins and uncles seemed to be on energy boosters but nothing mattered to me.

I am the bride!

On Sept 11- my day started pretty early, as early as 1.15 in the morning. With a quick visit to the Guruvayoor temple to the beautician decking me up at 4 in the morning- I realised I got married (5.30 morning) when the nadaswaram heighten to climax followed with the kuruva sounds the ladies made.

What followed that day and the month was a ball.

Sithara Sethumadhavan becomes Sithara Rajesh!

OCTOBER 2011

Life is a ball when you have a loving husband and doting inlaws. I cannt ask for more in life.

I have heard so many scary stories on how mothers in law ill treat their daughters in law. But what I got was an angel, if there was something like previous birth- I am sure she was my mom then.

With a heavy heart, I pack my bags from my inlaws’ house.

I am joining Rajesh in Dubai, and we start a life of ours!

NOVEMBER 2011

We shift to our little nest in Discovery Gardens.

 This has been a hectic month; Rajesh had to squeeze time from taking me to movies to setting our house.

We have begun experimenting in our kitchen and making plans for our home.

We even got a thulsi and jasmine plant; we need to hang a nameplate outside the door, which reads  “Mr & Mrs Pillai”…

DECEMBER 2011

What a year it has been and to add to it, my best friend Asmi gives birth to a lovely bundle of joy. I have never seen a new born girl with such thick hair and big eyes, she is beauty!

Christmas and the then new year’s eve; all through the celebrations and joy, we let out one news ; we are parents- in- the- making; a tiny little one is joining the Pillai household in July 2012- mine and Rajesh’s baby!

Why buckle up at the back?

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Many people, in this region, don’t fasten their seat belts while seated at the back of a vehicle. Popular reason given, “The law doesn’t require me to do so”! But the question is, do you know why is it required to buckle up?

Road traffic accidents is a public health problem, and the middle east is popular for it’s rash drivers and their wrong road behaviour. Along with unsafe driving practices, the safety of the passengers is something that needs light on.

 “People in the front seat should wear seatbelts; and for those seated behind it isn’t required”, says Mohammed Sarwar, who has been driving in the capital for the past ten years. “They are safe behind, so let them seat comfortably”, he adds.

But are the back seat passengers completely free from accidents? According to a study, published by The Journal of the American Medical Association (source A); it states that, the risk of death was higher for the other occupants of the car if anyone was seated unrestrained no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. For example, someone in the front seat wearing a seatbelt, is at a risk of death by 20 percent if the person behind them was unrestrained. This is because, in the event of an accident (or if the car sudden breaks); the passenger seated behind is thrown forward with a force (equivalent to thrice their weight), causing injury to themselves and the passengers seated at the front.

  “I hate wearing seat belts in a vehicle because you can not move. It is very limiting”, says Arjun Nair. But this loss of freedom is a small sacrifice in the event of a head on collision. Based on findings, researchers (from all over the world; source A) are of the opinion that the use of a seatbelt among rear-seat occupants could prevent about one in a six deaths of front-seat passengers caused by car accidents.

“When I first came to the UAE I was shocked to see that passengers were traveling unprotected, especially the little ones. My colleagues thought child seats were an unnecessary expense and argued that the kids would be okay if I drive safe. It is obvious that I will be extra careful if my five year old is seated behind; but how can I guarantee that another driver do so? In these matters, one needs to be prudent and take the necessary safety measures. Just having stickers on your vehicle mentioning that ‘Baby on Board’ or ‘Call if I am driving unsafe’ isn’t enough; a good driver not only warns fellow road users but ensures that his passengers are protected”, Anderrea K opinions.

 Buckling up is not just for your safety, but for the benefit of all traveling in a vehicle; freedom and comfort is needed but not at the sake of your life!

 *** source A WEBMD Health News

My Page on Facebook

Hey people,

Thank you all for the love and support you guys have given me.

I have opened a page on Facebook; and if you like my blog and would like to get updates on it- please like the page (URL below)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sitharas-Blog/182775615103376

Love you all

; and I need to lose it all

 

Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.  ~Astrid Alauda

People from time immemorial have been obessed with their bodies, be it man or woman!

 

*****

Scene-1

I walk back to our table, after closely inspecting the cake display at the cafe.

Me: Hmm, the chocolate cheesecake looks yum. I have ordered a strawberry tart for you and the cheesecake for me.

She: You shouldnt have! I am on a diet. I have put on a kilo from last month.

I looked at my  friend, head to toe; she must be on a BMI of 18 and this extra kilo will not affect her ‘underweight’ status compared to my own ‘healthy’ stature. Not knowing what to say;

Me: Shall i cancel the strawberry tart?

*****

Scene-2

Me: Daddy, shall I serve you some more curry?

Daddy: No no. This is more than enough. I must begin controlling my food. You see this bulging (, and he points to his tummy). I need to get fit.

I look at him nibble on a piece of bread and some curry.

Me: I thought, you were hungry.

Daddy: That is ok. I must reduce my tummy.

*****

Scene-3

Cousin: I really dont know what to do? Remember that new dress I got last month; that doesnt fit me anymore. Can you believe that? From the time I have been diagonsed with this thyroid, I am gaining weight. I dont know what to do?

.. she complains as she leans forward for a second helping of sukhiyan (a famous snack in Kerala)

*****

Scene-4

Me: I want to lose weight. I work out in the gym, though I am getting smaller on inches, the number doesnt change. What do you suggest?

Friend (a nutritionist by profession) : If you really want to lose weight, you cannt be eating all that you are eating right now.

I look down at my plate filled with a serving of mashed potatoes, tuna and pasta salad, chicken nuggets and boiled brocolli.

Me: (pointing to my plate) you mean all of these?

She: Yes,  I mean all of these.

 

*****

Most of us have issues with our bodies (including me); either we want to lose weight, gain weight, want muscles, smaller hips, toned arms and the wish list can go on.

For majority of the women (I know), including me; weight loss is the reigning issue of the world. We dont leave any article published on losing that extra baggage, we re-read weight loss success stories, we research on the magic diets for inspiration and motivate ourselves every second day.

I have met women who starve themselves (who live on mineral water for days) to get into a dress for an event.  I, myself been tempted to try the same (and ventured too ). Some of the popular diets I have seen and tried are; protein shakes twice a day with a low cal meal once; green salads and fruits all day; one day meat, another day bananas, and cabbage soups. I think it is time we take a break from this, be sensible and treat our bodies with dignity!

The human body, with its robust features is God’s organic engineering marvel. This marvel needs to be maintained and preserved; and do that sensibly.

Is dieting the mantra?

Many of us, for a quick weight loss resort to cutting on food and starving. Some popular arguments that we often hear are, “..but I am eating fruits and vegetables. I dont need carbs, i have enough fat in my body

Dont restrict any food group. You need the right proportion of all the nutrients in each meal such as carbohydrates, proteins, fibres, vitamins and minerals, and also fats. Starchy foods such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta, and potatoes are a really important part of a healthy diet. Starchy foods should make up about a third of the food we eat. They are good source of energy and the main source of range of nutrients in our diet. As well as strach, these foods contain fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins.

Some people (or maybe everyone) thinks strachy foods are fattening, but gramme for gramme they contain less than hald the calories of fat. Starvation, weight reduction pills, and fad diets are neither healthy nor long term solutions. (source: Moderation in diet and exercise- key to good health, April 26 2011 – Gulf News)

Your lifestyle needs exercise incorporates. Exercise three to four times a work at a moderate intensity for 45 minutes.

Men and women who lose weight through caloric restriction, without exercise, also lose bone at the hip and spine, increasing their risk for the bone-thinning disease, osteroporsis and fractures; a study shows. Adding regular exercise to a calorie-restricted diet helps shield the bones from the harmful effects of dieting.

“Exercise protects against bone loss during voluntary weight loss,” Dr. Dennis T. Villareal, who led the study, told Reuters Health. “Therefore, it would be important to combine calorie restriction and exercise to derive the benefits of weight loss and preserve bone.”

The action of muscles pulling on bones during exercise is thought to produce “healthy” strain on the skeleton that stimulates the production of new bone, the investigators note. The current study supports this line of thought.

“It’s important that calorie restriction not be seen as a bad thing,” Villareal said, “because it offers enormous benefits with respect to reducing disease risk and is effective for weight loss. Also, there is a real possibility that calorie restriction provides anti-aging benefits that cannot be achieved through exercise alone.”

However, to maintain healthy bones, “exercise should be an important component of a weight loss program to offset adverse effects of calorie restriction on bone,” the team concludes,(source www.worldhealth.net) .

Weight loss (in overweight and obese persons) is necessary; but it needs to be done in a fashion that doesnt harm your body and affect it adversely.

Maintain a healthy diet coupled with physical activity, not just for weight loss but also to keep your heart fit, bones and muscles in condition and to protect yourself from diabetes, cholestrol etc.

A healthy and fit body is not for  a day, it is for a lifetime. A good body is for yourself and not others. Be sensible and respect it!

“and you speak….”

If you ask my dad, “Which month does he dread the most?”, his answer would be “May” According to him, that is the most expensive month of the year, because we were all born in May, their wedding anniversary, the month when we plan our annual holidays and the month when I go on serios shopping spree!

But if someone were to ask me, I HATE APRILS. I simply hate the month April. I wish God had skipped this month and jumped to May straight. I have my reasons; the UAE summer knocks at my door in April, the medical check-ups’ get due this month, and I am unemployed and looking for work (…again every single year!!!)

*****

You know what is the biggest problem that you have?”, my friend asks as her eyes roll in a clear state of exasperation and fingers drawing circles on the coffee mug. Wow! I didnt, in my 24 years, know what my biggest problem in life was, so asked her. “You dont speak Arabic“.

This rang several bells inside my head, I have had this same conversation with someone else, somewhere, two years ago but that time, my biggest problem was (supposedly), that I dont speak Kannada.

Maybe you should join some Arabic class“, she added nonchantantly.

*****

Maybe, or maybe not. If i join an Arabic class, scrap my way through and get a passed certificate; will that change the person I am? Well I am a 24 year old Indian (Malayali- they will ask me, where in India am i from?) who speaks Hindi (acceptable to them), Malayalam (my mother tongue, of course) and recently passed an Arabic course (really!!?) The fact is, even if I go in for a crash course, I still remain that 24 year old Indian who passed an Arabic course.

Language is connected to culture;  which I agree to. But can you understand a culture (or maybe be a part of it) by just living with it for a major part of your life and not speak that language? Possible?

I have lived in Bangalore for five years, i feel the pulse of the city but I dont speak Kannada. And didnt understand (two years before) why I would need it, if I wanted to work in an english daily there. My argument then was, language is just a medium to communicate. Animals communicate, do they have any culture issues?

But over these two years I have realised something; a collection of words used to communicate (in a language) has meaning and the power only when you understand the emotion that dwells in them. And to understand the emotion of a language, you need to know the culture. And you get introduced to the culture when you know the language (a case of the ‘who came first, egg or chicken story’). Language is not just to communicate, but to connect with people. I would never be french if i speak french, but I will understand the french.

*****

There are a lot of malayalam channels, radio and tv here. Try there?“, she asks as she signals for the bill. Naa, they would never take me. I am a malayali, feel malayali and speak malayalm at home; but they would never consider me one. “Why is that?”, she now looks staright into my eyes, surely taken by surprise. I am one of those corrupt malayaless, according to them. I have lived my childhood here (in UAE), received no formal training in my mother tongue, read english translated versions of malayalam literature and have not spent a sizeable amount of time in Kerala (in years). For them, I dont understand the feelings of malayalees away from home (really???). And I dont know Kerala and Malayalam (and they explain it to me in malayalam).  So does the above stated understanding of my language-culture, stand null and void here, in my case? I dont know. Maybe that is why most NRI parents force their kids into engineering and not media; they know their kids dont belong anywhere and wont understand any culture.

*****

But what actually happened? I thought it is a huge project and you were so happy“, she asked as the car engine started.  It was a big project, but they thought it works better if they close it down!!!