Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Taash Theme Party

A few weekends ago I threw a Taash theme party for mum and kids. It was a fun party but we didn't end up playing much Taash. We played a game called DONKEY. Yes!

Through this party I attempt to break stereotype. In the 80's every Bollywood film would depict the vamp playing cards with friends at the dinner table screaming refreshment orders to the 'abla naari'. It was either Shashikala the mother in law clad in a nylon saree with a sleeveless blouse oppressing the seedhee saadhee bahu played by Jayaprada or some other actress or it would be Ranjita the bahu wearing a body tight nylon churidar (Nylon was the fabric of choice of the the vamp) oppressing the 'rotli Radha' saas.

Point being, vamps have been associated with playing cards. In fact anything women enjoy doing for themselves is kind of evil. How can they spend time doing anything other than looking after their families and homes.....it's unnatural!! 

Thankfully that's changing... gradually though... but the change is taking place. 

All the ladies at my party are good daughters, good mothers, good employees, someone is a teacher, someone runs her business, someone bakes, most are mothers and amazing ones at that and all enjoyed a game of cards. Any problem with that?












Friday, February 3, 2017

Letter to My Daughters: Remeber Your Roots and Trust Your Wings



As a mother I wish you love, I wish you success, I wish you health and I wish you peace...but to achieve these I need to give you your roots and your wings.


I want to give you roots that will help you grow And wings that will enable you to soar...


By roots I mean a secure and safe home, a loving and nurturing family you can count on, knowledge of your own culture, heritage, faith as well as of others around the world. By wings I mean the ability to fly solo confidently to areas unknown and still feel like you belong. I wish to raise you to be a global citizen while at the same time being cognizant of the fact that global citizenship doesn't mean west worshiping... east and west both make up the globe.


Today French, Italian, Spanish, German etc. classes are very popular as a second language, with parents sending their kids to learn these languages,  as they believe this will help kids if they wish to study abroad or migrate for work. But wouldn’t it be nice to first know meaning of the lines of Jana Gana Mana which is written in Sanskrit.   Learning Indian languages is as important as knowing English or any other global language. You are learning Hindi in school, but it would be great for you to learn other languages that would enable you to know more about other cultures through the rich literature. In my opinion Urdu is a great language to learn as Urdu literature is a fine example of linguistic and cultural synthesis. Hence we have started your Urdu classes. English is your wing that will help you assimilate with the rest of the world. Will help you settle down in any part of the world without the fear of not being  able to communicate. But Urdu is your root. Learning Urdu will help you gain access to your culture, history of your immediate surroundings, tales of your forefathers.


It's great that we are celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a Baisakhi party and know why Baisakhi is celebrated. Knowing about Halloween is your wing but knowing about Baisakhi is your root.


If you are inclined towards music I'd encourage you to learn the Sitar or the Veena over Guitar. In dance I'd encourage you to try Bharatnatyam over Salsa. Don’t get me wrong when I say this. Guitar is an amazing instrument and Salsa is a dance form as graceful and culturally rich as the Bharatnatyam. But these are not your roots. These could  be your wings which are someone else's roots.


I see ladies my age who think that wearing a salwar on any day other than Chauki, Karwa chaut and Diwali is uncool... I'd like to raise you to carry of a kurta as well as you would any LBD. Let your fashion choices be guided by grace and comfort and not dictated by trends and peer pressure.


True knowledge is the wind beneath your winds.. In giving you stronger roots I aim to give you stronger wings. Only when you have knowledge of your own culture and history can you appreciate the culture and history of someone else living in another part of the world. Which is what we need  in the world today the most; understanding and appreciation of various cultures, traditions and faiths.


One will think that the stronger the roots the more difficult it will be for you to take off. But I disagree.  Take off you will, fly high you most definitely will. But you will always have your roots to come back to. So grow strong and don’t be afraid to fly high and far for your roots will always guide you back to peace and happiness.


Your loving mummy,

A bird that that flew and flew back.


PS: This is not just gyan..I say this to you from experience... I've lived in the west and also in south east. I had an opportunity to share accommodation and make friends with people from various nationalities. People from around the world want to know more about you, your country, your culture, your cuisine etc. like the way you would want to about theirs. I was asked about Hindu mythology, sharia law, history of Indus, Indian cricket, Ashoka, history of curries, partition what not... some of which I had no knowledge of.



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Gold and black tablescape

Love love love. What's not to love about a gold and black theme. And as a tablescape it's even better. In fact it's to die for. 

Gold table spread, black plates, gold salad plates, and and and my beautiful black iridescent rainbow cutlery. Ufff I'm fainting with excitement.

Monday, January 9, 2017

I'm a plant serial killer, but these beauties are survivors.

We live in a tiny apartment with barely any greenery around. Plus we have restrictions on keeping plants outside the window because it stains the building walls. With barely enough space for ourselves and rarely having a minute extra in the day to tend to plants I just couldn't bring home large indoor plants. But I thought it would be nice to have even a tinie minie bit of green in the house. So on one shopping trip with a dear friend I bought these little rock stars.

I'm amazed at how they survive even under my care. I'm a plant serial killer. But these are survivors.

I planted one in an old marblemortar and the other in a copper glass. 

This duo has brightened up my living room entirely. I'm amazed at the incredible difference these tinie minies make.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Zayb's 3rd Birthday with New Friends

This year on Zayb's birthday we had a craft party with kids from a street school in Mumbai. It was loads of fun for all the kids and I had a blast too.

Every year for the birthday we make it a point to share our joy with the less fortunate in some way or the other. On her 1st birthday we had invited kids from the orphanage home for lunch. On the 2nd we sent food over to the orphanage and on her 3rd we distributed donuts to kids and adults living on the streets of Mahim. 

On the 3rd birthday when we were distributing the donuts I noticed Zayb was dropping the donuts in the hands of the kids. She was scared of them though some were around her age. I think most of it was because so many of them came running in our direction at once that she was a little taken aback. But partly it was because she saw them as being different from her. Though I bought the same donuts as we would eat (Dunkin Donuts) because I wanted the kids to enjoys treats just like Zayb and her friends would at their party, the way we were dropping the donuts in their hands was making a right thought and emotion all wrong. It was as if we were not distributing treats but giving alms. 

That day I had decided that I wanted to do something different next year onwards. I wanted to teach Zayb that she was sharing her joy and blessings with other kids and not doing charity. These kids were less fortunate but not less smart or less creative. They are capable of the same or even better than she is. I wanted her to experience this because I wanted her to treat others like her equals irrespective of social status caste, religion, colour, attire etc. 

Hence the craft party this year. At the party Zayb was a little reluctant to join her new friends at the tarpaulin mat. Nor would she take out her slippers. Walking barefeet on dusty sidewalk was beyond her imagination. I tried to convince her but when she just wouldn't budge I took off my shoes and joined the kids at the mat. I sat crossed legged on the floor with the kids while she whined in the corner. In a couple of minutes she joined us, at first she sat on my lap but warmed up very soon. In a matter of a few minutes she was sitting by herself and crafting with the kids. To me this was a huge step towards clearly establishing the concept of equality in her subconscious mind. 

Today she recollects that day with fondness. We have visited the school even after the birthday and the kids and her are friends now. They remember each other by name and she looks forward to meeting them again.


For the party I collected some extra craft supplies and crayons that I bought for Zayb's friends to give away as favours. I also took along bubble sticks cause who doesn't like bubbles???


For the eatables we took chocolate cupcakes, hot chocolate, chips and candies..