Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Kya Khoya….. Kya Paya……

By- Mridula Chaudhari
Thank you friends for missing this space for new posts, new ideas and new thoughts. Your phone calls have brought me back!

I have abstained from writing for reasons not known to me either. However, my dear friends, you have pulled me back to the place where I rightfully belong. I am back to say ‘Good Bye’ to the year soon to end and welcome the new year with a bang.


It is time we really peeked into our own self to find out what we did, what we should have done, what we missed and what we could not do in the year gone by. Don’t you think, our mind is a well which is deep and many thoughts remain buried inside? We seldom peep inside and try to fathom our deeper senses to realize what we have achieved so far. The race is so fierce that we never get any opportunity to bask in our glory. Forever we are trying to chase a new horizons.

This year end, I have decided to take stalk of the situation and convey my sincere thanks to all those people who have brought happiness to my life. Needless to say the list starts from my maid who has given me the support that I cannot dream of getting from anybody else. She has been instrumental in making my life much more livable. How else do you think I could host dinners for my friends and relatives? Reach office on time each day of the year and not be ridiculed for coming late? Sleep peacefully at night without getting concerned about next day’s household chores? Should anybody ask me, who has been the backbone of my life for the past one year? The prize will go to my Sunita J

This is no Filmfare award function that we have to thank our dad and mom and husband and children. This is life man J

Let’s be for once thankful to our boss who has utilized our time more productively and also gave us a feel good factor when we look at our bank pass book. He isn’t always a creep man J Let’s give him some benefit of doubt and be more sensitive towards him and thank him for considering us useful.

Let’s also be thankful to that neighbor who has been stabbing us in the back. If not for her, how would we become so strong and ready to take the world head on?
Last but not the least, let’s be thankful to our own selves for being strong and withstanding all the odds against very hot summers, very trying days of demonetization, being patient to read all WhatsApp messages and replying to at least half of them, remembering birthdays of family, extended family, friends and pets, for online shopping festivals that has made life really really easy without going through the hassles of travelling, for the new coffee shop that has come up around the corner, for the newly dug roads that has made us expert drivers, for Rahul Gandhi who has given us enough fodder throughout the year to laugh and cry at the same time, to the film fraternity who dished out variety of cinema.

Do you think I have forgotten anybody? Yes, I know I have but let’s do a silent prayer and add our own ‘Thank You babies’ J

Good bye 2016 and Welcome 2017……more power, more blessings and more perseverance to all of us!!!!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Peace of mind on SALE…SALE…SALE

By- Mridula Chaudhari
For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind - Ralph Waldo Emerson
   Early morning cup of tea always has an accompaniment, that of a daily newspaper. I can’t think of my morning cuppa without my most bankable companion. It is such an amazing mix that few can live without. Now a days, however, many households do not get their daily newspaper, they prefer reading online. This is a good habit, costs less, but does it give similar joy? I have my own doubts.

    Akbar Shaikh is an exceptional example of a newspaper vendor. Whatever the weather, heavy rain or chilling cold, Akbar has to drop the newspaper at my doorstep, exactly at 5.15. He braves all weather conditions, his own home conditions, his physical condition or his health condition. I cannot but admire Akbar for his regularity and prompt service. On the days when waking up is difficult, I take my inspiration from Akbar and leave the bed promptly.

    Coming back to the newspaper reading, on that particular day I took the newspaper inside and it felt extremely bulky. Thinking that there is load of news in it, I grabbed at it and with my steaming hot cup of tea proceeded to read it. But lo…, I kept turning page after page and advertisements kept staring in my face. Diwali Dhamaka was happening much before Diwali. With sales by the most popular online stores, newspaper shouted….SALE….SALE…..SALE.

   If these were online sales, then why did they need print media to support them for advertising? Why couldn’t they just confine their shouts of SALE….SALE…SALE online? If they did so, life for people like me, who read news in the newspaper, would be so much more livable?
There was so much sale, that I felt they would give the goodies free of cost after a while!!! Their Diwali Dhamaka was already making dhamakas at people’s house with women fighting with their husbands to loosen their purse strings.

    I kept turning page after page and still there was no news. I was wondering what happened to Pakistan and to PM’s itinerary and if girls were safe in our country, all of a sudden. The newspaper had only the SALE…..happening with cell phones, jewellery, TV, Refrigerator etc. on offer.

    I was wondering why people were spending so much money, spending or squandering, and that too just by clicking and entering their credit card numbers. Once Diwali is over and it is back to the grind, I can bet we would have bought half the things that we did not require at all. These goodies have entered our homes and taken away not just the space in our homes but our peace of mind too. In the bargain we SOLD our peace of mind, I guess!!!                                                                

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Highs & lows of growing up

By - Mridula Chaudhari

Best books 

Turning current circumstances into opportunity is key to success!

Stepping out of Std. V and stepping in Std. VI and going in the next class every year is the best phase for children. Not just for children but for their parents too, I guess. Children have considerable time to enjoy their study time and play time. If you ask the children however, or even their mothers they will differ with my opinion. Mothers of school going children are always bogged down by their child’s incessant demands and the demands of the current education system. However, trust me they say all this only because they have not seen the days ahead.

     Come college days and the challenges are multiplied. Students lose their focus completely and are at a loss to know what they were supposed to do. They come under tremendous pressure from their peers and parents too. They need to spend time hanging around with their friends and also in their study rooms. Pressure to deliver good results looms large as this is the time when they have to face competitive exams too.

      There is no need to panic though. Sincerity and hard work with a dash of smartness helps sail through. Their job is only to keep focus and believe in themselves. There are number of choices thrown in front of them, spoilt for choices as they say more frequently. It’s where the proficiency of prioritizing helps to a large extent. If the choices are studied thoroughly, they can be tackled in the best possible way. There is certainly no need to panic at such times. There is no need to regret the past or be anxious about the future. Life takes its own course and if we are focused nothing can go horribly wrong.

     Once you take up the course the next worry is whether, I will do well or not, whether I will get a good break with the current course or not. The list however does not stop here it goes on like the proverbial tail of the hanuman, never ending.

     If that is so, is there any reason to keep cribbing about the current situation we are in? We are out here to create our own destiny, but sometimes we end up being victims of circumstances? Is there anything wrong here? Sometimes we may find ourselves better positioned than what we had dreamt of. Learning to accept our surroundings and circumstances is the key to success. Accept and smile than reject and whimper.

     Turning current circumstances into opportunity is the key to success! “The people who lose are the ones who either don’t fail at all and get stuck, or the ones who fail so big, they don’t get to play again.” —so said Seth Godin.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

By - Mridula Chaudhari

Mobile phones

Treatise with Technology

To crash an airplane, you need to start flying one, said my friend. That got me thinking and thinking really hard. How true it was what he said. His reaction came due to a lame excuse given by me for not able to meet him since he was staying way too long from my place.

It is so easy for us to say no to a particular activity that sounds inconvenient. We conveniently call off everything that we cannot identify with little thinking what it may have on offer. When Rashmi was asked to write for her school magazine, she conveniently replied that she doesn’t have any inclination towards creative writing. Rashmi did not as much give a try and finally could not develop any writing prowess. However, Shubhangi took up the opportunity and tried her hand at it and pursued it until she became a good writer. Today she can boast of writing several articles in several editions and takes pride in her achievement.
It is not an easy task to learn a new trait but giving it a try certainly is. Learning a new skill can open new doors and give new perspectives. A man is a student all his life, they say. In this regard, senior generation has a hard task at hand. With newer features getting added to the gadgets, they have to learn new skills everyday. My mom once made me sit next to her and show how to use WhatsApp on her new cell phone. After the initial lessons and quite a few Q&As and practice sessions, today she can use @ feature better than I. She makes sure she gets the latest upgrades and converses in all the languages she knows. I finally learned how to write in vernacular only from her. Her forwards aren’t forwards, she types the best ‘Thoughts’ herself before sending them. She secretly feels that she can get good senses prevailing on me. I, at my end, wish I could get her gyan right.

The excitement that she shows in learning new things is exemplary. If we can get our children to be as excited about things around us, they can all fly an airplane I guess!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hikikomori – the new fad

By - Mridula Chaudhari

Japan is one of the most developed nations across the world. Tourists throng Tokyo and are overawed at the progress that Japan has made in all areas. Technology is used liberally which has made life of its people much easier than ours. Their public transport is said to be remarkable. Their subway and train systems are convenient and accurate which makes moving around easy and comfortable. To make the long story short, Japan is a land of abundance, a man made marvel.

But behind this razzmatazz there lies a sad story too. According to a survey released by the Government, more than half a million young boys and girls have shunned society and chosen to live isolated lives. This phenomenon is said to be called as ‘hikikomori’ by the Japanese Government. A person is said to be ridden with hikikomori if he or she has chosen to live in isolation for six months or more without going to school, work or venturing out to socialize.

The interesting element about hikikomori is that it is not caused by sheer laziness, as one would feel. The main reason is stated to be unable to succeed in life or in career. Now this is a serious matter. Competition is fierce in all areas and without that there is no urge to move ahead. This very need to be on the top must have made Japan so technically savvy and much more ahead of us. They say India will need at least 50-60 years to catch up with Japan and its technological advancement. Though that may be true, we at least do not have to fight with such a situation pertaining to hikikomori.

India’s social structure is so strong that even an aunt, a friend, a didi or a dada will never let our children get into the skin of hikikomori. The family pressures may drive a young boy to work hard, to do well but he will not stay indoors for as many as six months just because he ‘doesn’t feel like going to school’.

The demographics show that people affected by hikikomori are from middle class families and in the age group of 15 to 39, with men being more affected than women who face huge pressures to succeed early in life in school and in jobs as well. I am happy that we have understanding parents who care more about the wellbeing of their children than their careers.

Though this kind of social reclusion is not restricted to Japan, other nations who show this style of behavior, though not in high numbers are US, China and Spain among other nations. India does not even feature in the list. But if our education system and other related issues are not sorted out early, we can expect our best brains to be cooling their heels at home with a video game or a comic in their hands.

Let this only be a sounding board to all of us and vow to safeguard our children from getting into something like this!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Let’s leave them alone!!

By- Mridula Chaudhari

Internet is abuzz with stories of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce.  Brangelina has been the most sought after couple the world over and this falling apart of Brad and Angelina has left everyone flabbergasted. How come? Oh really? How’s that possible? That was bound to happen. It’s his karma! These are a few and varied opinions of people close and not so close to Brangelina, as they are …oops were called.

The teenagers are surfing the Internet for more and more stories of the couple, they can lay their eyes on. The fingertips are clicking on each and every ounce of news they can savour. The news is both heartening and heart breaking. Single status of Pitt has made many a maidens happy, less said about the male fraternity.

Whole lot of stories of how they met, where they met first, how their chemistry worked in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, how the Friend’s star calls it Pitt’s Karma, how it’s a complete sham, how it was false from the get go is dishing out quite a pot boiler and how they fabricated their love story to double their star power. We won’t be surprised if a movie will soon be made on ‘Brangelina’. There could also be a book penned by one of them that will now come out of the closet and sell like hot cake.

Now one wonders what makes two people love each other beyond limits and after few years they cannot stand each other. Why do people undergo such an emotional change over time? What could be a possible reason for not liking two people who had shared the most beautiful and intimate moments together?

And what happens to the children? Does the couple ever think of these things before deciding to get divorced? The most common reasons for any divorce are said to be heavy arguments, infidelity, lack of commitment, lack of compatibility and abuse. But mind you these are the reasons for the not so famous couple. For the high and mighty the reasons are different and most probably difficult to fathom for the common people.

Hence let us just leave them alone and focus on our personal relationships and safeguard them. Let us make lives of people around us happy and be happy ourselves rather than digging into Brangelina’s life!

Friday, September 23, 2016

From Acche din to Sacche dil!

By - Mridula Chaudhari


When will we actually be able to see Acche din? This question has often been haunting the Indian population. Ever since the phrase has been coined, like fools we have been waiting for the day to dawn upon us. But looks like, the dawning is being postponed day after day and day after day. Bacches are growing up to become bades and netas are trying to become sacche waiting for the acche din.

Acche din for Kapil Sharma have never descended (as if they descend from the skies) for he keeps making fun of the phrase in his show time and again. If dins arent acche for Kapil then less said for people like us who cant even fathom the meaning of the phrase. Now with the current controversies of cutting mangroves is certainly not acche din for the standup comedian of the small screen. However for Katrina, acche din are certainly here, what with she being bestowed the Smita Patil Award for excellence in Cinema, whether its acche din for the viewers of cinema is a debatable issue.
So when Nitishji advices to drink juice instead of a peg or two with lights turned off, it certainly spell acche din for a healthy society.

People jumping signals in Pune will be notified via an inland letter sent to their home. They will have to pay the fine in stipulated period and if they fail to do so, a court notice will be served to them. The camera fitted on the signals will be catching the footage of number plates and if the culprits refuse to accept their fault, their own video will be shown to them. Now this is certainly not acche din for Punekars since jumping signal has now become their habit and they get a high in doing this. But certainly this spells acche din for the traffic police who are seen checking their cell phones while standing on the signals and ignoring the Jumping Jacks.

Under a Swaccha Bharat campaign, in a village in Haryana a drone will be monitoring those who defecate in the open. Notices will be sent to those who are seen doing the ‘deed’ and if they do not accept the responsibility, they will be shown their own videos? Now this certainly cannot be called acche din for the people at large.

Finally it is up to us to decide what are acche din and what are not. For having a disciplined state, we will have to initially get rid of our own bad habits. The habit of throwing rubbish on the roads, jumping the signals, not maintaining civic discipline etc. will have to be done away with. For this lot of work will have to be spearheaded at the root level. This will not be taken very positively since the connotation of acche din is all about making the city beautiful overnight by somebody and else and certainly not ME. Somebody else needs a change, I certainly dont. And if I need a change then certainly it is not acche din for me.

With Acche din, sacche dil will follow soon!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Show your worth!!!

There is an interesting story about a snake that lived in a village. The snake was a bit ferocious and would keep biting people without a reason. There came a saint in the village once. People complained to him about the snake’s habit of being reckless in his behavior. The saint spoke to the snake and asked him to be a little docile and not show his aggression so much.

The snake listened to him and tamed down. He would be seen lying on the streets while people would kick him and pass by. The snake would not even budge and suffer all the injuries without any combat. The saint visited the village again and saw the bleeding snake by the roadside. He went to the snake and asked what caused this current condition. The snake told him that since he was supposed to keep quiet, he did not retaliate even when people came and kicked him several times. He did nothing to hurt anybody and did not even stop people from hurting him. The saint then told the snake, I asked you not to hurt people; I never stopped you from spreading your hood and raising your head. If you had done so, nobody would have had the courage to hurt you like this.

The snake learnt his lesson the hard way, one needs to protect himself, not by hurting others but by showing what he is capable of doing. If that is not done, people would naturally take advantage of him.

The snake certainly taught me a thing or two about life. I realized that there are so many around us, who try to take advantage of ohers. The beauty is in shooing them away without harming. Showing them what you are capable of without saying it in so many words. Mere exhibiting aggression can do the needful. 

Good luck!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

In Association with
Mridula Chaudhari
Sonia loved to mingle with everybody in the class. She did not go by groupism at all. Typically in schools there are groups formed of likeminded pupils. For Sonia, groups never existed. She would talk to everyone, interact with all the girls and even helped each one whoever needed help.

Sonia always said that she was an ordinary girl. Her parents were not super rich, she was not extremely brilliant either, neither was she an exceptional beauty. She was, in plain words, a simpleton. She took everyone on their face, believed in what was said to her and never complained about anything.

 She was very satisfied in what she possessed and valued all her belongings. She would not waste anything and say, “I am an ordinary person, I cannot afford to waste”.

Sonia had a set of her own life rules. She was a self made person, never depending on anybody for anything. Most of all not expecting anybody’s favour, though not disrespecting if somebody genuinely wanted to help her. She had her hobbies which kept her busy in her free time. She wouldn’t chat on WhatsApp all day to keep herself entertained. She used the internet to gather information useful to her.

She lived life fully and hardly went with the herd. She did hang around at Cafes but always had her timelines well set for herself. Morality was her topmost priority and hence she always referred to herself as ‘ordinary person’. Sonia was lifeline for her parents, they were completely dependent on her for their daily needs. On her part she did all their jobs unflinchingly. She kept saying, “I come from an ordinary background and taking care of my family is my priority”.

Though there was no room for mistakes in Sonia’s life, she still committed mistakes. But instead of covering them up with lies and passing the buck to someone else, she accepted her mistakes confidently. She was always sorry for any wrongdoings and kept reiterating that she would never repeat the mistake and that she should be forgiven for that since she was an ‘ordinary girl’ and not a genius.

I kept wondering, if Sonia is an ordinary person what does an extraordinary person look like? Does she/he have extraordinary powers like Superman or Batman? Can she walk on the roof or drop several villainous men dead? Sonia could do nothing of this kind.

She was the one who stood up to what is right, was sincere to her parents, friends and most of all to herself, she selflessly helped those in need and called herself ‘ordinary girl’.

My interaction with her set my thinking process, “If Sonia is ordinary then what is being extraordinary?” For me I have not met any human being as extraordinary as Sonia. How can she be an ordinary human being? I did not possess half of her qualities and I still felt I had achieved a lot. Today I stand humbled, there is so much to achieve and learn from Sonias of our time.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Girl Power

By - Mridula Chaudhari
Remember the days you wrote your name on the freshly covered notebook! The feeling of writing  our own name fills us with pride. We make sure that our handwriting is the best. Then to read that name, written in our own handwriting, on our own notebook gives us a different high. It gives us a sense of ownership of that particular notebook. If that is so, imagine the ecstasy of the girls, coming from economically weaker background, when they see their name on the nameplate of their own house?

What? Name of a girl child on the nameplate of her house? That sounds a little weird. We are more akin to reading a man’s name on a nameplate. But that is true, a girl child’s name adorns her home, at least in the district of Balod in the state of Chhattisgarh. In this state a district collector, Rajeshsinh Rana of district of Balod has come up with a brave plan. He mounted nameplates on 2700 houses with names of the girl child in their household. With the help of local leaders, Rana, made this brave plan possible.

When the girls saw their own names in white on green background, they were taken by surprise. Until now, a girl child never thought she was such an important person in the household. The feeling of belongingness was never uppermost in her heart. “Oh, so this is my house too”, this could be a feeling she must have experienced.

With male dominating society, only the male members had that privilege until now. Watching their daughter’s name on the nameplate must have been quite a bashing to their ego. But Rana gave them no choice. The male members of Chhattisgarh had to abide by the orders and had to do so willingly and happily too.

What next now? Will Vasudha’s name on the nameplate be enough? Will she get respect? Will she at least be heard? Will her opinion matter to other family members? Will she be allowed to study in school as long as she wishes? There are these and many more questions.

What’s in a name? She must be heard and given the power to make decisions, at least for herself. She should be empowered to handle herself independently when she grows up. Hearth and family should not be the end of her life. She should be given opportunities and education to handle herself.

Though this is the first step initiated by Rana, the next steps need to be taken by the girl’s mother. If the mother can stand by her daughter, nobody can take undue advantage of her daughter. The father and brother will also follow suit. Women should support their counterpart and the world can be a much better place to live in. The mother will have to stand by her daughter and they both need to fight for their rights together.

We need more of such Ranas not just in Chhattisgarh but in other states as well. It is a path breaking action no doubt which makes the writing on the wall very clear now.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mrs Pinkcheeks: World is a stage

Mrs Pinkcheeks: World is a stage: By - Mridula Chaudhari Scenario 1 – While on my usual morning walk, I saw an old friend walking down the road. Thinking that she is ap...

World is a stage

By - Mridula Chaudhari
Scenario 1 – While on my usual morning walk, I saw an old friend walking down the road. Thinking that she is approaching me, I excitedly came forward to meet her. Just when I was about to hug her, I could sense that she wasn’t equally warm. She nodded her head, shot a plastic smile and moved ahead leaving me flabbergasted. I couldn’t fathom what was wrong.

Scenario 2 - While on my usual morning walk, I saw an old friend walking down the road. Both of us moved swiftly to cover the distance between us and hugged each other, shared pleasantries, laughed a lot and parted with a promise to meet again soon.

Scenario 2 flashes across my mind very often. Thinking about it brings a smile and my day starts on a positive note. I think of all the good things that life has on offer. At such times, the potholes on the road, traffic jams or even the rash drivers do not bother me. The feeling energizes to work hard and get results even at work place. Relations with colleagues remain cordial throughout the day. Work and result ratio reaches a crescendo and the day is made not just for me but also for those around me.

Let us ask ourselves – which category do we fall in? Everybody will say Scenario 2. Yes true! However, there could be times when we are not our own selves, too preoccupied in personal thoughts and not able to reciprocate in the same vein as our friend did. That does not mean that we wanted to be mean or avoid anybody. The fact is that, that was not our day at all. Unknowingly we missed the friend’s expectations.

Had I not retracted back at the coldness showed by my friend in scenario 1 and insisted on talking, things would have been different for both of us. She would have shared her state of mind. It could have been one of the days when you really feel low and don’t feel like interacting with anyone.

Such state of mind needs its own time to mend. Time is the only healer. And one day something triggers and you come out of your shell. This time is the best time to introspect and understand oneself. Outside chaos is sometimes too loud and mind gets immersed in that. When this kind of silence is experienced, it brings the real emotions, feelings and sentiments to the fore.

It is very essential for us to dive into the realm of our heart and comprehend the situation at hand. Problems are many but solutions lie within us. Friends can offer solutions but decision lies with us.  

Scenarios are a stage and we need to act our part perfectly to make our play a fulfilling experience!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Listen to your heart

By - Mridula Chaudhari
As a child when my mother told me to behave properly while guests were around, I wasn't too sure what that meant. I wondered if behaving properly was to sit in a particular posture not moving from my place until I was asked to do so. Or was it to strike a very polite conversation with the visitors? Whatever that meant, I knew I was to be silent and nod and agree to each of our guest’s request and thought process.

Keeping these minimum expectations of my mom, I would ‘behave properly’ and not give her any embarrassing moments. Thus I was the well behaved, well groomed girl of the family. My mother would always be complimented on being such a fortunate parent.  She would take pride and expect me to accompany her everywhere she went. To keep her in good mood lest she would get angry with me, I would visit each of my aunts and uncles and umpteen number of relatives. I was never asked whether I enjoyed these trips and on my part I thought it was my duty.

On the contrary my brother would be most impish and would never comply with our mother's wishes. He would talk to the visiting guests to no end, show them all the new things we bought and share all our family secrets. How the neighbouring aunty borrowed our mom's egg beaters never to return back and such stuff.

Such embarrassing moments would make our mom very uncomfortable. She would try to signal him but he would be too busy sharing stuff to even notice anything amiss.

When alone our mom would scold him and our house would be a perfect pandemonium. He always thought that he never did anything wrong and was merely being truthful and trying to entertain the guests. “I try to keep your guests entertained mom”, he would add. I never saw him regret, ever. He would never be available on our visiting sprees to our aunts and uncles. “My studies will suffer mom”, would be his most favourite answer. Our mother would nod her head with concern and march ahead of me, confident that my own studies were never ‘that’ important.

Today my brother is a successful man, heading a billion dollar company and a globe trotter. As a child, I would not put him in the rebellion category but he surely spoke his mind. He was never scared of speaking the truth or exposing something that was not right. He respected our mom but he was not scared of her. He shared a healthy relationship with her and most of the times his arguments were rational. He always stood by his arguments.
Pan camera on me now. I am living a peaceful life as a home maker with little ambitions. Now I behave the way my husband likes it. He is apparently happy with me and we rarely argue. I don't know what exactly I like, since I like everything that he likes and I dislike everything that he dislikes. Whether it is the kind of movies or music, kind of friends we socialize with or the colour of curtains in our house, our choices match exactly to the T.

I realized early that my happiness lied in agreeing and accepting rather than arguing and rebelling. What did I finally want? Peace and happiness, contentment and companionship. I was getting all this in ample amount.

My brother and I, both are happy today. I listened to each of our mother's sermon and he listened to his heart. There is never a totally right or totally wrong approach to one’s behaviour. Some of us accept and agree while others fight and achieve! Good luck to both of us!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Exit Grief Enter Happiness

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Exit Grief Enter Happiness: By - Mridula Chaudhari                                                                                                                  ...

Exit Grief Enter Happiness

By - Mridula Chaudhari                                                                                                                
A happy person is a healthy person. A happy person is a rich person. A happy person is a peaceful person. Bringing health, wealth and peace is the need of every individual. Every day we all strive to achieve only that.

Personal impurities keep entering our mind and body every day. Just as we bathe, we need to clean our mind of impurities that influence our mind and bring negative thoughts inside. Meeting positive minded friends, talking positive things about people and ourselves begets positivism.

One of my friends, Sheena would always come home with innumerable complaints about people. “I am bogged down with household chores and then office work”, she would complain. Sheena could never see anything positive in any situation. Her husband would always be bossing around, her children would never behave and her colleagues would never consider her part of their gatherings. Sheena was otherwise very large hearted and compassionate person, but nothing was working right for her.

In fact everything was working right for Sheena but she could not see the positives in anything. She never allowed any space to her husband or her children. She considered all their problems her own. This was the biggest mistake that she was making. She was trying to bring happiness into their life and in the process ignoring herself completely. Her friends and colleagues also avoided her company since she would air only negative thoughts.

Together we discussed and examined her quandary.  She searched herself thoroughly. Yes, there are times when we need to search ourselves to find the real US. Have you ever done that? It is an amazing experience. Just as we see ourselves in the mirror, while searching we can see our mind in the mirror. Instantaneously we can pin point our own mistakes. Having done that, we get into the correction mode, just as Sheena did.

When she realized that she was trying to don too many caps and making others’ happy at the cost of compromising her own health and peace, she started searching for the undo button inside her. Sheena had a herculean task dished out for her. The responsibility that she was shouldering had to be given back to individual members and her focus was now on herself.

Sheena let go of others' problems from her mind. Once done, she enthused enthusiasm, laughed a lot, cracked lot of jokes, listened to soothing music, got back to her hobbies and engaged herself in positive activities, now her life had changed. She looked happier and peaceful while her family members and friends too would not stop raving about her.

As for others, they all carried on with their routine and were happy that Sheena was not meddling with their life anymore.

Someone has said - Hold the present and exhale the past without regret. That is so true!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Good friends are like stars

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Good friends are like stars: By - Mridula Chaudhari Good friends are like stars - that indeed is true!! What do we expect from a friend? Apart from going sho...

Good friends are like stars

By - Mridula Chaudhari

Good friends are like stars - that indeed is true!! What do we expect from a friend? Apart from going shopping, partying with them or dropping children to school or to watch a movie or some such activities, is there any other need of a friend? Why do friends or friendship make such a lovely relation? Why is it that we feel at ease in their company?

They say if you have crazy friends, you have everything. It’s the crazy friends who never let you down – least of all on your secrets.

Do we really share our deepest feelings with our friends? At least with one friend, do we do that? Do we open up completely to our dearest friend? Don’t you think in the age of emoticons, sharing our specific ‘man ki baat’ has become old fashioned? What could be the reason? Are we ashamed of sharing our real emotions and hence try to be ‘politically correct’ in each of our conversations? Have we become so addicted to sharing stuff on facebook that we have almost forgotten the meaning of sharing emotions with friends.

We jealously guard our feelings from everybody. Privacy is our topmost priority which we watch fiercely. As a result there is no sharing from either side. This gives birth to a friendship that is limited in relationship. If we feel like letting them in any of our secrets, we fear that it may be leaked. Or is it our ego that comes in our way? We love our privacy so much that sharing a secret may affect our very being? But the fact remains that every human being has the need to share their feelings.

Don’t you think that there should be someone with whom we can share our deepest feelings, thoughts and emotions? I remember a training session where the trainer asked a girl to open her friend’s fist and the other girl had to keep the fist tightly closed. Both the friends exerted pressure from either sides resulting in opening of the fist. The trainer congratulated the girl but added, “She is your friend, you could have just said, “Dear please open your fist for me”, don’t you think she would have opened?” What a wonderful thought! Why don’t we think from our hearts anymore, like the children do?

We need a friend who is trustworthy and can remove loneliness from our mind. This is certainly a tall order. The first rule of the game would be to be trustworthy ourselves. We get what we give, and in that measure too. Finally friendship is a give and take. Selfless love in friendship is rare to find, but something everyone desires.

Sharing is a very intricate part of human psychology. Everyone loves to share their joy and sorrow. Sharing makes the heart at ease and gives it certain calmness. Friends are the most beautiful people God has created.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

To eat or not to eat

By - Mridula Chaudhari

“You should not eat fruits after dinner”, said Uma. Uma is the most calorie conscious and a ‘know all lady’ in the kitty party. If Uma has said this, it certainly holds lot of ‘weight’. Other ladies would listen to her health tips with rapt attention. Her tips would be the highlight of the party. Each one would crave to sit next to Uma, lest she missed the tip. Such weighty issues are very sensitive these days.

If you google health tips, you will find tips for losing weight, tips for heart, mind and body, natural health tips, Ayurvedic health tips, health tips for healthy skin and many more. I am talking about only the first page and there are pages after pages. Given the fact that health tips are literally available on tip of our fingers, are we really healthy human beings? “Wish reading these tips could make me healthy”, retorted a friend. But alas, that doesn’t happen.

 Uma, in one of our meetings, told me to have turmeric powder with hot water first thing in the morning. I have been following the ritual since the last one month now, in the hope of losing some extra pounds. In her next meeting she recommended a green smoothie, first thing in the morning to detoxify and lose weight. Now this is confusing, isn’t it? The next time she may recommend hot water with lemon and honey, only to add in the next meeting that consuming honey with hot water is not at all healthy way of living. 

Just when I decided to have protein rich food, she came along and said, “No no, have salads, too much protein will ruin your weight loss program”. When I started salads, again she changed her mind after few months, saying, “Too much raw ruins your digestive system. You should cook veggies and eat”.

Just when I was getting used to the slimy taste of oats I was told, “Whatever our granny ate was the best – upma poha included”. The canned food or the ready to use flakes fall in the fast food category, is the new mantra. While a glass of fruit juice was considered healthy way of consuming fruits, along came the diktat, eat fruits as it is no juices or shakes please.

While cow milk was supposed to be the best drink for children, the new fashion statement is soya milk - just as paneer is replaced by tofu. What are the health experts eating? Somebody said ‘words’.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Official Visit

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Official Visit: By - Mridula Chaudhari Come summer holidays and it’s time for the married ghar ki beti to come and stay with her parents. It’s no...

Official Visit

By - Mridula Chaudhari

Come summer holidays and it’s time for the married ghar ki beti to come and stay with her parents. It’s no more a common concern that the ghar ki bahu stays with her mom all the year round than with her saas. Saas is also comfortable that way since she has all the time to go and play her weekly rummy with her quintessential rummy friends.

So when Shweta, my friend’s daughter, decided to visit her mom on her official visit, it was my duty to invite her for dinner. Needless to say Shweta was not alone. She was accompanied by her two daughters. I started planning the menu. Would she like batata wadas? “No aunty, no potatoes for me. They are too gaseous”, pat came the reply. Being hot, dahi wada was a good option, “Oh no,” Shweta blurted out, “Payal (her daughter) is not allowed to have curd in any form”. I was rather worried about the process of finalizing the menu now. I couldn’t give up though. 

I sat watching the cookery shows and browsing cook books so that I could finally froth up a good lip smacking menu for my friend’s ladli beti and make her ‘official visit’ a memorable one.

After lot of deliberations, browsing, consultations and sleepless nights I could come up with an amicable menu to please Shweta. In the process I ran in all corners of the town finding the right ingredients. All this was to please Shweta no doubt but more for Shweta’s mom who is my next door neighbor. If I don’t keep her in good humour, she will not allow my keys to be kept in her house for my guests to pick up. My friend will not even accept my parcels that I order online and for many other unmentionable reasons.

Finally the day arrived and my friend with her daughter Shweta with her two daughters Payal and Piyu in tow came over. My house was cleaned impeccably and decorated with best artifacts removed from the attic to decorate the drawing room. Once my guests were inside and I was about to close the door, I found a Doberman coming in as if it was his right to be there. “Tommy”, “I never go out anywhere for dinner without Tommy”, perked Shweta cajoling Tommy as if they had met each other after ages. “Oh, he is so sweet,” as if I had any choice except to say that.

Tommy made his presence felt wagging his tail and walking all over the place as if that was the most natural thing for him to do in this house. I ran after his tail picking up my artifacts, lest that was the last time they decorated my house. While I was busy doing that, Payal and Piyu ran helter skelter and decided to play hide and seek until the ‘older ladies’ finished their exchanges.

I could feel my whole body drenched in sweat, needless to say that the scorching summer was not the only reason for that. Until now Tommy was all over the place and had now decided to perch himself on the sofa. My heart sank further. The girls wanted toys to play with and Shweta was continuously blabbering away with her tales.

I served dinner, wishing this nightmare to get over once and for all. Girls came pouncing to the dining table at first. They surveyed the menu meticulously and then complained to their mom that they were not hungry. Needless to say, Tommy was sniffing in the background.

Until now my friend had taken pity on me and was scolding the girls. Shweta too got upset and decided to start her dinner at once.

That evening made a dilatable impression on my mind. When my guests left, I simply crashed on the sofa and heaved a sigh of relief. It was a horrific experience. I wanted to please my friend but at what cost?

I am now scared of ensuing summer and summer holidays and Shweta’s Official Visit!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Life is meant for abundance

By - Mridula Chaudhari

Dictionary meaning of abundance is - a very large quantity of something. In life we can bring any kind of abundance and that depends on our mindset. Positive mind will bring abundant positive thoughts. If I am wearing a fresh perfume, I will feel good the whole day. My colleague too, on getting a whiff of that will certainly feel the brightness around. The particular scent may bring some memories to the mind too. Even the thought may help the mind to hum a song that will make the day for me and for my colleague.

Abundance is everywhere around us. It can start right in the morning and last until bedtime. Every day need not be a mundane routine of getting up and going to office and making a boring ritual of it. We can bring zing to every morning before leaving for work by making each day different. The day could start with a walk in the nearby garden while sniffing fresh air, it could be with a 10 minute pranayam, or listening to some music that we really like and never get time to listen. On other days it could be playing with the kids or with the pet or even making something different for breakfast. Breaking the monotony of getting up – getting ready – leaving for office can be worked out.

Evenings too can be made out to be better by sometimes stopping by the orphanage or an old age home and contributing to the inmates with whatever little we can. This gesture of kindness can bring joy, unimaginable to most of us. Visiting a nearby temple brings inner calm that we always try to find but never achieve. Having a chat with an old relative, calling up an old uncle or aunt or even a friend you may not have spoken for a long time can be very soothing.

There are innumerable treasures around us, but we don’t have the time to experience them. Flowers, birds, trees, people are the best treasures that we have been bestowed with. Financial and monetary wealth is not the only treasure but a lot beyond. If we really want to see the best around us, we need to find everything that brings gratitude in us. Practicing this simple way of ‘thanking’ can do wonders.  

Allow your heart to rule you, at least once in a day. I have a craving for that chocolate, I have been resisting since long only because it may add to my already overweight body. But no, today I have decided that I am going to buy it and eat it all by myself. The satisfaction that I derived out of eating that chocolate is immense.

Let’s ask ourselves today – “Am I living an abundant life?” If I am at peace with myself and my family, have strength of mind and purpose, do not have emptiness, do not hold grudges, am self motivated and have found meaning, then certainly I am living an abundant life. Are you??

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Read it….enjoy it….laugh with it!!!

By Mridula Chaudhari

When my husband proposed to me, I readily said, 'I do'! What drew me to him that time was his love for music, specially the old Hindi film songs. When I learnt about his passion for Hindi film songs, I conveniently concurred that he was an overtly romantic fella. I was not so much impressed by his qualifications (he is a Chartered Accountant) as I was smitten by his passion for music. Romance was very much in the air, I considered him to be a music fanatic.

I could visualize myself running around trees like Asha Parekh with Shammi Kapoor following her. But alas! My hubby darling was too preoccupied with his ‘numbers’ than fishing for my dupatta in the woods. His office was utterly important and I kept wondering where all that love for romantic songs of 60s and 70s disappeared.

We both got engrossed with our careers and home until one day when his love for music resurfaced. He would begin his day with vividh bharati and the music system would blare at the top of its voice in our house, so much so that if I had to talk to him I had to lower the volume considerably. As I would approach the remote to lower the volume, he would frisk it from my hands and signal me to talk later. Mohammad Rafi was too important a person in his life than his own wife.

This music could be heard by the neighbours as well. While leaving for office, one of the sugar coated neighbor would come up to him and say, “You have such a lovely collection of songs. I love listening to them early in the morning”. Next day the volume of the music player was even higher for our neighbor’s convenience.

By now even the children had forgotten the music of their own generation. Asha, Rafi and Lata were their Sunidhi Chuahan, Sonu Nigam and Shrya Ghoshal. Their weekend morning sleep was very musical. They got up humming ‘Dill deke dekho, dil deke dekho, dil deke dekho ji’ or ‘Ankhon me kya ji…’ very early in the morning.

One day in pursuit of cleaning the house, I chucked some papers which I thought were trash. Within an hour hubby darling came to me with a concerned look, “I had kept some important papers on the bed and I can’t find them there. Have you noticed them anywhere? They were very important”. I panicked. I thought I had chucked some of his really important office stuff. “I am sorry darling,” I apologized earnestly, “I thought they were not of any use hence I threw them in the dustbin some time back. But don’t worry I chucked them in the bin meant for dry trash so I think I will be able to retrieve them. What was so important about them?” I enquired. “I had written the name of music director of the song, ‘Yeh dil diwana hai’.

Thinking that my husband is really ‘diwana’, I simply walked away from there. I did not care to find out whether he retrieved the pages from the bin or not.

If he is so passionate about his music, I thought I should be equally passionate about something and that was reading. I decided to read at least for two hours every evening. I bought few books of my interest. One evening my dear husband also came around with a management book and sat next to me, reading. Thinking that finally I was able to pursue my own passion as well, I opened the first chapter of my book. Just then he said, “Let’s listen to OP Nayyar while reading. It will be so much fun”. When he said this he was so excited that I did not have the heart to disappoint him. The song began, ‘Jata kahan hai diwane, sab kuch yahan hai sanam…..’ Needless to say,  I could not read the chapter beyond the first word.

Now I don’t read any books when he is around. I simply enjoy the music. Our wi-fi connection is permanently downgraded due to continuous downloads from or some similar website, the house is cluttered with CDs lying all around and he has just now messaged us on our family group, “Can Somebody order a 320GB HDD for me urgently on Amazon?” Amazing, is he not?

Long live his love for Indian film music!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Art of making friends beyond 25!!

By -  Mridula Chaudhari

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.

                                                                         Hubert H. Humphrey

In this world of instagram, facebook, twitter and what not, I was completely foxed when I read the headline, ‘You are unlikely to make friends beyond 25’. How’s that possible? I cannot forget the oft repeated, ‘Man is a social animal’ verbatim in school. With shrinking families and DINKs (Double Income No Kids) doing the rounds, how can we not make friends even if we reach 80 years? After all we need somebody to talk to yaar! How can we just sit glued to our laptops and cellphones and keep hitting the like button and send smilies to every post on Facebook and WhatsApp? No doubt, to do that is our moral responsibility (?), but what about the urge to share happiness and grief by word of mouth and one’s body language doing the talking when we really have to fish for right words?

The article quoted that the scientists after a thorough study inferred that men and women continue to make more friends until the age of 25 and after that the number starts falling, falling and falling more. The article stated, “researchers found that an average 25-year-old man contacts around 19 different people per month, while 25 year old women contacted an average of 17.5 people. By the age of 39, however, men and women were calling an average of 12 and 15 people per month respectively”.

I am quite certain that the scientists probably forgot to take sample survey of Indian people. We Indians just cannot live without making friends, at any age. Be it a stranger on the road or a new family just shifted in the neighborhood. “Aap naye aye ho kya?” would be the opening sentence. “Oh, kahan se aye? Kaise kya aye? Yeh ghar aapko kisne suggest kiya? Aapke kitne bacche hai”, volley of questions would not stop even for the neighbor to offer an answer. The one way traffic stops only if Mrs. Sharma’s cell phone rings, and the conversation stops with, “Let’s meet when you are settled”.

Mrs. Sharma then makes a mental note of visiting her new neighbor in the forthcoming week. Soon the new neighbor is added to one of the many kitties that Mrs. Sharma attends apart from being her facebook friend, WhatsApp friend and is socially active in reality and virtually too. Needless to say that Mrs. Sharma’s new neighbor is left with little choice.

Who said you are unlikely to make friends beyond 25?

Since the past one year, I was requesting my hubby darling to take me on a tour of maybe ‘Exotic America’ or ‘Mesmerizing Australia’ or some other such location. He kept searching the internet for ‘lowest fares’ of air bookings and hotel bookings. I declared, “No, no I don’t want to go alone with you. Let’s go with one of the travelling group tours. That way we will have lot of people to talk to and make new friends”. He, for a change, loved my idea. We went on a tour and believe me we made at least 10 more friends in 8 days. That is some statistics for the scientists to ponder on!!

And somebody said you are unlikely to make friends beyond 25!

My friend’s mother-in-law, now 80 years old, has several groups that are still active. Mondays she goes to sing bhajans, Tuesdays are meant for playing carom, Wednesdays she attends a book reading club, Thursdays are meant for playing cards, Fridays her friends come over for a chit chat and Saturdays are reserved for social work. With new ladies joining the groups, she ends up making new friends even at the tender age of 80.

And then how can I even agree to the headline:
Turning 25? You are unlikely to make new friends now!!!