Yoga Routine to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

You do not need any fancy location or equipment. Just a yoga mat at or anything to spread on the floor is good enough – make sure you don’t slip! With this yoga for periods routine you will be able to help the blood circulation in your body, especially your lower body. 

  • Uttanasana
  • Malasana
  • Ustrasana
  • Vakrasana
  • Badhakonasana

These yoga poses for periods help you release tension and regulate the blood circulation in your lower abdomen area, spinal cord, thighs and chest. These are simple poses because you are already in pain and anything crazy is not going to help – I know, I have tried so many of them. 

The Fatal ‘Pattern’ of Freedom

Friendship and freedom seem to go hand in hand. The freedom to say whatever you want to without being afraid of being judged, asking stupid questions and receiving equally stupid answers, calling up anytime of the day and night for the silliest things. The most beautiful, comforting and reliable zone – friendship! It is cherished because of the freedom it offers. 

Yet, considering how complicated human behaviour can be, we end up falling in pattern. Yes, we form a pattern for freedom. Anything out of that box is labeled as “changed behaviour” or even “betrayal”! Statements like ‘I like to accept my friends the away they are’ are in trend. But just there! These things are hardly applied in practical relationships. We have standard frames: cool people, studious ones, the fashionable chicks, the senti dude, serious types, fakes, bitches and even the stepping stones, if nothing from these then weirdos! Yes, we do. Every person we meet has to fit in some or the other frame. 

In our boundaries for freedom, we have a detailed list of rights and wrongs! I am not supporting the anti-social fellas trying to destroy mankind or killing humanity in their attempt to attain peace. I am just trying to understand why it is difficult for us to accept people the way they are without being judgmental? I believe in a simple theory that every single thing in the universe is there for a reason. Implying, we simply need to let things be. 

How much ever I want to and try to, I may not be able practice this theory most of the time (thanks to the habits and standard behavior I have imbibed all my life) and end up judging people but then once I am back to my senses I let it go. I explain this to myself that we humans are continuously controlled by dynamic emotions. Do we have something called “standardized emotions”? We, at least, try to have those. 

The cycle of act-expect-react-retrace/recuperate!

We have a brilliant mechanism of expectations and standardization! If someone cares for you then you have to be able to reciprocate or you don’t respect the caring gesture. Well, the point is, is the other person expecting the same thing from you? A person may not always do something to get something in return. It may be just the way they are! We just need to accept the fact.

Yes, there are some awesome personalities who form genuine friendships with all types of people, be open and proud about it. Hats off to those! Because it is a challenge, considering the framed psychology in our society, to openly accept the kind of friends you hang around with. I think it takes some guts to form genuine friendships with some people. But we can’t neglect the fact that all people are the way they are because of some or the other reason. There are some golden hearted persons out there who can be friends with someone who fakes himself. 

We may, unconsciously, a list of characteristics for each type. Maybe, every one of us has his own, customized list, but we do have it. If we accept someone being studious he must be the one with thick glasses, a stack of books nearby, introverted, and knowing the technical intricacies of some rocket science. If this person happens to be a socialite, then we label him as fake. Or simply throw some demeaning skeptical looks at him. If a friendly person happens to be impulsive, outspoken, and stupid (yes, everyone is stupid in varying degrees) then he is just contradicting his own personality. Why there has to be a frame defining a person?

Why do we need the frames?

My point is, how many can accept the changes in a person? Major changes! These may or may not be permanent changes; for some significant reasons, out of the blue, or for no reason at all? How well can we accept people changing? Or people failing to strictly stay within the boundaries of their frame? The frame given to them by the society.

Bald is Beautiful

Three weeks ago, I got my head shaved. Yes, a young Indian girl gets a bald look out of nowhere. Here are a few questions that I am commonly asked about my new look and what I think of them.

  1. What have you done to yourself?

I got a haircut! Really, that is all I have done. This one was way more expensive than the usual trimming.

  1. You look beautiful and all but why? Why did you do this?

There are 10 different, dramatic and interesting reasons I can come up with to answer this question. At times, I did. One of the most convincing answers, even for myself, was my thinning hair. But honestly, there is only one real reason which is “because I wanted to” Period

  1. Get well soon! By the way, which stage is it?

Maybe, it is just in India. Maybe, it is in some other parts of the world too, but this stereotype about bald women is saddening. I did not expect this reaction from people in the cities, at least. However, about 5 people have asked me this question. The general assumption is that I am suffering from a critical illness which is why I had to shave my head. I don’t know if I should be happy about the fact that people are more concerned, aware and empathetic toward those who are actually suffering from medical conditions. Or I should be angry by knowing that you are allowed to shave your head only when you are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

Smirkingly, I chose to baffle such people by telling them that I do not have any such disease, fortunately. Believe me, watching the resulting disappointment on their faces was so amusing.

  1. Are you not interested in boys? 

Depends on how cute and well-behaved they are! Well, the boys are definitely more interested in me now. To think of it a little deeply, I am more in touch with my femininity now. I could not have embraced my womanhood in better ways. If anything at all, shaving my head has taught me to don it with sheer grace! Thankfully, it has cascaded to other aspects of my life. 

  1. How does it feel?

Liberating. Light. Lovely. I cannot think of a better way to let go of my inhibitions. It is a new feeling to accept myself completely without having any tiny strands to cover any part of my face while being me. Honestly, I have started liking myself even more in the bald look. Main apni aur bhi jyada favourite ho gayi hoon. 

  1. Was it scary?

Of course, it was! But not as scary as finding a lizard crawling in your room! Once I stopped caring about how others will react to my new look, the entire process seemed to be fun. It was also easier because of the supportive people in my life.

I am fortunate to have people around me who can make any scary experience a fun-filled memory for me. Such was the entire time when I was getting my head shaved. It began as a daunting moment full of last-minute doubts but ended being a moment of truce and new bonding with a good friend. Tanya, my ex-roomie turned BFF, got her hair chopped short just to make me feel comfortable about mine. That moment of fear became a winning moment for our friendship. 

My parents said that I look beautiful even without hair. My sister, boyfriend, and friends love me just the way they used to. In fact, they have become more supportive. 

  1. How did you deal with the people who are not supportive?

I have a simple philosophy about this — ‘I do not need to explain everything about myself to everyone. Not everybody has to understand me and my story.’ They are being unsupportive because they do not know where I am coming from. With what understanding they have about the world, people and me, they could be correct with their opinion. Let them be! I can argue with them and recite influential quotes or stories and make them support me. But really? Do I need to?

  1. How are you living with this?

As freely as I possibly can. After all the appreciation, compliments and support that I received during the first week after I donned the bald look, I feel free. I do not have to care about how my hair looks before I leave the house. No worries and expenses on shampoos, conditioners, and hair serums. I did not realise I could save so much money with just one haircut! It is easier to take care of myself in a better way. I think the difficult phase has passed. Now, I do not receive any second glances and however little I could care about them in the beginning, I do not give a damn about them now. 

Take it from a girl who has experienced it, shaving your head is not at all bad or horrifying as it is projected to us. Not that I did any grand act but I did not have a single moment of regret during the entire process. I am irrevocably in love with this new found friend in me!

Goodness is always trendy

Bhalayi ka zamaana ab nahi raha who has not listened to or felt this at least once in their life? Not at least in our country. However, who does not hope to meet good and generous people? Not the ones acting for publicity or to make news and stories. Genuine, willing, good-hearted people being kind knowing that their act may not get featured anywhere?

Fortunately, I meet such godly spirited personalities quite often but some of them leave a beautiful imprint on the memory. Such was a chaiwala that I met today. Chaiwala? Stirs so many political chords? Naah, remarkable goodness rarely comes is such high-profile packaging. Am I dramatising? Of course, yes! 

I am talking about a staff member of a tiny cafe who served tea to me today. “Outside food not allowed” Who has not read such boards and instructions with warning signs in popular restaurants? Such paatis are very common in Pune. 

This city also has people like me who carry their food with them, especially when they are appearing for an important exam and it is their test day. I also had the audacity to enter a decent cafe and ask the person at the counter, who is ready to welcome the customer and take the order, if I could eat food from my tiffin while sitting in the cafe? As a compensation, I also told him that I will order for a cup of tea. 

Judgemental as I could be, I was ready to hear a negative response and walk out of the door. But surprisingly, this generous person said, “aap chai nahi order karoge tab bhi baithke daabe se khana kha sakte ho, madam

And, I could see a halo around his head! Well, I was hungry. I was allowed to hallucinate! Anyway, I did place an order for the tea and some more food. Not just for the sake of it, I was really hungry. But it was this small gesture of a humble man that made my day. Not because he allowed me to eat outside food on his premises but because he did not make it look like a favour. He served water, plates and cutlery just like he did to the other customers. That for me is goodness. No show-off! Just a kind deed without belittling the other person.

Uri: Ultra Remarkably Impactful

It is clear from the title of this post that I loved the film. I am going to tell you why and what I liked about it. Firstly, other than some preposterous masala movies, Indian films have been astonishing lately. Uri: The Surgical Strike is one of them.

Uri is based on the surgical strike carried by the Indian army as revenge for a deadly attack at the Uri army base in September 2016. This movie is a clear revenge-drama, war, and an entertaining film. It hits straight to the point. The characters are clear and so are the acts. There are no grey areas and certainly no regular Bollywood romance. 

Writer and director, Aditya Dhar, has done a commendable job at making such a grim storyline into a believable and nail-biting script. The charisma and intensity of the soldiers has been captured as required while also showing their fun-filled lives. 

Vicky Kaushal has always charmed me by his fluency with the characters he has to play. As Major Vihan Shergill, he portrays the perfect balance of an army person having some emotions just like the commoners. His five months training is clearly visible in his act. Paresh Rawal, as Govind, has touched the correct nodes of a politician and a strategist. Other important characters were given justice by the actors just as needed. No over performance and no insecurities for screen space.

Uri is a fresh wave with updated war tactics and technologies being used in the warfare and in the shooting of those scenes. The night visions, drones, shaky cameras and mild heart-thumping background music give it a good mix. I definitely did not miss the slow motion for action scenes, unnecessary collisions or explosions and even the pools of strangled bodies in the blood. This is a war movie delivered gracefully and interestingly. Thankfully, the good looking actors felt secure about their looks and did not feel the need to show-off any six packs or muscles. Their expressions with the frames and context were enough to speak for their skills. That could be one of the unexplainable reasons for me to feel connected with the story – the decency and calibre of the soldiers were given more weight than the glamour quotient. 

Nonetheless, it is a Bollywood film. There is some extra footage given to our hero to display his fighting spirit and take down the terrorists. There is some family drama added to build the characters and the tension behind the ‘josh’! But these things could either be ignored or just taken in as Indian filmy-flavours. 

Either way, Uri is a must-watch movie! Please pay adequately for watching in order to respect the efforts and talent!

When I was getting shot!

I have done crazy things. No bragging but really the few adventures that I could manage and afford for myself have surprised people around me. I have been asked, more than once about how I don’t feel afraid of these activities? Teeny-weeny things like mountain trekking–I slipped so many times but was un-injured at the end, forest hiking in the dark–my feet were so swollen that they wouldn’t fit in any of my regular sandals for few days after that, waterfall rappelling–was stuck between the rock wall and the waterfall to almost choke on the water, natural water slides–my back was sore for days after this. All this was fun for me. People praising me for enduring those activities was (in my head) just their humility.

On a regular day, while running in a park, a dog came and bit me, out of the blue. You know. And then I saw this huge, dark, black mountain in front of me. Without a single crack to let any ray of light come in. I thought, I was not going to die.

Seriously, the mountains, forest, waterfalls, rocks nothing could scare me! And no, the dog didn’t scare me, either. It happened when I found myself at the doctor’s clinic and the kind lady was casually informing me about the Titanus shot that I was supposed to take. That was the moment my heart started racing at a speed unimaginable for me. I could feel sweat beads forming on my forehead. Would dying be easier that getting a shot?

Fine! Exaggeration?! Yes, I know. But really, that was my mountain. My challenge. I wanted to run through the door, come back home, and just curl up on my bed till eternity.

When I walked out of that door, I knew I had conquered my mountain. My fear. At least, for another 10 years!

Learning? We all have our mountains to climb. The general list of things to feel afraid of is never going to be an all-inclusive. Let’s conquer, one at a time!

Forgotten forces

I had recently visited an old age home and an orphanage and I had these tingling thoughts running into my mind. I couldn’t pin-point on exactly what these were. But I knew I need to notice and think. These were kept aside, for now.

Few days later, my mom celebrated her 70th birthday and I had spent the day with her doing things that she likes to do. Being a movie buff, she wanted to watch movies! We watched 102 Not out and Nude and Nude, back-to-back! Aah! What fun-filled day it was!

On that day, I had the same tingling thoughts in mind and this time I paid attention. It was a lesson. Spending time with children and elderly people makes us grow, in many terms. This is indeed a very simple lesson but an important one, especially in today’s world. We are living in a bizarre time. We have technology developing every millisecond to keep people connected yet the number of lonely and depressed people is increasing at almost the same speed.

I have spent many days and occasions with my parents, other elderly people and children but this sudden realization was a new relief. These people are so full of life! How wonderful it is to feel amazed at every new thing you see. My mother was so amused by the motion sensing water taps in the mall that she insisted on going to the washroom every other hour. She still makes me take her by the escalators and not the elevators, at least once during our visit to any mall, just so that she doesn’t go out of practice. And, I can’t describe the feeling of achievement that radiates from her face when she completes a ride on the escalators. Similarly, on the other day, the children at the orphanage were more than happy while making paintings on the walls of their classrooms. Really, that is all it takes for them and even us to be happy! Simple joys, excitement about tiny little things and fun things to do.

I am not saying that this could not get annoying after a while. Or that I didn’t get tired by their enthusiasm but didn’t our parents and grandparents put up with us when we were still trying to figure out the world around us when we were young? It must have taught them to be patient and positive and all that. Yes, I am giving some credit to us (us as kids) for them being so amazing!

So, need to learn to be patient? Want to hone your skills at convincing a stubborn mind? Want to excel at creative conversations? Need a different perspective of the world around us or on life? Or simply need to smile for no reason at all? Go spend some time with the oldies or the kiddos! They have so much to learn from!

102 Not Out: Perfect Family Time!

After 2 weeks running in the theatre, the hall I went to watch it in was still houseful. That says it all, I guess!

People, it is a beautiful movie. The story revolves around a 102 YO father, Dattatray Vakharia (Amitabh Bachchan), and his 75 YO son, Babulal (Rishi Kapoor). The father wants to bring his son, who is stuck in a morose lifestyle, back to life. He makes him complete some challenges in an attempt to make him live the life fully before he finally dies.

The performances of veterans like Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor are so powerful that you don’t need a sexy, young lady in the script, an item number or any other typical attractions to keep you on your seats! The only other important or neutral character is Dhiru (Jimit Trivedi). He has done an amazing job while sharing the screen space with such brilliant actors. Being true to his character, he simply balances the story and helps it unfold at its own pace.

In fact, other than the refreshing concept, the movie’s best things are the impeccable comic timings of the actors and its conventional unfolding of the characters. The characters may seem like caricatures from the real life but that adds to the charm of the narrative.

I am not giving any more spoilers.

Just go watch!

My Midnight Travel Not So Scary

Safety score: 90% | Location: London, UK

Yes, it is safe to walk on the road at midnight! 

I was returning home after an event. Being an Indian girl, it was natural for me to feel scared. But I kept telling myself not to worry and kept looking around at people out here. I started my journey from a station, almost the centre of the city, and as the train passed from one station to another the number of people aboard kept reducing. 

I was frightened when I realised that there were three boys in my compartment and I was the only woman. Firstly, all the news I had seen lately flashed across my mind and I started recalling all the self-defense moves I could think from anywhere possible. But, within seconds, I realised that each one of them was wearing earphones and had his head busy in his smartphone. I sighed and took a breath of  fresh air from the sudden gift of freedom.

Soon, the train reached my destination and stepping out was another scary thing for me to do. The compartment with the three busy boys had become my comfort zone, afterall! My first step on the platform reminded me of a scene from a horror movie. I was scared, again! I hugged myself and kept walking toward the exit. I somehow managed to make it till the main road and it was all quiet. Just a few speeding vehicles passing by, as the roads were nearly empty during the night.

On my way home, I saw two boys. There I go! My breathing increased and I could feel a drop of sweat near my left ear, in the chilling winter of January! The crime scenes flashing through my eyes were not helping me in any way and I had goosebumps all over my body. 

Somehow, I kept walking. More alert than I knew I could be. As I reached closer to them, I noticed that they were busy with something. Could be either some drug or they were enjoying each other’s company to notice a person passing by. I, still alert, kept dragging my feet calmly yet in longer steps. 

Finally! I was on the side of the road close to my home and I could see my husband’s shadow. He was sitting by the table near the window, probably sending me a message to ask about my whereabouts. I felt good! This sense of security and freedom was so new to me. I still couldn’t believe that I had walked alone on the streets at midnight, especially at midnight! Of course, it was not the safest thing to do. There were still some chances of theft or any hate crimes happening, as was the wave going on in the city lately. But, at that moment, I felt relieved.

A whole new experience for me. To walk the road without any random stares or fearing any nasty comments from the least possibilities.  So, I just want to tell you all that it feels awesome to walk in the open without any random set of eyes staring at your body.

If you get a chance, spread your hands wide in the air and feel the breeze touching your cheeks. You don’t have any eyes nearly scanning your skin making you cringe and look for a corner to just hide. 

Feel the difference! Be the difference!

Visiting Thailand: the offbeat way!

The Thai-triangle (Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya) is infamous for the various shows and the night-life. Those are the experiences one would want to have at least once in their lifetime. I had an experience of all things mixed, moderately. Just how I like it!

Let me tell you about the group I was with. A group of varied ages and mixed genders. We were a family with no kids! Well, I am not counting our inclination toward childish behavior (especially, me!) So, yeah, all adults. It could be our travel-kiddas or just the anxiety of being in an unknown country but I felt an instant connection with the (not all) strangers in my group the moment I saw them at the airport. I call us ‘the explorers with major mood swings’. Which made us visit the beaches at our own pace and visit the markets based on the voting within the group.

We had a rough list of things-to-do-in-Bangkok and things-to-do-in-Phuket but the lists went for a toss and the schedule was nowhere in the sight during the next week! But, I must tell you, if you really want to explore yourself, go ahead and push your boundaries! You’d be amazed at your own adaptability.

Our day in Bangkok started off with a visit to the Lumpini Park and there couldn’t be a better start for me! The sheer amount of activities people perform is mesmerizing. From kids to elderlies, everybody has some or the other thing to join and enjoy their morning! The open gym did add hotness to the already hot weather! The place is photographers’ delight.

The fruit markets are the best things for someone who doesn’t want to spend their mornings with hangovers. That’s me! You can never get over with the generosity and humility of the vendors there. These are the places to experience the real humane side of any country. And, Thailand scores much high on this.

In Phuket, you can find many places to witness beautiful sunrises and sunsets, from shrines, beaches to hilltops. Get done with your clicking sessions and do witness the beautiful, live paintings-in-process with your eyes. I am going to have these as carvings in my mind for a long time.

Did you expect a list of places to visit, activities to do or an itinerary? No, I am not giving you that! You can find it easily on Google. I want to talk about the less talked-about things.

So, I wonder where the young men from these cities are? I could hardly see them. Most of the businesses were run around by either women or elderly. Which also gave me a sense of security to roam around on the streets during any time. Prejudice you may call it. (Shrug. Eyes rolled.)

I found it cute when people tried to understand what we were saying in normal English. Mostly, they could only get the common words and tried to provide us with whatever they could understand. Trust me, they do not give up on you easily! No wonder they manage to glue-in so many tourists to their country almost entire year.

So, when you visit this part of Asia, hone your bargaining skills but take it easy. Wander around and take in the laid-back gest as it is offered to you. You’ll have all kinds of activities to do and once you are done with your list, sit back and breathe the air that is so welcoming and full of energy.