Tuesday, August 28, 2018

When you get married at an early age!

The trend today is to marry quite late, at a suitable age of 27 to 30 years mostly; for guys maybe a little more too. But there are so many of us, who still get married at a delicate age of the early 20’s. This could be because of family/societal pressure, or you have found your Mr.Right and there is no reason to wait any more, or you have been planning your big day ever since you were 5 years old. I am from this latter category too, got married when I was 23 years old – which I believe is quite early given today’s day and age.

I was not very career-oriented or ambitious back then. Had completed my graduation at 21 with no inclination or desire to study further and had joined my father’s business to assist him and basically not sit at home and get bored to death or have my mother make me set-up camp in the kitchen (not much of a cooking person either, you see).

All this while, my then boyfriend – now husband and I were going strong; we’d meet on Sundays, chat and it was all good. Being from a Marwari family, the only aim for my parents was to find a good guy and get me married off. They never forced me to become a doctor or lawyer, nor did they compare me with other cousins of mine who were more ambitious.

I did try my hands at customized gifting business though – homemade chocolates, desserts, greetings, gift bags and boxes and other customized gifting. But I was not making much profit, and more importantly I did not have help; so after a couple of wedding orders I quit. How much chocolate can one make alone, before they start hating the colour brown!

Soon my parents were hunting (Not literally) guys for me. Relatives forwarding biodatas, parents showing me photos. All this while they were very much aware that I have a boyfriend. When things got out of hands, I told my boyfriend (he is 3 years elder to me) all about what was going on at my home, and the furious person he is, told me let’s get married. 23 and 26 is early but not abnormally early also.

After coaxing, emotionally blackmailing, negotiating (the negotiation being that if later in life I regret my mistake it’s all on me) – my family finally nodded their head to say a yes to this relationship. The wedding was a one-day affair and went without any drama.

We completed 5 years to tying a knot back in November 2017. At 28 and 31 respectively, me and the husband still love each other a lot – we have seen a lot together in these 5 years – had a baby, saw massive fights, I had a sudden vocational ambition and took it up and have been a social media manager since about 4 years now.

We have evolved and changed a lot – obviously in appearance but also our personality. I am more confident, work-oriented but also don’t enjoy crowded parties or late nights anymore – which I used to before. He on the other end hasn’t changed as much as I have but is less mushy and more practical and loves his late nights and party scenes. This brings a obvious gap in our interests and what to do together. It’s not like we had the same interests almost a decade back when we first met, no. But then we wanted to impress each other and tried to show interest in each other’s hobbies.

What I am trying to say here is, that when you marry at an early age when you are still molding as a person; maybe later on when you’re different people there will be indifferences leading to arguments or lack of understanding. Whereas, I don’t know how right I am – maybe it’s easier once you are already older and there are fewer changes in personality? Maybe couples who married later in life would be able to answer that. The key here to a happy marriage is then to accept the partner how they are and find atleast 1 or 2 activities that both would enjoy together. And very importantly, taking a short break together – just the 2 of you – without the kiddo too!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Children’s Blocked Nose - Do’s & Don'ts

The monsoon season is here, and with the beautiful weather also comes the season of flu. With schools starting for my toddler, I know that it also means the frequent bouts of cold and cough will make an entry into my home. As they’re under 5, their immune system is still developing and catching different viruses is common at this age. Kids cannot express their discomfort when they’re Ill. A thermometer will help with knowing the temperature – but a toddler won’t be able to tell if they’re having a headache or feeling tired or if they’re having a blocked nose. It’s a mother’s experience and instinct that helps. Here is what to do (and not) when your toddler has a blocked nose:
Look for the first signs –
Babies are obligatory nose breathers. Meaning, they don’t know how to really use their mouth to breathe if their nasal passage is blocked. If they have a blocked nose while feeding/drinking milk out of a bottle, it may get very uncomfortable for them. Less oxygen going to the brain means impacting their early-age development as well. Hence, when you see signs of discomfort like keeping the mouth open while sleeping, being cranky, not eating or drinking their milk – they may have a blocked nose. If they have a temperature too, take them to the paediatrician. 
Hydration –
Make sure they get a lot of liquids, at room temperature and warm, to soothe and heal their throat faster. Water, clear soups, room temperature juices are some options. Remaining hydrated helps thin out the mucus and remove it from their system easily. This, of course, applies to adults as well. If they are being cranky, keep them hydrated, at regular intervals. You can use a straw or fancy glass to make it attractive.
Nasal spray/drops (consult your paediatrician before using the product) – 
To help the child sleep better, a nasal spray/drops that is made specially for babies/toddlers could be used. Opt for a nasal decongestant in an easy drop form, like Nasivion® Baby Nose Drops 0.01% for babies below 1 year. Its active ingredient Oxymetazoline is well tolerable on the nose and provides upto 12 hours of easy breathing. It unblocks the nose to help your baby play and learn in a more enjoyable way. Up to the age of 4 weeks, instil 1 drop of the solution into each nostril 2-3 times per day. From the 5th week of life until the age of 1 year, instil 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician.
For children aged between 1 to 6 years, you could opt for Nasivion® Child Nose Drops 0.025%. Instil 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician/paediatrician.
Avoid the air-conditioner –
ACs tend to dry up and remove moisture from the area – which will only trouble and irritate the baby/toddler more. Humidity in the air helps the baby breathe better and removes mucus. If you stay in a place where the climate is dry, then you should try using a vaporizer/humidifier in the kid’s room.
Avoid sending them to playgroup/school –
This is obvious; but let them get plenty of rest and avoid sending them to school where they won’t get rest and may infect other children too. They may get bored at home, specially the toddlers, so keep them engaged, play some games with them, read those stories and allow a little extra screen time. Keep the noise low and lights dim. Like adults, while having cold even kids are very irritable and they may not know what is irritating them.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Eleventh Hour by S.Hussain Zaidi

I finished reading this book in 2 days straight. That is how gripping and thrilling it is! Just my kind of novel - crime, thriller with some emotions and a lot of twists and turns! I am a sucker for such books, and Eleventh Hour turned out to be just like that! I wonder why I haven't read other books yet!

Situated years after the 9/11 Mumbai attacks that nor me, nor any other Mumbaikar will ever forget...the book and the characters take you through on-the-edge ride towards another attack in the waiting. I won't tell a lot about the story, you can read the summary below, but Vikrant's chemistry with his mentor Misra and the character Daniel are just awesome! I could imagine the story as a movie in my mind, infact this so could be a Bollywood movie (if done well). Can't wait to read Mr.Zaidi's previous books. A must read!

New Delhi, 2017. It is nine years since the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai and the wounds have still not healed. Especially not for Superintendent of Police Vikrant Singh, who ends up landing a slap on the High Commissioner of Pakistan’s face when he meets him at an event. Meanwhile, in Bhopal, five members of the Indian Mujahideen, arrested by Vikrant, break out of the Central Jail. Vikrant, suspended for the diplomatic disaster, is unofficially asked to assist the team tracking the escaped terrorists. In another part of the country, a retired tycoon, a heartbroken ex-soldier and a young woman dealing with demons of her own embark on a journey of self-discovery aboard a cruise liner from Mumbai to Lakshadweep. Fate, however, has other plans, and the cruise liner is hijacked. Racy and riveting, this is Hussain Zaidi at his best.

About the Author
S. Hussain Zaidi is a veteran of investigative, crime and terror reporting. His previous books include Black Friday, Mafia Queens of Mumbai, Dongri to Dubai, Byculla to Bangkok and Mumbai Avengers, some of which have been adapted into Bollywood films. Hussain Zaidi lives with his family in Mumbai.