Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mamma can find everything!

Every time I don’t find something I’m looking for, I terribly miss my mom. My mind wanders to my childhood days when I had not moved out for higher studies and mom was always there to the rescue. My mom had this uncanny knack of finding things effortlessly that everyone else had failed in spotting, and I had the tendency to forget where I kept my stuff. That made for some very interesting happenings at home every other day.

I always made sure that I had exhausted all my faculties of searching and was left with no other recourse before I admitted defeat and called my mom. While marching in, mom used to declare that I would be in for some good scolding if what I had been looking for unsuccessfully for hours actually was just lying around in the open, like always. I used to be outraged and protest that this time the object I was looking for was definitely not out in the open.  And then upon magically fishing out the lost object in the blink of an eye, mom used to tell me, every time, for the umpteenth time, that I’m practically blind! It brings a smile on my face every time when I remember those moments.

Image credit:
I of course used to vehemently tell mom that my eyesight is perfectly fine and it is she who has magical power of spotting things. She used to laugh it off but it always managed to bring down her irritation :D

Now that I think of it, I realize that my mom was my troubleshooter in every respect. She had magical powers for everything, like I guess all moms do. She was my go-to-person who had the solution to all my problems, always. She donned multiple hats and was equally adept at everything! She was the one and only expert I ever needed!

Image Credit:

At 23, I feel all grown-up, living alone in Mumbai and supporting myself financially but when I look up to my mom, I understand what it means to be grown up really and how far I am from reaching there. Taking responsibility of others’ well-being and always being there for them- I guess that’s what being grown up actually is, and no one does it better than my mom.

I thank Godrej, the most widely trusted expert when it comes to hair color, for this post as their campaign this Mother's Day inspired me to recollect my memories with my mom, my first expert, and share them here. I would like to end my post with this image that hits the bull's eye perfectly.

Image credit:

Life made easier!

There are few innovations that are happening at a more rapid pace and touching people’s lives in a more entrenched manner than mobile apps. For every possible task one might need to do, be it taking notes in a meeting or storing favorite web articles to read later or keep track of one’s calorie consumption, there’s an app available that one can download on one’s smartphone and trust wholeheartedly to get the job done without any fuss. These apps have thus not only brought information at our finger tips like never before, they have gone beyond just providing information and have made our lives far simpler and easier.

One such app that I can vouch for from my personal experience is the new #MyAirtelApp. It’s nothing less than a godsend for a working professional like who lives alone in a busy city. I work for 10-12 hours a day 5 days a week and all I want to do in the weekend is sleep and read. If there’s any bill to be paid or even shopping to be done (which I used to love to do when I was a student), I cringe. Thankfully I don’t really have to exert much effort to get the ‘important’ things done which require me to move out of my couch and away from my novels. How? Apps! Particularly the #MyAirtelApp

Image Credit:

I’ll outline in this post its 3 key features that best suit my lifestyle:

1.    Free Coupons-Everyone loves to be surprised with free stuff! And the makers of the #MyAirtelApp know this very well.  Every recharge you do via the app lets you select a free coupon for yourself from categories like shopping, food, beauty and wellness and others! What is cooler is that you just shake your phone and you get a surprise from airtel in terms of cashback on next recharge or other offers! How cool is that!

2.    All in one- It lets me do everything related to Airtel at this one place! I mean be it phone or internet or TV DTH, this is the single platform one needs to engage with to pay bills or do recharge etc. One can add multiple devices and know the data and balance status on the home screen. Saves a lot of time. Ask me.

3.    I want to- It has this amazing feature called ‘I Want To’ on the home screen that remembers my frequent tasks and lets me finish my tasks in a jiffy. I don’t need t navigate a lot of pages before I get where I want to go!

Isn’t that wonderful? I have been using airtel services for my pre-paid mobile and recently broadband and this app has just made everything faster and simpler for me. Kudos to the app makers!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Book Review: The Silent Scream

The Silent Scream is one of those books that you don't want to read initially, if you're anything like me, but that make you feel glad you decided to read anyway. There are too many issues out there that no one wants to talk about which makes authors of issue-based books a brave lot. But not all issue based books are commendable just because they talk about something no one is comfortable with. Very few are such cases in which people take up a sensitive issue and do justice to it without resorting to sensationalism. This book is one such rare gem.

Being a student of Clinical Psychology I am required to read many volumes, academic and non-academic, on various kinds of trauma. Hence, when I read something out of my course's recommended reading list, I avoid stuff related to mental health. When Siddharth Garg approached me for a review of his book, I almost denied the request only to delete the draft and send another mail saying I'll be happy to review the book. What made my almost-no to a yes was the curiosity to find out how much the author had lived up to his promise of the book being "a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil". Sure the book had a few case studies but it also had a section on answering questions, busting myths, providing simple guidelines etc. and it was the latter that drew me in. 

The Silent Scream, a very apt title, is based on child sexual abuse (CSA) and begins with an account of a very typical CSA. Several stories follow, each exposing a certain 'type' of CSA and busting a certain myth regarding various aspects related to CSA. The attempt is clearly there to not brush anything under the carpet, for which I congratulate the author, as it speaks volumes about his comfort level with the issue, but there is never a whiff of any attempt to raise goosebumps by going over unnecessary details at the cost of losing out on sensitive  telling of the stories. The author has captured several things about the characters in his case studies, not falling prey to the amateur's mistake of letting the case study revolve around the 'issue' only. I can't stress this point enough- Siddharth Garg has loads and loads of sensitivity and it oozes out of every line in the book. 

The latter half was more to my interest and pleasantly surprised me with not just how comprehensive it was but how well researched all the chapters were. The following are some of the chapter titles in the second half of the book: Rape and its types, Who are these Perpetrators, Signs of Danger, Why people abuse children sexually, Silence : The Biggest Encouragement, The Repercussion, The Constitution of India, Must Do’s for Parents and Children, A Note for Survivors, Way to Heal and Helplines. It was great to see that the author's voice was gradually coming along like a neutral voice, talking about the perpetrators' minds as well, without turning into a rapist-apologist or a pedophile-apologist for a single moment. The subject matter covered is thorough and has my approval and I daresay, this is more than just a book. That the author is passionate about the issue is easy to tell. He is emphatic in his pleas to stop giving implicit encouragement to the perpetrators of this heinous crime by maintaining silence and provides a great ending to his book by giving us a glimpse into his heartfelt genuineness in his involvement with this issue. Here goes:

If you know something is wrong and there is nothing being done against it, report it to someone and if you are afraid to report it publically, you can also write it to me anonymously and I will make sure that your concern is raised to the local government officials. Also, in case you are not satisfied with the law enforcements that we have for the children in our country and have some better suggestions (which are not biased and are in favour of the whole nation); please feel free to write them to me. We will collect all the suggestions that come across and will send them to the government demanding for an action on the same. You can feel free to write to me on

“The world is a dangerous place to live in, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
 - Albert Einstein

Wow! Had the author not approached me with a request to read and review this book, I would never have picked it up, unless of course it was a part of my course recommended readings, but I'm really glad I did end up reading it. Its a must read for parents of small children and all the people who work closely with children, be it teachers or social workers or other social protection professionals. It is not an academic tome and is an easy read but offers plenty of information and insight into Child Sexual Abuse. As a person who can say with some authority that CSA is more prevalent in our society than we care to admit, I highly recommend this book to all. Don't fear a few goosebumps and chills down your spine; its totally worth all that.