29 May, 2012

Weight issues after pregnancy

      Is weight gain after childbirth, the biggest issue to be discussed? I don't understand why people are much worried about the weight gain of celebrity women after delivery. Is this not a personal matter for the celebrity?
Read from this blog that Aishwarya Rai Bachan has given birth to the baby by normal delivery without the help of epidural at the age of 38. Isn't that a great thing itself? If you are a mother, you would understand how difficult it is to bear labor pains and deliver a child without the help of epidural

Weight loss tips after childbirth

          During Pregnancy, the skin and abdomen stretch a lot and after following a strict healthy diet for breastfeeding the baby, it is not easy to come back to normal weight within one year for any woman. It also depends on the body tendency, genes etc., However, with my experience I have jotted down some tips for weight loss after pregnancy.

  • First and foremost rule is to breastfeed the baby. Some studies find that breastfeeding exclusively will make weight loss faster.
Weight loss tips after childbirth

  • Exercise - Brisk walking is the simple thing that can be done as new mommy may not get much time/ break from babysitting. Abdominal exercises can be started at a later stage after consulting a doctor.

  • Good sleep - this is impossible to achieve since some children will wake up in the nights and mother cannot have a peaceful sleep of course until there is someone else to help.

  • Diet - A healthy diet with all varieties of fruits and vegetables. Having green tea twice a day and avoiding heavy meals with rice in the dinner may help.

Healthy diet for weight loss
  • Taking care of a baby itself is a big work out. breastfeeding, playing with the kid, cleaning, bathing the kid etc.,

  • Try Yoga or hit the gym if time permits. I am sure this cannot be done at least until 6 months after delivery and that too only after consulting doctor if it is a Cesarean delivery.

What is your say? Do you know any simple tips to lose weight without taking much time out of babysitting? Please do share your opinion on weight loss in the comments section.

Until next time,

Image courtesy: Google image search

15 May, 2012

Urban shots - Cross roads [Book Review]

Book details:
Name: Cross roads
Editor: Ahmed Faiyaz
Publishers: Grey Oak in association with West Land
Price: Rs. 199

What this book is about?

A collection of Indian short stories (30 urban stories by 26 authors) edited by best-selling author Ahmed Faiyaz.
It is very difficult to write review for a short story collection, because you cannot judge if book is good or not. If one story is excellent and another story is not good, you cannot give an overall rating. So, in this post I recommend some good stories in the book leaving behind the not so good ones.

What I liked?

My favorite is Rajasthan summer by Ayesha Heble -  It is a simple ghost story with a twist at the end.
Everyone has a story by Gayathri Hingorani – Minu bai, a maid walks through us to different homes, different lives, different problems and different stories from where she works. Rich or poor or liberated or neutral or joint family everyone has their own share of problems.
Cross Roads by Ahmed Faiyaz – Excellent story narration and un-predictable climax. This is my next favorite pick form the book.
Plummet by Avnee Rajesh & Pranav Mukul – A close up on a student’s life, his perspective on everyone around him. Story is very realistic as we see many parents in India who compare academics of their children to their neighborhood kids without realizing the potential of their children in other fields like sports, arts etc., This also shows how much pressure is put on those children which sadly leads to suicidal tendency.
Baba Premanand’s Yoga class by paritosh Uttam – One of a kind humorous story and we can expect such an excellent story from Paritosh obviously. Story shows how circumstances play with us some times and make things out of control.
Look how far we’ve come by Shreya Maheshwari – An emotional story of a divorced couple with a child. It shows how couple copes up with things and also shares a good bond with child. Dad meets his son every weekend and spends time with him, while his son is taken care by mother Rhea. Kid is happy that he can share their love without listening to their parents shouting at each other daily. But, last 2 lines from dad say a lot
It felt odd, realizing that it wasn’t so much that my eleven-year-old son needed me, but that I needed him.
Mind games by Manisha Dhingra – It’s a complex story of a person with some mental illness because of which he is in a hallucination that he married his college love even after breakup. We just feel pity of the character.
Wrong strokes for Deepalaya – A motivational story dedicated to many soldiers who lose their lives to protect us and our country from invaders.
Jump Didi by Sharath Komarraju – It’s about a mysterious baby sitter with her own dark secrets. It highlights the issue of child sexual abuse.
Pasta lane by Siddhartha Bhaskar and The Gap by saritha rao are also worth a mention.
There are also some stories which are not good at all and I felt boring to read. But, overall collection is good. When compared to other short story collection ‘Urban shots – bright lights’ this collection is not that great. My earlier review on Urban shots - brights lights can be found here.

Final say:

A time pass read best for a train journey. Pick up the book from flipkart.com if you need some discount.

Until next time,

This post is written as part of book lovers book review program. http://thebookloversreview.blogspot.in/

10 May, 2012

How life changed with mobile

Do you remember ??

  • those days when we had only letters for detailed updates,land line phone conversations and telegrams for important updates..
  • those first days of holding a black nokia phone with pride which used to be so strong that it would be safe even after throwing it from a multi storied building :)..
  • playing first games on mobile like snake :)
  • talking to your love for such a long time that phone switches off finally
  • utilizing the sms pack by sending unlimited sms daily to your friends. Reading and forwarding good morning/ noon/ evening messages, jokes and quotes to friends and family
  • playing latest songs to friends and colleagues and listening to those songs on train/bus journeys with head phones
  • downloading different hello tunes, ring tones and setting up weird sms alert tones
  • replacing camera and alarm clock with your phone
  • started using first touch screen mobile with 3D motion gaming
  • checked mails, facebook and twitter updates on go
  • posted pictures on social networking sites and browsed fb even after 12 am for updates form US friends
  • used GPS, instagram, mobile banking and hell lot of new apps on Iphones
If you have done all of the above, you might agree that mobile phone really has become a part of our life gradually.

When mobile usage started slowly, i thought i would use my mobile only to talk, sms and listen to songs. Then, i started using it as camera, take photos and send MMS. Now, i use it to check my mails, Facebook and twitter updates as well. Sometimes, when i feel bored, i used to browse internet, read my favorite news paper and magazines online from mobile. These days, many sites are customized for mobile display and it is not difficult to browse or read from mobile. Playing games on iphones is totally an enjoyable pass time. 

There are also some disadvantages due to this, i agree. We are becoming dependent on mobile day by day. We need a birthday reminder, to do list/ memo to remember important things and best friend's birthdays. We are always available online making our bosses in office happy that they can expect important work to be done on weekends as well quickly( i mean replying to important client mails, anyways actual coding and testing cannot be done on mobiles comfortably as of now). Sometimes, we are too much engrossed in playing games, sending sms and talking for such long hours on phone that we miss personal time with family or time to pursue hobbies or learn new things. However, it depends on individual to prioritize things and handle everything well.

On this note, i want to know your opinion on how do you feel about the advent of mobile in your life? Did it make you happy , changed your life negatively? or positively? Please do share your opinion in comments.

Until next time,

This post is written for Internet is fun on vodafone contest. www.vodafone.in/fun
Image: twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

09 May, 2012

My passport renewal story :)

Do you know how difficult it is to apply and receive an Indian passport? Re-issue/ Renewal of passport is also the same process as applying for a fresh passport and here is my looong story..   

         First of all, I didn't know until last year that an Indian passport validity is 10 years. So, after I found that mine is due to expire in March 2012, started reading the process of applying it online. I have started with creating an online user account on passport website. Online account creation and submission are cool. The website is also working fine most of the times, but some days site doesn't open at all. If you are applying from a specific city, you need to go to the regional passport site. 
For ex: Hyderabad has a separate passport regional site. 

After logging in, we can check for the documents required to apply for the passport by a link on the left side. This is a very useful feature. We can also check fees to be paid.

           I have verified both documents required and fees to be paid for the renewal of my passport. I was thinking whether I should opt for the tatkal or normal option. As per site, the tatkal passport will be delivered in 15 days, whereas normal passport will be delivered in 45 days. There is one extra document required by us to apply for tatkal. We need to submit a verification letter attested by someone who is a manager or above level in any public sector undertaking company like BSNL, BHEL etc., It was difficult to get that, so I opted for a normal scheme.

 I have to make a change in my last name after marriage and want to include my spouse name as well in my new passport. There is an address change too to be considered. 

Following are the documents required for this case:
1. copy of first and last 2 pages of old passport - self-attested
2. Proof of address - I submitted my spouse's passport copy with the marriage certificate
3. For last name change and the inclusion of spouse name - a copy of the marriage certificate

                If we have any valid visa for old passport, a copy of that page also to be submitted. Other options for address proof are electricity bill, telephone bill(bsnl), One year statement (with transactions)/ Passbook of running bank account (Scheduled Commercial bank excluding Regional Rural banks and local area banks) etc.,

               So, after arranging all the above, i logged into my account in passport site and filled the application online with all details. Now, comes interesting and difficult part of creating an appointment in any PSK (passport seva kendra). At that time, the site used to allow to book appointments only 2 days in advance and that too appointments get filled in 5 to 10 mins after 7 PM. So, it was really difficult to get an appointment. Daily I used to try at 7 PM and at last could succeed after 2 days. 

                I went to passport seva kendra (Begumpet) on time with my original documents for verification.  Usually i keep one pen drive always in my hand bag so that it will be useful to trasport data in emergency. Security personnel in the building didn't allow me to take pendrive inside and worst part is they dont have any clock room to place it. I said in frustration to throw it in dust bin as i cannot go back home and keep it there and return. Security lady told she will keep it and i can take it while leaving. She was straight away demanding money for keeping it while I was taking it back. I don't have any other option than to give some money.

                After entering inside passport seva kendra, there are counters to verify the original documents and copies required. After passing through first verification, in second counter also they verified all these again, verified our personal details and address to ensure that passport reaches to correct address when dispatched. They also took a photograph, gave one token and told to wait in the next counter until our number is called. The first 2 counters are run by TCS employees and the third counter is actual verification by passport employees. After it is done, we need to wait for 4th counter call, where they will stamp on old passport that it is extended and confirm that new passport will be dispatched after police verification. Not to forget, there is one last counter where we need to collect receipt which is very important. This receipt has a file reference number which is useful to track passport status. I completed all these formalities on Feb 02nd and waited for almost one month for police verification to start. But there is no update on it. So, we sent someone to go to passport office and track the status. They told it will go to respective police station in 2 days and we need to contact them. Atlast, police officer has come and completed verification by checking all documents again that i submitted for passport application. He took signatures from our neighbours and then left by taking some bribe. After this, it took around 15 days for my passport to be dispatched. It came by speed post and an sms and email sent to me informing that it is dispatched by speed post with tracking number. Even post man expected some bribe which is common and I received my passport on May 8th 2012. 

Can you believe? It took 3 months to receive my passport from the day I appeared in Passport Seva Kendra excluding the days when I filled the application and submitted it online. If I consider the whole process from the day of creating an account in passport site which is on Jan 4th, it took 4 months. I did all these without the help of any agent. I am not sure how fast it can be with the help of an agent.  

Don't lose hopes, if you are going to apply now. Because there are many changes in the site. One major change is the ability to book an appointment for 7 days in advance and also check this link to know how they are improving the process to dispatch a normal passport in 3 days!!!

I hope this will come true soon :) 
How about you? did you ever have such a bad experience while applying for the passport? Please do share in comments.

Until next time,

© Swamin | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

07 May, 2012

The Moonstone Legacy - [Book Review]

Book details:
Name: The moonstone Legacy
Authors: Diana De Gunzberg & Tony Wild
Publishers (in India): Hachette India
Price: Rs. 250

What this book is about?
Inspired by the classic ‘The moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins, this novel brings the mystery and intrigue of the past into the 21st century. Story is about ‘The moonstone’, a precious and sacred stone which was stolen by George Abercrombie from Gujarat, India and the curse which follows their family because of it on creepy full moon day.

The Plot:
Story is about Lizzy Abercrombie, a 14 year old girl, who discovers that there is a mystery behind her mother’s death and finds that there is a curse on Abercrombie family. She takes help of her Indian friend Ravi Chandra, travels to India, finds a chronicle of her ancestor George Abercrombie, and finds that the moonstone is stolen by George from Somnath temple in Gujarat. She deciphers each and every detail written in chronicle to find out where the precious stone is hidden in exotic mansion called ‘Shalimar’ in Yorkshire moors in England. She risks her life to save the diamond from famous Indian writer Shankar pujari to return it to the temple back. Will she succeed in this process?

What I liked?
Author impresses us with perfect characterization. We can actually feel and understand Lizzy’s mind set by reading the book. The way landscapes of India and Shalimar are explained with every detail is excellent. Unlike the novel ‘The moonstone’, where the emphasis or focus in much on British, this novel also covers Indian cities, history, the mindset of Indians when British conquered etc., Excerpts from novel like below about cricket show author’s humorous touch to the storyline and novel is interesting to read throughout.

“When India threw British out of Independence, we kept your bats and balls. Now we are better at it than you are..”

It really is a good thriller with gripping story line and page-turner for sure. Climax is simply superb.

Final say:
An enjoyable read throughout. So, if you are still thinking if you should pick up this book to read, just go ahead and let me know how you felt :) It is Rs.200 in flipkart.com.

My rating:

Until next time,

This post is written as part of book lovers book review program. http://thebookloversreview.blogspot.in/
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