What Is Beauty ?

What is beauty? Why we all feel awed by physical beauty? If you have well placed facial features what is your role in it? Have you chosen your parents? Have you bestowed with special powers if you have external beauty?  Well spaced out things, be it bricks, ice-cream in a cone, doors and windows in a room, flowers, or nose, eyes and lips on a face pleases and caress your senses and you feel good. You feel great sitting in a well set, color coordinated well lit room. You experience special joy holding a well-arranged bunch of flowers. Your elation knows no bound walking besides a handsome dude or beautiful dudette.

But is it all? Whatever pleases your senses is beautiful? For a normal man or a woman yes, its true. Having your eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead at particular places and proportion is beauty. All you should do is be an example of good geometric proportion, just as Taj mahal is. Its well spaced and well proportioned building with white marbles. If you don’t have it in your genes, go ahead and find a brilliant plastic surgeon he will do the needful. Right?

Here is a small question, if beauty is eternal and a joy forever then why so many beautiful women get divorced? Get cheated on? Get unfaithful husbands or boyfriends? Can you give an example when a beauty queen has never got dumped? Never had a heartache? Angelina Jolie? Aishwarya Rai? Jacqueline Kennedy? Kate Winslet? Deepika Padukone? Priyanka Chopra? Katrina Kaif? Beauty possessed by these women protected them from harsh realities of life? Did they do less amount of work to remain where they are?  Don’t they redefine themselves constantly? Don’t they lead a disciplined life to remain fit and beautiful? We all know the answer.

Here I am not trying to define beauty but talk about a beautiful woman. She holds a highly sought after professional degree. Quite tall and is in great shape. If you see her, you can’t ignore her physical beauty. She is all set in her professional and personal life. Then something happened.

She became a mother. Her kid is very cute and adorable. But he was premature hence having some complications. She couldn’t bring her kid home for many months. He must be monitored and kept under constant medical care. Like all mothers, she prayed and tried to find best alternatives for her kid. She fought with God a bit. Questioned him. But never slacked on what she is supposed to do. She was successful in bringing her baby home. She took constant care of him round the clock. And tried to find out what is best for her baby. She was even prepared to take calculated and reasonable risks with him.

I have never find her cribbing about her weight gain or lack of time for other activities. God has chosen the best and most beautiful mom for this kid. The almighty knows only she, who has the will of steel and unwavering grit and determination, can be the mother of this child. She is perfect, capable and most beautiful mother this kid can ever have.

For me this person is epitome of beauty, because she builds on whatever she has, she creates, she constructs, she moves on, she inspires, she brings motivation and hope on the table, she fights for her dues. With time her physical beauty might depreciates but she will keep on evolving as a finer human being. Of course, she has a great support system in her family. Her hubby pitches in, her in-laws and parents are there but she is the pivot and driving force. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.




Don’t Treat Your Kid as A Miniature Adult

If I were asked to give a message to parents, without hesitation I would say, ‘Please don’t treat your kid as a miniature adult. We should allow our kids to be kids.’ But we are falling in this trap without realizing that. A kid needs direction, leadership and clarity from parents, not same treatment as meted out to an adult. We can’t have a heart to heart talk with a kid and expect an adult like understanding in return. That doesn’t mean we should not explain things to kids or shun a culture of dialogue and debate. By all means, we should encourage kids to communicate with us on any topic but we should not expect adult like response from kid.

A kid doesn’t have so much experience, expertise and data to access a situation and take right decisions. Here the leadership role of parents become important. We should guide our kids, make them see things in perspective and help them solving a problem. But train your kids to be a leader too. Especially in fun activities. Let them guide you. Do what they told you to do. Let kids decide about their clothes, toys and other matters.

Most of the families have a single child. So a kid is thrown into adult company most of the times. No doubt a kid imbibes the adult behavior and way of talking. Sooner or later the kid start taking and behaving like an adult. You might consider your child smart but the reality is he/she is missing out on a lot of spontaneity, curiosity and creativeness, the hallmarks of childhood. We should allow our kids to make friends with other kids. They need other kids to feel like a kid. These days we don’t welcome other’s kids in our house. It seems as a great hassle. But imagine this, one day our kids are going to step out into the real world and deal with different types of people. Why not start this process early? We should allow our kids to indulge in different constructive activities with other kids. This way they will learn the rules of management first hand. They will learn interpersonal skills and how to manage the resources given to them.

If we keep on treating kids like adults and expect “desirable results” from kids they will start walking, talking, dressing up and behaving like adults. We won’t find big deal till it is confined to behavior. If we treat our kids as miniature adults, they will show the symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic, worries just like adults.

Its totally uncool to treat our kids as miniature adults. Try organizing something with neighborhood kids. My friends suggested that I can throw a dance party with no additional frills. My friends also suggested that I can throw cakes, sandwich or Diwali Cards making party. Kids will learn to make things and enjoy themselves.

I allow my kid to take bath in the balcony in her tub. Sometimes my kid makes sandcastle. Yesterday she made a road of sand, leading to a mall in the balcony. We get drenched in the rain and listen to songs while having lunch or dinner.

Sometimes I try to treat her as a miniature adult but its results were never to my likings. Its impact on my kids personality is not good too. So I try to check this habit of mine and try to follow the way our parents and grandparents raised us.


The Mother

A doctor is talking to a mother.


(Doctor) “Where most children grow stronger as they get older, your son is going to get weaker. He’ll lose the ability to move. He’ll lose the ability to breathe on his own. And one day, he’ll catch an infection that will spread into his respiratory system, giving him severe pneumonia . . .”

She held up her hand to stop him.  “You’re saying he is going to die?”

He nodded. “There are three types of SMA. Caught this early, your son almost certainly has Type I. Most children with Type I die of pneumonia before the age of two.” He paused. “I’m sorry.”

What  happened to the child? Did he die after two years due to pneumonia ?

He caught pneumonia 16 times in 16 years. But he never died. He said his mother never let it happen.

According to him:

She orchestrated a team of more than a dozen doctors. She slept in a chair beside me in the hospital, sometimes for as many as 30 days in a row. She pounded my chest and back every two hours to loosen the mucus, covering my chest and back with bruises.

Today, at 27 years old, I’m one of the oldest people in the world with my type of SMA, and people tell me it’s a miracle. And I agree, it is. But the miracle isn’t just me. It’s a mother who fought like only a mother can to keep me alive.

His mother fought school board for two years to get his child admitted in the school. Of course, she won. When her child was unable to pick up pencil to do his homework, still his mother refused to be cowed down and she arranged for honors students at local colleges to help his son. His son too never disappointed her and he graduated at the age of 16, not only near the top of his class, but with college credit.

What happened when the son grew up? He too imbibed the fighting traits from his mother. People used to dismiss him as another disabled person. But he was determined to not rise to people expectations of being a failure.


They (people) don’t proactively hold you back, no, but they don’t expect you to succeed either. I’ve spent my entire life fighting against the weight of those expectations.

Like when university professors were flabbergasted when, on the first day, I asked my attendant to raise his hand, so I could answer the question that no one else could.

Or the vaguely constipated look on the face of a venture capitalist when I asked for $500,000 of startup capital for my first software company.

Or the disbelieving stares of people at a real estate conference when I gave a talk about buying million-dollar homes without even being able to get up the stairs to see the inside of them.

What egged on the child to succeed?

How could I possibly look my mother and father and all of the others who have sacrificed so much for me in the eye and tell them, “I can’t?” I couldn’t bear it. The shame of dishonoring their sacrifice by giving up would poison my soul.

Original Article: On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas


Mother Updates Twitter As Son Lies Dying



Image Source: Sky News

I know people use social media and blogging to discuss highly personal matters. No harm in that. Social media and blogging provide you a good tool to vent out your feelings and you really get some good advice from fellow netzians. Today I was reading my tweets and suddenly I came across Tushar Gandhi’s tweet (Tushar is Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson). When I searched for this news at net, I find this news highly disturbing. Read what The Telegraph has written,

As paramedics attempted to revive her son Bryson after he was found floating face down in a swimming pool, Shellie Ross sent out a message on Twitter , asking her followers: "Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool."

Five hours later, when her son was pronounced dead, she again took to the Twitter site to update her 5,000 followers.

"Remembering my million dollar baby," she wrote.

Moments later, she posted a photo of her son on the site.

Her use of Twitter as her son lay dying provoked outrage among the blogging community in the US.

Police in Florida said they were aware of the "tweets" and would be looking into them as part of their investigation into the drowning.

Mrs Ross’s public announcement of her son’s death prompted anger from fellow bloggers and Twitter users.

Many were shocked that she chose to use the social networking site to reveal something so deeply personal.


I know the need to connect with fellow human being is pretty strong. Most of us want to surround us with more and more Homo sapiens but this one lies beyond my scope of comprehension. I tried to read the mother’s tweets but she has protected her tweets. And I was in no mood to send her an invitation.


Dignity, Grace, Optimism and Love

Elisabeth Fritzl

Elisabeth Fritzl

What can one expect from a person who is raped 3000 times for 24 years by her own father and kept in a dungeon when she was just eighteen years old and escaped from that underground hell when she turned 41? Elisabeth Fritzl bore seven children from her own father. Three of her children still wear glasses because they can’t face sunlight. They have never seen sky or felt grass beneath their feet.

Why that rapist monster chose her daughter? In his words, because she was strong, determined and iron willed. The tougher the victim the greater the victory.

I was reading all the gory details of rape of this beautiful women whose life could have been completely different if… What amazed me most was this woman’s courage. I was wondering what kept Elisabeth Fritzl alive? Optimistic? Loving to her children? Why didn’t she committed suicide when her own father told her to watch pornography and act accordingly? Why didn’t Elisabeth Fritzl died from internal injury when she gave birth seven times on her own? What ray of hope was keeping her alive when her own father stuffed her with oversized sex toys for hours and relished every moment seeing her writhe in agony? If Elisabeth Fritzl can be courageous under such hellish circumstances then no one has the business to give up on life.

What she is like? How Elisabeth Fritzl is coping now? I was curious to know. I found details here:

Berthold Kepplinger, the psychologist in charge of the mental health of the cellar tribe, said of Elisabeth: ‘She is nothing short of heroic. She persevered down there, only keeping going out of love for her children. The mothering instinct saved them all.’

Those who deal with her have their breath taken away by her courage, love, dignity and pride. In a world of instant fame and celebrity, it came as no surprise when in January this year she was approached by one of the world’s biggest media companies and offered £5 million for an exclusive deal spanning newspapers, magazines, talk shows, a movie and a book. There was no hesitation from Elisabeth: ‘No thanks. Please leave us alone.’

I wish this courageous woman and her children to find the same strength to survive above the ground which they exhibited in the windowless, concrete grave below the ground. Its true, life starts at 42.


Intimacy – the Best Stress Buster for Couples!

The result of this research finding is not very different from the obvious. BUT I think that findings hold an element of universal truth. We often feel relieved after sharing our woes with parents or siblings. Kissing, embracing, holding hand, a warm glance of our parents, siblings or friends blow away our blues, no matter in what stage of life we are in.

Results of a recent study have said that couples who hug and kiss have lower stress hormone levels in their bodies especially if they are married.

The week long Swiss study by researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, of 51 German couples who were mostly married checked the cortisol levels in their saliva. Cortisol, a hormone in the body, also responsible for several stress-related changes in the body, is secreted by the adrenal glands, has been termed “the stress hormone” because high levels of it are secreted during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. Small increases in cortisol have positive effects on the body like helping in proper glucose metabolism and regulation of blood pressure. Higher levels of cortisol are seen in the morning with its lowest levels at night.

What is more important is we HAVE to nurture, develop and protect this kind of intimacy. It doesn’t spring up naturally. Now the million dollar question is, do we have time for such nurturing and caring?

Beate Ditzen of Zurich University, who conducted the research said intimacy seemed to improve the hormone levels by boosting the mood. She stressed that it was not intimacy per se that was needed but couples finding things they could do together that would create positive feelings for each other. The definition of intimacy differs from couple to couple and Dr Ditzen said. “This means that there is no specific behavior that couples should show in everyday life. Rather, all kinds of behavior which couples themselves would consider intimate… might be beneficial,” the expert added.

I wish next they find out how couples develop such kind of intimacy. Because its not a sum total of physical acts only. That will go kaput soon.


‘Hotties’ Not So Hot?

Is it really true that love is blind? Whatever articles or fiction I read on love paint a rosier than rosy picture of love. But what I have seen in real life is more of a bizarre kind of emotions than actual love. Love makes you think and do many awkward things that you won’t do when you are thinking normally. I have seen sane headed persons behaving in most illogical manner. But a recent online study tell the same thing.

In an experiment with college students in long-term relationships, researchers at UCLA and the online dating service eHarmony found that asking coeds to reflect on the love they felt for their boyfriends or girlfriends blunted the appeal of especially attractive members of the opposite sex.

When people are in love they don’t remember the USP of the hot alternatives presented to them such as curvaceous body or toned muscles. Then what do they remember of the “other” hot prospects?

“These people could remember the color of a shirt or whether the photo was taken in New York, but they didn’t remember anything tempting about the person,” Gonzaga said. “It’s not like their overall memory was impaired; it’s as if they had selectively screened out things that would make them think about the how attractive the alternative was.”
“One of the biggest threats to a relationship is an attractive alternative to your loved one — or that attractive woman at work or the hot guy you meet in the bar,” Gonzaga said. “In subtle ways that you might not even notice, the gushy feelings you get when you think of your partner help you fend off these threats.”

So it really seems true that love triumphs all or most of the obstacles. 🙂


What Attracts Men to Women?

I think every female wants to unlock this mystery 🙂 It will make things simpler and life easier. I always suspected that men use their eyes 🙂 instead of brain or heart when they choose a mate. They just behave like a child who loves most of that things that glitter but are not gold! I was NOT wrong! Adult males DO behave like a child. 🙂 A man’s eye(s) definitely play an all important role in selecting a female. Jokes apart, a groundbreaking study by two University of Rochester psychologists to be published online Oct. 28 by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology adds color—literally and figuratively—to the age-old question of what attracts men to women.

“In the final study, the shirt of the woman in the photograph, instead of the background, was digitally colored red or blue. In this experiment, men were queried not only about their attraction to the woman, but their intentions regarding dating. One question asked: “Imagine that you are going on a date with this person and have $100 in your wallet. How much money would you be willing to spend on your date?”

Under all of the conditions, the women shown framed by or wearing red were rated significantly more attractive and sexually desirable by men than the exact same women shown with other colors. When wearing red, the woman was also more likely to score an invitation to the prom and to be treated to a more expensive outing.”

BUT this color blindness stops at the attractiveness barometer only. Men don’t show this color blindness as far as likability, intelligence or kindness are concerned. 🙂 Thank god for small mercies and gifting some real human qualities to males too!!


World’s Most Relaxing Room!

When I was reading this “Scientists Create ‘World’s Most Relaxing Room‘ ”

Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman has designed and constructed a large-scale multi-media space that aims to calm even the most stressed out of minds.To help promote the University of Hertfordshire’s Health and Human Sciences Research Institute Showcase, Wiseman reviewed the scientific research into relaxation, and has created what is being billed as ‘The world’s most relaxing room.

I was a bit dazed. Can a place like this really exists when one forgets the economic recession and hence one’s worries? Is it possible that relaxing is as simple as entering into a room? We don’t have to learn relaxing exercises from anyone? Will this relaxing room be available to everyone by paying a nominal sum? I think, if we have to pay for relaxing room like we pay for watching a movie, then it won’t remain a relaxing room at all. We, being we, will bring our attitude, money, fashion, bags and boots and what not and start the competition or rat race again and relaxation will jump out of the each and every available window.

But nonetheless its an interesting read.

During the Showcase, which runs from 21-24 October at the University’s de Havilland campus, groups of up to ten visitors at a time will be invited to enter this large and unusual space, lie on soft matting and rest their head on lavender-scented pillows. In each fifteen minute session, people will be bathed in a calming glade-like green light, listen to a specially composed soothing soundtrack, and look at a completely clear artificial blue sky.


Cold and Lonely: Does Social Exclusion Literally Feel Cold?

I come across this interesting article. Here the Psychologists (Chen-Bo Zhong and Geoffrey Leonardelli from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management) arrive on the conclusion that social isolation really make you feel that room is colder than actually it is!

They divided a group of volunteers into two. One group is asked to recall the experience when they were expelled from certain group or club. Another group was told to evoke experiences when they have gained a membership of certain club or group. Later on they were asked to guess the room temperature on the pretense that the building’s maintenance staff wanted that information. And the findings were really surprising.

Those who were told to think about a socially isolating experience gave lower estimates of the temperature. In other words, the recalled memories of being ostracized actually made people experience the ambient temperature as colder.

In another experiment, instead of relying on volunteers’ memories, the researchers triggered feelings of exclusion by having the volunteers play a computer-simulated ball tossing game. The game was designed so that some of the volunteers had the ball tossed to them many times, but others were left out.” Afterwards, all the volunteers rated the desirability of certain foods and beverages: hot coffee, crackers, an ice-cold Coke, an apple, and hot soup. (source:Science Daily)

Read about the findings 🙂

“It’s striking that people preferred hot coffee and soup more when socially excluded,” Leonardelli said. “Our research suggests that warm chicken soup may be a literal coping mechanism for social isolation.”

Can we take this metaphor literally and not descriptively? Watch your behavior next time, when you go out alone. 🙂


I am OK & You are OK

I am reading this interesting book “I am OK & You are OK” by A. Harris. I find it surprising when he states that EVERY child concludes in the very early phase of his life that HE IS NOT OK! This kept me glued to the book.
That is what Dr Harris says

Very early in life every child concludes, “I am not OK”. He makes this conclusion about his parents, also: ” You are OK” This is the first thing he figures out in his life-long attempt to make sense of himself and the world in which he lives. This position, “I am NOT OK & You are OK”, is the most deterministic decision of his life. It is permanently recorded and will influence everything he does. Because it is a decision it can be changed by a new decision. But not until it is understood.

Many people insist they had a “Happy childhood” and concluded nothing like “I am not OK & You are OK”.

There is a bright side. In the child is also a vast store of positive data. In the child are recorded the countless, grand a-ha experiences, the firsts in the life of a small person, the first drinking from the garden hose, the first stroking of the soft kitten, the first sure hold on mother’s nipples, the rhythmic OK of mother’s rocking, the sentient softness of the favorite blanket. However, our observations both of small children and of ourselves as grown-ups convince us that the NOT OK feeling far outweigh the good.

I believe strongly that every child concludes it (“I am not OK & You are OK”), “happy childhood” notwithstanding. It is essential to keep in mind what the I�M NOT OK � YOU�RE OK, position means to the three year old. I AM NOT OK means: I am two feet tall, I am helpless, I am defenseless, I am dirty, nothing I do is right, I am clumsy, and I have no words with which to try to make you understand how it feels. YOU ARE OK means: You are six feet tall, you are powerful, you are always right, you have all the answers, you are smart, you have life or death control over me, and you can hit me and hurt me, and it IS still OK.

This conclusion and the continual experiencing of the unhappy feelings which led to it are recorded permanently in the brain and can not be erased. This permanent recording is the residue of having been a child. Any child. Even the child of kind, loving, well meaning parents. It is the situation of childhood and not the intention of the parents which produces the problem.
What sets me thinking is this line:

When the children of the �good� parents carry the �NOT OK� burden, one can begin to appreciate the loads carried by children whose parents are guilty of gross neglect, abuse and cruelty.