Top 5 positive movies you should not miss

Movies!!! They have been an integral part of my life. Entertainment, motivation, art, culture, music, dance and what not, it’s a complete package.

By and large, I takeaway only the things to be learnt and ignore the points that need not be argued about. Why waste your time on things that are not in your control? Rather, I prefer to reminisce the little moments of happiness and entertainment the movie had.

Ever since the lockdown, Netflix and Amazon Prime had been our to-go options. We, as a family watched so much of content to keep ourselves entertained, to ensure we have good family time. Friday nights usually are a pop-corn and movie time at home. Starting from old classics to some of the latest releases we watched most of the best rated movies. Don’t judge me on this, we do have game nights and other family time too.

So, each movie is in a different genre and has a distinguishing element to itself. I thought, I would share top five movies here, where the protagonist is an extremely positive person who has a focus towards a goal and who can only see the positivity in every single situation and finally achieves his / her goals. They say “There is light is at the end of the tunnel” and if you are left in the tunnel without any directions, you got to deal with it.

The top five most positive movies you should not miss watching:

  1. The pursuit of happiness

This movie will leave you teary eyed. Such a classic, you should not miss watching it. It is based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner is forced to live out of streets with is son, as his wife leaves him. He invests in a machine and finds it difficult to meet his ends. His focus drives him every single day and this movie shows his extremely focused attitude to achieve his goal. Please go watch it if you have not already done so.

POH

2. Cast Away

A wonderful movie, you should not miss. Love, friendship, anger, rage, excitement, happiness, misery and every possible human emotion is beautifully shown in the movie. It is the story about Chuck Noland, a FedEx manager who boards a delivery plane going overseas which gets caught in a horrendous storm and crashes into the Pacific. He is the sole survivor on an unknown island. For four years, it was survival and when he survived, he was compelled to live.

Extremely emotional movie, the focus and positivity and how he deals with it when he comes out of the situation is all a feast to the eyes.

ca

3. Sully

This movie is based on a real life incident and there could be no better movie to describe about tough decisions that need to be made at the right time.

This is a story of a pilot “Sully” who decides that the accident plane would not make it to the airport, and so he chooses to land in the Hudson River.

sully-poster-horiz

4. Queen

This is one of my most favorite genres as it talks about a brave woman. Rani Mehra is a shy, meek and young Punjabi woman from Delhi. One day prior to her wedding, her fiancé tells her that he no longer wishes to marry her.

Rani decides to go alone on her honeymoon and there after it’s all about life lessons that she learns. Brilliantly crafted movie, which shows how an independent women can survive in any situation, given a chance. It also gives Rani the opportunity to unveil her real self and turn into a totally new human being.

Queen-2014-Bollywood-Movie-Poster

5. The Terminal

This is a heart touching movie of Viktor Navorski, a traveler from the fictional nation of Krakozhia, arrives at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, only to discover that his passport is suddenly no longer valid.

The United States no longer recognizes Krakozhia as an independent country after the outbreak of a civil war, and Viktor is not permitted to either enter the country or return home as he is now stateless.

There are so many incidents in this movie, which you could directly relate to your corporate world. The way he picks up tasks and does it earns him a job, the way he patiently waits for his turn, earns him friends, the attitude of the protagonist is just a beauty!!!

the-terminal-152286

I think I am repeating myself here and don’t mind doing so, if you have not watched any of the above, please do go and watch them right away!!!

In all the above movies, there is only driving factor, “Belief””. Belief in yourself, make the best out of any situation and success will follow. There are so many tiny bits in all these movies, which are extremely soul satisfying and gives you chance to relook at how we are currently dealing with our lives. Don’t we take our lives too serious? Introspect and you will realize it’s a big “YES”.

Take one step at a time and be sure you are going to reach your goals. Positively is all that matters!!!

Leave me a comment if you agree.

Pic courtesy: Google search

Confessions

I want to be honest in today’s post. I want to confess. Let me brief:

When I started this blog, I had no specific intentions but this was a space for me to just jot down few thoughts and quench my thirst for writing. Slowly, the content on the blog was appreciated by different people and some of my blog posts earned me monetary rewards too. I had chances to collaborate with some of the top brands for reviews of their products and promote them. Well, that is a little about me which I realized when I was looking through my old blog posts. Now, why did I mention the title of the post as Confessions?

Let me continue. When I wrote regularly, I had my own targets and always exceeded them, which amazed me many times. It is a very joyous experience when your content is appreciated and found useful. However, slowly this started fading for obvious reason of no regular blogging.

Though work is hectic, I should not miss mentioning that over a period of time, the netflixes, youtubes and tiktoks of the world kept me busy and addicted. Most of my leisure time is taken up being non-productive.

This is the Confession I want to make today.

In upcoming days, I would digital detox little by little. I have plans of restricting myself on the usage of phone. If any of you are interested and willing to do, just circle back to me, and we can plan to do it together. Trust me guys, there are so many beautiful books we are missing to read, there is so much time we have in hand, let us try to get better every day.

I always have one motto in my life, which is to create memories. When I look back, I want my life to be filled with memories (I am sure many of you also feel the same). In order to make life a memory, we need to spend more time with ourselves. Start spending quality time with yourself ( It is absolutely okay).  The more you know about yourself, the better person you would be.

Now, this leaves me with a thought for my next blog post. Let me throw a little light on some of the life lessons that I would like to share in the next one.

7 tips to engage your kids during Covid-19

It is a tough time. The world has never faced such a situation earlier and hope it would never too. The Covid-19 situation is keeping us all anxious and nervous.

With this current situation of Covid-19, our schedules are completely changed. Most of the organizations have moved to work from home, the public being advised to stay at home, the states being locked down so on and so forth.

All through out my career, I have never worked from home, baring few instances and this is a new experience for me. They say experience is the best teacher and undoubtedly it seems so.

Meanwhile, as you all know, the schools have been shut down and children have been advised to stay home. This is not an easy situation to handle, as kids are habitual to their regular school schedules and this is a sudden change with no outdoor activities. Dheer ( my 8 year old) definitely does not seem comfortable and is always looking forward for some engaging activities.

It had been a mentally draining exercise for me personally, because he is glued to me all throughout this weekend. Somehow, I see a sudden change in his behavior and he wants to spend more time with me. I am assuming this is the repercussion of me staying at home and not spending time with him. I need to analyse how this changes in the weeks to come.

Here are some simple games we played during this weekend and it might help some of you during this isolation times at home:

  1. Hangman – This is a very famous game with kids. Each participant gets a chance to think of a word and the opponent needs to guess the word before the man is hung. More from google is here. This helps them to improve their spellings and it might be a wonderful thought to play it in different languages too. We can also select genres here like authors, nouns, states, cities etc to keep it more interesting.

img_20200322_210250

2.UNO cards No one can ever deny that probably this is the most popular family game. Only problem with this game is Dheer always want to win and whenever we win, we are called “Cheaters”. His grand parents are his favorite opponents as he always finds a way to win with them.

img_20200322_214056_bokeh-1

3. Mikado – This is an interesting game. More details about the game here. This game improves the concentration. It also improves the mathematical calculations as each stick has a different denomination and I always ensure Dheer sums it up.

4. Jenga – This has been a popular game in our family and we very often play this. ( As long as we are able to figure out where the jenga blocks are) and this time is no exception. More about the game here.

5. Dictionary Game – This is a game we have invented ourselves. I call out for a word, Dheer has to look out for the word in the dictionary and read out the meaning. This game is timed and alternated between Dheer and me. This way, he gets to learn two new words every time and we try to use the same words in our conversations during the day.

img_20200322_211149-1

6. Story cubes – This was a game that I bought when he was a five year old kid. At that moment,we used these cubes to illustrate the stories. Now, a step forward, he needs to imagine a story with the cubes and write it. I know he loves writing but only lazy to do it during these holidays, so I just push him to do this. I trade this with his youtube time. And I always think, it is not a bad thought, to spend one hour in a day reading or writing.

1584899421851-1

7. Pictionary – Draw a word and let the participants guess. Simple!!!!. I don’t have reference picture here, as I saved this game for the upcoming week.

Apart from these, our regular activities include watching youtube / Netflix, reading books, tic-tac-toe, odd or eve etc. Sometimes, he is also trying to learn some new guitar songs from youtube.

I know many of you might be doing much more than these, I just made an attempt to draft a few activities. I might want to do a part two to this too, including some traditional games.

Thanks for reading thus far and do not assume it is a cozy home environment, I have my own difficulties.

Dheer never wants to stop playing the games that he loves, like UNO.

He never wants to start playing games he does not like like story cubes.

He always wants to win.

He does not want his screen time to be monitored etc etc.

Most often, I trade his interests with his disinterests and try to keep it exciting for him. Keeping everything at bay, he had been a great supportive kid, always understands a working mom’s priorities and is very accomodative. I am blessed to have him in my life.

As a conclusion, let me just mention, we as parents are so busy analysing the Covid19 situation, planning our office schedules, reading the latest news, laughing on the memes that we probably are not spending enough time with our kids. Introspect and try spending some quality time with your kids. Trust me, they are too bored seeing the Covid thing all around.

Stay healthy, stay positive, stay indoors and let’s hope to come out of this situation at the earliest.

Let your kids watch Television

I am sure many of you would veto the title. However, I am writing this article not out of research but out of my own experiences as a mother.

Over the last few days, I cannot comment on the number of articles I read which emphasized the damages made by television, the guilt parents underwent to let their kids watch television, the disharmony it created in families, popular bloggers flaunting about no TV homes and followers asking tips!!!

In my perspective, you should let your kids watch Television. Let me share my experiences here:

  1. What and how much?

The foremost important parameter we need to be mindful is how much of TV is too much? Determine a time-frame and let them have fun watching television during the decided time.

What is significant here is the quality of the content you allow your kids to watch? As my son grew from a toddler stage to a preschooler and now to a grade-schooler, the kind of content he watched also changed. He enjoyed Ninja Hattori to Boss Baby to DC and now have graduated to educational and science programs. He thoroughly enjoys watching Brain games, How things work etc.

So, what matters most is the Content and amount of time spent. When we are mindful and have a supervision of the same, it is going to be an enjoyable experience for the kids.

2. Do not deprive them of the fun

Can you imagine you and me sitting in front of a Television and laughing loud for a silly joke in a cartoon? Does it sound sane? At least not for me.

Kids are at an innocent age and they find benevolence in their superheroes. They develop compassion for people in difficulty and try to resonate with their super heroes, and it is absolutely okay as long as they are able to differentiate between the real and reel world which insists the Point 1 here.

3. Educational programs

If I say that the educational programs that my son watched improved his IQ and made him extremely smart, I am lying. The objective of encouraging him to watch is not so. It is just that, it gives them a new angle to look at normal things. Some kids might develop interest in researching about the same and end up even learning more about many interesting science topics too. Let them explore!!!

So, allowing the kids to watch a bit of television every day will not ruin their lives and also allows you to focus on your time so that as soon as the Television time is finished, we are prepared to have more Mommy and Son time!!!

Let me know if you agree J

This is my son enjoying his TV time.

A Day Trip to MGM Dizzee World

Now that the summer vacation is coming up, I am sure most of you would be on a look-out for day trips in and around Chennai with your kids. With this post, I am giving details about a fun park “MGM Dizzee World” in East Cost Road in Chennai. 

About MGM Dizzee World: MGM Dizzee World is a theme park located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in East Coast Road. It’s an apt location for a fun filled day with your family.

Best time to visit: I would suggest  the best time to visit MGM is in the winter season, in between November to February, when the sun is not too harsh, this would help you to avoid harsh sunlight during the day as you would be predominantly taking the fun rides all through out the day. 

How to reach the place:

Nearest Bus stop: MGM Dizzee world. All the buses on the way to Kovalam and Mahabalipuram tend to stop at MGM.

Nearest Railway Station: Velachery which is 22kms from MGM. You need to take a bus from Velachery to MGM Dizee world.

Ticket price:

Entry Fee is in two categories, Adult and Kids, which is as below:

Includes all rides & water park

JUMBO PACKAGE – ADULT Rs. 699 ( inclusive of taxes)

JUMBO PACKAGE – CHILD Rs. 549 ( inclusive of taxes)

There are other attractions inside the theme park which are not included in the above price, like Devil’s house, Virtual Realty Theatre.

All kids below 2.6 ft are granted a free entry while kids in between 2.6 ft to 4.4 ft are categorized as kids, with a limited access to rides. Anyone above 4.4 ft has access to almost all the rides.

Park Timings:

  • Monday to Friday: 10:30 A.M. – 6:30 P.M.
  • Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10:30 A.M. – 7:30 P.M.

Rides:

The rides are categorized as Kids, Adults, Family and Water sports. All the rides are categorized basing on the height of the kid.

If you are going as a family, I suggest you go to the kids rides first as there are a quite a few rides which the kids would enjoy and then proceed to the adult rides. Some glimpses:

The best part of the whole experience was Water Sports. A replica of Koutralam waterfalls called Mini Koutralam, water slides were the best. Though the water was not super clean, the water sports were safe as the height of the water was less and felt safe for non swimmers like us.

There is a special show called “Alai Osai”, in which artificial waves are created for an hour. We had a great time flowing with the waves.

There are special changing rooms for men and women near the water park and if you forget to carry your swim costume, you can also buy one inside the park.

Some points to note:

  • Lockers are available on chargeable basis to safe guard your belongings.
  • Outside food is not allowed, there are couple of restaurants where decent food is available.
  • Do not forget to carry your coolers, apply sunscreens as you are going to be in the hot sun all through out the day.
  • Please carry a spare dress, towel and slip-ons. After your water-sports, you might want to change your dress in the changing rooms provided.
  • There are tea joints, chat counters all over the park.
  • All the rides are categorized based on the height of the kids.
  • There is ample car parking just closer to the park.
  • There is an open air disco in the evenings and it is an enjoyable experience dancing to the tunes with a huge crowd.

We had a fun filled day when we visited MGM during last holiday season. Hope you have some fun time too.

Do let me know if you want any specific information in comments and I can help you 🙂

 

Slow Down, be in the present – Mindful Parenting

Over the past few years, as a parent I have evolved, I have learnt every single day,  emotionally matured. I am sure most of you agree that parenting is most humbling, overwhelming experience where there is no dropping, no escaping or no finish line.

Fortunately, I feel blessed to have a level headed approach towards parenting. Neither do I juggle  between uncertainty of future nor brood over the sabotage of the past. I do not tend to race the mental multi tasking.  I try to live in the moment and deal with it.

My son is now 8 years old and I perceive this approach of mindfulness has grown with me since his infancy.  More often than not, our minds are programmed to be anxious, stressed or getting out of sync for even the pettiest of issues like our kids not finishing a bowl of vegetables. If I am allowed to be precise, this is what we need to deal with. Mindful parenting is a conscious effort in dealing with the present moment and not allowing our Adrenalin rush to take over. Some conscious efforts I make:

Play as a kid: My son loves pretend plays and more often than not, want me to be involved in his detective stories and in his super cop investigations. I am always the Koga Ninja for him, while he is the the Eega Ninja. For the benefit of the people who do not watch Ninja Hattori, Koga Ninjas are bad guys who try to trap Eega Ninjas and Eegas are the ones who try to protect the world. Though I am always hard pressed for time, I give my best  to be a part of it.

Impact: This helps us to slow down the rat-race of parenting and follow the pace of our kids. Most likely, I am not eager to run the race of raising multi talented kid. One at a time is our approach. Currently, he is a fan of Football and I would wait for him to choose any other sport over this.

Listen not hear : I am sure most of us are hard pressed for time, be it for doing our regular chores, the academic compulsions, so on and so forth. But, rest assured, try to listen to your kids than hearing them. Your kids are certain to act like  kids, which means they have different emotions, priorities, choices at different points of time. It is upto us to give it a listening ear, understand and empathize. After all, they grow up by seeing us.

Impact: This helps us to empathize with our kids and implants the confidence in them to reach out to us for any situation. Mindfulness does not mean anything beyond bringing our consciousness to the experience and avoid being judgmental about the situation.

No Yelling: Try practicing a methodology of not to yell at the kids. I am sure this demands a humongous amount of practice, patience especially when our kids are yelling to the glory.  Easy to say than done, I am just jotting down my approaches here and it might not apply the same to all. Every style of parenting is unique.

Impact: When you stop yelling at them, you come in conscience of yourself, understand the situation and approach with a balanced vibe.

Mindfulness is all about staying centered and not to react in the situation. This is not impossible but did I tell you, it needs a bit of  practice. You may want to make it a regular practice to slow down at instances which goes out of your control, instances which triggers you to yell. Try to make it a practice and you will not even realize when you are at the downhill. Trust me, it works!! 

Sharing a quirky conversations:

Amma: “ You know the maths olympiad results have been announced”

Dheer ( without a bit of excitement) : “ That’s nice”

Amma : “ Do you want to know what your score is? “

Dheer: “ Yeah, I don’t mind”

Amma: “It is 25/40”

Amma: “Your friend ABC scores 40/40”

Dheer: “ Vow!! That’s nice”.

He runs to his father and exclaims: “Do you know that ABC scored 40 and he is the international topper” totally forgetting that he scored much lower than ABC and need to work on it.

Such is the innocence of kids and such are instances we need to deal with.

Below is the picture of our date last week. I ensure we have a date together once in a while ( only my son and me, father spared) and do what he loves the most. On our last date, we gamed, watched Aquaman, ate ice-creams and totally loved the time together!!!
Plan your solo dates with your kids and trust me, it makes wonders both for them and to us as parents.

IMG-20190116-WA0015

You know what!!!

Me: “Hey you know what!!!”
My friend: “ What???”
Me: “There is this new flavor with great stay in the market, did you try it?”
My friend: “Really?? I never knew”
Me: “ You must try it tonight”
My friend: “ I think I should, I already feel so!!”
What could you think of?
In another conversation:
My friend: “ Hey, I got this new stuff from US”
Me: “ Vow!!!”
My friend: “ Yes, this is not available in India and it is known for its quick effect”.
Me: “ Would you mind giving me one?”
My friend: “ Sure, I bet you would want to use it again!!”
What could you think of this time?
Come on!!!! You dirty minds!!! I never meant anything else. We are all common migraine friends and we are talking about new balm, new medicines in the market.
Now, go back and read the above lines again and you will agree.

Only two people with migraine can feel the soul sibling bond between each other. Whatever the context is, we end up discussing, how our last migraine was, what new medicines could be used for relief and many other such common qualities.

We are usually shameless in taking rest in public while we have headache, leaving office half-a-day when we are down with migraine, seeking help to puke while we have headache. No choice on this!!!

I sincerely wish whoever is reading this must never ever know what migraine is and must not have gone through this. If you are one with migraine, read my tips below on how to avoid migraine:

  1. Avoid skipping meals.
  2. Avoid strong perfumes.
  3. Avoid harsh lights, cold breeze.
  4. Avoid eating chilled items.
  5. Identify constipation and treat it with home remedies.
  6. Try breathing techniques to relax yourself.
  7. Try eating easily digestible food.
  8. Avoid getting stressed, nervous or too excited.
  9. Have proper sleep schedules.
  10. Smile

In many situations, though we try our best, we do not have control on situations which cause migraine. In that case, just sleep.

5 Tips for getting back to school

Now that the summer vacation has come to an end, we need to gear up our kids for the reopening of the school. After this long holiday, children are most likely to be unenthusiastic about the school reopening. So, it’s a huge challenge for parents to motivate them. Today I blog about some tips I follow, which might help you:

  1. Getting back to sleep routine: This is the most important ground work for getting kids ready to the school. During summer holidays, by and large we do not follow a religious sleep routine and give the kids a leverage. A week ahead of the school, try retrieving their sleep routine. This might also help them stomach the fact that they need to get back to their regular school schedules.
  2. Creating the excitement: Let the environment of school reopening trigger at home at least a week ahead. Talk to the kids about the new class environment, new syllabus, new friends, new teachers they are going to meet. Do not make them feel sorry that their holidays are over or do not use school as a threat. Let them feel special about the school reopening, create an enthusiastic environment about it. At my home, we had a count down a week before and it worked. Not sure, if this would work for older kids though.
  3. Understand the anxiety: Many kids go through anxiety of new environment, new teacher, may not be able to express themselves or may be bullied by their friends. Parents play a very crucial role in understanding their emotions and giving them a helping hand. Try spending more time talking to them about their first day, what they liked and disliked on the first day of the school and address any issues they face.
  4. Make their favorite food: Most often, on the first day of the school, I make it a ritual to make my son’s favorite dish for his snacks box. I feel this is one way to excite him about the school.
  5. Not dumping with many classes : This practice is not only for school reopening but for overall academic year. Try not to dump them in different classes. Identify their interests and create an excitement about the extra circular skills that they are going to learn. At least, for the first few days of the school re-opening, allow them to settle down without other extra classes.

Hope these tips enable parents to get their kids back to school. Since, my son is 7 years old, these were relevant tips for me. For elder kids, it could be different things that excite them about school.

This is my son on his first day of this academic year.

Golden tips from his grand parents on his first day of the new academic year – “Be brave, don’t allow anyone to bully you, just enjoy your school and that will make you the best” . Experience speaks, do you agree???

Wishing all the little buddies loads of luck and parents a great parenting year ahead!!!