'My teenage daughter just has to dress differently, just like all her friends.'
‘My teenage daughter just has to dress differently, just like all her friends.’

Everyone seems to have an opinion on teenagers’ behaviour and tantrums. And the flavor is often critical and regretful. Their labile moods, their unkempt mane,their weird wardrobes, their cultish obsession with some symbols and charms and their constantly rebellious attitude sends unsuspecting parents into a tizzy and they generally start questioning the value system and emotional intelligence of generation which is very rightly  being called Millennials.

The social get-togethers where parents meet their fellow parents or other adults who are directly or tangentially involved with teenagers tend to reverberate with this common catchphrase UFF! AAJ KAl KE BACHHE!!
Well, only pervert would disagree that teenage years are indeed very tough years for kids themselves and as well as for parents and guardians. But the key lies in understanding that teenagers themselves don’t realize the changes that are going on within their bodies. Their bodies are flush with hormones making them moody,even a bit sadistic sometimes, judgemental and unreasonable. Their physical appearance also is raw and yet to undergo grooming of a young man or a young woman. Ironically, this is also the time when they start becoming conscious of their looks and sexuality and start seeking social acceptance, making place in peer groups, develop infatuations and get exposed to information beyond their capability to process it in a balanced manner. At this time, the process of individuation also begins, where children start feeling very wise and capable themselves.They tend to resist adult presence physically and mentally in their lives.Their interactions become need based and many a time they find adult presence unsolicited and jutting out.
Adults must be very wary of the timings and should know when to be at the left, right and centre of their teenager’s space  and when to completely back off and do a disappearing act.This really helps the relationship.
The research has brought out that a certain part of brain in teenagers becomes very sensitive turning them into a bit selfish and unreasonable by societal and familial standards.
They probably don’t even seek to correct their so called unreasonable behavior as they have has yet to learn the finesse of the so called societal good behavior. But adults do and therefore it is a natural corollary that if correction is required and is possible anywhere, it is in the behavior and attitude of adults who are interacting with them at that point of time. It will be worth their while if adults don’t indulge into unleashing a spiel full of nuggets of wisdom which are extremely patronizing in nature and condescending in attitude.
The most undesirable thing an adult can do to a teenger is to indicate to him that how messy his behavior is and how he needs a serious rehabilitation.
Adults must use their discretion in putting forward their experiences in front of their kids. Generally we tend to glorify our generation ad nauseum starting from how we paid respect of obsequious levels to our respective adults, never raised voice or argued,never wasted time and resources and so on.
One such attempt of mine was met with a rebuttal of this type.”Why on earth you had to be so demure and self-effacing. You were no better than a loved pet or a tethered goat. Well taken care.Voicing an opinion is not disrespect.It is confidence and self –respect. Charity and tyranny both begin at home, Ma.”

And then I nearly said ,’ Uff, aaj kal ke bachhe!!!
Yes, Aaj Kal ke bachhe are very capable. They are creating robots, they are chess champions, they are math wizards, they are spelling bee champions, STEM wizards and junior journalists. They are authors, poets and bravery awards winners.
They are Malala ,Eric Finman of, Jaden Smith ,Flynn McGarry . They are Mark Zuckerberg, they are Deepika Pallikal, Saina Nehwal and Pankaj Advani to name a few.
Yes ,let us take pride in our aaj kal ke bachhe. They are sharp and hardworking and prodigious. They are dynamic and are set to become true global citizens supported by technological revolution. They are free from shackles of caste, colour, creed, breed and gender biases. They are indeed true EARTHLINGS set to bring Change .Let us celebrate them and take pride in GENNEXT.



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Will the twain meet?–

Fashionable Food

Millennial is going to witness a seminal revolution in food.And this revolution has two interesting facets-One is the increased emphasis on the fanciness of food and the other is the  the increased emphasis on the healthiness of food. Will the twain meet?

The whole concept of food is experiencing an international dynamism inspiring the chefs and restaurants to make their recipes more and more inclusive and yet exclusive. The chemistry has entered the kitchens adding fashion and fusion to native foods. As much thought is going to palate as to plating.There is molecular gastronomy leading our humble jalebi and kulfi and vada pav to be part of a fine dining experience. Chefs are a new breed of scientists using liquid nitrogen to create out of the world palate experience.I could not believe my taste buds when I dug into the high profile  caviar jalebis in one of my food is no longer for tongue-it serves the eyes, the ears, the touch.

twain pic

Medicinal food

While on the one hand, food is getting fashionable, on the other hand,there is a population of health enthusiasts who are compassionately reviving the whole dictum of health by exhorting that food can be medicine if chosen right.The biggest consciousness that is being created is for gluten free foods. we have quinoa and polenta  , super foods like kale , super seeds like nigella and chia. we have stevia leaves as a replacement for sugar.We have whole food plant based diet.we have free range eggs.

But there is a new alternative for people who want to go grain free.  And that requires changing the very face of the kitchen where wheat flour seems to dominate the grains.

RELAX-YOU NEED A RIDE INall you need is a Banana Boat  BANANA BOAT

Bananas have an uncanny knack of creating amusing stories around them. Some are mythological, some spiritual, some are simply comical but whatever, bananas evoke a feeling of fun, fables and farms around them.As a child, I studied sanskrit and I still recall that in sanskrit we used to call banana, kadali phal. kadali was the name of maharishi Durvasa’s wife. Maharishi Durvasa is known for his anger in Indian Mythology .He once got very angry with his wife Kadali as she woke him  up from his sleep and cursed her to turn into a banana tree. Kadali sought pardon. Durvasa granted her relief saying that Kadali tree will be worshipped in all Hindu religion as an auspicious fruit and so will be its leaves.

Banana is part of every pooja thali ,prasadam and naivaidyam in Indian religious ceremonies.


YELLOW BANANAS – The Humble hands   If en yellow is greenthen green is

Bananas are packed with nutrients and are extremely filling but they have never been able to achieve the status enjoyed by other fruits like apple , mangostein, passion fruit, durian, and cherry.

Their abundant supply and cheap price have made them a poor man’s food.

Bananas are the fruit of the hoi polloi! They have been. an integral part of a dieter’s meal and indicative of austerity and purity.

GREEN BEFORE YELLOW- The healthier fellow

Banana is one fruit which is amazingly versatile in its usability .Before it turns into a yellow,fleshy ,sweet finger,raw banana offers itself to be used as one of the most nutritious alternatives to a gluten free and grain free diet.

the secret to your health is hidden in (2)

he biggest factor in this is raw banana’s starch resistant properties. It is extremely colon friendly and absorbs in the blood stream slowly without spiking the blood sugar.


the final banana flour image

It is neutral in taste but filled with health and replaces wheat and maida completely to make rotis and various items of baking.Now .Now you can eat guilt fee,strain fee ,and weight gain free.

go for it with

The institution of marriage…is the script changing?



The institution of marriage can be  easily called a universal social institution. .It exists as the smallest possible social unit across different cultures ubiquitously. Its origin can be juxtaposed with the advent of various early civilizations in the world.
Marriage is a sacramental-legal status given to the association of two adults to live together for the fulfillment of procreation needs and recreational intimacy .Also, it serves as a strong family unit providing mutual security, togetherness and interdependence between the partners .
Though marriage too is a contract and is governed by the law of the land yet this contract is as much an emotional and a sacred one as it is legal and lawful. It is expected of both the partners to make it work by developing understanding adjustment and respect for each other .The society discourages separation and divorce and an end to a marriage is considered sad and unfortunate and a lot of friendly, familial and legal counsel is made available to the couple to try and make it work.
It is because in general, a marriage is considered a result of divine will and celestial verdict. It has been institutionalized so by scriptures, history, religious and political texts . It is generally carried out with detailed ritual in a ceremonial and celebratory manner and is regarded as one of the most auspicious and seminal events in an individual’s life. It brings two families together and history indeed is replete with examples where the marriages have been the instrumental in bringing two political empires to peace and coalition resulting in consolidation of power and expansion of kingdom which in contemporary times can be termed as expansion of business empire.
However, like any other social structure, the structure of marriage has also undergone social change due to changing ethos and dynamics of society and relationships. The old stereotypes of masculine dominance and domestication of women changed long back. With the increasing economic and social independence of women , marriages are acquiring an egalitarian flavor and the male script is undergoing practical and symbolic adjustment. For example, men are expected to share the household chores and take care of anal duties of new born babies. Men are in f act entering the natal rooms to be part of the birthing of their babies and are seeking an increase in their paternity leave.
Also, a lot of symbolic changes are reinforcing the equality of women in general and are being reflected in equality in marriage. Women ‘s lib and feminism have been in currency for ages starting from movements like bra burning and all and is still reflecting in sartorial choices of women. More and more women are experimenting with dressing up androgynously and maintaining a taciturn and rough masculine exterior In fact. there is an overdrive to change the gender stereotypes and one of the latest that is being heard is that men are now taking up their wives’ surnames after marriage instead of it being the other way round. Media too is playing a major role by reporting such changes that are happening worldwide.
Of course, such changes are reformative and augur well for the success of this institution and can be termed as evolution of marriage with the changing times. But some changes are such which are changing the basic fabric of marriage. It will be worthwhile to ponder over these points.
First of all, sexual intimacy which used to be a big driving force for couples to stay together and one of the greatest indicators of consummation of marriage no longer enjoys that status. Sometimes, after initial years of marriage, the marriages tend to turn celibate for multiple reasons. As marriages grow old, the sensuality and curiosity in marriage is replaced by functionality and familiarity. Due to preoccupation of mind of the partners and stress of work and deadlines, sex takes a beating. Also, with the advent of social media, people are inundated with friends who are available round the clock literally at the press of a button. Sun never sets in the world of social media. This virtual world is leading people to finding role models, mentors, soul mates, life coaches and god fathers across the world. So people don’t necessarily go back to their spouses in case of a problem. They reach out to their virtual friends who wont judge them . Such virtual relationships may begin as platonic ones but can easily start running as a parallel bond to a marriage and the marriage which is already suffering boredom and contempt bred by over familiarity between partners gets further blow and the bond starts getting tenuous and can snap easily if one of the partners has found a stable emotional anchor outside.
Also, society is getting more and more open to separations and divorces and a stigma associated with such issues is disappearing. In fact, divorce parties are not uncommon and fit perfectly in a world which is turning more and more resilient and seeking happiness whatever happens.
Another, elephant in the room is various other arrangements which are offering alternatives to marriage .One of them is the increasing number of unmarried people adopting children, making children in the laboratories and through surrogacy. Marriage is no longer the essential and legal condition to produce lawful children. This has put marriage on a cliff as procreation doesn’t require one to get married. Also, Young people are increasingly questioning the very existence of this big institution with big responsibilities. Their point is that what marriage provides is easily available through alternative arrangements such as cohabitation and live in partners and with no list of legal and social deliverables
Further to that, Capitalistic culture and hedonistic indulgences are leaving people with less time to give to a permanent relationship and therefore the young show the reluctance to settle down with marriage at a certain age and start building on their responsibilities. With global citizenship, young want to be free to serve the world and serve their own needs before getting entrapped in a familial mesh of duties and responsibilities.
Also, this institution is now being treated as any other contract and is no longer has so much of godliness attached to it. Also, in a nuclear family set up, slowly and slowly extended families of the married couple have moved from centre to periphery and have stopped playing any consequential role between the couples. And with gay marriages slowly getting more and more acceptance, the script of marriage is set to change—–.


Want to feel Head over  heels? So so so soup up your spirits at Juice.
Soup up with juice. Yes I mean it .. I am not talking about some fusion gastronomy , but instead about an unbounded creative bonhomie for you looks at this state of the art salon Juice.

But it’s not  about state of the art props alone that juice should be visited ..Well, image

every salon worth its schmaltz has everything up its ante. But at Juice what they have in addition to all this is superlative degree of warmth pulsating with a congenial spirit.
It’s a place where one is not only merely attended but tended to.The spirit of Be our guest is ubiquitous.
Juice is driven not by money but by their love for their patrons and respect for their clients’ time. So Within fleeting moments of your entry, a bright smile embraces you and your spirit is already uplifted with almost a celebratory welcome and with your and a lilting and dulcet voice guides you to your designated designer…
There in no moment for any apprehensions to surface as before you even realise ,your designer is already fondling your hair as they are precious jewels assessing the thickness and texture of each strand and recommending styles that he would like to chisel to make you very very you but in a different hue..
.So when I went for a hair cut,they turned my coiffure literally over its head.. And yet I remained so essentially me.. You see..!!
What overwhelmed me even more is their readiness to handle any doubts, queries, alterations that you may have after you are done and gone home…
Juice seeps in you completely  allowing  you to keep discovering layers of your look…
Go for it.
Ritu Garg

Captcha… With age…

imageimageCaptcha! Here I go again. I have heard that age is just a number ad nauseum. What the hell does that mean? I get it. I do get it. Age is only about numbers. Age is right in your eyes when your Polaroid Prada sunglasses smartly covering for your pained, forlorn , over made up eyes are to be removed and replaced with unflattering numbered spectacles to read the items in the menu. Age is just a number when your hair colour is Loreal number 5 black brown and you start sharing it with your mother -in -law and it is part of the grocery list for the grey coverage of the women of the house and not your vanity kit. That’s another story that elderly lady has moved on since then and is colouring her hair red and blue having overcome the age travails and is now enjoying her wrinkled beauty .
Age is just a number when you dress up in your chic blouson with coordinated checkered separates and purposely enter into a conversation with fellow lift companion and prospectively fish for compliments announcing proudly that you are a mother ( expecting “oh you don’t look like a mother!) or that you are a mother of a 17 year old boy and expect (“Oh you don’t look like a mother of a 17 year old.”)and what you hear is “you just have one kid??Slap. Ouch..!!!
So age is a number when the 25 th wedding anniversary celebration invite is that of a friend and not of an auntie.
Age is just a number when the number of spiritual books on your bookshelf start rising and age is just a number when you start listening to soulful numbers and ghazals….
For all my friends…. With due respect to our ageing…..

Santorinian serendipities

Sent from my iPhone

If little white and blue houses could be allegorically called words, then the island of Santorini is a poem. Pastels of blue and white are the only two colours that the entire island of santorini is painted in. I was incredulously dumbstruck as I arrived at my hotel. My senses were unable to soak in this murderous display of natural beauty. They were just so inadequate in proportion to the phenomenal surreality leaving me restless at the expansive and luxuriant sea shore. The rapture stifled my breathing and sent me into a state of delirium caused by extreme ecstasy. Is it where the Dolls actually live? Petit fours served on a white platter. Doll’s houses. A dreamland. Santorini according to legend, gets its name from colloquial pronunciation the word Saint Irene.
The hub of this island is its small centre Oiya ; pronounced Eeya)There are small streets dotted with umpteen shops which stock the most beautiful handcrafted jewellery and other handcrafted cute stuff. Shops look like shacks but stock high street material. Each shop is like a cute little jewellery box glistening with coral stones, scarves, bags and paintings.
Oiya is famous for its sunsets. We saw two sunsets in succession. Both different and unique. When big orange imperious ball goes down, thousands of souls disarmingly take out their gadgets to catch the aura of red halo left behind. Nature at its elegant and royal best.
Santorini is dotted with numerous eateries offering pies and pastries of culinary excellence.

Cafes ooze hospitable warmth which cancels the impact of biting cold. Every third shop is a caffe offering Greek pies and pastries. Before one rests on the chair, they come with their wifi password . And then then it all seems too perfect to be true. But it is real, true and alive in Santorini.Will be writing about gemista, Greek salad and stuff in the next blog..

Sister Act

I thought my stress was all genuine and caused by all the other people in my life, and I was just so right and when it came to brim , as usual, I dialled her number and hyperventilated,” you know, I am done! For no fault of mine, I am getting all this to bear. I cook, I bake, i arrange wardrobes, carry out social commitments, do groceries, edit my poem book, deal with inlaws insecurity and tantrums but no body understands..they think I am some supernatural human…” And she quietly listens and just says,” It seems you have put on some weight. ,That’s the cause of your irritation. Work on it. Go to sleep and it will be all fine.”She nails it . That’s my sister,my alter ego. How come sisters know each other’s mind..?

My two sisters are my life.. My go to girls. I am the eldest of them, yet, they are my parent ego. When I am confused as to which doctor to go to ,one of them sorts it out for me like a counsellor. The surprising part is they don’t even need to know the background of it all.They simply know the solutions. When I feel puzzled about my son’s education, the one in the US forwards me plethora of information and contacts to sort that out. Plus a lot of pep talk.
I still wonder whether I am the same to them. I sometimes feel I am problem and they are the solution. So much so, if I am suffering from overindulgent shopping guilt, the youngest would say..,” don’t worry, I will see if I can fit into them..” They take total download from me..
Once when I coloured my hair all ash bleach out of sheer desire to look different and ended up looking scary and haggard banshee and I called her between streams of tears , she screamed..,” what are the wigs for? Shouldn’t you have first tried and then gone for it? Anyways, what can not be cured, must be endured but what can be cured ,need not be endured. Go undo it..”?
My sisters can see beyond me.. Small or big.. All matters have to travel via them..
They both are, indeed, my querencia.

Of Segway, Syntagma, Spondi and Dogs

Of Segway, spondi and syntagma and dogs…

So syntagma is the nucleus of Athens metro. Despite its super mammoth facade, it did not intimidate us. For,we were already well trained in European system of trains on our touristing at Underground london, Paris, and then of course Eurail. How ironic that I kept wondering to myself as to what would be My Firsts in Greece and the first was the larceny at large in metro. My very first experience of its kind. Busiest Istanbul was much safer and loneliest Iceland more secure.

But Athens cobblestone streets took my breath away..their streets are full with thingummies which can bring forth a child like joy in any tourist. Their hand made leather shoes and bags, their embroidery, their stone jewellery, their graffiti on walls, and their love for music all reflects their in true hedonistic spirit . Superb. It seems Athenians are oblivious of the world .However, one can see a paradox.. Pleasure juxtaposed with penury. the sight of beggars mainly children playing some musical instruments and pleading in Greek baffled me.
Slow food exists with fast food. Slow food is another name for fine dining and we had our epicurean bit at Spondi ( offering to God)) an exclusive French restaurant with two Michelin Stars. Yet, we ordered a cheese platter and a selection of desserts which were made with scientific precision and laid on the table with a designated protocol which was really flattering, indeed.
On the streets, We had our share of Greek food which for my vegetarian palate comprised of Pregnant Peppers and Stuffed wine leaves . I devoured on kalamata olives and feta cheese….Drank their frappe and Greek coffee. Gyros, spinach pies, sweet and savourly crepes are ubiquitous and taste super.

Streets are filled with foodfood, food and more food.Michelin star French restaurant Spondi ( one of the best in the world) ‘s French Restaurant was a true epicurean pleasure. Fine dining at its best.. I am a vegetarian to boot and they did not have chicken
Olives and feta cheese are integral to Greek food and hence all over the place..their sweetmeats remind of Indian til preparations and their desserts are truly divine yoghurts.
Greece is dogged all get the pun , right? Yes too many pet dogs of all possible breeds.
And then ,my another first was riding a Segway under a guided tour. It’s a two wheel pedestrian stick which one rides and manoeuvres through streets. Awesome..
We leave Athens with memories and arrive at Santorini….

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