Save Nature And Save Us

Under the deep darkness of the ocean, over the starry night sky, above the flirty mountains and crystal-clear daylight, you and I are mere playdates that cherish the warmth of a good night! When several people long for what they naturally had in their lives years before, several others know nothing about the serenity of nature and the beauty of untouched earth.

We are a generation that has made quite a transition in terms of how nature, architecture, development, and progress in all ways are perceived globally. We have touched heights that we never expected. We have built walls against stories our ancestors left behind for us to know. We have touched base with little to no expertise in preserving what has to be. We have among us nature activists and environmentalists who teach us about the importance of maintaining what we have for the benefit of others who come after us. However, merely going to deaf ears and unhinged souls, the world is raped over and over again, not allowing mother nature even to cry out loud!

This is when a man faces abnormal waves of nature’s wrath – pretty cliché and fair for all the trees we cut down, all the water we waste, all the animals we harm, and all the ground we clear! Tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, and volcanoes; storms, rains, droughts, heat waves, extreme winters, and harsh weather accompanied by endangered fauna and flora nearing extinction – we have together destroyed the calmness of nature only to witness what would be left behind centuries later if we go at this rate.

From building modern architectural marvels to finding progress in even the most minor household discoveries, harming nature has become an inevitable part of human survival. We are clearing forests to build luxury resorts that sell the “best of nature,” we carve out wood to witness the prosperity of human-made deities inside human-built walls; we harm creatures inside waterbodies to entertain people who are least bothered about the difference between a turtle and a tortoise! We have uselessly abused nature so much that it is quite an irreversible task to bring back what once was! It is humanly impossible to revert to what has been done to mother nature in the last one or two centuries. Humans have overused the earth and all its resources, and we face adverse effects like extreme heat, weather changes, soil erosion, quality agriculture degradation, drinkable water depletion, and so on. We must start consciously choosing not to harm and overuse the earth but contribute to its survival.

It is, instead, a significant gift to nature if each of us decides to grow a tree in remembrance of all the different things she has given us. From the food we enjoy to the medicines that aid us in healthy survival, mother nature has contributed too much for humans to take things for granted. It is high time we step out of our comfort zone to make a change. Let us skip taking notes in schools and colleges and make a difference at home. Let us close faucets when not in use and distribute waste according to their nature of disposal. Let us unite and see that nature is not harmed in any way. Let us make an effort to collect unused water, recycle waste and paper, reuse resources that can be reused, and honour mother nature for all the blessing she is.

Let us consciously say no to plastic and non-degradable waste that is highly hazardous to nature. Let us hold tight to all our social responsibilities as citizens of this EARTH in maintaining and conserving all that we get from nature! Let us together start a change today and make this world more beautiful without all this global waste that hinders pure air from traveling around. Let us make a difference in all those parts of the world where proper drinking water is deficient. Let us move forward and be there for stomachs left hungry when we waste tons of food daily. Let us shine bright for those farmers who toil in the dirt to feed mouths that don’t speak for them! Let us increase the volume and bless this world with heavy metal, trance, and melodies that birds and rhinos can relate to. Let us promote the healthy cohabitation of insects, animals, reptiles, birds, and other creatures that comprise this vast world’s predominant part! For a change, let us humble ourselves in front of the vibrancy and velocity of this world and make a slight change in how people perceive survival and modernity. Let us paint the modern world green and not grey, for green makes much more sense in the end!


Aakanksha Dinah, a passionate writer, orator, communicator focused on establishing a Training institution centered on creativity and innovation. Aakanksha is a true believer in loving the work we do and strongly believes in smart-work, the reason why creativity works better for her. Aakanksha is enormously focused on making a career in professional writing and publishing. She loves writing poems, self-help articles, and essays. An enthusiast when it comes to learning languages and in short, Aakanksha is a wanderer, an explorer, a mom, a dog-mom, a poet, a cook, a writer, and an influencer.

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Revisiting Places And Grieving Through Memories

Every one of us has one dear memory of our favorite summer vacations. For some, it’s the beach; for some, within the mountains; for others, it’s just running around in the courtyard of their humble native homes. Summer vacations are the first trips we take with our family, with no worries about itineraries because they have mapped the routes, distances, accommodations, and everything. You craft memories, you have captured some on a film camera, you look them up once in a while and relive the good old days. But, then, years pass; you all grow up, you lose some family members, and things are not the same again.

My favorite summer days have been spent exploring the beaches in our native town with my late father. The connections he made with the locals here over the years transformed into thicker-than-blood relatives. From special course meals to trips into the sea, we enjoyed the ‘privileges’ of his ability to form such special bonds. We don’t own a native home, but we have people here who make us feel we are home. He almost had a distant family here, which took care of his ailments when he visited solo. Unfortunately, the conditions eventually got the better of him, and he left on his journey.

This May, I took a trip with my family to the same place, knowing that it won’t be easy for us, especially for my mother and me. We have spent some of the best moments here, and knowing that we won’t get to relive it again creates a more bottomless void than we already experience.
But our healing journey needs such prickly moments to make you realize what you had and that you will always hold it dear to you. My mother and I sat by the beach every evening, saying not many words but only narrating to one another the little moments we remember spending here with my father. He was an ardent beach lover who spent hours along the coast. On his last few visits, he would only express sitting by the seaside bench to hear the waves because his vision diminished. In his process to prepare us, he had told my mother, “Let my ashes free into the closest ocean, and I know I will reach where I belong.”

We couldn’t visit here since the pandemic, but when we walked into the same hotel last month, the owners expressed they don’t feel he is gone. Instead, they say he might come and stay with them again. I don’t even have the exact words, but it felt like a reassurance that he is just around somewhere. We ensured we met or at least spoke to all the relations he had formed among the locals, and everyone was happy to see us back. My mother couldn’t stop recalling how they would spend their days here. While I feared she would spiral into the pit of his memories, I realized it gives her happiness to remember him fondly and brings a smile.

Grieving takes different forms, and reminiscing the memories is one of the most common ways. While you may delve into it, you must also hold on to them as your anchor to move forward. If you have lost someone close to you, visit the places you have been with them. It will be challenging but eventually comfort you like an invisible hug. Like how this ocean did to me. You cannot recreate the same memories again, but now you appreciate them as your best time ever.

You can never bring back the dead, but you can always live the way they taught you. My father told me never to be scared of the ocean, to hold my ground with my toes tucked deep into the sand, to fall, rise, and face the water with a smile. But, what he also permeated was a lesson for life.

Grieving gets tougher on some days and simpler on others. On some days, it is both. You cannot even choose a side to it. You must remember that healing is not your journey alone but of those who are just as immediately close to the departed member. Someone has lost their son, someone their husband, someone their father, and someone their best friend. Heal with them, and hold their hand when you visit the places that bring back their memories. It is a rugged closure but refreshing to see them alive in your memories.


Writer by day, an overthinker by night. I let my thoughts flow through my writing. As a definite misfit, I let my words speak louder than my actions. Welcome to my journey of sailing through emotions and experiences, with words as my paddles.

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Is It Okay To Say No

Yes, it is perfectly okay to say “no.” And saying “no” is integral to maintaining boundaries and taking care of oneself in life. Saying “no” allows you to set limits on what you are willing and able to do, whether in your personal or professional life. By being assertive and saying “no” when necessary, you can avoid overcommitting yourself, becoming overwhelmed, or engaging in activities that are not aligned with your values or goals.

In addition, saying “no” can help you preserve your mental and emotional well-being. By declining requests or obligations, you feel uncomfortable with, you can reduce stress and prevent burnout.

Furthermore, saying “no” is a way to assert your autonomy and make decisions in your best interest. By doing so, you can take control of your life and create a more fulfilling and balanced existence.

How to say No?

Saying “no” can be challenging, especially if you are a people-pleaser or feel guilty about declining requests or invitations. However, it is a valuable skill to develop to maintain healthy boundaries and take care of yourself. Here are some tips for saying “no” effectively:

  1. Be clear and direct
    When declining a request or invitation, it is essential to be clear and straightforward. Avoid using vague or non-committal language, and state your refusal in a firm yet polite manner.

  2. Give a reason
    A reason for saying “no” can help the other person understand your perspective and reduce potential tension. However, it is not necessary to give a detailed explanation, and it is okay to state that you cannot do something now.

  3. Be assertive, NOT aggressive
    Saying “no” does not mean being rude or aggressive. Maintaining a respectful tone and demeanour is essential, even if the other person may be disappointed or upset.

  4. Practice self-care
    Saying “no” can sometimes be emotionally challenging, especially if you feel guilty or worried about how the other person may react. It is important to practice self-care and engage in activities that help you feel good about yourself and reinforce your self-worth.

  5. Find alternative solutions
    If you are declining a request or invitation, it may be helpful to suggest an alternative solution. For example, if you cannot attend a meeting, you could offer to contribute differently or attend a future meeting.

What should I worry about when I say No?

When saying “no,” it is natural to have concerns about how the other person will react or about the potential consequences of your refusal. Some worries include

  1. Damaging relationships
    You may worry that saying “no” will damage your relationship with the person making the request or invitation.

  2. Hurting someone’s feelings
    You may worry about offending or hurting the other person’s feelings.

  3. Being perceived as rude or uncooperative
    You may be concerned that saying “no” will make you appear rude, uncooperative, or challenging to work with.

  4. Missing out on opportunities
    You may worry that saying “no” will lead to missing out on opportunities or causing regret later.

  5. Facing the consequences
    You may worry that saying “no” could result in adverse effects such as lost opportunities, job loss, or social exclusion.

While these concerns are understandable, it is essential to remember that saying “no” is a healthy and necessary part of maintaining boundaries and self-care. By being transparent and direct and practicing self-care and self-compassion, you can reduce your worries and feel more confident in your decision to say “no.”

Saying “no” is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. However, by being transparent, direct, and respectful, you can effectively communicate your boundaries and take care of yourself. In short saying “no” is essential for self-care, setting boundaries, and preserving your well-being. It can help you avoid overcommitting and avert burnout and let you assert your autonomy and push decisions that are in your best interest.


Chippy is a dreamer and optimist. She believes, we become what we hope, aspire, dream to be and knows how to make a dream or two happen. Seventeen years of experience, struggling, winning, failing, succeeding and failing again and making it, she knows what it takes to build a successful project, a business, and what it means by starting from the bottom up. It takes determination, dedication, and direction and that’s why her mission is to ‘step up & inspire.

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Stronger Together

A relationship is a two-way bridge. The love and bond between couples intensify when they practice the love languages they relate to. Unfortunately, what happens over time is that the relationship gets monotonous. The pair drift apart due to routine and other circumstances. However, staying rooted and holding on to that magic that once connected the two of them is entirely possible! 

The first rule is to be respectful. There is no relationship, not just between a man and a woman, but between anyone, including friends and family, where there is no argument or disagreement. It is, therefore, a two-way effort between the couple to honor and implement the act of kindness and understanding towards each other. Respecting each other, using words of kindness, and being there for each other in all circumstances are very significant. 

Secondly, prioritizing spending time together, eating meals together, openly having conversations apart from the home routine, and taking time to compliment, observe, and appreciate each other go a long way in keeping the bond strong and healthy. 

Intimacy is the following significant factor in any relationship. Keeping intimacy and romance alive in the marriage is something many couples miss prioritizing. Love grows with harmony, peace, and some good time together. The biological needs and the emotional connection met through being intimate and loving with each other are unmatched. 

Couples who go through marriage issues reveal how intimacy has been a primary concern between the two. Intimacy does not have to be about sex. It starts way before hitting the bed. It is in how they treat each other, respect each other, value each other, and help each other in the smallest of daily activities. It is not about red roses and glimmering jewelry but about keeping the light burning and the vibe alive. 

Lastly, it is also in how they handle difficult situations. Most couples forget that it is a problem vs. them, and they don’t have to be bitter about a situation between themselves. Instead, keeping calm and logically finding a solution together can be healing and highly healthy for the relationship. This enhances the beauty of the effort the two individuals put in and helps them raise children who understand and know the importance of patience and love between other human beings. Children learn how to love from their homes. Therefore, each parent’s responsible for showing their children what it is to be a family unit and kind, empathetic humans. 

Together we are strong. This mantra can save a lot of sinking relationships. 


Aakanksha Dinah, a passionate writer, orator, communicator focused on establishing a Training institution centered on creativity and innovation. Aakanksha is a true believer in loving the work we do and strongly believes in smart-work, the reason why creativity works better for her. Aakanksha is enormously focused on making a career in professional writing and publishing. She loves writing poems, self-help articles, and essays. An enthusiast when it comes to learning languages and in short, Aakanksha is a wanderer, an explorer, a mom, a dog-mom, a poet, a cook, a writer, and an influencer.

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A Birds Soliloquy

I was born in a nest on a tall tree. When I opened my eyes to the world, I heard squeals from my brothers and sisters. The “cheep-cheep” sounds around me were all I heard for the first few days. Our mother would fly away and bring us fresh worms to eat. Our father used to guard the nest, flying in and out to check on us. All we did was open our mouths when we were hungry and go to sleep. Then, barely a few days later, our mother started teaching us to fly. 

Our wings had grown, and we attempted to open and flutter them. Slowly, one by one, my brothers and sisters flew from the nest to newer places. The world outside the nest was unknown to me. Whenever some of my brothers and sisters came to visit, they would fill me with exciting stories – some scary and some exciting. I also wanted to explore the world, but…

So, I was one of the last ones remaining in the nest. My mother had tried to push me out of the nest many times but failed to. I would often reach the edge and retreat. Angrily, my mom finally made me off the perch with her sharp beak. I managed to fly a little but crashed to the ground. I almost thought I had broken my wings as I touched the soft mud. When I recovered from the fall, I looked around me. It was all green bushes around, and I heard shouts and excited squeals from tiny humans everywhere.

I saw many small pairs of eyes staring at me – some straining their necks to see me, reaching out to touch me with their hands. I got scared and retreated into the grass. I started feeling sleepy and went into a deep sleep. A while later, I found it all dark around me after I awoke. It had started raining heavily. I got scared and started crying. I became hungry and started shivering because of the cold too. I kept crying through the night. When I fell, I almost thought I would not have survived the fall. Throughout, I kept remembering the time my mother used to teach me to fly. Sigh! If only I had learned to fly! 

The first lights of the day opened my eyes. I got growly and hungry. I suddenly saw two tiny humans peeking at me and exchanging looks. My loud cries must have attracted their attention. There was a more significant human who had something in her hand. First, I got scared, thinking the human would attack me. After a few minutes, she dropped some water in my mouth and happily gulped it one after the other. The tiny humans looked happy and started jumping joyfully, looking at me drinking water. A bit later, I got a few rice grains in my mouth that I could barely swallow. I continued crying throughout that morning. Two humans scooped me up a while later and took me to another place. It looked like a bright place, and my humans placed me in a small room. The room had a small window too. They fed me food that I hungrily gobbled and water to drink. 

Soon, I fell fast asleep, deep in my dreams. I imagined my mom and dad with my brothers and sisters. We happily played until a bright light came, and all went dark suddenly. I awoke with a start, hearing loud sounds of tiny humans screaming around me. I peeked outside the window to see more eyes looking at me.

Sigh! I miss my family so much!

This is for all those tiny chicks who get separated from their mothers. The bird is a cuckoo baby who I am currently fostering. 


Priya is a quirky writer/photographer/closet poet, and singer who has traversed a non-conventional path. As a former entertainment journalist who has worked in print and online media for a decade, Priya loves talking to people and writing their unspoken stories. She is the single parent of an 8.5-year-old son settled in Tamil Nadu and a freelance Content Consultant. Priya is also an informal mentor to parents in her local parenting network. She dreams of being an author and maybe a scriptwriter someday!

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When Children Refuse to Attend School

The term “school refusal” was formerly synonymous with truancy, conjuring images of children loitering on street corners or playing video games in their dormitories.

While it is true that some game-playing may be involved, it is essential to note that school refusal is not the same as skipping class. It is motivated not by the appeal of having pleasure outside of school but by an aversion to school.

Problematic patterns

Everyone occasionally resists going to school, but school refusal behavior is an extreme pattern of avoiding school that causes significant problems for the child. Several distinguishing characteristics differentiate school refusal from typical avoidance:

  • How long has a minor avoided attending school?
  • How much anxiety do they associate with school attendance
  • How tenaciously they resist
  • How much their resistance is interfering with their life (and the life of their family)

Even if a child attends school on the majority of school days, they may still experience school refusal. I’ve worked with children who have missed only one or two days of school but have been 30 times late because their anxiety prevents them from arriving on time. Children with school refusal may also have the habit of departing school early, spending a great deal of time at the school nurse’s office, or texting their parents throughout the day.

Suspicious Sick Days

Children with school refusal frequently report unexplained symptoms, such as migraines or stomachaches. In addition, anxiety manifests itself physically, so their symptoms may indicate this. In this situation, the first thing you as a parent should do is have your infant examined by a pediatrician; you do not want to overlook a medical issue. However, it is possible that attending school is their concern.

Occasionally, reluctance to attend school is a minor blip on the radar that can be readily remedied. Perhaps your child had the illness and was out of school for a significant amount of time; they are now having trouble readjusting to school. They are suddenly becoming possessive and anxious about the homework they neglected.

In this situation, it is essential to minimize time spent at home. Instead, you wish to have a conversation with your child’s instructor. You want to be capable of telling them, “We’ve informed your teacher that you were absent due to illness. I am aware of your concern, but he understands. It is time to return to class.” Then they return to school, where things are frequently relatively straightforward.

Similarly, some school-aged children experience anxiety blips after summer vacation. The primary objective is to enroll children in school as soon as feasible.

Understanding The Problem

For more severe cases of school refusal, the initial step in treatment is to obtain a thorough diagnostic evaluation. Although school refusal is not a diagnosable disorder, it frequently occurs alongside separation anxiety, social anxiety, melancholy, and panic disorder. Therefore, a thorough review enables treatment professionals to determine the underlying causes of your child’s school refusal, allowing them to tailor therapy to their needs.

Listen Up

There is also the possibility that something specific is occurring at school, such as bullying or a challenging subject. This does not imply that you should promptly ask your child who refuses to attend school, “Who’s bullying you?” But it is essential to be aware of your child’s current circumstances. You should anticipate hearing about their teacher and assignment progress. It would help if you also were mindful of the children your child associates with. All of these topics should be discussed in ordinary conversation. And if your child mentions something that happened that day, stop what you’re doing, perk up your hearing, and listen without judgment, because it may be significant.

Reaching Out

Treatment providers for children with school refusal frequently employ cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches children to manage their anxious thoughts and confront their fears. Although anxious children may disagree, the best method to overcome anxiety is to become more accustomed to feeling anxious. Children need the opportunity to see that they can attend education and that their worst fears will not be realized. Exposure therapy, which progressively reintroduces children to the school environment, is highly effective. In the initial stages of treatment, this may involve driving by the school or strolling its empty halls on the weekend. From there, children can progress to attending one or two courses and, ultimately, a full day by the end of treatment.

Being proactive and identifying school refusal as soon as possible is preferable. Unfortunately, the longer a child is absent from school, the more difficult it is for them to return to the routine, as skipping is highly reinforcing. 

Families I’ve worked with have described preparing for school as a battle with tantrums. Sometimes the morning is so complicated and tiring that the parents give up and say, “Fine, stay home; I’ll go pick up your homework.” It is a very understandable situation, but again, allowing it to persist delays the return of children to school by one day. Parents must understand that the sooner their child returns to school, the better and that seeking assistance is a crucial first step.


“Saral hu Saadharn nhi” (Simplicity is not Ordinary). This phrase encapsulates her entire existence. A woman of few words, a daydreamer, who is certain that there is life beyond stars. An HR professional who began her writing journey when corona knocked on our doors. A Content Writer, Screenplay Writer, and published Author. She is die-hard romantic and that reflects in her quotes, poems and short stories and currently working on her first book. She enjoys cooking, dancing, singing, travelling, and is a huge Bollywood enthusiast. She is a wife, a mother and a friend you can most certainly rely on.

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The Power Of Manifestation

You are your creator – in terms of happiness, karma, joy, emotions, actions, and lifestyle – you create your existence. It is absolutely in your control how you live your life. Holding others around you responsible for making you happy or sad may seem convenient. Still, allowing yourself to succumb to the energy around you is undoubtedly within you.

There are energy shifts around you that translate the aura and vibe you experience and give out. Your aura must be an amalgam of how wonderfully and beautifully you are created. It must reflect all the goodness you are filled with. It must resonate with the warmth and love you have within you to give to this world. There is so much power in positive affirmations and manifesting in the right spirit.

You must always consciously try to connect with the positivity within you and carry forward the glow and charm you are born with. Yes, it is easy to get carried away and feel heavy within, giving into mood swings and grumpy emotions. However, it is wiser to get over and smile despite the circumstance to see how blessed you are and continue doing what must be done next.

There is so much strength in believing in yourself and maintaining a lifestyle with some self-talk and analysis. There is wisdom in knowing yourself and honouring yourself. There is a lot of positivity in being yourself and manifesting all good things in your life and others. You must know what to speak and when. You must learn and unlearn habits and traditions that grow or hinder your progress. You must carry forward all the good morals and values instilled in you and try to break generational curses that no longer have a place in your life and your kids’. Manifest and affirm that you are blessed.

Believe that you are successful. Trust that you are beautiful inside and out! What you believe inside you will get you places – it will make you see the vastness of this world and yourself! Therefore, manifest in learning the highest version of yourself, invest in maturing with the world, and prosper, for you are born to do so!

Aakanksha Dinah, a passionate writer, orator, communicator focused on establishing a Training institution centered on creativity and innovation. Aakanksha is a true believer in loving the work we do and strongly believes in smart-work, the reason why creativity works better for her. Aakanksha is enormously focused on making a career in professional writing and publishing. She loves writing poems, self-help articles, and essays. An enthusiast when it comes to learning languages and in short, Aakanksha is a wanderer, an explorer, a mom, a dog-mom, a poet, a cook, a writer, and an influencer.

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The Vegetarian Halo

If you have travelled across the world or at least outside your region or state of residence, one exciting and glaring difference you may have found is the lifestyles and food habits of the natives. In fact, at times, that is the reason some people travel – to explore the nuances and differences in cuisines, flavours, ethnicity, and cultural heterogeneity.

Most of these diversities are indeed influenced by various factors like natural habitat, region, culture, religion, local availability, and personal choices! However, of these differences in lifestyles and dietary choices, the argument that hits the hardest is that of Vegetarian vs. Non-Vegetarian food!

Vegetarian vs. Non-Vegetarian 

It is a very tricky and sensitive topic. While dietary choices are very personal, they are influenced by several factors, some of which are outside the control domain of an individual. Therefore, to say that a specific diet is necessarily better than the other is a bit of self-flattery and delusional.

Today’s argument is not about which diet is better –veg or non-veg … But it is about the people that uphold a diet preference as ‘Holier than thou’!

It is about those who cringe at the sight of non-vegetarian food and may sometimes step on others’ feet to declare how the others must drop their preference and choose a diet similar to the propagators themselves. It is about the people who carry ‘The Vegetarian Halo.’

The Vegetarian Halo  

The vegetarian halo refers to the positive perception and assumptions associated with individuals who follow a vegetarian diet. It refers to the idea that some vegetarians see themselves as more virtuous, compassionate, and environmentally conscious than those who consume meat. These rare but present people feel their vegetarianism accords them with a sanctity that makes them a breed holier, more spiritual, and more sacred than others. Almost as if they walk with an invisible HALO above their heads.

You may routinely hear some joint statements from them, like:

“How can you be so heartless to eat meat?”

“I don’t contribute to the suffering of animals.”

“I’m more conscious, superior, and enlightened ….. because I choose not to eat meat.”

“Vegetarianism is a more compassionate, pious, and ethical choice.”

They walk the earth’s surface almost as if they were the chosen ones entrusted with the moral task of carrying the burden of all existential HUMAN SANCTITY. 

At this juncture, where I can almost sense debates arising, let me reiterate – The problem is not with them choosing a specific diet and style. The problem is the vegetarian narcissism they feel entitled to unleash onto others. They think that by merely choosing to eat vegetarian, they acquire moral rights to school the ‘unholy’ spirits about how wrong they are in choosing anything that is not plant-based. 

What they forget in the bargain is that dietary preferences are a person’s personal and fundamental right and that they need to approach such discussions with mutual respect and open-mindedness. Individuals need to realize that they may exercise their dietary choices without belittling or judging others who make different choices. What is an ‘unbearable’ sight for you is ‘FOOD’ for the other. It commands respect! 

They must understand that more than any personal choice, a food preference is primarily dictated by a fellow human’s cultural, geographical, and religious contexts. E.g., The natural habitat, geographical location, and climate of the region may affect the availability or abundance of certain foods. Like in the case of people living in coastal areas often have easy access to seafood, while inland regions may rely more on land-based produce. These shape dietary preferences.

Similarly, different cultures have their culinary traditions and food preferences. These cultural practices are often passed down through generations and shape routine dietary habits. So, suppose your ancestors were natives of Afghanistan. In that case, you are still more likely to continue savouring Mantu, Chapli Kebab, or Mahi Sefeed, even while nestled in a cozy-busy city in the plains. 

Regional food preferences are also heavily influenced by the local availability of ingredients. So, if you are an Afghani living in Japan, your Kabuli pulao may include Wagyu beef, or your Mahi Sefeed may be prepared with sashimi-grade tuna or even Unagi. Or if nothing non-vegetarian is available, a person might switch to vegetarianism based on what is quickly and locally available. Choosing local produce over specific food items is always advisable to maintain the sensitive ecological balance of the region you call home!

The ‘holier than thou’ tribe needs to realize that while vegetarianism is acceptable, it is more important to prioritize environmental sustainability and respectful mutual existence before discussing morality based on food preference. While vegetarians may pride themselves in leaving lesser carbon footprints, non-vegetarians can boast about restoring ecological balance by participating in ecosystems that rely on natural predator-prey relationships for credit. Imagine if all humanity were to eat only plant-based foods – you would soon run out of the earth’s natural resources. Or if everyone were to start eating meat or fish – the entire food chain would get disturbed, right?

The truth is that the diversity in food preferences works to balance the universe’s delicate and fragile mutual dependency. So, the next time someone tries to guilt-trip you about choosing to be non-vegetarian, show them this article!

Did you know that the diet you consider ‘vegetarian’ may not be as vegetarian as you would like to believe? Take a look at different diets that are considered ‘vegetarian’ the world over…

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: This is the most common type of vegetarianism and involves avoiding meat, poultry, and fish but still includes dairy products like milk, butter, ghee, cheese, etc., and honey and eggs (animal products) in the diet.
  • Lacto-vegetarian: This type of diet involves primarily plant-based food, avoiding meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, but still includes dairy products like milk, butter, and cheese in the diet.
  • Veganism: Vegans avoid all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and honey. They also avoid any other products that come from animals, such as leather or wool. Some even practice raw veganism, which involves eating only foods that are not cooked or processed.
  • Plant-based diet: This refers to a diet consisting mainly of plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Depending on the individual’s preferences and needs, it may or may not include small amounts of animal products.
  • Flexitarianism: Also known as a “casual vegetarian,” this approach involves reducing meat consumption but not eliminating it from the diet. Flexitarians often eat meat only occasionally or in small amounts.
  • Fruitarianism: This type of vegetarianism goes a step beyond raw veganism and involves only eating fruits, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based foods that can be harvested without harming the plant.
  • Jain vegetarianism: This type of vegetarianism is practiced by Jains, a religious group in India, and involves avoiding all animal products, including honey. They even avert vegetables that grow underground and those believed to contain microscopic life.

With so much going on with just defining a vegetarian diet, how does one even define one “right” way to be a vegetarian?


Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

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Finding Zen In The Kitchen 

“I love cooking. It gives me a lot of peace.” 
“Cooking is therapy, and I feel good about it.” 
“Cooking gives me goals to do, things to think about. The process of cooking helps re-center me, diverting me from all negative thoughts.”
“Cooking is meditation.”

If you resonate with the above, you are a mindful cooking practitioner. In other words, when cooking, you only concentrate on the food, the pots and pans, and the kitchen. The kitchen is your sanctum sanctorum for making food, and you experience peace there. I know many friends who tell them that cooking helps them de-stress. It allows them to take time out for themselves. 

It is one space where they can be themselves. Of course, the condition being no one is around to disrupt their thoughts, and the place is not chaotic. To truly experience the aromas and flavours of every dish, one must be there whole and soul! Your mind must be in that place rather than elsewhere. They say you need not be a skillful or a good cook but a mindful cook. When you begin cooking, you know precisely what you put in the dish. 

1. Start grounding yourself

There is no better way to begin the day than going for a nature walk, letting the first rays of the sun fall on your face, walking on bare grass and earth, and spending time in the water. Grounding is the best way to absorb nature’s positive energies and nourish your food.

2. Practice Gratitude

Taking a moment before beginning cooking is a great way to bring in mindfulness during cooking. In addition, you can thank the Universe for giving you all the ingredients to cook and appreciating the nutrition you are receiving from the food grown. 

3. Set the intent  

What is intent? It is a purpose or goal that you set before beginning any task. The same goes for cooking. What do you want to prepare today? Is it something that you would like to eat? Is it for someone in your family? Either way, the intent must be positive in anything you cook – something that makes everyone happy, including yourself. For instance, you can say, “I want to prepare a nourishing, delicious meal for my family.” You can make similar statements or affirmations and display them in your head before beginning to cook.

4. Being in the present 

As you cook, feel the warmth in the kitchen, breathe in the aromas and flavours, and feel the taste of the texture of the food on the tastebuds. If you think of all these, you are entirely into cooking.  

5. Shut off external distractions

There were no gadgets in earlier times, so one leisurely did cooking. We knew what we were cooking and what we ate as well. Cooking minus any external distractions (of course, there can be emergency calls, but avoid social media distractions) is the best way to practice mindful cooking.

6. Make it a sensory experience

Using all your senses – sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound – helps immensely in mindful cooking. For instance, noticing the colour of the vegetables, feeling the texture of the grains before and during cooking, tasting the gravy after you add salt and spices, and finally listening to the sizzling pan or the spluttering of seeds in the hot oil before you do the garnish, and smelling in all the spices, will engage all your senses effectively during cooking. Old timers vouch that they could make food without tasting it.

7. Pen down recipes

You may say that you are looking at a YouTube channel for recipes, but most of the time (be honest!), you spend more time before the screen, browsing other videos. Once you select the recipe you like, you can copy the recipe/write it down in a diary first (old-fashioned pen and paper!) before entering the kitchen. You could even pick the ingredients out while watching the video. Then, when you begin the process of cooking, you can have the diary around with you. It was an excellent old-fashioned method used in the days of zero digital devices by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They often remembered recipes verbatim thanks to this habit. So that rules out your need for a gadget for cooking.

8. Slow cooking

Stirring a gravy, kneading the dough, boiling rice, making a salad, chopping vegetables, and setting the table are all a part of slow cooking. It sounds impractical to do slow cooking when you are running against time to complete your deadline. But the solution may be to keep some time off for cooking alone. In your limited time, consciously keep away all kinds of distractions. That is why many love slow cooking on an open fire as well. No wonder our parents always insisted on waking up at dawn!

“Cooking is not just about the food. It’s about the intention, the love, and the energy we infuse into every dish.” 

How accurate is this statement? Think about how many days you have practiced mindful cooking. If you still need to and are caught up in the daily, monotonous routine, it is time to reset and start all over. If food nourishes the body, soulfully made food enhances both mind and body! 


Priya is a quirky writer/photographer/closet poet, and singer who has traversed a non-conventional path. As a former entertainment journalist who has worked in print and online media for a decade, Priya loves talking to people and writing their unspoken stories. She is the single parent of an 8.5-year-old son settled in Tamil Nadu and a freelance Content Consultant. Priya is also an informal mentor to parents in her local parenting network. She dreams of being an author and maybe a scriptwriter someday!

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How To Wake Up Early

Starting small is the key. Learn to love your mornings, which is good news for night owls and anyone who does not spring out of bed as soon as the sun rises. Routine adjustments of any size can improve your mood and energy levels. You can enhance little things to help you obtain the rest you need. When you are well-rested, getting up is not difficult.

1. Place Alarm Out of Reach

Pressing the snooze button will not make you feel more rested unless you still have an hour or two to sleep. But when you first hear that grating beep, there is another reason to stand up. You can maintain the synchronisation of your body’s internal clock by rising and retiring simultaneously each day. As a result, you become more tired at night and more alert in the morning.

2. Let in the Light

When you awaken, open the blinds or curtains. Also, go outside. Your brain functions better, and your body clock runs more smoothly under natural light. Lights should be on if the weather is dark. A flashing alarm clock might be helpful to.

Additionally, it might not be as abrupt as a loud alarm. Try using a lightbox (or sunlamp) if you experience morning brain fog or suffer from depression or seasonal affective disorder. You may feel happier and more alert as a result.

3. Enjoy a Morning Splurge

Make a plan for something to look forward to every morning to help you resist the impulse to stay in bed. For example, while enjoying a delicious breakfast, you might read your favorite website or stroll around a beautiful park. Anything that makes you happy or excited stimulates your brain and helps you feel less sleepy.

4. Sip a Cup of Joy

Just make sure it is the caffeinated variety of coffee. Brain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are stimulated by caffeine. They make you feel better, give you more energy, and help you concentrate. Regular coffee drinkers are also less likely to experience the blues than those who do so, just seldom or never. Do you not like it? Choose a cup of green or black tea. They include beneficial components in addition to caffeine.

5. Schedule a Morning Sweat Session

You may get your blood circulating and rev up your nervous system by jumping jacks or taking a brisk stroll. You will experience increased alertness both right away and hours later. You will quickly fall asleep if you exercise first thing in the morning rather than later. Try at least a few hours before going to bed. Any later, and you might have trouble falling asleep. Yoga has been shown to help with insomnia.

6. Fuel Up

Nothing to eat? Attempt to eat a small breakfast. Your body receives the energy it needs to start moving with even a small meal, such as an egg on whole-wheat bread or a cup of yogurt with berries. Breakfast also aids in concentration. Even your body clock might be maintained. Your morning will feel more like morning and less like the middle of the night if you do it.

7. Power Down Before Bedtime

Your melatonin levels (which are levels of the hormone that makes you feel tired) can be lowered by bright lighting at night. And other things besides overhead lights can make you start counting sheep. For example, the light from laptops, TVs, and cell phones hinders melatonin generation. The solution: Dim the lights in your house and turn off all gadgets an hour or more before you want to go to bed.

8. Skip the Nightcap

Alcohol does indeed induce slumber. However, it can also make it difficult to fall asleep and leave you groggy in the morning. If you do indulge in alcohol, limit yourself to one drink and consume it with supper or at least two to three hours before going to bed.

9. Attempt melatonin

Your body can prepare for sleep with the aid of this hormone. Additionally, it helps to regulate your body clock. A melatonin pill may be helpful if you have difficulties falling asleep or are running behind schedule due to travel or a new regimen. Preferably, take a low dose (0.3–1 milligrams) an hour before bed. And before taking any new drug, always talk with your doctor.

10. Make a Successful Wind-Down Routine

A peaceful evening aids in sleep. At least an hour before bed, avoid stress like email and tense conversations with relatives. You can meditate, stretch, take a warm bath or shower, or read a book in a dimly lit room to help you prepare for sleep. Consult a doctor if you get at least 7 hours each night but are still exhausted. It could be a health issue or a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.


“Saral hu Saadharn nhi” (Simplicity is not Ordinary). This phrase encapsulates her entire existence. A woman of few words, a daydreamer, who is certain that there is life beyond stars. An HR professional who began her writing journey when corona knocked on our doors. A Content Writer, Screenplay Writer, and published Author. She is die-hard romantic and that reflects in her quotes, poems and short stories and currently working on her first book. She enjoys cooking, dancing, singing, travelling, and is a huge Bollywood enthusiast. She is a wife, a mother and a friend you can most certainly rely on.

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