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  • Is Homemaking for Everyone?

    As a child I dreaded housework and always made excuses to skip it. Though our house was always clean, warm and presentable. It was all because of my Grandmother and Mother and all those hardworking house-helps. So as a child and also as an adult I was used to having a well maintained home without working for it. I did not know how much work and dedication goes into homemaking. You can have many house-helps but they must be managed otherwise your home will be chaotic. I have learnt and realized everything after I got married.

    I got married to a wonderful man who is actually very organized and loves to keep everything in order. I have learnt a lot from my husband. I have learnt some valuable lessons from my husband that I want to share with you ladies, especially to those ladies who are yet to step outside your maternal home.

    You don’t have to be married to learn about homemaking. You can be a working woman and homemaking is for you as well. It is for men also. I have friends who complain about their husbands not being clean or tidy or organized. Homemaking is a skill. A skill you need for a better life. Yes, you can ignore it, we don’t acquire a lot of skills but we survive. Ask yourself just a small question- “Do I want to merely survive or do I want to thrive?” Don’t you want to be well equipped in your life to make it better?

    Modern media has a lot of negative representations of homemaking. They make you feel as if homemaking is a useless thing that some women do who are either a failure in everything, a parasite or just a lazy woman spending all her husband’s hard earned money. In all this noise and negativity we sometimes fail to see what homemaking is actually all about! So you have a house where you are going to live, now what do you want to do with it? And how do want to them. Yes that is homemaking. It is for everyone. Even for the children of the house. They must learn housework from a young age to be equipped later and this will make them appreciate homemaking and homemakers. Actually we are all homemakers who work for our homes, even for someone else’s homes. Having a source of income or not having one is a different issue. We must not confuse monitory status with a skill.

    So what are the things that a homemaker is required to learn. I’m not very old in homemaking but I can say what little I have learnt from practice and from reading and watching or just by observing and talking to another homemaker.

    It is all about your attitude: There was a time when I thought negatively about homemaking. I didn’t know what it can do not only to your house but also to yourself. A clean, clear, organized space doesn’t only look good but also keep you physically and mentally happy. Clutter makes everything more complicated. It is like negativity bringing more negativity. Positivity brings more positivity. It’s as simple as that. Home cooked meals will make you healthier than that take-out food. A well looked after pantry will save money, won’t bring any situation of scarce. I can go on but you need to understand what you will get from homemaking. As soon as you see the benefits, you will want to work for it. All of us necessarily don’t like every part of homemaking. Some hate to mop, some to clean the dishes or to meal plan but if you have to do it anyway, do it with a pleasant attitude!

    Complete a day’s work: My father used to say, “If you study every day, you’ll never fail.” This saying can go for homemaking as well. If you complete a day’s work, your home will never be dirty or untidy. So do the dished and clean the kitchen counter tops, clean your living area before you go to bed and call it a day. The next day you will be welcomed to a clean and cheerful looking home. It will start your day on a good note. Some of you will say that homemaking works never seem to end. My next point will answer your question.

    Have a homemaking routine: When we workout we follow a workout routine, we follow skin or hair care routines for better results. It takes time to develop good habits, to be faster in anything we learn. So having a homemaking routine is also essential. If you are really busy and don’t have any house help (especially in this Covid-19 situation) allot a few days of a week for laundry or the dusting. Mark days when you’ll cook. We are living in modern days with fridge and microwave. So you don’t need to cook 3 times a day for every day. Just cook and store it properly. When you’ll know when and how you will do your homemaking related works, homemaking won’t feel like a burden anymore.

    Be a manager: A good homemaker is a great manager. A great manager distributes work and don’t do it all by himself or herself. Distribute house work among the family members if you are living with your family. If you are living with your roommates, inspire them to share the load. You can have house helps but at the end of the day it is not their home but yours. So work accordingly.

    I can go on but the post has become way too long. I will write more about homemaking soon. Let me know your thoughts about this post by commenting.

    Will see you soon on another blog post. Till then happy homemaking.

    Xoxo

    Mrs Raay

    P.S : Homemaking is gender neutral

  • Shows that Made Me Think

    Hi, you! I’m writing here after months. At least it feels like that. The last post was about self help books but sometimes the best help you can do for  yourself is to relax and do nothing. I’m grateful for having a life where I don’t have to work hard everyday to earn for my family. I have the opportunity to work for myself and I’m truly grateful for that. That’s why taking a break is way easy for me, it might not be for many. Yet it is important for every individual to take a break for being healthy mentally and physically. Sometimes you do feel unmotivated or a little down and taking some time off for yourself is absolutely fine. Never ever feel guilty for not being productive everyday. We are humans with brains, hearts and hormons. Not machines! So take a chill pill once in a while.
    During this break I watched a few shows that made me think. Some of them I really liked, some of them made me angry but all of them were thought provoking. So in this post I’ll share some of my thoughts with you. Don’t worry there’s no spoiler ahead.

    Little Fires Everywhere (Hotstar): Let me start with the one which literally disturbed me. I’m a huge Reese Witherspoon fan and I really love shows or movies produced by her. ‘Big Little Lies’ is one of my all time favourite mini series. {But I’m not going to talk about it here because ‘Big Little Lies’ deserves a single post of its own.} I was naturally excited to watch another production from Reese who also is one of the leads. This is a story of two mothers, one named Elena Richardson  played by Reese is white, sorted with a steady job, lawyer husband, big house, four children, her life looks picture perfect. On the other hand Mia Warren played by Kerry Washington is another mother who is black, a struggling artist, a single mother who works three jobs to make ends meet. She also travels to avoid some consequences. In the whole series Mia tries to show that whatever Reese’s character Elena is doing, she is doing it to fulfill ‘the white man’s duty’. Mia calls Elena manipulative, shrewd and a thief. On the other hand Reese thinks Mia is reckless, fraud and a threat to her family. Both of them are right because both of them are doing things for the sake of their children/ family or society or for the sake of art. I found both of them guilty as well as the victims of the societal norms. One accepted it without thinking about her own happiness and the other challenged it. Both of them are fighters. Though the show tried to glorify only one. Watch the show if you are interested in the stories of womenhood, motherhood or stories told from female perspectives. I just shared my thoughts about this show. You may think otherwise. Still let me know your thoughts.

    The Siner (Netflix) : This is probably the darkest and the most mind numbing show I have watched recently. It’s about an aged detective who works in the police department and his unique way of solving crimes. He stays with the criminals to understand why they have committed those crimes. The show brilliantly shows how most criminals are themselves victims of various crimes. Yes, they have sinned but they are not evil people. The fun fact about this show is that it has 3 seasons, each with a different case but the time line is reversed. I mean the case of the third season actually happened at first and the case of the first season happed later. So viewers are actually going back to the past and also getting to understand the ditective in a better way. If you love psychological dramas then don’t skip this show. Plus Matt Bomer is in the first season!

    Switched (Netflix): This is a Japanese short series. It has only one season so you won’t have to invest a lot of time. Yes, this is about teenagers but the story and its message is beautiful and for everyone. “High schooler Ayumi’s perfect world evaporates when envious classmate Zenko somehow steals her body, her boyfriend and her life.” This description is way to simple for this season. Zenko actually committed suicide and she made Ayumi watch it. As you can see the story is quite twisted. Yet it shows the warmth between friends. People actually don’t love you or stay with you because of your looks or your status, people get attracted to your soul. And your soul can actually shine in any any appearance. This show talks about acceptance and the minimalistic approach of this Japanese series will leave you with love and happiness. You will feel grateful being you.

    Pinky Memsaab (Netflix): This film is a simple story of a girl from rural Pakistan and her journey from a house help in Dubai to becoming an independent woman. Actually it’s not only her journey but it’s a story about individual journies. All the main characters go through a phase of self realization in this movie. I really like watching Pakistani or Bangladeshi dramas. We are so similar in spite of having political troubles. I think anyone will enjoy this heart touching story.

    Indian Matchmaking (Netflix): Okay, may be you are flinching after reading the name. Well, I don’t like to criticize anything without watching or reading it! Everyone is talking about it, making memes of the show and I agree those are really funny. But why aren’t anyone saying how true the whole situation is! Arrange marriages are mostly done like this. I’m not criticizing it, I found the show to be more like a farce, it also critics its self. I really found the whole situation extremely funny. But again the arranged marriage scenario is quite similar. People do have endless lists of qualities for their futute partner but ultimately it is all about that ‘x’ factor. Even in arranged marriages people click with each other at fist and then they start the journey together. It’s another way of life. I saw a lot of people saying negative things about arranged marriages or the process of this kind of marriages. I want to ask one thing, do you really understand a person even after staying with him for years? When you stay with that person don’t you change things for each other. Everyone change to be better, to stay happily, it’s just that the change should be consensual. “I won’t compromise, he may..”- this kind of thoughts lead one nowhere good. If you think you are perfect then you must rethink it. Human beings are ever changing. One must change in order to grow. None of us are “perfect”. Perfection makes you stagnant.

    Okay, this post is getting way too long. Let me know your thoughts by commenting. This post turned out to be a review post. But please don’t think that taking a break is equal to Netflix and chill. I read and wrote and thought and felt a lot of things while in the break. These are just a few shows that I wanted to discuss with you. If you want a part 2, let me know.

    Bye for now. Will see you soon (hopefully!) till then Chilax!

    xoxo

    Mrs Raay

  • Self-Help Books that Actually Help

    If you ask me,”What’s your favorite? Fiction or non fiction?”
    I would choose fiction any day. Fiction takes me to another world. I stay engrossed in the stories, I feel connected with the characters. But what about us? What about our story? We are the main character in our lives. This is where Self-help books come handy.
    I have read quite a few Self-help books addressing different aspects of life. Some of them are avarage, don’t really help much. But there are some books which really help. At least they helped me. That’s why I thought of sharing my take on these self-help books.

    You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay : I absolutely love this book. I have read this multiple times. This book gives me strength. The author Louise Hay was a hot mess, she had a terrible life experience but she changed everything by changing her perspectives, her thoughts. She says in the book, “The only thing we are dealing with is a thought and a thought can be changed.”
    I absolutely agree with this idea. She also says that if someone says something about you, don’t take it as the ultimate truth. It’s just a perspective. We all grow up with some ideas about us and about the other things in our lives, not realising that some ideas are damaging for us. This book says what exactly we can do to heal different aspects of our lives. The tasks she asks the reader to do is simple but the effect is very powerful. She talks about excepting one’s self and asks the reader to forgive herself or himself. There’s an exercise called ‘the mirror exercise’ which has helped me immensely. I want everyone to read this book. It is very logical and unlike *The Secret*.

    Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy: If you are struggling with procrastination then pick up this book. It’s just a couple of pages. This book talks about 21 ways to improve one’s productivity. I was a lazy bum who was always procrastinating. I used to fear doing crucial and important works and did them at the last moment (only if I had to do them). My productivity was very low. Then I read these lines, “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” What the author means by this is, if you have two difficult works to be done, do the toughest one first. The other one will seem easier. I religiously follow this philosophy and always do the ugliest, toughest, biggest job first and after that all the others become easy-peasy. 

    Start Up Your Fashion Label by Aarthi Gunnupuri : If you are into fashion and want to have your own label or boutique, this is your book. The writer discusses all the steps that you need to follow to build a fashion brand. She has also shared many sources of useful information. It actually helped me create my own lifestyle label.

    Writing a Novel by Richard Skinner: This is one well written book probably because the writer himself is a novelist. He is also the director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy. This book is a little costly but I absolutely enjoyed reading it. Well I haven’t written a novel yet (it’s on my bucket list). Even if you don’t want to be a writer, read this because the discussions about fiction is so thought provoking!

    That’s all for now ladies. Let me know if you want me to do a part 2.

    Will see you soon. Till then, happy reading!

    xoxo
    Mrs Raay

  • “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands”

    Famously said by Elle Woods. Haven’t you watched Legally Blonde? Watch it if you haven’t. So, in the movie she was explaining to her lawyer colleagues that exercise gives endorphin which makes one happy and happy people just don’t kill anyone. Because they are happy! Okay killing someone is way too extreme, but aren’t we almost killing each other at home?

    You are thinking that I will suggest working out. Those crunches and push ups which I have started many a times to fail miserably. Then I read KKK’s interview (Kareena Kapoor Khan ofcourse). She was saying that one should include only those rituals that go with their lifestyle and vibe. Otherwise people are more likely to quit those routines. For instance, I cannot eat avocado everyday. It’s too expensive and not easily available. But getting endorphin is also important. So I started walking on the terrace and smoothly moved to dancing. Both of them keep the endorphin supply going for me. If you are not an exercise person like me, do other physical activities that is suitable for you.

    How not to kill someone: For some reading is peaceful and for some gardening or just talking to people, socializing. My other half loves social interactions, it keeps him balanced. On the other hand I prefer my me-time, making something by hand gives me immense joy and keeps me calm. So find what tames your wild. Give some time to that. Because of lockdown a lot of things are not possible to avail, such as traveling or going out to party. Other than these things there must be something that you like, gift that to yourself darling.
    Okay, I’m not going to drag this post further. Just remember that in this time of scarcity you are enough. You’ll just have to dive inside you.

    Good bye for now ladies. Will come soon with another less preachy post. Till then go get your endorphins and don’t kill anyone!

    XOXO
    Mrs. Raay

  • The Reason I am Afraid of Dreams

    I’m afraid of dreams, specially dreaming at night. And answering any question asked in a dream. I have come to this realization after an uncanny experience. I guess now you want to know what happened to me. Well, I have thought of sharing that experience with you.
    I was raised in a small town, the eldest child of two siblings. So technically I was the one who went to school before my sibling. My school was not far away from our house. It used to take me ten minutes on my second hand ladies bicycle. I had to wake up very early in the morning because our school only had morning sessions. Mother used to make breakfast and tiffin for me and my father used to pack that tiffin box in a red and white gingham handkerchief. I used to think about my tiffin while on the way to school. It was just like another school day when it happened. I was cheerfully paddling my cycle to school, looking around the trees and fields full of yellow mustard flowers. Every morning they looked different to me. It all depended on the weather. If it was sunny, the flowers and trees looked more cheerful. On a rainy or on a gloomy day everything used to look different.
    It was a sunny day when I was going to school. Pleasant breeze was combing my short hair and was playing with my skirt. I was whistling probably, or singing a new song that I had learnt in school. Suddenly I noticed a house, not very big, it looked rather shabby. I was very surprised to see that house near the field of mustard flowers. Some big trees were covering it with their shadows. “How could I miss this? I go by this path every week day!” I was thinking to myself. The house was very old but something was pulling me towards it. “Should I go and check the house? There is no gate. I won’t be late for school, I think.”
    I went towards the house as soon as I thought that. It was exceptionally quite near the house. No birds were singing. That pleasant breeze was also absent. I started having an unexplainable eerie feeling. “I should mind my own business.” I told myself, “I should go to school. It seems no one lives here.” I was about to ride my cycle but heard a sound of laughter of a child. “What on earth is a child doing here?” I had to go inside to investigate. The door was open. It was quite dark inside. It smelled really musty and I had to cover my nose.
    “Anyone here?” I shouted but no one answered me. I gathered some courage and took a few more steps. There was a staircase that lead me to the first floor. Thick dust covered everything. I had to be very cautious while climbing up the stairs. I heard the laugh again and then saw a child about five years of age standing near a window with broken glass. She was wearing a white night dress
    . “Hi, are you alone? Do you need help?” I asked the child.
    She was smiling at me. She did not look scared or lost. She just casually asked me a question, “Sumi, do you want to stay here? Or do you want to wake up?”
    I was totally shocked to hear that. How did she know my name? Chill ran down my spine. She repeated her question again in an angelic voice, “Sumi, do you want to stay here or do you want to wake up?”
    Finally I managed to reply, “I want to wake up.” And I woke up.
    I woke up in my wet bed. I was frantically sweating and gasping to breath. I never saw that dream again in my life but it still haunts me.
    What if I had answered otherwise? Would I be still stuck in that house?
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    Got you!! Well I did not make up this story. I heard it somewhere many years ago. Thought of sharing this spooky story with you all.

    I’ll be back with more women centric content soon. I promise.

    Till then, read spooky stories or watch horror movies just to realise reality is more horrifying now a days.

    Stay safe.

    XOXO

    Mrs. Raay