Happy International Podcast Day! Womaning in India – Mahima Vashisht

Today on International Podcast day, I would like to bring to your attention this amazingly amazing podcast that I am currently listening to called, “Womaning in India with Mahima Vashisht” on the Seen and the Unseen with Amit Verma.

What this podcast is about is kind of clear in the title, it’s about what a woman experiences to be a woman in India. It is a true delight to listen to Mahima Vashisht, who is an exceptionally intelligent person, speak about her life and about the issues that women face throughout their lives and let them slide. It’s about how this world that we live in is designed by men for men. Don’t worry this podcast is not just a serious long episode, it is funny, interesting, inspiring and eye-opening that both men and women SHOULD listen to! I’ve become a super-duper fan of Mahima and I’m sure you’ll become one too if you listen to @mahimavashisht.

Don’t miss out on this one: Womaning in India

PS: Thanks Pal and Ash for sharing this with me and thanks Labhe for telling me that today is international podcast day 🙂

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

#Book Review
Fiction| Diaspora| Family| Culture
Rating: 4.5

Sometimes I feel like the book chooses me rather me choosing it and The Namesake is one such book that precisely resonates with my current state of mind. A diasporic feeling of not belonging anywhere, a feeling of an identity crisis, and confused decisions. Jhumpa Lahiri in the Namesake perfectly captures the immigrant experiences and emotional turmoil of leaving behind your motherland, your families, and childhood friends to start a new life in a new country. 

This big move is a process of experiencing happy times, difficult times, and questionable times, which often involve uncertainty and fear. And of course, there’s always hope of things getting better as time passes. But there is never a time when we stop wondering “Was this the right decision?” 

Despite these numerous feelings, Ashima in the Namesake tries her best to adopt to the American lifestyle with her husband Ashoke. The Ganguli family makes new friends (Indian friends), spends weekends together and builds new bonds. They give birth to two kids, Gogol and Sonia. Ashima terribly misses her family when their son is born. She waits for years for her grandmother to send her a telegram naming the baby as it has been their age-old tradition. But when there’s no response, Gogol becomes the official name of their son.

The story progresses onto the lives of the kids and the vacations that they take – which is most of the time to India for festivals, for the loss of loved ones, for spending time with the family, or to stay connected to the familiarity of their culture and traditions. Gogol and Sonia find all of it hard to relate. But as they grow old, Gogol realizes the hardships that their parents had to face upon uprooting their life and leaving behind their family which he thinks is something that is impossible for him to do.

The Namesake is not story with a beginning or an end, it is an experience. A family that I got to know in a few pages of this book. I can see myself getting to know the Ganguli family if I ever lived on Pemberton Road, going through the same feelings of loneliness and trying to stay together and creating a mini India just to feel at home. Just to have that sense of familiarity and comfort. As I complete reading this book on my return flight from India to Pennsylvania, I fondly close the book and my eyes with a warm feeling, processing the emotions, and remembering all the times that I spent with my loved ones. I take these memories along to a new country that I now call my home. 

PS: The Namesake is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It’s very well-written and has an intriguing story that immigrants as well as non-immigrants will certainly find interesting to read. A definite must-read, I highly recommend!

What an uncomfortable feeling this is,
Restlessness, brain fog, uncertainty.
What kind of a choice is this that I need to make.
What is this guilt?
Should I find happiness in struggle?
Or live an oblivious and blissful life?
Why is it always so hard and painful to leave?

Today again I think of you in trying times and today again you did not fail to make me smile. 💜

If I had to define love, I would give it your name and then call myself a hopeless romantic. 💜

Emotional Strength Explained By Alicia Pozsony

#BookReview

Self-help| Self-improvement| Life| Emotions

A quick, powerful, and effective self-improvement workbook – aimed to help us build emotional strength by practicing a healthy lifestyle.

Emotional Strength Explained by author, Alicia Pozson, is a quick, powerful, and effective workbook that is aimed to help us build emotional strength. In life, we often have ups and downs and we face challenging circumstances that can affect us in many ways. This book teaches us to acknowledge those emotions and weaknesses, accept them, and work towards becoming emotionally strong. 

Emotional Strength Explained is more than just a self-help or self-improvement guide, it is a workbook with a targeted approach. It asks you questions that we might often ignore, they are simple questions but important ones that we need to prioritize. It encourages you to self-analyze and write down your vulnerable emotions and deepest thoughts so you can face your fears. Healing always begins with self-awareness, self-talk, and self-love. It is a slow and step-by-step approach towards building emotional strength. The practice worksheets in this book will help you track your progress so you can emerge as a strong and confident person.

It is a wonderful book that shares the secrets of success and inner peace. It teaches you to find solutions, to face criticism or judgment, and self-reflect on your thoughts. The best part about this workbook is that you can always come back to it every year or whenever you find it necessary to continue making this journey stronger.

Once you have the strength and bravery to be open to see things you may not want to see, you are ready for the next thing.

– Alicia Pozsony

Now, stay still my restless mind
You’re wandering into the wild
Stay still my racing heart
You’re falling deep into those eyes
Stay still my pursed lips
You’re tracing poetry along his smile
My trembling fingers reach out to him
He walks away oblivious of my yearning desires.