Nostalgia – When the waves struck!

After a long time, probably after a whole year, visiting the Cherai beach was an exciting experience. During my childhood, I can’t imagine one year without visiting the beach with my cousins or other relatives. My father would proudly call it the “Parur Beach”. That’s one place he would happily take every relative visiting us on a weekend or during the evenings in the car. The Car is another story altogether!!!

So the beach is where we went and I have a lot of memories related to that place. Cramping into the grey Ambassador car is all it would usually start with! Appa would invariably offer to take the guests to the Parur Beach which would have them all totally surprised as they cannot imagine a small town like Parur having a beach bearing its name! But Appa would say it’s Parur City and Parur beach is the best ever. Indeed, I would agree to the beach part but never on the ‘City’ part 😀

So we would all deck up on over the other’s lap, at least three layers squeezed into the car. It would be anywhere between 8 of my cousins, 3 of my mom’s cousins who stayed nearby and 6 to 7 elders all inside the car at one go! Appa would be driving the car as no one else knew how to drive this particular version of Ambassador. It would have been at least 20+ years old 20 years back 😀

On the way, he would invariably point at the huge campus of century old Boy’s High School that came first on the way, the Samooham High School that came next and then his office route which we don’t have to take! Then over a bridge, we would see a lot of Chinese fishing nets which definitely look enticing. The route is beautiful with paddy fields (back then!), backwaters and trees that come on both sides of the straight road.

Now the tricky part is that we all had to get down just before we reached the beach as there was an old wooden bridge that we had to cross. I still can’t figure out whether it was because the bridge was wooden and old, or because the car was old and heavy or because the old car with so many people didn’t have the pickup to climb the creaking bridge and cross it that my dad would ensure we all get down first. He would take his car across that small bridge and let us all in once he was on the other side of the bridge! 😀 We could as well walk to the beach which was another 2-minutes from there.

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This beach was never crowded. We would enjoy the waves, the breeze, the walks, the sunset and some more waves before we would return. I remember, when we were kids, we used to pick shells from the ones piled up on the shore. We would write names and wait for the waves to see which one gets erased first. We would stand in one place till our feet would be totally immersed in sand. We would make small hills out of sand near the shore and wait for the waves to destroy them. So many beautiful memories flood my mind!!! And I miss those beautiful days 😦

If at all the beach would have some crowd, Appa would take us to the interior areas where no one else would reach. We sometimes go to Munambam Pulimuttu or the end of the Cherai Beach where concrete boulders and stones have been piled into the sea. On the other side of the sea, we can see the Azhikode Beach. He would take us to his friends’ Ice Factory where it would be stinking badly and freezing cold! That’s where I have seen how ice blocks are made and how small octopus are cleaned and packed. Being strict vegetarians, the place would be stinking strongly of fish – fresh and frozen! But still, it was a part of the holidays and our Cherai Beach trip.

On our way back, we would invariably drop in at a small yet popular ice-cream parlor in the town. For the next one hour, it would be totally ours!!! We would order all sorts of ice creams and eat until we got satisfied. 😀 That’s tought right, children satisfied of ice-creams? But within an hour, we would be exhausted and then head home where my grandma would eagerly be waiting to scold the elders for having gotten late!!! Plus no one would be allowed in without washing the sands off our feet and dresses.

Our dresses would be ready hung in the bathrooms outside where we had to get a bath after which only we would be allowed inside the house! 😀 What memories they were!!! They are still so fresh because I would be the lucky one to visit the beach everytime someone visits us and that would happen every other month!

Today when I went, it had changed a lot! There were no stones where we would stand and enjoy the breeze and sunset while our wet dresses would dry up a little! It was so crowded that there was nowhere to enjoy some privacy with our family group. But the beach is still enticing! It was high tide and the waves were a little threatening. Or were they excited to see us cousins back together there once again, with our spouses and children? One wave even tried to pull my son along but my husband didn’t let his charming boy away as he caught him by the collar!

Tourists enjoying evening on the Cherai Beach

This time we were a dozen and took 2 cars to reach the beach. The kids were too excited to get drenched. I guess the waves are the most enticing part of the beach for all generations. There was no place where they could play with the sand though! And I didn’t see them missing that part of the Beach fun which we used to enjoy the most.

I missed the sunset too! It was way too crowded so there was no place for us to sit and enjoy it! And I missed my Grandma who would have made sure we all washed away the sand and took bath before we got into the house. I sneaked in along with my son and got him inside the bathroom upstairs before anyone could occupy it! He was totally drenched in sea water and sand!!! 😀

So many waves of my childhood memories are flooding in so fast! I had to share it and let it overflow.

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A House-full of Nostalgia

I thought I was beyond nostalgia! I thought I wouldn’t miss my old home where I was brought up. The house where my father and his siblings grew up. The house that safely keeps those memories of being full of people, sometimes 50-60 of them staying back for days together! 

I thought I was fine being away and wouldn’t miss it! I was totally wrong and i realised it just when i came back to stay here couple of days before. Every step inside the house reminded me of so many years spent there! I kept staring out of my window on my room and memories were flooding! 
I know it’s not the same anymore. It’s been 14 years since I got married and moved out. Everything changed rapidly after that! The house where so many used to come to relive their childhood, where they have their fondest of memories, which could accommodate all those who loved it, that’s where I always stayed. I did not realise that my 20 years of life memories belong here.

We have all moved on, but this place brings back so many beautiful times we have spent here. When all our cousins – first, second, third and more of them -would enjoy the company and keep playing and fighting all day through. There were no gadgets back then and TV were controlled by the elders and not the remote! In fact, the remote came much later 😊

I used to look forward to vacations or functions to meet everyone and enjoy the company. Otherwise, these audio cassettes were my best companions!

Those were times when every inch of the room would be occupied with people of all ages. I have always been a late sleepers and have ended up with just a sheet to sleep on at some corner of the house when it was fully packed with relatives! Who cared back then! Sleep was just a way to spend some time till it was morning and everyone woke up! 

We wouldn’t know where one person was in the house till we bump on them! With 2 more relatives’ houses nearby, we wouldn’t even know where the person is 😁. Yet when it was coffee, dinner or lunch time, we would have the full attendance here. 

It feels like those days once again, after 15 long years! All three houses are getting filled again. People have grown older, devices have creeped in. We need our own spaces now. Conveniences have become more important than relations! But then, everyone is coming back once again, to relive their childhood days, the good old days they long lost. 

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No matter what you do, You have to do this!


Stress, no time, chaotic life, work, tension!!! That’s probably what we are all familiar with on a daily basis. It’s a highly competitive world and everyone is running out of time finishing their to-do list before time runs out. Sometimes I feel people are like the bunny in Alice in Wonderland! No time at all, always running!!! And we found it funny right? Well, when we behave similarly that’s how others also feel! 
I can share one amazing secret I found a couple of years back that helped me hold back myself and get same. I am a teacher freak, especially the internet and mobile. You will mostly find me immersed​ in Mobile screen or my desktop screen 90% of the time. I enjoy it the most and I work online. Being a freelance writer I spend a lot of time reading and writing various contents on the internet. So you actually cannot blame me as I am probably on the job most of the time online. But it’s not that I spend all the time online seriously looking for information.

I binge read all sort of contents that come online, especially on fb 😂. I may not read them all in-depth though! It’s very satisfying to see someone else make a yummy-looking cake in a 3 minute video! Not that I bake these day, but I would love to do it some day. So I binge watch all sorts of recipe videos shared on the Facebook wall. It helps me relax a lot. I also try to reach out to women of many groups who are looking out for information i can share. It is seriously satisfying. Plus there’s a lot of information out there which helps me grow my knowledge. So it’s a two-way gain.

More than that, i have about 15 WhatsApp groups that keep buzzing day in and day out. Though i keep them switched off when I have tight schedules I find them the most soothing to my mind. I have cousins, school friends, college friends, girl groups, family groups, ex-colleague groups and some more women groups that keep my WhatsApp buzzing all through the day and even at night. 

For me every group helps me in one way or the other. I have people who know me since I started schooling. I have family members available anytime. I have ex-colleagues ready to help and share interesting information anytime of the day. I connect​ with people from all parts of the world almost every day. Instead of watching TV I spend the time on reading the missed messages and respond. There are people reaching out to me for ideas on freelancing, writing and blogging. Though i am not a pro in any of these, i share me experience with them. 

The most soothing group has been our school group! Here I connect with my school friends. Omg it’s the best thing that has happened on WhatsApp! We fight, we tease, we sooth, we share information and crack jokes with no apprehensions. That’s one group where I can find someone to talk to any time during the day and find some solution or at least feel relaxed. It’s been 24 years since we left school (those days we had only till 10th in schools) but we can still strike a conversation in that same level childishly without having to bother how the other would feel. There’s no scope for such issues there! We meet up once in a while whenever possible. Though most of us are meeting each other after a gap of 20+ years, this group has deleted those years of gap astonishingly. 

Love you WhatsApp for always bringing a smile just when I miss it. Love you my dear friends for being there always. 

So if you are stressed out, ping an old friend and chat up for a while. The older your friendship, the better you will feel! 

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The Restarter’s Maladies and How to overcome them!

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Are you a woman who has taken a career break to take care of family or personal matters? Did you leave your job for higher studies or due to relocation? Are you trying to get back to work? If you are, find out how you can help yourself restart your career.

Taking a career break and getting back to work can be extremely strenuous physically and emotionally. Women face this situation quite often, especially in the Indian subcontinent where they form the base of a sound family. There’s no arguing that women find themselves in an emotionally tiring situation when they have to choose between their family and career owing to various circumstances. More than often, working women tend to take a break for their children or family more than the men in the same family. It is very rare to find men compromising on their career to manage the family affairs. Even if they do, they are not treated fairly by the family and the society which discourage them from taking such career decisions. Indian societies expect the women to compromise on their career to take care of the family and it falls upon their career aspirations heavily. How do we women combat this situation? Discover that with JobsForHer!

Career Compromise

Indian Women, till recently, have compromised a lot on their career over the family matters to make sure they are able to meet the expectations of their loved ones. Even if they try to venture back into their desired career, there are many difficult hurdles that they have to cross because of the career break. The very first issue that everyone faces is to find an acceptable answer to the career break. Now that more women are holding decision-making posts in many companies, they definitely understand the pressure under which these talented women decide to compromise their career over their family. But even then, the next hurdle comes by way of company policies that are not as friendly towards candidates who have taken a career break. They are considered for junior posts even when they are as qualified and experienced to hold a senior post in the organization. This further demoralizes these brilliant women who are forced to compromise either on the job position or to take up some other line of work they are not as comfortable with.

How can JobsForHer help?

JobsForHer.com brings in a great platform where they try to help these super-talented women find the perfect job match through their venture. They bring in a network of talented women restarters who are either looking for a job or willing to volunteer for the cause along with a network of organizations who are willing to provide an opportunity to these women. JobsForHer.com approaches top-notch organizations in different parts of India to make them understand the rich resource bank they have of talented and experienced women who are all set to restart their career. These companies register their resource requirements over the platform provided by JobsForHer.com which is made available to the entire network of resources registered with them as job seekers or ambassadors. JobsForHer.com takes the effort to educate the necessity of getting back to work by conducting ambassador meets and various events across the various cities in India. They also provide important information about the various career events and vacancies added to their network periodically that informs the women seeking such opportunities within the network.

JobsForHer.com is a great platform providing a live and resourceful network of women restarters and volunteers who help each other to inspire and achieve their career goals once again, that too gracefully. It is a great platform for women to network with like-minded and capable women who can help each other grow professionally. Join this amazing network as a job aspirant, ambassador or a volunteer with JobsForHer.com!

What’s available in JobsForHer.com?

Employers can register their firm and list the available opportunities with them they are willing to offer the women restarters. The women restarters can gracefully seek the opportunities matching their skills and conditions among the listed organizations. The requirement list is growing fast just as the ambassador network is. Full-time, Part-time, Work from Home, Restarter Internships, and Freelancing opportunities are available with various organizations registered on the website. They are coming out with learning programs to help these women bridge the gaps in technology too based on the requirements.

How can you be a part of JobsForHer.com?

Register as a restarter job seeker to search for jobs that match your skills. Register as an ambassador to showcase your story to inspire more women to get back to a career with poise. Register as an Employer to leverage from the amazing resource pool of qualified and experienced women who can add value to your organization.

What are the takeaways at JobsForHer.com?

Whether you are a returning techie or a non-techie trying to crack your way back into the job market, JobsForHer can guide you through the process helping you cross most of the hurdles. The team definitely strives to help every Ambassador by reaching out personally and helping them restart their career.

1. You can be a part of an immensely growing network of amazingly talented women restarters. Everyone has a different story, but they all sail in the same boat – Career Restart!

2. New Job Opportunities listed in the group and site almost on an everyday basis.

3. Motivating Mentors who can help you reach your goal successfully

4. Online and offline interactive sessions with industry experts by way of Roadshows, Mentor Meets, Ambassador Meets, Webinars, Job Events etc. Listen to more women achievers to inspire yourself.

5. Insights into how you can successfully restart your career by HRs, fellow Ambassadors, Mentors and Career consultants.

6. Tips on resume writing, preparing and facing interviews, skill development and more shared frequently

7. Get an opportunity for internship at prestigious companies

8. JobsForHer partners with big companies such as Accenture, Novartis, Microsoft, Star India etc. to provide job opportunities for the registered Women Restarts

Believe me, just being a part of this group is amazingly inspiring and boosts your confidence immensely.

So what are you waiting for? Join this inspiring group of Women Changemakers to get back to work at the earliest.

I am all praise for the JobsForHer team because I have been an Ambassador since October 2016 and have seen it work wonders for so many of them. The group has many like-minded women who are always willing to help one another in whichever way possible.

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I am a Woman – I’m in every element of life!

I carry you inside my womb, feeding and protecting you

I endure the biggest pain, to bring you out to the world

I feed you my blood, carry you in my arms

I give you my warmth to keep you alive

I am a Mother, ever enduring like the Earth.

I am your playmate, your best ever friend

I become your partner in crime, with motherly care

I am your sister and friend, though I care like a mother

I am like Water; I nurture from inside and cleanse from outside

I am Fire when I take the form of wife

I share the warmth of love and care

I burn inside when you don’t bother or dare!

I can even be Kannaki, who burnt the city for her dear

When I am your daughter, I flow like the Air

Enjoying the care, and nurture you shower

I have no form or colour as yet!

Maybe, I am too immature to take a form

But I am free to flow where the gust takes me.

I am a Woman & Sky is my limit

I create, I nurture, I love, I enjoy!

I know I can endure; though I can fly away to enjoy

I know I can nurture; though I have the power to destroy

I love with all my might; though I never bother about self

I enjoy those moments when I know I have made you rejoice!

I am a Woman & I can be the epitome of love

I can be a ruthless killer, should anyone come in my way

I can play subtle, I can go extreme

I just take my stance based on what you ask of me.

I can be gentle as a breeze and rage as the storm

I can be beautiful as the stream or destroy as torrent

I can glow to give you warmth or burn you to ashes

I can make you sprout with life or bury down under!

Tease me and I become the lioness; full of pride, poise and power

Love me and I remain your friend; soft, subtle and gentle.

I am a Woman – Beware and Handle with Care!

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How to sit home and earn 50k per month easily?

I do not intend to mislead you with some easy-money-making gig. So if you are here because of the title, you may skip reading! But if you have been fooled enough by such gigs and wonder how people could even think it is possible to just sit home and make 50k when you work so hard, read on:

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I don’t want to deny the fact that there are people who do that, earn a handsome pay every month without much effort. But I can guarantee that those very same people would have struggled for years and even decades before they found that magic potion. And that magic potion is definitely nothing other than smart efforts. So what makes this smart effort? Where, how and when can you learn it? Well, you have to drop the L and Earn it!

I can tell you this for sure because I have been working hard and know many such people who have been working hard too before they were able to sit back and relax to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. But the definitions have changed. People’s attitudes have changed and people who work hard these days will probably remain working hard. Now everything’s turning smart. You have smartphones, smart TVs and smart watches. This generation has probably been the smartest so far and never heard the word – hard-work. That’s because one need to adapt to the changing situations and one way to do that is to adopt smart-working rather than hard-work.

Follow the leaders?

So how do you work smartly and yet be able to reap the fruits of hard-work? Be aware of what’s happening around you; be aware of how people are succeeding. Do not blindly follow them, but do follow how they achieved and became successful. I can bet there will be many sleepless nights and many more failed ventures in their past. They all ride past these failures with double the efforts and determination and taste the success. While most of them want to let others understand that it is quite possible to succeed, what they rarely glorify are the efforts and failures that have helped them emerge successfully.

Dr A P J Kalam once said: “If four things are followed – having a great aim, acquiring knowledge, hard work, and perseverance – then anything can be achieved.” Just as iron has to go through immense heat and beating to get strong, successful people also go through very hard times and beatings that make them strong. People fail too! The difference between those who succeed and fail is the determination and positivity the successful ones hold on to. I can bet you even those immensely successful fail after they taste the success. But then, if they manage to emerge successfully again, they are the true warriors. They have done it all and experienced it all!

Smart work, not Hard work pays!

So coming back to the point of working smart – how essentially do you work smartly? This is the billion dollar question to be answered! That’s something to be understood by following the paths taken by the successful ones. More than comprehending how they succeeded, what we need to know are the hurdles they had to cross and how they managed to cross them. That’s the key to preparing your own journey to success. That definitely does not mean that your journey will be a cakewalk. If you manage it, you have worked smart!

Be Passionate & Professional

Another important aspect to consider is your passion. I am a content writer and I have learned how to turn my passion into my profession. I work from home and am able to earn a decent pay every month because I work passionately. Most of the people looking to work from home get into writing thinking they can easily make money by simply writing about things! This has become a huge threat to the more serious WFH freelancers. These newbies realise the challenges involved only when the client starts rejecting their work one after the other. It not only reduces their confidence but also the confidence of employers who are willing to offer flexible jobs. I guess many employers who are reading me would agree that they got a raw deal trying to help out someone with a flexible job which made them refute their decision.

Don’t just give it a try!

I have heard many people say ‘Let me give it a try if it pays well!’ Unless you are focused, you will get nowhere! So there’s no point giving it a try just for the sake of pay. I agree that pay definitely is one of the major aspects that inspire people to try jobs. But if you cannot relate yourself to doing something in any way, reconsider spending your time and effort on it! If you are determined that you can give it a serious try and not on a casual mind, don’t bother about what others say.

Your takeaways from this article are:

  1. There’s no shortcut to success. If someone tries to sell you one, beware!
  2. Whether you sit home or work from the office, rule no. 1 applies! In fact, if you plan to sit home and be successful, you may find this article useful!
  3. Even if you find success, working from home, be ready to face a failure as freelancing can be extremely challenging! This article will give you some insights into freelancing.
  4. Find passion in whatever you do. Or else, do something you are passionate about. If you can’t, you may not succeed.
  5. Money is not everything! Consider what you compromise against what you earn and decide the best.

As Nicolas Cole, one of the Top 25 Market Influencers listed in Forbes once tweeted “Every up has its down. Every win has its loss. Every step has its moment of contemplation. Enjoy it all.” Yes, while holding on to these lines, never let anyone fool you with such gigs as sitting home and earning 50k per month easily! That’s only a fad.

Image Courtesy: https://www.brainyquote.com/

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Why is it better to be Spiritual than Religious?

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If you ask me, I will never stash my religion on my child! I will let the child explore it himself/herself. Let them come up with questions and answer them neutrally.

I was lucky enough to be brought up without having to oblige to all the rituals followed at home. My father, in particular, was never interested in the rituals performed by my grandfather as an orthodox Brahmin. My grandfather was no priest, but because of his personal interest in the Vedas and Shlokas he used to buy those books from anywhere in the world and read them. I have seen him discuss in detail with the priests who have professionally learned these Vedas and Shlokas and were impressed by my grandfather’s in-depth knowledge. But my father was never interested in those and hence never forced me to believe in those or to follow those rituals. All he wanted me to do was to study well and get settled in a job to be independent. I respect him for that.

My grandmother used to tell that work is worship and for women like her, who had a large family to look after, home itself is the temple. So I have basically never seen her visit a temple unless it was some auspicious day. My grandpa, though an expert in Vedas, never visited any temple other than the one he managed, right opposite our home. But then, I have seen him spend more time managing the matters of the temple than worshipping or praying there!

Thanks to the liberal approach I was granted, I also came to a conclusion that work is worship. God, to me, was a friend or a guide rather than someone to be scared of or afraid of. Probably because I trust the concept much more than many others around me, I never felt the need to be scared. Why should I be scared when I was totally following the principles laid in front of me? Every religion says ‘You are God’, so why get scared of another one? That was my principle, which ultimately helped me realize that God is One and Same. Every God wants you to love one another. None of the Gods created the religion or caste which they symbolize now! Jesus was not a Christian! Krishna was not a Hindu! So I realized that religion was made to group people for various reasons and mythology was probably an exaggerated version of some extraordinary people’s lives who actually lived once upon a time!

But then, until one point, there were a lot of confusions going on in my mind. I was made to believe a lot of things which I had to undo. I grew up following certain methods, some of which did not make any sense! I always sought answers for anything stashed upon me and that made me a ‘rebel’ in the family. I always seemed to be asking Why, Why Not, What If Not That Way and similar questions that were annoying those who had the same questions in their mind but never bothered or had the courage to ask!

Because of my liberal thoughts, I ultimately got married to my college classmate who belonged to another caste and all I knew was that he was brought up in different ways! Nothing else made any difference. To me what made more sense was that he was quite attached to his parents and brother, and I knew he would love his family too. Soon after my son was born, I lost my father and we moved to the city along with my mother.

Now began the fun! My mother strongly believed in all the rituals and beliefs she had been following all the while and was trying to imprint some of it on my son. I initially thought, let it happen. Let him gain some insight which I probably missed. But anyway I was happy with my ways of belief and never let anyone play with those. As my son grew up, he started asking similar questions which made her also change in certain minute ways.

Whenever he would come to me or my husband with some doubt on religious matters, all we tell him is to be a human. We tell him there’s nothing great belonging to any religion. Being a Hindu does not make him any bigger or smaller than anyone else who belongs to another religion. That’s one reason we never wanted him to discuss religion in the first place. But then, the real test was when his friends were talking things that never made sense to him. I remember him crying once because one of his friends told him that ‘his’ people (my son’s people, or we) believed in monkey gods and we were like monkeys. This came from a 5-year old to a 4-year old! I only despise the kid’s parents who instill such thoughts on the young mind. We told our son that according to us, religion does not make any sense. We are all humans. Monkeys are animals. So are dogs, cows, elephants, and rats. We told him that it is important to respect every living thing on the earth including plants and trees and hence they were made into Gods so as to protect them. This made more sense to my son who now was proud that we are doing something good and what the other kid told no longer made any sense. Remember, it is more important to be a good human was the point to project and not that the other person is wrong!

It did not end there, though. Every other day, he would come back telling that one of his school friends asked whether he was a Hindu or something else. All my son knew was that he was a Human and he never felt ashamed to tell that. But he managed to understand that we went to temples as my mother would make it a point to visit the temple almost every day and would expect us to go with her on auspicious days. To keep her happy, we would oblige. Though he often wondered why kids asked such a question, we kept reassuring him that no matter what people told him, it was more important to be a Good Human Being.

We would take him to churches too when we were travelling. We have visited a Buddhist monastery along with him! I believe this keeps his mind open towards spirituality. Yes, I believe morality is something we need to instill in the children, but it is not right to teach them that you belong to this religion and this is your only God! It was shocking to hear from a 5-year-old when he told my son that your God is bad, only my God is right! Now, where are we leading our children?

I am totally against teaching small children any religion. Teach them all the mythological stories – of Krishna, Jesus, and Allah. Teach them that there are people who believe in Gods with different names. But they will also realize that all these Gods ultimately vouch for peace and love only. Teach them ethics, teach them to be good, teach them to love each other. More importantly, teach them not to hate each other! Teach them to be positive! Teach them to adopt the goodness of what all religions teach.

Remember, it’s your interpretation of a religion that can make them human or fanatic!

Let them explore more about the God they want to love when they are mature enough. Let it come naturally. That’s one of the things I loved about the book and the movie Life of Pi. I really loved the character of Pi’s father in the Life of Pi. Don’t try to mold them to live like a Hindu, Christian or a Muslim from a young age! Let them adopt it themselves. It will last longer and stronger with them when they understand what they are getting into and happily adopt the concept.

It is humanity that will help your child grow and succeed and not any religion. Let at least the next generation not fall prey to such baseless thoughts that divide people and turn them against each other. It is more important to be an ethical human than to be a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian.

Image Courtesy: http://www.pixabay.com

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