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In Conversation With Anamika Agnihotri!

Blogging is a different world altogether. You meet people, make new friends, encourage and motivate each other’s writings.

One day, while reading, I thought about knowing more about my fellow bloggers. I have not met them in person and this led to the curiosity to know them, about their lives and learn from their blogging journey.

And this inspired me to host posts from the bloggers I follow. I asked some of the bloggers and was extremely happy to hear positive responses.

Starting with the first in this series, I have Anamika Agnihotri, who writes at thebespectacledmother.com. She shares her parenting experiences in raising her 5-year-old son telling the funniest anecdotes as well as sharing some hands-on tips. She says, “Parenting is a tiring job and at times can tend to become daunting too. Over this period of time, I have learnt some and am still exploring the fine nuisances of it.”

Here is a sneak peek of the conversation:-

1-   Please tell something about yourself and your blog?

I am Anamika Agnihotri, a stay-at-home mother of a 5 year old boy. I am an introvert, an optimist, a spiritual seeker and an eternal learner.  After completing my MBA in 2004, I worked in the corporate sector for 9 years before giving up my job in 2013 when, as a family of 3, we shifted to UK owing to husband’s work. At present, I live in Bangalore. I am in love with my current role as a parent. This role ensures I get daily doses of lifelong wisdom from none other than my son. Ironic but true since this should have been the other way round. Apart from becoming wiser with each passing day, I am invested in raising a reader and I myself love all things books, reading and writing.

I blog at thebespectacledmother.com where I write about my everyday stories, book based discussions with my son and his never ending questions.

2- What inspired you to start your blog?

I always wanted to write. I had these (half-baked) stories boiling in my mind which never made sense to me but prodded me to write anyway. So I filled my diaries. I poured my passion into crafting the best work e-mails in office. I  wrote a skit for an office play for introducing my team in Six Sigma Presentation (which was great on paper but not at all good in execution).

When I began as a full time stay-at-home mother, I was a clueless, bewildered soul who struggled with parenting. I was losing my hair and my sleep. I was also battling with mild depression at that time. However, with passing time things started perking up. With some free time at my hand and also for deviating my mind, I started my blog to write about my struggles, my mental state and my occasional break-throughs with respect to raising my son..

3- How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?

I have kept blogging pressure free for me since I did not want it to become yet another chore amongst a sea of other chores. I only blog once a week. I am committed to blogging on Mondays with my Monday Musings post. On rest of the weekdays, I devote 2 hours each day to reading, sharing and commenting on other blogs.

4- How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?

My motivation comes from the heartfelt interactions with other bloggers on my blog as well as theirs. I know who my audience is as a lot of readers are regular visitors who come to read my posts every week.  Also, because of the fact that my blog is an extension of me, I do not have to make extra efforts to keep it going.

5- What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?

When not working on the blog, I run errands, take care of the house and check social media sites often in the midst of everything. I spend a lot of time reading whether it is reading my books or reading to my son or hearing him read out aloud to me. I also run a weekly book club on Friday evenings where I hold storytelling sessions for 4-6 year olds.

6- Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and tell why they are your favorites?

My most favourite blogger is Corinne Rodrigues. She writes about self-acceptance, compassion and gratitude. There is so much to learn from her and her blogs. She was the first person in the blogging world who generated confidence in me with respect to who I am, as a blogger and also as an individual.

The other bloggers whom I love to read and connect with are Shailaja Vishwanath, Tulika Singh, Nabanita Dhar, Esha Mookerjee-Dutta, Parul Thakur. The connection is the reason which makes them my favourites.

7- What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?

The love and acceptance that I received through blogging has made big differences in my life. The biggest difference is I am, at present, most comfortable in my skin.

8- What has been the one thing (blog post, project, etc) that you have been really proud of?

I have been especially proud of my article which got published in the June 2016 edition of the ‘Complete Wellbeing’ magazine. The article was about gifting the life-long love for books to the children, a topic closest to my heart.

9- If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?

I would suggest –

  1. Be authentic.
  2. Write from your heart.
  3. Invest in making genuine connections with fellow bloggers.

10-  Tell about your favorite: Book, Quote, Author, Song and Movie.

My favourite books are actually 2 –

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho – This book did the same for me which Alchemist did for rest of the world. It got me in touch with my dreams, ambitions and belief in self. It moved me spiritually.

Zahir by Paulo Coelho – Zahir came to me when I was on the verge of making the life altercating decision to quit my job. This book spoke to me, almost jolting me to begin writing and honour my long time aspiration.

Quote ‘Control what is in your control‘. This is the quote from the Andre Agassi’s autobiography. I practically live my life on the basis of this quote.

Author – The most recent favourite one is Khalid Hosseni. I read all 3 of his works back to back a few months ago. What a story teller he is? I feel I know Afghanistan very well – the life and pain of Afghan people, the plight of Afghan women, Afghanistan from the olden times to the post-Taliban era. I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days after I read ‘A Thousand splendid Sons’. It was haunting.

Favourite movie – I hardly watch movies but there is one movie which I must have watched numerous times and it is English Vinglish‘. There is a considerable resemblance between the main protaganist played by Sridevi and my mother in the treatment she received from the rest of the family, gaslighting being the new term for it. Sridevi’s character was inspiring in her fight to overcome her shortcoming  of not knowing English. This movie reminds me that a housewife’s worth is not dependent on how her family sees her or treats her but how much she values herself. The world puts down those who fail to value themselves.

Song I do not have a favourite song.

I am really grateful to Anamika for taking out time for this interview. If you want to know more about Anamika, you can follow her at Facebook or Twitter.


Keep reading my space for the next guest post. You can write to me at throughthewindowoflife@gmail.com and I will be happy to host your post on some interesting topic.

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Colourful Notions- The Roadtrippers

Author: Mohit Goyal                      colorful-notions
No. of Pages: 200
Price: 123
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Language: English
Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

Would you give up your high-paying job and comfortable personal life to drive ten thousand kilometers across India? Just for fun!

Three twenty-somethings dare to do just that! While the two guys take turns to drive, the girl gives voice-over as they record their entire journey on a Handycam.

Ab, Sasha and Unnati are ordinary youngsters, rendered special by the feat they accomplish. As they recount their adventures, I crave to live their journey all the more. They look at each other with a glint in their eyes, as if refurbishing those memories, as they narrate their spooky time at Bhangarh Fort, strange escapades at Wagah Border and Sundarbans, car breakdowns, wild animals, near-death experiences and highway robbers! It’s nothing less than crazy.

Colorful Notions is a journey of three young hearts on the Indian terrain and into the inner recesses of their souls, giving a new perspective to relationships, love and life.

Review:

Three friends decided to take a break from the monotonous life and planned  a road journey to 25 places, covering the length and breadth of the country.

Abhay(Ab) and Sashank(Sasha) are childhood friends and as any modern youth in today’s world, they are not clear about their goal in life. Unnati (Sasha’s girlfriend) joins them on their adventure after getting permission from her parents.

After a lot of planning, they are set for  traveling 10, 000 km in 3 months. The reader takes on the journey along with the three friends, crossing different States, meeting new people, trying the local cuisines and making lifetime memories.

Will they be able to complete the journey?? To know , I would definitely suggest you grab the book.

Where to find the book??
|Amazon|Goodreads|

Yipee🙂
The plot is written in an excellent, lucid language and the reader is able to connect easily. The plot is smooth and one would not like to leave the book in-between. The journey is full of laughter, emotions, pains, heartbreaks, learning and enlightenment.

When I finished the book, I sat down in silence and spend some time in self-introspection, such was the effect of the road journey.

Oops😦
The author should have given some more light to some sections of the story. Rest, I could not find any flaws and I am looking forward to the next part in the series.

My Rating: 4/5

About the Author
Mohit Goyal holds his Master’s degree from Cranfield University, England. A successful entrepreneur for past 11-years; he is currently heading an international logistics conglomerate with presence in several Asian countries. He resides in New Delhi. Been acknowledged and awarded for many of his short stories in past; he conceived this idea of ‘The RoadTrippers Series’ to combine his love for travel, food and philosophy.

Note: I received a free copy of the book from Writersmelon in return for my honest review.


I like reading books and share my opinions/thoughts with other readers.
If you would like me to review any book, you can reach me at throughthewindowoflife@gmail.com.

 

Soul Sunday #8

We live in an age where we can spend hours bingeing on TV box sets or surfing social media. But despite these distractions, reading is my all time favorite.

Do you read??  I love reading.

Even after a long day at work, I pick up a book depending on my mood and reading relaxes me by transporting into a different world altogether.

I am happy that I managed to read more than 20 books this year and look forward to more and more reading in the coming year.

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“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
                                                ― Charles William Eliot

How are you planning your Sunday?? I am going to snuggle up in my bed with a cup of coffee and read 🙂

 

 

Soul Sunday #7

It’s the Thanksgiving weekend and there is never a better time to count your blessings and be thankful for what you have in life. So I thought of sharing a quote which supports the idea of expressing gratitude in daily aspects.

As all the small things that matter will always make us happy, I am thankful to God for making me smile every day.

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A sincere attitude of gratitude is a beatitude for secured altitudes. Appreciate what you have been given and you will be promoted higher.”
           ― Israelmore Ayivor

Do you believe in expressing gratitude??

Soul Sunday #6

Post Diwali, I haven’t been writing enough due to lack of ideas and I would admit that I did not put in much effort. Today I am going to spend time in developing new ideas and themes to post.

Isn’t it true in terms of our Life?? If we settle down to live the same old routine, we will get bored easily and there will not be much excitement in living. We should try doing new things every day and be creative as not only it adds colors to life, but also expands our thinking through experiences and learnings and we are never the same person as before.

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“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”
                      ― Oliver Wendell Holmes

So, what are you planning to do today??

Soul Sunday #5

It is getting cold here in my area of living and as I am preparing myself for the coming months by layering into multiple woolen clothing, I am thinking of the winter break which I enjoyed during childhood.

The foggy mornings with a hot glass of milk and some healthy pinnis (laddoos) and reading some Dr. Seuss in cozy bed during the vacation are some of the cherished memories from those days.

This is a long weekend. Being at home and doing nothing is one of the pleasures which we never get amidst the hectic schedules. As I am planning to curl up in bed with a cup of ginger tea and a good book, leave away all the worries and enjoy the day.

We should do this often. What do you think??

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“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
      ― Guillaume Apollinaire

 

What are you up to this weekend??

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Surviving the Challenge!

I recently joined Blogchatter  and getting to know so many like-minded people who share the same passion and enthusiasm is amazing. When I came across the challenge #DailyChatter, I knew I am participating even though I wasn’t sure if I will be able to post and read so many blogs, while juggling between household  chores, office,  traveling and celebrating so many festivals in this month of October.

This month has been a roller coaster journey where I was running to put up my post before the clock strikes 12, visiting fellow bloggers , reading and sharing views with others and making new friends. This was a new experience in total and a really crazy but special one. I am happy that I took  the challenge and sailed (not easily though), however, I could not visit as many as I wanted to and I am still going and reading a lot of posts.

I would like to thank Blogchatter for making me a part of this challenge and providing a platform to share our writings, appreciate and motivate each other and as we learn and grow together here.

Here I am trying to mention some of the fellow bloggers whom I like a lot and would love to read them throughout the year.

Shalini Nair from Kohl eyed me

I have fallen in love with her writing, the first time I visited her blog. She is such a creative and talented blogger that I really look forward to her posts. Her imagination and efforts are commendable and they clearly reflect in her colorful, expressive and prolific articles. I am really grateful to her for her support and encouragement when I approached her.

Chandni Moudgil from Life in Technicolour

Her theme for this challenge was #100HappyDays and all her posts were so impressive.  She says, “Happiness isn’t by chance , it’s by choice .” She shared her happiness each day through her posts, a step towards gaining a positive state of mind. This whole idea is so inspiring and I am planning to take it sometime soon.

Ramya  Rao from Words & Me

I loved all her women- centric poems and she is now on my permanent list of reading. All her poems are so meaningful and have relevance in today’s world where women are fighting for their rights to become an equal part of the male-dominated society.

NovembersChild 

She has the power to write about diverse things, making us bewildered. I wonder, how she picks up on anything and everything, which we even do not realize in our everyday life. I was in awe exploring many of her older posts and happily subscribed to her blog.

There are many other phenomenal bloggers and I am going to check their blogs and make many more friends even after the challenge.

As I wrap up #Daily Chatter, I promise to myself that I will take part next time again with a better plan and a theme (which I have already started building in my mind:)). I also need to become better in sharing and connecting. I will definitely read more, share more and connect more.

 

Today is the last(31st) day of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter and I am really happy that I survived the challenge.

Soul Sunday #4

As we all celebrate Diwali today, I share this quote on Soul Sunday in the spirit of the festive season.

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“Diwali (Lakshmi Pujan/Amavasya) is the darkest night of the year. And our ancestors have taught us to overcome darkness with light. 
When the moon is not shining, neither the sun, sky is dark; India glitters. Proud of being part of such a wise and one of the finest tradition.
Diwali is practicing “तमसोमा जोतिर्गमय” . . . 
Happy Diwali to all. May there belight in your life. . .”
                                     – Harihar D. Naik

How are you celebrating Diwali today??

 

This is Day 30 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter.

 

Those Little Things

 

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Sometimes the smallest of gestures go right to the heart.

A smile from a stranger when you are lost in a crowd;

An old friend calling from a distant land just to day I Miss You;

The touch of a mother’s hand on your brow when you are unable to sleep;

A message from a friend asking what’s wrong when you thought no one could notice;

A hand on your shoulder when it feels like the world is against you.

Sometimes it is the tiniest of things that bring a smile in hard times.


A friend had sent me this when I was facing some problem in life. Whenever I am low, simply reading this makes me SMILE 🙂

This is Day 29 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter

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Sunday is her Holiday

I wish I could fall sick… Sounds weird right?? But sometimes the idea of falling sick seems a luxury. Taking a break from the constant running to keep up with the time… home, office, domestic chores, grocery shopping, traveling and so on. It is silly though but who would not want to stay in bed all day and be cared and get pampering done instead of taking care of everything in the house.

6 am:  I woke up after a sleep of 6 hours and I am feeling fresh that I could get a nice sleep of 6 hours. I had to stay up late as I had some presentation to finish.  Today, I look forward to spending a great day and get some time out for myself.
I prepare myself a cup of coffee and sits down with the newspaper.

7.10 am: The phone beeped…  I picked up the call and the house help informed me that she is not well and taking off today. Sigh!!
I went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and decided to make Pasta.

7.45 am: Mr. A has woken up. “Can I get a cup of Tea ?”. I heard him from the bedroom. I served him tea, thinking in mind that I will ask him to book a movie show for the afternoon.

11.20 am: Cleaning done, laundry done, I realized I have not ordered groceries last night and went to buy some from the supermarket.

1:00 pm: As I was pondering over what to cook for lunch, the doorbell rang, Ding-dong!!
I opened the door and saw my sister-in-law and her family standing and smiling at me. I was shocked (not surprised) and the next few hours went in cooking, chatting and seeing them off.

6.30 pm: I was tired after day and felt like taking an off the next day, it reminded me that there were few emails pending and I switched on my laptop. Work comes first, you see.

9:00 pm: Mr. A has offered me to help with the dinner and we made a vegetable sandwich and some soup together.
I got inspired by a video and jumped to share with all.

Taking a step towards change, COLORS is starting a people’s movement called #SundayIsHerHoliday and is inviting every man (and woman) to participate in it. The goal of the campaign is to inspire and help men take over the Sunday chores of women, so she can get her much needed time off. The campaign wants to start by inspiring action and kicking-off a conversation around #SundayIsHerHoliday.

Gender equality begins at home and there is a need to make people understand that a woman also deserves a day –off.

A growing number of men are taking on the responsibility of caring for children and taking up household chores as their partner works. But a lot still needs to be done in breaking down traditional gender stereotypes.

I am blessed to have Mr. A and he believes in equality. He helps me in domestic chores and we are supporting this movement.

If you wish to bring this change, please share this and be the change at your house!

 

Today is Day 28 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter