Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Found it! Found it! A way to save my iPhone from my kid!

iPhones are cool. Super cool. And i heart my iPhone 5!

That being said, I have a one year old kid in the house too. Only God saves our phones.

Just like any other kid now, Zidaan has been exposed to iPhone since he was born. No wonder he swipes the lock bar like a Pro. Seriously, you should see that lil finger go 'Woooh' so perfectly. Maasha'Allah! Sometimes I wonder if it's my phone or his. Of course it is mine, that is why he takes the glory of deleting the apps on the phone. I am sure he would have taken care of them if it was his phone.

The apps he usually 'uses' is the Race Penguin & Subway Surfers. Maasha'Allah, I was totally amazed one day when he took my phone, swiped across three pages of apps, and clicked on the Race Penguin app, Clicked on 'Play' and rotated the phone to the game mode!!! If that wasn't enough, he finishes the game and clicks on the 'Restart' button and plays again! No! He wasn't just messing with the icons, he actually did that repeatedly. I even gave him a little test just to make myself believe, by getting the phone back to the Home screen and saw what he would do next. And yes, he did the above steps again.

Photo credit: Mehwish Kapadia

I'm REALLY not a fan of giving kids A LOT of screen time, i.e time to spend on Screens, be it Phones or TV. I try my best to limit his use of these devices as it's not something which kids should be glued to. But sometimes when i don't have any option, i do allow him to do it. I make sure he stays on one app for sometime at least so that i can quickly do my work. He does take the phone, but all he does usually is to click on apps, stay on it for 5 seconds and click on the Home button. And next his favorite part, keep his finger on the home button until the apps start dancing and then 'Delete'. Every night before i go to bed, I have to re-install the unfortunate apps which didn't make it through Zidaan's mercy.

And every time I whine, why hasn't someone invented some app for the phone to be kid proof or a pass code on apps so that they can use the phone normally while important apps be password protected. Last evening was one such evening once again when Zidaan took my phone, kept on switching between apps and pressing the home button a zillion times. I was so fed up and asked Zu to invent an app which would help me save my phone! Zu said I'm sure there is something out there as every parent faces this similar problem. But yes, if it is around already, i bet it isn't toooooooooo popular cuz I haven't heard anyone mention about it or Maybe it's just me. So there i was Googling about some tips to having your kid use the Phone without cleansing it.

Click. Nah.

Click. Seriously? *Smh*

Click. You don't know my son.

Click. Nada.

Click. Heyy!!!

This might work!! Found out a way to keep the kid away from clicking on the home button and staying on one app until we desire! Is this for real?! Let's try it out. I follow the instructions and give the phone to Zidaan. And Boom!!! We won this time!!! I can't express the happiness I experienced when it worked!

So here it is for those of you who don't know it already!

1. Go to the 'Settings' app on your iPhone.

2. Click on the 'General' settings.

3. Click on 'Accessibility'

4. Click on the 'Guided Access'

5. Turn it 'On'.

6. Set a Pass code.

Now go to any app which you want your kid to stay on, Triple tap the home button and you will see a pop-up on the top of your screen asking if you want to start a Guided access session. Happily click on the 'Start'.

And there you are ready to win the battle with your kid.

Once your kid is done playing, or like in my case- your work is done, Triple tap again and click on the 'End' guided access session but this time since the guided access is turned on, you have to in your pass code. Once that's done, you are able to click the home button and return to your home screen. It's said to work on the iPad too.

How could I have ever doubted Apple's programming capabilities. May your soul RIP Mr. Steve Jobs.

One con in this settings is that you can't answer calls while the guided access is turned on, though you get to see the miscall once you are out of the access mode. Your call is sent across to Voice mail.

And yes, this works really well until your kid grows up to outsmart you. If he/she gets to know the trick and knows the passcode, Well, you just gotto be smarter and keep changing your passcode! ;)

Happy iPhoning guys! :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

What's up - June 2013

Alhumdulillah! Last month turned out really well and most of it went as planned. Amazing vacation, happy birthdays, good shows, shopping sprees etc filled the month with fun and good memories. Looking forward to another good month insha'Allah !

So June's here and it's already up by six days. Tell me about flying times! Anyway, this month I have a lot to do. Simple goals that I have set for myself. Hopefully I stick to them insha'Allah! Let's out the itinerary for June.

Thankful : To the Almighty for blessing me a beautiful life, religion, family and friends. Without his blessings, there is absolutely no way we can live happily. It's very important to show him our appreciation  and praise him for blessing us with each and everything.

Focusing : On becoming a better Muslimah, a  good wife, a righteous parent, a loving daughter and daughter-in-law, a good friend, sibling and overall a nice human being, Insha'Allah! 

Reading : Blogs. I should be reading books too but I just haven't been doing it, for no reason at all. But reading blogs are very informative. People writing about various topics, their experiences and the like. I really love how Blogs have brought out the writing skills and imagination out of people's minds. Food blogs are the best! I find it so convenient to look for recipes with their step by step methods. As most of you would know I own a food blog too but haven't updated it since two years. Lazy me. Planning to resurrect it soon. Oh well, you never know! It can be done this month too ;) insha'Allah let's see if I do it! 

Drinking : Don't worry, it's just about Water ;) I really haven't been drinking a lot of water since a long time and I know it's really not a good thing. So I have planned to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day insha'Allah ! Every morning I am gonna fill a 2 ltr bottle and try to finish it by the end of the day. Talk about cleaning the system ;)

Watching : In addition to my favorites which I mentioned in my last 'What's up' post, I started watching this brand new show 'Brain Games' and OMG, it is soooo amazing! It's all about how our brain perceives things and makes us think in a particular way. The last episode I saw was classic! It was about the battle of the sexes. Boys Vs girls. They showed how each sex has its own way of thinking and they proved certain skills each sex beats the other at! Try to watch it. It's on the Science channel or of course you could YouTube and find it. 

Fasting : The blessed month of Ramadan is on its way and is just about to reach us. It's good to prepare for it and since I have to make up for my missed fasts, this is a good time for it. Hopefully insha'Allah I am able to do it. 

Eating healthy : This is one thing which I feel I just can't do. I love junk food and I love eating. Lol! So having a healthy diet is just not on my plate. But I feel I should try it. I have a friend who is maasha'Allah so fit yet she has this amazing will power to be on a healthy diet constantly. She truly has inspired me to go the healthy way. One doesn't need to wait to go out of shape and then panic to get back. its all about maintaining one's body all the time. I'm planning on a healthy heavy breakfast, making some healthy juices, good lunch and a light dinner. This is a very very difficult job for me but insha'Allah I'll try to start on it.

Organizing : I love being organized yet I find myself lazy doing it. This is a vast area but i wanna start it with little things first. Having a one year old kid at home is like a licence to be messy. He is everywhere in the house not to forget his toys, and our stuffs which also counts as his toys. There is really not much i can do to stop him nor do i wanna stop him from that. If he doesn't do it, who will? I wish i could though! ;)
Just started with organizing his stuffs into compartments and hopefully a lot more things will go organized in the days to come Insha'Allah! :)

Hosting : Just came up with an idea to host a potluck party at my place Insha'Allah this Sunday. Invited the girls in the family and everyone has promised to get yummy dishes. And we are having a stay over too! Yaaay! Looking forward to one helluva day and a crazy night! Insha'Allah!

Searching : For a sister-in-law! LOL! We are on the look out for the eldest daughter-in-law of the house. It's exciting to be searching a girl for my brother yet it's such a tedious task! May Allah (swt) guide us in this search and bless my brother with a wonderful soul mate. Aameen! (You never know, it can be one of my readers too!!) LOL! ;)

Excited : For the baap-of-all Cricket matches. The India- Pakistan ODI at the Champions Trophy being played in England. It will be played on the 15th of June and guaranteed to ignite fights! LOL! :p

Planning : For summer outings. It's so good to see the sun and heat back in NYC. The happiest is Zidaan because he gets to visit the park almost everyday now. I find so much joy in seeing him play with other kids and his cousin at the park, Maasha'Allah! Wish i could be a kid again.. Sigh! Every grown up's fantasy.

Learning : Of late I've fallen in love with DIY projects. These Do-it-yourself tasks bring out so much creativity within you that you just want to do more of them. There are so many amazing blogs and websites sharing DIY projects and helping one make good use of time and resources. Gonna try my hand at few Insha'Allah and will share with you all how it goes!

Laughing : At the IPL jokes going around all over the place. I really miss watches the Indian Premier League matches though, so much of fun and excitement it gave all of us. Sadly spot-fixing brought a bad name to the game but hey! There are good and honest players in the game who definitely keep the spirit of the game alive! Go Cricket!

Praying : For the entire humanity. May love and peace spread all over the world. Aameen.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Finding Happiness..

Being happy is undoubtedly the best feeling one can experience. Different people have different ways to achieve happiness. For some it comes too easily whereas for some it requires effort. Nevertheless, it doesn't matter much, because at the end you are happy. Be it doing the things you love which will give you happiness or making others happy, there are infinite ways to find happiness.

I have always believed in doing simple things and being happy. I ended up with this mindset because of my experiences. As any normal person would, i too have tried innumerable things in my life. Some simple, some extravagant. But when i look back to all those times, all i remember are the small simple things that i did or came across. I can still remember the gush of happiness that i felt. Whereas the extravagant things might have given me instant happiness, but i have felt it was temporary. Let me jot down and share the little things where i find happiness.

Praying 5 times a day : Being a Muslim, one of my basic duties is to offer five prayers/namaaz each day. I cannot express the happiness i feel when i fulfill this beautiful duty for the sake of the Almighty. Though there are times when i miss offering my prayers, my day really doesn't feel complete. I go to bed feeling guilty and ashamed of myself for not offering my namaaz to the Almighty who is so forgiving, so merciful. But the days that i do all my prayers, with sincerity, on time, are the days i'm the happiest. I go to bed feeling so happy, praising the creator and thanking him for giving me the opportunity to pray and seek rewards. May Allah (swt) guide each of us in fulfilling our duties as a Muslim. Aameen.

Respecting and Honoring the Spouse : The Almighty has blessed me with such a wonderful husband for which i can never be thankful enough. Alhumdulillah! In my three beautiful years of my married life, there have been infinite moments of happiness that i have experienced. Maasha'Allah! I find happiness in doing the simplest of things for him. And the best part he himself is so simple, so its really easy to make him happy ;)
Simple things like making Breakfast for him makes me happy. There hasn't been a single day, trust me, single day, that i haven't asked him what he wants for breakfast. This is because i believe there is no point in giving him something that he doesn't want. My logic is that making breakfast is MANDATORY. There is no escaping there LOL!! So why not give him what he loves? There are days when he says, make anything you want, or days that i feel i should make some extra special breakfast (Ofcourse, something which i already know he would definitely love) and even that makes us happy, Alhumdulillah! :) Same goes while packing his Lunch. He gets what he wants to eat! LOL! Aint he lucky? lol

Islam teaches us to honor our spouses and i am so lucky to be born as a Muslim because i am rewarded each time i do that! So cool right? It's a win win for all! I'm happy, he is happy and we both are rewarded for it! Wowzers! So anyone reading this, whether you are married or not, keep this in mind. Whichever faith you practice, i guarantee you happiness while respecting and honoring your spouse.

Helping anyone in need : This is one of my utmost favorite thing to do! And i know everyone would agree with me here. You don't have to invest a fortune to achieve this. Simple acts of kindness would do the trick here. Help someone lift something heavy, hold the door for someone, pick up something which someone accidentally dropped and give it to them, let people with few items go ahead in the queue at the grocery store and this list goes on and on and on!

Smile, It's Sunnah : Islam is such an amazing way of life that it rewards one even for smiling! Subhan'Allah! Just give a smile and make yourself and others happy. Not suggesting that you go smiling to each and every soul you see! LOL no! Smile at the elderly, smile at the kids, smile and acknowledge their help when someone does an act of kindness. A smile is better than a frown anyway! And bonus, you look good too ;) Guaranteed happiness this!

Saying 'Thank you' : Another simple and favorite act of mine! Thank you is such a wonderful expression which guarantees happiness. You say 'Thank you' when you are pleased with something, so of course you are already happy with it, while it also makes the other person happy too for doing that particular act. A simple example that i have come across often after moving to NYC, is to say 'Thank you' to the driver of your bus/taxi. If you think about it, one would get the thought - 'Why do we have to thank them? We pay for it and it's their job anyway!' But see the look on their face when you say these magical words. They might hear it zillions of times each day but it really doesn't hurt you to tell it too, right? So what if they won't remember us? It's still a good thing to say Thank you for the favor/help/service received! Isnt it?

Sharing : Sharing is caring - True that! There is no way we wouldn't find happiness doing this, unless you are being selfish and just faking it! Even if you have a little of something, still try to share it with others who would need it or would be happy with it. It's an easy peasy thing to do! You might feel you will be left with little but trust me, the Almighty will bless you with much much more the next time! I say this post experiences, It's truly a wonderful feeling :)

Gifting : Who doesn't love gifts? It may be a really tiny thing but it WILL make the other person happy! Best audience for this are the kids! No matter what you gift them with, they will be happy! LOL! And you will be happy looking at those happy faces! Bliss! :)

Spend time with family : This guarantees fun along with happiness! If you are living away from your family, like me, do make it a point to call them often. A phone call is enough to make your parents happy! Be it your  parents or your in laws, spending time with one, results in building good relations, thus creating happiness. It does require effort, but the results expected are enough to motivate you to do this! If you have children, give attention to them, play with them, give them time - all this and more can make them and you happy! :)

Treat yourself : Indulge in simple pleasures for yourself. I agree that in addition to making others happy, you need to do things for yourself! Take a good nap, read a book, do something that you have been thinking from long but haven't found the time yet, buy something you love, write, paint, cook, eat etc etc etc! You know yourself best, so this one should be the easiest to do! ;)

Be happy for others : Jealousy is one basic characteristic of humans. It is easy to get envious or jealous when someone else achieves success. What is difficult, is to be happy for them. Like everyone, even i was a target of this feeling, but once i thought to myself 'Why should i envy him/her when Allah (swt) has blessed me with so much?' Achieving success is each one's right. We need to take an efffort to achieve happiness in this situation. But trust me once we get used to practicing it, it will come to us naturally. When we start doing it, others will take notice of it and practice it too and it gets mutual then! Imagine how the world would be if everyone would practice this? Let's change this within ourselves first and insha'Allah it will spread.

It's really impossible to list out each thing but i hope the above points will inspire you to find happiness. If even one thing works for you, it will surely make me happy! :) So get yourself going on the path to finding happiness in the simplest of things and then you will wonder why didn't you think of this earlier? I'm sure you know of more simple acts which makes you happy. So do share, i would love to hear! :)

Until then,
Stay safe, Stay happy! :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

What's up? May 2013

'What's up?' - This will be a series of posts that I have thought of writing every month. The posts in this series will include my schedule insha'Allah for the particular month. What am I currently reading, practicing, planning, doing, cooking etc etc! So here we go with the first post of the series for the month of May! Let's see what I'm upto this month!

May has always been my favorite month of the year! You'll know why as you read further! ;) So currently I am -

Thankful : To the Almighty for blessing me with such a good family, especially for my son who just turned one. Seeing him learn & do new things each day gives me immense happiness & a reason to thank for being able to experience it.

Watching : I am an avid fan of Korean shows from the time I came to NYC. Currently, I just started with this show called 'Gu family book' - watched the first four episodes & loving it! Hopefully the awesomeness continues in the future episodes too! Other than that watching the series 'Scam city' on the Science channel. It's a truly amazing show and you MUST watch it if you are accessible to the channel. It's a show about scams going on in major cities of the world. Already three episodes have been aired which includes Rio , Delhi & Buenos Aires. You'll be shocked to see the tricks they use to dupe people! And ofcourse , The Big Bang theory, Yes dear, The king of Queens! ;)

Planning : For a week long vacation with my hubby & baby to Orlando, Florida! Woohoo! A week full of fun & excitement! Disney world, Universal studios, Sea world etc! Few days to go & I have to start with the packing! Last minute craziness is one thing which will never go out of me!

Reading : Parenting magazines, while I wait for our turn at the pediatrician's clinic :/
Seriously, I need to start reading a good book!! Any suggestions?

Wishing : For peace in the world. Period.

Missing : My family back in India & Canada. And yes, I miss spending time on my pc, thanks to my lil brat. It's like the moment he sees me on the computer chair, he runs to me screaming like the earth will swallow me!

Cooking : Lots of shrimps, Indo-Chinese food, wanna do some baking this month too! Hopefully I stick to my plans!

Laughing : At my son's dance moves when his favorite ads or cartoons come on tv!

Worrying : About the safety of my family at all times, especially when I have a son who is so naughty and keeps banging into stuff & knocking himself down!

Loving : The change in weather in NYC. Finally, it's time for some hotness! ;)

Focusing : On becoming a better Muslimah.

Excited : For the birthdays! Hubby & I share our birthdays this month! Teehee!

Anxious : About my driving test at the end of the month! Hopefully I pass the test! Pray-drive-pray-drive!

Craving : Manglorean Food & Shawarma! I miss them :(

Learning : To be happy with what I have, to be a good mother & a good wife :) Yeah, need to work on it constantly. Very important!

Enjoying : Every moment of my life, Alhumdulillah! :)

So how did you like this post? Would love to get your feedback on any improvements that I could make, any suggestions? And lemme know what's up with you guys this month!

Until then,
Stay safe, stay happy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Only the boring get bored

"I'm so bored"

Isn't this something we say and hear so often?

Bored - Our definition to being bored is to not having anything exciting to do or rather not having ANYTHING to do. It's so easy how we just announce our boredom to ourselves and to the people around. I find myself in this situation pretty often and just go with the flow, meaning just continue getting bored. Little i do is, to take away that boredom and think of why is it that i'm actually getting bored.

Yesterday, i was at a talk at a college here in NY. This was something which i usually don't see myself doing. Not that i can't, but it's just that i never thought of doing it earlier. The entire trip from how i decided to attend the talk to the moment i got back home after the talk, was exciting. I was happy. I thought to myself - 'Why didn't i do this earlier?' In fact, i was even thanking the cousin who invited me to the event and asked her to invite me more to such talks, because i felt so good being a part of it and i definitely wanted to have more of it.

While we were getting back home, i came across something which i bet, was meant just for me.

This ad was put up inside the train in which we were travelling. I was standing opposite to it and when i read it, i was like "WOW, That's actually so true"!

Funny how we just say 'I'm bored' but don't reflect on the 'Why' part of it. There is sooooooooooooooooooo much (infinite 'O's could be added in there) to do,  IF WE WANT TO. But no, we choose to be bored instead. Isn't that the easiest way out? Being bored is easy, to take away that boredom requires effort. And that's something a boring person would least care about.

Why am i bored?

It's because you aren't doing anything.

But I don't have anything to do! ANYTHING!!!


Congratulations! You are being conferred with the... 'Boring' title.

No, Seriously!

It's upon us what we choose to do and how we choose to be. There is such a wide world outside our homes and inside as well, courtesy, the internet. Yet, we choose not to explore both.

Let's  go out, explore our neighborhood, explore our city. Every walk we take down that street, would be something new. We would see new people, learn new things. We wouldn't even realize that we are learning, but trust me, we do. There are so many events going on around us, let's strive to be a part of it, let's make an effort to engage in the community, the society that we are in in our own small ways. Talking to someone, even giving a smile, gives us a kind of happiness, at least for me it does.

Being on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc and refreshing feeds over and over again is not a way to take away boredom. In fact, i feel that's boring! Let's try using our time well. Internet has so much good to offer if we want to take it up. That hobby, that interest of ours, let's take a shot at it. We sure have a long way to go, but let's take that first step towards it. Seek knowledge about the Almighty, take up a course, DIY projects, write blogs, make videos (useful ones i mean), help someone, volunteer for good causes, meet friends and family, celebrate small achievements, smile, give a lot, share ideas, visit the library, READ, explore nature etc etc etc. In short, start getting better in any small way you can think of.

Saying this is easy, the difficult part is to execute it. But won't it be for our good? A little effort, a slight push is all it takes to get started. I got bored, i'm writing this post! ;) See, easy-peasie! :D Ain't it? You can do something else, something that you are good at and there is DEFINITELY at least one thing that you are good at. I bet my life on that! If there is nothing, that's even better! You can take up anything under the sun and start getting better at it! Coolio!

So the next time before you say 'I'm bored', think twice! You don't wanna be labelled as 'boring'! Do you?

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Virtual Messengers!

Living in a country far away from your homeland brings along a bunch of emotions. At the outset, you are very excited, want to explore the place around and on the other hand you miss your home country, your old life. And when the distance between the two countries is 13,289 km, it's even more complicated. You try to find things which will help you get adjusted in the new place and yet be connected to the old. That's when the  awesome saucesome messengers/networking sites come to rescue! Whoever coined the name messengers to these connectors, needs to take a bow!

Before being married, i use to have a Yahoo! messenger id but i would hardly use it. I used to live with my parents and siblings, so wouldn't need that to talk to them, though i see it happening now in some homes and it's gonna go up in the future!! Kill me if i'm wrong! To talk to my friends/cousins/neighbors, i had my mouth which would personally be present with me and i had my cell. More than enough. Way more than enough. Yahoo! would be used to chat/talk with folks who were geographically far, in the sense that i would need to travel at least few hours to talk to them personally. Adding to that i had an account on Orkut (Rest in Peace), Hi-5! (Don't even know why i had that), Hotmail Messenger ( I guess it was called that earlier) and other sidey sites whose names i don't even remember now.

And then i got engaged. Yahoo recovered its money.

We used Yahoo! Messenger (YM) to chat. Initially, Once a day, then multiple times a day. Oh Yeah, I should give credit to Gmail, for that was used to 'correspond' first. Gtalk was used rarely too. But Yahoo! Messenger takes the trophy. Firstly chats, then video chats. The emoticons were soooo cool and we would have so much fun using them in our chats. Aaah, what a beautiful phase that was. I always tell the 'Engaged-madly-in-love-couples' to enjoy the time from their engagement to the wedding, because that is seriously the best time of one's lives! Trust me on that! So yeah, there we were enjoying that phase and taking full advantage of the virtual messenger, Yahoo! The offline messages feature was used to its full capacity too, thanks to the distance between NY and India.

We got married. Enjoyed one month together until Darling Hubby (DH) was back in NY. And then Yahoo! was back in action too on our comps & smartphones. We were very happy with YM. The video quality was not that great but we were happy. Truly, Love is blind! LOL! 10 months passed by, i was finally in NY. Alhumdulillah! Yahoo! was again being used but to a different audience now. Audience, because now i added  family, friends, neighbors and everyone else whom i missed. Until one day Skype was downloaded.

A lot of my family/friends used to always tell me to use Skype but i was kinda loyal to YM and so i would say i'm happy with YM and don't see the need for Skype. But Alas! Kisi ki nazar lag gayi ( I actually think it was done by one of Skype's employee, Hmmn) that my YM was hacked and i couldn't log in. I was sad, i was furious. And i downloaded Skype. I guess it was the 'Let's-try-it-once' thing that made me do it.

Since that day to this, i have been using Skype. I asked my family to download it as well and they loved it too. Video quality was much better and i realized later as to how bad YM video quality was! LOL! No offence YM, i still have a soft corner for you, after all you were the one who was with me in the most beautiful phase. (i guess that's the reason i am still logged in to it through my phone, tablet and comp though i hardly ever use it).. So now we started 'skyping' daily.

And then came the mother of all. Whatsapp! Amazing, mind blowing app, which i know everyone who uses it ,will join me in giving three cheers to it. Hip hip hurray.. Hip hip hurray.. Hip hip Hurray! That changed so many things. Of course there was Facebook to be in touch with my friends but WA was so cool, so easy and so very convenient! Best part, i didn't have to search for anyone on it because the people who mattered to me were in my phone's contact list and so automatically i saw them on WA if they were on it too. I was so excited to be using WA. No one in my house back in India, had WA on their cells back then and so i told my younger brother to install it since he had a smartphone. And he did.

Voila! That began the series of sending pictures and videos of Zidaan, which wasn't so convenient earlier. Now, it was just click, Whatsapp and send. So very cool! Best part he would check it instantly and show it to my parents and other siblings. We started loving it so much. I would chat with my other contacts too and my love for WA grew every day. One day a friend of mine created a group on WA. Our BBM batch group. That brought in so much of fun!! Initially we were just a couple of us and now we are 27. Imagine the fun we all have together. The 27 of us are in different countries, different time zones  all living different lifestyles but one thing common is Whatsapp! It has made us close friends even closer now. The chat is on almost the whole day with someone or the other posting something. Of course we all have kept our notifications on mute, otherwise our phones would be buzzing the entire day and night! But believe me, this is the best way i have ever been connected to my friends.

Whatsapp has made us do things which we would have otherwise never done. The biggest of all, it made my dad change his phone!!!!!! My mom who was so fascinated by WA, started pestering my dad to get a smartphone too so that she could get access to her grand kid's pics and videos more often, sine my brother would be away most of the day at the office. And he did oblige! LOL! My dad was so loyal to his phone but   he didn't think twice when he had to change it. All because of Whatsapp! Now my dad, my bro and my sister all have WA enabled phones. Yes, i gifted my sister a smartphone last month while i was in India for her birthday! I couldn't have given a better gift as nothing beats the fun of having conversation with your sister ;)

As of now i have 86 contacts on Whatsapp who are all dear to me and with whom i chat regularly. I am part of 4 groups too ;) The fun we had on BBM group inspired me to start two other groups. Both close to my heart. It's the MBA group where i have my best buddies from my MBA class together sharing happiness and creating fun and the AAA group, which stands for Andaz Apna Apna. People who know me very well know my craziness for the movie AAA and i have my friends who are equally crazy about AAA in that group. Actually i met these friends on a AAA forum on orkut and we have been such awesome friends since then.
( I have a post due from so long about AAA, will write about it soon Insha'Allah) ;)

Whatsapp has made me close to so many friends and family like i have never been before. Of course being together personally, talking, having fun is the best, but this is no less! It's all thanks to technology which has made the world so small and life so much fun and easy. Being away from family makes one feel lonely at times but these app's and sites help us in living a happy life, keeping us close with our loved ones. I never imagined being so close to so many people in spite of me living so far away, but it has happened. And it is awesome.

From this day until the next, when some other masterminds create even more unimaginable app's that will make our world tiny, Let's all create happiness and spread love & peace around.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The 16 hour challenge..err..Journey!

Yaaaaaaaaayy! We are going to India!! It's my first trip back home after moving to NY, Zidaan's first EVER trip to his homeland, 70 days of fun, laughter, yumm food, family, friends!!! Boy! It couldn't get any better. .. All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go,
I'm standing here outside your door,
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye..

Hey! Hey! What?! Zu, You sleeping?

 Aw, shucks! You ain't coming with us to India!! Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiii....

*OMG, Why? How? Where? When? Who? WHAT??*

*Bhurrrrrrrrr.. You can do it, Naaz*

Yes, I'm gonna travel with my 7 month old brat.. I mean Baby, on a 16 hour flight to India, without my husband or anyone known to us! Woot! Cool! Super cool!

*Man, It's giving me the heebie jeebies already! How am i gonna handle this kid on such a LONG journey, ALONE?!*

Now the possible explanations to the WH questions!

Why? Cause my DH was so loving to have used up his vacation days during my delivery, when i needed him the most.. And of course, the vacation to Canada! When are we going back there! *Hugs*

How? How am i gonna manage with the static baggage and the mobile baggage (read Zidaan).How am i gonna entertain him throughout? How am i gonna make his food while having him on lap? How am i gonna get done with the airport formalities without having to run around behind Zid. How am i gonna eat? (Just Being human  here) , How am i gonna pacify him when he cries?!? *Pacifier Naaz, Dont forget to pack the pacifier*


Where? Where am i gonna feed him? Where am i gonna keep my luggage while i feed him, change him at the airport?

When? November 25, 2012 . NY- Dubai- Bangalore- Mangalore! 3 Flights.. Duration : Total time until i see my brother's waving hand at the Bangalore airport : 20 hours!!!

Who? Who will my co-passengers be? Will they be able to handle a hyper baby and a crying mom? *What a sight would that be*

Can i really pull this stunt off? Will i be able to reach home with my senses intact? Will the pilot, staff and passengers tell us to get off the plane mid way.. Oops! worse, mid air?!

Thank god for the airport at Mangalore, otherwise you would see breaking news on TV - "Baby lifts mother and runs around the airport"!!! Watch it LIVE!!

No joke this. Travelling alone with an infant is really a challenge people!

Faith in Allah (SWT) , A motivational talk by Zu, experiences by mothers who have traveled with their infants before and the Emirates website, awakened the challenging spirit within me, to take this up!

I MUST say, I was blessed. The prayers and the good wishes worked. The staff and people at JFK were so loving and caring. I didn't have to even touch my luggage, they looked after everything so well , plus they were so good with the Baby, playing with him, trying to make him laugh, while i got done with the formalities.

A special thanks to William Kent. William Kent who? The guy who invented baby strollers!!! How could i possibly achieved success in my challenge without his support? Okay, the stroller's support? On behalf of all the parents in the world whom you have kept sane, A big Thanks! We all love you! :D

Woot! Gate checked in the stroller! Entered the flight.

''Hello Ma'am. Ohhh.. Soooo cute he is"


25K - *Hope i get to see some old lady next to me who has a dozen kids and 3 dozen ULTRA HYPER grandkids*

Voila!!! Am i dreaming? Old lady it is!! A south Indian!!  Extra points!! *A silent prayer thanking God*

I get in to the row annnnddd 25K - Oops! Not a window seat! I get the middle seat! Awesome!!

Who is the other passenger?! OMG, Please take my test some other day!

I settle down in my seat after 5 minutes, Yeah, 5 minutes! I leave that to your imagination how i kept the bags, had Zid and me both sit comfortably, without giving the lady a trailor of our craziness.

It worked. A smile from the lady and a cheek-pull at Zidaan! An awesome start! And it got better.. Zid smiled back!Initially, I couldn't figure it out whether it was the 'Hello Lady, I'll make sure you enjoy the flight' smile or the 'Hey, I'll make sure you never sit next to a baby again' smile!

"Excuse me, Hi! I'm the window seat guy"


*A guy in his mid twenties, looks like he tied up with his work & college, has absolutely no experience with the kids and must be looking forward to a peaceful sleep after ages* Damn!

Fun fact : Zidaan was more happy to see this guy than the lady. Again, for better or worse?!

Little conversations were held and it looked like we are kinda good to go. He was a Gujarati guy going to India for a wedding and Yes, He loves Kids! *Bonus points*

Alhumdulillah! We got going. And I can very proudly say, They were the best ever co-passengers i could, anyone could, ever ever ever ask for. I wish i could somehow tag them, to let them know they were so good to us. Ofcourse,  i did tell them at the end of the flight, but you know its something i cant stop thanking them for.

Thank you Lata Aunty & Snehal.

Now the person whom i owe my biggest Thanks to - My baby. Zidaan.

I could never have even imagined Zidaan behaving soooo well. He was calm, he was comfortable and more importantly, he was happy and so was I. It was like Allah had angels at work full swing to keep Zidaan happy and playful throughout. We had booked a bassinet seat for him and he so peacefully slept in it, allowing me to grab some 'me time'. Lata Aunty & Snehal played with Zidaan, and we kept having small conversations throughout the flight. Fed him on time and he wasnt fussy about anything! Changing time was so peaceful too thanks to the staff of Emirates who offered to help me with it and take care of Zid while i made his food or had to use the washroom etc. Of course, most of the flight time everyone spent, was by sleeping.

I chose not to sleep because Zidaan could wake up anytime and i surely didn't want him to disturb the others. Thanks to ICE at Emirates - Information, Communication & Entertainment  i spent my time happily! Prayers, News, movies.. Bliss! I was so happy to be on such a wonderful journey! Alhumdulillah!

13 hours later, We reached Dubai airport. Just one word. AMAZING. The airport and the people.

We bid goodbye to each other, I, thanking them profusely for helping me have a happy journey. Snehal offered to help me with my cabin luggage till i got the stroller. Another flight awaited us, waiting time was about an hour, which was spent in getting the formalities done for the next flight. It was a 3 hr 40 mins flight and i wasn't worried much about this one, but just was a little concerned about the co-passengers. It was time to board the aircraft. This time 52K. Again. the middle seat.

Fortunately, it was a family, with, hold your breath, an infant! Yessss!! *Fist pump*

The mother was with her infant and Father was with the other kid at the back seat.

Hello, hi, exchange of smiles. The 'Oh-so-cute' line, Of course!!

She: "Travelling alone with an infant?"

Me: Yeah!

She: "How could you even dare to take this trip alone? Please tell me! My hubby & i almost ended bruising each other when he asked if i could travel alone with the baby"

Me (Proudly) : Well, I guess it's the thought of going home which made me do it! ( The truth, that i didn't have any other option was duly kept hidden) Hehe!

Well, we had another wonderful flight, except that the other baby didn't sleep for a second and was trying to wake up Zid. In my mind, i shoo-ed and asked him not to do it while in reality i had to just smile and go 'Awwwwwwwwwwwwww'!!

Destination Bengaluru. I don't really want to recall the time i spent at my homeland airport. All i can say that is wasn't friendly. If i could, i would have requested the JFK and Dubai airport officials to demonstrate a 'how to be humane by offering help to mothers with infants'. They so need to learn that.

Anyway, after i got done with all the craziness, the moment arrived! I saw my brother waving that hand at me, which, if my imaginations would turn real, would have got fractured with the number of times it had waved at me in full swing, from the time i had booked my ticket, to this day.

We did it. We reached India. Safe and Sound. The latter was more important with respect to me.

We had to catch another flight, but well, I am not alone!!! Bhayya is with me! Ek se bhale do ;) Just an hour flight and we reached Mangalore!! OMG! I'm gonna be seeing my parents , my siblings! I'm gonna reach home, EAT and sleep!! I very well, deserved it! After all, i pulled it off in style ;) Didnt I?

None of this could have ever been possible without the Blessings that Allah (SWT) showered on us, the kind co-passengers we got and for the amazingly wonderful baby that made the journey so happy and peaceful. It is definitely not easy to travel with a baby on such a long flight but i guess we just have to have faith in God and have the confidence in ourselves. Babies will be happy as long as they are given attention and love and of course food. Forget about yourself and just concentrate on keeping them comfortable, Trust me, it will go well. Having had such a fantastic experience, when the thought of having to fly back to NY came to my mind, all i said was... 'Bring it on!!!!'