Tuesday, 1 October 2013


The pain

Around four months ago, I felt a mild pain in my shoulder but I just ignored it as any other normal pain that would subside gradually.
I am a very active person and considering this fact I did not give much heed to the problem, which was now getting worse. But after around 10 days, my condition deteriorated so much that I could not lift my arm even a bit.

Calcium deposit

The time for a visit to the orthopaedic specialist had come. The problem diagnosed by the doctor was an eye opener for me. He said the pain was due to calcific tendonitis of the shoulder which meant a small calcium deposit at the shoulder-arm joint. The deposit can be formed in any part of the body or joint. According to the doctor, calcium tendonitis results from Vitamin D3 deficiency. The body forms these deposits as a signal to show that it needs the sunshine vitamin which is essential for proper functioning of bones.

Vitamin D3 deficiency

Vitamin D3 deficiency can make one feel low and depressed and can also cause irritability, apart from causing normal pain in bones and joints.
A person suffers from Vitamin D3 deficiency due to various reasons. But in my case, the problem was triggered by hyperthyroidism. As I was suffering from hyperthyroidism for the past one year, Vitamin D3 was being flushed out from my body. Things became worse because I was not taking the Vitamin D3 supplements as advised by my endocrinologist. It all went on to make a complete circle. Hyperthyroidism in triggers a lot of complications, but ignoring little things can blow up the problem. So we should be careful that hyperthyroidism doesn’t open windows to other troubles.

Line of treatment

Strong painkillers, ice fomentation and rest to my arm were few things advised by my doctor. He said if the pain didn’t subside through medicines and physiotherapy, the deposit would have had to be sucked out through saline water.
So, initially the doctor put me on medicines and once the pain decreased a bit, I was sent for physiotherapy sessions, along with ice fomentation. But this healing touch failed to show its magic as the pain increased once again, forcing the doctor to halt the physiotherapy sessions and increase my doses of the painkiller.
The shooting pain had brought my life to a grinding halt. I was not even able to sleep as the sleeping posture pulled the deposit downwards, thus increasing my pain. The doctors advised me to sleep in half-sitting posture with pillows all around the arm. This went on for five days.
Once the pain reduced, I resumed my 30-minute physiotherapy sessions that lasted for 10 days, along with exercises at home. By now the doctor had also put me off medication.


It was a harrowing experience but I think I had invited it myself and that too due to my carelessness. I took my first problem very lightly and did not take the cholecalciferol supplements to meet the needs of my body. Thankfully, I did not need the syringe to suck out the calcium deposit. Now, it is not posing any further problem, but it will remain a part of me forever, may be to keep reminding me or scaring me!



Monday, 11 February 2013


After braving the crowd through the coaches of the train, when she reached her seat, along with her seven-year-old daughter and two bags, the person occupying her seats requested her to exchange them with his so that he could accommodate his entire family in the same bay. In perfect English, she readily agreed and moved ahead to settle down at the new seats and eagerly waited for her husband to join them who was a little behind carrying the heavier bags.

This was the first thing I observed while making myself comfortable in the Bihar-bound train that I had boarded to go to my place (in-laws). And I was happy to have cordial co-passengers around me.

But my next observation set me thinking about her status and that of thousands of other educated women in their families. The moment her husband discovered that she had swapped their seats without his consent, he burst out on her there itself. According to her, she took the decision at the spur of the moment to save her husband’s time in managing things and she knew he would have also done the same. But his ‘logic’: He should have been consulted as he is the Husband!

This event portrays the basic thought process of the males of our patriarchal society. They have been tuned to think that males are the decision makers and that women cannot take any decision independently. This might be a very minor incident but it says a lot about the general mindset of most of the males, especially in North India. They cannot tolerate women speaking for themselves or for the family. Even educated and working females have to fight at homes to prove that they do not belong to the inferior race and have the capability to shoulder responsibilities and take decisions just like they do at their working places. When the journey of womanhood is such a tough one for the educated lot, one can understand the uncomfortable terrain which the not so privileged section has to cross. And those who really want to bring about a change in the society should start from their homes by giving an equal status to the women in their houses.  

I have also observed that after the death of the 'man of the house', the elder working son takes the position of the head and all the decisions are taken by him, relegating the widow to a secondary position. Why can’t the society give that woman her due stature and power in the house.

Before bringing in any laws for the safety of women, it is imperative that we take steps to empower them first through small actions and changes in our outlook. 




Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Power-packed spinach dal for children

For seven months of the year, my son Anvay's favourite dal is green dal. This is no ordinary moong dal or peas dal. But it's dal cooked with spinach. The spinach renders the green colour to the recipe.
Making kids eat green vegetables and pulses is one Herculean task for moms of the world. And now kids are so smart that you cannot fool them into gulping down whatever you want. My Ma always prepared this spinach dal for us and I loved it. So I thought to try this on Anvay and thanks to Ma, her recipe worked on him as well.
This is very simple, put a handful of finely chopped spinach in dal, along with 1 chopped tomato, 1 chopped onion and some ginger, and cook in pressure cooker with salt as per taste and a pinch of turmeric just like we prepare our regular dal. This quantity of spinach would be enough if you are preparing dal for 3 persons. You can increase the amount of spinach if you want to increase the quantity of the dal. I use a mixture of masoor and arhar dal. Once it's done, I give it a tadka by heating 1 tbsp cumin seeds and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a teaspoon of ghee. The consistency of the dal can be adjusted later by adding little water if it's too thick or by boiling it for few minutes if it's very runny.
And whenever my neighbour's 6-year-old granddaughter visits her, she never forgets to get her daily share of green dal from me. It’s her favourite and she has been telling her mom to serve her the same dal back home as well. I was flattered when her mom Khushi shared this with me.
But one should avoid taking spinach in rainy season. Even otherwise, dip the leaves in a bowl of hot water for around 10 minutes before using them.
And when I serve this dal to Anvay, I feel on top of the world for this is a big achievement. Daily dose of spinach will surely help him stay healthier. This power-packed food is rich in Vitamins A, C, E, K, iron, fibre, calcium and magnesium. It also helps keep nervous system healthy. And our staple food dal is a good source of minerals and vitamins, including foliate, a type of Vitamin B that helps in maintaining and producing new cells.
Hope many more kids like Anvay will pick up the habit of eating dal without making a fuss.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Tech toys for kiddies or virtual parenting

At my son's 4th birthday this year, I was introduced to a new genre of toys, usually not found in the general neighbourhood market.
Courtesy my brother, I entered the world of interactive tech toys when he gifted my son a talking book. My brother and my sister-in-law have always taken an extra effort in getting an interesting gift for my son. It's another matter that these gifts amuse me more than my son!
The toy comprised story books and an optical reader that would read the words when made to touch them. The gift floored me more than my son. I realised that this Zing's talking book was a perfect gift for Anvay as I hardly get time to read books to him. Being a working mother and that too with a night shift, I could not manage a reading time with my son.
Later, on a deeper thought I wondered how companies were exploiting the new family set up in today’s metros where most of the working parents’ children were spending a majority of their time with maids.
The scenario now in metros or even in smaller cities is different in terms of the kind of family we have. The joint family system has disintegrated, giving way to nuclear family at most of the places. There are many companies trying to make the most out of the situation. A friend told me about a Leapfrog toy that can sing lullabies to babies. And if you want to add more to the songs’ list, you can download them on to the toy from the Leapfrog website.
To some extent, this virtual parenting is a good job, when instead of waiting for someone to read a book the child can have his own reading session and not waste time watching Horrible Henry or Naasamajh Doggy.
This helps me recollect a very interesting episode of my childhood. When I was around 5, my favourite story book was one about a giant turnip and everyday I would make my buas, grandfather and mother read the story to me. But what I don't remember is the number of times I must have coaxed them into reading the book to me. The little girl in the story would be me and my favourite character was her grandfather because I loved my grandfather.
It's another matter that my son's talking book will have just one kind of tone and expression and it will not be able to transport him into Kirit's story world.