Tag Archives: holiday

Discovering the Mooncup!

Despite being an extremely scatologocally obsessed person, I try to keep my blog outside that zone and never crack any potty jokes or talk about how good/bad my excretory functions have been each morning.
But after so long, there has been an amazing breakthrough in life and its only fair to humanity to share it here.
Before I start, here is a DISCLAIMER: If you are disgusted by talk about menstruation and blood, stop reading now. If you are a woman looking for a happy period or a human who wants to gift a woman a happy period, read on!

Before I go on about what I have just discovered, I am going to birefly go over my prior experience with periods.

BEFORE
Inspite of having dealt with menstruation or periods for 10 years, I don’t remember a single time when I have not cursed the ordeals a woman has to go through because of this monthly occurence. My periods have spoilt many situations, such as school picnics, swimming competitions, days out on the beach, train journeys, trekking expeditions, comfortable nights of sleep, nights with boys I might fancy and have even spoilt nice skirts because of leaks and stains. (Need I complain about the extra laundry that a leak makes us do?)
Unlike most other women, I have had to suffer from only occassional cramps in my back and have not had to go through whole days of debilitating pain that reconciles me to the bed as I know many friends have to. Ofcourse I have also had bouts of PMS (yes, this is a real thing) where I am sulky and make it a point to let everyone know.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

I had been using Sanitary napkins to handle the menstrual flow and thought it was great that I had managed to find a brand that made wide, thin and absorbent napkins that guarantee 90% chances of no leak. and yet , I have some friends who have acute menstrual conditions and have to change 11 of those very same pads in a single day.

This whole ordeal of a monthly occurrence (I must say it is an ordeal even if its not monthly because then one might fret about pregnancy) causes great physical and mental anxiety and pain, and also causes a whole in our pockets. I would spend about Rs120 every month on sanitary napkins and I know that for many women, it is much more.

NOW

But now! with the advent of January 2014, during my first period of the year, I looked something like this.

Happy free woman typically shown in advertisements for sanitary napkins. She is lying, just like the santary napkins!T

The main reason behind this was…
Drumroll….da dum da dum!!

….The main reason behind this was that I used a MOONCUP!!

What is a Mooncup?
A Mooncup is a silicone menstrual cup that is a safer, convinient and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and sanitary napkins. As mooncup.co.uk claims rightfully, the Mooncup menstrual cup offers an end to the waste, discomfort and expense of disposable sanitary protection.

What does it look like?

the Mooncup, also known as femmecup

the Mooncup, also known as femmecup

WHY Mooncup?

As the product already claims and has been testified to be true by many many women around the world, the mooncup is caring for the woman’s vagina. Tampons often cause dryness and sanitary napkins can cause rashes. But the Mooncup is safer as it is made from soft medical grade silicone, is latex-free, contains no dyes, bleaches or toxins.
It is an Environment-friendly option. It is reusable.One mooncup can be used for every day of the period, for every period, for even upto 10 years. It is extremely easy to clean and sterilise , and hence will not cause any infection. While sanitary napkins and tampons fill up landfills all over the world, the mooncup is sensitive to Mother Nature.
Since it is reusable, it is obviously a cheaper option. I paid Rs1800 for the mooncup (I din’t have to pay for shipping as I asked someone to bring it for me from London), and this means that in a little more than a year I will make up the cost.

HOW it is used?
This video can explain better.

It might sound disgusting to you, but trust me , it is actually beautiful.
Why I LOVE the Mooncup?
I have never ever before been so happy about my period. I AM ACTUALLY HAPPY DURING MY PERIOD.
I must give a little bit too much information here, but it is necessary. I have actually gotten to know my body better and appreciate it more now. I am in awe of nature for having creating such beautifully complicated biological systems. I have even gotten to understand my period better, knowing better than ever before, the exact state of my flow as the period progresses. I din’t remember at any point during my period, that I actually had ’em because I felt none of the usual discomfort.
Physical activity, Exercise and dancing wearing a mooncup: Absolutely safe. Absolutely comfortable. I could even dance freely and do multiple somersaults during dance class while wearing a mooncup during my period.
[Addition on Oct 25th , 2014: So this year I also went open water diving in the Andaman and Nicobar islands and got my period on the last day. I did not use the mooncup because scientifically we figured that if there is an air pocket that cannot be equalized (My friend rightly pointed out that this would requiure me to equalize my vagina, hahaha), it was safe to not use the mooncup without consultation or advice about whether it is safe to use while diving where pressure imbalance can be created at even a few meters underwater. So I just used a tampon for the first time in my life. If you know about how diving and mooncups go together, please let me know!]
Cramps: Though I don’t have much experience with this problem, my friend who got the mooncup for me from the UK and has been using the mooncup for 7 years now, says that even her cramps and body pain reduced ever since she started using the mooncup. However, I can’t really figure out any scientific reason this should happen and it may just be a coincidence.
I am a cheap-master. So I am a big time kanjoos (Terminology: Miser). Towards the end of the period, say the 5th day, when I think that it is probably over and wouldn’t want t waste a sanitary pad (Rs12 ish) on it and just go to class/work like its a normal day. Then I get like a 3 ml flow and its annoying. Now there is laundry to be done and I wear fresh knickers and decide to use a pad. Thats when there is no flow! Great, Waste of money. Hmmph!
But a Mooncup can be used till the end of the period, for all days! This makes it even more economical and a sensible option for women who have longer menstrual cycles.

The Difficulty and Challenge of using the Mooncup
This was only initially when I was nervous about putting such a large thing up my vajajay. I postponed using it for four months after buying it. Once I finally tired, I failed and chickened out. The next month, I actually got through and had to immediately ride my scooter. I felt it prick under me and realized I had gotten it wrong as you are not even supposed to feel it there! The next attempt I got it right but din’t know how to get it out! Then I remembered that you just have to “breathe,relax and push down.”  One day I even missed my dance class as I was afraid that if I did somersaults, the menstrual blood woudl flow back to my falopian tubes or something. None of that happened and I was absolutely comfortable during the next period when I went for super active dance and yoga classes.
It has certainly been a challenging and learning experience. But boy am I glad about this one!

For all the above reasons and many more I may soon discover, I am sure that I will never ever go back to any other form of sanitary protection for menstruation after using the Mooncup.

If you want testimonials from more women , this is one of the many I like.

Finally, a pretty neat rap battle between the tampon and the mooncup!

Leave a comment

March 11, 2014 · 12:38 am

Bombay of mine, thank you for you.

So! On the 17th day of January, I decided to kick off with the Number 1 thing on my Bucket list for the year. I booked a ticket for the very next day, on the train to Bombay!
The 1.5 days I spent there were a crazy fest of amazing food, friends, family,barely any sleep, warmth and memories!

Its difficult to talk or write about Bombay simply because I am so aware of my bias to the city I call home, where I know I will always belong but probably would not want to go back to live in. Walking down familiar paths with old friends and breathing in the sea-breeze, it felt like the easiest and most natural thing to be there with those very people. It was so wonderful to be able to talk about things to a friend who knows you since you were 3 and someone who has seen you through all the masks and facades you put up until there were no more left, and knows you for real. and accepts, and embraces and loves. you. There was no need to give a context or explain a story, it all just came from the knowledge of growing up together, in the same little town where most people knew eachother, and lived as a community, with its small failings, and small victories.

I met exactly the people I would meet if I had a limited time in my hometown and the one person I would love to meet but hadn’t made a plan with, I bumped into her on the street although she doesn’t live there anymore either! I ate exactly all that I would have eaten and have been missing.

I had several realizations in the hours I spent there, some whilst sober and other not, which I would like to put down here.
1. Every person from Bombay is an AMAZING dancer of the street ghaati/Ganpati visarjan style. (Look at the little boy in purple going for it here to know what I mean!) I keep forgetting that in Delhi where I have no company for it!

2. Into the Wild should be the next book I add to my reading list. Heard Eddie Vader belting out Society in a room full of happy people and realized that I am someone who likes to live on teh edge or outside of society and thats the kind of people I end up making friends with. hmmm

3. I live intensely in the moment. In the night I spent in Lonavla, for most of the night, I din’t remember or think about a single thing outside of the exact minute I was in, There was no past, no future.

4. A thought about my current partner or the fact that I have one, passed my mind for the first time in the night at 1.30am. I wonder if thinking about someone you think/claim you love  after a gap of four and a half hours is normal. How are people supposed to be in love if they are supposed to be any one way at all?!

5. I love Pav Bhaji, and it will always be my number one favourite dish.

I am glad this is how 2014 has started. I am feeling at peace and yet all the atoms that make me are going crazy bouncing off eachother. Thats what Bombay does to me. Its my medicine and my bane. I love it there.

Also just realized that I haven’t been doing much from the rest if my bucket list, oops! Signing off, here’s a song dedicated to Bombay and its warm showers.  Bombay Rain, I think of you often.

1 Comment

Filed under Journeys and travels, La vie, My favourite people, novel, Stuff I like, Thoughts/ Ideas

My Himalayan Story 2012

I was in the Himalayas this summer. Trekking upto almost 13000 feet, we crossed the Saurkundi pass in the Kullu valley through an expedition organised by the Youth Hostel Association of India. From reporting at the base camp to touching the base camp again after the trek it was 11 days in all.  As we climbed and went to each campsite, nature in all its splendour was revealed to us.

The thing about the Himalayas is that never ceases to amaze you. I have been to the Himalayas before while trekking on another valley, and yet, this time again , I was moved beyond words to see snow-peaked mountains. It’s incredible to see these shimmering white all around, except perhaps a few mountains far across that have black clouds hovering above and are shrouded in fog, and you know that it’s snowing there. The fresh sweet water, the wind whispering tales of where its been, green blades of grass uncrumpled, the kiss of the first few snow drops –  everything resides within me.

The wind is young, the wind is alive.

This time, we were the 15th group to leave from the Saurkundi base-camp at Babeli and were hence called SK15. Quite funnily, my younger brother was chosen the group leader and after two days of acclimatization, we set out for the top.  I have been on such treks before, but what was extraordinary was that 25 deaf-and-dumb students from a school in Bhavnagar(Gujarat) were trekking with us along with their teachers for guidance. Spending many days with them, they taught us not just the sign-language, but many more lessons. They were always so excited to learn and really see what was around them. They accepted their handicap as a part of something god-given and never were they upset about it. I remember, once I was talking to one of them in sign language and telling him that I love to dance. I asked him what he liked, drawing?singing? To that, he indicated, ‘yes, singin. But I can’t really sing because I have no voice.’ Thats when I realized. I had become so engrossed in conversing that I had forgotten his disability. A glass shattered within me as I realized that even our hobbies have so much to do with our senses which we so often take so much for granted. They could not hear music. I was distressed. I apologized to him and he just replied saying that god had made him that way. I also realized that its stupid that I was surprised at these children being able to trek. Ofcourse they could. They had their limbs, but more than that, they had the will. It was me who was disabled in the mind, to think that this was a great challenge for them. They had conquered much more, a long time back.

I suppose some disabilities are apparent, and others are not. In some way, we all are disabled. Or “differently-abled”, as its called in the parlance of our times.

Wes once told me something very remarkable. He pointed out how they laughed so uninhibited and with so much truth, when infact, they couldn’t even hear themselves or each other. Its been more than a month since this, and I haven’t gotten over what he said.

Well, getting back to the trek. We lived in tents at each camp and got simple yet nourishing food that will give us the stamina and strength to climb. It’s always fun at these treks. There are so many different people around, there is time to socialize and yet be alone and contemplate. Everything from politics to stupid toilet habits are discussed, and a new intimacy is found. This is a comfortable one, where there is not much hope of meeting again, though there are promises. This is an intimacy , that you think might soon fizzle out with distance,and so there is also an uninhibited-ness about the bonds formed. I met a lot of fabulous people here. Aparna, Minhaj and Wes, being the closest. Ofcourse, I found out once again, that my brother is a superb guy. At one of the lunch stops, a guy came along with the local attire and jewellery that women in the Kullu valley wear. He rented it to me for Rs 20 while I clicked pictures with it on. I even held a kid (baby goat) while I posed and learnt some steps from the local folk dance from him. 🙂

In one of the camps, Dora Thatch, I witnessed a sight we only see in paintings. Up away a little above, the hill we were on was silhouetted against a deep navy blue sky. In it, was a single large planet, the shining Venus. I had never seen her so large. On the hill, we saw silhouettes of ponies grazing and bounding around.  I saw this, and such beautiful sights that I don’t have the right words to describe.

I hope my brain and my memory, can forever recollect these sights and images and people in the exact shape and shade. I don’t want to forget the details. I don’t want to forget the water’s taste. Most of all, I don’t want to forget that freedom. I don’t want to lose it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Journeys and travels, La vie, Love and all, My favourite people, Stuff I like, Thoughts/ Ideas, World

Shangri-la

Shangri-la is an  imaginary remote paradise on earth.A remote and secluded hideaway of great beauty and peacefulness. Correction : Its not imaginary.

I was just there.

A bunch of my friends and I went for a trek to the Himalayas along with a trekking group.We scaled Sar Pass at 13800 feet which over looks the Parvati Valley. The Himalayas in its quiet snow-clad peaks makes one listen to their own inner voice.Each of us had new experiences, secured new bonds and friendships, new ideas,new insights.The beauty all around , the snow,the greenery,the waterfalls,streams,the countless stars, the oh-so-impossibly photoshop blue sky and the fresh air keeps everyone in good spirits.It can make you appreciate nature and make us realize what we are loosing.It can give us answers that we have always had within us.It can make difficult decisions easy to take and accept.

Its not just the atmosphere that does this to you.Its the people around. Our fellow trekkers came from different fields and belonged to different age groups and different parts of the country.They all had wonderful qualities and love for nature.We would trek together for hours , discuss philosophies and issues that are important to us,learn from each other, support and cheer each other. We encountered some heroes too. These were the lady porters who carried the rucksacks for some trekkers.The would trek up all the way from their village way below and be at our campsite before we leave each morning.After we reached our next higher campsite, they would go back all the way again to their village and walk back once more in the morning.All this with such a cheerful demeanor.

This trek taught a lot of things. Every place has something to give and teach us.And so do it’s people.

It was definitely a welcome change from the fast never-ending circuit life that we lead in the cities.For a change , there was no 8.03 train to catch. It just never mattered what the time was. There was no cell phone,no facebook or internet, no news to occupy your mind and time.

Most importantly, there was time for oneself. To think. and the surroundings were such that gave you clarity.There was love for the world.And love for one-self found.

I made peace with myself. I believe again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Journeys and travels, My favourite people, Stuff I like, Thoughts/ Ideas, Uncategorized, World

Chicago

After having had a pretty sad day, I switched on the television hoping for something to cheer me up.

And there it was! Chicago to the rescue! 🙂

Though I attribute the cheering up to the lovely Chocolate Dutch Truffle I had , the movie  was very much an entertainer! A remake of the 1975 Broadway show, Chicago has a constant flow of drama, music and dance.There is never a loose moment in the movie which can be credited to everything from the plot to the performances and the brilliant execution of it.

The story goes like this. Set in Chicago of the 1920s, Velma Kelly (played by Catherine Zeta Jones) is a vaudevillian, that is, someone who is part of a theatrical variety of entertainment. Gaining popularity she is happy until she finds her husband and sister in bed together and kills both of them in a fit of rage.While she is being tried for the murder , another belle fille aspiring to be a part of vaudeville Roxie Hart(Renee Zellweneger) is jailed for murder.Being married to a colourless man Amos she ‘fools around’ with Fred Casely who promises to take her up the ranks in the business.But soon he tells her that he has no contacts and he just used her.Enraged, Roxie shoots Fred and is taken to the same jail as Velma, awaiting hanging.This is what leads to all the drama.

Enter.Billy Flynn(Richard Gere–wow! :D)  who is the only lawyer who can save them from the gallows. The jail’s matron ‘Mama’ Morton arranges for Billy to take Roxie’s case.He projects her as the sweetest murdress that ever was to the media and Chicago loves her!  Enjoying all the popularity that she always wanted Roxie is at the top of the world taking away the limelight from Velma.

Chicago makes for a comical satire on how the truth is often twisted and gladly accepted if served on a glamorous silver platter and also takes a dig at the celebrity hungry media.

The performances of the the three lead actors is brilliant with them doing all the singing and dancing.The choreography never fails to impress especially in numbers like Cell Block Tango where the other women inmates relate their reason for being jailed.The vocals by Catherine Zeta Jones are remarkably strong. A lot of credit should also be given to the the strong potrayal of the characer of Billy Flynn by Richard Gere.

Kudos to Rob Marshall as director  for  delivering such a powerful, lurid,dark yet comic entertainer.The quick pacing, the editing and the entire execution shows great talent.

Chicago is definitely a movie that has it all…crime,comedy,drama,music,dance and All that Jazz!

Must watch!

Leave a comment

Filed under Stuff I like

Summer Vacation 2010 check list

So!Vacations are here and just two days into it I am already itching to go out and get busy.

So here are a few things I have decided I must do in these vacations.Ok.And putting it up here doesn’t make it binding upon me to check everything off the list.

– Learn to solve the Rubik’s cube

– Polish Marathi skills

– Get a 2 wheeler license and a 4 wheeler one also if possible

– Practice regular Arabic speaking,reading and writing

– English honours African American literature assignment

– Economics XISR credit paper

– Have a blast at the Himalayan trek

http://www.yhaindia.org/files/adv_programs/description/sarpass.

((-intern   OR   -Go for Valsad Social involvement programme camp))

Will add more stuff as it comes to mind.

Toast to an awesome vacation!! 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Me, Stuff I like