Saturdays With Shivani- Playing On A Level Field

As children we’ve been in awe of our parents’ skills and sometimes intimidated too. Even if they had the intention of passing on that skill to us, quite a few would remember the pressure we were under. Recently an artist told me how she fears showing her paintings to her father who is an accomplished artist himself. I distinctly remember the mess I was when my father tried to teach me how to play the harmonium. The eight-year-old me fumbled

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Saturdays With Shivani- What Women Want?

I often hear men say that this question baffles them. There have been bawdy, irritating jokes that periodically make rounds on WhatsApp groups. The emojis in response are irritating but also an interesting peek into social psyche. Men ‘nudge knowingly’, ‘wink’ or ‘laugh’ openly while women ‘smile’ politely, some squirm and a few ignore. The eternal question however remains unanswered partly because men often don’t ask or if they do, they don’t listen. Contrary to what the commercials show or

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Saturdays With Shivani- Spotlight On Science

My timeline is flooded with two kinds of posts from India- the farmer protests and the vaccination drive. I have been losing sleep over the former and pray that sanity wins eventually and peace prevails. Rab raakha, in God’s hands, as I often say is the only thought that keeps me calm. Posts of the latter kind however bring me hope and joy. While here we wait for the vaccine to arrive, in India, my friends, colleagues and other healthcare

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Saturdays With Shivani- The Food On My Plate

In the frenzied world of food fads and diet plans that we live in, the wisest words that have stayed with me, almost like a talisman, are— Eat local. Eat seasonal. When I moved to Mumbai and explored the traditional foods, I included more millets as a substitute for my staple wheat, ditched my beloved basmati rice for the local variety and such smaller changes. Every winter I crave for the winter veggies like turnip and cauliflower. Even though cauliflower

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Saturdays With Shivani- Be Mindful Of Your Child’s Reading

Last week when I was writing an article about online libraries in India, I got to speak to some of the individuals who are running them on their own steam. The experience was thoroughly enjoyable and it was refreshing to hear from them that their reader base has been expanding since inception. COVID was a challenge but due to the restrictions, children ended up upgrading their skills and more joined their ilk. In the writer circles that I now move

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Saturdays With Shivani- What Do You Want?

In my career in a teaching hospital, my job involved working with 18 to 25-year-olds who were pursuing their MBBS or MD. These were bright, young students; the crème de la crème as they say; considering they were pursuing medicine in one of the premier institutes of our country. I used to enjoy interacting with them so many a time our discussions would go beyond the realm of curriculum. As bright as they were, some them would appear lost. They

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Saturdays With Shivani – We Survived!

As our family of three hugged and wish each other a happy new year at midnight, my daughter’s first words were, “Hum bach gaye. We survived. We made it.” Three simple words but they carry the gist of this year in them. This can be interpreted on so many levels. Going by the tone and emotion in her voice, this is what I concluded. There was a huge sigh of relief tinged with a bit of sadness. Was it survivor’s

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Saturdays With Shivani-May The Meek Truly Inherit The Earth

Recently I randomly searched the term ‘competitive spirit’ and this is what Google threw- ‘a combative, fighting attitude or temperament’; and ‘a drive to win; desire to succeed and be the best’. I think I am a competitive person and I often introspect on that part of me as to why I may be like that. It must have started innocuously with loved ones pushing and cheering me on and who doesn’t like to be appreciated. Later on, I assume

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Saturdays With Shivani-Where Did We Throw Our Moral Compasses?

I have often proclaimed that I have a huge respect for children and a big reason for that is; they are not people pleasers and that they have a conscience they heed to. As we grow older, we often struggle with both these concepts. The idea of being alone and unpopular is not a palatable one, so to an extent that struggle is justified. When I was in third standard, I remember a moral science lesson that centred around conscience.

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Saturdays With Shivani- Criticism and How To Handle It

The other day my daughter and I happened to linger on a dance-based reality show while browsing through channels. We especially enjoyed one contestant’s performance and were curious about what the judges had to say. Two of them had words of appreciation but the third one wasn’t impressed. My daughter was empathetic and wondered how sad the contestant would be. As if it wasn’t bad enough; that she had to smile and nod through it all made it even worse.

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