Jan 24, 2012

Happy marriages Final part

Eclipsed by Expectations


What's most noticeable about Sarah and Mark Holdt of Estes Park, Colorado, is their many differences. "He's a Republican, I'm a Democrat. He's a traditional Christian, I'm an agnostic. He likes meat and potatoes, I like more adventurous food," says Sarah. So Mark heads off to church and Bible study every week, while Sarah takes a "Journeys" class that considers topics like the history of God in America. "When he comes home, I'll ask, 'What did you learn in Bible Study?'" she says. And she'll share her insights from her own class with him.


But when Sarah wants to go to a music festival and Mark wants to stay home, "I just go," says Sarah. "I don't need to have him by my side for everything." He's there when it matters most—at home, at the dinner table, in bed. "We both thrive on touch," says Sarah, "so we set our alarm a half hour early every morning and take that time to cuddle." They've been married for 14 years.

It takes a comfortable sense of self and deliberate effort to make relationships commodious enough to tolerate such differences. What's striking about the Holdts is the time they take to share what goes on in their lives—and in their heads—when they are apart. Research shows that such "turning toward" each other and efforts at information exchange, even in routine matters, are crucial to maintaining the emotional connection between partners.

Say one partner likes to travel and the other doesn't. "If you view this with a feeling of resentment, that's going to hurt, over and over again," says Doherty. If you can accept it, that's fine—provided you don't start living in two separate worlds.

The available evidence suggests that women more than men bring some element of fantasy into a relationship. Women generally initiate more breakups and two-thirds of divorces, becoming more disillusioned than men. They compare their mates with their friends much more than men do, says Doherty.


He notes, "They tend to have a model or framework for what the relationship should be. They are more prone to the comparison between what they have and what they think they should have. Men tend to monitor the gap between what they have and what they think they deserve only in the sexual arena. They don't monitor the quality of their marriage on an everyday basis."

To enter a relationship with an idea of what it should look like or how it should evolve is too controlling, she contends. It takes two people to make a relationship. One person doesn't get to decide what it should be. And to the extent that he or she does, the other partner is not going to be happy.

The Signal to Grow



It is a fact that like the other basic pillars of life, such as work and children, marriage is not always going to be a source of satisfaction. No one is loved perfectly; some part of our authentic self is never going to be met by a partner. Sure, you can always draw a curtain over your heart. But that is not the only or the best response.


"Sometimes marriage is going to be a source of pain and sorrow," says Givertz. "And that's necessary for personal and interpersonal growth." In fact, it's impossible to be deliriously happy in marriage every moment if you are doing anything at all challenging in life, whether raising children, starting a business, or taking care of an aging parent.

Disillusionment becomes an engine for growth because it forces us to discover our needs. Knowing oneself, recognizing one's needs, and speaking up for them in a relationship are often acts of bravery, says Page. Most of us are guarded about our needs, because they are typically our areas of greatest sensitivity and vulnerability.

At the same time, taking the risk to expose your inner life to your partner turns out to be the great opportunity for expanding intimacy and a sense of connection. This is the great power of relationships: Creating intimacy is the crucible for growing into a fully autonomous human being while the process of becoming a fully realized person expands the possibility for intimacy and connection. This is also the work that transforms a partner into the right partner.


In other words, the inability or unwillingness to suppress negative emotions in the heat of the moment eliminates the possibility of a transformation of motivation to a broader perspective than one's own. Eventually, the cumulative impact of negative reactivity brings the relationship down.


"There is no such thing as two people meant for each other," says Michelle Givertz. "It's a matter of adjusting and adapting." But you have to know yourself so that you can get your needs for affection, inclusion, and control met in the ways that matter most for you. Even then, successful couples redefine their relationship many times, says Meinecke. Relationships need to continually evolve to fit ever-changing circumstances. They need to incorporate each partner's changes and find ways to meet their new needs.

Boston's Real reports that he attended an anniversary party for friends who had been together 25 years. When someone commented on the longevity of the relationship, the husband replied: "Every morning I wake up, splash cold water on my face, and say out loud, 'Well, you're no prize either.'" While you're busy being disillusioned with your partner, Real suggests, you'll do better with a substantial dose of humility."


A Critical Difference



There's a difference between fighting for what you want in your relationship and being in direct control of your partner, demanding that he or she change, says Real.

Firmly stand up for your wants and needs in a relationship. "Most people don't have the skill to speak up for and fight for what they want in a relationship," he observes. "They don't speak up, which preserves the love but builds resentment. Resentment is a choice; living resentfully means living unhappily. Or they speak up—but are not very loving." Or they just complain.

The art to speaking up, he says, is to transform a complaint into a request. Not "I don't like how you're talking to me," but "Can you please lower your voice so I can hear you better?" If you're trying to get what you want in a relationship, notes Real, it's best to keep it positive and future-focused.

Jan 23, 2012

Happy Marriages Part - 3

The Way Things Are


Romance itself seeds the eventual belief that we have chosen the wrong partner. The early stage of a relationship, most marked by intense attraction and infatuation, is in many ways like a happiness, and we don't blame them for our unhappiness. We take responsibility for the expectations that we carry, for our own negative emotional reactions, for our own insecurities, and for our own dark moods."


But instead of looking at ourselves, or understanding the fantasies that bring us to such a pass, we engage in a thought process that makes our differences tragic and intolerable, says William Doherty. It's one thing to say, "I wish my spouse were more into the arts, like I am." Or, "I wish my partner was not just watching TV every night but interested in getting out more with me." That's something you can fix.

It's quite another to say, "This is intolerable. I need and deserve somebody who shares my core interests." The two thought processes are likely to trigger differing actions. It's possible to ask someone to go out more. It's not going to be well received to ask someone for a personality overhaul.

No one is going to get all their needs met in a relationship. He urges fundamental acceptance of the person we choose and the one who chooses us. "We're all flawed. With parenting, we know that comes with the territory. With spouses, we say 'This is terrible.'"

The culture, however, pushes us in the direction of discontent. "Some disillusionment and feelings of discouragement are normal in the love-based matches in our culture," explains Doherty. "But consumer culture tells us we should not settle for anything that is not ideal for us."

Further, he says, it's too simplistic an interpretation that your partner is the one who's wrong. "We tend to point our finger at the person in front of us. We're fairly crude at processing some information. We tend not to think, 'Maybe I'm not giving her what she needs.' 'Maybe he's disgruntled because I'm not opening up to him.' Or, 'Maybe he's struggling in his relationships with other people.' The more sophisticated question is, 'In what ways are we failing to make one another happy?'"

Now in a long-term relationship, Toronto's Katz has come to believe that "Marriage is not about finding the right person. It's about becoming the right person. Many people feel they married the wrong person, but I've learned that it's truly about growing to become a better mate."

Happy Marriages Part - 2

Are You with the Right Mate?


Elliott Katz was stunned to find himself in the middle of a divorce after two kids and 10 years of marriage. The Torontonian, a policy analyst for the Ottawa government, blamed his wife. "She just didn't appreciate all I was doing to make her happy." He fed the babies, and he changed their diapers. He gave them their baths, he read them stories, and put them to bed. Before he left for work in the morning, he made them breakfast. He bought a bigger house and took on the financial burden, working evenings to bring in enough money so his wife could stay home full-time.

He thought the solution to the discontent was for her to change. But once on his own, missing the daily interaction with his daughters, he couldn't avoid some reflection. "I didn't want to go through this again. I asked whether there was something I could have done differently. After all, you can wait years for someone else to change."

What he decided was, indeed, there were some things he could have done differently—like not tried as hard to be so non controlling that his wife felt he had abandoned decision-making entirely. His wife, he came to understand, felt frustrated, as if she were "a married single parent," making too many of the plans and putting out many of the fires of family life, no matter how many chores he assumed.

Ultimately, he stopped blaming his wife for their problems. "You can't change another person. You can only change yourself," he says. "Like lots of men today," he has since found, "I was very confused about my role as partner." After a few post-divorce years in the mating wilderness, Katz came to realize that framing a relationship in terms of the right or wrong mate is by itself a blind alley.

"We're given a binary model," says New York psychotherapist Ken Page. "Right or wrong. Settle or leave. We are not given the right tools to think about relationships. People need a better set of options."

Sooner or later, there comes a moment in all relationships when you lie in bed, roll over, look at the person next to you and think it's all a dreadful mistake.It happens a few months to a few years in. "It's an open secret of American culture that disillusionment exists. I go around the country speaking about 'normal marital hatred.' Not one person has ever asked what I mean by that. It's extremely raw."

What to do when the initial attraction sours? "I call it the first day of your real marriage," Real says. It's not a sign that you've chosen the wrong partner. It is the signal to grow as an individual—to take responsibility for your own frustrations. Invariably, we yearn for perfection but are stuck with an imperfect human being. We all fall in love with people we think will deliver us from life's wounds but who wind up knowing how to rub against us.

We alone are responsible for having the relationship we want. And to get it, we have to dig deep into ourselves while maintaining our connections.

Happy Marriage - Part 1

This blog post is going to be divided into many parts because I don't want it to seem very long and thus make it seem to boring to read.
Now most of my readers and friends are married,are 30+ and with children.I have known my husband for almost 11 years now and like everyone knows,marriage after a couple of years is something one has to work on to keep it cheerful,filled with bliss,spicy,so as to avoid the rut one falls into after monotonous way of living.

I found this very interesting article which I think is a good read both for learning and understanding ourselves and our partners and our marriages.
My husband and I come from totally different backgrounds and have lived contrast lives in our past.It has been difficult but we were happy to adjust,compromise.Our likes and dislikes may differ invariably but this is has strengthened our relationship over the years.(AlHamdullilah)We have learnt to accept our differences and yet be respectful of each others decisions.Learnt giving each other the space is the greatest gift we can give each other,so that we can maintain our identity but not appear that indifferent.
Please do pass on this article,Its helpful and has some good pointers .
....................................................................

In our Age of Entitlement, one of the biggest strains on marriage is the presumptive right to have your partner make you happy. This unfortunate presumption persists even though evidence shows that happy people make happy marriages. In other words, if you were happy before you met your partner, you will likely be happy after marriage; but if you were an unhappy single, marriage alone won't make you happy.


Rather than using their negative emotions as motivations to heal, improve, and repair, unhappy people tend to blame them, first on themselves and later on their partners. Eventually this leads to blaming the spouse for moral/emotional failing and is incapable of love and sympathy.

Blaming gives unhappy spouses a sense of superiority and self-righteousness, which certainly feels more powerful than the self-doubt inherent in complex relationships. But this fleeting sense of power comes at a high price. In reducing self-doubt, it eliminates the motivation to heal, improve, and repair, leaving in its place a chronic and impotent resentment. It keeps their consciousness locked on how unhappy, even "damaged" they are at the hands of their partners.

Jan 21, 2012

Heart Attack

I had been wanting to write on this topic for quite some time but now with constant bombardment of doctor shows and health shows regarding this topic,I think it has to be finally written.


Many of us think that heart attack is limited to people who have crossed 50 but with the kind of lifestyle we live,thanks to the damn modernisation in every aspect of our life, what we call luxury ,is the eternal damnation of of our so called lazy lives.

Women are prone to heart attacks now compared to men and this is one thing that's always in news out here.Woman,age 32,died of a massive heart heart attack.Has left behind 3 kids less than 10 yrs of age.Man died of heart attack,43 yrs old.Body to be sent home in 3 days.its actually become a very common thing nowadays.

I was saved by the bell last year and coming to think of it,I actually thought I was invincible before all this coz I wasn't even 34 yet.As it will be explained later on in the blog, Please don't be a hypochondriac but consider this a health education to self and spread the word.You may help save some one's life.

When we think of a heart attack,we think,like in the movies,we will clutch on to our chest tightly,sweat and fall off.Well,it is a little bit like that but one most know heart attack in women in many ways compared to men.The reason being we have a low threshold for pain unlike men and we are in tune with our bodies a lot more.At least some women are.

Now some people have not many of the symptoms and will collapse and die ,which is like a major heart attack.And many of us have the symptoms but will still ignore it, confusing it with something else.

The most common symptoms are :-

Chest pain : You will feel this tightness,this ache in the center of your chest or a pressure as if someone is standing on your chest.It may either last for a few minutes or the pains will come and go.
Many women don't even feel chest pain but if you are,visit a doctor,check your blood pressure immediately.Mine was 221/190.A panic attack can also give the illusion of a heart attack but in that your pulse goes haywire but the blood pressure doesn't.In my case,it has been true quite many times.

Pain in the jaw,neck or back.My jaw would hurt when I had chest pains.It was like a climbing pain from the jaw,sometimes my head would ache as well.

Shortness of breath : When you run fast,there will be a point when you need to gather your breath, so you stop and calm yourself down.When you have this,you will feel out of breath and will try to take long deep breaths.
Shortness of breath seems to be a particularly important symptom for men and women, though it is often not thought of as a serious medical concern. This symptom seemed to be a particularly good indicator of heart troubles for people who were not previously aware that they had heart disease.

Some feel nauseous and may experience vomitting.I didn't feel so.

Indigestion : This I had.I thought I had gas but I couldn't pass any.I had hajmolas and Eno and lime tea and what not,but the feeling wouldn't just go.

Weakness,fatigue and dizziness: you could have all 3 or either or none.I would feel so tired that I just wanted to sleep.I couldn't help myself and would fall asleep.

Dizziness and lightheadedness.No, I Didn't feel these symptoms either.

In one study, women were more than twice as likely as men to experience nausea, vomiting, or indigestion as heart attack symptoms.

What are pre-heart attack symptoms?

Pre-heart attack or prodromal symptoms are symptoms that occur before a heart attack, generally from about 4 to 6 months to 1 week before (though some people report these symptoms up to 2 years before their heart attack).

Common pre-heart attack symptoms include :

Unusual fatigue


Sleep disturbance


Shortness of breath


Chest pain


Indigestion

A state of fear, worry or uneasiness, sometimes about future events. When a specific fear triggers the anxiety, the condition is called phobic anxiety.(A state of fear, worry or uneasiness, sometimes about future events. When a specific fear triggers the anxiety, the condition is called phobic anxiety.)

Pain in shoulder blade or upper back .(I had this,in my shoulder and back as well.)

It is important to be aware of pre-heart attack symptoms because if you recognize them, you can seek medical help immediately and potentially avoid a heart attack. Another reason to be aware of these prodromal symptoms is that often these same symptoms will be felt just before and during your heart attack.

Do women and men experience pain differently?

Some studies have shown that men and women perceive pain differently and this may help explain why men and women report different heart attack symptoms. Women have a lower threshold for pain, including pressure-type pain, than men. Several studies have found that when women experience chest pain, they rate it as more severe than men.Women may appear more likely to experience so-called atypical symptoms because they report a wider variety of symptoms and because they experience these symptoms more intensely than men.

Why is recognizing symptoms important?

Many heart attack patients, especially women, wait 2 hours or more after their symptoms begin before they seek medical help. This delay can result in death or long-lasting heart damage, and it is one of the reasons why women tend to experience worse outcomes after a heart attack than men.
5 Top reasons for heart Attacks :-

#1 High cholesterol
High cholesterol can be extremely dangerous, and particularly it can cause hardening of the arteries(atherosclerosis), which sequentially can lead to blocked coronary arteries, marked by chest pain, or a heart attack. Other severe problems such as blocked arteries to the brain, for example, can result in a stroke, while blocked arteries in the legs can create pain, limping and even disability.
Cholesterol is a fatty and wax-like material that is naturally present in the human body, and your body makes use of this cholesterol to create many different hormones, such as Vitamin D and the bile acids that assist to digest fat. Even though a certain amount of cholesterol is usual, if you have too much in your bloodstream then the surplus may be dumped in the arteries of the heart, which in turn can lead to heart disease.

#2 Diabetes
Some people believe that they need to have been born with diabetes for it to be a factor; but in fact, a person can get type two diabetes. Type two diabetes usually comes about when a person is very much overweight, particularly because of their diet. Too many people have a fondness for junk food, and junk food has a hefty amount of sugar in it. Eating too much sugar not only makes considerable weight increase, it also increases the level of sugar in the blood, which results in type two diabetes.
For people that have type two diabetes owing to years of eating junk food, heart disease is the next thing that typically happens. The fat from this food is absorbed into the blood flow, and over time the fatty substances build up in the arteries. Some people end up with arteries that are so blocked that they need bypass surgery.

#3 Hypertension or high blood pressure
Hypertensive heart disease is on the whole a more serious and dangerous form of heart disease and it is normally caused by uncontrolled and extended elevation of blood pressure, as this can lead to various changes in the myocardial structure, coronary vasculature, and conduction system of the heart.
Heart failure is a common complication of hypertensive heart disease, and it is often unrecognized.
#4 Smoking
The carcinogens found in cigarettes are part of the relationship between smoking and heart disease. These substances that are in the cigarette are absorbed into the blood stream. As a result, the blood becomes contaminated. As this blood is pumped through the heart, the nicotine from the cigarettes also develops in the blood stream. As an outcome, the blood becomes thick, which can create clotting. Also, the nicotine will develop in the valves leading to the heart, which increases the risk of heart attack.

#5 Stress
There are two types of stress: physical stress and emotional stress. The physical stress places quantifiable and reproducible demands on the heart, and it is this physical stress which is usually accredited as being good and in fact, the lack of physical stress is what considered as being a major risk factor for heart disease.
Then there is the relationship between emotional stress and heart disease.
The main factor that stress is so likely to cause heart disease is because the rush in adrenaline that is caused by severe emotional stress results in causing the blood to thicken more readily, thus significantly increasing the risk of heart attacks and other coronary problems.

Now, Let me tell you about me.I had chest pains,jaw pain,shortness of breath,shoulder pain,indigestion and fatigue for 3 days,after which I decided to meet with the doctor.I was at my aunt's place when she just checked my blood pressure coz she was worried.When the reading showed 200/160 ( normal is 120/80) ,she asked my hubby to take me to the hospital.

Anyways,I casually went to the clinic where my blood pressure read 150/100 but she made a paper out asking to check myself out in the emergency before going home at the main hospital.2 hours of waiitng at the hospital in the normal waiting area,my turn came and when they checked me I was 220/180.I was rushed into the emergency room ad stripped and wired all over.They gave me medications,oxygen,tried to diaper me up(but I resisted strongly).
5 hours later,I wasnt showing any signs of normal vital signs and I was admitted.Every possible blood test,every vital organ checked and 7 days later,my doctor concluded It was all because of stress.Staying away from my hubby at nights ( coz men are not allowed in general wards and private rooms were fully booked) was adding to my on-going stress.I had 3 more of this attacks,very very minor ones during my stay.I stopped eating,dropped 7 kgs.At last,my doctor advised my hubby that I should be taken home.Maybe having him around would calm me down.When I was discharged my blood pressure was 170/150.And it did.It took me 4 months to acheive normalcy during which,I stopped taking salt,stopped meat and fruits.I wasnt allowed to walk for more than 15 minutes,not do anything strenous whatsoever.

So please pass this along and lets hope it benefits at least one soul someday.









Jan 18, 2012

Sadness



Today,I was very very sad.I don't know if its the medication withdrawal that's getting me depressed or if I'm just upset with life.I cried my eyes out for a good half an hour.I tried not to but I just couldn't get a hold over my emotions.I felt vulnerable,like a bruise that has been cut open again.I felt I would burst open,my heart would just tear wide,I felt this huge anchor of depression on my soul,that I just cried.I spoke to God,complained about all the people I'm bugged with,All the situations I'm tired of,All the emptiness I feel and why I was finding it very hard to be grateful for anything !

“I'm lonely. And I'm lonely in some horribly deep way and for a flash of an instant, I can see just how lonely, and how deep this feeling runs. And it scares the shit out of me to be this lonely because it seems catastrophic.”


Augusten Burroughs, Dry
 
What do you do when you are so upset and are not able to hold it all within the palms of your hand? I couldn't wait for my husband and even he was there,I don't think he would would understand why I was feeling this way ! On the contrare,he would get angry if I had no particular reason to be leaking tears this way.That's the last thing he wanted to see,was his wife crying for no apparent solid reason,after a long tiring day at work.

I envy men coz they bottle up everything and don't cry like us for everything.They might not even share their feelings and I wonder how do they do it ! While I cry till I get an asthma attack within minutes.

I'm the kind of person,who doesn't show her weak side.I have been through hell at times but I cry when I'm totally alone.I talk to myself,i write my diary,I curse while I'm working and after crying I feel this calmness come over me.I feel renewed,fresh and am able to do things again.I don't share my pain with anyone coz to be frank,no one wants to hear a sob story.Everyone has a lot on their plates already with their own miseries,that listening to some one's sadness,is a pain I cannot inflict on someone else.

“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now, hang on, you'll get over it.' Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”


Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees
 
I want to break some plates,glasses,Alas ! my crockery and dinner sets aren't that cheap.Yeah ! I'm amusing myself,so that I forget I cried My heart out a while ago,rolling on the floor.
 
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”


William Shakespeare, Macbeth
 
Being a strong person is difficult.Being uptight about showing your soft side,is a pain in the ass kind of deal as well.I'm the oldest of the 3,and I have been taught to take crap into my stride and not be a wuss.If the younger siblings did something,it was my fault.If they messed,what was I blind that I couldn't understand and put a handle on it all? Why cant I carry their bags coz they will get all tired? Why cant I look after them when my folks are busy? How can I go off to a college in a different place when I have younger ones to care for who cannot yet fend for themselves? So you see,I had to be strong ,strong enough to take crap.

That doesn't mean I wasn't a diva at times,I was,I had to be....But that's a total different story ! Where was I with my sadness...Yeah ! I'm smiling a bit.I have been alone for a couple of days and I guess it got the better of me.I have another 2 months to be alone but gotta do something about it.At times like these,I want to be that that carefree 13 yr old,who played all day long and whose only worry was breakfast and dinner.I wish I could own a puppy but hubby is allergic to animals, literally.He swells up,get red shot eyes and a nose leak.

If I was India,I would got a cow....hate cats and birds...adore dogs.Aah ! Wish I had a child.

Jan 16, 2012

Our Supporters

I always wondered with all the kind of lingerie we have on market today,did women a 100 years ago even bother about it? Which led me to check some sites out regarding brassiere.My mom always called it brassiere,and I would wonder how odd the word sounded !


To my surprise,brassieres were in vogue in the 14th century.In the Ming dynasty era,in China,bra like garments were worn by the upper class women,which was a foundation cloth complete with cups and straps drawn over shoulders and tied to the girth seam at the lower back .

Towards the late 19th century,girdles were invented for woman which tightened the lower Torso,which I'm guessing was to give a thin waist look and that suspended the breasts from the shoulder for the upper torso.These girdles and corsets were even made of metal and had elaborate screws and tightening and while the traditional corset needed the services of another to tighten them,the metal ones were introduced ,so that the woman could tighten and wear the corset all by herself.

By the early 20th century, garments more closely resembling contemporary bras emerged, although large-scale commercial production did not occur until the 1930s. With metal shortages, World War II encouraged the end of the corset. By the time the war ended, most fashion-conscious women in Europe and North America were wearing brassieres. From there the brassiere was adopted by consumers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The term “cup” was not used to describe bras until 1916, and manufacturers relied on stretchable cups to accommodate different sized breasts. Women with larger breasts had the choice of long-line bras, built-up backs, wedge-shaped inserts between the cups, wider straps, firm bands under the cup, and even light boning.Whalebone was used like the wires we use today.

In October 1932, the S.H. Camp and Company correlated the size of a woman's breasts to letters of the alphabet, A through D. In 1937, Warner began to feature cup sizing in its products. Adjustable bands were introduced using multiple eye and hook positions in the 1930s.

In ancient Egypt, women were generally bare breasted. The most common items of female attire a tunic ,a rectangular piece of cloth that was folded sown along the edge to make a tube. The tunic might cover one or both shoulders or be worn with shoulder straps. The shorter tunics was mostly worn by common women or slaves, to be more comfortable when working.I'm going to presume that this is where petty coats originated.I wore them as kids maybe till the age of 15.

Although majority of women in ancient Indian sculptures are devoid of a blouse, there are several instances of ancient Indian women wearing brassieres. The first historical reference to brassieres in India is found during 1st century AD. Sewn brassieres and blouses were very much in vogue during the Vijayanagara empire and the cities brimmed with tailors who specialized in tight fitting of these garments.

Wall paintings in Crete,show women wearing something that looks like a bikini while performing in athletics. Similar depictions have been found in ruins from 4th Century Sicily.

Minoan women on the island of Crete 3,000 years ago apparently wore garments that partially supported and also revealed their bare breasts.Their clothing look somewhat like modern fitted and laced corsets . The support device was worn outside other clothing and supported and exposed the breasts, pushing them upwards and making them more visible. Roman women sometimes wore a band of cloth or leather to support the breasts.

This was in fashion a few years ago.I remember a few bollywood actresses and Hollywood starlets adorning this corset over the tops to show off their curvy waists.

Roman men and women wore a loose flowing tunic, sometimes with a girdle, and an outer cloak. Younger women wore a band of cloth, over the breast to restrict their growth, or a leather tube to conceal larger breasts.

Generally, in the Middle Ages the breasts were minimized in dresses with straight bodices, full skirts and high necklines, designed primarily for function rather than emphasis on form. The 15th century ideal form was small breasted and full figured, symbolizing abundance of fertility. By the time of the Renaissance, decolletage became very fashionable.Decolletage is a type of bra wherein the women literally showed a little spillage. Firmness was an attribute and so women did not breast feed. Infants were given to wet nurses to breast feed, since nursing was bad if a woman wanted to maintain an ideal form. Among the wealthier classes, the corset was beginning to appear by the mid-15th century. Catherine de' Medici (1519–1589) is widely, and wrongly, blamed for the corset. She was reported to have prohibited wide waists at court in the 1550s, legend suggesting she made them wear steel framework corsets.

Early corsets of the 16th century consisted of stiffened linen at the front, but later included iron supports at the side and back. The emphasis now was on form, with compression of the breasts forcing them upwards to the point of almost spilling out, so a considerable part of the breast was exposed. The ideal form was a flat torso, which inevitably pushed the breasts upwards and out.

In 1910, Mary Phelps Jacob ,a 19-year-old New York socialite, Dissatisfied with this brassieres, she worked with her maid to fashion two silk handkerchiefs together with some pink ribbon and cord. Her innovation drew immediate attention and at the request of family and friends, she made more of her new device.

On 3 November 1914, the U.S. Patent Office issued the first U.S. Paton,for the 'Backless Brassiere'. Her patent was for a device that was lightweight, soft, comfortable to wear, and naturally separated the breasts, unlike the corset, which was heavy, stiff, uncomfortable, and had the effect of creating a single "mono bosom".

The word 'brassiere' was gradually shortened to 'bra' in the 1930s. According to a 1934 survey by Harper's Bazaar, bra was the most commonly used expression among college women.Adjustable bands were introduced using multiple eye and hook positions in the 1930s.Bras rapidly became a major industry over the 1930s, with improvements in fiber technology, fabrics, colours, patterns, and options, and did much better than the retail industry in general. Innovations included Warners' use of elastic, the adjustable strap, the sized cup, and padded bras for smaller-breasted women.

The Second World War had a major impact on clothing. Military women of lower rank were fitted with uniform underwear. Advertising appealed to both patriotism and the concept that bras and girdles were somehow 'protection'. Dress codes appeared where their workers were told that bras must be worn because of 'good taste, anatomical support, and morale'.Conically pointed Torpedo or Bullet (or even Cone) bra started to appear in the 1940-50s, designed for 'maximum projection'.

The 60s and 70s reflected increasing interest in quality and fashion. Maternity and mastectomy bras began to find a new respectability, and the increasing use of washing machines created a need for products that were more durable.

Most bras are designed to be form-fitting, to avoid sagging, and restrain their movement. Bra designers and manufacturers originally produced bras that were purely functional and gradually added elements to improve the design, but they have now largely shifted from functionality to fashion. Manufacturers' standards and sizes vary widely, making it difficult for women to find a bra that fits.

Oprah dedicated this one episode on bras and I remember it was one of the most informative shows that I truly loved and made me seek better bras for myself.I didn't know there were cups sizes from A through H.Most of the women wear ill fitting ones and really don't think much into it.I think the major problem is for busty women,who have to be very careful about the inner wear due to many obvious reasons.Bra is an important part of our attire and like the new generation who think its hip to not wear one or show it off.I think it brings grace to female form and decency to an attire.




Jan 14, 2012

People in your life.

Most of us who live abroad,have no relatives or family living around us.We are all alone ,the ultimate nuclear family.Its just us and the friends we make over the years.In my life,I haven't lived in joint family.Only when I visited India once in 4 or 5 years,I would spend almost a month with nanima or dadima's home and as usual ,we lived liked guests.The entire month went attending dinners and luncheons and brunches with every known relative.Either we were treating or were being treated to.But as kids,it was the change in atmosphere and environment that held our fascination,not the relatives itself.

Out here,before the first gulf war,my parents would have a lunch parties every Friday.Elaborate meals were cooked,"Rummy" was played,new movies were watched and every gossip was discussed.It would range from movies,to people getting engaged or expecting children and other weekend parties.Even though the cost of living and stuff wasn't expensive,money was one issue nobody considered when entertaining friends.My dad's dialogue," Money comes and goes,money is meant to be spent.Of course,save but don't be a miser when it comes to friends.They are our family out here." The ideology behind it being,one cannot be happy all by our self.No matter what and how much we earn,we need friends or family to be a part our life.They ground us and keep the bonds alive.

Come Gulf war,when we realised who are true friends were,it was one very important lesson to remember.Not everyone will be there for you in times of need and some of the very few wont stop chanting about how they helped you out.I realised,people will take advantage of you whenever opportunity presents and very few people wont.But when people are being offered help,there will be people who instead of getting out of the rut ,will continue to survive on your help as long as they can.That's sad people.Don't do that.

People now, are more concerned about the money and expenses.I know of people who don't have people over coz they fret over the expenses before inviting someone.Its a sad sad world,but I think in the end,its also in the upbringing.What you have learnt over the years on your own and from your family.To be frank,in this economy,money is a concern for me as well.But it can never match up to the happiness I feel when people visit me,laugh and talk and love to be at my home.I feel blessed.Boredom is under check.That's what my husband has taught me over the years.He says,if someone doesn't want to invite us,doesn't matter matter sweety.When people come to our home,it means they love our food,love our company and love us enough to visit us.Its respect and love.Its all about having joy,a kind of stimuli to our otherwise mundane life.

Attithi Devo bhava....many religions and cultures uphold this belief,that people visiting you are in fact God's blessings.Try it ! Have people over.It could be as simple as a tea party.Make fabulous tea,bring a delicious mouthwatering cake or bake one.Make snacks at home if you can or buy some.Doesn't have to be something very elaborate.Its the idea behind it all,having fun with the people in your life.

Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.

(Samuel Pepys, 1633-1703, in his Diary)


The hostess must be like the duck calm and unruffled on the surface, and paddling like hell underneath.  (Anonymous)

I have been taken for granted at times,some at the hands of my own.But I always tell myself,one day,it will dawn on them how they used someone and they will hate themselves for it.Anyways,things like these are reflective of the kind of person one is.After all,one can try and hide things from others but not from yourself.

I have had people who just love the fact for the initiative taken to gather all friends and have had people who bicker from the taste to the ingredients,to the way it was cooked and ruin the whole affair.It has made me cynical to some extent and I've learnt how to keep such people in check.But family is something you cant avoid.

Anyways,now that I have been married for 10 years( Yikes! every time I say 10,I feel old and check my age),looking at some of my friends and relatives and family,I have learnt a few life lessons.

1) When you do something for someone,don't wait for a "thank you" or a return of favour.Just do it.

2) Whats goes around,comes around.Be it 10 fold of good or 10 fold of hell.

3) Keep in touch with your family,no matter what.They may not want you in their life 24/7,but be the better person,call and ask about them.

5) Don't let someone treat you like crap.Don't go and kill them either.But seat the other person down,and tell it all frankly and politely.Trust me,it works.No point in back stabbing and gossiping and rotting your mind to hell over it.Speak it out and walk away.Even if they will hate your guts,they will appreciate your frankness ,of course in time that is.

6) Be forgiving.People can do mean things to you at work or home .Don't keep an eternal grudge.Its not good for your heart.When forgiveness is sought,be a darling and forgive.It depends on the deed as well.But forgive in your heart even if you ain't interested in keeping friends with the other.

7) Organise a get together with friends and family,when you have the chance.More than anything,it brings happiness to your heart and mind.Of course,you wont save as much as you usually do but imagine the fun you're gonna have.Its after all,not an everyday thing.

8) Entertaining friends is not about showing off.Be gracious,be respectful.I don't like friends who show that having friends over is such a nuisance,so much work.I do admit that entertaining guests is not an easy task.it involves lots of time,work,cleaning and running around after guests.But only a person who does the same at their own home for others can understand the trouble it all entails.I once stopped talking to a friend coz after all the eating,her complaint was (she insulted me indirectly) that she didn't like the party coz I didn't sit by her side and talk to her and give her time.I was upset over it,I slog my ass off and have so much to do and you complain while I'm trying to divide my time between serving,filling and cleaning.A good guest should also know how to behave at a party.

Jan 9, 2012

AWARD

Its always a wonderful surprise and an honour to receive an award,especially when it comes from a someone you don't know.Thank you Leo Paw.Also I would like to apologise that I had received this honour a while back but as the rules mentioned,15 different bloggers had to be nominated and awarded as well,so I had to to postpone it all.

***********************************************
The rules that are passed on to me along with the award:


1. Nominate 15 Fellow Bloggers

2. Inform the Bloggers of their nomination

3. Share 7 random things about yourself

4. Thank the Blogger who nominated you

5. Add the Versatile Blog Award picture to your blog post

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A few of the blogs that I always read have been handed this award already.So I don't have 15 readers.

Im nominating :-

1. Sujatha Satya - Conversations
2. http://ruchikrandhap.blogspot.com/
3. http://slowingthecircles.blogspot.com/
4. http://jyotimi.blogspot.com/ - by Jyothi Mishra
5. http://doubleexpat.blogspot.com/ - by Gayatri
6. http://irfanurs.blogspot.com/ - by Irfanji
7. http://chintangupta.blogspot.com/ - by Chintan
8. http://sarusinghal.blogspot.com/  - by Saru
9. http://sunitakurup.blogspot.com/ - by Sunita

7 Facts About Me:

a. I'm a sucker for chocolates and have to finish everything that has chocolate on it.

b. One of my fantasy was and still is to dress up like a village belle.Ghagra ,choli,gajra on my hair...like a typical bollywood " gao ki chokri".

c. I have never been scared of lightening's and thunder in my life.On the contrary,I'm sitting with a glass of tea with the windows open and taking pictures.

d. I never tire of sitting on the beach,its that one spot that calms my nerve and takes me to the happy place.

e. I'm not a fan of mobile phones and hate having to use it extensively.I usually answer in monosyllables and terminate my conversations.

f. I'm a fan of flea markets.Throw me in one and I can spend hours provided there is a loo nearby.

g. I have to know the location of every clean toilet at the place I travel.And I actually do.

Jan 4, 2012

Birthing


Babies are sent from heaven or are distributed by angels as gifts from God to parents in the hospital.That's what my parents told me when my sister was going to arrive.Most of us are mothers at this point,some to one or more and some still hoping to have one someday.I come in the latter group.But I know that it is one experience every parent hopes to have when they want to bring a living testament of her love into the world.

I have heard my share of birthing stories.Some women say it was like juggling in the arms of death and coming back while some simply put it as the one thing we have to go through to bring our babies.Some love to explain everything in so much detail that you can picture a 3D movie while they narrate it.And some just go,"Well,it was hard work,but no pain ,no gain.I don't regret anything ,I just wanted to see my baby." Its okay to listen to these episodes until it becomes a competition,"I had 3 stitches,but I had 7,I was in pain for a month,but I was in pain for a year,I have a permanent backache,but I cannot function normal again."

Anyways,I'm not going to list these gruelling stories but I just went through this article and thought you would just love it.

Birthing Rituals

Greece, approximately 430 B.C. With the onset of birth, midwives were summoned, and the birthing mother was laid down on a bed. The room was checked to ensure that no knots were present, because ancient Greeks believed knots had maleficent powers and could prevent or delay birth. When labor began the mother was moved to a birthing stool, which she crouched over. The midwives massaged her belly, and one rested below the mother to catch the baby. Once born, the baby and mother were cleansed, as birth blood was considered unlucky. A sign was made on the baby's forehead to protect it from the "evil eye," a superstitious belief that a victim, in this case a vulnerable baby, could be cursed by the malevolent gaze from the eye of an envious individual.

France in the 1700s. Birth for royalty was quite an elaborate affair (a bit like birth for some celebrities in modern times!). After feeling labor pains, the royal lady would call upon her attendants and be laid on a special couch. Some 18th-century remedies that were placed near the mom-to-be included: sneezing powder to aid in birth, almond oil to cleanse the hands of doctor and head midwife, and boxes of powdered cumin and myrrh to dust the infant's umbilical cord. After the birth, the cord was cut and the baby was washed in oil, red roses, and red wine.

China in the late 1800s. For women of the Chinese merchant class, labor pains would come accompanied by the prayers of the mother and mother-in-law for an easy delivery. A Taoist priest would arrive by the bedside and whisper prayers into the birthing mother's ears. With the onset of birth, she would squat on the bed. Once the baby was born, the midwife would cut and bind the umbilical cord, and then try to encourage the placenta to be born. The baby would not be washed for three days, until the influences of evil were less imminent.

Zuni Indians in the 1890s. When labor pains started, the birthing mother would lie on a soft bed made of animal skins and her mother would gather the elder women of the family to aid in the birth. As the pains increased she was encouraged to remain silent; who knew silent birth was not just a ritual of the Church of Scientology! To speed up delivery the laboring woman's mother and birthing doctress would knead her pregnant belly. As the baby made its descent, the women of the family would cry and groan, out of sympathy, for the birthing mother who could not express her pain. As the baby emerged, the doctress would rest below the woman to catch the baby. After the placenta was delivered, the grandmother of the new mother would throw it in the river to be washed downstream. Six days following the birth, the new baby would be introduced to the Zuni gods and be made an official member of the Zuni people.

Polar Eskimos in the 1920s. To prepare for birth, the birthing woman's husband would create a bed in a shallow hole covered by animal skin -- this is where the delivery would occur. When pain began, the woman would rest in the prepared bed and her husband would lean behind her. He would then press down on her abdomen to encourage the baby to be born. Upon birth, the father would cut the umbilical cord with a knife and the new mother would tie a knot to stop the bleeding. The placenta would be wrapped in animal skin and then left outside for animals to feast on. The baby would be named with three names to protect it from evil spirits in the wind and sleep with his or her parents.

Egypt in 19,000 B.C. Belly dancing, often thought of as entertainment for men, is actually a form of ancient dance that reflected the body as a creation of nature and temple of the soul. It was originally a dance performed by women in honor of the giver of life, the Great Mother. The gyrations of the hip were believed to insure the births of future generations, and were used in preparation for birth. The laboring mother would squat low and bear down as she rolled her abs. The contractions of the dancing movements strengthened her abdominal muscles and therefore aided in an easier delivery.

Ancient Malaysia and Indonesia. Women labored sitting up, without medicine for pain relief. Instead, a Dukun, or midwife, would massage the expectant mom. The delivery occurred in the birthing room, traditionally within the house, as it was believed that a baby's first cry was a cry of loyalty and respect for the parents, and should be heard at home. Other mothers stayed in the birthing room with the laboring woman, and offered advice and support (in a similar style of today's labor coaches). Upon birth, the Dukun cuts the cord, bathes and wraps the baby in a blanket. Next, words of Allah were whispered into the baby's ear; for words of faith were supposed to be the first the baby would hear. The baby was then returned to its mother and introduced to the grandparents, which was the first act of honor shown by baby to its family. The placenta was then washed and placed in an earthenware pot with spices and kept near the mother. After 40 days, the family buried the placenta in the ground.
Ancient Hawaii. Among the Kukaniloko Birthing Stones, between the towns of Wahiawa and Haleiwa, ancient Hawaiian women, pregnant with potential royalty, or alii, gave birth. Potential alii could not be delivered like a commoner, without celebration -- today, we see this birth seclusion when celebrities like Britney Spears deliver their children in special hospitals and birthing centers. It is believed the rocks contained powers to ease labor pains. Rituals surrounding the birth of aliis include 48 chiefs beating drums in the announcement of the arrival of the newborns who, in the future, could become chiefs.

Modern women would be surprised to know that a number of birth rituals from the past have been translated into our culture. The art of midwifery, the practice of massaging the pregnant belly during birth, medicine-free births, and the idea of silence during birth are only a few of these rituals. Who knows, these birthing rituals, and others, may continue to be passed through time bonding women from ancient civilizations and future generations together.

Lenape Birthing Practices, 1000 -1650


This modern drawing illustrates various birthing practices and other customs of Lenape women. In Lenape culture, a special hut, separate from the other dwellings, was used by women at times of menstruation and for giving birth. Here women rested while being cared for by other women of the band. Following birth, the child was placed on a flat cradle board by means of which the mother carried the child on her back. The umbilical cord was often buried. According to some Delaware Indians the umbilical cord might be inserted under the bark of a fine young sapling; as the tree grew tall and strong, so too would the child. In this illustration, we see an older woman using a hollow tree-trunk mortar. A knobbed pestle has been suspended from a bent sapling which acts as a spring to help carry the pestle upwards, thus relieving fatigue. Women usually wore only a wrap-around skirt of skin when weather permitted. They decorated themselves with simple patterns, usually by applying a round spot of paint to their cheeks. 

Jan 3, 2012

Oranges

I decided to begin 2012 with a healthy note.Now I love oranges.They are a staple in my life.It all began when we were toddlers.My dad wanted us to be healthy,prevent us from nose bleeds because of the intense summers and heaty foods,like so many parents do,so they gave a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice our whole life,everyday that is until we got married and left our nest.Every morning it began with a glass of the holy juice,even before we brushed our teeth.Out of the 3,I was the fussier one and had to be beaten at times,to make me finish a glass of it.I would cry swearing they actually added salt into the juice to make it taste so bitter.How come it didn't taste like sunkist or the juices available in the market?

For a long time,I would just hope that juice wouldn't be squeezed.That my dad would wake up late.Then I got married and ever since the day,I would think of the one thing I never wanted to do.Orange juice.To such and extent,I started buying oranges and buying fresh ones off the store.8 years now and I drink orange like water.Maybe I miss my dad so much that its become like this thing I do in his honor.Every time I drink it,I always think of him and I'm so glad for it.Those were great times.


Anyways,I have been eating clementines for a couple of days and I thought why not put forward some uses of the orange peel.They smell divine and why waste them.So I found some uses of it online.Eating the fruit is beneficial for the vitamin C content.Of course,there are others fruits which have far more Vita C but this is all about the oranges.

1. Puree the orange peel in water to make a spray that will discourage ants from crossing.


2. Flies and mosquitoes don't like orange either. Small piles of zest will help discourage these pests without the use of pesticides! This could really come in handy on a picnic.

3. Simmer peels in water, add a pinch or two of cloves and a cinnamon stick for a wonderful fragrance for your home. Actually, this will help clean the air from airborne cold and flu germs! I do this through the entire winter season!


4. Dried orange peels can be placed in a cloth bag and placed in closets and cupboards to reduce musty odors.

5. A puree blend of orange peel and water can be applied to an area to discourage ants from crossing.

6. Hand moisturizer. Turn the orange inside out and rub the inner part all over your hands for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. Your hands will smell soooo good after this!
7. Kitchen decor and air freshener. Place the orange peel in a tall glass and leave on the kitchen window sill. It’s a great ‘all natural’ decor and freshens up the room too.As pot pourri.


8. The peels are candied or used as sweeteners in cake or added to sugar syrups.

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