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“The Naani Diaries” by Riva Razdan

“The Naani Diaries” is more than just a romance book, It’s a testament to the resilience of women in the face of adversity.

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Romance Books, of epic love stories that show us the driving power of love and the lengths lovers will go to be with one – another, have been gracing our bookshelves and kindles since time immemorial. But what happens when you take the leap of faith in love and get heartbroken instead? In her book “The Naani Diaries” Riva Razdan takes us on a post-heartbreak journey through her protagonist Radhika. Without giving you spoilers, let us take a sneak peek at our book of the week, “The Naani Diaries”.

A Glimpse Between the Pages

“The Naani Diaries” By Riva Razdan is a gripping and thought-provoking book that takes a deep dive into the feminist point of view on arranges marriages and struggles faced by women in Indian society. The themes in the book centre around Indian Culture, Patriarchal mindsets and the challenges women face in both home and work settings. It also highlights issues such as alcohol abuse, marital struggles, emotional manipulation, and personal growth.

A Heart-Broken Radhika returns to India and takes solace in her empathetic grandmother. She stumbles upon her grandmother’s diary which enchants her with the love story within and inevitably changes her perspectives and her Grandmothers life. With all its twists, turns, and adversities, the book ends on a happy note. Narrated with shifts between flashbacks and the present day, the book keeps the readers hooked until the very end.

The Final Thoughts

The book spotlights the importance of various relationships we share with people such as Friends, Mother- Daughter, and Men-Women. The protagonists in the book are 3 strong-willed women namely, Gayatri( The Grandmother), Mangala ( The mother), and Radhika ( the daughter). They challenge the oppressive patriarchal society and conservative mindsets that limit their freedom. It sends a subtle yet impactful message that must be shared. With a kaleidoscope of women’s personalities characterized in the story, readers are sure to find characters they can empathize with.

On the whole, Riva Razdan’s storytelling talent and the book’s exploration of love, loss, and personal growth make it a page-turning read sure to engross readers and take them on a beautiful journey.

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Editor's Pick

Kadambini Bose Ganguly: India’s Medical and Feminist Icon

Discover Kadambini Bose Ganguly- the remarkable journey of India’s first practising female doctor and women’s rights advocate.

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Kadambini Bose Ganguly, Medical, Women, Doctors,Calcutta

Kadambini Bose Ganguly was a trailblazer in India: a legendary doctor and women’s rights advocate. Kadambini Bose Ganguly was born on July 18th 1861, in Bhagalpur, Bengal Presidency. She broke barriers and shattered stereotypes in 19th-century India. As the daughter of Brahmo reformer Braja Kishore Basu, she inherited a legacy of progressive thought and dedication to women’s education.

Early Life and Education

Raised in the backdrop of British India, Kadambini defied societal norms by pursuing an English education at Brahmo Eden Female School and later at Hindu Mahila Vidyalaya in Calcutta. She overcame significant obstacles to become the first woman to pass the University of Calcutta entrance examination, making a milestone in women’s education in India. Her academic prowess led her to graduate from Bethune College in 1883, alongside Chandramukhi Basu, making history as the country’s first female graduate.

Medical Career and Achievements

Kadambini Bose Ganguly’s determination propelled her to new heights when she became the first woman to gain admission to Calcutta Medical College in 1884. Her pursuit of medical education extended to Scotland, where she received rigorous training in Western medicine, earning her the distinction of India’s first female practising doctor. Returning to her home country, she established a thriving practice and became well-known for her expertise and compassionate care.

Personal Life and Advocacy

In 1883, Kadambini married Dwarakanath Ganguly, embarking on a journey that balanced her roles as a devoted wife and mother alongside her professional pursuits. Despite the demands of raising eight children, she continued to advocate for women’s rights and education with fierce determination. Her courage in facing conservative backlash, including legal battles against defamatory accusations, underscored her unwavering commitment to gender equality.

Legacy and Recognition

Kadambini Bose Ganguly’s legacy transcends her medical achievements. As the first Indian woman to speak at the Indian National Congress, she paved the way for future generations of women doctors and leaders. Her story has been made immortal in popular culture through television serials. Google honoured her 160th birthday with a dedicated doodle acknowledging her significant impact on Indian history and feminist movements.

Final Years and Beyond

Ganguly passed on 3rd October 1923, shortly after performing surgery, symbolising her unwavering dedication to her medical practice until the end. Her contributions continue to inspire and resonate in the ongoing fight for women’s empowerment and equality in India and beyond.

Kadambini Bose Ganguly’s incredible journey from Bhagalpur to the forefront of India’s medical and feminist landscape is truly inspiring. It demonstrates her unwavering resilience, determination, and the enduring power of her conviction to impact the world positively.

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Editor's Pick

Attachment Styles: Understand Why We Connect the Way We Do

Understand your connection with people and also their connection with you. Attachment Styles go both ways.

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Attachment Styles, Children, Styles, Relationship,

  You may wonder from time to time, why am I built this way? Why am I so bothered by my connection with others? Why am I so unbothered with the way I handle my relationship? Why do I behave this way with my closest person? Why am I so attached to them? Why can’t I handle it if I have a conflict with my partner? And many many more. The answer to all of these questions arises from the kind of attachment style you have with people. An integral part of every interpersonal relationship is to understand the kind of attachment style each person holds in the relationship. 

    Attachment Styles are patterns of behaviour that develop during early childhood and influence the way we connect with others in close relationships. They are formed based on the relationship with our primary caregivers, typically, our parents. The way they respond to our needs defines our basis of attachment style and shapes our expectations in future relationships. Understanding our own attachment style becomes crucial to help develop a sense of our own behaviour with others, provides an insight of our behaviour to others and also forms a bridge of communication between yourself and your loved ones.

The Experiment

The Attachment theory originates from the research initiated and experimented by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Both believed that the primary caregiver forms a crucial role in shaping the child’s personality and character. While the initial attachment theory was suggested and explained by Bowlby with the types- secure, anxious-ambivalent, disorganized, and avoidant, Ainsworth’s famous experiment in 1969 called “The Strange Situation” built the basis of the four attachment styles that we know of today. 

   In the experiment, “The strange situation”, there are several phases in which the child’s reaction is recorded. In the study, babies and their birthing parent played in a room together. The parent leaves in between and returns after a few minutes. Further, the parent leaves soon after, during which a stranger also enters the room. The reaction of the child during the few minutes in the absence of the parent and also the reaction and interaction with the stranger, with and without the parent  is monitored and labelled with a certain attachment style based on the behaviour of the child. There is also a second separation episode where the child is left with the stranger and then later reunited with the parent. Therefore, the study is an intricate study of the relationship between the child and the parent, which resulted in the development of attachment styles of people. 

Based on the experiment by Ainsworth, the four attachment styles developed are what we follow today and applicable to most people are as follows. 

Types of attachment styles

Secure Attachment Style

This attachment style was developed when the child in “the strange situation” seemed comfortable during the absence of the parent and also in the interactions with the stranger. The children who have primary caregivers with responsiveness and stayed available to the child possessed the security and stayed attached at an optimal level. An example of this would be when in a relationship, a person resolves conflict in a healthy way, communicates with their partner, forms a resolution, gives space for the other person and also self-regulates themselves emotionally and mentally. 

Anxious Attachment style

People with Anxious attachment style crave intimacy but often mistrust others. An example of an anxious attachment style would be when in a relationship a person would seek constant reassurance from their partner and exhibit actions like excessive calling, mistrust and wanting attention. Based on “the strange situation” experiment, children who developed the anxious attachment style cry in response to their parent’s absence and also have difficulty adapting to the change of environment. 

Avoidant Attachment style

Sarah and Brad are dating. Brad starts introducing Sarah to his close friends and spends more time with her. He is enthusiastic about being together with Sarah most of the time. But, Sarah, having an avoidant attachment style actively avoids plans with Brad by cancelling them or making excuses about having to do other things. She feels overwhelmed with the pressure Brad displays and does not communicate it with him and instead avoids meeting him and having conversations about them. This displays that discomfort of intimacy, preferred independence, suppression of emotions are characteristics of avoidant attachment style. Furthermore, in the experiment, the children with avoidant attachment style exhibit behaviour that seems like they’re indifferent to their parent’s absence, limit their exploration of the environment and seem dismissive of their parent’s return as well. 

Disorganized attachment style

Children with disorganized attachment style presented in “the strange situation” with inconsistent and contradictory behaviours. It has been observed that these children might approach the caregiver upon reunion but then become withdrawn, confused or even fearful. For example, a daughter of a parent who exhibits qualities of disorganized behaviour has the same tendency to behave with her best friends. She has a push-pull tendencies with her friends, where she’s sometimes really nice with them and sometimes she’s avoidant. People with disorganized attachment style tend to also have emotional distance with others, sabotage closeness even when enthusiastic about it, unpredictable, and also fearful of abandonment and engulfment. 

   In conclusion, attachment styles may be helpful in understanding your own personality and reactions but it does not define your entire self. In accordance with your style, you can also help yourself in improving your relationships with others and make yourself secure with your interactions. You may also display several styles in different situations, therefore acknowledging the importance of knowing your own strengths and weaknesses with respect to attachment styles can help you grow into a better human being.

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The Healing Power of Tears: Understanding the Benefits of Crying

Discover and Understand the surprising health benefits of crying and how it can lead to emotional and physical well-being.

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Crying, Mental Health, Health, Emotional, Stress, Tears

For some of us, tears come oh so naturally , brought on by either a sad commercial or an emotional movie, sometimes even a heartfelt reel on Instagram. For the rest of us, crying could be more challenging, perhaps due to societal norms such as ‘boys don’t cry’ or ‘crying is a sign of weakness ‘, or a personal condition. Regardless of where we fall on the waterworks spectrum, one thing is clear, crying plays a crucial role in our emotional health.

The American Psychological Association reports that women cry an average of 30 to 64 times per year, while men cry between 5 to 17 times annually. This difference is often attributed to socialisation, where expressions like “big kids don’t cry” have influenced how emotions are expressed across genders.

Why Do We Cry?

Crying is unique to humans, and there are three types of tears: Reflex, continuous, and emotional. Reflex tears protect our eyes from irritants like smoke or onions. Continuous tears keep our eyes lubricated, protecting them from infection. Emotional tears are linked to our mental state and arise from sadness, joy, frustration or anger.

The Benefits of Crying

1. Stress Relief

Crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body rest and digest. This transition from a flight or fight state to a more relaxed state can reduce stress and make problems more manageable. Some early research likened crying to a safety valve, releasing emotional energy and preventing a buildup of tension that could harm mental and physical health.

2. Enhancing Relationships

Crying can strengthen social bonds. As babies, we cry to get the attention of our caregivers. As adults, we cry in the presence of trusted friends or partners, which can deepen connections and foster empathy and support. This vulnerability is a fundamental aspect of human connection.

3. Reducing Pain

Tears can help with physical pain. When we cry, our bodies release endorphins and oxytocin, which help us feel better and reduce pain. This is especially evident in children who often cry after minor injuries.

Context Matters

Not all crying is beneficial. Crying in a safe, supportive environment can be cathartic, but shedding tears in less comfortable settings, like at work, might not have the same positive effects. Dr. Grace Tworek, a health psychologist, emphasizes that the benefits of crying depend on the context and the individual’s comfort level. Crying with trusted people or in private often feels more relieving than doing so in a public or professional setting. It’s important to understand that tears can be a healthy coping mechanism when it’s not used to manipulate or control others, or when it’s not a sign of a deeper emotional issue.

Emotional and Physical Cleansing

Emotional tears can help us eliminate stress hormones and toxins from the body. This process is not just emotionally soothing but also physically cleansing. Historically, thinkers from ancient Greece and Rome believed tears had a purgative power. Modern psychology agrees, highlighting the role of crying in releasing stress and emotional pain.

Encouraging Healthy Emotional Expression

Teaching children, especially boys, that it’s okay to cry can help prevent the emotional suppression that leads to health issues, both mental and physical. Societal norms often discourage men from expressing vulnerability, leading to emotional withdrawal, substance use or even suicidal tendencies. Early emotional education can foster healthier coping mechanisms.

Crying During Difficult Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the collective grief, making emotional expression more common and necessary. Public displays of emotion have become more accepted as people navigate unprecedented times, losses and stress.

When to Seek Help

While crying is a natural and healthy response, excessive or uncontrollably doing so might indicate a deeper issue. It’s important to seek professional help if it disrupts daily activities or if someone is unable to cry despite feeling the need to. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and can provide the necessary tools to cope and heal effectively.

Crying is a natural, healthy way to process emotions and relieve stress. Embracing our tears, rather than suppressing them, can lead to emotional and physical healing. It’s a sign of strength and self-awareness, helping us navigate life’s challenges with resilience and compassion. If it becomes overwhelming, seeking professional help can provide the necessary support and tools to cope and heal effectively.

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Nanasaheb Apte: The Literary Luminary of Maharashtra

From Freedom Fighter to Famed Novelist :The Journey of Nanasaheb Apte: A Literary Luminary And Revolutionary

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Nanasaheb Apte, India , Marathi, Literary, Freedom, Apte

Narayan Hari Apte, more fondly known as Nanasaheb Apte, was a beacon of literary brilliance in Maharashtra. His life, which began on July 11, 1889, in the village of Samdoli in Sangli District, was a testament to the power of words and the fervour of patriotism. His significant contributions to Indian literature and the freedom movement are a testament to his intellectual prowess and unwavering commitment.

Early Life and Education

Nanasaheb Apte’s early education began in the villages of Samdoli and Satara. He was progressing to the New English School in Satara for his high school studies. At 15, Apte left home in 1904 to be a part of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s Abhinav Bharat Society, driven by a passion to contribute to India’s freedom struggle. This phase of his life was crucial for his political awakening and his literary development. Influenced by the esteemed writer Hari Narayan Apte and the social reform movement of 19th-century Maharashtra, Nanashaeb Apte crafted stories that delved into historical and social themes reflective of the Marathi Middle Class.

Broadening Horizons

Nanasaheb Apte’s travels across North India (before partition 1905) and Nepal honed his linguistic skills and cultural understanding. His sojourn in Jaipur, where he taught at a school run by freedom fighter Arjunlal Sethi, was particularly impactful. Apte’s return to Satara in 1913 marked the start of his collaboration with Dattātraya Baḷavanta Pārasanīs on translating historical Marathi documents into English and standard Marathi. THis work laid the foundation for his future literary career.

Literary and Political Endeavors

In 1932, Nanasahed Apte met K.B.Hedgewar, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), during Hedgewar’s visit to Aundh state. Despite RSS’s stance, Apte actively participated in the 1942 Quit India Movement, showcasing his unwavering commitment and sacrifice for India’s freedom struggle. 

Apte wrote numerous advice books promoting happy family life and published two short story collections reflecting traditional Hindu values and beliefs. His first short story appeared in Karamanuk magazine, and his debut novel, Ajinkyatara, was released in 1909. His literary journey culminated with his last book, Javanancha Jiwandharma, in 1962.

Nanasaheb Apte’s career was diverse and prolific, showcasing his innovative spirit. As a co-editor of Kirloskar Khabar, he gained valuable editorial experience. In 1913, he founded the book publishing house Ajinkyatara Pustkalay, followed by the journals Alhad in 1915 and Madhukar. He established the printing press Shriniwas Mudranalay in 1920 and the publishing house Apte & Co in 1924.

Contribution to Marathi Cinema

Nanasaheb Apte’s foray into the Marathi film industry was done by Baburao Painter in 1922. He adapted many short stories and novels into screenplays for these films. Collaborating with esteemed directors and his association with Prabhat Film Company and director V Shantaram in the 1930s marked the pinnacle of his cinematic career.

Later Years and Legacy

Nanasaheb Apte spent the later years of his life in literary activity, and in celebrating his 80th birthday in Koregaon, various poets and writers from Pune attended. His home became a sanctuary for struggling artists, including the legendary filmmaker Dadasaheb Phalke, who found solace with Apte’s family during difficult times.

Nanasaheb Apte’s legacy is that of a multifaceted individual who effortlessly blended his literary prowess with a deep sense of social and patriotic responsibility. His works continue to inspire and reflect the spirit of Maharashtra’s cultural and historical heritage.

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Boosting Well-Being: Inside Out for Kids and Adults

Explore the world of your mind, understand colourful emotions and bridge a bond with your child through the movie Inside Out.

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Inside Out, Joy ,Sadness , emotions, child, movie

Do you ever wonder what’s going on in someone’s head? Well, a simple way to find that out is to watch the movie Inside Out! 

Inside Out is a Pixar movie about human emotions, predominantly Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. These emotions are given an animated representation and the movie replicates real-life emotions and the behind-the-scenes of the rear end processes. At the same time, the real-life scenarios are also presented, making it easy for the audience to attribute the situations to the happening processes. Both movies are central to a girl named Riley and the people around her. Her family, friends and interests are given importance throughout the movie and the primary emotions we see are of Riley’s. As an overview, Inside Out provides entertaining visuals of how the mind and the emotions work that can help us enhance our understanding of the same. 

Inside Out 

Inside Out revolves around a story about an 11-year-old girl named Riley. The premise is about Riley moving to a new place and dealing with the mixed emotions she feels during the process. Meanwhile, in the headquarters located in Riley’s mind, we also explore the nuances of the primary emotions- Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. The movie explores the concepts of change, acceptance and importance of all the emotions which come together to make the essence of Inside Out. 

Inside Out 2

Riley is a teenager now, she has braces, new friends and is finished with her middle schooling. Introduction of new emotions as she grows into an adolescent helps Riley and the emotions discover the concepts of puberty, self-discovery, and the importance of each and every emotion into shaping Riley’s sense of self. 

Emotions

Joy

Credits: Character Community

Joy is the epitome of, well, Joy! She is a light blue-haired pixie cut small figure with yellow skin and also has a star-shaped body. Joy is the emotion responsible for all the happy moments, things and situations Riley holds in her life. She’s optimistic, enthusiastic, energetic and always strives to keep Riley happy no matter what. However, without Joy, Riley finds it hard to find the good in situations and struggles with accepting and acknowledging her other emotions. Riley’s happy memories are stored in a yellow-goldish colour representing all her situations where she felt joy in. 

Sadness

Credits: Fictional Character Wiki

Sadness is a small tear drop shaped figure with blue skin and glasses in charge of handling the emotion sadness. She is pessimistic, has furrowed eyebrows and is of great contrast to Joy. She paves way for Riley’s sadness to flow through crying and whimpering. Her sad memories are held in a blue colour symbolising the sadness she felt in the situations. 

Disgust

Credits: Inside Out Wiki

Disgust is a green figure with a pointy nose and a flowy dress. She is responsible for taking care of the aversion Riley feels towards anything in the world. She has sassy remarks, a constant look of disdain on her face and helps Riley walk away from what she dislikes. Her emotions of disgust are held in a dirty green colour. 

Anger 

Credits : Inside Out Wiki

Anger is a short red figure who represents the feelings of rage, fury and well, anger! It is revealed that when anger is taken up a notch, he may also release the fury through the flames through his head which leads to an anger outburst. He makes irrational decisions and leads to anger outbursts detrimental to Riley’s life. The emotions of anger are stored in a dark red colour. 

Fear

Credits: Pinterest

Fear is a tall, slim figure with light purple skin who takes up the fear component of Riley’s personality. He calculates all the possible worst outcomes in Riley’s life and encourages other emotions to work around the same. He usually jumps to conclusions and is mostly scared when it comes to facing things. Fearful emotions are held in a purple colour. 

    All these emotions work together in the headquarters to form Riley, her thoughts and actions. Along with the emotions, there are also the personality islands, core memories, short term memory, long term memory and many more which form a part of the movie. 

Now, the essence of the article is to also understand why you should take your child to the movie.

So, Why should you take your child to the movie Inside Out?

   Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions, use and manage them. At the same time it also is the ability to understand other people’s emotions as well and work accordingly. Through Riley’s navigations of the world through her emotions- Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger, your 11 year old child may also reflect upon their own emotions and stay self-aware. Understanding of emotions is a complicated concept for children to comprehend, and if you want to explain it to them in a fun way, Inside Out is the best way to do so. Not only their own, the movie also helps children understand the emotions of others, their intentions and many more which help increase the emotional intelligence of your child.

   Working of the Mind

The introduction of Riley’s mind, emotions, core memories, personality islands, imagination land, short term memory, long term memory, and many more are extremely fascinating to understand. The creative build of the inner world paves way for your children to understand the working of the mind and its processes in an easier way. It may also help them pique their interest into studying more of it which in turn helps in increasing their knowledge. 

   Open Communication 

The movie Inside Out essentially promotes a positive portrayal of all the emotions. It inculcates values like honesty, responsibility, communication and many more. Through this movie, your children may gain the courage to express their feelings to you and it may also build a bridge between you and them. By encouraging them to express their emotions and inner thoughts to you, you can create a sense of safe space for them to be comfortable in. By asking questions like “I would like to know your inner world, will you let me in?”, “What are your core memories?”, “How can I help Joy?” and many more may help your children understand to communicate openly easily and effectively. 

Not just for your child, this movie proves to also be an enjoyable movie for adults as well. So here are the reasons as to why you need to watch the movie, Inside Out 2

   Inner Child

Inner Child is a concept in psychology that acknowledges the traits and parts of your personality that retains the emotions and feelings of your childhood. Inside Out is a movie that nurtures your inner child by validating your feelings, makes the feelings you had as a child seen, acknowledges your younger self’s mistakes and in simple words, it makes your inner child happy. It is quite crucial to keep your inner child alive and happy because it keeps up the playful, curious nature you had as a child.

   Emotional complexity

As humans, we deal with complex emotions, positive emotions, negative emotions and many more. We take a lot of ourselves to deal with every single one of them. And to navigate around them, you may also feel frustrated and not handle it wisely. Inside Out sheds light on the existent complex emotions and helps us acknowledge them. Further, while doing so, we also understand how to deal with it. 

   Mental Health awareness

While acknowledging the existent complex emotions we introspect on our emotions and stay aware of our mental health and provide space for others as well. In this generation, awareness of mental health is quite important considering the nuances and the difficulty in open communication. Inside Out fosters difficult communication to be formed between people and also lets people to let out their feelings.

In conclusion, Inside Out is a delightful movie for both children and adults. For kids, it offers a fun and engaging way to learn about emotional intelligence, the workings of the mind, and open communication. Adults can benefit from the film’s exploration of inner child happiness, emotional complexity, and mental health awareness. So grab some popcorn, settle in for a heartwarming story and get ready to explore the exciting world inside your head!

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