Is empathy lost amidst humans!

A recent study revealed that there is a 44% rapid growth in mobile videos uploads/viewership; alarming, but true. 58% prefer viewing ads and uploaded videos from their mobiles! Millennials (born between 1980’s-1990’s), are a colossal part of this bifurcation.

Mobiles and tablets have begun to take over the social plot. It’s no more vital for human beings to have interactions. Thence, emotions in the interaction are distorted. Many people find it arduous to reciprocate to emotions/feelings. Thus, they avoid human contact. Mobiles/smartphones have created a simple and smooth platform to exchange dialogues but are not able to create a platform to express emotions/feelings. This increasing need to “be online”, has somewhere affected our ability to empathize. Is it a wonder that people are professionally seeking support to express their emotions (counselors)?

In any given situation: happy, sad, anger, disgust etc there is an impending need to create history by recording the situation. Wonder what pattern of thoughts will people be going through while recording! Does this give an adrenaline rush? Does it increase palpitations? Does it make you lose all sense of reality? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions then it is no more a hobby or interest: it is an addiction. As there is selfie addiction, so is mobile video upload addiction.

Emotions are created and felt when two people are involved. In many scenarios, smartphone replaces humans and hence emotions are lost in the process. When the closest and longest relations maintained are with a smartphone, can an individual be emotional? Social interactions are the key to emotions: be it anger or happiness, people are needed to feel these emotions. Smartphones cannot replace the human emotions. Best friend, confidante, buddy, mate; are all replaced by smartphones and this restricts sharing. This in turn creates a void that is now being filled by the imminent need to share more and create history. Video uploads is a medium of sharing since actual sharing is limited.

Like any addiction, smartphone too needs to be viewed as addiction. Replacing smartphone by human interaction is the key, but how and how much is the question of the hour! Like in any de-addiction case, there will denial, anger, acceptance stage. This is where a supportive environment comes in handy and will probably go a long way in creating trust.

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Exams and kids: The correlation

Often exam pressures baffle children. They appear tense, nervous and jittery around examination talk. Performance pressure, parental expectation, self-doubt etc. cause havoc in their nervous system. Every child usually goes through a phase of low confidence and low self-esteem as final exams approach. Parents unknowingly add to that pressure with incisive inquiry about exam portions, timetable, revision plan etc.


Step back and take a deep breath! Exams are a medium to test your learning for the year, nothing more than that. A child’s approach towards exams defines their mental health. Here are a few tips to ensure a healthy mind:

Preparing for the exam:


  • Identify topics/talks that make you stressed about exams. It may be a certain subject or a certain enquiry. Try to stay away from stressful topics.
  • Devise a time table for your subject a month earlier and stick to it till exams get over. Displaying the timetable in a place where it can be seen daily helps in re-iterating the schedule.
  • Have an alternate schedule ready for those days where you are not able to follow the timetable.
  • Include SRS (Sleep, Relax, Study) strategy in your timetable.
  • Prior to sleeping, visualize your exams. Positive visualizations have known to alter outcomes. Do the same before you start your day.
  • Identify the physical manifestations of your stress: overeating, oversleeping, falling sick often, avoiding conversations about exams etc.
  • Identify the psychological manifestations of your stress: feeling low, nervous all the time, restlessness, withdrawn, angry, confused etc.
  • Upon identification, write these in a book and look at the list at least once a day.


On the day of the exam:


  • Make sure you wake up with positive visualizations.
  • Ensure there is sufficient time for a long , hot shower.
  • Eat healthy breakfast which provides apt protein intake.
  • Make a revision plan much earlier and stick to only that. Try to revise by the fish bone technique or draw a mind map for revision. (especially history)
  • In the exam hall, just before the exam try to meditate for 2min to calm your thoughts.
  • In case you feel stuck while writing put down your pen/pencil and give yourself 3 minutes to recall. In case you don’t, proceed ahead to complete the paper. You can visit the forgotten answer once you finish the paper.
  • Once out of the hall keep the postmortem of the paper to a maximum of 5 minutes. Remember these discussions may affect your next paper.


Although there are no set rules to pass through the exam phase peacefully, these tips will help you to keep your mind clam during difficult times.


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Exam Woes

The month of March breeds feeling of nervousness, uneasiness and anguish. Parents are seen working like a busy bee to create an environment of silence and assistance. Their motive is to facilitate never-ending focus on studies. Exams are treated as battlegrounds where children are scheduled for victory. This amount of stress on self will hinder functioning. Exam anxiety is equally encountered by children and parents. Why the stress? Why the woe?


As parents, we need to devise a setting of support. Children look up to parents for moral and emotional support during the time of stress and anguish. How can we ensure our own sanity while creating a supportive environment? Here are a few tips for Parents to look after themselves in times of exam peril.


  • Enquire the ground work is satisfactory and limit the enquiry about the same to a maximum of 5 minutes. (remember your child is constantly involved under scan by peers, school and the society.)
  • Ensure as a parent you get adequate and undisturbed sleep.
  • Prepare a healthy breakfast on the day of exams which ensures sufficient intake of proteins.
  • Prior to sending off your child for exam make sure you communicate your support in a constructive way.
  • Try to have as much routine a day as possible. Try not to deviate from the routine work as this disturbs your emotional setting.
  • Once your child is back for the day inquire about the exam for a maximum of 5 minutes. (remember your child would have done the post mortem of the exam with friends and will have a fair idea about his/her performance.)
  • No matter what your mood is, have a healthy meal. (food is often known to shift emotions.)
  • Ensure you stress on relaxation as equally as exams. You need time away from their books as much as they do!


These are a few tips to ensure your sanity and functioning during exam. As they say, when parents are relaxed half of the children’s tension is shortened. Treat your children as adults when it comes to exam and their preparation. Allow them to assume responsibility.


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Oh Womeniya……………….

The role of women has seen radical changes from the 19th century. Today women are viewed as pillars of vigor and prudence. Indian mythology bears proof of tenacious women who are sovereign in nature. Where are these allusions? What is their narrative? Why is it clandestine?

Sulaasa, when faced with betrayal from a bandit husband was valiant to emerge victorious. Kundalakesa, chose to live, when faced with the dilemma of self and a swindler husband. Gargi, the most informed scholar faced down kingdoms with her literary inquiry. Maitreyi, an attributor of hymns in rig-veda was forced to shine behind the scenes of her sage husband. These women spoke the language of equality and power as early as 500 B.C. With the onslaught of child marriages, the position of women started declining. From sages to servants: the journey was brief and fast. Ban on re-marriages furthered this decline in Indian society. With this decline came the compartmentalization of women. Women were forced to start a journey of non-dominance in nature. Although we could see someone breaking bad now and then, women were predominantly seen as home-maker and baby bearers.

Around this time when their role was being delineated, women everywhere were feeling pensive. Weak, inferior, unworthy: women all around were forced to feel these. The strength and vigor of a woman was questioned. Unbearable, women started taking matters into their own hands and thus began an odyssey.

To break the tedium of everyday life, they started scrutinizing alternatives. Many of the industrial sectors that we know of today is the result of monotony women felt. Not living up to their full potential had bearing on women everywhere and hence unified towards one purpose: Liberation from the assumed roles.

As an era of revolution began, women were constantly condemned and criticized for their “stupidity”. These “stupid” women ended up ruling the world! Today’s modern women are empowered. They are involved in various sectors of the society. Though she is still met with obstacles by minority of the population, she exuberates confidence and poise. Today’s women are a complete package of emotionally stable, financially independent and spiritually preferred.

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Tween Tirades

While the first 10 years of life is all about bonding with family, the scene dramatically changes with adolescence. The same cherubic child dons a different avatar putting caregivers, often mom in disarray and confusion.  While this period of “individuation” or self-identity starts to evolve, experiments with defying authority and pushing the envelope is common place. It can take the form of a radical haircut or low cut tops to more harmful ones like drugs and experimenting with sex.  The same parents who were once heroes don’t seem cool enough and communication is also sometimes minimal.  Mono syllabic responses to questions frustrate any parent trying to thwart the silent zone.

The rage of hormones, changes in physical appearance, increased social interaction which boosts self-esteem also contribute to reduced anxiety and increased cognitive skills which lead to higher reasoning and reflection of self all culminate and conspire to throw parents off track leading to severe stress.  These are growing pains literally for both teens and parents where each adjusts to a new reality of growth and change. Parents have to come to terms that their child is preparing to step into adulthood and hence needs more independence to take decisions and exercise choice which is often influenced by peers and their approval: a big area of conflict. For the teen, it’s a crucial period when the die is cast as to how life’s challenges will be looked upon and negotiated.  Having common ground and neutral people both parties trust caregivers like grandparents when things get out of hand.  Ideally, everyone should have such support systems.

Post-partum depression after giving birth is well known and documented; a recent study has established that the most stressful times for parents is when their wards step into adolescence. The negotiations, the constant battles to establish authority, acting out, need for acceptance by peers more than parents, takes a toll. Social media and the selfie culture no doubt exacerbate the battle to a certain extent.   While sleep deprivation is the main culprit leading to after birth blues, teen years cause the most stress especially to mom who is always front and center in a child’s life across cultures.

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