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Category Archive Personal


What is the appropriate age for kids to get a social media account?

Remember the age you got into social media? With Facebook being launched in 2004, Youtube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006, it is quite a possibility that you might have been in your 20s or 30s or older(or definitely younger! :)) Social media was a new phenomenon at the start of the new millinieum and kids born in the 90s might have established their digital footprint much before their parents could even understand this new concept.

As the first decade of the new millennium gave way to subsequent years, new social media sites emerged. What was this new concept – was the parents only question? Kids had learnt it faster and parents of young adults were lagging behind.  Was it good or was it bad?

Finally, as parents learnt the ropes of social media – they got hooked onto it(well, not all – but many did like it! :)) Social media was looked as a new way to get in touch with old peers and the very concept grew by leaps and bounds as more people endorsed it. Soon enough,  social media changed its avatars and it became evident that, it was not what it looked like on the top(which was – as a medium for sharing jokes and pictures! :)) It became a data collection tool, it became a tool for making money, it became a tool for snooping and more!

With so much going into social media, what really is the correct age for kids to get into it?

Kids observe as we parents spends a few minutes(or is it a few hours?! :)) on it everyday. They see the joy on our faces and think it must be some ultimate destination to be attained. With so much riding on it, I would think the perfect age to handle social media pressures would be around 17 years and up. At 17 years of age, kids will have some amount of Internet maturity. Further, they might need a social media account for their school and college work as well. 

Once on it, they need to be educated about ‘hygienic and safe Internet practices’ (if you are thinking what is that? πŸ™‚ – I will write a separate post on that as well :)) This will ensure that they have a safe, good and productive social media experience. On the contrary, if they do not want to get onto social media even as a young adult, that is probably the best!! πŸ™‚

What do you think – what is the correct age for your kids to be on social media?


My new e-book on Amazon Kindle!! :)

My e-book on my personal experiences travelling from India to US and back has been published!! πŸ™‚ Buy it from Amazon today to read about our reasons for returning back, school education in India and US, the best place to return after a long US stint and so on…

Click the link below to buy the book:


Myths about the US

As I start my writing again, I gravitate towards my pet topic of India and US again! πŸ™‚

As I see the numbers swell outside the US Consulate to obtain a US visa, I recollect some of the myths that we dealt with when we were stepping into the US(many,many years ago!)

Shop from BigBasket!

  1. Rosy dream starts right away? Nope, the rosy dreamy takes time and patience… πŸ™‚ I hear so much about people getting paid much better in US than in India – but that might not be true immediately. If you are in high demand states like California or New York in high demand professions like IT, it may be a possibility. But everybody goes through a settling phase of a new employer, new country, new prices , new car and so on. So, the magical six figure salary in US dollars might not arrive instantly for all.
  2. Cost of living in US is much higher than in India. Period. πŸ™‚
  3. Even though we feel that “everybody” from India is in the US, the fact is that we cannot see “everybody” or “anybody” since everybody is in a different state and going from state to state to meet anybody/everybody is not feasible. So, in all possibilities you will see “everybody” in India, only! πŸ™‚
  4. Will you earn better if you have a US degree? Nope, there too. It has always been the economics concept of ‘supply vs demand’ that has brought Indian professionals to the US. If you have the right skills that are in demand currently in the US, you don’t need a US degree to validate your experience(although pursuing higher education in the US is a delight πŸ™‚ and a higher degree might prove beneficial later on in the career)
  5. Are jobs stable in the US? Nope, again! πŸ™‚ Just as software professionals get paid astronomically they get laid off easily too. After all what is a company to do – when they themselves are sinking? And with immigration policies constantly changing, jobs are never a certainty. In addition, professionals ‘on the bench’ waiting for the next project is also a reality.
  6. “Can I start studying immediately?” might be another thought for those on dependent visas. Pursuing higher education in US is a wonderful experience but it does pinch the pockets. In order to pay for your graduate education, you may have to work as a research assistant or teaching assistant or do other eligible jobs(within visa conditions) Bottom line, US education is good but not cheap.
  7. Professionals get paid according to their location – it might not be so evident in India – but it is in the US. If you make $50K in Georgia, you need $81K in San Diego, California!!  For more information on cost of living calculators in the US, visit this link (Source:
  8. Health insurance is  an absolute necessity for all members of the family and for all visiting family members too. It can be quite tricky too. When living abroad, pray that you never fall seriously sick. Not only will you not have enough moral support, the physical support will be missing as well.
  9. Is driving hard in the US? Nope – on the other hand, it is quite a pleasure πŸ™‚ One will definitely enjoy the perfectly regulated traffic and lane discipline. I know, I did! πŸ™‚
  10. And lastly the spouses of those on H1 visas and F1 visas cannot work. This can be a real bummer particularly for women who were actively working in India.

Once you are done with all the ups and downs of finding the perfect employer and perfect place to live along with a good community, living in the US will be a dream come true! πŸ™‚ (at least for a couple of years!)


Reflections on the BlogchatterA2Z journey…

It was the month of March. There were cues for the BlogchatterA2Z challenge all around social media. I was suddenly tempted to participate – should I do it or not?   I had seen many people participating the previous years – but never once thought I will be tempted to participate as well. 

Anyways, I gave in to temptation and registered to participate. But what would I write about (mine was a “Technical blog sprinkled with personal thoughts” :))  – was my next thought. Ultimately, I stuck with my blog theme as the theme for the “Blogchatter challenge” as well. More questions rolled in – will I be able to complete it, how will I do it – considering that school for my kids will be off and more and more questions cropped in!!

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Yoga – the panacea for all ills?

The twenties never seem to last forever.  Body aches and lifestyle diseases catch up with us sooner than later. Exercise seems to be the only way to combat them. While, any form of exercise seems to be good for the body and mind – be it bicycling, walking, swimming, running – these traditional forms of exercise might not be a viable option as we start aging. These forms of exercise leads to wear and tear of the knee or the other joints. It is here that Yoga steps in to cure the human body and mind.

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Why do parents name their children after Gods? (mostly Indian parents as I have understood it)

Whether you are from the North, South, East or Western regions of India – there is a similar pattern that parents follow for naming their children – giving them God’s names (of course, not all of them do it – but most of them do it)

Many of them might not have the name directly, but if you look and introspect closely, the name will be linked to a God. 

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What if we go back in ‘time’? What if we could freeze the current happy “time”? What will be our life like 5 years or 10 years later? How would it be for a competitive exam(particularly in India) to have that extra 5 minutes? Why are we so bored at some time point of life?

“I have to get up at 6:00 a.m.” “I have to go for a meeting at 2:00 p.m.” “I have to hit the bed by 10:00 p.m.” “If only I was a few minutes early for my interview… ” ” I have to get married by 25″, ” I have to retire by 60″….Somethings are timeless, somethings are timely…Time… time.. time… everything in the world is related to ‘Time’! Isn’t it amazing how our lives are intertwined with ‘Time’? We are all wedded to the dear clock to regulate our lives! πŸ™‚

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For the love of ‘Reading’…

As I was pondering what to write for alphabet ‘R’ for my Blogchatter A2Z challenge, a recent conversation in my school Whatsapp groups – triggered me to write this post! πŸ™‚ 

The olden and golden days:

Reading paper books used to be such a beautiful past time for kids before the days of electronic devices. I remember us being curled up with our Nancy Drew’s, Secret Sevens, Famous Fives and Hardy Boys(they were the popular titles in India those days :)) Whether it was the summer vacation or the time after school –  books were our constant companions. Reading built our comprehension abilities, increased our concentration, improved our vocabulary and helped us make new friends too….. and we never bored! πŸ™‚ Those were such sweet innocent days! πŸ™‚

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There were kids playing in the house. There were many others playing outside too. There were screams, yells, laughs and roars.

But he found a way to be away from it all, reading a book in the corner of the house. It was not a story book. It was a technical book!  He could be sitting in any crowded place, be observant and be quiet. Most of the time, his head would be down engrossed in a book. Or if he was at home he would be by himself playing the keyboard.

Even when he was alone with his mother at home, not a word would be uttered. The mother would feel the silence and the quietness. How could anyone be this quiet, was her thought all the time?! πŸ™‚ She was never that way…

It was quite interesting that even the chattiest person when seated with him would become quiet πŸ™‚ …was this even possible?  If the dictionary described the word “quiet”, he epitomised it…

He could talk amazingly well but it was not his personality to be a spontaneous talker. He could respond perfectly to questions asked to him. Inspite of being so ‘quiet’ it was not like he was not listening to things around him. He was a great and fantastic listener… but he was extremely reticent by nature. 

Who was this boy, who gave the word “quiet” such a huge spotlight?! It is my son!! πŸ™‚

For Bala – on his 17th birthday!! πŸ™‚ 


Palm tree fruit

Have you seen a small jelly like fruit sold by street vendors with a delicious taste? This is the  ‘Palm fruit’, Palm tree fruit’ or ‘Nongu’ (in Tamil) found mostly in Southern Tamil Nadu. During all my years in the US, I sorely missed this tropical fruit! I am sure it is available in other places too – with their unique names . The ‘Palm fruit’ grows on the ‘Palm tree’. 

So, what is this Palm fruit?

It is a jelly like fruit which is housed inside a black shell and is absolutely heavenly! This tropical fruit is a natural cooler and is one of the best and natural fruits to beat the raging summer heat.  The black shell houses three ‘palm fruits’. The shell can be broken with a sickle and the delicious fruit is taken outside. There is a white skin which has to be removed and viola! the jelly fruit is here to be relished! πŸ™‚

The above picture shows the palm fruit with and without their skins.

How should the Palm fruit be consumed?

The delicious fruit can be consumed as is or can be made into a ‘kheer’. It can also be blended with the ‘king of fruits'(mango) to give the taste buds an even better experience! πŸ™‚

So, if possible, try this tropical delicacy and enjoy summer with natural coolers!

This post is for alphabet ‘P’ for the Blogchatter challenge…