These are a few of my favorite things:#4 (Ferdinand, the Bull, by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson)

Ferdinand, the gentle, peace loving & content Bull is everyone’s favorite. Though the story is meant for children, Ferdidand is equally loved by adults. To me Ferdinand’s story is about embracing your true nature rather than succumbing to the pressure of society . If you are a bull but like to smell flowers rather than fight then there is no good reason that you should fight. I discovered this book n video only a couple of days back but wish I had known it in my growing up years when I had a little tough time being comfortable with my introversion & solitude loving nature. You were supposed to love meeting new people, making loads of friends & enjoy partying. I would rather read books & daydream. Eventually I learned that my choices were as valid  if not more valid than the more popular choices of the day. Today I don’t feel the pressure to be a super-woman. Like Ferdinand I’d rather be smelling flowers & enjoying afternoon naps.


January 19, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Book Review, Books, English Movies, I-Me-Myself, Must Watch Movies, My lifestyle, My Values, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Teaching Stories. Leave a comment.

Women & The Surname Tamasha

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Recently there was a Supreme Court decision that a Divorced woman can retain & use her ex-husband’s surname. Many newspaper headlines screamed that it is a reason to cheer for women. In  my not so humble opinion,  to the contrary, it is dismal, distressing & a retrograde step.

Why would a married woman want to retain her ex’s surname? Why do married woman want to take on their husband’s family name in the first place? This choice has been beyond my comprehension. Marriage is a union of equals. So why is there a need to take on a part of his identity??

 {Adopting a husband’s last name remains an entrenched tradition that is on the upswing, despite a temporary blip in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s where many young women tended to want to hold on to their birth names,” said UF linguistics professor Diana Boxer, who led a series of studies. “I think it reflects how men’s power continues to influence American society despite the fact that women have made great advances economically and socially.” (source:

 “Taking on my husband’s last name was an outward sign of our union,” explained one woman. “It served to make me feel that I was ‘really married’ and that we were forming a brand new family.” (why does only a woman need to have an outward sign of union?? How about husband flaunting some outward signs??)

Understanding naming traditions is important because they give clues about underlying social patterns and shifts in attitudes about expected roles for women, said Boxer, who presented some of the findings at the International Association of Applied Linguistics meeting in Madison, Wis., in July. “People say ‘It’s only a name, what’s in a name?’ Well, we think there’s a lot in a name,” she said. “Linguistic symbols tell us how people are treated in society.” }

 Then a newspaper article claimed that more & more working women are choosing to retain their maiden surnames. Now what is the co-relation between work & surname? I am not working outside home but that never stopped me from not changing my surname.

 One newspaper article told about a lady who got married, changed her surname, got divorced, changed back to her original surname, then got remarried & alas, changed her surname yet again!! Why all this tamasha?? Why not let your name stay put firmly??

 Then there are women who are choosing to retain their maiden surnames & topping it up with their husband’s surname. High profile women like Priyanka Gandhi Vadhera & Aishwarya Rai Bacchan belong to this category. Again why? Why the need to tag your hubby’s last name when he doesn’t feel the corresponding need to tag yours?? Besides sounding ridiculous two surnames in one name is extra baggage!!

The most distressing case is of the women (a couple of whom I know) who not only change their surnames but even their Names after marriage. In fact there is a tradition in certain families in India where a woman’s name is changed by her husband’s family…I mean why? It is a not so subtle indication that a female is expected to change her identity in every way including something as basic as name!! & yet another deplorable category is that of women who sandwich their husband’s name between her name & her (husband’s) surname!

These days we like to believe that we have achieved Gender Equality. But these can’t be true until we stop & think before succumbing to such subtle forms of male dominance. Women it’s time to wake up & make the choices wisely.Aren’t we also responsible for making our positions little less than equal by succumbing to these unwise choices? 

October 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Feminism, Gender equality, I-Me-Myself, Marriage, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom. 2 comments.

Quitting the Rat Race #6: Watching the Wheels Go Round n Round!!!

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‘Watching Wheels Go Round & Round’ by John Lennon is my new Anthem , like Lennon I too love to watch Wheels go round n round & watching shadows on walls which means basically doing nothing much, living at the speed of life!! So as I’ve mentioned before too, I’ve chosen to be a Homemaker after having a wonderful career for 10 odd years & I am enjoying this life to the hilt. The other day I was chatting with an old pal & he said he was ‘disappointed in me’ ‘cos I had let myself go n lost the zeal for life!!! I was surprised to hear this ‘cos I am actually happier now, my zeal is very much there, now that zeal is focused on other things like practicing simplicity, frugality, embracing the slow pace of life, clarifying my thought processes, eating healthy & exploring fashion, some things for which I didn’t just have time when I was busy with a career. But obviously most people just can’t understand that this way of life could make people not just ordinary Happy but deliriously Happy! People imagine Happiness means only climbing the ladder of career success & buying bigger n more n more expensive things … incidentally the same friend is about to buy a third SUV!!! I mean I can’t understand people buying one SUV but third, that’s ridiculous beyond imagination ( perhaps I don’t understand them n they don’t understand me!!)

“I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while they claim to be just on the point of attaining happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu

Enuff said…now off to Lalaland humming the great lyrics of great song!!! John Lennon reflects my state of mind uncannily

Watching The Wheel go round & round

People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I’m o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you’re not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I’m lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don’t you miss the big time boy you’re no longer on the ball

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

Ah, people asking questions lost in confusion
Well I tell them there’s no problem, only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind
I tell them there’s no hurry
I’m just sitting here doing time

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go

October 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Inspiration, Meaning of Life, Music, My lifestyle, My Values, Philosophy, Quitting the Rat Race, Quotations, Reflections/Musings, Slacker-Sutras, Slacking, Wisdom, You tube. 2 comments.

Revisiting child Freedom

A while back I wrote a post on my thoughts about being child free  in a world where ‘breeding’ is almost regarded a ‘fundamental right or fundamental duty’ (depending on your gender)…no kidding…one of the guys on a childfree forum told his tale where he is meeting with backlash ‘cos of his choice to remain childfree though he wants to get married, someone has actually said to him ‘you are trying to deny women their fundamental right to have children’!!! By corollary it is almost regarded a fundamental duty for females to have kids & if they choose not to have kids they are labeled: selfish, horrible, immature & what not. I mean I am still surprised that it’s actually okay for people to grill (read hound) us for our choice & tell things like ‘you will regret it later’. I was reading a book ‘Nobody’s mother:life without kids’ by Lynne Van Luven which is a collection of stories by women who have already made this choice. From introspective to humorous to rabble-rousing, these are personal stories that are well and honestly told. The writers range in age from early 30s to mid-70s and come from diverse backgrounds. All have thought long and hard about the role of motherhood, their own destinies, what mothering means in our society and what their choice means to them as individuals and as members of their ethnic communities or social groups. (She has also written a book ‘Nobody’s Father: Life without Kids to share men’s perspective) the book one of the interviewees turned the tables on the person who asked her ‘Don’t you regret not having kids?’ by asking the hitherto unasked, ‘Do you regret having them?’ Whoa…I really like this attitude.

I came across another interesting book ‘No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to have children’  by Corinne Maier (who is actually a mother!!). The reasons she gives include (some of them hold good for me while some do not, everyone has their own set of reasons)

•You will lose touch with your friends
•Your sex life will be over
Children cost a fortune
Child-rearing is endless drudgery
Vacations will be nightmares
You’ll lose your identity and become just “mom” or “dad” (I’ve seen many couples actually call each other mama & papa, how hilarious is that??)
•Your children will become mindless drones of capitalism

•The planet’s already overcrowded
•Your children will inevitably disappoint you

The complete list :

1. The “desire for children”: A silly idea
2. Labour is torture
3. You avoid becoming a walking pacifier

4. You keep having fun
5. Rat race plus rugrats: No thanks!
6. You keep your friends

7. You won’t have to use that idiot language when talking to kids
8. Open the nursery, close the bedroom
9. Kids are the death of desire
10. Kids are the death knell of the couple
11. To be or to do: Don’t decide
12. “The child is a sort of vicious, innately cruel dwarf” (Michel Houellebecq)
13. Kids are conformists
14. Kids are a treasure, and will cost you one
15. Kids are unbiased allies of capitalism

16. A brain teaser: How to keep kids busy
17. The parent’s worst nightmares
18. Don’t be fooled by the “ideal child” illusion
19. Your kid will always disappoint you
20. The horror of becoming a merdeuf
21. Parent above all? No, thank you
22. Keep the experts at bay

23. The family: A horror
24. Don’t revert to childhood
25. It takes real courage to keep saying, “Me first”
26. Kids signal the end of your youthful dreams

27. You can’t stop yourself from wanting your kids to be happy
28. You can’t get away from your kids

29. Get used to it: School is a boot camp
30. “Raise” a child . . . but toward what?
31. Avoid benevolent neutrality like the plague
32. Parenthood is a sad, sweet song
33. Motherhood is a trap for women (& for men too if you ask me)
34. Motherhood or success: Pick one
35. When the child appears, the father disappears
36. Today’s child is the perfect child: Welcome to the best of all possible worlds
37. Danger, child ahead
38. Why wear yourself out for a future that doesn’t include you?
39. There are too many children in the world

40. Reject the ten absurd commandments of the “good” parent

The reasons that are compelling for me are in bold. I love my independence & freedom to do things I want to do. I just can’t imagine making kids a priority & yup, kids are a big financial and emotional drain. I’ve seen this happening in my own life. My hubby has a son from his previous marriage. Hubby spent his life’s saving on getting the son educated & still he is unemployed & not taking things seriously enough to get a job. Apart from financial death this is emotional death. Now spend the rest of your life being worried over the child’s future & your own future. This is definitely not the way I want to spend the rest of my life. I love a simple life & not wasting money so that I can quit the Rat Race & spend time with peace n quiet. That simply isn’t possible if I have kids to worry over. I see lot of connection between simplicy, being child free & quitting the Rat Race

When I posted about child freedom the last time I got positive response from like minded people, we really bonded over our same feeling about this issue but I also got this:

‘You know, You’re sick.
Seriously sick. I thought such mindlessness only exist in books, but “tada”….. here u r, bearing the flag of being pseudo-intellect.
I actually kind of liked your blog, even suggested it to few ppl, but after reading this post, i understood u r just another one of those so called “we are special” ppl….
Carry on, go ahead. Its ur life, but i wanna say again, u r sick. definitely sick. ‘

This is what sucks about the attitude towards child free person, if we make a choice that is not the same as yours, it definitely doesn’t give you rights to judge us.

September 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Books, child-free, Happiness, I-Me-Myself, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity. 8 comments.

Quitting the Rat Race #1: Drawing Wisdom from Wise Philosophers: #1 Epicurus

Portrait of Epicurus. Pentelic marble, Roman c...

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Today we live  in a materialistic & acquisitive society where  people have status according to the car they drive, the size of their house, designer clothes, exotic holidays abroad, etc etc.

But is this honestly leading us towards any happiness??If purpose of life is to be happy, shouldn’t we at least pause from the maddening rat race & take a moment to reflect?

I have been lucky enough to quit the rat race at a ripe old age of 34 & am now enjoying my days idling, doing a little bit of house work & generally resting, idling , reading, thinking, blogging n mostly loafing during the day. This time abundance to me is the ultimate luxury, more valuable than money. n stuff that money can buy. Though I must admit that the decision was not a simple one to make. Time n again I have doubted my decision. Though I can afford not to work if I scale down my expenses a bit & rejig the lifestyle a bit, not working is a breeze for me…but still doubts kept pestering me, what if I come to regret this later? What if I get bored of all this after a few days? Not working when everyone else is climbing the so called career ladder of success can be a bit scary at times. During such times I have gone to books as usual, when in doubt read books & did a bit of research. I have gleaned wisdom from all possible kind of sources including a 1975 book called ‘Possum Living’, to an even older , classic ‘The Importance of Living’ which is a primer on living an idle life, to a contemporary book called ‘How to be free’ & from Ancient Greek Philosophers. The findings have been pretty Interesting. I will kickstart the Inspiration from the Greek Philosopher Epicurus.

According to the Wise Philosopher Epicurus wealth beyond a certain level is waste, it is like water overflowing from a full bucket…yet people in their quest to earn more n more forget such simple truths.

“When we say…that pleasure is the end and aim of life, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice, or willful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. It is not by an unbroken succession of drinking bouts and of revelry, not by sexual lust, nor the enjoyment of fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul.” —Epicurus

The most important mistake people make, according to Epicurus, is that they associate the idea of happiness with having lots of money. He also managed to explain why we tend to make such an erroneous association. Though Epicurus proclaimed that pleasure is the most essential thing in life, he appears to have led a rather simple, moderate life: simple clothes, simple home, drinking water rather than wine, and having frugal meals.

The basic concept in his philosophy is that we are starkly unable to understand what can make us happy. We are therefore very much attracted to material things rather than spiritual ones. And what do we do? We go shopping for useless things. Thus we replace our real needs with things like clothes, furniture, cars, nice houses, and such like. But as this Greek philosopher tried to prove, there are only three things we need to be happy: friends, freedom, and an analyzed life.

“What’s good is easy to get.” We need food, water, shelter from the elements, and safety from hostile animals and people. All these things lie ready to hand and can be acquired with little effort or money. We don’t need caviar, champagne, palaces, or bodyguards, which are expensive and difficult to acquire and keep. People who want more than they need are making a fundamental mistake, a mistake that reduces their chances of being satisfied and causes needless anxiety.

Being cheerful is the key to being happy. As long as we are cheerful it takes very little to keep us happy, but without cheerfulness we cannot really enjoy even the so-called ‘pleasures’ of life. Being cheerful is a state which is full of pleasure

He also believed in freedom. He felt that allowing your boss – be they employer or political master – to tell you what to do couldn’t help you achieve happiness. This is where the garden came in. With his followers he brought a house and a garden on the outskirts of Athens in 306 BC where they grew all the food they needed to live. It wasn’t the finest food in the world, just simple, rural fare. But it did for them. It gave them time to think, which is the third of Epicurus’s ingredients for a happy life.

we need to be happy is “an analyzed life”. That meant taking time to think and consider our worries, what stresses out and why. Epicurus was of the opinion that our worries might decrease simply by analyzing them very carefully and rationally.

The fundamental obstacle to happiness, says Epicurus, is anxiety. No matter how rich or famous you are, you won’t be happy if you’re anxious to be richer or more famous. No matter how good your health is, you won’t be happy if you’re anxious about getting sick.

September 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Consumerism, Greek Philosophers, Happiness, I-Me-Myself, Inspiration, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Philosophy, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom. 8 comments.

Things I am Grateful For

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”~Oprah Winfrey

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~Epictetus

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  ~Cynthia Ozick

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.  ~Aldous Huxley

  1. My Upbringing- which was solidly rooted in values, though my parents had enough money but we were never spoilt. We had to work to get the things we wanted apart from the basics. That might not have seemed so great at that time but I realize the value of such training in my growing years. It is coming handy throughout my life.

  2. My parents: They gave me absolute freedom to do whatever I wished to do without ever pressurizing me to pursue a certain career.

  3. A supportive hubby who shares chores with me.

  4. Hubby & me sharing common basic values.

  5. Hubby’s secure Job.

  6. Not having to worry about Medical emergencies. Hubby’s job takes care of it.

  7. Hubby bringing me Bed Tea every morning.

  8. A Spouse who truly appreciates & values me.

  9. Hubby being a great cook.

  10. Finding so much happiness & peace in married life after a bad marriage.

  11. Our friend chakri who introduced us. I call him our cupid.

  12. My successful career stint. Making a living doing what I love.

  13. My students: I learnt as much from them as I taught them. I had a wonderful, enriching experience interacting with young minds.

  14. My kick ass attitude which makes the best of all situations eventually.

  15. Friends with whom I can share my innermost thoughts & deepest secrets. With whom I shared fun moments & all my woes. Who always had faith in me & time for me, even when I was at my Worst.

  16. My wonderful online friends, some of whom I’ve not even met but the bond is still precious n valuable as ‘real’ friendship.

  17. Traveling to so many places.

  18. Digital camera: I just love photography & it’s a breeze with digi cams.

  19. Clarity: I am grateful for having worked out my core values & understanding what makes me truly happy.

  20. Understanding myself: I have really worked out what I want in life & have the ability & strength to go after them. I’ve rarely if ever succumbed to social/peer pressure.

  21. Self love: I am my Best friend n biggest cheer leader & admirer.

  22. My footloose & carefree lifestyle. Not being stuck with kids.

  23. Internet: I just dunno how we ever managed before the advent of the net.

  24. My Laptop.

  25. My Blog: It helps me to air my opinions whenever it strikes my fancy.

  26. Blogs out there: I can spend hours & hours exploring various interesting topics & point of view.

  27. Internet Forums: I learnt a lot on various topics from these forums. I explored various themes that were important to me at various times like being child free, introversion, body acceptance, voluntary simplicity, Feminism et al. These forums help me connect with likeminded souls.

  28. Osho: He’s the Kick ass Guru who helped me clarify my thoughts n figure out my values.

  29. My schooling: Our Principal was a great lady who had a different vision for education. She made us really bold & smart.

  30. Great Teachers like Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay, Lin Yutang, Tom Hodgkinson, Vernon Howard, Guy Finley, Byron Katie, Wayne dyer, Marci Schimoff & Many many more who have helped my journey towards peace & calm.

  31. Never having the need to keep up with Joneses. I’ve always been happy with leading my life the way I want without comparing myself with others. Gives me lots of peace of mind.

  32. Simplicity: I’ve embraced voluntary simplicity which leads to saving money & enables us to lead a clutter free life which adds to our peace of my mind.

  33. Not being addicted to anything.

  34. My love for solitude: Not always needing people around me to feel secure/entertained enables me to be happy anywhere anytime.

  35. Having loads of time for myself: To read, think, reflect & clarify my values.

  36. My tough times: Though it may be clichéd to say this but it is amply true that those bad time really taught me, made me strong & appreciate all the good stuff.

  37. Friends who stood by me during my tough times, who let me express my woes infinite times, who never lost faith in me & who helped me stand up again after going through some big tragedies in life.

  38. Gaining self esteem after difficult teenage years which really sucked for me.

  39. People who are kind enough to appreciate my blogs & pictures @ FB.

  40. Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera, Alain De Botton & all the wonderful writers of fiction.

  41. Books: I can spend any amount of time absorbed in the wonderful world of books. As long as there are books I am sure I will never be bored.

  42. My good Height: which not only adds to my personality but also lets me gain weight without it showing too much.

  43. My skin: which has recovered quite well after teenage acne & sunburns.

  44. My fabulous Dressing & fashion/style sense.

  45. Having the flexibility to adjust & go with the flow. Somehow I never get addicted to luxuries & find it easy to cut back. I like both splurging & saving as & when the circumstances in life demand.

  46. My wonderful family & esp my nieces who are the apple of my eyes. Esp Risha with whom I shared two wonderful years of my life.

  47. The freedom to go on holidays every year.

  48. Moving every two years: Though it may have it’s downsides but I just love the complete change in lifestyle. Each place has it’s own charm/flavor. Life is never dull/boring/predictable.

  49. Movies like  Groundhog Day which have entertained me & make me think.

  50. Wonderful Domestic Help: can’t ever thank enough to people who smooth my life.

  51. Our own Home: Takes off another worry from my head about the future.

  52. My sense of Humor.

Related articles

September 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Lists, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom. 6 comments.

I Love my ‘Boring’ Life

Yesterday I was chatting with an acquaintance & he happened to ask me about my routine to which I quite honestly replied that it includes ‘cooking, cleaning, reading, spending time on the internet, cooking some more, talking on the phone with mom n few friends sporadically,  & spending some quiet time with hubby’ …then he wanted to know if I had any local friends..though I am a reasonably friendly person, I never go out n actively seek friends..I make friends when I bump into somebody like minded n that sure is happening lesser n lesser these days..the reason is simple , like Henry David Thoreau I find no companion as companionable as solitude. I just love spending time with myself, engaged in my own thoughts. I was telling these things very matter of factly & suddenly he remarked ‘Ritu, you sound bored!’ & I was quite dumbfounded ‘cos I’m having a pretty good time in my life & all the stuff that I do is pretty exciting to me…in fact I can’t wait to get up n get started with my ‘routine’…I’ve never been bored in life…only boring people get bored..though my day might sound dull to people whose idea of having a good time is equated with having loads of people around, partying, going to clubs n general thrill n excitement seeking…yup to those people my slow n almost Zen like like life might sound boring…but this is what I choose…this is what makes me happy..this kind of peace is what I’ve been seeking & now have luckily managed to have in life…achieving this ‘boring’ lifestyle’ is my major success in life…I don’t want/ intend to be a super woman who can manage both home n career n children n goodness only knows what else..I want to spend my time peacefully, intentionally, deliberately, mindfully, slowly…I want to spend my time n days in sweet contemplation n general lazing around…slowly pottering around doing a bit of work interspersed with ample resting n recuperating time..this is the life I choose…if it seems boring to the rest of the world…too bad!!!

” Boredom exists only when you don”t enjoy doing nothing”!!!

September 2, 2011. Tags: , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Rambling, Reflections/Musings, Schizoid, Slacking. 4 comments.

A Meme about Me Me & Me (Whackjob)

I’ve been Tagged by Sunil of I blog therefore I am. Thanks Sunil for creating this fun Tag & giving me one more excuse of launching forth on my favorite topic: Me, I and Myself. It was fun doing this Tag & I look forward to many more.

1. If you could go back in time to relive one moment, what would it be?
Ummm honestly no moment…I don’t want to relive any moment ever ‘cos I believe I really do live each moment to the fullest, the good, the bad, the ugly…if I’m ever sad I’m sad in totality, I cry my eyes dry but once I’m done that episode is over for me, no trace of sadness remains…same goes for the happy moments…so I just want to be in the Present Moment. 

2. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
No change each moment has contributed to make me what I am today & I’m honestly very happy with what I’ve become.

3. What movie or TV character you think you resemble most in personality?

~Howard Roark from Fountainhead -tends to be much more interested in what he’s doing than in anybody else’s opinion of what he’s doing. He’s not the part of the crowd but stands majestically alone. An individualist in the truest sense of the word. A man who does things his own way n never anything to please others.He is never out there to win a popularity contest. He is his own man and lives by his own rules. He refuses to join any fraternity. He is not anti-social so much as asocial. He never learned the process of thinking about other people. Nor does he care to. He achieves his top values: self-esteem, happiness, pride, Independence, Egoism, and Achievement.

~Scarlett O’Hara (from Gone with the Wind) was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm.
Scarlet couldn’t stand any conversation for more than 5 minutes where she was not the center of attention.

~Rudy Baylor from Rainmaker–Maintained his wry sense of humor when almost anything that could go wrong goes wrong.& then rose like a Phoenix. Always has a rich internal dialogue going on. In the most mundane/pathetic situation his mind keeps him entertained.

4. What movie or TV character would you really like to be like?

Same as in 3 above

5. If you could push one person in the whole world off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?
None, live n let live…believe in the theory of Karma…each will meet his/her rewards/punishment as per their karma without me getting in their way.

6. Name one habit you want to change in yourself.
Being online the first thing in morning….I seriously want to cut down on my online time. Every night I decide I’d focus on my other tasks the next day, every morning I swich on the net before brushing my teeth L…my world will slip seriously out of control if I don’t change this soon.

7. Describe yourself in one word.
One word is too little n too difficult…but okay lemme give it a shot…ummm okay in word DIVA…lolz…I really do live life Queen size

8. Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word.

Sunil : is a ‘Thinker, philosopher, writer, reader, guitarist, filmmaker, & a biker’…I’ve recently discovered his blog & already loving it. I especially enjoy the subtle humor & wisdom that is always there in  his writing. Movie reviews on his blog are also worth checking out.

9. Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence.

~To express my thoughts & perspectives on the several issues that interest me

 ~to expand my self awareness;

~to clarify my values & philosophy of life;

~to record my intellectual & emotional journey;

~To meet & Interact with like minded people

10. Name at least 3 people to send this meme to then inform them.


Akash Walia

Vikram Karve

Ashish Gorde

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April 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Blogs, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Quiz, Reflections/Musings. 6 comments.

Zen & the Art of Being A Happy Home-Maker

Young Housewife, Oil on canvas. The Russian Mu...

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After being a person whose life revolved around a career, I got married to an Air-Force officer whose work involves frequent postings to obscure places where career opportunities are not easy to come by. So I’ve been a home-maker for the past 1.5 years & surrounded by many women who are in similar situation. What I find is most of these women are reluctant, frustrated home-makers, getting bored & just biding time till they can join the work force again. But for me home making has been an exciting adventure. As I see it the world is divided into two types of housewives: The Happy Housewife & the reluctant Housewife. The former is a rare tribe while the world is full of the later.

 Some of the phrases that I hear frequently against being a homemaker & my counter thoughts:

 #1. It’s so boring/ you must be getting bored staying at home: Well not really. For me staying at home  is actually more exciting than going out for work. Good Riddance to the Rat Race. For one it has given me an opportunity to explore my myriad hobbies & interest in depth. It gives me time to think my thoughts & form indepth opinions about the things that matter to me. I find time to take long walks with my i pod for company. I listen to music while making lunch & doing chores. I mean this is a real luxury: to spend one’s day as one wants.

 #2 You are wasting your Talent: I’m like hellooo is making money the only use of one’s talents??  As someone remarked “I can’t afford to waste my time making money”. This holds good for me. With loads of time I’m able to express my talents (whatever little talent I have that is) in various ways through blogging, photography, etc. True this doesn’t earn me a penny. But the joy & satisfaction that I get more than makes up for the money I don’t earn. After all what is money but a means to an end of achieving happiness?? If I achieve that end by bypassing the conventional mean, so much better. I really loved the way in Victorain Novels as soon as a guy landed in some money by way of inheritence etc. he immediately gave up a career & settled into a life of peaceful leisure pursuing the finer things in life.

#3.  Not having your own money sucks (Some women have told me they feel uncomfortable     asking their spouses for money): For me it doesn’t ‘cos

a)    I regard hubby’s money as my own. As we see it, a successful partnership has many aspects n the partners can contribute in several ways. While he takes care of the bread n the butter, I enrich the relationship by spending my time exploring & finding: great & meaningful movies for us to watch together & I later analyze & review them in depth; beautiful books for us to read; Amazing places for us to visit & so on…& yeah of course while he brings the food (so to say) ,I cook it n put it on the table. For us neither of the work is more or less important & me not bringing money home doesn’t make our relationship unbalanced or skewed.

b)   A penny saved is penny earned. Over the years I’ve adopted voluntary simplicity & instead of finding joy in stuff & excitement of a so-called high life we find it more in spending time peacefully pursuing calm hobbies like reading, photography, watching movies, blogging etc.

Also see:

About Me

My Thoughts | FAQs | Still More

My Personal Swot Analysis

My Movie reviews

My Book Reviews

Ritu: The Uber Slacker

Favorite Book Characters

My Lifestyle


March 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Inspiration, Marriage, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Rambling, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom. 10 comments.

My Personal Swot Analysis

“SWOT” is an  acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT analysis consists of the following two activities

1. An assessment of the organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and

2. An assessment of the Opportunities and Threats posed by its external environment

SWOT analysis provides a framework for visioning by helping the planners to identify and prioritize the organization’s GOALS and to further identify the strategies of achieving them.

I am applying this tool to analyze & probe my psyche deeper. So instead of strengths n weaknesses of an organization they are my own strengths & weaknesses. I hope to use this Personal SWOT as a tool of self awareness & Personal Development. So here I GO:


~ Calm, cool & Content: Non Materialistic: Never Been a part of Rat Race or Keeping up with Joneses Mentality.

~Inner Locus of Control & love for solitude:Happy in my own company; Never Bored

~Enthusiastic, fun loving, good sense of humor

~High level of self awareness, self belief & self esteem

~ Good Communication skills (Expressing ideas coherently, Listening attentively & Writing concisely)

~ Good Leadership skills (Charisma & empathy)

~High I.Q. & E.Q.

~Tech & Internet savvy

~ Flexible: Able to adapt to changing situations naturally & without fuss or complains. After enjoying a career in College teaching for 10+ year had no problem or qualms in teaching children at primary levels (looking forward to teaching at pre nursery & nursery levels). Demonstrated equal levels of joy, ease & competence as a professional & Home-maker.

~ Self focused: No lust for stuff, power or fame. No celebrity worshipping. No voyeuristic curiosities to peep into lives of others (as in watching reality TV…though very much interested in getting into the minds of people whom I admire- Osho, Ayn Rand, Vernon Howard, Guy Finley, Louise Hay, Byron Katie, Lin Yutang, Epicurus, Socrates, Marcie Schimoff, Deepak Chopra, Buddha…the list goes on). This helps me to lead my life with contentment & peace of my mind, directing my energy for my own improvement.

~Love for learning (Been a continuous Learner all my life both formally as in acquiring qualifications & informally as in learning through reading, blogging etc. Currently pursuing CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), M.T.T. (Montessori Teacher’s Training & Personal MBA: Personal MBA means acquiring knowledge & wisdom by reading books instead of attending formal classes.)


~Sometimes Judgemental/critical of others thus wasting my own time n energy outside my circle of Influence

~Sometimes Egoistic & need to be regarded & acknowledged ‘The Best’.

~Get distracted by too many things

~Disorganized & cluttered personal space

~Get caught into gossiping even though involuntarily & harmlessly & feel drained after it

~Addicted to too much sweet Tea

~Procrastination especially once hooked online


~Loads of Free Time to pursue all my Interests & take walks/do cycling on warm afternoons on cold days

~ No responsibility for others-Parents & spouse self sufficient, no kids or dependent in laws; Free to do my own thing


~I like to believe that I’ve reached a stage where I can’t let ANYTHING outside my own self responsible for my negative states. Nothing in the external environment is 100% negative. Every situation, however bad, has it’s lessons n gifts. It’s up to me to make use of any circumstance in a beneficial way.

February 9, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . I-Me-Myself, Inspiration, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom. 31 comments.

My plans for 2011

As this New Year has kicked in I have many fresh plans which I’m raring to pursue with zeal…I prefer to call them plans instead of resolutions because I believe plans are more flexible n fun…Resolutions sound rather rigid.

~ To embrace Minimalism: Minimalism is a lifestyle that aspires to live with less stuff & hence with less clutter, less debt, less carbon footprint, less work to earn more money to buy useless stuff, more freedom, more leisure, more fun, more joy. I’ve always been attracted by the minimalist lifestyle, Voluntary simplicity & frugality (Minimalism & frugality are a natural choice for me n not some sort of sacrifice because I’ve never been a part of the rat race or keeping up with the Joneses or the Joshis mentality), but somehow I continued to buy stuff without pausing to think whether or not I need it. I mean I’ve never been a shopoholic or been in debt but somehow I used to keep buying clothes, junk jewelery & makeup. More than I’d ever need for at least 5 more years. The more I thought about it the more I realized that mindless stuff accumulation is not making me happy. This year I finally decided to take a plunge. I’ve been reading a lot of minimalist blogs out here & they have been a big source of inspiration. There are folks who are living with only 100 things (A Guy Named Dave), living with 75 things (Everett Bogue), living with 50 things (Leo Babauta), living without any money (Daniel Suelo). But since I’m a beginner I plan to take baby steps for now. I’m starting with a simple manageable Project for this year. I plan to discard at least 1 thing everyday for each day in 2011 a la 365 things less & do Compacting that is not buying any stuff barring groceries n absolute necessities.

~ Start New Blogs: I’ve been writing this blog for 5 years or so & it has become kind of cluttered…I’ve been wring movie reviews, books reviews, Buddhism, child freedom, Travelogues, my thoughts, raves n rants. This year I pan to start new dedicated and focused blogs on Minimalism, Simplicity & Frugality; Buddhism; Quotes, Inspiration and Wisdom; Books & Reading; Movies; Fat Acceptance and Healthy lifestyle; Aging and Death (Yup you read it right Death)…These blogs will help me to share my thoughts n learnings on these topics that I am passionate about and help me gain new insights fellow bloggers.

~ Do loads n loads n loads of reading: Reading has always been my #1 Passion but somehow didn’t do as much reading as I would have loved to do in 2010. In 2011 I intend to rekindle my affair with reading. Incidentally of late I’ve a insomaniac, which is rather surprising as hitherto I used to be a very heavy sleeper, anyhoo I intend take full advantage of my insomnia n double my reading. I’m planning to read 200-300 books this year (I’m not sure of the exact number because blogs dme from reading books)

~ This year I intend to give a pass to the usual resolutions of losing weights, stop procrastinating, having a clean room,  blah blah blah……

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January 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Blogs, Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal. 1 comment.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 50 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 145 posts. There were 146 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 32mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 14th with 45 views. The most popular post that day was On Not Judging Others or Trying To Fix Their Lives.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for difference between fera and fema, the bucket list, fera and fema, company law notes, and company meetings and resolutions.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


On Not Judging Others or Trying To Fix Their Lives November 2010


About Ritu Khabia September 2008

January 7, 2011. Blogs, I-Me-Myself, MEMEME. 1 comment.

My Journey from slim to fat & Back (hopefully)

How did I get so Fat?? I’m left wondering, shaking my head sadly.  Not some years back being skinny used to be my problem!!! Now it’s hard to imagine that those days were for real. Looks like the kilos piled up unbenownst to me. When n how did this happen?? Well not really I do know the story behind those kilos.

In school days I used to be very very skinny & it was my dream to fatten up so i started eating whatever i pleased but still to no avail, I guess the hard schedule of school n the youth made calories disappear. The result of all this eating started showing up in my early college days. I remember during those days when someone commented ‘you are getting fat’, instead of getting alarmed n cautious I used to be very pleased with myself. I congratulated myself inwardly. That was the best compliment in my books. Little did I realize what was in store for me a little later. Then during college I had a bit of emotional crisis, I was under depression due to pressures of studying & perhaps teenage confusion. During that time I took to consuming cups of tea one after another, sometimes without a gap of even 5 mins in between. That was the time I guess which was the real turning point in my journey from slim to FAT. But still there was nothing to worry much about as I have a tall frame, so I can carry a bit of weight without really showing.

The real change came after my marriage. After marriage i stopped working n became a homemaker, not really because I was not doing any work in the house either!! Fortunately or rather unfortunately I  have a full time dependable maid who cooks n cleans for me!! So here I was (am) without having as much to move a finger n getting everything on a platter. All this free time leads to lots of binging. So its a double whammy. & trust me this combo works its magic before you realize. Also my sweet tooth doesn’t help either. I can skip a meal here/there but I can’t say no to sweets/tea. Sure I do try to take regular walks but what is a little walking after n before a whole sedentary day filled with eating.

Analyzing the reasons of how I got here from there gives me insights into a formulating a workable strategy of how to get back there again.  I’ve decided enough is enough & take bulls by it horn n take some serious steps to offload those kgs piled up over time. I got additional inspiration from watching a youtube video by a guy called Sam Crowley who made a very public commitment to lose weight after getting disgusted (in his own words) watching himself on another video he shot.

I’m not for either drastic exercising or drastic dieting & I don’t want to be too thin either. So my approach will be more kaizen like–improvement by taking small steps. Here’s the plan

~Absolutely no sweets till I achieve the desired weight. No exceptions. Oh well, a little cheating once in a while is allowed.

~Only 1-2 cups of tea per day (sometimes i can have up to 4 a day & that’s after cutting down on tea drastically. Before my marriage I had 4-5 cups in bed itself)

~Going for a walk post breakfast, pre lunch n post lunch in winters n morning n evening in summers.

~Getting my own glass of water instead of shouting for it. (It’s a small thing but everything adds up in the end)

~Doing small errands in house throughout the day–giving a helping hand to domestic help!!!

~Only liquids–soups, juices n low fat milk shakes post lunch.

~Use my ‘Before’ pix to keep me motivated.

With this plan I hope to knock off 5-10 kgs in 6 months. Looks reasonable n achievable. & I’ve already decided on my reward for all this discipline. A shopping spree for new clothes * a vacation in Goa. 🙂

December 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . I-Me-Myself, Inspiration, MEMEME, My lifestyle, Personal, Rambling, Reflections/Musings. 1 comment.

My Thought on Things things that Make Me Think!!!

#1 Money: I value money for what it is, A Medium of Exchange & the stuff with which we buy things that make our life comfortable but I’ve seen many a lives ruined by money, not only as in having loads of money will increase the probability of theft/robbery/your kin being kidnapped etc, but also people ruining their lives worrying over money matters (even when none of those scary incidents happen actually) (not that it is money’s fault but then money seems to do this to most folks). I mean people having sufficient money losing sleep over some money lost in stock market for example is actually hilarious if we think about it.  (I wouldn’t worry about money matters till the time I’ve enough for food n shelter, rest of the stuff is negotiable i.e. I’ll indulge in them if I have money n let go if funds are lacking). Money beyond a certain level is more of a tension rather than joy. Then one has to spend substantial time n thoughts over preserving n increasing it & I personally consider it time wasted. I’d rather spend all that time doing something that enriches my soul like reading/ writing; enjoying the finer things rather than thinking over money matters. I believe in earning a decent amount n then using it all to buy things that please one. Saving for imaginary future emergencies doesn’t quite make sense in my scheme of things. & slogging too hard to make wads of money n then blowing it all to buy luxuries to show off to others is also foolish in my books. Moreover the happiness that some people claim to get from things that money can buy is fleeting & not so fulfilling, ‘cos real happiness comes from within n not generated by external things or circumstances.

Most people seem to have forgotten the fact that money is just a means to an end & started worshiping money for its own sake & rather than spending it find more pleasure in hoarding more n more of it.Several researches have conclusively proved that Lottery winners return to their previous level of happiness after five years. But this hasn’t stopped many from the pursuit of more n more money. As someone jokingly remarked “All I need is a chance to prove that money doesn’t buy happiness.”!!!

A Research carried at Princeton University reveals In looking toward the future, women who concentrated much of their thinking on financial matters were much less likely to be happy with their lives. And, contrary to expectations, many of those with such worries had plenty of money by conventional standards, she said, suggesting that there is more at play in obtaining peace of mind than simply having cash. Conversely, those who didn’t fixate on finances like retirement savings, tuition for college or simply making ends meet, reported being the happiest of the group. (somehow I knew all this instinctively & though I’m from Finance background & been teaching Finance for ages I just hate wasting my time on thinking about money…I’ve always spent what I’ve earned on books, music, Net, clothes, Travel, Gadgets & saved only an itsy bitsy amount…somehow worrying over future is not a part of my DNA…I have no aspirations for what I want to buy 5/10 years later…things will work out the way they are meant to.)

Some quotes that reflect my views on money are:

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it. G.K. Chesterton

~Possessions Possess.

~A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to live without. Thoreau

~A good mind possesses a kingdom: a great fortune is a great slavery. ~seneca

~Money doesn’t always bring happiness. People with $10 million are no happier than people with $9 million

It’s Official Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

#2 Ageing: In a world that is obsessed with youth, I seem to be an odd person out: I’m actually looking forward to grow old. (I not only read ‘Harmony’: a magazine for elderly but find it very interesting too!!) I like myself more now at 35 than I did at 16. I know myself more, I’m surer of my own thoughts n feelings…I just loooooooooooove being older n mature n smarter. I don’t understand the attitude of people feeling very proud ‘cos they are young; my sis in law often brags she’s 10 yrs younger than me as if that is some achievement or badge of honor n what’s with so many women who are supposed to lie about their ages to seem younger than they are, WTF?? Some quotes on ageing that reflect my attitude:

A person’s age is something impressive, it sums up his/her life:  maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.  A person’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Youth is a disease from which we all recover.  ~Dorothy Fulheim

#3 Death: While I’m not looking forward to death like I’m looking forward to growing old, I’m quite okay with death n dying (I’m not really afraid of dying as many are). I accept it as a part of the natural process of life on this planet. In fact death is what makes life worth living & exhilarating. I don’t understand people who want to live forever. The ultimate mystery of death makes life thrilling. Life is exciting because we have finite time here. I believe in rebirth/reincarnation, so I don’t view death as an end but only a transition/transformation.

#4 Karwa Chauth: is an annual ritual where married women Fast (don’t eat food one whole day) for the long life of their Husbands. It is celebrated with gusto n pride in North India. In my not so humble opinion nothing could be more stupid. There are two reasons for my assertion. Number one the concept itself is illogical. There is no cause n effect relationship here. How could one person not eating prolong the life of another?? If women truly believe that fasting one day in a year can increase lives of husbands then probably they should fast for a week or so to make their husbands live forever!!!

Second & more important reason is that this ritual subjugates & demeans women’s status in the society. Women touch the feet of husbands & eat food late night after seeing the moon n touching husband’s feet!!! For all this they get a gift from the hubby!!! Some women claim that now this is an egalitarian festival ‘cos some hubbies fast for their wives too, but I guess that’s doubly stupid ‘cos two stupid things done together don’t make it a right thing.

The whole thing is stupid, ridiculous, shocking & demeaning for women. But they seem very smug n happy about it. A well adjusted slave is the greatest enemy if freedom.


November 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Quotations, Simplicity, Uncategorized, Wisdom. 6 comments.

Ruminations of a Child Free woman

~ I am 35 year old

~who has known since forever known that she doesn’t want any kids (Voluntarily childfree/ childfree by choice)

~I love my child free lifestyle. I love having total control over my time & my ability to do what I please whenever I please without having to adjust my schedule or priorities around children. I love spending uninterrupted Adult time with my spouse. I like the fact that I don’t have to be worried sick about another person’s future & thus enjoy my own present. (some people told me that after a certain point one just starts living for their children…what a scary thought…I live for my own sake, I celebrate myself & I want to keep it that way)I love having fun & changing nappies or feeding to a child who spits more than she swallows is certainly not my idea of fun.

~ I get sick up to my neck of people telling me that I’d change my mind/ I’d regret my choice…in fact this constant sermonizing is what triggered me to write n share this

~I don’t hate other people’s kid (okay I dislike them when they throw things around my house n spit food on my carpet & behave in general like brats). In fact I adore my niece to bits. (To this people tell me ‘other people’s children can’t be your own’…not to worry I’m not trying to make her my own as in counting her to be there for me when I’m old or anything…I adore her ‘cos she’s adorable n that’s it).

~Contrary to what people assume ‘I’m never gonna change my mind on this one’ & ‘I’m sure I’m not gonna regret my choice either’.

~ I’m from India. Here the concept of ‘child free’ seems to be totally unheard of. In fact to this date I’ve not met any woman/ couple who are voluntarily childfree. The childless couples I know have either adopted or considering adoption.

~People just don’t understand the difference between childless n childfree. Many good intentioned souls suggest I go for adoption. Heck I don’t want any kids. Mine or adopted. Period.

~ Incidentally my mom n my hubby don’t have any concerns on me being childfree but others have their own ideas including the poor incomplete moi theory.

~The only downside of being child-free is that some how it seems to upset n offend most people with children & the diatribe they almost dutifully launch into. They almost consider it their duty to try n convince me to ‘see sense’ n rethink my decision!!!! Though I’m sure their intentions are good but their advice is unnecessary. I’ve made my choice with my heart n mind & I am capable of choosing what’s right for me.

~ Once a woman I’d just met asked me ‘in which class your kids are studying?’ Note the wordings, not ‘do you have kids?’…it’s just assumed everyone has kids….when I told her I don’t have any, she said “I’m sorry”!!!!! I had to assure her ‘but I’m not sorry…infact I’m very happy’… she looked very confused 😀

~Another ‘classic’ reason given to me to have children is ‘that it strengthens a relationship/marriage’…what bull?? In my not so humble opinion, a relationship which depends primarily on the two people involved is stronger than one which depends on third person to strengthen it or hold it together.

~Now to answer the most serious ‘Allegation’ against child-free folks that we are selfish (‘cos we don’t think the way rest of you do )

’ Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.’

~Just as you don’t understand my choice to be child free I don’t understand your need to breed but I let you just be who you are with all your good n bad choices without asking you to explain or defend them & I expect you to do the same. Not too much to ask for, is it??

~Most of the people I admire are childfree—Ayn Rand, Howard Roark, Osho, Scarlett-o-Hara

~Happy Child free Day to all the cool child-free folks.

(Also See: Revisiting Child Freedom)

June 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . child-free, Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, MEMEME, My lifestyle, Rant, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom. 36 comments.

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