Happy Birthday GG & BB: A Letter to you on your 14th Birthday!

Happy Birthday, BB & GG! You turn 14 tomorrow and the years between the first time I held you both in my arms to today seems to have gone by in a flash. Tomorrow is also your Hindi year-end exam and I wish you all the best for the exams (though I know you wish the exams didn’t happen today!).

GG, you are my first born (by two minutes) and as I watch you grow into a warm and confident young lady, I am always surprised you were born from my womb. You are beautiful, both from the inside and the outside, but I am glad, at this point in life, you are more concerned on the inside than the outside, maybe unlike your peers.

BB, my baby boy, who is now a whole head taller than me, you are still the sweet and lovely little boy I watched grow up. I still love the random hugs you give me now and then and the cuddles you ask me sometimes and hope you never change this aspect of your personality.

Both of you are no longer children and completely dependent on me anymore. You are already young adults who show promise of the adults you will soon become.

For both of you, the exams that begin around the end of the month are defining exams. How you in this exam will determine to a large extent your future path in life as the subjects you take will eventually determine the subjects you can take post school.

There are very few children who are your age and who know what they want to do in life, you both are quite fortunate you have been able to pin down your passions early on and to a large extent, you both have decided what you want to do in life. All I say that grow your passion and let that determine your path in life. As someone wise once said,

“When you love what you do and work in something that you are passionate about, you never ever go to work a single day in your life!”

The teens are brutal years, take this from someone who has been through it. I have always believed that teenagers are more lethal than even adults and what you learn while navigating these years will be the foundation which you can use to base your adult interactions.

The teen years are brutal, take this from someone who has been through it. I have always believed that teenagers are more lethal than even adults and what you learn while navigating these years will be the foundation which you can use to base your adult interactions.

One thing I would like you both to learn during the holidays is to learn to cook! Cooking is no longer restricted to girls and with both learning to make simple meals in school, we can take this further and learn simple meals you can make for yourself. This will make you more independent and cooking is an important life skill. You will never starve or even spend too much money on meals when you stay away from home!

Speaking of which, I am quite dreading the time when you both fly the coop – BB will start first when he starts his National Service, but I would love for both to stay and study overseas so you gain valuable experience – both academically as well as in life!

My hopes and aspirations for you both are quite simple, I want you to enjoy what you do and in the process be happy doing it. Live life to the fullest and make use of every opportunity that comes your way, be it tiny, little or big. Keep learning, it never stops and try to learn something new every day! Love each other immensely as you now do and never stop being in each other’s lives. You both share a special and unique bond, keep that flame always alive!

Happy Birthday, GG & BB! Remember I love you to the moon and back (definitely more!)

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Twin Mum Questions

50d4b665dc1140faf06be9785be3660f-twin-girls-twin-babiesIt never gets old. From the time GG & BB were born till now, every time people hear I have twins, people ask me questions, most of which, when I think about it, are almost similar in nature. BB & GG turn 14 this year and I have been fielding these questions for just as long. So here’s a list of questions that I sometimes wish I have prepared answers for and just pass it to them when they ask!

f8c92fd92da4a96a4c0882c314c4a2aeAre they twins? (I used to get asked this a lot when they were younger, but I don’t get asked this question anymore because BB is taller than GG and so people assume she is the younger sister)

Yes, they are….They look the same age, right?

Is it two boys/two girls?

No, they are not, can’t you see they are dressed differently, according to their sex? When they learn one of each – Wow! Fantastic, you hit the jackpot!

Are they identical?

No, they are not. Basic biology states that identical twins need to be the same sex and since they are of different sexes, they are fraternal twins and not identical

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Were they planned or did it happen naturally?

Gosh! Such intrusive questions about my life!

Were they conceived naturally?

Another super intrusive question, but to answer it, yes, they were conceived naturally

Do twins run in your family?

I am actually not sure here. My mum’s sister has twins, but the generation before that didn’t have. Maybe it runs my maternal grandmother’s family, but we are still not sure.

Do they look alike?

Hello! Twins of a different sex, so obviously they look different. But in all fairness, when they were babies, people did tend to feel they looked alike, but I never saw the likeness!

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Are they alike in temperament?

Nope! They are completely different in temperament, likes and dislikes. GG is a very girly girl who loves to draw, paint and sing while BB is a boy who, like most boys loves planes, cars and other vehicles, his obsession with planes is real and he has most likely decided to have a career in aviation.

Who is older/younger?

GG is older by 2 minutes. They were delivered by c-section and my gynaecologist/obstetrician felt she was not growing well and may not survive the trauma of a natural birth, hence the scheduled c-section. So she was delivered first, but we were worried in vain, as she was relatively healthy and didn’t need to spend any time in the NICU, which was what was told to us before the birth.

I could never do it

Well, before I had twins, I never thought of managing twins too, but you just do what you have to do! So I did it!

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To any twin mum reading this article, what are your favourite twin mum question?

What makes a Mother?

 

This Sunday will be celebrated as Mother’s Day almost throughout the world. Across the world, children (and dads) will buy presents and flowers for the mums in their lives and also make a special meal for them. Facebook and other social media will be filled with photos and Mothers Day wishes and mums all over will realise how much they are loved.

 

My mum lives far away in India, so other than wishing her via phone, there’s not much I can do, but we do try to take S’ mum and aunt (who is a second mum to him) out for a meal on that day.

 

So what makes a mother? Is biology the only reason someone gets the privilege of being called a mum? What about adoptive parents? They don’t give birth to their young ones but spend far more time and effort in nurturing them, so are they not also mums? Take S’ aunt for example – she never married as a result of a handicap she incurred as a young girl, the result of a sickness. She has always lived with S’ family and has been an equal partner in looking after and nurturing S and his sister. So she’s another mum we honour.

 

So in honour of all mums out there, here’s something I wrote….

What Makes a Mother

 

The first person we know in this world,

She is the one who makes our world unfurl.

She loves us unconditionally and with balance,

Guides us through life with infinite patience.

She is a friend, philosopher and guide, all rolled in one

She is your one guiding star, she is your sun.

She brightens up your life, she fills your world with laughter

For every question you may have, she has the right answer.

We all know that God can’t be everywhere, so he made mothers

She, who is the zypher, the anchor of your life.

To all the mothers in the world, those who gave birth and those who didn’t, but are mother figures in our lives, here’s wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day!

As for me, I need to wait till Sunday to see what GG & BB have in store for me….

 

 

 

 

Theory of Multiple Intelligence

 

 

The other day, while randomly clicking links, I came across an article which spoke about intelligence not as a single entity as we know but splitting it into nine different types. The more I read, the more it made sense to me. We all may not be intelligent in the traditional sense, which when you are in school means scoring more marks, but you could be street smart or even people smart which may actually stand you in better stead than being just book smart!

The theory of multiple intelligence was first coined by Howard Gardner who proposed this model in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. According to Gardner, an intelligence must fulfil eight criteria: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.

 

Musical-rhythmic and harmonic or Sound Smart:
This area has to do with sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. People with a high musical intelligence normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. They have the sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody or timbre. Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognise, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligence may share common thinking processes.

 

Visual-spatial or Picture Smart:
This area deals with spatial judgment and the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye. Spatial ability is one of the three factors beneath g in the hierarchical model of intelligence. Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.

Verbal-linguistic or Word Smart:
People with high verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates. Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.

Logical-mathematical or Numbers or Reasoning Smart:
This area has to do with logic, abstractions, reasoning, numbers and critical thinking. This also has to do with having the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system. Logical reasoning is closely linked to fluid intelligence and to general intelligence. Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.

Bodily-kinesthetic or Body Smart:
The core elements of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are control of one’s bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skilfully.Gardner elaborates to say that this also includes a sense of timing, a clear sense of the goal of a physical action, along with the ability to train responses. People who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should be generally good at physical activities such as sports, dance, acting, and making things. Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and crafts people exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

Interpersonal or Self Smart:
In theory, individuals who have high interpersonal intelligence are characterized by their sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments, motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. Those with high interpersonal intelligence communicate effectively and empathize easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. They often enjoy discussion and debate. Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal or People Smart:
This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. This refers to having a deep understanding of the self; what one’s strengths or weaknesses are, what makes one unique, being able to predict one’s own reactions or emotions. Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.

Naturalistic or Nature Smart:
Not part of Gardner’s original seven, naturalistic intelligence was proposed by him in 1995. This area has to do with nurturing and relating information to one’s natural surroundings.This sort of ecological receptiveness is deeply rooted in a “sensitive, ethical, and holistic understanding” of the world and its complexities – including the role of humanity within the greater ecosphere. Naturalist intelligence designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.

Existential or Life Smart:
Gardner did not want to commit to a spiritual intelligence, but suggested that an “existential” intelligence may be a useful construct, also proposed after the original 7 in his 1999 book. Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why we die, and how did we get here.

Gardner also opposed the idea of labeling learners to a specific intelligence and maintained that his theory of multiple intelligences should “empower learners”, not restrict them to one modality of learning. According to Gardner, an intelligence is “a biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture.

Even after so many years of this theory being proposed, there is still controversy about it. I am not a psychologist, but this theory does make sense to me. I know that not everyone can be defined as ‘traditionally intelligent’ and this theory does put to rest why some people are widely successful in varied fields. Take music for example. Every years, hundreds of thousands of aspiring musicians audition for jobs and reality shows, but there are just a handful who are successful. That’s probably because they are blessed with musical intelligence, which a whole bunch of the others do not possess. This does make you think, right?

There are a couple of sites which allow you to take a test to determine which intelligence is your dominant one. I did one and no surprises there, at least for me – I got linguistic ability overwhelmingly which is right in my mind.

This is what the result said about me “Your dominant intelligence type is linguistic/verbal or in other words… you are word smart! You have an eloquent and sophisticated way of expressing yourself verbally as well as in writing.

You are passionate about literature, history and current events. You also have a knack for pursuing and learning new languages. You have a charismatic personality and because of you are talented in many areas of communicating, you also have strong interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. You are social, people smart and extremely self-aware.

If you want to do the same test, here’s the test link

Do you agree with Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence? I’d love to hear what you got? Please do comment below….

How Would You Spend Your Last Week on Earth?

 

I can’t remember where I saw this writing prompt, but this sounded interesting, so I saved it and today was inspired to write a post based on this prompt.

 

I do think this prompt makes for a good interview or ice breaker question. Also, the answer you get from this question should reveal the priorities in the person’s life. Should be interesting and I should try it on S someday!

I am assuming that this end is for everyone because of some catastrophe (like a giant meteor or some climate change terror etc) and not someone personal, though, even something personal (like if I had an incurable disease which gave me a week to live), would probably follow the same lines. If it was only me dying, then I’d probably not spend all my money and keep as much as I could for my family, so that would probably be the only thing I’d do differently. Oh, one more thing – in addition to spending time with my family, I’d also write notes for them for the different times in their lives that I would not be there with them and also record videos for them.

 

Of course, nobody would answer things like “I want to spend more time at work to advance myself” or “I want to buy <that thing you can’t do without today>” or even “I want to get toned up” etc. because these are all things that are a means to an end – the end being wanting to provide for your family or even material things that provide you with satisfaction or even happiness for a short period of time. When the push comes to the shove, everyone is going to go back to the basics as it may be, with different people having different priorities in their lives. But I’d like to think, most people would love to have more time with their loved ones, be it family or friends or even someone they are not related to, but love being together with.

 

On to my answer, it will obviously be my family – they come first for me in everything I do and if I had just one week before a doomsday, I would gather them all together with me, my children, S, my parents, my sister, S’ mum etc, money not being an object since the world will end in a week’s time and there’s no need to save anymore, right? I would want to spend as much time as I can with them and soak up all the memories I can with my loved ones.

 

I would also like to take this time to ask for forgiveness to those whom I had wronged, intentionally or unintentionally and also forgive those who had wronged me and mine. I am someone who carries a grudge for a long time, so this would be the best time to forget all grudges I’ve been carrying in my heart for don’t know how long and let sleeping tigers lie.

 

Religion plays a large part in my life and I turn to my favourite God almost everytime I am troubled or even when I am happy. I’d like to think, I have a ‘friend-like’ relationship with Him, so this will definitely be a time when I turn to the higher power to find solace in such trying times. I do not really believe in going to temples or in organised religious functions, but have a more personal relationship. I believe that 10 minutes spent talking to him in a quiet place or even at at the altar at home is better than going to a temple. So this is what I will do – spend time talking to him at a personal level and try to calm my mind so that I can face the end.

So there you have it, how I would spend my last week in Earth. What about you? How would you like to spend the last days on this planet?