INDIA: Interview with Piya Mukherjee of #WorldMoms

INDIA: Interview with Piya Mukherjee of #WorldMoms

piya mukherjee - pic 2

Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I live in Mumbai, India and have lived here since birth. However, work and leisure have taken me to many different pockets of India and of the world. It’s a tad ironical that someone with “wanderlust” should also be a happy citizen of a single city for a long time!


What language(s) do you speak?

I speak English, Hindi (the national language), Bengali / Bangla (my mother tongue), some Marathi (the language of the state where I live) and a sprinkling of words in French remembered from my school and college days! 🙂


When did you first become a mother (year/age)?

I had just turned 26 when Abhishek was born.


Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work inside or outside the home?

Surprisingly, the answer to this question is – both! When my son arrived, I moved into full-time parenting and slowly progressed to weaving my work around his schedules. Later, this took the form of freelance and flexi-time work. Over the years, my son grew – as did my work. However what remains constant is my “being there” when needed – exam study times, “I need to discuss with you” times, ill times, sad and happy times.  So yes, I work, but if there is a toss-up between parenting and work, parenting would win hands-down! Hence I like to think of myself as a professional who also works with the mind-set of a stay at home mom.


Why do you blog/write?

Because the thoughts in my heart and mind wear the words of their choice and seek expression in my diaries, journals and laptop! Because they will not be denied. Because they echo my deepest, most sacred beliefs. And because I believe in the power of such words in forging and linking like-minded souls across the planet.

piya mukherjee - india - pic 1

What makes you unique as a mother?

Every chuckle and laugh that motherhood has brought me, every tear I’ve shed, every epiphany that seemingly simple moments have brought me, every dream my heart has nurtured, every fear that has kept me awake and every hope that I’ve cherished – these have all contributed to the tapestry of this special, challenging, wondrous and joyous journey of motherhood. That makes me a unique mother – like the other mothers on this planet (no, that’s not a paradox!). Aren’t we then all unique mothers? 🙂

And oh, I must mention that over the past 18 years or so, I’ve been very active in the education domain. Being a teacher-trainer, allows me to bring some much-needed understanding into the classroom and some objectivity in terms of dealing with growing-up milestones, in my home! The cross-pollination of experiences and learnings helps!


What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?

The world today probably offers more choices and faster time-buckets for changes and decision-making than ever before. The flipside is this: emotional resilience and intellectual maturity don’t quite grow at the same rate as techo-skills and expressions of individuality. Which leads to a world that teeters between the “I” and the “We” paradigms of identity. Raising a child to navigate this course is what makes parenting a challenging task today.


How did you find World Moms Blog?

I was searching for some “soul-food” for mothers on the Internet. Some random clicks brought me to this website, and I was interested…then intrigued…and then hooked. But then again, Vedanta (a school of philosophical thought of India) teaches us that nothing is truly random! So this was meant to be. 🙂

Piya On Writing At WMB

Do you you have any questions for Piya? 

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by new contributors, Piya Mukherjee of India.

Photo credits to the author. 

ISRAEL: Mom, No One Owes You Anything

ISRAEL: Mom, No One Owes You Anything


You might think otherwise, but in truth, no one owes you anything. Not God, not your spouse, not your parents, not your kids, not your friends or your colleagues. Seriously, no one owes you a single thing.

I don’t think any one of us go about our days consciously assuming that we’re owed anything, yet we somehow unknowingly end up behaving in a way that says just that.

We live lives full of expectations. We’ve come to expect certain things, certain behaviors and certain reactions. And because we’ve come to expect those things, we unwittingly end up feeling entitled to them. Then, when we don’t get them, we feel upset and short changed.

How many times have I gotten upset with my kids for not doing their chores? How many times have I snapped at my husband because I felt I didn’t get the reaction I hoped for? How many times have I gotten annoyed at someone?
Yes, I feel that my kids should have responsibility. Yes, I wish my husband could read my mind. (Or maybe not.) Yes, I wish people would be more polite. But they’re not the problem.

The problem is expectations and the false notion that people think we need them. When you have an expectation, you’re putting forth a demand. Is that the way to manage any type of a relationship? To demand something from the other party?

An expectation is one sided. We don’t need to live lives filled with demands.

So what do we need? We need hopes and wishes. We need reciprocity in the form of cooperation and partnership.

In the example of my kids and their chores. My wish is for teamwork. Being part of the family means being part of the team, a team that helps the family function as it should both physically and emotionally. Not because I want them to do it for me personally, but for the good of the whole unit.

In marriage or in any type of a relationship you’re looking for cooperation and partnership as well as mutual understanding. You wish for good and by wishing for good instead of expecting or demanding it, you can find the good and are grateful for what you have.

You have to earn love or respect or kindness. Demanding them will get you nowhere fast. When a relationship is a loving one, not one based on debts, people will be more likely to want to be there for you.

Learning that you’re not owed anything doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat or be treated badly. It means you have a choice and can decide what relationships and actions belong in your life. You don’t demand things from other and you don’t transfer the blame or responsibility on others. You decide what is right for you. You decide to see all the things to be grateful for.

Love can only be unconditional when you earn it but don’t feel you’re owed it.

Can you imagine how many of the world’s problems would vanish if we all believed that we aren’t owed anything and took responsibility for ourselves and our actions.

Do you think you are owed anything?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by our contributor, Susie Newday in Israel. You can find her on her blog New Day New Lesson.

Photo credit to Susie Mayerfeld

Susie Newday (Israel)

Susie Newday is a happily-married American-born Israeli mother of five. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and avid amateur photographer. Most importantly, Susie is a happily married mother of five amazing kids from age 8-24 and soon to be a mother in law. (Which also makes her a chef, maid, tutor, chauffeur, launderer...) Susie's blog, New Day, New Lesson, is her attempt to help others and herself view the lessons life hands all of us in a positive light. She will also be the first to admit that blogging is great free therapy as well. Susie's hope for the world? Increasing kindness, tolerance and love. You can also follow her Facebook page New Day, New Lesson where she posts her unique photos with quotes as well as gift ideas.

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GUEST POST: INDIA: Pregnancy and Solar Eclipses!

GUEST POST: INDIA: Pregnancy and Solar Eclipses!

Indian Pregnancy Eclipse

Total Eclipse of My Pregnancy

In India, some say the most awesome time of any woman’s life is when they get pregnant. You have life in your body, share all that you feel and have lots of company. This is also a time when  you will have your husband doing everything thing for you, provided you ask for it. However, if you happen to be a woman who has a pseudo ego of being self reliant and who has never asked for many favours in life, this is not a comfortable time. This was me.

Looking back, it was silly not to have taken advantage of the help of my husband and my extended joint family including, my mother in law, co sister, their respective husbands and their daughters, all of whom I still live with. It’s true. We, Indians, live like this with lot of people to give us company all the time. We hate and love them simultaneously.

I wanted to be so self reliant that I never wanted them to cook anything special for me!! Not even once during my all nine months. I made it to term although my whole extended family wanted me to deliver my child as early as possible, probably in the first month!! They were just too excited to welcome a new member in the house and extend the extended family a little more. It had been 18 years since our family had the chance to welcome new cute baby!

However, their enthusiasm was a little too overwhelming, as even my doctors suggested mildly to get a C section done after I crossed 36th month. My family had become restless and could not wait. As a mother I was excited to meet my baby, too, but I wanted my child when the time was right. Not early and not late. And, I adhered to that. I did not succumb to any pressure.

Well, ok, I was strong except for when it came to my aunties…

During my pregnancy, thrice I received calls from my frantic, superstitious aunties who in their whole life had never ever called me before. They began to instruct me to observe precautions embedded in our ancient culture and told me not do certain things. It was clear that if their precautions weren’t heeded following and during a solar or lunar eclipse, my child and I would be harmed. There was no scientific proof, of course! Here are some of the things they demanded of me during an eclipse:

Do not cross your feet

Sit in one position

Do not use scissors, knife or blade

Do not stitch

Do not drink water

Do not let any rays fall on you

Sit in only one room, close the door

Do not watch  television

In short, it was total eclipse of my pregnancy!! Every year, lunar or solar eclipses do happen.  But if you are pregnant, they say it can harm you more than the normal people. I never quite understood whether pregnant women carry any special energy around them. Or do eclipses have special power to judge human beings? Oh she is pregnant I will harm her; oh she is women I will harm her less and this is unborn child I can harm even more.

Only Indian pregnant women will get affected by eclipses and no one else on this planet. I did bow down to the pressure. I did stay home and did exactly what was told to me, though with no personal faith but to please everyone around me. Oh, I did not want anything to go wrong with my unborn baby!

The pregnant women are strictly advised not to venture out during eclipse. It is still believed by lot of people in India that if you do anything prescribed above, your baby might become handicapped or disabled and the probability of miscarriage is increased. If you stitch cloth your child may have cleft lip. It is funny and there is no scientific explanation to all these. And there is no proven fact that it can actually cause harm. However, looking at a solar eclipse with naked eyes can harm your eyes irrespective of you being pregnant or not pregnant.

For millions of years humans have given birth and been pregnant along with other species during the time when there happened to be an eclipse. It is improbable that an eclipse can cause a direct negative impact by singling out pregnant women. There are many children who are born with a disability and cleft lip in-spite of following all of the “rules”. So, since there is no scientific explanation and eclipses do not have special power to differentiate, between whether you are Indian or not, do not get carried away! I complied with these instructions from my superstitious aunties during my pregnancy to keep everyone happy. The best thing to do? Take medical advice and do not panic.

What about you? Did you receive any advice unique to your culture when you were pregnant?

Or, did you find yourself doing something you didn’t believe in while pregnant just to please others? Let’s hear it! 

This is a an original guest post to World Moms Blog by Vineeta Jain of Kolkata, India. Vineeta is an award winning media professional specializing in radio. And she did not hold any scissors while pregnant during an eclipse! 

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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FLORIDA, USA: The Baby and The Boy

FLORIDA, USA: The Baby and The Boy


“Baby Wessy-yyy” I say with that voice used only when babies have your attention. Immediately my toddler looks at me studiously and corrects me: “No, no, no, mama!” she says with her eyes closed, a shaking head, and a finger waving from side to side. All the while walking toward me and Wesley. “Mines ah baby’s! Baby Yomi!” She continues, as she points to herself.

I repeat what Yomi said, just to make sure I understand. She starts nodding her head, chin tilted down, eyes looking up at me with that this-is-redundant & mom-pay-attention you-know-that-is-what-I-just-said look. So in defense I say that she is a big girl and Wesley is a baby. She corrects me without hesitation: “Nooo, Yomi baby!!” (more…)


I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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SOCIAL GOOD: Finding Joy at the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre

SOCIAL GOOD: Finding Joy at the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre

Kilimanjaro Orphanage Center Tanzania

One of the boys smiles for the camera.

Traveling the world, I am always touched by the children of every place I go. Joy, creativity, and the desire to be loved is universal, and transcends borders, cultures, languages, and even circumstances in life. Despite some of the utter hardships some children face – whether it be war, poverty, hunger or disease – I find that kids are still kids no matter what. They all love to play, to learn, to have attention and love, and of course to smile.

Visiting children at either a local school, community-lead program or orphanage has become something I try to do on every trip to the developing world. I have found that even a short time spent playing and interacting with children, even if we can’t speak the same language, does wonders for the soul. There are tons of places in need of volunteers and visitors however finding the right place to visit can be tricky. Thankfully the perfect place to visit was just a short walk away from the gates of the hotel in Moshi, Tanzania where I was staying on my latest adventure.

The Springlands Hotel is the base of Zara Tours, one of the leading trekking and safari outfitters in Moshi and is the company we employed for our climb to Mount Kilimanjaro. Run by Zainab Ansell, Zara Tours has been brining guests on amazing adventures for over two decades and has also given back to the community in which they serve through the Zara Tanzania Charity. Zara Charity works to develop and support vulnerable groups within their community such as porters, Maasai women, and local orphans improving the lives for many.

Tanzania had been ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic that swept across the African continent killing an estimated 30 million people from AIDS-related causes since its beginning twenty years ago (UNAID 2010 report). In Tanzania alone, HIV/AIDS has devastated an entire generation leaving a nation of orphans. UNICEF estimates that there are over 3.1 million children in Tanzania living without parents of which an estimated 1.3 million are orphaned due to HIV/AIDS.  For many of these children, an orphanage is the only place they have to find food, shelter, education and medical attention. 

Kilimanjaro Orphanage Center Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro Orphanage Center in Moshi, Tanzania

The city of Moshi was not spared in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Right behind the Springlands Hotel lies the small community of Pasua, a dirt-lined street of homes and small businesses.  In 2009, Edward “Teacher” Lazaro, a native Tanzanian, founded The Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre in response to the dire need to provide care and shelter to an increasing population of orphaned children in the Kilimanjaro region. Lazaro collaborated with Zainab Ansell of Zara Charity to set up the orphanage and today the center cares for 60 resident orphans with the help of many dedicated local and international volunteers.

After a short five-minute walk, twisting and turning down the serpentine dirt streets of the village, I arrived at the gates of the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre. I could hear the laughter of the children from outside the gates. A large group of 20 volunteers were already inside playing frisbee with the children. This group would spend the next several days visiting the kids before doing a Kilimanjaro climb in honor of their charity.

Kilimanjaro Orphanage Center Tanzania

This little boy was a tough customer to get to smile. I found out he is a neighbor’s child who enjoys coming to play with the kids at the centre.

To learn more about the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Center and how you can help, click here.

This post was written by Nicole Melancon of ThirdEyeMom and edited for publication on World Moms Blog.

When you travel is there one particular thing that draws you in each place you go?

All photos by Nicole Melancon.

Nicole Melancon (USA)

Third Eye Mom is a stay-at-home mom living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two children Max (6) and Sophia (4). Her children keep her continually busy and she is constantly amazed by the imagination, energy and joy of life that they possess! A world wanderer at heart, she has also been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering and she continues to keep on the traveling path. A graduate of French and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she met her husband Paul, she has always been a Midwest gal living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago. This adventurous mom loves to be outside doing anything athletic (hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply enjoying nature), to travel and volunteer abroad, to write, and to spend time with her beloved family and friends. Her latest venture involves her dream to raise enough money on her own to build and open a brand-new school in rural Nepal, and to teach her children to live compassionately, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. Third Eye Mom believes strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be. If there is a will, there is a way, and that anything is possible (as long as you set your heart and mind to it!). Visit her on her blog, Thirdeyemom, where she writes about her travels and experiences in other lands!

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