How to make your baby first photo shoot successful and memorable

Getting infant/newborn professional photography for your babies is popular and well known concept in western countries and gaining popularity these days in India as well. I love the concept of infant/newborn photography and specially good for those parents who don’t have time to take out their digital cameras and click their baby or for those who don’t possess those extra ordinary photography skills. Getting numerous pictures through mobile camera is easy but we sure want to capture some candid beautiful shot to be treasured lifelong.

I fall in both the categories so I decided to get Candy’s professional baby shoot done when he was 8 month old and another shoot I did at home with a professional photographer when he was 9 Months old. I really wanted this shoot to happen at his initial months when he was 5-6 months old but due to one reason or other it got postponed but then I had two fantabulous back to back photography sessions for candy and looking into the pictures I got, I am so glad that I get that done.

However, getting your baby ready for a photo shoot is not a cakewalk. It’s an enormous task to make your baby look into the camera when he wants to look everywhere else but camera, when he refuse to smile when you start clicking pictures, when all you get  after an hour of trying some is blurred pictures.

Based on my experience, I am sharing few of the tips which can help you to get the perfect photo shoot of your little one either for professional or at home shoot:

  1. Decide the age for the shoot

Newborn photography is magical. Tiny babies posing for the cameras look out of world and divine. If you are keen for the newborn baby shoot it would be best to book in advance depending on your delivery date. New born shoots are best done in first month of baby and even better in first 15 days of their birth.

If you have missed your baby newborn photoshoot, no worries, you can plan to photograph babies at 5-6 months, because they are so smiley and interactive at that age. You can get the advantage of the fact that they can be kept still at this age so getting pictures would be easy

 

2. Choosing the right Photographer

I feel that’s the most important aspect for a successful baby Shoot. Before your zero down to photographer, visit their website to have a look at their work and read their client’s testimonials as handling small babies can be tricky and unless you hire an experienced and baby friendly photographer, getting good candid captures might not be easy. Also consider, if they have props or theme based photography available as they make for great photography ideas.

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photographer: Mint & Peach Photography, Mumbai Theme : all about me

3.      Location

Newborn shoots are best done indoors or at home as at many places babies are not allowed out of home till 40 days after the Birth. Infant shoot can be done indoor or outdoor. You can decide this based on the weather at the time of shoot and also consider if your baby is conformable indoors or outdoors. Don’t go for a home shoot if your home is too stuffed with things or does not have much empty space for photography.

4.      Pre-plan your shoot

Pre-plan your entire shoot right from the theme of the shoot to clothes to timing of the shoot.  Connect with your photographer to discuss the theme and clothes color which will look better with the theme you have chosen. If you are getting family pictures also which is a must, go for color coordinated or twinning outfits. Keep a spare outfit for your baby, if they spoil the photo shoot outfit as you can never predict with babies.

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photographer: Mint & Peach Photography, Mumbai Theme : Little reader

5. Consider comfort of the babies 

As a parent our inclination is always to dress sons and daughters up in the cutest outfits and accessories. Those bowties, hairbands and tutus skirt, however, just might not be comfortable or practical for your baby. 

Choose a comfort clothing for you baby also depending on the weather conditions you are photographing your baby. Keep the baby comfy and a lot of smiles are bound to happen!

6. Choose babies happy time for the shoot

The timing of the photo shoot is very important for it to be successful. Choose a happy time of your babies as the time of the shoot. A photo session during typical naptime or mealtime will hardly ever work. Place a full-bellied and well-rested child in front of the camera and your chances of a successful session greatly increase!

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photographer: Mint & Peach Photography, Mumbai Theme : Nautical

Lastly !

7.      Stop stressing

Babies will be babies and for one hour just let them be. Don’t get frustrated if they are not cooperative for the shoot, just relax and enjoy with them Once the parents let go of the stress, the babies tend to relax too.

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photographer: Deep Mota Photography, Mumbai 

Hope these tips help you for a Happy and successful baby Shoot !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review -Soulslings-Full Buckle Soft Structured Carrier (Soul Natura-Standard)

Baby wearing has become a trending phenomenon these days. Though an age old concept, this has now caught fancy of people eyes in recent years  due to comfort it offers and has become immensely popular over the world, India is no exception.

I own two baby carriers one from Chicoo other from Mothercare. We bought them when candy was 3 months old as I travel a lot for office work and baby wearing is very helpful while travelling alone as it keeps you sane when pram or stroller fails to offer any help. Though they are helpful, I always found candy little uncomfortable and reluctant to be worn in them.

I came across Soulslings through their Instagram page. After reading the wonderful reviews,  I had an urge to buy their product but with one roadblock what if candy is not comfortable in this too!

Recently I received a Full Buckle Soft Structured Carrier “Soul Natura” (standard) from Soulslings India as part of their Travelling carrier program and after using this for a week here is my review.

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Soulsling is a family-run baby carrier company from Bangalore, India, Soul believes that babywearing can make the world happier, that babywearing has a domino effect. It creates independent, healthy, secure, loving and sensitive people, who then go on to spread these virtues to the next generation.

The Soul Slings full buckle carrier” Soul Natura”  is an SSC (soft structured carrier) made from soft cotton fabric.

Below is my review of this SSC:

  1. Fabric

Soul Full Buckle SSC is extremely lightweight and madeup of 100% woven cotton fabric. The material is breathable and very comfortable for babies. Being made up of cotton fabric, it goes well in every season especially in humid weather of Mumbai it’s a blessing. Being lightweight its gets easily fit in your handbag too which is another winning point.

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  1. Super easy to wear

One of the biggest problem I found with other baby carriers is complexity to wear them. With so many buckles and straps to be adjusted I often feel lost how to wear them. It almost feels like a rocket science to me.

Soulsling SCC full buckle carrier is so easy to wear. You need to just fix straps and a waistband and you are done! I was able to wear it on my own without any help looking into their online Demo for the first time. The buckles and straps are sturdy, strong and comfortable to shoulders.

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  1. Comfort

The foremost thing which I see while choosing anything for Candy is that he should be comfortable. To my surprise, Soulsling carrier is the first thing he accepted without a fuss, like really. He was happy and comfortable being carried around in Soul carrier.  I used it for my evening walk, shopping outings, doctor visits, Daily chores and he was so comfortable and happy all these time

The padding of this carrier is very light if you compare with other baby carrier like chicoo or mothercare so there is no extra heat to baby that’s a real plus. It distributes the weight of the baby evenly on your own body and can be worn in front and back carries. Candy felt so comfy in them that he slept in no time after vaccination, Sleepy dust they really are!

 

  1. Travel friendly

Candy is not a pram friendly baby and even if we take strollers during our shopping outings, we end up carrying him in our arms for hours. Soulsling carrier worked as a life savior in our shopping outings. Also, when you travel in auto babywearing is the best option as stroller don’t fit in autos. Being of the compact size they easily fit into your diaper bags too!

  1. Can be customised for breastfeeding

Being a work from home mom I always look for time saving in daily chores and attending candy. The carrier can be used for breastfeeding on the go. So, while I did my daily chores he was nursing happily in the carrier, saved a lot of time for me.

  1. PRICE

This carrier is reasonably priced at Rs. 5750 /- Which is value for money taking into consideration above points

Why I would suggest to buy Soulsling Full Buckle SCC:

  • Its made of cotton material while most other carriers like chicco, babyhug, mothercare (which I have used) and available in departmental stores are made of non cotton material which babies don’t find comfortable most of the time.
  • They are easy to be worn and can be worn without any help, so best for a solo outing. Helped me a lot during my solo outings with doctors and shopping, and I managed him very well alone, thanks to this carrier.
  • They are compact and sturdy at the same time. Fits easily into bags.
  • They keep your hands free while you carry baby. You can also do other work on the go, multitasking!.
  • You get variety of color combination and prints to choose to match your style quotient unlike monotonous baby carrier available in market. They keep coming with new patterns and colors and honestly, I love them all!
  • Last but most important Candy loved it and yeah, I Loved it too!

For all the mommies or to be mommies who are looking to buy a good baby carrier, Soul is the best and most apt option for all the above reasons.

Do check out their website and you can find a variety of carriers in bright, soothing colors and prints that you just can’t be satisfied in one! Check their website for a variety of Ring Slings, Full buckle, Annona, Onbuhimo, Wraps and SSSC and you can thank me later!

So what are you waiting for,  head to their website now and choose your favorite!

 

 

Don’t Keep Silence – Say no to Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Kiran was working as an Account executive in a Multinational Company based in Gurgaon. She was reporting Satish, Finance manager of the Company. One day Satish called her for a team meeting. Meeting went for a couple of hours and while everyone left, he asked her to stay back to discuss something important. Kiran stayed back and after some discussions, Satish proposed her to go for a dinner or a movie together and after which he will drop her home. Kiran smilingly refused and said that she goes through a carpool and left the room.

After this incident, Satish often tried to invite her to lunch, dinner or movies, though never told anything indecent or passed any lewd remarks. One day, Satish told her if she turned down her request again her ratings will go down.  Stumped she thought of countering Satish or Complaining HR manager but then she stopped at the thought of rumors in the office about her. Later in the night, she received an SMS from Satish which was not in good taste.

Perplexed by the situation, she decided to meet her friend Neeta and take her advice on the matter. She did not want to discuss with her parents first as they may start worrying about her safety at the workplace.

Over the meeting, she briefed Neeta about the incident and previous happenings. Neeta was a legal counsel at an MNC. The first thing she asked her was ” Don’t you have an Anti – Sexual Harassment policy at your Workplace!

Neeta explained her about the provisions of the law related to Sexual harassment of Women at the workplace which was passed in 2013 on the lines of Hon’ble Supreme Court landmark judgment in Vishaka vs. the State of Rajasthan.  She also explained her about the facility of online complaint of Sexual harassment at She-Box initiated by Ministry of Child and Women Welfare.

This gave Kiran confidence and next day she filed an online complaint in She-Box and also intimated her HR manager about the incident and raised concern on no complaint Mechanism for such Incidents and lack of compliance in Company.

How many of you can relate to these types of Incident? I believe there are many females like Kiran out there who bear the brunt of sexual harassment in the day to day work life and due to ignorance of the law, they hesitate to do anything about this. Sexual harassment continues to be prevalent in workplaces almost everywhere and tends to be widely under-reported. This is very ironical to see that even after having a full-fledged law on this crucial subject most of us are blind or oblivious to his newly framed law. A majority of female employees continue to cope with issues related to Sexual harassment due to fear of professional oppression or fear of retaliation by the management after reporting or widespread rumors. Many of time they let it go thinking this as a one-off incident and will not recur again

The major reason this poor awareness is no policy or lack of training about policy by the organizations. Adequate monitoring and redressal of sexual harassment in organizations can play a vital role in creating an empowering environment for women employees which is needed for growth of the Indian economy.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 read with The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Rules, 2013 are the relevant legislation which regulates the subject and provide much needed relief to women in cases of Sexual Harassment.

Through this article I am throwing some light on some important enabling provisions which all female employees shall know:

The most important term to understand in the act is what constitutes an Act of Sexual Harassment and this has been defined very widely under this law

*”Sexual Harassment” includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) namely:

  • physical contact and advances; or
  • a demand or request for sexual favors; or
  • making sexually colored remarks; or
  • showing pornography; or
  • any other unwelcome physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct of sexual nature.

The following circumstances, among other circumstances, if it occurs or is present in relation to or connected with any act or behavior of Sexual Harassment may amount to Sexual Harassment:

  • An implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in employment; or
  • Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in employment; or
  • Implied or explicit threat about the present or future employment, status; or
  • Interference with work or creating intimidating or offensive or hostile working environment; or
  • Humiliating treatment likely to affect health or safety.

* The above are excerpts from The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013

This includes any unwelcome verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct such as obnoxious comments or utterances, remarks or jokes, letters, phone calls, SMS or emails, gestures, showing pornography, stalking, making sounds or displaying anything of a sexual nature or with sexual overtures. It also includes any unwelcome demand or request for sexual favors in return for or with a promise of work-related favors such as performance appraisals, promotions, transfers, salary increases and employment or any other form of reward or recognition.

You must also remember that workplace sexual harassment is not limited to the four corners of the office a woman is working in.  The scope is very wide and any ‘unwelcome sexually tainted act/ behavior meted out to a woman at any place visited by her on account of, or during the course of her employment is equally covered. So, it covers official transport used for commuting to office or visit to a client place for official work as well.

As per the Anti- Sexual Harassment Law, every employer employing at least 10 employees is mandated to set up an Internal Compliant Committee at each office or branch to investigate and redress sexual harassment grievances.

All employers are required to providing training to their employees on the Company’s Policy on Sexual Harassment and widely disseminate the policy amongst all employees.

The law contains provisions related to the inquiry of the complaint and rights of female employees during the inquiry period which should be covered in detail in Organizational Policy.

The Internal Complaint Committee Chairperson shall be Senior Level Female employee. Further Minimum two members shall be having legal knowledge or Social work or committed to the cause of women

The law imposes a penalty of up to Rs. 50,000 on employers who do not implement the provisions of the Anti-Harassment Law including failure to constitute an Internal Complaint Committee.

After the Law been passed, Companies are gradually putting in place monitoring and redressal mechanisms to comply with the law, however, we still lag behind in implementation and dissemination of the policy.  A recent survey done across private sector organizations reveals that workplace is the most sexually aggressive place in their lives of female employees. It further highlights that most employers turn blind eye to sexual harassment complaints and there is lack of awareness amongst women employees about complaint mechanism within the organization.

Looking into the statistics of poor implementation of the Act by Corporates and in wake of the worldwide Social media campaign #MeToo, Ministry of women and Child development has taken a historic step in November 2017 by launching a comprehensive SHe-Box online complaint Management System for women working in both public and private organizations to lodge complaints of sexual harassment. This is a historic step and now the aggrieved employee can file complaints online directly instead of going through internal complaints committee route at their organization.

The link to SHE BOX-Box portal: http://shebox.nic.in/

Hope this Article enlightens the reader about provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 read with The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Rules, 2013 and She Box complaint Mechanism.

For any more queries on the topic, you may write to aashi2006@gmail.com

Starting a Bed time routine for Baby-When and how!

Most of the new parent’s biggest woes is their newborn random and erratic sleep schedules. Sleep deprivation is common topic of parenting universe and one of the biggest change brought by new arrival in their life The first three to four months of a baby’s life is a transition period during which they learn to adapt themselves to life outside the womb i.e. being awake during the day and sleeping at night and to other daily routines. These tiny souls need some time to adapt to new life and of course help from their caregivers.

It’s never too early to set a bedtime routine for a baby. Most of the babies are ready for a sleep schedule between 2 to 4 months. Once baby completes 3 months, their sleeping habit becomes more consistent and this is the finest time to make your baby accustomed to a more defined sleep routine.

Here are some tips that may help to set a bed time routine for your baby:

  •  Set the sleeping time:

Put him down at the proper bedtime for his age, usually by 7:30 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. If your baby is up late, he may become distracted or overtired and this in turn may cause him to take longer to fall asleep further he may wake up more often during the night due to tiredness.

  • A relaxing bed time ritual

An evening massage followed by bath is a must bed time ritual and a wonderful way to make your baby feel secure, loved and ready for sleep. Babies feel relaxed by massage and bath which makes them sleep easily and for a longer time. Use some good massage oil easily available in market which soothes baby skin and relax them.

  • Feed them tummy filling food

It’s very important to feed them before they fall asleep as the may wake up less frequently if they are not hungry. Try not to feed when they are sleepy as they will eat less or straightaway refuse food.

  • Comfortable clothes are a MUST too

Change them into some comfortable night wear. Comfortable and breathable cotton night wear are helpful in summers as it makes them feel light and fresh.

  • Calm and cozy atmosphere

Make sure you keep the atmosphere of room calm and cozy and in summers at an appropriate temperature. Read them favorite bedtime story or sing their favorite lullaby. Turn off the television and put other noisy activities to rest. Make the room dark or dim light preferably so they may know it’s time to sleep.

  • Consistent bed and nap time routine

Keep a consistency in bed and nap time routine. This will help them to familiarize with the routine and they will be get used to their sleeping schedule be it nap or bed time. Ofcourse you cannot predict with babies but having a consistent daily schedule surely helps. So, if your baby takes evening nap say 5 or 5:30 PM they are not likely to go to bed by 8:00 PM.

  • Give your baby chance to fall asleep on thier own

Studies proves that baby can sleep on their own after age of three months. Help them to self soothe themselves to sleep, initially they may resist but once they can get used to, they can settle themselves to sleep. Do not make them dependent on rocking and feeding to get into sleep.

Hope these tips help! Have a Nice sleep time mommies

Letter to my Younger Self- Learn to be Happy!

 

Dear Younger Self,

To begin with, you are leading a wonderful life and I will not provide you many spoilers just that your life is going to be a roller-coaster ride with its share of ups and downs. In coming years of your life, you will see many things which you can’t even imagine right now.

You have begun your corporate career and at the age of 28 you are doing pretty awesome. I will suggest you to don’t work too hard and take a breather every now and again don’t feel guilty about it.  Give your best to everything you do and don’t worry about criticisms, be open to criticism and learn from criticism too, that happens all the time in corporate world, right?. There is something to learn from every experience, be it good or bad what matters is that how you let that experience shape up your life.

Be more compassionate of your Loved ones. Don’t shout at your Mom when she is late in packing your office lunch. She only has two hands like you and she does pretty much everything at home. Well, let time tell you itself, you will realize it sooner!. Listen to your dad advises be it your marriage or finances. Listening won’t harm you right?

Eat healthy!. I know your work and travel takes up most of your time, but eating is also important as much as work. Staying healthy will help you to focus on these things better. Success should not come at the cost of your own health and you will realize it soon.

Give a break to your shopping habit! Don’t buy so many stuff to wear them only for a day! From the same money you can do something much useful, may be some investment which can fuel you travel plans in future. Spend wisely!

Don’t Cry. It’s not good to cry on anything and everything on this earth and you think you succeed in making everyone fool by saying your eyes are looking puffy as you are not wearing “Kohl”. Please, people are not so dumb as you think them to be. Be happy and enjoy your life, bad phase will pass soon!

Enjoy your life and Marriage thing can wait. I know you are tired of rejecting (mercilessly) marriage proposals which dad brings every now and then. Do not allow yourself to get dragged into something you are not comfortable with. Wait for something which both heart and mind allows and who knows you may get your dream man someday. (Spoiler-Start dating someone may be your best friend!).

Lastly, please remember you’re owner of your own happiness, and that the things you think are earth shatteringly important usually aren’t, so please give your mind some rest. Stop waking up till 3 a.m and cherish sleep (who knows in future all you will long for is “SOME SLEEP)

Learn to enjoy life and life will give its best to you one day!

Your Loving

Present Self

This Blog is a part of the Letters of Love Blogathon aka ‘LOL-a-thon’ organised by ‘The Momsteins’. Stay around to read some wonderful letters by 25 awesome bloggers. This letter is based on the Fourth prompt of the Blogathon which is -‘ A Letter To Younger Self/Future Self’.

I would like to thank Charu for introducing me in this chain. Do read her wonderful post on her blog http://www.themomsagas.com.

I would like to introduce my fellow blogger Archna. Do read her wonderful post on her blog http://www.theindianparentingblog.wordpress.com

Letter to Friends- 5 things I hate about you!

Well! how many best friend you have in life. I have quite a number of them. Two from school, One from Graduation, One From Law faculty, 2 From Training /office and 3 from Social media (which includes my husband). This letter is to all my Best friends and not a specific one.

Holla Friends,

Thanks for being in my life . Though there are 1000 things which I love about you all of you,  but there are few things which make me mad as well. In this era of technology, We  all knowingly or unknowingly do all of them most of the time( includes me). So, its high time we all give some attention to them and improve..shall I begin?

  1. Please answer calls and if you do not get time to pick, atleast call back when you get time.
  2. Don’t leave conversations hanging in between be it a call or chat : How weird it sounds, but most of time all of us do it, please improve!
  3. Take courtesy to reply when you have read a whatsapp message or a text, yes please. Don’t wakeup after 5 days and reply, the matter may have lost its importance.
  4.  Don’t spoil travel plans on last day (unless ofcourse where it is necessary due to force majure) and if done, please intimate in advance (atleast a day) so we have time to make some other plans.
  5. Last one( but a funny one): Please take pain to like and reply to a meme on which I tag you on facebook. Out of my hundreds of friends, I choose to tag you, please don’t ignore okay?

Please take action on above points ASAP, otherwise I can sue you in court of friendship.

Waiting in anticipation for an early action !

Aashi

This Blog is a part of the Letters of Love Blogathon aka ‘LOL-a-thon’ organised by ‘The Momsteins’. Stay around to read some wonderful letters by 25 awesome bloggers. This letter is based on the second prompt of the Blogathon which is -‘ A Letter To a Friend/Neighbour etc’.

I would like to thank Nishtha for introducing me in this chain. Do read her wonderful post on her blog www.themomnmunchkin.com

Letter of Love & Gratitude to my happy place – Books

After a lovely 1st day where we got to read some amazing letters of love , today is 2nd day of five day ‘LOL-a-thon’ organised by ‘The Momsteins’. Join us to read some wonderful letters written by 26 cool bloggers. Stay around to read some amazing letters coming up.

Today’s prompt is letter of love to inanimate object.

While glancing through various inanimate objects on which I could write, I came across my mobile, my laptop, my precious makeupkit but my thoughts wandered for something else…what else and suddenly I started missing you..I could see you nowhere near me..I opened my shelf, and there you were, waiting for me.

So here is my Letter of Love & Gratitude to my happy place – Books

Dear Favorite Thing,

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I miss you terribly! Of late we have not been able to spend much time or almost no time together, but that does not mean I have forgotten you, just busy with new responsibilities that life showered on me. But hey, I will soon plan sometime together. what about a date night unlike old times? Oh just kidding..that’s a distant dream now.

As you know I am crazy for you since childhood. Through this letter I want to tell you how much I love you and express my gratitude for constant motivation and support you gave me throughout life.

In my childhood, every year at start of new academic session, I used to get you in new form and new cover. Fascinated by how lovely you look, as I wanted to finish you off as soon as possible, Crazy me!!. The more time I spent with you, more I fell for your charisma. You amazed me in every sense with your personality, your wisdom, your facts, your character. I remember mumma papa scolding me for spending so much time with you, but I would not leave you alone.

As the time passed and I grew up, you became my best friend. A friend, I trusted without any doubt.  In my growing years, you helped me to grow as a person affecting my personal and professional decisions. I thank you for all you taught me which gave direction to my life.

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Thank you introducing me to world of Law. A world which is very fast, ever evolving and more you read, more you want to read. I hope this process of learning and our companionship be lifelong.

Its through you I have traveled to places I have never been to. Places where everything seemed so beautiful and real (sometimes impossible or unreal). I have seen myself wandering on streets of Florence, Italy or Istanbul.. thank you for giving me feeling of being there. I have seen myself randomly walking with Robert Langdon on streets of Florence or romancing Rhett Butler through you. Thank you for introducing these wonderful persons to me.

Through you, I got to mingle and pick the brains of some of my favorite people whom I may never meet in person. Thank you for this!

On those dark nights when my life seemed empty and shallow, you gave me much needed comfort and solace. Thank you for making me feel optimistically, breathlessly, persistently alive.

At last, thank you keeping my Soul alive and I would return to you for wisdom and inspiration again and again.

I Love you for what you mean to me. There is nothing like having you in hand and my eyes glued on you. Lots to catch up between us and trust me this shall be happening soon..Till then, I miss you!

Love

Yours Aashi

I would like to thank Chaitali for introducing me. You can read her post here http://www.chaitalismusings.com.

I would also like to introduce my fellow blogger neha, you can read her wonderful post on the prompt here http://www.blogbynehamittal.com