No, their superpower has nothing to do with sleeping patterns

Photo by Jasmin Chew on Unsplash

My meditation teacher once said,

“In the modern world, we either want to be entertained or asleep.”

Is it any wonder that we fill up our minds, rooms and schedules with activities and gadgets?

Too much stimulation from using gadgets and video games is linked to shortening attention spans and learning disabilities in growing children. The effects are perhaps, more serious in adults since our brains are ageing. On days when I find myself in too many video calls, I am left exhausted.

So I am left with the unanswered question — In this world inundated with technology, what is…


By helping them expand their identities beyond school

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Unschooling works when we help our children recognise their larger self-identities, much beyond school. The cookie-cutter approach taken by many (but not all) public schools in North America does not help holistic development. But for children to see that and to allow them to take charge of their education, they must first be able to see themselves holistically. And we, as parents and educators, must help them do that.

Every week, I participate in a Zoom meeting of experienced educators and parents. Unschooling School founded by educator and parent Heather McTaggart, is a group of people who have come together…


Your commitment to the greater good must exceed the lure of discovery.

Photo credit: Ludde Lorentz

A couple of years back, I attended a fascinating conference in Toronto about the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in business. Delivering the keynote was Dr. Geoffrey West, an eminent physicist and author of the thought-provoking book “Scale.”

He explained that innovation takes place in waves. Moreover, across human history, subsequent waves of innovation have occurred at exponentially faster rates. While all this progress is exciting, the flip side is that newer innovations tend to replace previous technologies at a supersonic speed too.

In other words, the pace of evolution and that of the resulting extinction is the same.

So…


Instead of trying to save the world, do what brings you joy and surrender the rest to higher wisdom.

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

A few years back, I began noticing an interesting trend. Every once in a while, new ideas spontaneously came to my mind — an app, a social cause, the perfect message some public figure needs to hear, or even a new angle to write about.

Sometimes I’d let them simmer. At others, I’d let them go because I had different priorities. Most often though, I’d push them aside out of sheer self-doubt.

If it were such a brilliant idea, someone would have thought of it before.

Someone had. Years later, I would come across someone else who either brought up…


It eludes you because you try to capture her without being fully present

Photo by Author

The days I wake up feeling beautiful turn out to be the most joyous of days, much more than the others.

Although I don’t work in the beauty industry or create art for a living, the pursuit of beauty is the undertone in so many decisions I make throughout the day.

Whether it's crafting that perfect title for a poem, building a watertight argument, decorating a little corner in my house, or even choosing to add a little bouquet to my grocery basket. Beauty is central to human pursuits.

I’ve also observed that most people pursue beauty in some form…


Our family’s eye-opening detour through spectacular Singapore

Photo by Joe Green on Unsplash

Singapore was not part of our original travel plans. The city has much to offer to tourists but little that fit into the primary theme of our year-long world schooling journey — to seek out wildlife in its natural habitat. Moreover, the local Peranakan cuisine is delicious but too spicy for our daughters, who were five and three, respectively. Surprisingly though, our family of four enjoyed ourselves on our detour through Singapore to the fullest. Perhaps, because it had been home once.

My husband, Shashank, grew up in Singapore and spent most of his teenage years there. I studied on…


This version is for 21st-century women (and men too)

Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash

“If” is a poem by English Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling, of The Jungle Book fame in 1895. The poem, first published in Rewards and Fairies, ch. ‘Brother Square-Toes,’ is written in the form of paternal advice to his son, John.

As part of the Good Poetry Project, Vineet K Panchhi sent a call out to poetesses around the world who would like to take up the challenge of creating a version of “If” that is gender-neutral or even specifically meant for women, and more appropriate for the modern-day context. Elizabeth Lincoln Otis created a version of this poem, specifically for…


My husband and I took a sabbatical from our careers. Together.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Early on in our professional life, my husband Shashank Nigam and I made some key decisions to build financial freedom from scratch. You are financially free when you can choose to live comfortably for a period of time without making a continuous income. And it was this freedom that allowed my husband and me to take a year of unpaid leave from our careers in 2019.

But guess what? It is never too late to build financial freedom that allows you to set off on a journey of a lifetime with your partner — it all starts by creating assets…


Marie Kondo would agree with #3

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

The second cleaning lady showed up. She eloquently waxed away about the aromatherapy products she would use if we hired her, her work ethic, experience keeping large homes spotless, for over twenty minutes. Frankly, we were overwhelmed by the fact that something we have considered a chore all our lives, she had raised to the level of fine art! We must not have appeared impressed. So she threw out her final chip — your place needs a lot of cleaning.

My usual reaction would have been, “Yes, it does. And that’s precisely why we are here in my living room…

Pprajakta Kharkar Nigam

Sharing glimpses into my eclectic life through The Globe and Mail, Tourism Whistler, The Ascent, The Startup and Towards Data Science.

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