Thursday, 21 November 2013

Fortifying India, from deep within: An Immune, Stronger, Healthier India ..

Feel an Architect already .. of a stronger, healthier and more immune India .. as I invested time ruminating how we go about doing it ..

Like with building all things strong, I reckon, it starts right at the foundation .. after all, everything strong, immune & resistant originates from a fortress of a foundation!

That said, its always relatively easier building 'things'.  But, 'building' human potential is a completely different proposition altogether ..

So, how do we build a strong India .. much more immune and resistant .. physically and mentally to all weakening factors .. be it bacteria, viruses, fungi, dust, pollution or a million other physical factors & of course myriad factors that affect mental and therefore, holistic well-being?

As with all things human, there is no single formula :) But, again with all things human, its evolutionary & highly capable of being learnt & replicating :)

So, here are my pointers to contribute to building a strong, healthy and more immune India; I gather these not from textbooks or websites; rather, from the biggest encyclopedia of them all - LIFE :) Writing out of experience, observation, passion and most of all, strong conviction ..

1.  Start at the beginning: Mother's Milk Every Baby's Birthright:

Talk of foundations & I can't think of a more apt human foundation than the elixir of life: Mother's Milk.  Talk of immunity and its an indisputable fact that babies fed on mother's milk automatically go on to become relatively much more immune and stronger adults than their not so lucky counterparts who did not get breast fed with mother's milk.




It is now scientifically established that mother's milk contains stem cells promoting the immune system and muscle & bone tissue growth.  Yet, for all the research & factual power in its favor, I observe there has been a steady decline in infants receiving mother's milk.  Certainly in India, if not the world over. A complex array of factors, i infer, have contributed to this:

- Young mothers married off rather early before their bodies are well developed to bear pregnancy's demands;

- yeah, a patriarchy that regards a girl's nutrition only secondary to that of the menfolk in the family; this may not be true of India's upper and middle classes, but this most certainly is a grim reality in both the growing lower strata as well as the rural population.

- in Urban India, women (and rightly at that, in my view) choose to defer motherhood a bit to accommodate hard earned careers.  This in itself is a welcome step, but are these women aware & socially & medically supported enough to ensure this does not deprive their future child(ren) of their natural source of immunity - are these women developing and maintaining themselves so as to outdo the deprivation age & a stressful lifestyle can wreck on their future child(ren)'s entitlements?  As a society, do we care enough to gather awareness, educate & reinforce this?

2.  Natural Food & 'Natural' Immunization:

I know; this is probably the most emphasized yet least followed best practice :)  Do we eat direct from Nature & eat every day - every meal that way? Our lives are dominated by inorganic, processed, fast foods.  

Inculcating an awareness of & respect for a 'Natural way of living' in very young kids is the place to start :) Tough, for sure; but from personal observation in my family, I can assure you, its very much possible. I have seen Grandpa inculcate love for and a discipline for gardening in Mom & she did much the same with me - the operative words, mind you are 'inculcating' not 'drumming', 'forcing' the habit down.  Introducing children to gardening, at a very young age - as young as 4, I have seen has its rewards when it comes to getting them to like vegetables :)  At 4 or for a long while thereafter, they don't actually have to do the gardening themselves - but, including them, making them participate in decisions, observation and discussions - I have seen, practically, draws them to Nature.  They start with the colors of the flowers & the butterflies .. and progress to slowly understand growth, Nature, a natural way of living ..

I know our fast lives seldom have time for all of this .. and the answer lies in processed food in the shelves of our supermarkets .. but then, we are not building an immune & strong India .. we are undermining its very build up. So, its time for serious reflection and lifestyle changes .. consistent, convinced change at that!

While on this topic, I want to draw our attention to something I think is unique and needs further introspection & subscription to..  what do we relate immunization to?  Often, a series of allopathic vaccinations prescribed by the maternity clinics / hospitals where the baby is born.. right?  I came across an 'alternative' or rather a 'supplement'.  I call it 'Ayurvedic Immunization' :) This program fortifies children under 16 through the use of purified gold, honey, ghee and other Natural goodness.  Now, I am not related to these folks and have no commercial interest in it .. but as an opinionated citizen & a future mother in this Country, the native land of Ayurveda, I believe - and strongly at that, this Ayurvedic Immunization, as a concept, deserves much more attention, regulation & adoption across the length & breadth of the Country. So, please discuss with elders at home, consult your family doctor by all means and see if this will help your kid(s) and future India :)



While it would be oh so convenient to get done with these sessions & then forget all about it, that just won't do :) Immunity building, much like Nation building, is all about being consistent, persistent and disciplined as we go about it.  That is where products like Dabur Chyawanprash come into our lives .. from my experience of long years of 'Chyawanprash' (well, yes, i resisted it big time as a child - because it did not have the fancy taste I wanted - but have grown up to understand that its the substance not the taste that builds strong foundations) I can say Chyawanprash harnesses Nature's goodness & dispenses it home in an easy form for intake & immunity building.  So, kids raised on mother's milk & naturally immunized, in addition to the modern medicine vaccinations still need to be regularly - and that means daily :) - fortified with Chyawanprash.  Dabur Chyawanprash has a number of herbs like Amla, known to be one of Nature's best antioxidants, Giloy - known to have immuno-modulatory properties and 40 other natural ingredients and seeks to provide three times (3X) immunity building.




3. Mantra 'Moderation' - Lifestyle Changes:

I have sharply noticed and observed with regret that our grandparents lived life with a golden mantra - moderation - that we let go even without realizing!

I strongly believe everything in moderation - be it what we eat, what we wear, where we go, what we grow etc. - moderation in every facet of life, I believe, is auto social immunity insurance - against diseases - physical and moral.  

Our lifestyle today is not one of moderation - its often obsession (with either long traffic ridden commuting, with hours in front of TV or the PC etc.) or at times desperation, but seldom calculated moderation practiced almost like religion :)

So, its time to promote 'Moderation' as National ethic :)  Moderation in every facet of life and society.

I will, at this point, refrain from doing a doctoral thesis on moderation in this post .. to allow for reflection and adoption in the readers' mind :)

4.  Staying Connected to Roots:

Ever seen a huge tree with vast expansive branches?




How many of us know that the banyan tree is India's National tree? :)

What catches your eyes in this photo? Its vast expansiveness? Or, its strong and rooted nature? Its the latter for me.  

To me, the banyan tree is so reflective of Indian culture - 'connected to roots'. No matter how expansive a tree or for that matter a human being grows, it is ultimately the roots that nourish, feed & protect.  Therefore, trees and humans that lose connection with their roots - in the pangs of growing wings & carrying on with their flights - in my view, stand impoverished and deprived of the immunity & nurture only roots can provide.  

I write this here because I see an Indian society increasingly disconnected. From its core culture, from its roots, from its ancestors, from its parents, from the values and ethos that built this great Nation ..  well, it quite simply, is a wake-up call to return .. and return unquestioningly and unconditionally .. as someone who learnt/learns classical music, i can tell you, 'unconditional surrender' in itself .. is a precursor to immunity .. from a range of ills! Indian classical music's 'gharana' tradition and unconditional surrender to the 'Guru' is revered for its results.  I am a strong believer and beneficiary. Its just that our discerning, educated and more exposed minds often question & give up without getting to the heart of why a certain tradition existed in the first place :) So, the next time, before dismissing a tradition or a connection with our roots, please pause & refrain.  Stay connected, Stay rooted .. much like the banyan tree - which grows its connections to its roots even as it grows its wings (expansive branches) so that it can draw enough nutrition for its flight. Wings without roots will burn us down.  

5.  That Institution called 'Family Doctor':

Talking of roots & immunity, it doesn't always have to end with the family. "Roots" socially, to me, means the entire environment that gives birth to us and nurtures it - from the city to the people in our family's network.

One such, what I call an institution, that is fast disappearing from our social framework, according to me, is that of the 'Family Doctor'.  For generations, he/she was/is their trusted adviser.  In today's melee of walk-in clinics, mega hospital chains & a healthcare 'industry', this very root of our framework seems disappearing.

I have been blessed to be in a family that kept touch with its family doctor(s) and I can assert that it is a 'healing' touch.  Medicine after all is not just to cure.  It is to heal. And the healing touch between the doctor and the family often creates a seldom understood or documented 'placebo' effect, providing immunity from anxiety, wrong diagnosis and stress of being at the mercy of hypermarket-like healthcare!



6.  Building Immunity with that ubiquitous building block - 'Faith':

What fortifies us? Much as natural food & immunization fortify us from deep within, physically and physiologically, we need as much a moral and mental 'Chyawanprash' to complete our fortification.  

I call that moral and mental Chyawanprash 'Faith'.  Yes, we all know the age-old adage that 'Faith can move mountains'.  How many of us allow it to? :)

Are we connected and practicing enough as a society to inculcate, promote and reward faith?  If the answer is no (I feel so), is it not time to start?  

Let me take you through this team building lesson from Ramayana:





Lord Rama, God incarnate, needs to build a bridge to go to rescue his wife held in abducted captivity.  He starts by throwing a huge rock on to the sea & presto, it duly sinks!  Whereas his staunch believer Lord Hanuman writes 'Ram' on each rock imprinting his faith, so to say, and holds them with a prayer and throws them on to the sea .. lo & behold, they hold on without sinking ..

Lord Rama asks Lord Hanuman something of this nature: "I am God incarnate - the force myself.  My rock sinks but yours floats. How?"

The epic doesn't ask this question because Lord Rama doesn't know the answer.  It rather seeks to dispense a vital team lesson through Lord Hanuman's answer: "My Lord, the power of my faith in you is greater than your power, by itself" :)

And, this is important: by quoting this I am NOT subscribing blind followership of religion or self-styled gurus.  What i am calling for is a concerted social attempt to harness faith - in whatever means - it could be as simple as community prayer, we can.  But we need it urgently.

7.  Sport and Art, as a way of life:

Sports teaches us how not to be losers when we lose; 

Art teaches us how not to lose when we win :) 

Together they build immunity to social corrosion.  

Its time to therefore incorporate these as regular ingredients in every child's life.

8.  Letting our child(ren) have the journey of their lives - not 'guided tours':

Immunity is dealt a serious blow when stress mounts; it therefore is very important to let our children grow up in their journeys - their unique journey and not confine them to our 'guided tours'.  We don't have to become a Nation of forced engineers, for example, as the movie 3 Idiots so nicely articulated.  

Let our Children grow into professions and vocations they choose - at the time they choose instead of hurrying them through guided assembly line lives. Let's measure and regulate social and peer pressure on our kids lest their immunity to withstand is seriously undermined.

9.  Social cleanliness - physical and moral:

An immune India would be the product of not just the immediate but the ultimate National environment.  A Nation that is eaten away each day by greed, corruption, lawlessness, apathy and indifference cannot hope to be immune to its effects, in return!  

I therefore believe, as a Nation, we need to cleanse our framework - of greed, corruption and of portraying women as objects of lust!  This will fortify our National immunity to crimes of all sorts.

That brings us to the end of this post.  Hope you find meaning the way I meant it to be .. please leave your comments and suggestions as to how we can build a strong, healthy & Immune India :)

This post is written as part of the IndiBlogger.in "An Immune India" with Dabur Chyawanprash.

Cheers :)

Turcause (that's how Turquoise mutated for this look)!

My Limeroad.com Look of the Day 'Turcause' from My Limeroad Scrapbook:


Cheers :)


Sunday, 17 November 2013

INPUT: Ayurveda > > OUTPUT: Healthy Baby's Growth & Development

Humans are not the only ones making a comeback; so are herbs :)

The world over, there is a renaissance and movement towards the 'natural'. 

So, this post will take a look at Ayurveda & products derived from Nature and their contribution to a baby's growth and development.  We will also understand the role, importance & methodology of oil massage in a baby's early development & growth. 

Ayurveda:

Its only apt that I write this post from the native land of the traditional medicine - India is home to Ayurveda.  It is a traditional system of medicine (now known as 'alternative medicine') which prescribes medical preparations, surgical procedures and lifestyle habits for a life that is 'one' with Nature and hence abounds with health and longevity.  Ayurveda is not just a system of medicine.  It is a botanical healing system. 

Did you know that over three-quarters of the world population relies mainly on plant and plant extracts for healthcare? [Source]



Therefore, I for once, don't even understand why we debate natural systems of medicine versus the modern system (Allopathic) - because, ultimately, Nature is the genesis of all life & therefore, ought to be so, for medicine as well.

Today, many of us use allopathic medicine for emergency healthcare. But, in good old days, even emergency healthcare was deftly rendered with natural herbs.  The earliest I can illustrate is from 'Ramayana'.  When Lord Rama's brother Lakshmana's life is at stake, Lord Hanuman is deputed to fetch the 'Sanjivini' herb to save Lakshmana.  Since Lord Hanuman is unable to locate which exact herb is Sanjivini in a short span of time, legend has it that he lifted a whole mountain to the scene of emergency care - and thus, Lakshmana's life was saved.





Basic Principles of Ayurveda:

Ayurveda draws from the five elements of Nature and their impact on our physical and mental health:






Home Remedies - at the root of Ayurveda:

Well, those of us brought up in the Orient are well used to our grandparents and parents treating us with home remedies oh so very often.  Ayurveda is but an extension and refinement therefrom.

Some of the chief & effective home remedy ingredients:

Clove
Cinnamon
Black Pepper
Cumin Seeds
Fennel
Rock Salt
Turmeric
Coriander
Ginger
Honey
Licorice
Garlic
Onion
Basil 
Mint

Forget using these specifically as 'remedies', Oriental (Indian & Chinese) cuisines incorporate these as a 'way of life' resulting in lasting health benefits.

This survey discovered very high levels of awareness in India of home ingredients and their usage in treatment of common ailments:



Top 20 Ayurveda medicinal ingredients:

Derived from simple home remedies and Natural extracts, here are the top 20 Ayurveda medicinal drugs:


A range of ailments are popularly treated with and by Ayurveda; I have highlighted in Red boxes the ones i think babies and children are especially and frequently prone to:


Ayurveda and Baby's Growth and Development:

In my view, three factors position 'Ayurveda' as a 'go to' system for a baby's growth and development:




1. Ayurveda is a 'holistic' system of medicine - looks at physical and mental development.

2. Ayurveda is known to render long term benefits - it is not a fly by night operation.  It is application of Natural principles & ingredients in a slow & steady manner, resulting in lasting, long-term wellness.  It is therefore, ideal for a growing baby's needs.

3.  Ayurveda comes with zero side effects.

Oil Massage:

Well, needless to say, we have all grown up to beneficial oil massage :)

Ayurvedic texts refer to massage (called 'Abhyanga') with oils from herbs.

Ayurveda lists herbs like Country Mallow (Bala) and Sesame (Tila) to protect baby’s skin against topical infections. Bathwater should also be disinfected with herbal extracts of Sandal (Chandana) and Banyan Tree (Vata), which are fragrant and possess antimicrobial properties respectively.

Mental development of a child is extremely important in Ayurveda. The concept of Balagraha lists herbal solutions for common mental and psychosomatic disturbances that could affect children. Inclusion of aromatic herbs such as Rasana (Pluchealanceolata) and Spikenard (Jatamansi) are recommended in massage oils and bath water to soothe, relax and calm young children. Tonics orrasayanas like Chyavanaprasha, which contains Thyme-Leaved Gatriola (Brahmi) and Indian Pennywort (Madukaparni) amongst others, enhances a child’s concentration ability and intelligence. In fact, recent research studies have found that Thyme-Leaved Gatriola and Indian Pennywort are indeed beneficial in maintaining cognitive functions, improving memory and learning abilities.

The holistic interpretation of health propagated by Ayurveda ensures that child is healthy, both mentally and physically.

Source




Benefits of Oil Massage For Babies:

Oil massage for babies has been in vogue from time immemorial and thus, is its own testimony for its effectiveness.  That is why this post is titled 'Input: Ayurveda >> Output: Healthy Baby's Growth & Development'.  I meant that from time immemorial right on to today's Information Age, Ayurveda as a system of medicine & healing as well as oil massage as a component of baby's growth and development have stayed indispensable. 

Oil massage not only has physical or physiological benefits for the baby, but also very vital psychological implications.

The 'Touch' sense is the earliest that develops in babies and oil massage helps the mother bond with the baby.

Baby also feels very secure & find massages very relaxing and therapeutic.

Babies who are regularly provided oil massage have improved digestion and blood circulation and they sleep very well.

Its important to know and follow Baby Oil Massage good practices and tips:

Make the massage a daily routine :)

Be gentle :)

Choose an area and time you and the baby are comfortable with!

Most importantly, choose the right oil - For example, Dabur Lal Tail is clinically proven to result in 2X (two times) faster physical growth.

Oil Massage Method: one of the recommended methods is as follows:


Start with the legs: The legs are the best part to start the massage session because they are less sensitive than other parts of the body. Glide your hands in a circular motion from thighs to the ankles of the baby. 

Move to the tummy: Tummy is a great source of distress as their digestive systems are immature and it takes a lot of time to get used to the breast milk. Tummy massage strokes can help in getting rid of the digestive problems like gas and constipation. 

Press the pressure points lightly: Massage the soles of your baby's foot to stimulate body systems. Massage the toes also helps in teething problems. 

Move to the back: Massage is a wonderful addiction for the babies as it relaxes them to sleep well. So, massage the back of the little one using slow and rhythmic strokes.


Legs and feet. Hold your baby’s heel in one hand; with your other hand, start at the top of the thigh and slowly stroke all the way down to the ankle, gently squeezing the leg as you go, as if you were milking a cow. Reverse the motion and go from ankle to thigh. Then rub the feet with your thumbs, gently uncurling and stroking the toes. Switch legs. You can do these same strokes on the arms and hands.

Head. Start with your hands on both sides of your baby’s head, then run your hands down both sides of his body, from his head to his toes. Next, draw tiny circles on your baby’s head with your fingertips.

Face. Fold your hands (as if you were praying) on your baby’s forehead, then gently push outward from the center. Next, use your thumb to draw a smile on your baby’s face by stroking from one cheek, across the upper lip to the other cheek. Repeat on the lower lip.

Chest. Fold your hands on your baby’s chest, then push out to the sides, as if you were smoothing the pages of an open book.

Tummy. With your fingertips, draw an oval below your baby’s belly button. (Move clockwise, to follow the natural path of digestion.) Next, “walk” your fingertips from one side of your baby’s belly to the other, on the diagonal, as if you were making an “X.”

Back. Stroke his back side to side and then up and down.

That brings us to the end of this post.  Hope you find it useful.  Kindly share your best practices and views in the comments section. I will certainly use these for my baby when I become a mother :)

Here's to happy parenting and a galaxy of healthy, oil massaged babies growing at 2X speeds physically and many times that mentally :)


Cheers :)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

My Platinum Days of Love

What is Platinum Day of Love?

Well, quite simply, the day everlasting love is found - real love that can only begin, never end :)

The official website gives us further insight:

Platinum Day of Love, an intimate and momentous date in a couple’s journey of love when you discover real love that can only begin, never end. And it need not be the wedding day or the engagement. It’s never planned. The day you realize that you are truly meant for each other and there is no one else you would want to spend the rest of your life with.
Such a milestone in your life can only be honored with eternal platinum. This precious white metal is everlasting and promises to stay with you for a lifetime, perfectly symbolizing the love you share and the promise you make to each other.
Through this post, I intend sharing my perspectives; rather, I plan to expand the very scope :) Read on ..
To begin with, I ruminated & concluded there might well be Platinum Days of Love :)  Many of us can be lucky enough to be blessed with more than one such day - in our lifetime or in the lives of those we observe, love, admire or respect.
1. July 10, 1940:
No, I wasn't even born then - for that matter, pretty much all of us reading this & belonging to the blogger community wouldn't have been! 
Then, why is it my first Platinum Day of Love?
This is the day when Bharat Ratna M S Subbulakshmi (MS) wed her husband and lifelong companion & guide Shri. Kalki T Sadasivam.  


Yeah, I know, a Platinum Day of Love doesn't have to be the wedding day! Trust me, this just is a coincidence.  
Born in Chennai and from a musically inclined background, a trait so common to many of us who call Chennai home (Chennai is naturally home to a legion of music fans whose ability to transcend and appreciate varied genres is well known), I revere MS:
- For introducing and epitomizing 'Bhakti' (devotion) as a legit music genre.  Her contribution to this genre of music is unparalleled; she has left behind a legacy we deeply cherish. 
- For having sung a song 'Kurai Onrum Illai' (I immensely like) in the UN.  This song tells Nature & the Divine that one has no complaints or grievances whatsoever.  
- For deriving from, giving back & belonging to her husband with an unwavering commitment: would you believe that she gave no public music concerts after he passed away, though she lived 7 years, until 2004, after his passing away in 1997?
- For transcending so many limitations to become the first musician ever to be awarded my Country's highest civilian honor 'Bharat Ratna' (Jewel of India).  
I choose this day as a Platinum Day of Love for many reasons after careful study/reflection & out of sheer conviction; also, being someone passionate & musically inclined, these are my personal, though strong perspectives.  I apologize if any of my inferences / perspectives is disliked by any of you.  At the core of it, much like MS' music, is pure devotion and respect :)
(i) Platinum is generally non-reactive and the least reactive metal.  Platinum is also widely used in catalytic converters. So?
Well, in a patriarchy where girls & women face so many limitations that start right from the mother's womb, I very deeply admire Shri. Sadasivam, MS' husband, for his channelization of her musical talent & journey.
Sure, she was naturally talented; sure enough, she grew up in an environment highly conducive to the art.  
But, it is her wedding to him that proved a definite turning point in her life - she became immortal from a mere 'immensely talented girl'.  
Now, where does Platinum being non-reactive relate to this story?  It does..
It takes a remarkably secure man to even put up with a highly successful wife. He not just walked along - he showed her the way, he propelled her higher & higher .. accompanying her to Edinburgh or the UN.  I deeply respect that & yearn to see more and more men in my Country be proud stakeholders in their spouse's success. This is where Platinum comes in and deeply connects itself to this couple's remarkable journey.. agree?
(ii) Platinum is resistant to corrosion and is as such, considered a noble metal:


The orthodox couple were married 57 years with that journey taking MS through the very peak of super stardom not just in her Country but the entire world.  Nothing about her husband's outlook, guidance, unconditional support to her art or her commitment to him, in giving back to society (he was a very charitable person with deep beliefs in giving back) changed.  Nothing.  They lived totally unaffected by the ills & frictions that plague contemporary relationships of couples, especially those traversing super stardom.  Their relationship remained resistant to social corrosion and to many of us, noble.  


hmm.. agree? 
So, that is my principal and very first 'Platinum Day of Love'.  I pray, wish & long to see one of my own & for my Country women to have one each :)

Feeling all nostalgic & emotional? Me too ..
So, let's lighten up .. quite literally .. in Space!

2. A day in December 2013, on Planet Mars:
eh?
scratching your heads in disbelief? how can an unnamed day be a Platinum Day of Love? on Planet Mars? 
:) 
Remember the Curiosity rover? It was launched from the US in November 2011 and has been all alone on Planet Mars since; initially launched on a two year mission, it was extended indefinitely in December 2012.


Its an unmanned rover (all machine with no human onsite presence) - which makes it the only creature that we know of on Planet Mars.  Can you pause a moment and imagine yourself in its place? Wouldn't you long for company? 
India successfully launched this Mangalyaan on November 5, 2013.  The spacecraft will orbit Earth until the end of this month to gather enough velocity to break free.  


I expect the two to meet, therefore, on a Platinum Day of Love, of their own & ours on a momentous day in December 2013 .. now, get it?
I have been an eager amateur astronomy student for quite a while & am immensely proud of my Country's thus far successful Mars mission & very strongly believe Mangalyaan will make it to Mars. 

As with all true love stories, both Curiosity & Mangalyaan have experienced hitches last couple days .. only to get well today & resume their journey and tryst .. with each other, as I write this post!
Can you imagine the two - Curiosity & Mangalyaan - meeting on Planet Mars? Curiosity, alone for oh so long will find compatible company :) They will represent the best of Planet Earth's diversity, as a couple on Planet Mars & give back to their roots on Planet Earth :)  How rare is it?  Exactly as rare as the metal Platinum is, agree?  
So, let's pray, hope and wait for that momentous Platinum Day of Love .. not just between two human endeavors .. but for humankind .. for two planets, Earth & Mars! This, after all, could be the precursor of interplanetary travel :) Making it therefore in every way, a Platinum Day of Love!
ah .. as a reader of this post, you now want to come back to Earth?
granted ..

3.  December 31, 2009: Planet Earth of course:)
Now that we are back on Planet Earth, this truly is an Earthly love story. Mine.
With whom? with the precious metal Platinum, of course :)
Remember, at the outset of this post, I told you I plan to expand the scope of a 'Platinum Day of Love'.  Here I go ..
Why should everlasting love that can only begin, never end be just between humans?  Why can it not be between a human being and his/her passion? 
We live in times where our passion and lifelong interests take us farther than our relationships often do (though I want to believe in and trust that relationships will take us home); don't our interests and passions carry us thorough life and its roller-coasters? 
I strongly believe & have experienced this.
I was born a jewellerista (Jewellerista is to Jewelry what a Fashionista is to Fashion, for the uninitiated). 
With deep interests in anything jewelry - from clay, grass, glass, wood, fabric, precious metal to gemstones including diamonds - I have dabbled in every department of the treasure :)  An avid collector, a sharp observer, a loving designer, a demanding customer, a passionate owner - i am all of this rolled into one.
India traditionally excelled in Gold and many of us inherited gold jewelry.
Platinum though, is a different ball game.  As a jewelry precious metal, we - this generation - have been lucky to gain exposure to & be greeted with a seller's market in the precious metal Platinum. 
So, while I gained an insight and interest as early as 2006-2007, quite a few factors, ranging from Platinum's high price to lack of sufficient seller's market initially, meant I merely observed and waited.
Then arrived my very own Platinum Day of Love - December 31, 2009 :)  That is the day I acquired my very own Platinum ring set with a tiny 10 point diamond solitaire :)

I irrevocably fell in love with the fluidity of the piece & the metal.  I wanted more .. so carefully saved and researched designs ..
The thing with acquiring Platinum jewelry in India is .. I still can't design one myself, walk in to my jeweler's and get it made :)
There are lovely designs released by Platinum Guild International and these can be acquired from the authorized dealers.  But, when I sight the designs, I have to be careful to make sure my jeweler (who is also an authorized dealer) picks those designs up from Mumbai and brings them to Chennai :) Initially, he bought whatever he fancied :) Then, I had to request and train them (being a well known and revered showroom here, they are very well trained in Gold & Diamond, but it took me a while to acquaint them to picking the latest designs in Platinum :)
All that labor of love yielded me an exquisite necklace and pair of earrings .. i am usually an ultra possessive jewellerista who hates sharing her designs .. i am making a very very rare exception for this post and sharing the exact designs I have .. well, blame it on Platinum being very very rare :)
Take a look:


An intricately designed necklace, I have this exact piece - fell in love with its ethereal, royal & exquisite look :)  I cherish its half leaf design and the pave set diamonds .. so many of them.  It gleams on me and will fondly stay with me all my life - a reminder of how carefully I earned & saved for it, researched the design, trained my jeweler & finally acquired it :)
I have longed to acquire the matching bracelet-bangle but thus far, have not been able to.  Initially, the jeweler could not source it. Then, i have been dormant recently.  Let's hope my Platinum Day of Love continues to gleam and I add to my collection ..
Meanwhile, here is a photo bearing close resemblance to my earrings (my earrings are in the bank locker so got a photo as close as possible to them):

I love dangler earrings & was very pleased to select a pair with slender danglers ending in a diamond shaped platinum formation, exquisitely designed & gleaming :)
I would love to acquire more .. so hoping life gives me a chance :)
That's my very own Platinum Day of Love .. 
Well, I am yet to be married .. so let's hope that brings more love & Platinum my way when it arrives :) must remember to hint my blog to my future husband when he arrives :)
hmm..
4.  November 12, 2013: yeah, today, that is:
This post is written for the IndiBlogger.in Platinum Day of Love contest. Special thanks to IndiBlogger for helping me get access to the site today because my ISP (Internet Service Provider) had a DNS glitch today that initially prevented me from access; a tweet to IndiBlogger's twitter account and pronto, they had reached my ISP's customer care & sorted it out for me :)
Nobody reprimanded me for queuing up to post on the last day of a contest; nobody advised me 'do this' or 'do that'.  They simply took charge & made it possible for me to just do what I love doing - belong & blog :)  Just the kind of partnership i crave for & cherish in life.  Allowing me to be myself and helping me flourish :)
I also received my first ever IndiBlogger badge (yeah, its a coveted virtual badge reserved only for winners and runners up of pan India contests); I received my first ever Runner-Up badge that you now can see proudly displayed on this blog's side bar :) I just can't wait to get my winner's badge.
So, in more ways than one, today is a Platinum Day of Love for me with IndiBlogger - I realized that I truly AM because I BLOG.  So, here's to blogging love that can only begin, never end.  
That brings us to the end of this post.  Hope you liked reading through.  I hope you actually fell in love with my perspectives and today can also be your Platinum Day of Love .. with my blog :)
Cheers :)