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Four

frolicking years have gone by since you came in our lives dear R. When I look back at the years, the difficult parts do not seem to come to my mind at all. Instead, I can only think of how much sunshine you bring into our lives. It is so much easy to live life through your eyes. You are really an easy-going kid (touchwood!).

While you do have your bad days, temper tantrums, and unacceptable behaviour, you are mostly well-behaved, if I can say that. Having said that, I also notice that these days you are offended easily when reprimanded or chastised for bad behaviour. There is a perceptible rise in the mercury levels almost instantly but thankfully also dissipates as quickly. Just hope this is a phase and you don't inherit the short fuse trait from me. The house won't be able to handle so many frequent short circuits ;-) 

On the physical level, you are still the energetic lad, always on the go, though you've mellowed from earlier.  You are able to play independently and even …

Random musings

What does growing up mean to you? Does it or should it rob you of all the intrinsic qualities that a human is supposed to have? Of the warmth, the empathy, the silliness quotient that sneaks in naturally when you are with people you grew up with, the joy of connecting with a long lost friend or acquaintance, of basic courtesies that is expected when a certain level of communication has been established, the list seems endless.

Yet, these qualities are lost on certain people when they reach a certain stage in life. When they can no longer connect to that part of life they grew up in, relate to people who were once their companions, relate to emotions, traditions or a belief system that they were once a part of. They call it growing up. They also call it independent thinking, living and maturing. 

But, of what purpose is such grown-up attitude or maturity if you cannot look back and laugh. If you do not have someone you can share nostalgia with. If you cannot connect the dots in your life…

The story of her life

She wipes the sweat from the brow,
her hands suffer everyday blow,
She smiles through pain,
and hopes to bargain
a life better for her children,
a pucca house,
a caring spouse.

Life can never be simple
when money as little
flows just as a trickle
slipping into crevices in mockery;
a debris of unending poverty

Tides of sorrow rise in count
sprinkling little joys, as pittance.
Seeking the shore, hopes surmount
only to break in an even dance

A happy home is all she wants,
but is far from what she gets
Mind and body sport several scars
given by the mister, a rouge above par

The house crumbles under, 
when children too move afar
all the trouble now seem in vain
for alas! she lost the bargain.



Befuddled

Strange are the ways of some, who invariably think thus:

When you are hurt, the world is victimizing you
but when others are hurt, the world is trivializing the issue

How do you handle a child who is constantly bullying a few kids in your neighbourhood? I may get some tips on this over the net, but I want to know how to handle the mother who seems to be blind to the errant kid's act, covers it up saying its all child's play and reverses the entire blame to the rest of the parent community who she thinks is singling out her child unnecessarily?

As a parent we all love our kids and cannot imagine them being at fault. However, should love be so binding that you cannot even recognize a fault that unfolds right under your nose? As a parent of one of the victims of the bully, here is an open letter to the mother.

Dear Parent,

I understand that you have some bones to pick with me since you believe that I have reprimanded or even keep reprimanding your child for no fault of his. I need to t…

Of the birthday that went by

Another Birthday went by. Another year added to the timeline. But, it doesn't matter. No matter what number you hit that year, there is a child-like anticipation and eagerness for the D-day to dawn. At least, for me. Yes, life and age has definitely diminished the excitement, intensity, enthusiasm, call it what you may. Still, who doesn't like to be the center of attraction for a full day. The phone calls, the messages, the attention showered by the near and dear ones-it all feels good, doesn't it? 


However, this post is not about all this philosophy. This is about how I allowed myself to be sucked in the quicksand of changing technology and its effects. The husband had been, for a long time now, asking me to upgrade to a smart phone and I had been resisting it citing one or the other reason. Seriously speaking, I never felt the need to. The internet and FB on the PC had anyway engulfed me enough and I was afraid of having it in my hands, literally. So, the game continued b…

Conversations with the toddler

The other day, as I picked up R from the school bus and headed back home, he asked me excitedly:

Do you know my name?

Err..yes, of course!

No...my name is T-Rex. Please call me T-Rex from now on..

!!!!

The name now varies from T-Rex, to Tiger shark, to dinosaur, to alligator, to myriad other species!

The child had a sport's day event a couple of months ago and R came home with his face and T-shirt all muddy. His mouth was smeared with remnants of chocolate too. Upon asking I came to understand that apparently the teacher had rewarded him with the chocolate because he "ran well". A little more prodding into why and how he ran and who else ran with him, he replied that he came first and the other girl who ran with him came second. The answer amused me to no end since it reminded me of this ad:


Several attempts to fish out the correct information went in vain since he kept altering the answers and I left it at that. I didn't think too much of the sports event until a couple of…

Hello everyone! I'm alive, thanks for asking.

It's been a month since I wrote something here. So, should I call this as my comeback post or will this be just a filler? It's difficult to say at this moment as I seem to have lost all interest/motivation/energy/creativity-call what you may-to fill up this space. Sadly, something that I though I was passionate about is withering away without no gardener to nourish its roots. I cannot place my finger on any one single reason other than a combination of the usual reasons- writer's block, busy life and sinking motivation.

There were times when ideas did crop up and I felt the familiar urge, albeit one with a far lesser intensity, to update the blog. The idea and feeling, sadly, passed away too soon in my recently accelerated routine life. Now, there's where there is some activity and excitement and probably why my energies are all diverted. The handover of the new house is to happen very soon and I'm in the midst of heavy duty work of getting all the documents in plac…

Dwaraka- A treasure trove of Kalamkari work

Here's another store tour, albeit not in Whitefield. This unassuming place nestled in Indiranagar/Thippasandra area caters solely to Kalamkari art work. It is a not-for-profit initiative to encourage and promote artisans trained in this ancient artwork. They do have an online store, but it is not quite functional. I got my chance last month to visit the place in person and get a feel of the products.

As evident, it is a visual treat to see this art work on such a variety of products, namely, wall art panels, lamp shades,sarees and kurtis, jewellery boxes, cushion covers, coasters and key-chains. You can also get the wall panels customized to the size and painting of your choice.











My experiments in the kitchen

Something that happens not very frequently, much to my foodie husband's dissatisfaction. We are like chalk and cheese in the matters of food. While I subscribe to the philosophy of "Eat to live", he's quite the opposite, salivating even at the thought of his favourite food. And, his favourite can be quite a wide spread. So, try as I might to satiate even a portion of his taste buds, I can never come close to what he'd like me to cook up in the kitchen. 
But, to be fair to him, I don't really try much ;-)
Despite all the disparity in our thoughts and actions, I do surpass myself at times to bring something different to the table (literally). So, here are a few snaps of what I tried out recently.
A cinnamon tea cake- As usual, I combined two recipes, and forgot which ones ;-).  Turned out Okay.


Paneer Kofta curry- which turned out a little extra salted, because while making the gravy, I disregarded the fact that the koftas were also salted- classic case of inexperie…

Bitten by the reading bug

So, there's something I'm happy about-my reading quotient has gone up in the last couple of weeks. The Flipkart guy has been a regular visitor. Although, I order in bunches, the delivery sometimes gets pushed to different dates depending on the availability. I feel bad that the person delivering has to travel the same distance, at times, on consecutive days to deliver just one book. 

That apart, it does feel nice to have that parcel in your hands with new, crisp books to delve into, to lose the world by drowning into them. The books I've read so far have also not let me down.

My current loot:




Additions have been made to the above, but they are mainly books for R- The Eric Carle collection I mentioned earlier, so there is one more person happy in the household.


So, what have you been reading? Will be happy to get some recos.

A musical delight

Anyone here who is tuned in to the Indian Idol Juniors this season? If not, and if even remotely interested in music, then I strongly recommend listening to these wonder kids. However, even if you can't understand music, it is a treat to see/listen to kids as young as 8 yrs perform with such elan, ease and most importantly finesse.

The last episode where Shankar,Ehsaan and Loy had come as guests was in particular a spectacular one when these musical stalwarts were so overawed by each of the 10 performances that they gave a standing ovation to every one of these kids. And, it was clearly not just a gesture of encouragement. It was a genuine and natural response to the outstanding singing talent. The songs sung by the contestants were to be a tribute to the musician-trio and had some of their best songs rendered to perfection. Every nuance, note and emotion was bang on and in certain instances surpassing even the original. Clearly the little contestants seem to have a divine connect…

Chanakya's Chant

Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Pages: 448
Publisher: Westland
Price: Rs. 125 on Flipkart (on a discount)
My rating: 4/5

Oh, what a book!I never thought a combination of history and politics could be so mesmerizing. I'd never been a fan of history in my school days, so attribute all my ignorance in that subject to the bland manner in which we were dished out history lessons. And, politics is a sphere I started to take interest in only recently. This book however kept me hooked on both levels.

The novel is actually two stories set in two eras ( one set about 2300 years ago and the other in the present) but connected wonderfully by a single thread-'Chanakya neeti' that is used to achieve a desirable consequence in the given set of political mish-mash. The parallel narration does more than fine justice to the stories from both eras, without compromising on the pace which is fast and gripping. I eased my way in and out of the two worlds without any jerk (in terms of waning interest or losing …

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By: Eric Carle
Picture book for 3-5 yr olds
Price: on discount at Flipkart for Rs. 175
My rating: 4.5/5



I got this book through Flipkart last week and it is currently the hot favourite in our house with R demanding to read the book at every meal each day. Eric Carle has beautifully put together different learning elements in one simple yet captivating story, which is nothing but the life-cycle of a butterfly.

And, what an interesting way for 3-5 yr olds to imbibe such knowledge! The journey of the caterpillar has been captured with bright, colourful pictures and simple narration. Not only that, a child can learn the days of a week, counting, get introduced to different variety of fruits, and other types of food, all of this packed together in a great read.

I loved the book as much as R. I highly recommend this book to all parents with kids in this age bracket. Do grab a copy, if you haven't done so already. As for me, I'm planning to buy the other books in the series by the …

The Spinning Wheel-a store tour

Falling in line with my intention to bring to light exclusive Home Decor stores around Whitefield area, here's another store tour. I had come across The Spinning Wheel many times- in the flea market and other exhibitions- and always thought to myself that I'd go back to them someday. And, boy! am I glad that finally I made to their store? You can bet a million bucks here.

The unique part about this store is that not only do they house exquisite art items procured from various places in India, but they also specialize in refurbishing old furniture. They add lovely embellishments like tile-work or painted art- and convert a drab looking piece into a style statement. So, if you are bored of your old dining table but do not want to spend a fortune on another or have sentiments attached to the current one, you know where to head.

The Store owner, Rakhi Mutreja, is a very enterprising lady with a lot of passion for the work she does and it really comes across when she talks about eac…

Asura-The tale of the vanquished

Author: Anand Neelakantan

Publisher: Platinum Press
Pages: 500 
Price on Flipkart: Rs. 190


Ramayana re-told by the vanquished seemed like an interesting premise and I picked it up with a lot of expectations. However, I was disappointed.The book begins well, then drags, then picks up in bits and parts but finally drags so much that you want to just quit reading. 

The story unravels through the voices of two persons- Ravana and a commoner Bhadra. The concept of having a third-point view of the story, told through a common man, seems novel and keeps you engaged. Some of the parts where he (Bhadra) brings out the voice of an ordinary citizen in the backdrop of an unjust life, braving against the odds and his grouses with the government of the country seems very relevant and realistic. Yet, Bhadra sometimes assumes a profile than is even larger than the main protagonist and you just want him to mind his own business after a while.

Ravana, according to the original mythology, although portrayed …

Sangreh- a store tour

Since the time I nose-dived into planning the decor for my home, I've been on the look out for interesting home decor stores on the net and within my locality. To my delight, I discovered a few stores around the area I live, that sell some exclusive stuff. 

I plan to feature the stores here for the benefit of people like me, who are eager to set up their homes, live in and around Whitefield area, but are loathe to venture into the city traffic to buy great looking stuff despite best intentions and keep wishing for such stores to come up in the vicinity.The first among them is a store called Sangreh that has been recently launched at AECS layout, close to ITPL junction, Kundalahalli and Marathahalli areas.

Now, a good blogger always roams about with a handy camera to click away interesting finds, add lovely captions and tidbits, to make a story on their blogs. Sadly, I don't fall in that category. I'm always rushing out of home and only manage to stuff in the water-bottl…