Showing posts from 2009

Love is not Love

Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. This is Sonnet No.116, and I'm sure you know whose it is! Our own inimitable Shakespeare! I remember reading this in school when I was in 10th standard. It has forever haunted me with its timeless thought. I never internalized the full meaning of these words back then. (I could not have!) But now maturity, time and life has taught me how valuable, and meaningful these words are.

Puzzling Happiness!

There is no single route to Happiness. I believe Happiness is a tangible, achievable goal. But that cannot be had by reaching out to a single thing or person. To me it is a sum total of many aspects of our life. Like a mosaic design we find these individual parts and place them piece by painstaking piece together and build it into the picture we desire. So that means we need to have the larger picture in mind. If not the exact at least an idea of how we want the end to look. Again as in all things in life we have no template, no pre-formed  model which we can just use to structure our lives on. Yet there may be some picture, some image that helps us create our own. But again what we create for ourselves is unique and fashioned by the pieces we choose. So for now, the search for the pieces begins as we live the life we are given. Sometimes the piece we pick up may not feel right and so that has to be discarded. Sometimes we struggle with a piece believing it to to be the right o

Compassion Unlimited

We meet many people in our lives, some leave their mark and some others don't. Yesterday I met an interesting lady. I know her  and have spoken to her many times, but it happens that sometimes when yu are so bored to death (in official parties), we tend to get into converstaions to liven it up, and then suddenly a spark is fired and we connect. This one was that day. Generally chatting, she slowly started talking about her children (what else, do mothers talk about?!), then about her life growing up in a village in rural UP. She is from a hardcore traditional family and spoke about discrimination and prejudice against the female child, even within an educated family like hers. Not harsh ones, but subtle ones, like"girls dont do this or that", and how that made her resolve to do any thing and everything a man could do, within her abilities. So she became the first to ride a cycle/ bike in her village. She learnt swimming..... Mind yu she belongs to the previous gene

Source of strength

Psychology says that every one has a Locus of Control; it is that which drives them, which motivates them towards their goal.  You can either have an Internal Locus or an External Locus. The internally tuned person looks within themselves to do things, and is motivated/ driven from within, or so the experts say, while the external folks look outward and require some element/aspect from the environment to move/ be driven. Historically, and culturally Indians emphasis that it is best to focus within and be driven from within. Literature/research too leans towards this, as people are encouraged to look for intrinsic motivators. Yet I believe, things cannot be so easily compartmentalized. Yes, every one needs to have intrinsic motivators. This part of the self helps oneself detach from the outcome of our act. This part helps us feel happy for ourselves, no doubt, helping us do our life’s requirement without worrying too much about the end result. Helps us enjoy the journey and not

Another Special School!

                                                    A Tale with a Difference:                                           A cosy Home away from from Home:                 Teachers, Parents,Students, an environment that always makes one feel blessed Uthara and I on World Disabled Day, Dec 3rd, that also happens to be my birthday Took my kids along too and did the story of "The King's Moustache" by Asha Nehmiah (CBT). It is the funny but endearing tale of a King who is so in love with his "curly&wurly" mustache that he has every object designed in this shape. The Garden bushes, the Horses tail, and even his Royal bed! Yet there comes a day when his moustache starts drooping, and becomes straight!. Sad and pensive, our King calls many of the helpers around the Palace to curl it up.The cook, the gardener, and the tailor! Yet only his Rani comes to his rescue, as she tells him the only way to curl it up is to..."Smile..." and she ti

An apt tale

At moments like these when we are literally crying for help, a voice, a thought, a story brings some relief... Here is a comment by Sharadha( no blogger profile), who left this story on my comment form, and I find it so apt to what I am going through at present. All I can say is Thank You for sharing... hi sowmya.. reading this post, got reminded of a story i read somewhere ( a story to a storyteller:)-) its about how a little boy who spilled the milk went on to become a world renowned scientist. He was then a five-year-old. As he was trying to remove a vessel of milk from the refrigerator he lost his grip on the vessel and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor - a veritable sea of milk! When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him she said, “Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you

Questions for myself

What are we afraid of? Afraid that we may not be giving our best to our children Afraid that we are not helping them realise their potential. Afraid that they will not make the right choices Afraid they will commit the same mistakes that we did Afraid that we may be judged as inadequate parents Afraid... Afraid What is fear that we use subtly and sometimes so blatantly? Isn't this the fear that raised us? Why pass it on to our future? Why make our children a reflection of ourselves? Can they never make mistakes? Should we never make mistakes? Why teach righteousness, when nothing is black and white, and everything is in shades of gray? Why this anger? Where does it come from? Who is it directed against? What is education if it cannot make a person self confident? Isn't education a system of comparison? Are we teaching/learning life skills? What use is this redundant education? Where is this pursuit taking us if we cannot live this moment in happiness?

Simple pleasure..finding the right one

A friend of mine in 5th standard wants a story for her story telling competition. What I enjoy about the school is all these extra activities that are conducted for the children. Read that as Story telling specifically, which is an integral part of the inter house competitions. Both Hindi and English story telling competitions are held from first to fifth. It did not take me long to select a story for my friend, and here is a link to the story I chose for her. Scroll down for "The Faithful friend". Click here This was a time when the child's character stands out so well in my mind that the process of selecting was quite easy. Affectionate, very fond of animals and friends, so this story is ideal for her. It is the story of a parrot that does not want to leave its injured friend , a Tree. Finally it rejoices when its love and concern is rewarded by an angel who gives back life to the tree. Cathy Spagnoli, from whose site I took the story is a veteran story teller.

My Take on Story telling

Story telling is different from Drama or solo/mono is an interactive process where the audience is asked to move with the Teller, imagine with the Teller, and experience with the Teller. There are many others qualified to give an insight on these differences, but I speak from my thoughts/heart. For those who enjoy performing arts this is a very genteel art to pursue. I call it that because, there is no right or wrong way to do Stories. The only way is to connect with your audience. To share with them a thought, a feeling, an experience. With younger children it is important to have a story line, as they need a plot, an organized thought process, which they themselves may not have in their thoughts. While with an audience that gets older, you don't need an organized plot. You need to spark imaginations,and even give them an opportunity to make their own endings, extract their own conclusions. Yet there are some Learnings that I have gained from my own meager experiences

Lucknow Tales

  We were at the Bada Imambara at Lucknow. Amazing building and amazing people behind the building. Why would some one want to build such a majestic structure? Add to that the Bul Bulaiya, that is the maze which runs through the walls and pillars, and runs through 3 levels. The guide tells us there are 1000 ways within the maze,but only 1 way is the right one to get us out of it! It appears that man will do anything for posterity and this is definitely an example of that. You and I can enjoy the quirks of the moneyed class as they leave behind monuments and minarets for future generations to explore and savor. This building brings to my mind the innumerable photos of SRK's palatial house Mannat floating around the cyber world. Then there is even our own favorite batsman's new pad...with foyer designed like the interior of a conch shell!! It's true, google around and you will find it. And what about Ambani tower? ..what about it...mmm....surely that is one monument waiting

Telling with Lewis Carroll

  The Walrus and The Carpenter Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872) The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might:  He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright-- And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night. The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done-- "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!" The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying overhead-- There were no birds to fly. The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it would be grand!" "If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year. Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could

Love letter

Ok, Here is a no frills, no hype Love Letter. Wondering who is sending me this in my old age? Who else but my son!! He has got into this card making phase and made one for his Sister, with so many of the "Love you's" on it.. I did not recover from the shock for almost half an hour!! Subsequently when I pouted that I had no Love you's from him (he He), he landed up making this one for me. Don't ask me what a Vatapi is ..he just made it up, and doesnt know the meaning too...hahah... Children are not appreciated enough..we can find fault so easily (include me as the Primary Culprit of that), but appreciating their efforts and thoughts, we are stingy with that ... for thought ...Yes??

What should I write about?

Got this new widget on the left hand check it out and leave your suggestions... It is taken from the skribit check it out too My interests range from storytelling, stories, and life's lessons...!! So do leave your suggestions and I will do my best.

Amazing Storyteller

Story teller : Carmen Agra Deedy, tells a personal story with her own twists and turns. The cuban accent, the flow of words, the humour and the message at the end, truly takes us through a voyage of thoughts and imagination. She tells us a simple story of her Nonagenarian mother, taking the car out on the sly, and making her a part of this mayhem!! She holds the audience in her grip. Weaving such a vivid picture and with such humour. To Tell a story with so many nuances is really a skill! I felt the words have been delivered slightly fast, but then so are we Indians accused of talking too fast! Story telling and stories... Any one who is fascinated by both must see this..she is amazing... There are many such Tellers even in our own families. True they may not tell so precisely or with such coherence, yet Story telling is in born in most Humans. Grandmothers are known for their storytelling skill. Ask any one they will tell you that having a grandmother at home is such a boon, as Story

Get me There

Travel is by itself an amazing way to connect with yourself and the world that you live in. Any one who travels and loves that feel of packed bags and constant move will understand what I say. Traveling in India is by no means easy. It is easier nowadays, yet one never knows what to expect. Bookings have to be done much ahead of time, availability, comfort, route so many factors to be looked into depending on where we want to travel, and how far. I love driving around. Don’t be mislead, I don’t do much highway driving, not so comfortable with those high speeds. I would rather have my husband drive me around (that’s the ideal situation as he drives superbly!), but a driver from the local travels will do too!! If we travel by our own vehicle, then we are better off, especially when it is done with kids…the breaks can be taken as and when they, or we wish. Driving around in your own car seeing places is the ideal way to travel! We have done some interesting travel by road, even carrying

Viva la India!

I feel happy that my daughter is part of a schooling experience that really exposes her to different communities and cultures. I may have many other cribs about the school, but The Kendriya Vidyalaya schools have one thing that they offer children, an exposure to India and the essence of living in a cultural Pongal Pot(Pongal is a kind of Khichidi, or a rice and Dal mixture)!! They have inspection days, basically days when the children yet again don't study but prepare cultural shows and programs. Don't harangue me, but sometimes I think they do nothing else, so that is my crib! I cribbed about getting her dressed up yet again, just to stand there for the arrival of the chief guest.Yet she loves this, so ok, but please dont agree to every get up the teacher assigns to you, I told her. "Mean" you may think, but I have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise I will be stretching my creative abilities. She had to go as a Maharashtrian girl. So some running around and

Daughter and Mom time

Don't berate me on the quality of the pictures, but I just wanted to capture what my daughter and I landed up making after I saw these lovely Yarn Paintings. Yarn Paintings are part of North American Culture or so I am told. These were actually illustrations for a story "The Journey of Tunuri and the Blue Deer" reviewed in Saffron Tree, as a part of their on going Book Review Festival. You can follow this link to see that story review, and many here It is extremely simple and my daughter who is the creative one, really loved the idea. All you need is some yarn, wool in different shades and gum, paper. If you twirl the yarn around into concentric circles, it really looks good. I guess art is all about doing and experiencing. She could not complete it and Sunday morning, she was at it without even brushing her teeth!! The one above is hers, and the one below is mine.

For the Love of Blogging

I love this world of blogging. I want to personally kiss and hug every person who I have read and identified with. (Or show them any other permissible form of affection!). I can see so many of my passions mirrored in others, so many thoughts that are similar, and so many life situations that are same. It energizes me to see such thoughts and ideas bouncing back and forth within this electronic media, connecting people, connecting lives, connecting visions and dreams. 8years back, I remember raising my baby in isolated misery. Now I look at all the forums and blogs on babies and child rearing and amaze at the kind of information that is available for every one to see and share and learn from. For all those who may ask whether I could not have accessed all this 8 years back. I don’t know. We had a computer and I remember my husband using it…but I kind of used to relegate it to his domain and never ventured too close. I really don’t know if internet was all that friendly, even 8 years bac

Here is the Ganges

    Here is the Ganges. Serene, and peaceful, she is the narrowest here. I believe she is only 20 metres deep here. This place is called Bithoor, about 30Km from where we live in Kanapur. It has one of 3 temples to Lord Brahma on it's shores. If you expect a beautiful temple, it is disappointment time. There is a small shrine which says, Brahmesvar that's all. It is dirty in parts, more muddy than dirt. I would say it is much cleaner than what I expected. A lot of effort is being put into keeping the Ganges clean especially in these parts. There is one organisation called "ecofriends" here, that is doing a lot of work on the Ganges. There is not much to see, but one can do some boating here. We got into one. It is fairly a medium sized one and we did a peaceful turn of the Ganges. My husband was asking for the Mae vests..(hahah..Traveling abroad does that to you!!) It was quite thrilling for me to see the river, as I imagined the many Kings and Sages who had touche

A New beginning

He stared at the ocean with unseeing eyes. There was no other place to come, but here. No where else would he be able to synchronize with the roar that he felt within his heart. They beat in tandem. The waters beat relentlessly against an indefinite shore, while his heart beat within unable to break free. So many thoughts and feelings confined within his mind begged for release but he refused them that relief. He held back the tears, the feelings, the emotions. How many times had he come here with her? How many times had he run circles around her on this very same sand? Sometimes tickling her with his humor, bringing a smile to her face (Oh, how he loved to see her smile), and sometimes irritating her with his incessant words and queries. She never let him out of her sight. Yet her control was not blatant, just a little subtle, as she constantly challenged him and his immature view of the world. They had a bond that not many shared, nor could understand. A relationship soaked in ma

Dedicated to A Soul

People inspire me to write more than things/objects. I am that way. The events and circumstances, personality and thought processes that go into making an individual fascinates me. Their history, their lifestyle, their individual preferences,problem solving abilities... There are some people I revere, am in awe of. Some are my closest confidants. Some I keep my distance and then there are some others, who I would like to emulate, just try to be like them, but something basic called "my personality" comes in the way! I talk with one person in mind specifically, it was this person's birthday today. Not being a computer geek, she will not know I write about her, nor am I going to tell her. Please don't think I am going to belittle her, in fact today I am doing the opposite, I want to take time to describe her to all of you, and make you the judge. These are souls,(I cannot call them human beings because they have transcended to a greater level) who touch every one with t

burning bridges

It’s about burning bridges. I don’t want to bore one and all about my past, my history, but I have this chronic problem that I land up burning bridges… Please don’t think I am some naxalite… The bridge I talk about is the one we create when we pass from one phase in our lives into the next. I can very clearly de-mark things into neat categories. Every category has a bridge linking it to the next stage, and these are the bridges I am talking about. Bridges are great as it marks a mental spot where and when we make a paradigm shift in many ways. A shift in perspective or a shift in maturity, a physical move in terms of space, or a mental move in terms of feelings/thoughts/insights. I like bridges. For me these bridges, that I can so clearly visualize, were gigantic in terms of dimension and depth. I look back and literally see how I changed and altered at every such bridge… But the people who I met and who were such integral parts of every phase are no longer any part of me. That is

Why things happen the way they do??

I am really bugged and irritated. Why is it that whenever I expect something I am disappointed? I believe He gives every one a fair share of negatives and positives. In that I have been given an overdose of tolerance and patience.How I detest being known as the patient one( though this status did change moderately post marriage), that aspect of me (impatience) was reserved for my family to see. So for the general public, I was still the "Patient one". Can I get it exchanged? Please tell me where I can borrow and internalise some intolerance and kick ass attitude... I want to scream and shout and yell and hit. Why should I bear stoic face and say that it doesn't matter and there must be a logical valid reason, why? why??? Ok that feels better... The feeling for all this came from this: I volunteered to do a puppet show, for the Ladies Club, as it was Navarathri time and I have this nice story on Mahishasuramardhini. So far so good. As the date of the show neared, I fell il

Did you ask for RamLila?

Dear Anu, Your comment on my blog is very valid. What about Ramlila?..Yes Tell me about it!! Here is my sad story. When I called over the ladies for Manjal-Kumkum, they mentioned the Ramlila to me. That it takes place near our quarters and pretty close to where I live actually. So I thought I would get to see Ramlila, in all its splendour right at my door step. But, woe is me, this is what happened… 1) Another friend on another day informed me that the Ramlila was cancelled as there was fear of terrorism around these parts. ( Being a part of the defence services, all our units are soft targets, so this news though disappointing, was not new to me) 2) Then hubby comes and tells me it is on...Yipee I thought, all agog and ready to tell him to get seats reserved for us (privileges, privileges!!...Again thanks to hubby’s job profile!! Hehe!) 3) Here comes the best part. Hubby then with a spuriously sad face tells me that we cannot go, as it was expected that a crowd of 90,000 would be as


Sunday was a day to relax, the next day being Dasami was an off day for my husband. So I could be rest assured he would be more relaxed. Translate that as: I become hyper! I have to plan an outing, can't loose this opportunity, and there is much to see in Kanpur. It is the place where the 1857 mutiny happened and it is quite historic. Yet the place we decided to go, read that as I decided to go, was the JK temple, also the Radhakrishna Temple in the city centre. Built by the JK Singhania's of the Tyre fame. The pictures looked quite beautiful, and since these are auspicious days, I thought starting off our sightseeing sprees with a temple is a good idea!! Its a long drive from the airforce station, at Chakeri, off course in India it is not the distance that is actually relevant, but the traffic. I knew we were heading to the city on a Sunday and and on an extended weekend. I anticipated traffic, and we got it. Loads of it... Here in Kanpur there are 3 ways of reacting to traff

Some Dance and Dandia...

  I dragged my husband and kids to the Navrathri celebrations organised by the Gujarathi Association of our Air Force Station . It always happens that when we are in our own state, the enthusiasm and the mindset is automatic. Yet to recreate the same feel in another state, where one needs to firstly look around for like minded people, get them to participate and show the same interest is tough. I could see that when we went to this event. Any one who has lived in Gujarat, will know that all 9 days of Navrathri, Garbha and Dandia is danced with fervor and dedication by young and old alike. Garba is danced in a circle by clapping our hands and moving to a swaying rhythm. It is a very graceful and beautiful dance form, and when we see a large group moving in such unison. I tell you it makes me get goose pimples...silly me! But this is the India I adore. People of all communities living and enjoying the moment!! Dandia is danced by partners, holding sticks in both hands. The simple pattern

Some more light thrown on Golu and its history...yipee

I am excited! I found one reference, for the small write up I had given about Golu having made it's beginning during the reign of the Vijaynagar Kings (Krishnadevaraya). click here There is one paragraph in between if you have the patience to read. The 4th para to be precise. It tells that this custom started during the Vijaynagar period, and there is a reference to Golu dolls in Saraswathi Mahal Library ( Tanjavur) Yipee...I feel happy to have found it. Yet I know I read a longer bit somewhere else...I am still searching for this...

Display of another kind! My resident peacock...

  (Click on picture for enlarged view) I had to show you this guy who has made our garden his favourite haunt. He saunters into our front garden from time to time, and I am sure it is to peck at the juicy earthworms that abound in ours. He actually lives across the street on that person's terrace in fact. I have tried many times to capture him on camera...But it is only now that I was successful. Every time I would take out my camera he would scoot coyly away into the foliage nearby and I would be left bereft and cheated. Finally, finally this day I managed to quietly take snaps of him as he walked through the garden, and perched himself on the off white Magnolia tree( yes that is the flower, if I am correct!) He is an elegant guy, and gives one awooo sound when he enters my garden, so I know he is there.Yet the moment I open the door to the garden, which makes the most awful sound as it creaks on its hinges, he beats a hasty retreat, and that's why I had difficulty t

Golu 2009 sequel: The completed version...and some on!

So here is the completed version of my Golu. The rangoli, is done, I have lit the lamps for all to see. and the park/zoo is also there!! I know there are grander shows out there, but with my creative limitations, I have endeavored to do my bit! My daughter Uthara helped out with the park and zoo....I am sure she would have enjoyed being Chennai, where the enthusiasm is much higher and variety much larger. Some time in future when we settle down south I hope she is able to soak in the festive air of Navrathri in the South. Here in Kanpur, within the airforce the last 3 days are significant, starting from Ashtami, then Navami, then Dasami. All three days are marked by pooja and cultural shows. I am looking forward to my first authentic Gharba with the Gujarati Association...and also plan to visit the Bengali Pandaal. I have seen Durga Pooja by the Bengalis, it so happens that the area where my family lives in Chennai, has a very active and vibrant Bengali community and we have visited an

Why the Dolls?

I want to know why we keep the Golu/Kolu. That got me searching on the net. I got access to many many blogs, sites which talk about the process of keeping Golu, a custom followed by the Tam Brahms( Tamil Brahmins, who come from the Southern state of Tamilnadu in India), and some communities in Andhra Pradesh. But what is the story behind the Kolu? Still fruitless my explorations, I chanced upon a nice website, giving some information on Kolu Steps Click here Here they tell us how the different steps are arranged and their significance.Yet why do we keep this ? Well here goes the story behind the steps and the dolls.I remember reading this story a long time back, I am not able to find the link now. But I know I read it from some authentic source. If anyone knows/has validation for this story please let me know! Why The Dolls? During the reign of Krishnadevaraya, which was considered a golden age for South India, the people of his kingdom, so adored and worshiped him that they wanted to

Golu times 2009

  So here is our teeny weeny Golu in Kanpur...have not done much in terms of theme, Uthara and I still discussing it! We have entered the most auspicious season for most Indians, be it Hindu or Muslim. Navrathri as we say in South or Nawrathra in the North, marks the period before Dussehra. South Indians keep Golu, or the doll festival, usually followed by the Brahmin Community. North Indians observe fast. I must say they do impress me with their will power. My neighbour starts the 9 day fast "NirJal", meaning she goes for 24 hours without even water. I cant manage a fast for even one evening. (Gave that too up when I started having severe gastric problems!!) I for one enjoying keeping the Golu, and of course the socializing.This time as we are all convalescing post viral fever, I have not done much preparations. Still we have couple of days to finish the Golu. Come and see my pictures, nothing elaborate... Here is a link to a post from the same time last year, you may like

Following up... on What/How/Where of Locating Books for Children

At the beginning I wish to make myself clear… All opinions/views/ideas/suggestions expressed here are purely my own!! This is a personal blog, and my intention is to share information that is of interest to me, and hope that it could be of some use/interest to my viewers… Having made my disclaimer loud and clear, I will now move on…!! I realize that many are interested in books, and those working/ living with kids can have no other preoccupation!! So here is a compilation of publishers and the kind of books that is available in the market for children. I have combined foreign publishers and Indian ones. Many foreign publishers have entered the Indian market. So depending on your pocket, you can pick and choose what suits you. I found 3 publishing websites, with comprehensive lists of publishers. They are a western compilation, but as I said, there is no harm in knowing… www.publishing Enter these portals and look for children’s publisher’s a

The What/How/Where of locating Children's Books!!

Have you read a tasteless book? Have you seen one? No, I don’t mean the books that are meant to be trashy and have only one running theme through them. I don’t mean those… My blood boils when I see a book which is meant for the discerning audience, but is fit for the kabadiwallah . They are disguised as books for children and come in many tasteless shapes, colors, fonts and themes. This new trend of bringing mythological characters in their primitive childhood form and cavorting them around our gullible and impressionable children is most irritating. As they devour characters like Chota Bheem and Chota Birbal on screen, this is further supplemented by books which come with names like “Chota B and the Smelly Mountain Rakshas!!” Have you read such books…?? I may seem like a snob, but excuse me, isn’t the minimum requirement for a story, especially children’s story; a Story Line??!! Then there are some books, which hide behind titles that have been around for a thousand years. Like the Ar