Mirror Mirror On The Wall

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And that is where I must have left the mirror. On the wall.

So this is the background.

The children fight as all siblings usually do. Nothing new there, but I am growing increasingly impatient. I sit pondering why can’t one let go and let the fight die a natural death. As I often do, I decided to take matters in my own hands, find a solution instead of silently bearing it, being the master of own destiny, tackle problems as solutions waiting to happen and all that useless jazz.

And I introduced this wonderful concept I learnt in my childhood, namely the mirror. When some one says something nasty to you, you just say mirror and the nasty stuff gets reflected back to them. ‘Stupid’ – ‘mirror’ – the person who said stupid sees his/her reflection and is stumped – you walk away with a smug expression. Simple stuff.

The children were thoroughly kicked with the concept! (Gasp! Really amma?)

They drank from the fountain of knowledge. (Do you have to hold an actual mirror? Should I hold my hand, palm facing out or just say mirror? Can I do both? Can I hold both palms and say mirror? What angle should I hold my hand? )

They checked testimonials. (Did you do it when you were young? Did it work for you? Whom did you use it on?)

Then they executed it.



‘Youuu caaan’t (read it sing-song), because I was already holding mirror when I said stupid. So my stupid goes to you, reflects on your mirror, then bounces on my mirror and goes back to you.’

‘How? How? How can that even happen? It will again bounce on my mirror right?!’

‘But I was holding mirror even before I said stupid. You said mirror only after you heard stupid. By that time my stupid already reached you. Haaaa haaaa (insert sing-song again for complete experience)’

‘Fine, my mirror is bigger than your mirror, so even if it came out late, it completely reflects. Since your mirror is small, the stupid goes around your small mirror and reaches you.’

‘You can’t even see my mirror, how will you know it is small? My mirror is bigger than your mirror.’

‘No mine is the biggest on earth.’

‘No, mine is bigger. I am holding god’s mirror.’

‘Too bad I am holding god’s super mirror, which is the bigger than god’s usual mirror.’

In fact they are walking around the house with one palm, if not both palms, on forehead like a head light, because that is their mirror and they are ready to reflect any insult that may or may not be showered on them.

I am again pondering what I can do about this. Or rather what I must NOT do about this! The biggest joke is how all this was some how mirrored right in to my face.


The Hundred Languages

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I am training the second child. Given a word, she needs to write one sentence with the word in it.

She was struggling. When I asked her what is wrong she explained patiently, ‘Amma, when you say ABOVE, the photo that comes to my mind has a red house with bird circling above it, children playing in front, tall trees from the backyard with branches spreading on the top floor. How do I put all this in ONE sentence?’

I felt like some one slapped me and I remembered this speech by Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of Reggio Emilia Approach.

The Hundred Languages

No way. The hundred is there.

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

-Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)
Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach


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Ramayan In Calligraphy

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My Hyderabad Literary Festival find:

Artist PP Raju, a calligraphy artist. His interpretation of Ramayan in calligraphy was out of the box.  Simple half white background, bold red lines and the entire story in 34 x A3 frames was enjoyed muchly by yours truly!


He has a booklet out with all the Ramayan calligraphy pictures. The book is priced at Rs.1000. If you are looking for a coffee table book with a difference this is it.



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  • P Is For Prescription

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    Found the paper below when I was cleaning up after a play date.

    The children had been playing doctor-doctor and the my first born had written this ‘detailed’ prescription.

    Yes. This has been our life since Oct. First born sick – younger one sick – husband sick – younger one sick – younger one sick – younger one sick again – I am sick – younger one sick – younger one still sick – younger one hospitalized – younger one on antibiotics but out of the hospital and is still sick – first born sick – I am sick – first born falls and tears a ligament and leg in cast – younger one sick – I am sick…..I swear none of this is exaggeration! This truly is the number of times we fell sick between Oct – Dec last year. Hopefully the new year is good.

     IMG_1946 IMG_1945

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  • Happiness Is….

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    Finding a surprise note(from the older one) in one’s office bag….


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  • Z Is For Zinger

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    So the children get invited to a child’s 7th birthday party. It is Barbie themed.

    Let us just say that the Barbie theme party is a first experience for them. And let us leave it at I am HUGELY responsible for this state of their existence. Anyways, at some point main streaming has to happen and I decided to test the waters.

    They went, they danced, they ate junk food, they came back with ‘interesting’ return gifts.

    Make up set. Fake nails. Nail decor.

    Naturally they were very excited and there were 1001 questions.

    Can they start using the make up?

    Since it is a gift to a child, it must be appropriate for children?(I am not sure if this was a question or they were thinking loud .

    How frequently they can wear make up?

    Chula’s birthday is coming, so can she launch in to the world of make up starting that day?


    I braced myself and started with the fact that they have their whole lives ahead of them to grow up. Please don’t rush it girls I told them. And I finished with a strong, ‘The minute you start putting make on your skin, your skin thinks that it can grow and get old. Its starts getting much much much older than you actually are.’

    Chula recoils, looks at me horrified and asks me, ‘Amma…. is that what happened to you?’

    Kind readers point me to a hole. I want to crawl in and die.

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    Here’s your chance to win awesome prizes when you pre-order Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase!

    Five lucky winners will get Rs. 500 gift vouchers from Crossword + Rs. 500 gift vouchers from Lakme Salons + author signed copies of Parul’s other super funny books (Bringing up Vasu and By the Water Cooler)!!

    Winners will be announced on December 11 – the book release date.

    Entry is simple! Don’t forget to share this contest with your friends!

    Contest Rules / Requirements:

    1. Like this page

    2. Pre-order Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase

    Amazon.in: http://goo.gl/OXiRrv
    flipkart: http://goo.gl/vG2BLT
    uRead.com: http://goo.gl/KurE8l

    3. Forward your confirmation e-mail to tukisgrandsalonchase@gmail.com before 5 pm Indian Standard Time on 10th December 2013.

    4. Those who have already pre-ordered, worry not. You are still eligible to participate. Just follow the same rules above.

    5. Pray for good luck! Yes, it’s really that simple

    Terms and Conditions
    The contestants must strictly adhere to the rules given above. If any rule is not followed the contestant will not be eligible and therefore will be eliminated from the contest. The terms and conditions of the competition are set out above. Please note that these terms and conditions may be modified by Parul Sharma at her sole discretion. In all matters connected to the competition, the decision of Parul Sharma shall be final and shall not be subject to any challenge. It is clarified that without prejudice to the above the decision of Parul Sharma as to the winners shall be absolute and final. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.
    Any person taking part in the competition is subject to the terms and conditions as mentioned above.

    PS: Should I do OB and call this post P Is For Parul Sharma’s new Book?


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  • H Is For Hype

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    What is the deal with these non-holidays now a days?! Since when is children’s day such a big deal? When I grew up it was just another day, some some mention about chacha Nehru, the man’s favorite flower, love for children(which honestly I find quite creepy – Uncle who LOOOVES children??? ) and we carried on with the regular time table for the day. Or is it the traditional Chennai schooling that down plays anything non-academic?!

    20 years later there is so much pressure on children to grow up and be mini adults as soon as they hit age three, do everything sooner, faster, quicker, better than every one AND have an unique talent. Then there is this jarring superficial celebration of ‘children’….well the concept of childhood and all that children stand for.

    Well on relative grading, at least this is better than grandfather’s day, aunties day(not there yet, but I foresee this coming soon) and the biggest contradiction of all…women’s day.

    Or may be the over all message is that you get ONE day every year to be what you are and to be celebrated.

    This philosophy is made possible by the children’s day celebration next door. Some one is singing in loud tuneless voice some rhyming Hindi poem about BACCHA-SAACHA. When she said SUNDAR, I swear I thought she was going to follow it up with BANDHAR, considering how these children are treated. But no! Then there was singing mother goose rhyme in multiple tunes, followed by dancing and fashion show.  All in all wrong day to show up early for work.

    PS: Only J K P W X Y left 😉


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  • E Is For Excuse For A Post

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    Well, excuse on multiple counts.

    First I have been MIA, which is a trend for all bloggers. Because you suddenly realize that you are too tired to blog AND every one is too tired to read your posts! But I have to resurface at some point, just to let the world know I am alive. So here I am.

    Secondly, to shoo spammers. Any blog gathering dust attracts spam, I know. But the 100th comment from delicious gurl with live webcam asking to be my gurlfrnd because she/he/it has reddit my post I Is Not For iPad and is “excited” is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    This ABC series still short of 8 alphabets, which is bothering me.

    And I have read some R.E.A.L.L.Y bad writing recently and think I can do a decent job.

    So….. many mangoes, one stone and random is this post, be warned!

    -When there is an extremely crowded road and an absolutely empty elevated expressway, there is a reason that the expressway is less travelled. DO NOT take it unless you want to make an impromptu trip from Medipatnam to Bangalore on a weekday evening, while your children are waiting to be picked up from the bus stop and your fuel tank is almost empty. But the new thing I learnt is, that the damn PVN expressway is non stop, no entry, no exit, 21Km expressway that is at a three storey elevation. And you can’t fly off the expressway and land on the road you MUST have taken and you didn’t.

    -And on a side note, I love driving on ORR. Fantastic 5 lane highway! On Sat mornings the Jags and Porsches and Bentelys and Rolls and Audis vroom and zoom for the kick of it. Well, many people die on the ORR too. So, one day, I am on ORR driving back home. I see 120 and I am like, “Wow! 120? That is the speed limit? How many people can do 120?” Still….. I step on it, the i10 is shuddering, but I get it up to 120 and seriously thinking how the hell the taxis and lorries do 1-bloody-20? Then I see 121! If you are the Manirathnam types, you would have understood. If you are the ‘The moral of the story is…..’ kind, the numbers on the side of the expressway can denote either speed or distance.

    -I am on the look out for space filler popular kid-lit. These are the kind of books that children are currently crazy about, but I don’t see the point in buying 10 copies at full price, because they are not worth it. So I was looking for second hand book stores in Hyderabad in Justdial. Found (XYZ)Books and called up to enquire. It so turns out that XYZ Books is an escort service and XYZ is actually doing a different kind of booking. See, you just learn a new thing every day! And if you are looking for second hand books, spell it out, for you might find yourself booked up and in soup.

    -I need to understand the people who honk non-stop to cut through bumper to bumper, very slow moving traffic. So help me. Do they have some superior intelligence that I don’t possess? Often I have to curb the impulse to run to that honking driver and ask him what he had for breakfast and eat the same thing, three times a day, for the rest of my life, in vain hope that I will be as intelligent. The fact that these are usually scary looking people in huge SUVs play a vital part in the impulse curbing process.

    -Upon careful observation, I have to concluded that many people hate their job. I mean absolutely hate it. They put NO thought in to what they are doing. Otherwise how can a receptionist put me through to Mr.X, approximately five times in 30 min and the sixth time when I ask him, “Why is Mr.X not picking up the phone? I can’t leave a voice message either?”, reply, “Because Mr.X is on vacation”. Seriously dude?!

    So in your face delicious gurl. Don’t bother me for another six months.

  • Filed under: ABC Series

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    #CROCUS2013, the famous CROCUSWORD is up and it is so easy that even I could do it Pls go try good people.

    1stPrize: Endangered animals of India by Praba Ram and Meera Sriram, Illustrated by Lavanya Karthik, published by Mango Books

    2ndPrize:Ranganna by Arthi Anand-Navneeth from Tulika Books

    3rdPrize:What Does Anu See? (a hot off the press copy) Written and Illustrated by Lavanya Karthik

  • Filed under: CROCUS 2013
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