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.

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  • CROCUSWORD

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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

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  • Tune In To CROCUS2013

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    Broadcast starts Oct 23rd.

    Oct 23rd, Day 1: Animal Migration
    Oct 24th, Day 2: Nomadic/Tribal expressions
    Oct 25th, Day 3: Forced/Voluntary migration
    Oct 26th, Day 4: Exploration/Making it home

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  • CROCUS 2013

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    I haven’t moved much. It is not because I get too attached to a place, but it is just that I dread moving.

    Moving is a very emotionally intriguing concept to me.

    What makes that restless person move voluntarily? Is it the variety? Sense of adventure? Possibilities? Confidence?

    What does a person forced to move feel like? Betrayed? Cheated? Sad? Depressed? Opportunities? Determination? Fighting spirit? Sense of moving on? Means to an end?

    What makes animals move? What is their intrinsic motivation to do it? Is it hard coded in their gene?

    See, it is all about feelings and behind the scenes information to me when it comes to moving.

    If you are like me, even if it not like me, this year’s CROCUS brings you a literary treat in terms of ‘MIGRATION’. We have different books that talk about what defines a home, adventurers, explorers, animal migration, refugees, etc. Mark you calendars and join us on Oct 23rd.

    Before the books come marching, there are two great posts by fellow ST-ians which are must read. Sandhya, (the lady can write and she) had me at the title, “Not all those who wander are lost…“. Satish serves an awesome slice of life in his post “Migration, Happiness and Other Anecdotes“.

    Leaving you with the brilliant poster designed by our resident artist Lavanya…..

    crocus2013_flyer_final

     

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  • Division Of Love

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    The little one pulls me to her bedroom and closes the door, asks me to bend down and whispers in my ears, ‘I want you to spend your day, from 9.30AM- 3.30PM with me. In this time you must do what I say. You can’t look at any one, can’t talk to any one. You must make eye contact with only me.’ I ask her what is the deal with the ending time and she replies, ‘After that I have to go to the park and play with my best friend-no? So you can be done by 3.30 amma.’ I ask her why she chose to pull me aside and tell me this in my ear and she says, ‘I don’t want Chula to hear. Otherwise she will come and demand to be included. This is me and you time.’

    It was clear that she wants a chunk of MY time, but does not want to give me HER time. After all I am just a mother and what chances do I stand against her best friend?! But I was bothered by the fact that she wanted to keep the deal a secret from her sister. So I insisted on transparency. With great reluctance, she thundered her way to her sister, called her sister, then poked her, then finally pulled her hair. Chula who was reading a book was oblivious of all the calls, pulls and pokes, finally snapped to attention when the book was snatched from her hand and barked an angry , ‘WHAT?’. When the little one explained the deal, Chula cut her short by saying that, ‘Its okay. Whatever. Do what you want with amma. Just give me my book. I don’t care. BOOK. NOW.’ Then a very interesting conversation, that left me dumbfounded, started.

    Meija: Don’t care? You don’t care? Hah! It is easy for you to say don’t care. You had 2 whole years with amma before I was born. So I care.

    Chula: 18 months to be precise. But the quality of love she gives you is way more than what she gives me. So even if you got love for lesser time, the amount you get is waaaaaay more than what I will ever get. (note the usage of precise and placement of ‘will ever’)

    Meija: That is not true.

    Chula: Yes it is. Every one knows mothers love their second borns and fathers their first borns. So just give me that book and go away.

    They are 8 and 7 yrs respectively. I am an only child. This constant bickering, division of love and firm belief that I favor one child over the other baffles me. So people with siblings enlighten me:

    -Does the bickering ever stop?

    -When do they start caring for each other? Or is this care and it is so heavily disguised that I am not able to identify it?

    -Should I give up hope?

    -Should I stop grinding my teeth, holding them by the nape of their neck, forcing their faces inches apart and growl, ‘I need to see some love. N.O.W.’

    -Do they love me so much that they fight over me, if so how do I handle this naansense?

    -Or they just don’t want the other to not have me?

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    Culture Kotudhu 6

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    MiM, this is specially for you. Return favor for Chennai Conundrum…..

    Scene1: I am reading Bulbul Sharma’s Ramayana to the younger one. Chula is sitting next to me and asks,

    “Amma, why is that in mythology, the women always give birth to boys? None of them seem to give birth to girls?”

    For this the husband, (MiM, this is your cue for lol, rofl, roflmao) answered, ‘What do you mean, we have Sita…’

    Pat came the reply, “Appa, she does not have a father. She was FOUND by Janaka.”

    But our man does not let go easily, so he continues, “……Draupadi…”

    Countered by Chula with, “Appa… she came from the fire. Kings do yagnas drink things, make the queens drink things and have boys. The girls come out of fire or earth, etc…”

    Again the man goes on undaunted, “But the Kauravas came out of pots…”

    “Because Gandhari could not wait. She took them from her stomach and put them in to pots. The girls do not come out of the womb. Even in old testament the women are giving birth to boys. Eve gives birth to Cain, Able and Seth. They in turn give birth to boys.”

    Before the conversation turned to how Cain and Seth were able to give birth to boys when the only woman around was Eve, I had to cut this thread and I did it successfully.

    Scene2: Meija is on my lap. We are cuddling on the couch and I tell her, ‘You are the biggest gift that I could have ever received’, for which she replies, “No amma, the biggest gift a woman can ever get is diamonds. That too from her husband. They told in woman’s day in all the advertisements.” The advertisement industry can now retire in peace, looks like they have done a pretty awesome job of putting ideas in to the young generation.

     

     

     

     

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    R Is For Retirement

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    Goonj is still accepting donations for Uttarakhand.

    We came back from the park yesterday evening and the girls decided that they will make dinner for the family. I was asked to get bread, cream cheese and green capsicum, which I did. There was a melt down on the way home and I was wondering how the rest of the evening is going to go.

    But they shut me out of the kitchen, yes, I was sent out and the door was promptly locked behind me. I lounged with a book in hand. 30 min later we were treated to cream cheese and shredded carrot sandwiches, lemonade and mushroom sandwich for R.

    A very proud moment for all of us. I promptly clicked very many pictures. At the end of the meal, me being, will, me, I tired sneaking in a life lesson and I started, ‘See how hard you worked and I ate it with a smile on my face. Not just because it was tasty, but because I respect the food and your time. How would you feel if I had complained about the food and if I threw a tantrum?’ *Me looking all smug* Pat came the reply, ‘Actually the cooking did not take much time amma. It took us some time to put all our love in to it though!’

    Fine… my nose went missing, but still a proud and retired mom!!!

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    Help Uttarakhand

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    Goonj is collecting materials for relief work in Uttarakhand. (Hyd folks, the Hyderabad drop center is very close to Gachibowli Circle. )

    They need

    Tarpaulins, mosquito nets, Dry ration ( primarily-rice, pulses, biscuits ) blankets and woolens, cooking utensils, buckets, torch and batteries, umbrellas, basic medicines, water purifier tablets, crutches, candles,lanterns, feeding bottles, rope. Also- Old flex banners, mats, sponsorship for sanitary pads & Sujnis.

    This is how you can help:

    (1) Call a drop center in your state/city and organize a drop of any of the above mentioned items.

    (2) Do a drive in your apartment complex/office and organize a drop

    (3) If you are in Hyderabad(Banjara Hillas/Jubilee Hills) and cannot make it to Gachibowli, but would like to buy some supplies, get in touch with me at utbtkids@gmail.com. I live in Gachibowli and do multiple drops over the next couple of weeks.

    (4) For monetary donations, look for information on Goonj website.

     

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  • Do You Have Common Sense?

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    I am not asking you my genteel reader.
    But this is a game the children play, quite so often. It goes:
    Child: Amma, lets play a game. Okay? Do you have common sense?
    Me:Yes.
    Child: What is your favorite color?
    Me: Blue.
    Child: What is your favorite animal?
    Me: Monkey.
    Child: Tell me a number.
    Me: 7
    Child: Ha-ha! You don’t have common sense. A monkey is not blue and does not have 7 legs. No common sense. No common sense.

    There is no secret message or life lesson, but I would like to pick people I encounter on daily basis and ask them this question, ‘Dude do you have common sense?’ along with more questions like, ‘Do you have sense?’, ‘Do you have grace and courtesy?’, ‘Do you have any ethics?’, ‘Can you spell etiquette?’, ‘Do you have a brain?’ and more importantly, ‘Do you have a heart?’
    If only I could! Sigh!

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  • Email

    utbtkids@gmail.com

    Guess The Book

    Congrats N.Chokkan, on winning the most recent book quiz. http://utbtkids.com/?p=1456 .

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