Culture Kotudhu 5

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Many many things are going on, just no time to update. But this I can’t resist!

Last Sunday was Surasamharam, the last day of war between Lord Karthikeya and the demon Soorapadman.

Since I wasn’t showing any signs of educating the children on this, R decided to step in. Youtubeducation took place while I was busy at work.

He showed them Kandhan Karunai(Tamil movie 1967) in which Shivaji(Veeravahu) is stealing Sivakumar’s(Murugan) thunder with his thundering thighs, that are strategically exposed by the mini skirt he is wearing. Lets just say that the costume designer was well ahead of his time. More over, Shivaji’s over acting bordering on inappropriate conduct is best left unsaid. By itself, the movie would have given the children a warped sense of culture. But the key mistake on the husband’s part is that he showed Thiruvilayadal(Tamil movie, 1965) in the morning followed by KK in the evening.

Now the girls are completely confused why Shiva traded his tiger skin for mini skirt(Shivaji is Shiva in AM movie and he is Veeravaahu in PM movie).

Parvathi is played by Savitri in both movies. But she is green in AM movie and ‘regular’ in PM movie. So the question about ‘where did green Parvathi’ go? kept popping up every now and then.

Gemini being Shiva in PM movie with the same actress as Parvati in both movies did not help one bit.

Having KPS as Avviyaar in both the movies just added to the confusion.They can’t take the fact that KPS is universal Avviyaar and that she majored in ‘Avviyaar’ in her acting course.

They simply believe that both movies are the same with  something gone wrong with Shiva and Parvathi!

I can’t wait for Karthigai Deepam and the following culture education!

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Three plays on Nov5(Mon), Nov6(Tues), Nov7(Wed).


Passes available at, JustBooks Library, Ofen & Landmark

  • Filed under: Hyderabad
  • Hindi Samachaar

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    Ok, we are now at a stage we are not repulsed by Hindi learning. By ‘we’ I mean the children. I haven’t warmed up to the idea since I get by pretty decently with my ‘Aaap, kaha hein?! Mein ghar mein hein. Aaap aathe aur nahin athe?! Kal pucca-ok?’

    Both can read Hindi(Aksharit helped big time). Art, they read your book in Hindi all by themselves. Proud moment for me and needs to be recorded here.

    Chula still refuses to speak. So her Hindi teacher has now mandated that Chula speak one new sentence to her every time she sees her.

    Many maps of the school were drawn. Every hide-able pillar was marked. Every alternative route was plotted. Numerous strategies on how to avoid A teacher were devised. In the end she saw the futility of the whole charade and asked me for my advise. Me being me, with all sincerity suggested, ‘You know the full song of Chamak chalo don’t you? So every time you see teacher tell her one line from the song. Problem solved.’ Needless to say, I have one furious child at home!

    Have a fantabulos back to school week you all. We have one more week as all our teachers and older children are in the music workshop by the Wayfarers.



    RING BEARER – A LOTR Musical.

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    Then check out the dramatization of LOTR – THE RING BEARER, a musical by Wayfarers, Autralia(

    Brahmakumari’s Global Peace Auditorium, Gachibowli.
    3 Nov, Sat. 5.30PM

    Tickets: Rs.200, Rs.300. Rs.500
    Call: Alka(9618987888), Divya(8801741505)
    Tickets also available at Landmark.
    Chula and Meija bought our tickets from their pocket money and are super excited about the fact that they are taking the family to the musical :)

  • Filed under: Hyderabad
  • Math In Literature

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    My second post for CROCUS 2012, Math In Literature, a resource guide for kindergarten – 1 grade teachers is up on Saffron Tree.

    “Math and Literature, by my favorite author Marylin Burns has 22 ideas on how to extend books appropriate for kindergarten and grade 1, to inculcate mathematical thinking…more.


    The Librarian Who Measured The Earth

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    My first post for CROCUS 2012 @ Saffron Tree.

    The Librarian Who Measured The Earth is the picture biography of Eratosthenes, a scholar who lived in 3rd century BC. He was a mathematician, geographer, music theorist ….more.




    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS? Book By Arthi Anand.

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    Audience of Hyd:

    Have you read and enjoyed Tuesday by David Wiesner? The Red Book By Barbara Lehman? Zoom by Istvan Banyai?

    If so, you will love Arthi Anand‘s book HAVE YOU SEEN THIS? Come see the things you can see only through your imagination!! EVENT CHARGE: Rs.100/child.More details in poster.



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    Aksharit is a Hindi word board game created by Madrat Labs.
    For familiarity sake, let us call it the Hindi Scrabble.
    It is available for purchase through Flipkart and Amazon.

    Every friday is game night at home. That was before Aksharit Chotu. Now Chula and Meija have taken to it so much that they play for about 40 min, everyday, before they go to bed.

    Though Tamil is our mother tongue, we end up speaking a lot of English at home. Living in Hyd, we picked Hindi as the second language. Naturally the children felt very disconnected with Hindi. Chula is the kind who needs to observe something for about 100 times before she gains the confidence that she will do a good job at it. Hindi class at school was two classes/week of spoken Hindi(total immersion, only Hindi, no English and the children truly believe that their Hindi teacher does not know even a bit of English) and two classes/week of Hindi alphabets. The child spent the first week ignoring her Hindi teachers. When she figured out that Hindi was there to stay, she didn’t want to go to school any more. She declared that she will tackle the rest of her life with grade1 knowledge.

    The husband and I were looking for ways to make Hindi fun for them and Aksharit has certainly done that.

    With Aksharit Chotu, you get a two sided board – a blue side(words without matras) and a pink side(words with matras). You start with the blue side because it has words without matras. There are a set of blue tiles that go with the blue side. Board has  a set of words laid out in cross word pattern. The bottom part of the board has a track with consecutive numbers in increasing order. There is a START and a FINISH. Every player starts with a pawn representing them in the start position and five tiles each. If you see the letter in your kitty on the board, you place the letter on the board, in the order the letters have been written on the board. Suppose you get the last letter, of a three letter word on the board, then you cannot place the letter on the board and wait for the first two letters to be placed. As you play the game on the board there is a certain way you move your pawn from START to FINISH(this is explained clearly in the rules). The person to reach the FINISh first is the winner.

    What we liked about the game was that the instructions were simple to follow, the game was a breath of fresh air, well thought out and executed and encourages children to learn language in a fun way. I would recommend/gift Aksharit to friends and family.

    Check out the coverage on Hindu about the good people who created the game.

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    Guess The Book

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    Here is the quiz for Aug 2012.

    – Guess the complete TITLE and AUTHOR of this book.

    – Quiz closes Mon, Aug 6th. 4.00PM IST.

    – Results will be announced Wed, Aug 8th.

    – Instead of picking the first person to respond with the right answer, I am doing a random number generation of the right answers to pick the winner.

    – The prize is a book. I want to choose a book appropriate for you/your child. So will announce the title of the book after I announce the winner.

    -Comment moderation is on.

    – Clipart credit various sources from Google.

    Your picture clue is


    Edited to add


    Four of you answered right and the winner is

    AA_MOM. Entered answers in chronological order and then did a random number generation through Mac Numbers. Will send you an email AA_MOM.


    Would you like some bread with that book and other instances of literary love by Veena Venugopal is a book-o-graphy…… No, it is not a word, but you all just have to live with it. I did think of coining book+journey =  book-urney. Now book-o-graphy seems quite acceptable I am sure…… Ok…where was I?! The book. It is Veena’s love for books slotted in to chapters, each narrated in a humorous way.

    After reading Jango Unchained on Live Mint, the book went on the wish list. When the book arrived, I read the back cover. As a person who spent more time choosing books to read during the African Safari than training for the Kilimanjaro trek, I knew that I was going to identify with Veena a lot.

    I see my 7 year old daughter patiently reading the English translation of Sivakamiyin Sabatham 3 – 4 times, without understanding any of the nuances. But I know she will get there, just like Veena ‘got’, To Kill A Mocking Bird.

    Every time I look at my book shelf(ves), there is an overwhelming urge to rearrange, organize or to just stand back, admire and take pictures.

    While I was young an happening, I used to read during every bus ride. Now old age is making me motion sick. But I carry a book around all the time(handbags are bought with the ‘must be big enough to fit at least one book’ criteria in mind) to make sure that I am best prepared to meet  my reading in the park, reading in the zoo, reading on the beach, reading on a house boat, reading on a hammock, reading next to the pool, reading listening to music, reading on a hill station sipping hot chai fantasies.

    When I visit a house, I tend to check out the person through their books ….. this and many more!

    I have to say I am throughly jealous of Veena. Purely for the fact that the she remembers so many details from the books she reads. I simply don’t. Not any more. As a reader I have changed from a detailed, stop and absorb every word, form mental pictures for everything reader to I-have-to-finish-this-book-in-three-minutes-or-the-book-is-going-to-self-destruct reader and, like many things in my life, the children take the blame.

    I have an image of her in my mind. In order to preserve it, I am going to stop with lurking on her FB checking her pictures and not make any friend requests etc.

    Do pick up the book folks, I am sure you will love it.

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    That Silly Over Worked Tooth Fairy

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    Its been a long time since I did back to back posts on the same day. But this is an incident to be recorded here.

    We are late bloomers when it comes to teething. I, as a child started speaking and then cut my first at 14 months. For the milk teeth to fall ….. it took for ever.

    Chula and Meija took after me. They cut first tooth at after their first birthday. Chula is now 7.5. Ever since she read Gooney Bird Greene and the character Felicia Ann, she has been looking forward to be walking around showing off her missing teeth. Felicia Ann has two missing front teeth and cannot pronounce her S and F. Clearly that is the star attraction.

    Slowly all of Chula’s friends lost their milk teeth, but our heroine was desolate, she waited for almost two years. By now, even Meija’s friends started losing the milk teeth. The child was found in front of the mirror violently shaking her teeth at every available moment.

    Finally this Feb I found two buds behind the lower front incisors. Her permanents were cutting out. The wait got intense. There was more pushing, prodding, shaking and inspection. But the milk teeth stayed put. Finally the dentist announced that the milk teeth need to be extracted. The child was terrified, but calmed down the instant the dentist mentioned that she can get ice cream. The I-word  made her warm up to the extraction so much that she even offered to trade each of her pearls for an ice cream. Some how, the mention of extraction sent shivers down my spine and I was dragging my feet.

    While this drama was happening and the lower  incisors were getting all the attention, the top two incisors were getting lose. It progressed so much so soon, (well, in a month, but that is quite fast in our standards) that yesterday one finally fell out. We were in a restaurant, there was a bloody mess, but it came out. Now the child is sporting a empty spot and making sentences that are alliterations beginning with S and F.

    She slept with the tooth under her blanket, expecting money in exchange for her tooth. But this silly tooth fairy forgot her duties completely. Chula came out with a sullen face, almost ready to cry saying, ‘Amma, the tooth fairy…..’ and couldn’t complete her sentence. I sent her to brush her teeth saying that the tooth fairy is playing treasure hunt game with her and if she looked around the house carefully she will find her money. Before the child finished her morning ablutions, the tooth fairy was whipped in to shape and the money deposited in a secret but easy to guess spot.

    When Chula found the money, this is how the conversation went:

    Chula: Gasp! Amma, the tooth fairy IS real. When I found nothing under the pillow I thought either there is no tooth fairy or the tooth fairy didn’t want my tooth. But it is real. See, see I have the proof. She left me money AND let me keep my tooth!!!

    Mieja: (Half awake and from the bed) Nope. It is like A says. There is no tooth fairy. It is the parents who put the money under the pillow and fool the children. Ask amma if she forgot and is making up something last minute.

    This from the genius who thinks she can make diamonds at home. As I often say, this child will be the death of me.


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    Guess The Book

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