Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sonth Laddoos

When there is a new birth in the family, some recipes are traditionally prepared in order to celebrate as well as to improve and maintain a healthy mother and new born. I think, grand mothers all across India give something or the other special health and lactation food to the new mother. A few such food items are not only mastered by my mother in law, they are almost patented in her name, like her famous 'Sonth Laddoo'. For relatives with new born babies, she always sends a box of these amazing sonth laddoos. When my son was born, she used to keep a constant supply of these to me and when I was fed-up (pun intended), I had to ask her repeatedly to stop making them for me.

For the diet conscious, these old-world laddoos can wreak a havoc on the waistline, but they are certainly great for lactating mothers, especially those who have a premature baby to nurse to health, like I had.

They are easy to prepare, but maybe a little time consuming. To prepare laddoos, you will need:

1. Atta/whole wheat flour- 4 cups
2. Dry fruits- raisins, makhana(Lotus seed), cashews-finely chopped, thinly sliced dry coconut- 1 cup
3. Edible gum-1/4 cup
4. Ginger powder-2 tsp
5. Turmeric powder-2 tsp
6. Desi ghee- 5 tbsp + for binding
7. Sugar- 1 cup
8. Tikhur-Indian arrowroot (can be found at stores selling ayurvedic plant products)-1/2 cup

All measurements are approximate values. It is after all just a sweet and ingredients can be increased/decreased/added/deleted according to personal preference. My mother in law puts less sugar in my laddoos and a lot more in others', and the amount of ghee that goes in is way more than 5 tbsp mentioned above.

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Watch What Kids Are Watching

Enjoying the show from front row!
Cartoon channels meant for kids are now changing their menus to include whole families. It sounds absurd since channels meant for kids barely fulfill the needs of their conventional audience. Should not they be doing justice to their names and paying more attention to their core job rather than expanding into vague areas?

It was a moment of truth when my hitherto unspoiled-by-TV-cartoons two-and-a-half year old son came home after playing with a neighbor's kid and demanded to watch Doraemon. I huffed with disappointment at this sudden turn of events. I had always carefully kept him away from such cartoons to serve multiple purposes. I had seen homes turned upside down by TV (cartoon) watching habits of kids, before having a child of my own, and had formed a sort of pledge in my mind to keep a check on it whenever such time came. On the suggestion of a friend, I used to show him BabyTV when my son showed interest in watching TV. Initially his TV viewing duration was small, but it grew bigger with the baby.

As I tried my best to decrease this time, in order to keep it healthy and refreshing, somehow he found out that there were more appealing, louder and naughtier cartoon characters than his usual tame, nursery-rhyme-singing, A-B-C chanting, obedient characters from BabyTV. Just the other day, I saw my husband's cartoon lover cousin standing in front of TV, surfing through the cartoon channels, and as he stopped at a certain channel for a few minutes, I was flabbergasted after hearing the cartoon characters talk to each other in Bollywood actors' voices.

Obviously, it was dubbed in Hindi, using voices from mimicry artists. But it was definitely not meant for kids. It sounded weird and almost profane, something that I would not want my kid to watch at this highly impressionable age, especially after him proving his parroting skills of the highest degree. He not only repeats what he hears verbatim, he can also recall it with miraculous precision weeks later. I know deep within that what sounds cute now might be very undesirable in future. Speaking like an actor, using heavy vocabulary, being rude and irreverent to everyone around and sounding way older than their innocent childhood years are some of the characteristics that I routinely find in kids these days and this premature departure of childhood just breaks my heart.

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Monday, 16 March 2015

To The New Horizons..

Every journey has a story behind it. Why else would anyone leave the warmth and comfort of their home behind to travel across the length and breadth of continents, braving the elements, getting scorched in sun and drenched in rain? Especially someone like me, who was cocooned in the love and affection of my parents  in a small town home would have never thought of a journey which would take me from North to South and then some more places. 

It was a time when none of my efforts of bringing my life on a desired path were giving any results. All I had were wasted opportunities and shattered dreams. It was as if darkness was attacking me from all directions and I could see nothing but gloom ahead. But I was not ready to give up. I had to get out of that place and chase my dreams. I was not born to be dominated by the smallness of social boundaries drawn for girls, I was born to break them and find new horizons for myself, so I thought. The life that several other small town girls had was not meant for me. And I never ever thought any different from this.

There was a time when I could see girls younger than me getting married and having children, going about their lives in a run-of-the-mill fashion. Friendly neighborhood uncles and aunts would keep talking to my parents in hushed voices, while I tried to ignore them. I knew in my heart of hearts that that kind of life was never going to be my life. Thankfully, my parents never tried to decide for me and heard me out.

The next step was to change lanes and press the accelerator hard. I took the bold decision of moving to Delhi for higher studies and make an altogether different career than what I had originally thought. While my mother cried her eyes out and my father was worried sick, they still supported my choice. Delhi has not been in the news for all the right reasons, and especially for a lonely girl from a small town and an even smaller exposure to the ways of the world, it was like trying to conquer Mount Everest. 

After my first couple of journeys when my father accompanied me forth and back from Delhi during holidays, I insisted that I travel alone, as I could not bear the thought of troubling my parents, and I knew travelling was a huge source of anxiety for my father. After that, as if I had grown a pair of wings. I completed my management course and got placed in a reputed IT company in Hyderabad. I flew to Hyderabad with my parents and joined my company, and gained the reputation of a lighthouse in my small town circle.

As for those uncles and aunts, they are making their girls study professional courses and have ditched the plans of getting them married soon after their high school.
Written as a post for the prompt 'start a new life' for housing

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Together We Are..

We humans are a strange lot. We seek some time to ourselves and as soon as this wish is fulfilled, we again look for some human contact, sweet and kind words, soft touch and togetherness. Overall, neither do we want to stay alone altogether, nor do we welcome company at all times. But for a family, spending some time together, relaxing, chatting and laughing is not only a most desirable idea, it is also a necessary exercise in building up certain bases in kids.
I have mentioned many times how I spent most of my winter days in the lawn, enjoying the warmth of bright sunshine, sitting in a bean bag, with a cup of tea and some craft, while Coco played nearby, running, cycling, jumping etc. Sometimes, in the middle of it all he would come to me and ask 'Where is Papa?' in his sweet baby voice. Now, his father has a busy work schedule, and more often than not, Coco is not even up when he leaves for work. So answering this question becomes even more difficult for me. Though I try to keep the answer a straightforward 'He went to office,' which may cause a further request of a bike ride or so.
So, when his father was free for almost a week this winter, I was hugely relieved and all we did was spend nearly all of our daytime together in the lawn, including having our daytime meals there itself. On weekdays, lawn chairs would be placed in the lawn and the guys would hit their spot as soon as sunlight fell on them. While his father would mostly be updating himself with latest news or would be reading a thick book for his upcoming exams, I took out 'Gone With The Wind' from my dog eared books collection and set out to re-read it. The first time I read it was almost 6 years ago, and reading it again was a huge dose of sheer pleasure, that too, sitting together with family in warm sunshine, interspersed with random chit-chat and hot cups of tea. This time I was reading and ruminating over every single sentence, like one would steep a tea bag a wee bit longer to get maximum flavor. And, to say the least, re-visiting this book was like I was meeting an old friend, long lost in childhood.

They say that charity begins at home. Yes, it all begins at home indeed. Coco, who would always treat his books like toys, brought a book out on this particular day, when he saw both his parents immersed in reading, pulled out his little red chair and promptly placed it between ours and sat and actually read his book. It was a joy to see him reading, and the parents immediately took a break to click his studious stance. 

Sometimes, Coco would just want to play in the grass and we utilized this opportunity to pull out the weeds growing on the floor, killing the grass. We would pull out fists full of this clover like weed and Coco would enjoy tossing it in the air, spreading it all across in the garden, on chairs, on my clothes and his dad's, in his hair.. 
Then he would grow tired and would look for a new game. By then his father would also be in need of a break, so they both would decide to play catch, with no rules and regulations whatsoever, and Coco would come and catch me who would be reading, instead of his dad calling out to him.
In between, we used to have our breakfasts and lunches, setting up table in the lawn itself, inviting friends over on weekends, to extend this togetherness to more people and make it merrier and most importantly to create memories of happy times.
 Spending entire days like this, out on the lawn in sunshine, was indeed a treat for us this winter. Especially so in an army household, where such peaceful and relaxed times are a luxury.

Written as a post for the prompt 'Together'  for https://housing.com/ins://

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Get Out! Literally..

When I was a little girl, I used to spend my holidays on a farm in a village where I had plenty of playmates and equally wide range of outdoor activities. For us, practically anything could be used as a playground: fields, orchards, cowshed, cows' feed tubs, tractors, trolleys, bullock carts... When I came back home all slathered in mud or grease, stinking, my mother would inevitably chase me with a bowl of 'ubtan' to rub out the grease, with a crease on her forehead on seeing her hardwork of bathing me and putting a clean frock on me all gone to waste.

But this meant a childhood full of fun and happy memories for me. Also the fact that I know my dals (pulses) by their actual names instead of calling them 'yellow dal' or 'black dal' is largely attributed to the fact that I have seen them growing in the fields. In school, whether I was taught about crop cycles or Mendel's genetic experiments with peas, I could relate to them with a view. 

Coco playing in the dug up lawn
Slowly technology crept into our lives and took over every aspect of the simple lives that we had. Kids nowadays do not see a lot of outdoor space, they do not get to play with mud or climb trees. Keeping with the times, they play with latest gadgets, mostly indoors, their eyes glued to some or the other screen. In the era of apartment living, at the most they might be forced to go to a nearby park where they might not find anyone to play with. They might understand complicated menus but they might not be able to tell between a mango tree and a margosa tree if they see one. Watching a fruit tree laden with fruits is a pleasure greater than eating the fruit, and this, they might not know. They will not understand the joys of picking flowers, watching birds and catching butterflies and ladybugs.

I have always wanted my child to see nature up close and understand it like I did or even better. But playing outdoors is not only useful in that aspect. A few days ago I was talking to one of my friends who is a play school teacher and has trained on new methods of learning. She suggested that I make a sand pit for my son in the space available in the lawn outside. She told me that kids learn a lot by simply playing in the natural environment. Learning to jump in the sand means that they are learning to control their movements in coordination, using both their feet simultaneously, Give them a bucket, a mug and a shovel and just watch them filling and emptying vessels. Even this simple activity develops their gross motor skills and fine motor skills as well.
Read more on World Of Moms..

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sevaram's Last Case

Bronze Award
This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 52; the fifty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with Metro Diaries by "Namrata". To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

There was once a village in Bihar in which every living person, whether young or old, woman or infant, was a defendant in a murder case. How they all were mired in such a controversial case together has an interesting story behind it.

There once lived an old man named Sevaram, in the village. His name meant 'service' but he was the antithesis of his name. Harming people was his hobby. When he was young, Sevaram figured out that creating problems for others was the motto of his existence. To calm down his itchy fingers, he used to hurt others' pets, broke branches from the trees in their courtyards for no particular reason, punctured their tires just for fun. But he was never satisfied with his small adventures and wanted to become an even bigger pain in the neck. 

As luck would have it, he discovered the best way to fulfill his purpose of life. A big fight took place between two groups in his village and they took the matter to court. Sevaram would listen to old people discussing the case under Banyan trees for hours. He would be enchanted and would dream about dragging people in court cases. 'Oh! It would be such fun,' he thought, 'Way better than pulling dogs' tails or stealing sugar canes.'

Sevaram wanted to become a lawyer, but he came to know that it might take so many years and so much hard work that he dropped the idea. He managed to find a job in the 'Kutchery' (Court) and honed his skills for a bright future in suing people. After that, Sevaram began his suing spree, suing people at small instances and thus gaining his infamous nickname Sevaram 'Mukadmebaaz'( One who is involved in court cases).

As Sevaram lived through his reputation, he brought up two sons and made them study law. They were now established lawyers and Sevaram took pride in the fact that he now had all the information and resources at hand regarding court cases. Trapping people in court cases was now a breeze for him. 

But he was also getting old. His sons had bought big houses in the city and had moved there. Sevaram did not want to leave his land and his litigations. He could not live without troubling people and suing every living person in his village was his ambition. So, he stayed back, looking for reasons to sue people. 

Folks in his village used to stay away from him. For, if he saw them, he would start calling names to instigate them and if someone dared to retort, he was in for a court case. Women pulled their children close when passing Sevaram's haveli, cyclists carried their cycles on shoulders and tiptoed through that part of the road to avoid inviting Sevaram's ire.

Staying all alone and a dearth of new court cases took a toll on Sevaram's health. He fell ill and when nobody saw him for a few days, they got suspicious. They checked in on him and found him ailing, counting days. Word of his illness spread swiftly and people from all the different colonies of the village flocked his house to see Sevaram Mukadmebaaz for one last time. In his last time, the poor wretched man was really vulnerable. Even those sued by him were now empathetic to him and stayed close to take care of him in his remaining days. They brought hot broth and chapatis, cool massage oil and freshly laundered sheets for him. 

After a few days of this community help, Sevaram became capable of speaking and called the Head of the village along with the five members of the village council. As they asked him about his health, Sevaram's eyes brimmed with tears and he spoke with folded hands, 'Dear Sarpanch Ji and all of you, you have helped me when I was ill while I have done nothing but cause trouble to this village all my life. I know my end is near. Here is a letter to my sons, please post it. As I am dying, I have one last wish that I beg to you to fulfill. You are kind people. I want you all to drive a nail through my heart so that I die at the hands of merciful people. It is the only way that I could get deliverance.' 

Though the villagers were very unwilling to do this job, they had to respect a dying man's last wish. So, they all decided to fulfill it. They knew that though it looked like a sin, God will know that they were only being good to a wicked man. What they did not know was the contents of the letter that Sevaram wrote to his sons and which was promptly posted before his death:

Dear son,
As you are reading this letter, I am most likely not alive. Finding me alone and helpless, the whole village has ganged up on me. They all hate me so much that they have decided to kill me by driving a large nail through my heart. In the event of my death due to this, please use this letter as a proof and sue the whole village. Spare no one, son as they are all the murderers of your old, helpless father. Sell my haveli if need be. But do not spare them or your father will not get deliverance.
Your father,
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 02

Saturday, 7 March 2015

How Does My Garden Grow?


As I was on a creative high after completing my hand painted dupatta, I was feverishly trying designs for another fabric painting project. Somehow, flowers always come up as a favourite topic when it comes to fabric painting. So I was trying on various flowers in different colour combinations, thinking about how they will look on the actual fabric that I had in mind, nervous that if do not arrive at the right colour and design, I might just ruin my fabric.


Somewhere in this painting spree, I realized I should take a peek at the various flowers which had been duly planted in time to give flowers during the spring time. African daisies, Hollyhocks, Dahlias and Bachelors Buttons, along with the four adorable wild rose bushes that were giving buds for nearly a month now.  I just might get better ideas for painting flowers. 

As I came out and looked around, I was saddened at the state of it all. Almost no flowers, emaciated plants, drying grass, all the signs of an abandoned garden. It was as if no one lived there. What? I was so busy in my bean-bag-projects in the garden, that I never paid attention to how the plants were being taken care of, and simply waited for them to give flowers, wasting all the valuable time when I should have taken good care of my plants. I was on the verge of tears.   

Whatever little colour was there was either of the wild yellow flowers or these radish plants growing in the dilapidated kitchen garden. I kicked myself. What is the use of all my love for flowers and gardening, if there are no flowers, that too in spring? What am I getting out of having an open area available if lovely flowers are not to be seen surrounding my house? 
Last year, you were moving homes and could not do anything about flowers. What Is your excuse this season, lady?
I was after my husband to appoint a gardener since we moved in here. But somehow the matter kept getting ignored as more important issues kept us busy. The local garden section provided plants and they were duly planted, not by me, and the wait began. But obviously the results were nowhere to be seen. I had to drop my laziness then and there and take the matter in my own hands before it was too late.

That evening, I picked up the car, rushed to the nearest nursery and bought ready to flower plants, as many as could be accommodated in the boot, and promised them to come back for more! By hook or by crook, I had to have flowers in my garden. 

 So, my first trip purchases were Pansies, Petunias, Dianthus, Dogflowers, and a single Tulip.

 In my second trip to the nursery, I bought Dahlias, Ranunculus and Cineraria, and was now quite satisfied that at least I would be able to see some colour this flower season.

The next morning, as I took my usual place in the bean bag, I was the proud woman who had everything, a steaming cup of tea, an awesome book in my hands and lovely colourful flowers surrounding the lawn. Ah! Life is nothing without these colours, I thought as I took a deep breath of satisfaction.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Gentleman's Promise

Looking up to the sunshine, in the hopes of a beautiful day!
The night was dark, just like that phase of her life was. She was on the phone, talking in as hushed a voice as possible as her cousins were asleep in the adjacent room. The guy on the other side asked her repeatedly to speak loudly but she was scared, of one particular cousin to find out that she was talking to a guy other than him, that too to a guy he disliked as he had some sort of premonition about him taking this girl away someday.

The person who was on the other side had just proposed to her the previous week. He was in Army and had a busy working schedule. He tried to keep up with pressures of new-found love by calling her regularly, but what he thought was regular for him was uncomfortable for her. For instance, he called her at odd hours, sometimes from a desert where he was lodged for the night, sometimes from a tent or a truck. Some days he would not call at all and later when he called, he told her he had to walk a few kilometres to another sand dune to get cellphone reception.

She had learnt to keep her phone close to her at all times in the past week, as she would wait for him to call, just like all other girls in her hostel did. The girls teased her to no end since she met him, and never failed to mention his name, as if they knew all along that eventually they would come close, and she responded with fake irritation, smiling internally. They were in contact for a few months now, after reuniting on a social network after almost 10 years. They had been together in school, and she tries to think even today how  it would have been if they had fallen in love then! 

She was sitting on the mattress on the floor, looking over her shoulder for the signs of this nasty cousin, trying to keep the conversation on as she could hear the wind howling on the other side as he spoke. Trying to understand what he was saying, she bobbed her head to the left asking 'What?' and instantly turned right to see the cousin standing there, like a monster from a nightmare, his raging eyes almost burning her down. She gasped, but regained her composure somewhat, as she realized that she was still on phone, with someone she regarded very special to herself.

'Who are you talking to?' he asked, breathing heavily, his whole body shaking with rage, though he knew the answer clearly. 'That ***? '
She tried to come up with something, anything that could save the moment, but random sounds escaped her lips, as she thought of the guy on the other side. 

In one instant, baring teeth like a rabid dog, he snatched the phone away from her hands and smashed it on the floor, sending its parts flying across the room. She was numb with shock and fear. But only for an instant. She was now worried about her boyfriend and what would happen now to their one week old long distance love affair! He would have heard this and would find it very rude that she hung up on him. After all, army guys are well mannered, and they expect to see good manners in return too. He will break up with her now. Oh, the only guy she ever liked so much would hate her!

In tears, she collected the phone parts from all over the room, and sat down on the mattress to join the pieces as she wished her shattered love story could also be simply assembled like that. Watching her sobbing and trying to put the phone together with shaky hands, the cousin sat by her side and took the phone from her. He put all the parts in place and gave it back to her. 

'Okay, don't cry now. Call him.' Of course, she was already dialing the now most important phone number of her life. The phone was ringing, but he did not pick it up. She tried calling many times, but it was not answered. Something she knew already. It was certainly the worst phase of her life, already bleak, ridden with multiple bouts of sickness, repeated failures at building a career of her choice, and now this, a heartbreak, which she had least expected.

Crestfallen, she put the phone on the mattress, as her cousin tried to console her. She could not register what he was saying. All she could say to him was 'He will never talk to  me again,' between her uncontrollable sobs. 

Her cousin had once been her best friend. He assumed himself in the place of her guardian since she arrived in this city to study. With time, this love took skewed parameters as he obsessed over her. He would pressure her to visit him every weekend, he came to meet her almost daily on some or the other excuse, talking to her on the phone when not visiting, keeping a tab on when and where she went, even with her girl friends, what she was wearing on these outings without him etc, which would make her feel stuck in a cage. Despite of her severe admonitions which were sometimes borderline threats, he would never stop trying to control her life. To add to her woes, he also tried to act like her boyfriend. Friendless and lonely, and mostly naive, she listened to him and laughed off his romantic advances thinking he is only joking. He never liked her talking to her male classmates or any other guys. The fact that she had a real boyfriend now obviously made him mad with jealousy.

Though he was apologetic the next morning, she packed her backpack and told him in a cold voice, 'Nobody has a right to tell me who should I talk to or fall in love with. Not even my parents do what you did. Whatever happens, I am not setting foot again in this house. You suffocate me.'

'Oh, but you say that every time you get angry. You will visit next weekend, of course.'

But she hoped to keep her resolution this time. A hope that was on the verge of being snuffed out.

Later that morning, as she was finding it utterly difficult to concentrate on the lecture with burning eyes and scorched heart, her phone started ringing. To her utter disbelief, it was the boyfriend. She rushed out of the class, excusing herself. What would he say? would he be angry? how would she tell him about the cousin? She was breathless with all the effort of carrying the ringing phone with such great expectations and an audibly beating heart. 

'Hello?' It came out as a question.
'Hi,' his sunshine filled voice replied, as she pictured him smiling. 'How are you? All well? I saw your missed calls last night. Sorry, I just walked up to this road, there was no connectivity in my tent.' 
'So, you are not angry with me?' The warmth in his voice was already melting away her fears, resurrecting her hope.
'No, why?'
'Because the call got disconnected last night.'
'Yeah, that was abrupt, but the connectivity is so bad in this area, I thought I will call you back when I reach my camp. But there was simply no network.'
'But why didn't you pick up when I called?' 
'Oh, we had started from our halt, and I could not hear my phone ringing over all the rumble these tanks make.'
'Ohh,' she sighed with relief. So in all its likelihood, the bad network had saved her love story.
'Achha listen,' he said, ' Forward me the number of your cousin, I should talk to him. He seems to have a big problem with me, I don't see why, and I should get it sorted out.'
There, her heart skipped a beat. So, he had heard it and was still not breaking up with her.
'Hello, what happened? Do not worry. I knew something was quite out of place when you first told me about him. Remember, I will not judge you, ever. It is a gentleman's promise.'

Oh, she fell even deeper in his love. There were people like him, who took it upon themselves to sort out the anomalies created by others and there were people like her cousin who did not even have his own life sorted out.

Her life suddenly started looking beautiful. She finally had found the right person who she could actually love like she loved her family, strength to overcome the cousin's pressure and hopes for a future where she could be free, to do whatever, go wherever with anyone she wished, wear whatever clothes she liked. In a few months she would out of this city and this cousin would be a matter of the past.

She gave him the number, he called, as she had expected the cousin did not talk to him after he introduced himself. The cousin kept visiting her and calling her while she stayed there for the duration of her academic tenure. She kept her promise and never went to his place again. She moved to a far away city for work, gradually the communication with the cousin became scarce and died down as she had intended. The army guy had become her knight in shining armour by just being there like an anchor.

Written as a post for the prompt 'Look Up Stories' for https://housing.com/lookup

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Blossoms Again!

Look what greeted us cheerfully, as we came back home to a wet and dripping beginning of March, after a quick trip to Banaras, where weather has warmed up already like it is April. Just within five days, so many flowers appeared while I was away! I enjoy little trips, but coming home is always a joy, which was doubled-tripled by this view. As our car turned to enter the little road which ends at my house, I was breathless at the awesome sight. Blossoms! Right here! 


Since we moved in here, this tree bothered me to no limits. At first, I thought it is some kind of fruit tree of hills, as it's leaves looked like apricot leaves. But on inquiring, I came to know that it is a wild tree. When it bore fruits later, they were as good as little stones which even monkeys did not eat. I would not go close to the tree as there was a red 'chunni' tied to its trunk, and I thought probably it is someone's object of worship and I should honour (stay away from) it. So, overall to me, it was an ugly mysterious tree, with no practical use other than releasing some oxygen I guess. 

I started liking it a little recently when I saw lovely little sunbirds playfully hopping its bare branches this winter. But I did not know that it had in store this loveliest gift of blossoming like apple trees. Though it had started blossoming before we left for our trip, but I did not know it would give so many flowers and would look so pretty in full bloom.
I always find flowers lovely and whatever mood I am in, flowers always make me happy (That must be true for most of us!) And when I saw this, I went all crazy, jumping rainwater filled puddles to capture the dripping blossoms. The tree seems to be rewarding me for my silently enduring its rickety presence in one corner of the lawn.
So, this was the story of that neem-like tree from last year all over again. I love happy surprises, and happy endings, who doesn't? 
In the afternoon, I stepped out once again to take a quick look again at the blossoms and all the other flowers that I had planted before the trip. The Dianthuses are blooming, so are the Dahlias. All others are budding and I am waiting for the flowers to appear with bated breath.

But there was something yet to be discovered, which was shown to me by my husband while we were having tea in the veranda. This!!
Finally, it is here, my reason to move in this place ridden with leopards and wild boars! The first flower of the lovely wild roses. Yay! I did a little dance at this flowery bonus as I could hardly hold the tea cup. Waiting for more, impatiently.

Till then, this is going to be the feast for my eyes.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Kids' music: Is There Such A Thing?!

.Scene 1. I was doing something in the kitchen of my first floor apartment in Delhi, when I heard a group of little girls (in the age group of 5-6 years i guessed) singing 'chikni chameli' downstairs, possibly they were dancing also, their sweet voices totally off key, completely immersed in this activity, with nothing whatsoever to do with the world. An unintentional smile crossed my face. I remembered how we as little schoolgirls used to present 'ek-do-teen' or 'nau nau choodiyan' whenever the opportunity came. I am absolutely sure that they did not understand the literal or otherwise meaning of the song. They also did not know what 'Pauwa' means or what are the implications of coming alone, stealthily. They were only spilling out the words with great enthusiasm, oblivious to the fact that adults were listening from windows above and drawing meanings, other than the little girls intended to.

Scene 2. Years ago, I went to this hip-hop dance class held in my office in Hyderabad, where one of my senior colleagues used to come with his wife and two preteen kids. As the trainer switched on the music on the first day, and the song blared across the hall ' I wanna f*** you', the colleague's wife mouthed a big 'no' with a crinkled forehead, but rest of us were already taking positions, trying to gyrate like the trainer from Shiamak Davar academy. I do not know what the family did, as I had to discontinue the classes for some reason. The trainer, however stuck to this song for the final performance as I came to know from my colleagues later.

Scene 3.  Last week, on the dance floor of a party, I stopped dancing suddenly and looked around at the crowd going crazy, which was a mix of young and old alike. What stopped me? The lyrics of the song which first appealed to children by saying 'I am a Superman' and then suddenly descended to the level where the protagonist claimed 'kar dunga maa-behen'. 'Is it only me?' was my precise thought, because no one seemed to care, and from toddlers who had just learnt to walk, to officers on the verge of retirement, everybody was busy dancing. While I was standing there, in the middle of the dance floor, like a dead duck in thunderstorm, wondering what is wrong with everybody's ears! Read more on World of Moms...