The Scorpios

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Little Helper

Changed 6 Pillowcases in one go

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Perfect Murder

Penguin classics have launched 4 books in the Inspector Ghote Series. The honest police detective from Mumbai, created by HRF Keating.
The Perfect Murder is the first mystery story in the series and has incidentally also been made into a movie - Ghote's character enacted by Naseruddin Shah.
Lala Varde, the hard nosed businessman is shattered- his secretary Mr Perfect has been hit on his head- the very same head that holds all teh numbers, his business secrets and the very core of his business.
Around the same time as this, there has been a serious case of theft- a Re 1 note from the Minister Mr Kamath's office drawer has been stolen.
As luck would have it, Inspector Ghote is assigned both and both are top priority- along with being the key resource for a Swedish scholar who is researching on Police methods in India.
While he seems to be a nuisance or a distraction in Ghote's work, he will eventually become his strong ally in detection.

We are taken through the delightful train of detection in this simple story. No suspense or thrill but a simple case of intelligent detection ad putting the facts together.
There are false trails, missed moments and then in a flash the case is solved.

Read on. You are going to enjoy it if you like books in tehe lines of No 1 Ladies detective Agency.

Baby Nursery Room

For parents who would like to have ideas for their nursery - here is a lovely site. Maybe it has come a little late in the day for me still, since R who handles the site asked me so nicely, I am glad to oblige. and after all it is a lovely site. I liked the safety section and also there is a section on baby showers- since we play doulas so often, it would be nice to have a resource which pumps in fresh ideas for us!

Check out the nursery themes also.
Now if only there was an Indian connect also!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finally Got the 15 Puzzle

After raising such a halla at not finding the 15 puzzle, I found it at Mera toy shop. The makers are Toysbox from Mumbai and they even have picture puzzles based on this- classified as Mind Puzzle.
Here Tejas solves this with lots of directions from me.

And I am stuck - but I learn today this series is unsolveable.

This is an online version of the game where the levels keep going up.

This one is just like the manual puzzle and it also scrambles and solves itself

An explanation on the way to solve. And another detailed one.

Here is the 8 puzzle solved

Below are some more challenges- I think the second one is unsolveable as per many sites.


R Mami gave the kids a Zoop watch each which is given great respect because it has a moveable circular fitting on the watch which has the figures for the minutes imprinted. They feel it is something like Ben 10 omnitrix with a moveable part.

I usually lock the watches in the cupboard and give it to them under my strict supervision.
Every night I confiscate the watches and put them in their boxes and put them in the cupboard much to the twins' frustration.
So Ojas hit upon the perfect place to hide their watch away from my direct view.
He removed the watches from the boxes, closed the lid and hid the watches in the laundry bag.
And here I was thinking the watches are safely inside the boxes!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Smell and Taste are transportive. A whiff of a remembered odour, a flavor of forgotten food have the power to transport one to faraway lands or to many years before the present time.

My work in these industries have facilitated me to appreciate this fact even better.

But never have I encountered this sort power to transport before.

A couple of days ago, when I came home in the evening, Tejas hugged me and exclaimed- "Wagonr smell".
I work in place where there is a distinctive chemical odour which sticks to the clothes.
During my first stint with this company, I used to drive the wagonr to work and therefore Tejas would have associated the odour with Wagonr odour.
Shortly after I left, I bought the Swift.
I didn't think much of Tejas' comment and attributed it to transportive memory, until last morning when realisation came to me in a flash.
I used to drive the wagonr in 2006 from the time Tejas was 6 months to 1 year old and that too not regularly.
Does smell has a power so strong that a child can be transported to the time when he was as little as 6 months to as much as 1 year old?
If you go back to my posts, I left this place just before the kids turned 1 and the smell in the Wagonr would have lingered till Jan 2007 when I sold it.
Tejas has this style of smelling us and telling which car we drove- he always associates the husband with the Honda city or the Innova. Such is the power or uniqueness of association!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I am looking for the n-puzzle. Pretty please. Someone tell me where I may get them.

This and the alphabet version used to be so popular during my time.

I was addicted to it. Would carry them around with me and would furiously work my fingers to slide them into place. These pieces came with patterns printed backside. And we would religiously solve them. Some were highly insolveable. Wonder if I can solve even the simplest one now.

Wonder if the archives of my home still have them or are they broken long ago or given away?

The Secret Keeper

Firstly, I love the cover. Both the front and the back. Depicts Asha the protagonist in totality.

Asha, just like the meaning of her name, lives in hope. A hope for her future, a realisation of her dream of being the first bengali Psychologist in India, and above all she is entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of her mom and sister in her father's absence.

Set in the 1970's the secret keeper records the life of Asha. The Secret Keeper (nick named SK) is her personal diary- complete with a lock and key- her outlet where she pours her thoughts, feelings, dreams and hopes- just like our blogs.

Asha's father loses his job. He decides to try his luck in the land of hopes- USA leaving his family behindAsha and Reet along with their mother move from Delhi to Calcutta to bide their time in their uncle's household until their father sends for them.

With great ease, Mitali Perkins tells the story of their settling down with the household. Unsaid responsibilities are taken, friendships are formed, and the two girls become an integral part of the household.

An unexpected tragedy forces them to take tough decisions and optimise resources in the face of this sudden crunch.

The book is a young adult fiction but can be appreciated by others too. The voice definitely is young adult centric- the actions and decisions of the protagonists are to be viewed through the lens of teenagers on the verge of adulthood rather than through an adult's lens. And that too, young adults who lived in the 70's. When feminism was not so much there in India and tradition and culture was still having a strong hold in the mindset despite some people breaking free of the confines when they were not in their childhood homes/ with their ancestral family.

Which is why I had to struggle with the turn of events at one point of time. Asha's hard decision which was her best decision in her words might not have been so if the book was set in current time.

The book left me very sad. It is realistic. It could happen to anyone but somehow I felt very emotionally drained after reading the book.

It had good moments, funny lines but mostly it was full of moments comprising the struggle of survival. Struggle to maintain the family honour and uphold dignity inspite of the situation. From the word go there is a sense of urgency and tension.

So much so that the few times the family went for a shopping round- I found myself asking- why are they wasting money!

I loved the lines- Certain stories could come back to life on the second, third, or even tenth reading if you gave them time until the next encounter.

Out of The Box Thinking

Debating, discussing, weighing options to arrive at a logical solution - we adults pride in our skills. The skills are taught, learned, imbibed, we get trained in decision making. We attend workshops.

But what we forget that we human beings are gifted with decision making skills naturally. We sometimes just forget that logical thinking and jugaad comes naturally to us. After a point we stop questioning the facts handed out to us and accept things as is.
Not my kids.
There was a picture puzzle exercise in one of their activity books.
The picture was that of a striped wild cat and there were 4 spaces given for the solution.

While a striped wild cat means tiger, the 4 spaces prompted us to write Lion.

Picture the twins debating the problem.

I think it looks like a tiger
But there are only 4 boxes.
Does it mean Lion?
But it is not a Lion.
Shall we say cub?
But cub is only 3 letters, and we have four letters here.
I think answer should be Tiger
But there are only 4 boxes, and Tiger has 5 letters.
So what shall we do?
Let us write Tiger.
We will put R outside the box.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vengeance of Ravana

I thought it was the last book in the series. But lo and behold, there is teh 7th one and one more to come.
Ashok Banker's Ramayana series is highly recommended for those looking at a thrilling rendering of the all familiar story of Ramayana. A perspective of good wins over evil is often the backdrop of most renderings but this one takes a different angle- one in which good co exists with the bad. An angle which is relevant to modern times which is not black or white but grey. The premise is that evil never dies, it is reborn or rather always there as long as the good is there.
The 7th book talks of the time after the Lanka war. Ram returns to Ayodhya and takes over his rightful place as the King.
Peace is imminent as Ramrajya is back, but is it so in reality?
A huge army is at the gates of Ayodhya
Kala Nemi - evil incarnate is back
Valmiki is back to warn Rama about impending doom.
Meanwhile, the Gods want Rama to come back to his heavenly abode and Rama feels his work on earth is not yet accomplished.

The stories traverse time-space- matter dimensions and the concept of parallel universe is explored here.

The 6th book left one matter unresolved- what was the legacy of Ravana that was being left behind.
Read the 7th book to learn that.
This particular aspect is explored in the Thai rendering of Ramayana- a different dimension to the link between Ravana and Sita- the abandoned baby- the cause of the downfall of Ravana.

To me, this is the first of its kind- this aspect fo Ramayana has not been explored in any of the versions that I have read or seen on TV. And it suits this series perfectly because this series has taken the entire concept of Ramayana to a different plane.

My only grouse- too verbose, too much description and a little confusing.

And yes, I love this ravana- lean, mean and less clumsy with the pyramidal rack of heads as against the linear one which has a more unbalanced feel.

The Vague Woman's Handbook

Devapriya Roy's first book is a delightful tale of 2 women who form an unlikely friendship at their workplace- a cool laid back government office.

Mil Chatterjee is newly married to her college sweetheart and is on the hunt for a job to supplement her husband's income. Indira Sen is a senior government official- at 52, she, a widow, lives with her daughter and 3 elderly relatives.

Their paths cross when Mil gets this job and over many cups of tea at their workplace, they form a close friendship.

Vague Woman represents the modern era where friendships move beyond age barriers.

It touches upon the thoughts of the modern women- where there is modernity yet tradional thoughts ingrained which is difficult to dislodge.

A longing for parental approval despite the age - Mil's 22 and Indira's 52 is common.
An urge to find their own space or niche is ever present across ages. At 52, Indira Sen was supposed to have done it all- yet Mil shows her new paths and poses her with new challenges which she could take up.

The book cover has a warm. eclectic feel- where women often hangout over coffee in a coffee shop- away from their home troubles. Cookies and cakes in unlimited supply, plenty of leisure time on hand- seems the perfect life - but hey, read on- the perfect life does not exists. These women are discussing their struggles to keep pace with their monetary woes, home troubles, nosey neighbours, persistant landlords and so on and sof orth- they are discussing our problems, they could be us- you never know

Loot aur Anya Kahaniyan

A collection of tales by Nadine Gordmer translated into Hindi and brought to us philistines by Harper Hindi

I was extremely excited about reading a Hindi book after such a long time. Many a times I have tried picking a few translations but have been put off by the daunting prospect of reading translations, which totally lack the original flavour.

My fears were err true.

To my horror I couldn't follow what I was reading. For a Hindi speaking person, it was scary and my deepest fear come true. The last when I tried writing Hindi 8 years ago, my hands were shaking. 4 years ago when I tried translating official Hindi, I failed miserably.

I thought I have forgotten my perfect Hindi- I could easily translate difficult sounding words into Hindi with great aplomb.

It was only after I started teaching Hindi to the kids, my comfort level came back.

After reading Loot- I am totally disillusioned with my abilites. Or perhaps the level of the language has moved up and I have failed to catch up.

After spending the first few chapters in self doubt I relaxed and thought about it.

I recalled that Premchand's and other renowed Hindi writers' stories were a breeze to follow- so lucid that their abridged versions were part of our text books.

I wish this book was translated in a similar manner. Perhaps it would have been easy to follow had the writing been in English. But translated to Hindi, it became too difficult for me to absorb and cope up with the high speak.

Loot has a total of 10 stories- each one unique and depicting modern era, its avarice, the mindset of people, modern nostalgia, going back to the roots, returning to complete unfinished work. The stories have a twist i the end that leaves one thinking. I wish I could read an english version to appreciate the true meaning.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New use of Bubble Gum

*Grossness Alert*

The kids in the building has taught the 4-5 year olds in my building the following rhyme.
I reproduce the same over here- uncensored, inspite of really wanting the entire poem censored out of my building- else it really loses the flavour/ key message!

Bum Bum Bum
Take a Bubble Gum
Stick it in your Bum
Gas will not come

This is done with complete action. No other poem has been recited so surely and so clearly as of date by my kids atleast.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Resident Engineer

Tejas managed to discover that the set top box can be used to play the brick video game
Ojas was very upset that he was using valuable cartoon type for playing games.
Said Ojas after I managed to get back to the TV screen -
Mamma- go and buy PSP tomorrow, connect it to the TV and play games.
I wonder how they know about PSP? Your guess is as good as mine.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Road ka Bacchaa

The biggest long time used insult in our family since the last few generations is "sadak ka bachcha".
Ojas was creating a big ruckus and I said- you go on the road - you are road ka bachha.
Ojas- still crying loudly- car humko dash kar dega ....waaaaaaaa

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On Studies

The teachers adviced us to not stop the momentum during summer vacation and try taking them though activity books on English grammar. We picked up some thick workbooks on Grammar, vocab, science, maths.
I loved the way these books move forward at a slow and steady pace. Lets say vowels and consonants. You have practice sheets of just identifying and filling in missing vowels. And slowly the child is led to a or an or The.

We were trying to teach the kids the concept of nouns and as a follow through we played the much loved -name, place, animal, thing game.

Then there is mathematics- which has simple addition, subtraction to problem solving. On Saturday I had done double digit number additions with them.
Last night, I saw that I had skipped the <10 additions.
So as I was doing that with them, says Ojas- why are you doing easy ones? Give us difficult ones. I am truly impressed.
I am teaching them ways to do part mental calculations. the bigger number in the mind and smaller number on fingers. Rather than counting everything using toes and fingers or beads. They have picked it up pretty fast.
We learnt how plants grow from seeds and Tejas was eager to plant his mango seed to watch it grow- he basically voiced my thoughts. I was feeling quite lazy to do a demo of planting seeds but Tejas voiced it a couple of days later.

The danger of studying during holidays is not knowing when to stop. They are unstoppable ones they start learning and I do not want them to get bored in class 1.

I also need to get the writing in place because while Ojas has a beautiful handwriting, Tejas doesn't want to write.
Tejas is quick with mental maths whereas Ojas lieks to count it out even if he knows some of the calculations mentally.
So yes, we are in action- learning, absorbing and challenging ourselves, this summer vacation.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back Again

After that there was a 3 week hiatis during which I gathered my belongings and said my goodbyes, taking all of 3 weeks to do justice to each goodbye- spoke individually on the phone or in person especially with whom I had worked closely over the last 4 plus years. I must add, people were pleasantly surprised and touched that I took the trouble to call them up rather than sending a mail on the last day or leaving without a trace.

I did the final handovers and collected my papers and the umbilical cord was well and truly cut when I err, gave up the SIM card and for the first time in so many years - for a few hours I was unreachable. Unless if they called me on my land line!
Yes, I ultimately got my closure and once that was done, I was eager to leave, inspite of the feet shuffling I was doing even after resigning.
For the first time in 4 plus years, I faced an unpaid weekend and thereby appreciated the value of work even better. Touch Wood.
11th April, I joined back. A week or several weeks earlier than I had wanted to or rather decided to, with just a weekend break behind me.

Back to pavilion. Back home. Back to the first love. Back to my first job. Back to my core competence.

Were the various versions of responses I received when I told them I was joining back.
Well, that was not what I thought, but it makes for a good blog story or a good life story. Since I am destined to do the same thing during my entire working life I might as well make a good story out of it!

I loved being part of the food industry and I still miss the tasting. I lapse into saying tasting rather than smelling from time to time. I refused to see what others saw and refused to acknowledge what others said, hotly denying the existence of "real love- smelling rather than tasting".

While I am equally good at both, I slipped into this old familiar role with much ease and to me it doesn't feel that I was gone at all. Inspite of the gap of 4 plus years during which I was tasting more than smelling.

I don't know what the future holds for me. I do not know whether I took the right step. Only time will tell. But for now I am just happy that I have enjoyed the best of both worlds in this industry and have come back richer in knowledge and more adventurous in attitude.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Love on The Rocks

Served by Ismita Tandon Dhanker via Penguin Metro Reads is a must read- If that were to be my review- that would be the shortest one as per my standards.

The book is as snappy and fast paced as my above 4 word review.

Hey, don't be disappointed- I can do better than that!

A thriller set on the high seas, aboard the Sea Hyena a merchant navy ship that is crossing to Miami.

Enter Sacha, the newly wed of Aaron the number two in command on the ship.

So the cast is made up of 24 men, one woman and a detective that joins aboard as the drama unfolds.

Unknown to sacha, an accidental death has happened before she arrives at the ship, a fact hidden from her by Aaron. And then a theft takes place and a suicide.

Sacha applies cold logic to the series of events and it is evident that the 3 incidents are related. And that, these are not accidents but murder in its ugliest sense.

Parallely Sacha discovers her husband's past life or is it a past at all?

As the detective comes on board, they work together on the crime, and narrow down the list of suspects- her husband being one of them.

A series of unfortunate discoveries and events leave her marriage on the rocks. While her heart still loves her husband, her mind screams otherwise.

Will Sacha use her heart or her mind to work on the case?

Find out more as you read the book.

I loved the flow of the book- moving from the point of view of one protagonist to the other, once you are Sacha battling with her emotions for her husband and solving the case, and then you become Aaron or the mysterious Manna.

Sometimes you are the obnoxious captain Popeye swearing at everything and sometimes you become Harsh the engineer falling for Sancha.


Suspense, medical mystery, tear jerker, emotional - these are the words that come to my mind as I type out my thoughts, fresh after reading the book- a marathon read, seems to be endless. Starts at a slow pace, at one point it doesn't seem to move forward. Beatrice is trying to resolve the case of her sister Tess' suicide. everyone has accepted that it was a suicide- she was suffering from acute depression, was hallucinating and suicidal. But Beatrice, who has known her sister better than anybody else, is sure that her sister, who has seen death up close and personal when her brother Leo died of cystic fibrosis, will never take her own life- she respects the gift of life. Beatrice embarks on the dangerous mission to trace the facts that lead to her sister's death. At first she seemed to be heading nowhere. Nobody believes her. Nobody accepts her theories and she takes the little that William, her sister's doctor offers to her in the form of support to her mission. As the book progresses, beatrice seems to be hotting on the trail of the killer and she is just about to close on to the case when there comes a horrific twist to the plot. At this point, I am tempted to add spoliers but I would just say that the ending worked for me very well. The author intends to end it on a positive note and I also believe it ends positively. However, do not attempt to go to the end and read it first- as I did - you might think otherwise. You need to go through the motions of reading the entire book before you take your decision.

Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas

Madhuri Banarjee explores the world of Kaveri, who is celebrating her 30th birthday- a typical modern career girl living on her own - one who is still single and unattached and in desperate need to find a partner or atleast lose her virginity. Join her in her journey, as she flits from one ideal man to the next, exploring her own sensuality, and even getting badly hurt in love- all within a year of her resolve. And there is Aditi, the perfect foil to Kaveri who is her self appointed consulted in her mission. One who is an expert in this field and ultimately, gives the readers a surprise. If you are the type who loves a good chicklit, go on, I urge you to pick a copy. Also read here another review - a more enhanced one that I did. This book is a part of Penguin's Metro Reads series- a very interesting series judging by the 2 books I have read already. I am eager to see more of these

The Wandering Falcon

Explore the forbidden lands of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran via Jamil Ahmad's Wanderign Falcon or Tor Baz which is also the name of the protagonist- a little boy who is born to parents who are on the run, to save their lives from their tribe. The fates take Tor Baz from one benefactor to the next, thereby moving the story forward. Tor Baz links the stories of the various tribes of these lands, their socio cultural intricacies and at the same time depicts that whatever may be the equation there, life moves on in this pre Taliban lands. These short stories carry the local flavour, evident that the author has an inside view of them. I loved the last story- it gave so many possibilities that one can sense that life moves on for Tor Baz- perhaps there is a feeling that he will no longer be teh wanderign falcon but is ready to settle? Read here a more detailed review. I recommend this as a must read. Publishing House- Penguin

Friday, April 08, 2011

Trying for Size

Mamma- whose shirt is this? yours or Dadda's?
Tejas picks up t he shirt, shakes it open and holds it against himself. Looks at it critically and says- Dadda's!!

Me clearing my shelf- I come across a silk top smallish looking and wonder- whose is this?
I look at the size- S- definitely cannot be mine

I happen to see the age- 3-4 years
The penny drops

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Anything for the Son?

Tejas- Mamma, why are you making same same food everyday? everyday only roti, dosa. Kuch different do. Husband- very good, now you will do something. So many years when I was saying, you never bothered.

Me to Husband- why don't you dry the bathroom with the "wiping equipment" before coming out after the bath As if on cue Tejas - after I washed my feet and came out without doing the customary floor wipe- Mamma, why are you keeping the bathroom wet wet ?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I Remember You

Harriet Evans' mega chicklit I Remember You is a typical "girl and boy are childhood buddies" story. Of course everyone knows they will end up as lovers but do they? In the usual straightforward fashion or is there a promise of twists and turns, roadblocks and issues. Meanwhile, there is another battle going on in the town. Are Tess and Adam, the protagonists as much caught up in this battle or do they have their own private battles to tackle? And where does the cranky old lady fit in the picture? Why does one feel a certain kinship with her even though she is how she is? It is a really long story for a chicklit. There are moments that are funny but it is largely a story with lots of seriousness. Intensity. There is conflicting emotions for Adam the hero- sometimes one wants to shake him up and tell him- be a man. Sometimes one wants to tell Tess, he is not good enough for you. And sometimes one agrees with the cranky lady- a shopping centre will bring more life to the city and create more opportunities for the residents than the heritage water meadow. So read on and see whom you agree with and what happens in the end. Also hop over to flashnewstoday for another review.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

CSAAM April 2011- Education- The First Step to Prevent Abuse

A pertinent question I often ask myself is – how do I make a child understand prevention of abuse unless the child understands what exactly is sexual abuse?

Isn’t education the first step that should be taken before one delves deeper into the other facets of abuse? A very common topic among the women in I know is the questions that are coming from children- especially the girls.

- What are periods?

How does one get a baby?

- What is sex?

- Do we get a baby if we have sex?

We also wonder about the four letter abuses that flow freely especially among boys and a recent episode of an older child introducing a younger child to porn on the net. The mothers are mostly wondering how to make their daughters aware of the above questions without making it crass or scary or shocking or putting them off the entire concept. Also there is this matter of the dangers of older children giving a skewed or wrong perception to the younger children.

Sexual education in totality is a must. In my time it happened in class 10, but without prior and clear understanding to either us or the parents on what to expect out of the ‘residential seminar’ that was to happen in our final year at school. Most of us were, well, shocked and disbelieving. I would like to add it was all done very decently and in a matter of fact manner but at the same time, it was unexpected. Most of us had in fact never dwelled on the aspect of the process of sex until that time.

Then was different, and now, the age of understanding, conjecture and awareness has lowered. Which is why, it is even more important to have a step by step approach towards building awareness among children- boys & girls alike. But the difficult part is how does one approach the whole dreaded thing that hangs like a big cloud over us- the parents? I put together my thoughts that I gather from various reading I do and discussions that happen.

The basic premise is to start early and make the contents age appropriate as the child grows up.

Understanding the body parts- the names of different parts without euphemizing them.

Touch / Not Touch- teach the child on what parts can be touched and what cannot. A very simplistic presentation that teaches good, ok and bad touches linked here .

And another one that elaborates further.

I liked the approach used in this article to teach about various kinds of touches- "When teaching your child about sexual abuse, talk about 3 different types of touch: good touch, bad touch and sexual abuse touch. "Good touches" are those touches that make us feel happy, safe and loved and make us feel like a smile. Emphasize that most of the touch we get is good touch.

"Bad touches" are those touches that hurt us; they feel like an ouch. Some examples are kicking, hitting and .

"Sexual abuse touch" is defined as "forced or tricked touch of private body parts." The key words are forced and tricked. A force is when someone makes you do something you don't want to do or don't understand. A trick is when someone lies to you, fools you, pretends or calls something a game, that really isn't a game, so they can touch your private body parts or have you touch theirs. Explain that sexual abuse is confusing because it doesn't necessarily hurt; the touch can feel good. And that is confusing to children. Use the words "sexual abuse" to eliminate unnecessary confusion."

Keeping lines of communication on sexual education open- Rather than stopping at good/ bad touch, it is important that parents keep the communication lines open as the children grow. Make contents of sexual education age appropriate. And encourage kids to talk to parents rather than seek half baked knowledge from friends. A comprehensive article on sex education linked here-

I would specifically emphasize the following from this article in terms of contents

a) Sexual development & reproduction- the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty and sexual reproduction, including fertilisation and conception, as well as sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

b)Contraception & birth control - what contraceptives there are, how they work, how people use them, how they decide what to use or not, and how they can be obtained.

c)Relationships- what kinds of relationships there are, love and commitment, marriage and partnership and the law relating to sexual behaviour and relationships as well as the range of religious and cultural views on sex and sexuality and sexual diversity.

Beware of “don’t tell anyone”- Fear or shame make kids hide stuff from parents. At all times, parents should train or program their kids to talk to parents if something or someone made them uncomfortable and especially if they have been told - don’t tell anyone or I will….Parents should take active interest in the child’s life, friend circle, books they read, sites they surf and overall- what are they discussing about these days.

Prevention Better than Cure- As a parent, we need to be vigilant. Never leave kids unattended in taxis, or send them alone with the servant/ driver. Apart from that, we also need to remember that most often, abuse happens by people well known to the children and parents. There are cases of relatives or friends calling home when they are fully aware that the child is alone. Parents have to find a way to ensure safety of latchkey kids. Use technology, use self checks- call home frequently, and make sure your circle knows that you are a vigilant parent.

Believe in the child- Most important to establish trust and be on the child’s side when he or she reports anything to you.

Hop over to to read more contributions

Monday, April 04, 2011

World Cup Enthusiasts

Even though they were not really watching the match but doing sundry other things, this gang of 4 were all set in the spirit of the game with their own India T shirts.

I should add, the dads were no better- except that they did watch the match on the huge screen put up in the complex for community viewing.

The community comprised the kids and a few enthusiastic ladies and gents- a small few as usual, or rather the usual few as usual!

I must add that I missed the grand finale because the kids chose that very moment to want to sleep and I spent a while hearing cheers after cheers trying to make the kids sleep, until I was awakened from slumber by a voice in the dark- what is that sound Mamma- I woke up to the fireworks and realized that the cup had come home.


Little Graduates

Friday, April 01, 2011

Swimming Day at School

The last 3 years I have been most curious to know what exactly they do in swimming classes at school.

The last couple of days I have seen just that. The school invited the parents to see what the kids have learnt.

While some kids needed the assistance of the swimming coach to traverse the 3 feet or so deep pool, many children did so without help, with the aid of the arm floats.

Some kids were really professional, diving through hoops and all. A result of additional coaching.

Skinny Tejas was ignoring us in the audience and doing his own thing- just treading water and in the baby pool after the mandatory one lap of the big pool was done. The teacher assured me that perhaps it was just one of the days when he doesn't want to get inside the water. The leg strokes were correct and he didn't seem scared of the water.

Ojas was sitting waiting for his turn, licking the water using his fingers from time to time and tried to escape notice by sitting among the kids who had already finished their lap. Ojas was most conscious and therefore nervous as he neared the audience side.His technique was right but he was swimming in the baby pool only on his own