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Monday, May 28, 2012

Channelising the Inner Hema Rekha Jaya Sushma

I had my own Nirma moment this morning. I was queued up for petrol in white dress really, and as I tried to move ahead, the car wouldn't start. A dead battery which would have started on a push. There would have been about 100 people in the bunk. All queued up to fill today as bunks were shutting down due to shortage(?)

I could have called someone from office as I was just opposite to it but due to the urgency of moving ahead and filling up the fuel I looked around requesting for help. Not a single soul wanted to do it. In fact the other cars just sailed past eager to break the queue. Even though the bunk guys would alternate 10 bikes and then a car. 
Well since there was no help coming I just pushed. Got down and pushed and steered the car keeping it n neutral and pulling the hand break because the car that broke the queue didnt want to budge. On hind sight it feels foolish but don't know where I got the strength to do it. I just did it without a second thought. Just didnt want to play the damsel in distress scene. 
Filled the petrol. A kind soul just told me to get in and he pushed the car to the side. Another gentleman tried to help. I asked him if he knew the technique of the push start. He did, so the first guy pushed and this gentleman took the wheel and started the car. 

Well the battery got changed and all is well that ends well. On one hand I am appalled at the obvious lack of humanity. I generalise because it happened to me before. My tank went dry and a white haired old gentleman pushed my car while others cursed me as I inconvenienced them by being stuck in he middle of the road. 

On the other hand I am glad there are still people who come forward without hesitation to help.  

I am not sure what stops people from moving their butt. We have stopped on the highway and helped people change tyres. We have walked down and helped a car stuck over a big stone piece leaving our pizza getting cold. We have parallel parked cars for people who couldn't do it. It takes very little to make these small gestures and perhaps very little to just look away.

 Would I have done anything different if I were to go back to the same scene? I don't know. Perhaps I will still display my bravado. It is my natural impulsive nature. I just cannot leave a problem mid way and go screaming for help unless it is at the husband. I would still attempt to pick myself up and try and work out the optimal solution. When it comes to changing tyres....I will not do it. I will look for someone to do it and guide them as my theoretical knowledge is perfect. Practically I don't want toget my hands dirty and myself sweaty. Till date I have had 6 flat tyre incidents. And every single time I begged for help or just took another car as it happened at home itself.  

One of the pitfalls of self driving is that you have to be constantly on high alert for situations. 

Know the signals that display on the dashboard. Extremely vital. They tell you about the state of your engine and petrol levels and battery and everything.

Know where the toolbox and jack and spare tyre is there. Not everyone you ask for help will know where to take it from. And atleast know the principle rules of tyre changing. Loosen the screws first then jack the car first practical lesson on a flat tyre episode. Not everyone knows that. The jack will fit anywhere. Right next to the tyre. Don't search underneath for a purchase. I have had two such incidents until I memorised that and used it well on the third incident while guiding the roadside help.

Fill petrol ahead of the last marl. As soon as the yellow light flashes. 

Ok what would you do when you face such a situation? What are your tips?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Sweetest Mango

I participated I the I <a href="http://">heart</a> mangoes contest hosted by Tulika books and would you believe it? I won a prize. Which is the new book by Malavika Shetty...The Sweetest Mango. 

Ask anyone about hot summers in India, and the very first few thoughts that are spoken are mangoes. Rightly crowned the king of fruits, the mango is a universal favourite. Not only the taste but the memories and imageries associated With it make it the best loved fruit. A sweet, ripe, yellow, juicy mango is irresistible and summer months are incomplete without his fruit.

This short and sweet story set in Udipi is about enjoying this luscious fruit basking in the warmth of friendship. Not just the act of eating but the anticipation of the eating brings a warm glow to Suma the girl who had eyes for the largest, sweetest mango hanging from a tree that she crossed on the way to school everyday.

Suma and Jyothi are two friends who live next to each other in Udipi. This year they thought there were more mangoes in the tree than ever. They would play a game of guessing the number of mangoes in the trees that saw and also pick mangoes from he ground and feed them tithe cows who dutifully chewed them up much to the delight of the girls. 

Suma savoured all forms of mango,the pickles, the fruit and best of all enjoyed climbing the trees to pick her own fruit.

Among all varieties of mango, the mundappa was her favourite. One day she spots the biggest mundappa in a tree and is eagerly anticipating the day the fruit will ripen and she will get to eat it.

Will Suma get her mundappa? There are also he monkeys and squirrels to consider WO o might be waiting for the fruit to get just about ripe.

I leave it for you to find out when you read this book.

The illustrations are lovely and playful and the choice and number of words on each page make it easy for a 5 year old to read. The word birds explain the region specific words beautifully and the imagery of the word bird pecking at the mango or dragging the mango is just about perfect. 

Title- The Sweetest Mango
Author- Malavika Shetty
Pictures- Ajanta Guhathakurta
Price-Rs 135
Publisher- Tulika 
Age group- 5+

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Pair of Chopsticks

Fashioned out by joining 2 sticks with cellotape. By Ojas

Sent from my Nokia phone

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Buddhu Banaya

One evening Mamma was not opening the door as she didn't want the home to get messy with the entire gang of playing kids coming inside.

Suddenly there is a combined shout from outside the door.

Mamma/ Aunty- Courier (pronounced Koa-riar)

Mamma eagerly opens the door.

The gang walks in giggling and heads for the kitchen to drink water and leave behind black shoe prints

The gang tries the same trick again but it doesn't work on Smart Mamma

Ojas/ Tejas- Mamma, I have a surprise.

Mamma couldn't contain her curiosity and opens the door.

Both present Mamma with a handful of flowers. 

Mamma melts on the spot 

Gang streams in laughing at gullible Mamma.

Beating the Heat This Summer

The Sun

The Sand

and  The Surf 
Sea Food
 At the famous Martin's corner with Live Band playing
 Living it up in the pool
 Driving through scenic highway
 Idling at the balcony of the resort
 making grand sand castles
 collecting beach treasures
 going for a safari
What more could I ask to beat the summer heat... Go Goa!

This post is also submitted to

The Lakmé Diva Blogger Contest

How Would You Live It Up This Summer

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Ojas passing the buck to Tejas as usual- go and switch off the light and fan.
Tejas- why
Ojas- electricky will waste
Texas- don't say electricky say electricity

Friday, May 18, 2012


Came off the tooth just when I was beginning to think that Tejas' wobbling tooth will give me trouble as it as been wobbling for ever since my announcement.
Ojas has meanwhile extracted a gentle boy's promise out of him to share the money that the tooth fairy will give.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Stone Eggs

Did you know?
 'I am the terrible Tyrannosaurus Rex from faraway North Amerca. And I had some pretty fierce cousins in India such as Indosuchus matleyi, Indosuchus raptorius and Rajasaurus narmadiensis.'
Well neither did I until I got to read this book on Indian Dinosaurs that Tulika books sent me for reviewing. 

Meant for kids above 6 years, this book is told in a fiction format yet talking about facts about the sighting of dinosaur fossils in India, including dinosaur remains like bones, skin and even turd, fossilised eggs, and even footprints.

Sankar and Sandhya are playing near their grandma's house and what did they find there? Huge stones which were so unique that they wanted to make a keepsake out of them. However their father and Nile had a doubt. These didnt look like ordinary stones but were perhaps one other than dino eggs - a valuable find in tracing the path of dinosaurs and their movement across the globe. 

Can you guess where exactly were dinosaur fossils found in India?
Read this lovely book to find out more and know more on the eating and hunting habits of various types of dinos. 

Cute illustrations make it very easy for young readers to understand the story.

Title- Stone Eggs - A Story Aout Indian Dinosaurs
Author- Helen Rundgren
Illustrator - Soumya Menon
Price- Rs 150
Publisher- Tulika

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It Is Really Not Funny When

The kids clink or rather chink steel glasses filled with juice together and say Cheers before drinking it


Your kid leaves a souvenir (from) behind in the doctor's office and the doctor very obviously sprays the air freshener to clear the air


Your kids expect you to detour to Lifestyle and buy him a beyblade because according to them you have money, now that you have gone to office. (Daily wages waala samajh ke rakha hai)

When the kid argues that since last 6 years we have been listening to music in the car, he is entitled to watch cartoon in the newly installed TV of today's calculation, "song is more" so TV must be played enough to compensate for it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Presentation Tactics

Obviously we all go on sleep mode during boring ppts Comic Strip by Scott Adams - 15-05-12
source: Dilbert

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Make Your Own Fun

Ever wonder what happened to the games we used to play as kids to amuse ourselves, when there was no source of entertainment like tv, hand held games, computers and all. 
We designed our own games or played those that were handed over by generations of kids before us. 

We had our favourite hop scotch and five stones and snake and ladders, ancient games that are historically connected to India and various games using a deck of cards.

This book is a collection of various games divided into sections like outdoors, indoors, creative make and do like puppets etc, holiday games, car journey games, party games, special occasion games etc.

Each page tells us exactly what we need and how to play these games. 
A lovely collection for those who want to make life a little more interesting for kids who ar aleays glued to the TV of to throw an interesting party.

Title- Make Your Own Fun
Author- Josie Currian
Price- Rs 299
Publisher- panmacmillan

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mango Memories

This post is in response to the I Heart Mangoes Blogathon / Mangothon hosted by Tulika  books.
Hop over and read it and participate. The more the merrier.

Food is transportive. Each food is linked to a memory or memories and those memories have the capability to transport you to far off places or to journey through time to the past.

This piece on mango memories talk of my best memories with my favourite fruit mango. So have a glass of chilled mango lassi to go with this and read on...

My earliest memories are those of hot summers in Patna. My grandfather had a mango orchard, now isn't that the loveliest thing to have. A mango lover's dream! So every summer different varieties of mangoes would arrive at the house...bambaiya aam, was the first to arrive and the last but not the least would be malda aam, a proud Bihari's staple mango also known as langda aam  in some parts.

Vacations in Patna meant the complete gathering of the gang of assorted aunts and cousins.
Our days began with Aam and ended with Aam.

Breakfast would be a hand mixed (maa ke haath ka and all that) preparation of boiled and lukewarm milk, sugar, rotis and juicy mangoes. They were mixed in a huge vessel and hand mashed to make a very even mix and served in large bowls to all of us who would slurp it up with much speed and gusto. Err not to forget a minor detail- there was also a race to clean the mango pulp that were still attached to the peels piled in a large plate.

Lunch would end with an individual mango sucked to thoroughness with all cousins competing on who would make the mango seed the cleanest and the whitest. Every trace of pulp and fibre and colour were thoroughly removed and in the end the results were compared and the winner declared.

Desserts that were served post dinner was either huge plates of cut mangoes or sweet mango pulp in fresh cream sugared generously.

Not to forget the aampanna that was consumed throughout the day to prevent heatstrokes.

The mom brigade would also make this sweet chutney - raw mangoes boiled with jaggery and seasoned appropriately to give a sweet and tangy chutney which was served as accompaniments to the meal. A serving would have slices of cooked mango in the sweet-sour juice. Slurp.

The best part about having a mango tree in your own garden is to be able to pick mangoes that fall on the ground during the night or after a windy evening. Any tree is like a shared resource. It is fair game for the neighboring house and also for all passers by. And each find is a like a treasure to be hunted out from among the grass and fallen leaves and the presented to the mom for making them into pickles or simply cutting them and eating with a touch of salt.

And this picture is my most recent memory. At less than a year of age, his eyes are shining more for the mangoes on mamma's plate rather than mamma, methinks.

To carry the tradition forward, of having a mango tree in the garden, the sons have planted a mango seed in the flower pot!!! And they water the same judiciously, ignoring the rest of the pots.

Will they, won't they grow for them? I wonder.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Beware the Blogger Observes

Club Mahindra Goa

1. Swimming Shorts to the breakfast buffet...nah, my senses do not approve

2. What a brat you are. Dragging the hotel towel all the way from the beach to the room. Where are your manners? Dumped into the sea along with your senses?

3. No don't get shocked. Your elaborate buffet menu with a huge Jain collection is not enough. Just not enough for the non veggie freaks like me. Even the desserts are healthy. Come off it yaar.

4. Err, lady, young kid you may be but you do not drag off a chair from my table just because it is empty at this moment. What do you expect, my husband will hunt around for another chair when he comes back with a loaded chair. The right thing to do is ask. May I. Is this chair vacant.

5. Now that my kids are safely past that age, can I just say this aloud? Your tiny mini kids that roam around loose in the buffet area are not cute. They are annoying when they happen to obstruct your free movement towards the loaded buffet area. I watch my ankle level anxiously as they are just that height and may trip you en route. 

6. Don't just walk in full speed and then stand at the corner and look into the horizon. I would have just dashed against you with my loaded plate.

7. What the hell are you doing standing in one corner in the 3 feet deep pool. Arre take your 6 feet self to the bigger pool. Let the kids play in the smaller one.

8. Did you just call me aunty? Sigh you kids. Don't you know how it hurts?

9. I love the way the used plates are stacked on my table. Don't remove them. I want to take stock off how much we have eaten. 

10. Slow service complemented by unlimited papads. Not liked. Seems to be a problem across restaurants in Goa.

11. Mutton Vindaloo. Yumm. King Fish yumm. Tender Coconut Ice cream from Naturals ... super like. 

12. Private beach. Superb.