November 18, 2016

When you just do not have answers

I remember when I started to read blogs, and gingerly stepped into the world of blogging when I was still in college, I used to read a blog called Just a mother of two... many would know she is an acclaimed writer now, and her blog, page and social media have changed a billion times in these 7 odd years!

And from there to now... to think of it, now I am a mother of 2. I certainly don't think that I am anywhere close to what I remember her days to be. My days are purely a scramble, and full of squabbles, where mostly I do not even know why I am fuming. I just have no energy at the end of the day, but I still do not feel I have done one thing which I will look back at through the day which just passed. And I feel sad about it.

Shouldn't you be thrilled and happy about each day which has passed? Or is that meant for just books and narrations from unknown folks?

Some days I feel I should be working towards some goal, but I do not see the time or motivation to take out time from the crazy day to work towards these goals.

Then who am I blaming?

I do not think this is a phase and it will pass, it is something which I need to change.

July 22, 2016

Something always on the cards

When I moved to Bangalore, and when I was staying on my own, one of the first things I did was to go to CUPA and adopt a cat. I have always been a dog person, and even today, I am one. I just didn't think I would have the time and dedication or discipline required to have a dog. And I did not want to put a dog through the troubles, because of my indiscipline.

Named her Whisky and she was with me for over 2 years. And then marriage happened, and then I knew that I would not be able to be for her as I wanted to be, and I thought about how I would be able to give her that place she was so used to in my life. And, somewhere deep inside, I knew I would not be able to do it. And it was a decision which I believe was one of the most difficult for me, to give her back to CUPA. I didn't know anyone who would be willing to take her in, and letting her be was not something I believed was an option.

Today, for some reason I felt like going back to CUPA just to see whether she is there, or has she been adopted. How is she doing? This is not the first time I have ever thought of it, but the guilt which was ridden me when I think of going back and seeing her, I just can't get myself to do it. I rather just live in the belief, a wishful one, that she is doing fine.

There are many other days when I think I should now get a dog, but I doubt that will ever happen. I am not sure I will be that dedicated a person with T & V also in tow. Which makes me think maybe another 5 years down, I shall be able to manage. It would be like taking another baby on, but the love and affection a dog shows is just something which I have never seen any other animal shower a human with. Makes me crave for it. A little selfish maybe, but I can surely return a portion of that in some form, or so I believe.

All said, I don't see it feasible before 5 years...  so shall rethink and hope at that time.

May 29, 2016

Book Review: Sialkot Saga by Ashwin Sanghi

The title got me intrigued... it did make me look up some history too. Spanning across the life of 2 men, from childhood to adulthood. It is set in an India which I have become familiar with and one which I have seen change in front of my eyes. How crime and politics and money are all interwoven in a warp like state.

As I proceeded with the book, there was a fair bit which made me think this could be made into a movie for sure. And, with a great deal of the story based in Mumbai, the chances seem quite a bit. The story moves very fast and how the characters are built is very interesting, with a great deal of information being thrown at the reader but yet not seeming to be too much.

This is a book about the different men of India and their roles in the society... and in the process the book has given very limited if not a passing character make up for all the female characters. I felt there were some roles which could have been emphasised upon, but the author chose to reveal the plots rather than build on the female roles.

Overall, I enjoyed the quick read, even though quite a few pages to cover here. And knowing the India of today, it creates a connect and brings about a sense of familiarity.

Rating: 3.5/5

May 5, 2016

Two for Travel

Now its always about the way we did things when T was small as compared to when V is small. I think our first trip with T was when she was over 6 months, and a short drive to Coorg had us all tired out.

But this time around, we started of with our travel when she was 4 months old. We went off to Delhi and then onto Jodhpur and Jaisalmer to bring in the new year. This was not her first flight experience though, as when I returned from Trivandrum, that flight was her first time on an aircraft. So, this time around we did a train journey to Jodhpur and then from there to Jaisalmer by bus too. I think we have covered pretty much all modes of transport now. One of the things we are looking to do is a cruise, maybe in another year when V will be a little bigger... that is on the cards.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Back from Delhi, we were next off to Goa with a group of friends, just to meet up and relax. And the sea and the waves did her good after the cold chill of Delhi and Rajasthan. But I think being about 5 months meant she was more mobile and wanted to be on the floor. That was not a possibility with the place we were staying at, and Goa being Goa, there was always sand everywhere!

Morjim Beach

Next we were off to Singapore, visiting friends and family. Both the girls had so much fun and I think I relaxed so much that 1 week. Somewhere it was meant to be a detox trip, where rules don't matter and norms need not be adhered to. One of the things about Singapore is the ease of doing stuff, and even a plan to go across town works out without too many glitches. We had a super relaxed week with a movie, breakfast and lots of other stuff thrown in.

Clark Quay

I have never been to Chikmagalur in spite of being in Karnataka for over 9 years now. So, this Ugadi, had to drive across and see what this region was all about.

And what did I learn?

There is so much natural beauty here and so much to see, but with a small kid in tow, there is nothing much you can do other than drive about in a car.

So we did what was the next best thing possible. We decided to visit Belur and Halibedu. The temples were great, good to see and lots to read up before heading to the temple. I am not a big fan of guides.. I prefer either reading up stuff or else having a audio tour which will let me go at my pace.

Belur Chennakesava Temple

May 2, 2016

Book Review: Hedon by Priyanka

Hedon by Priyanka... when I read the blurb I was expecting something of a metro read. But, I was in for a surprise. The language though much more easy an breezy, than what I usually like, I thought this was a good debut nevertheless. Falling into the category of a romance and fiction, bringing about new elements to the writing style and the usage of these elements to bring in a stronger influence of the story on the reader.

We look at Tara's life through school, college and once she enters back into society as a woman on the path to setting her own life and home soon. When the book starts off, there is a disconnect one feels with the flow of the story, but soon as the story picks up. The age difference between the two main charachters in a way pulls you to see how things will pan out for them over the years. It is heart warming to read about the small meetings, exchanges and talks between them which paves the path for love.

The prose has a poetic quality which makes the reader savour each word and I also believe it does bring more feelings into the story. Or maybe it brings a softness to the long love story starting at the tender age of 17, the child like love story which transforms itself some heart ache and finally a strong and forbearing love. At times I did feel that the indepth explanations very a tad bit unncessary and in a way took my mind away from the real story. I did not enjoy these bits, and did tend to skip some of these small bits which really contributed in no great way to the story as a whole.

Rating: 3.5/5

January 20, 2016

T4Tales - A chat with the author, Pridhee

I have been a reader since the age of 8, or so I believe. I do not have any recollection of books before that. But, I know for a fact that I have always seen my parents reading, and I did try to read words in the newspaper much before the age of 8. When T was born, I started reading to her when she was around 6 months. I did quite a bit of research about the various kinds of books available, and wh which were suitable at each age.  These were mostly in English. The moment I sort a way to build a love for regional languages, I found books only in Hindi. These books in Hindi were paperbacks which are more suited for a 3 or 4 year olds.

Where are all the board books, lift the flap ones, cloth books and the so many options which you find in English? There were none in any Indian languages, and the ones which were available ... not something I would pick up for toddlers and preschoolers for sure. So, I resorted to digital media to bring some bits of the fun element of Indian languages to my daughter.

Almost a year later, Pridhee has brought to us, the very same thing which so many moms have looked for and now I hope that it will help the many new moms to bring Indian languages to their tiny people early on.

Speaking with Pridhee about the book, T4 Tales and her journey so far as a publisher and author.

And while we are at it, you can pick your copy at Shumee (India) or Amazon (US)

How did you turn from a biologist to an author?

I became a mom. The only way I could get my daughter to eat was if I told her stories or read books to her. I quickly realized that I was  reading only English books. That was when I asked myself if this was the end of Hindi in our family?  Will we have to rely on Bollywood movies for some exposure to Hindi? I thought maybe there are other parents who feel the same as me. I decided to give it a shot and that is how T4tales came alive.

What prompted you to go the board book and lift the flap route?

Kids from the 0-4 age love to be independent and are by nature very curious. As the Reggio Emilia approach says children learn by self exploration and discovery. They should be allowed to learn through experiences of touching, listening and observing. Board books are sturdy and allow children to practice their motor skills of turning pages without tearing a page. Lift the flap books add interactivity that keeps children involved and curious about what will come next. It helps them feel independent to explore and discover.

Tell me a little about Bolo Kya

Bolo kya started off as a riddle between my daughter and me. It was like a game of "I spy" but in Hindi. Kiki (our little T4tales bird) takes the children on a ride of exploration of animals, colors, parts of the body, opposites and of course a riddle with an answer.

What are you trying to bring to your readers through Bolo Kya?

A fresh way for children to read and enjoy Hindi. A book that would compete with the high quality English books (in illustrations) and content that does not always focus on providing a moral lesson. You do not have to know the Hindi script because we provide the english transliteration. It is not your usual moral story or panchatantra tale. Most of all it is visually appealing to the children.

How has your journey been so far? And what do you see ahead for T4Tales?

Going from being a full time scientific officer to a full time mom and now author has been quite a roller coaster ride. But I have found something that brings a smile to my face and am passionate about providing to the coming generation.  

As for T4tales, we have a long way to go but I do hope we are able to bring back the interest in learning Hindi to our children and our coming generations.

January 11, 2016

Been there, done that and still going back ...

When T was small, we rarely stepped out for a meal, and that was a conscious decision that B and I took as we didn't want that whole hassle associated with going out with a small person. But, this time around with V, we felt like trying what it would be like with 2 small persons tagging along for a meal :). We had a plan for lunch and then heading out to do some shopping for essentials, and we ended it with lunch and rushing back to the comfort of our home and breathing a sigh of relief.

Between T and V, both of us were either making a formula feed, feeding the formula feed, helping T with her food, walking V around to burp (and then followed by the spit up which never ever happens at home), ensuring T is not converting the place into a play area, rocking V to sleep as she is surely bringing the place down else ... I really wonder whether it mattered if they served us even the wrong order. And we had no time to wait around for the right now, so we just changed the order to suit what was served! Aaah... end result, we decided, or maybe it was just me who decided, to head straight back home.

And, now sitting here, I wonder, why did I even venture out to attempt the impossible!
Whoever said Nothing is Impossible!

In fact I question myself why I ever did think this time would be anything different. I remember once I did take T out when she was something months, and after that decided that a repeat of that meal out would be after she is at least 2 years. And since she has been 2, we have been regularly going out for weekend meals, and now I believe T misses that the most. I really need to figure out how to incorporate those outings for her.

But, all of us going out for a sit down meal, not in the next year at the least!

Image Source

January 7, 2016

T & V

When T was born, I was overwhelmed for sure and completely dependent on so many people to settle me through that phase. But when V was born, I was more prepared, but the haze which sets in was just the same. And now added to it was the guilt that I was not giving any time to the tiny 4 year old who was hoovering about endlessly.

The way T took everything which was and is being thrown at her completely in her stride, really makes me appreciate her and wonder at how she agrees to my requests. I can completely imagine myself throwing a tantrum about why my things are not being attended to... but she rarely goes that route. So, now we have a routine that once a week, I drop and pick her up from school as a special something for her, in the midst of all this craziness.

And after two kids, I feel now what it really means like having no time for myself. At the end of the day, I am just exhausted to the extend that watching half a movie does not even appeal. So now, we have moved from movie marathons, to a movie night once in a while to nothing. And as I see it, its going to be this for the next 2 years. Frankly speaking, movies I am more than fine letting go, but I wouldn't want to lose on 2 years in terms of travel. Age just moved ahead, and I want to enjoy some things with Trisha before she grows up too. I hope I do not forget that T is also growing up in the midst of the V-time.

There was a lot which I fathomed prior to V's arrival, but there are many more instances which I still stare at blankly wondering how to tackle.

I believe it will be a long journey of discovery...