Posted by: jo | February 6, 2010

World Book Fair

Last weekend, World Book Fair started in Delhi. We were desperately waiting for it since last one month and were hoping everything stayed fine till the day came. But as always, something has to go wrong. Aru fell ill with viral a day before the fair.  We decided that Mo should go to the fair with T, who was accompanying us, and I would go with kids the next weekend. Aru didn’t like the idea because she was equally excited for this day. At night time she said, “Mamma we can go there for a while? I think I will be much better by tomorrow morning”. I thought of taking a call in the morning

In the morning, none of us could control the excitement. So we said that we would go to the fair after lunch for 2-3 hours keeping Aru’s illness in mind.

The moment we entered the hall, all of us forgot about the plan and we started drooling over the books. Maybe the smell of the books is so intoxicating that one can’t think of anything. We ended up buying 47 books, including 23 books for Aru and 15 for Ashmit.

Mo wanted to meet Sidin Vadukut whose book Dork was releasing that day at Penguin store. We went there and bought quite a lot of books including Roald Dahl, Ruskin Bond and of course Dork. We met this charming man, Sidin and got the book Dork signed by him.

As we ambled from one store to the other we reached Roopa store. I was surprised to see Nancy Drew for kids of Aru’s age. I really loved Nancy Drew when I was young. This new book comes by the name ‘Nancy Drew Note Books’. There we also saw this interesting book from Ruskin Bond that had two stories, with the stories starting from opposite sides, that is, one side has one story and the other side of the book has the other story. I picked one book from there, as I am a big fan of Ruskin Bond stories; I can’t stop buying them for Aru.

When we were finished with the payment, Mo noticed that Mr. Ruskin Bond was there himself in the store. I hurriedly took out both the books (one from Penguin store and one from Roopa) and asked Aru to get it signed. Aru, with a puzzled look on her face, went to him and asked for the signature. It was such an amazing moment for all of us. I could not take my eyes off from him and could not believe that he was actually there. He complemented Aru by saying ‘you are a real reader’.

With the joy of meeting Ruskin Bond, we came home after spending 5 hours shopping for books. Aru was not satisfied and asked me to come again so that she could buy books of her choice ONLY. So let’s see if we can go there on this Sunday, the last day of World Book Fair.

Posted by: jo | February 1, 2010


Today Aru didn’t go to school, hence when Ashmit came home from the school, he was not expecting to find his sister at home. I don’t know why, but he suddenly started behaving in a strange manner like running, laughing, not ready to change clothes etc. So, to slow him down I started asking him about his day at school, but he was not ready to answer that. After failing to get any answer to my several questions, I thought of telling him about me. So I started~Do you know what didi and I did today? Immediately he was quiet and still with big open eyes~What? I grabbed the opportunity and started opening his jacket to change his clothes…

Me~ Didi and I peeled 5 kgs of peas

Ashmit stood still with an expression, ok! I am listening, go ahead

Me~ Didi was a great helper!!

Ashmit (almost half undressed)~ I WANT TO BE THE GREAT HELPER. boooohoooo!!!! (And threw himself on the bed)

Me~ Yes, you can by helping me change your clothes

Ashmit (still crying)~ NO NOT THIS HELP SOME OTHER GREAT HELP. booohoooo!!!

Me~ Ok, I will let you do great help. Let’s change the clothes and become clean.

NOoo,  NOW!!!

I understood there was no point talking on it anymore, hence I thought of changing the topic. I remembered, I had asked Ashmit in the morning not to take off his jacket today as he was not wearing any woollen inside and if his teacher asks him to do so during the exercise class, he should tell her the same.

Me (with my open arms)~ Did you feel warm in the jacket today

Ashmit (wiping his tears, comes near me)~ No, and when ma’am asked me to take it off, I told her that I am not wearing woollen inside.

Me~ Oh! You remembered to say that!? I am so proud of you!

Ashmit (grinning)~ Are you a majesty? heehee

Me (!!!!)~ No, why?

Ashmit ~ Because you are saying I am proud of you and the king in Chotta Bheem says that and he doesn’t have a crown and you also don’t wear a crown…

(one mission complete; clothes changed; Yippee!)

Me (interrupting him)~ Alright, let’s have our lunch now. I am starving!

Ashmit~ I don’t want to eat now. I want to play with didi

Me~ Didi will also have her lunch now.

Ashmit~ Ok! You and didi eat, I will play alone

Me thinking, Is there any end to this!!!!

Another strategic conversation for another mission continues…

Posted by: jo | January 28, 2010

Scenes not meant for parents

A few days back, Aru and Ashmit were watching a movie called Bhootnath. In one of the scene, the kid in the movie gets slapped by his mom with a loud background sound Chatak and at this, Bhootnath (who can only be seen by the kid) says “aise koi bachche ko marta hai kya?” (Should one hit a kid like that?).

Ashmit who was sitting and enjoying the movie, suddenly stood up, still and with a blank face. I asked him what happened and the moment I asked him this, he started crying and came to me saying “I don’t like this movie. boohoooo. They (tv) should not show this movie. He (the kid) only wanted bhootnath to come in front of his mom. Why did she hit him!? booohooo“. Then he left the room and I was also pulled along as if these kinds of scenes are not meant for me; they can spoil me.

Posted by: jo | January 18, 2010

An inspiring Video

I came across this video via Pratham Books Blog. This video of Kiran Bir Sethi  tells us if we let our kids feel that ‘they can’ do things, they have the potential to bring changes.  Make your child believe in ‘I CAN’ .  How? Please watch this…

Posted by: jo | January 17, 2010

Chilly Winter!!!!

My fingers are freezing!! Can’t type!! They feel better in the pocket…Ahhh!

Posted by: jo | January 11, 2010

Holidays are over

Kids’ school opens today and the holiday comes to an end. It was good long vacation. Mo’s brother came from abroad and the family got together for the vacation at Goa. Needless to say that the kids had a blast and so did I. Away from home and every day chores; it was a good five days break in Goa. When we came back, the kids’ holidays got extended for a week because of chilly weather.

We met Shubhi and family after two years and Yuv for the first time and they went back to their home yesterday, leaving behind loving memories of the time we had spent together and the desire to meet again next year. Here are the pictures of those sweet moments kids had with each other…

For more pictures, click here

Posted by: jo | December 23, 2009

H1N1 enters my place

Last two weeks were quite tough. Last week, Ashmit brought H1N1 virus and after two days, he passed it on to Aru. We rushed to the government children’s hospital and got the medicine. Thankfully,the kids’ doctor suspected it in Ashmit at an early stage and things were under control or else with already weak lungs, Ashmit’s case could have become really bad. They were given medicine for five days and were asked to be kept in one room for that many days. Mo and I had to take extra care  so that we didn’t get it (especially I, as I had to spend more time with them). Earlier, the preventive medicine was prescribed to the other members of the family if one got H1N1, but now they are not giving it till one has the symptoms because of the bad side effects the medicine has.

The days with the illness were tough and keeping both kids in one room was toughest. I could not spend quality time with them and they had ample time with each other (which I realised is very dangerous for the parents) reading and playing, fighting, screaming, crying and turning the room in a big mess. I gave up after three days and allowed them to watch TV twice a day for an hour with a mask covering their nose and mouth. Phew, finally the five days are over!!!

Now we are anxiously looking forward to meet our family and have a loooooong holiday with them. See you guys later and wish you all a


Posted by: jo | December 6, 2009

Pratham Books

Honestly, till about a month ago, I didn’t know much about this publisher; just that they were one of the publishers of kids’ books. Recently my co-sister, munmun, introduced me to a blog Saffron Tree (which has reviews of kids’ books). It was here that I came to know about some books by Pratham Books and also reached the Pratham Books Blog.

From their blog, I came to know that they are a social entrepreneurship project who help rural children with books and also run a library for them. Pratham is a non-profit trust publishing books in in different Indian languages like English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali etc. at a price of Rs15-Rs25. But don’t be fooled by the price; the books are on high quality paper and print, with bright and colorful illustrations. Before going to the fair, I had selected some books from their catalogue. Unfortunately I found only 16 of them, but never mind, I shall order the remaining books online. Here I would like to review some of the books I bought for Aru and Ashmit.

This book is super hit in my home. All of us are fond of Sringeri Srinivas who cuts his hair annually. So on one annual haircut day he finds no one who can cut his hair and he gets very upset. But in the end he does get rid of all his hair in a hilarious way. How? buy the book and find it out. It is a must read for kids for its hilarious illustrations. Recommended age 3-6 (actually 2-adults).

Symbiosis means animals helping each other. In this book Zippy the zebra is bugged with fleas allover his body and he tries different ways to get rid of it but he fails. Then two birds Pick and Preak help him. Ashmit enjoys this book and he wants me to read it again and again while he enacts Zippy getting rid of his fleas by iching, scratching, wiggling, rolling etc. It is a fun book for young kids.

Ek Sudama Ek banmali is a beautiful story of Lord Krishan and Sudamas’ friendship, in a form of poem. I bought this book in Hindi for Aru. She is fond of poems and here the Hindi is so simple that she loved it. The highlight of this book is the amazing bright and colourful illustration. One would love to read the poem again and again for it meters are so sweet to the ears.

Pehelwaanji is a bit of a bully. No one can defeat him by physical power but Gappu a young child defeats him in a hilarious wrestling match. The story ends by saying that kids are now not scared of him but he is scared of them. Its a funny book for kids below 7yrs. It boost their confidence  and self-esteem by saying that they should not be scared of people who bully others.

Ashmit is quite afraid of the sound of thunder and rain. He cry his lungs out when its raining. ‘Rain Rain’ is a book where it says how the rain is important for the Peacock who wants to dance, for the farmer who wants to plant the seeds, for the fish who needs more water in the pond and to Raju who wants to sail his boat. ‘The Monsoon Concert’ is full of different sounds we hear when it rains. A frog is quite bored because it has not rained for long so he thinks to  sing and send the message to the sky that he wants rain. When he starts singing “Kronker kronker kronk koru” , the owl, the cricket, the fire fly and the gecko joins him. So they all sing in their different voices and are heard by rain who then joins them with “Tupur tapur tup tuppoo” The book indeed is a musical concert. Ashmit enjoyed them and says that now when it rains he will sail his boat in the puddle and sing his rhymes.

The Sister Sister series has four books ‘Where does the sun go at night’, ‘Where does the thunder come from’, ‘Why don’t things fall up?’ and ‘Why is the sky blue’. These books attempt to demystify important scientific concepts through the medium of story telling. I bought ‘Where does the thunder come from’. Munna Raja asks this question to his sister, who in reply asks him to guess why this happen. He thinks and gives different reason like, some monster is angry, motorbikers who live in cloud are riding their bikes etc. Then didi gives him the scientific reason and he feels glad. The book make young kids connect with the reality and myth. Now Ashmit also knows there are no monsters in cloud and that he should not be scared by the sound of the thunder.

This is a very short review of the seven books out of sixteen that I have bought but honestly speaking, all the books by Pratham are worth buying for your young readers. The age recommended on the book is for rural children, so the books for age 7-10 could be read to kids of 4-6 age. Books are definitely good but it also allows me to give my contribution to help the rural kids by getting more books to read. Hats off to them for already spreading the joy of reading to 7 million children.

A few books more that I bought at the fair…

Posted by: jo | December 1, 2009

Illness, Fair and more

Kids are ill and the doctor is on holiday for next five days. Imagine the panic when the schools are getting attacked by the swine flu and at the same time kids fall ill and their doctor is unavailable!! It is not easy in India to have faith in some other pediatrician especially when you have blind faith in your kids’ doctor and when one of your child is asthmatic.

So here is the story. I was looking forward for book fair on 27th and 29th, when Aru fell ill with cough and fever on 26th morning. I was not disappointed by it because she is usually fine by the next day (magic medicine by her doctor). But man proposes and God disposes. I then came to know that since her doctor is on leave for next five days, I will have to show her to someone else. Now I was disappointed!!!!!!! This doctor looks at her and says if her fever doesn’t go in two days get the swine flu test done and keep your son away from her. I could feel my heart throbbing in my throat. The same night, Ashmit starts coughing. I ran to the same doctor next day (27th). He said Ashmit’s cough was not bad. I was a little hopeful now because Aru’s fever was gone. We planned to go to the fair on saturday and we did go there only for an hour.

Kids loved to be outside and I thought they are fine now! Bought handful books from the stalls of National Book Trust and Pratham Books. Both the publishers have books at reasonable price. Most were in the range of Rs.15-Rs25 at Pratham Books and prices were below Rs.50 at NBT. Bought 38 books in an hour 🙂 There were events going on at the fair. Children saw magic show. So the day went happily on Saturday.

We planned to go to another book fair, Bookaro, on sunday, as the kids looked fine and playful. But Sunday morning was not the same. Kids woke with bad bad cough and cold, tired  and not willing to eat anything. On Monday the doctor said to get the swine flu test done and I was wondering whether to wait for kids’ doc. to return on Tuesday or get the test done.The life threatening danger of this disease made things clear and I got the test done. Today, the kids are much much better, charged with full energy, their doctor is back and the test report is negative.

When things have to go wrong, everything seems unfair and when things have to be alright, everything falls in the right way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jo | November 25, 2009

Confused Vocabulary

For last few months Ashmit and Aru do most of the conversation in Hindi. Thats a big progress for us but Ashmit’s teacher has a complaint that when she speaks to him in English, he answers in Hindi. Well I’m happy that my Brit kids have become Indians. Anyway, in the process of transformation, Ashmit’s vocabulary has become somewhat Hinglish (Hindi+English). Here are a few of them that I can remember today…

  • “I was running तेज़ly से …”
  • “If I am naughty, you are going to डाटें me?…”
  • “Book के pages टूट गयें हैं… “
  • “मेरी car का wheel फट गया…”

There are more examples but can’t remember as for now. Will keep updating this as they come…

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