I am thrilled..

…because Munch has made me proud today.She has performed well beyond my expectations in her final term exams.And to top it up she has been nominated for a prize in Hindi.Like most children  studying in English mediums, Munch detested her Hindi lessons.It took a lot of effort to bring her to love the subject and the language.The problems that most bengali kids face with speaking or writing in Hindi is that either they go wrong with the gender or the tense.Like Munch would say,”Mumma,mera basket bara hai”(My basket is bigger) .But slowly and steadily,I managed to drill all the nuances of the language into her tiny head.The next hurdle were the spellings which she handled well enough.Her Hindi teacher gave her a big hug and a bar of chocolate this morning saying”You have surprised me ,darling”.My heart swelled with pride.Here’s to many more  aheivements in the coming years and success in all you do.

God bless you, Munch

The Mad Momma

 

Remember April 2011 on Twitter, Facebook and blogs? We talked about Child Sexual Abuse – the hows, the wheres and the whens. We were overwhelmed by the response it generated, humbled by the weight of the personal stories of despair and courage.

 

It’s that time of the year again and we’re going ahead with Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month – April 2012.

Do you have a story to tell? Tips to share? A video, a link, an ebook? As a parent, as an adult, as a child? As before, we honour all requests for anonymity.

Bring your experience and your expertise to this awareness initiative via

Blog posts with the logo (you can copy the image above), linkback to our blog, with the words “CSAAM April 2012” in the title.

Twitter posts or links to @CSAawareness, tagged “#CSAAM”

FB notes linking to our Facebook page
Emails to csa.awareness.april@gmail.com

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In Anticipation

Tomorrow is a big day.For two reasons.

Munch’s final term results are going to be out tomorrow.That makes me sweat.I have more butterflies in my stomach.It never felt like this before.And I had no knowledge of these creatures each time my parents went to collect my annual report! And the same is with Munch.She is so confident(busy watching her favourite cartoon as I write).But since this was the first time she sat for proper exams,with a 50 mark paper in each subject,that makes me a wee bit worried.She is only 7 and a half.And some of the papers had 11 or 12 questions besides objectives.She has always done well since she started formal school.And I hope she proves it tomorrow as well.Pray for Munch(and me).

The second reason is after a gap of 4 years,I have started looking out for a job. Being married to an Army personnel who is off on field duty for 3 years,I had been the sole caretaker of my kids.And the only job you could think of when having to move every 3 years is that of a teacher.I had taught for 2 years after Munch started school. But when Perk came,I took another break.Now, with Perk settled in her school,I am thinking of venturing out again.So ,I have an interview lined up tomorrow.More jitters.Will I be good enough after all these years?How will I manage home and school?(ie if i get the job)I am doing this more as a confidence booster than anything else.And the moment I feel ,I am unable to manage,I would have no hesitations in quitting.That is the sort of frame of mind with which I am going to approach the interview.How pessimistic!

I am keeping my fingers crossed.And something inside tells me if Munch come out tops,I will get through too.Because that will show me that if I have been doing something right with Munch,I might still have it in me!Till then..

Our nature trip

One December weekend ,on our recent trip to Assam, we (the hubby and myself) decided to take the kids to a predominantly bird resort and probably less frequented than the  Kaziranga. We had heard that it was a birders’ paradise.So we set off early at 7 in the morning in our rented car.We were headed towards the Nameri National Park Iwhich is home to more than 300 species of birds and hordes of elephants.

The drive was picturesque and I took in the beauty of the quaint little bamboo houses which had cute hand-made  bamboo fencings with intricate designs.Almost every house had a small temple in the courtyard.The foliage was lush green and numerous water bodies scattered all over.Slowly ,we closed in on the hills and the population grew thinner as we approached Haathi Gate.From here, we took a right turn and reached our destination -The Eco Camp.The camp itself was breathtaking with tall deciduous trees and the sounds of the jungle.There were tents scattered round the camp and also a few quaint little thatched cottages for those who wanted to spend the night.

We ordered lunch and set out for rafting(which is not at all similar to what you experience in Rishikesh) on the river Jia Bhoroli .The river is also famous for Mahaseer fishing.We were taken to the rafting point on a small truck on which our raft was loaded..The site of the crystal  clear waters,the gorgeous mountains and the chill in the air made us forget the bumpy ride we took to get here all morning.The naked beauty of the place is hard to describe and to capture.We travelled for 4 kms on the raft ,taking short breaks to explore the islands or to click some of the birds we saw.But actually unless you have a professional camera,it is impossible to take a shot of them.The kids too loved feeling the water once in a while and got all excited the moment they saw a bird.And we would ask them to shhhh ….as the bird would fly before we took a closer look at it.

After the rafting,we suddenly felt very hungry.We reached the camp to find the lunch which we had ordered before ,all ready to be served.The dining area of the camp was nicely furnished with dark bamboo furniture.The food was yummy and had local flavours .Perk was happy feeding morsels to a cat which had placed itself at her feet.The kids played around in the lush lawns for a while and I spent my time capturing the beauty of the place.The manager told us that every evening a bonfire is lit and the guests sit around it sipping their evening tea.

Though we did not see a lot of birds as we expected,yet the experience left us satisfied.I leave you with some pictures of our trip.

The Haathi gate

Munch and Perk outside the camp

The beautiful river and the jungle beyond.

Perk on the raft being held back by the Hubby.

The hubby admiring the view

Munch and Perk reaching out to feel the water

The thatched roof cottage with Munch in the balcony

Outside the tent

School chale hum..

In a previous post,I told you how I fell in love with Perk’s school the moment I saw it.I managed to click some pictures of the place when we were invited to their Art and Craft exhibition.

The school building.I love the pillars with the pencils on them.

The Doll house.

The play-area is lush and green.

Perk's classroom.

Perk looking intently at the things on display.

Makes me  want to go to school all over again!Do you feel the same?

How healthy!

The kids are having a term break.Being at home makes them hungry all the time.Ask them what they want and the answer is always a junk.  So , I drew up these pictures and put them on the soft board in their nursery.Now each time they feel hungry ,I ask them to choose items from the board and now all they eat is healthy.And they find the idea of choosing from the board fun.

And making all kinds of recipes out of these is a challenge for me too.Some of the things I tried were cheese pakodas,cheese bites,fruit chaat, a banana shake,french toast,Fish fingers,vegetable dips, chicken sandwiches….tasty and healthy is the mantra.

What all recipes can you think of with these ingredients?Do share.

Fruits,veggies,fish,chicken ,eggs,cheese,milk,nuts

PS Munch helped me colour the pictures.

I am linking this post to Colours Dekor.

Keeping mumma on her toes..

Perk is an unusually active child(that is an understatement). She cannot sit in one place.She cannot entertain herself with one piece of toy for more than 5 minutes.If the house is creepily silent  for more than ten minutes,you can guess she is up to some mischief.I leave you with some  pictures with the hope that I can gain some of your sympathies.

She takes immense pleasure in handling things which belong to Munch,

And to mumma..boo hooo

Hiding after completely squashing mumma's lipstick

Can the keyboard be left on its own..

Ting-tong goes the bell at all odd hours..

Need more evidence.?Wait till I get them together for you.

Munch in her 2nd Grade..

As another academic year comes to a close and Munch moves on from the 2nd grade to the 3rd,I sat down and reflected as to how much the past year has taught my child and how much she has grown as an individual.Definitely, more confident and independent than before…

Since Perk had started taking up most of my time,I felt a slight guilt of not being able to spend that much time with Munch as I would have liked to.Perk is a demanding child and she wants all the attention she can have.But my dear Munch never complained.She loved her sister and the presence of Nani and Dadu made up for whatever time i was not able to give her. She has become more responsible at home as well as at school.She can now get into her school uniform herself and i just have to do her hair.Though the morning milk still has to be drained down her throat somehow.She loses lesser number of pencils,erasers and other stationery than she did last year.She manages to complete her class assignments on time albeit she still writes slower than most other students in her class.She finishes the lunch she carries with her which was a major problem last year.So over all my little Munch has grown and is slowly but steadily progressing in the right direction.

Academically she has done very well.I am particularly happy for she has done exceptionally well in subjects which require confidence and skill like reading and recitation.Spellings are also her strong point.I am hopeful she will do well when her results are out next week.(fingers crossed)Her weaknesses though still remain – handwriting and painting.I hope she overcomes these barriers too in the coming year.

She is learning to play the casio and takes keen interest in the same.She has learnt to play the National Anthem ,Saare Jahan se Accha,” We Shall Overcome ” besides  rhymes.She cycles with confidence too.

Her biggest achievement this year has been in the inter-school elocution competition.She was one of the two  chosen to represent her class in this event.That itself was an achievement.She went ahead and won the second position in a closely fought contest which saw her miss the first position by a single point.Though we had not been invited  to witness the eventI,I had tears of joy in my eyes when she came home with her prize.Hugs.This is going to remain one of my proudest moments ever.

As both of us gear up for another academic year,here’s wishing my Munch lots of luck and love and the power to rise and shine .Enjoy the year ahead…lots of learning and yearning.

 

Indian Television…not a saas-bahu saga anymore

Indian Television is growing by leaps and bounds.It is moving in the right direction-growing bigger,bolder and  experimental.And I am not talking about the Reality shows lurking around on all possible channels (except the pioneering show, India’s very own Sa Re Ga Ma).

A few years ago, the only shows gaining high TRP’s  were the Saas-bahu sagas.But recently ,quite a few channels have come up with fresh and unusual themes.I watch some of these shows off and on and others quite religiously.

One of these is “Kuch Toh Log Kahenge” on Sony.Based on a popular Pakistani series Dhoop Kinare by Haseena Moin,this one is a romance between a 22 year old medical intern and a middle aged doctor.Being a Mohnish Behl fan, I watched the show regularly until it took another typical hindi filmi turn and the doctor met with an accident.And lo and behold!Mohnish had been replaced in the show by Sharad Kelkar.The Times said the reason being money and wifey troubles.The show would have lost a lot of audience.

Another Sony show which I really followed right from the first episode is “Bade Acche Lagte Hai“.This is another love story but this time between a middle aged,overweight and  arrogant business tycoon and a simple,middle class 30 plus woman.And the catch is that love between them happens slowly and gradually after marriage .And the marriage itself takes place under family pressure.Recently,an entire episode was dedicated to how Ram and Priya ,the lead pair,finally consummate their marriage.(Bold as per television standards).The strong point of this show is the acting of Ram Kapoor and Saakshi Tanwar.The title track has incidentally been rendered melodiously by Shreya Ghoshal.Worth a dekko.

Chal sheh aur maat.,a thriller on Colors is another genre which had so far been untouched by television.Though only a week old,the promos of the show look promising.A young bride is on a honeymoon and wakes up to find another man in place of her husband who claims to be her “pati”.I hope the show is able to keep the audiences interests alive as the opening has been promising.

And last but not the least, is a show I would not miss..ParvarishKuch Khatti Kuch Meethi ,again on Sony. A must -watch for all mothers and fathers.This is about nurturing,parenting and loving your children.As the name suggests,the show takes us through the life of two families with five kids in different age groups and how the parents deal with problems and situations that the kids find themselves in.Although we might think we know a lot about parenting ,every child teaches us something everyday.So does this show.It is an eye opener.The areas it touches are very close to our hearts.Whether to be strict with our kids or let them free?Why a teenaged daughter suddenly demands contact lenses?How a fight between parents affects the kids?How to control a child who loses his temper often and resorts to violence?Why  kids today are lured by high end mobiles,I pads and I pods.?How a younger sibling wants a separate birthday party which for so long had always been clubbed with her sister’s?How the parents deal with these situations and come out of it form the crux of the show.The show has gained popularity in a very short span.The reason :its different and fresh and has nothing to do with a saas or a bahu.

So unless there is some dramatic turnaround in the stories of these shows,they are the beginning of a new era on Indian television.

A per…fect morning!

After a long time the dotties and me woke up late(if 8’o’ clock can be termed late) since both of them are early risers.Anyways they both looked quite fresh and chirpy.

All three of us headed out towards the garden.We toiled hard  picking up leaves strewn all over by the strong winds blowing last evening.The result: the team work led to the task being over in about half an hour.Pat on the back of the girls.

Next up, they helped me eagerly in cleaning up my shoe rack.Somehow I detest the idea of cleaning up my own cupboards. But with four tiny hands helping me ,the task didn’t look that daunting.Another long pending task achieved.A hug from mamma and both their faces lit up with the pride .

For a change,both of them drank their glass of milk without any fuss and devoured their breakfast of poori and aloo down to the last morsel.Am I still dreaming?

Later they helped me by dusting their own room and insisted on cleaning up the dressing table which is generally a forbidden territory for them.but seeing mamma’s good mood ,they took that chance.For once I agreed.I watched them clean my bottles of perfume and nailpaints with great care.One day,they would have much more stuff than this on their dresser.

Bathed and pampered,Munch sat down with “Cinderella” and Perk with her colours.Why can’t all the days be so blissful?

As I sat down with the morning paper,the first thing that caught my eye was that our not so generous government has announced a 7 % hike in DA.Pinch me..!

I feel blessed today and the day is not even half over.

As my SIL’s Facebook status says today “Keep smiling and one day life will get tired of upsetting you.” I agree.Do you?