Franklin's Blanket

The book is a MUST read for all children. Its one of the Franklin series  authored by Paulette Bourgeois and the beautiful in detail illustration is done  by Brenda Clark , giving life to Franklin and his world!
Brenda have put so much heart in her drawings that though the story is already good , the pictures uplifts the narration to a whole new level... the windows , window- sills, towels, flowing curtains, wall hangings in bear's , fox's and the Turtle's room, décor, toys, prints on bed sheets, lamps, bookracks.....each and every little thing has come  alive by the touch of her magical pencil . The homes of the turtle's and the  bear's and fox's, have that look kiddish look .And boy! They are Clean, organized, well equipped with books, trunks, chests ,mirrors and all that stuff found in an upper middle class home.
Whew! am talking much about the graphics.
The story is  the spine and a well written one is like a spine blessed with perfect vertebrae and elastic muscles. It makes the body of the book move gracefully and enchantingly.
It just happened with the Franklin series.
After I googled regarding the book I realized Franklin is so popular that there are landmarks and statutes of it at children gardens and place. The  above stone statue where the Turtle is  sitting on a stool is with Brenda .  No wonder she is spell bound by his antics like us all!

A must read ..... Happy Reading .


Christina's Ghost


In 'Christina's Ghost' the writer Betty Ren Wright narrates a tale full of suspense and ghosts while  beautifully telling an intriguing story of two people who are so different from each other but learn to respect and understand each other while spending summer holidays in  an isolated, spooky place.
 The grumpy Uncle Ralph had Christina in jitters when she found herself in unavoidable situation of spending summer hols with him ...specially as he don't appreciate her tom boyish ways ...and that too in an isolated mansion with an evil past lurking around it.
But things changed for worse or better? when she  encountered a ghost of a sad small boy in sailor suit ...leading to chilling discoveries.

The book is extremely well written, devoid of blood and gore and hence is fit for children.It keeps the young as well as adult reader hooked and waiting with abetted breath for the resident attic evil to strike !
Illustrations by Ann Johns are good and Christina and her Uncle emerge not only as  lovable and easy going but also understanding and brave persons.

A worth read book.
And something I came to know much later is that the book is winner of  many awards namely
• Winner of seven child-voted state awards!
• Georgia Children's Book Award
• Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award
• Oklahoma Sequoyah Children's Book Award
• South Carolina Children's Book Award
• Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award
• Texas Bluebonnet Award
• Virginia Young Readers Award
 Young Hoosier Book Award Winner (Intermediate, 1988–1989)
TASL Volunteer State Book Children's Choice Award

More First Lines

More First Lines
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
                                              - George Orwell, 1984.
  • "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
                                            Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
                                    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

"Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo."
             - James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • "Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing."
                                    - Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

                       The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new."
                                        - Samuel Beckett, Murphy

  •           " When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jim got his arm badly broken at the elbow."
                                                               - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

  • "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."
                            Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

  • "You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter."
                       - Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • Tuesday

    Famous Disney Castles

     Disney ... Castles in the Air, to make a maiden's heart leap with wonder and joy, the eyes shine
    like diamonds and  she sways with her Prince in the glory of love in the vast spaces of these palaces forever and ever.

     This is taken from-|blgomd|OMD-October|FB|Castles-Tangled|InHouse|100713|||esocialmedia|||
    I found this article so good that can't help to share it with u all. So here are the Castles ...

    The Evil Queen’s Castle, Snow White
     A castle lorded by the Evil queen.

    King Stefan’s Castle, Sleeping Beauty
    disney_castles_sleeping-beautyAmidst well-manicured trees, this castle looks soothing  in pastel colours .
    Prince Charming’s Castle, Cinderella
    This castle looks almost impossibly’s like the castle is just another cloud floating in the sky.

    The Red Queen’s Castle, Alice in Wonderland
     A beautiful  castle but  the Red Queen herself is almost as much of as mess as the exterior of this place.

    Prince Eric’s Castle, The Little Mermaid
    Look how this castle literally sits right on the beach. It doesn’t get more picturesque than this. It’s also an unique architectural style.

    Beast’s Castle, Beauty and the Beast
    Beast’s castle is enchanted. Never-ending libraries, grand ballrooms, talking inanimate objects; this castle has it all.

    Castle Dunbroch, Brave
    Now this is a castle. We’re getting a distinctly medieval vibe from the stone and architecture and almost one is  transported to Scotland just looking at it.

    Princess Jasmine’s Castle, Aladdin
    disney_castles_aladdinThis castle involves gold.  There are fountains, there is a domesticated tiger, there are hidden lairs.

    Rapunzel’s Castle
    This castle has its own island. Also, it’s gorgeous.  that lantern thing happens once a year, which is pretty magical.

    Glinda’s Castle, Oz The Great and Powerful
    The land surrounding Glinda’s castle is stunning.

    The Silent Snake

     By Anonymous 

     "The birds go fluttering in the air,
       The rabbits run and skip,
                   Brown squirrels race along the bough,
                   The May-flies rise and dip;

             But while these creatures play and leap,
            The silent snake goes creepy-creep!

        The birdies sing and whistle loud,
        The busy insects hum,

        The squirrels chat, the frog says “Croak!”
        But the snake is always dumb.

             With not a sound through grasses deep
             The silent snake goes creepy-creep."

    Written by an unknown poet it's picturesque and sweet. To write beautifully about dirty pigs, slimy frogs, wobbly spiders and antsy ants is an intrinsic quality found in all foreign writers. Now some Indians are also doing great job in this field particularly Asha Nehemia, Divik Ramesh and others.
    Be it prose or poetry they write effortlessly about animals in their elements .
    No idealistic charan- sparsh or dramatic  matr-pitr bhakti and aagya -grahan blah ,blah , blah... only characters with species specific traits , lots of human err... animal faults .... some life  situations .. self-realization and natural victory of goodness over complications.
    Be it in their movies or books, these are good enough to teach us a thing or two!
    Right from the days of Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton  the hoppity rabbits and the jumppity frogs are hopping and jumping around us....

    They've  a story for ALL of them. For the bee and the grasshopper, the frog and the fly, the little birdie and the squirrel ,the rabbit, the spider, caterpillar and the slug , the mice, the crab and even a snake! 

    All I know is that I just love  these.







                                                                                By Jeannie Kirby


                                                       I wonder why the grass is green,
    And why the wind is never seen?
    Who taught the birds to build a nest,
                                                        And told the trees to take a rest?
    O, when the moon is not quite around,
    Where can the missing bit be found?

    Who light the stars, when they blow out,
    And makes the lightning flash about?

    Who paints the rainbow in the sky,
    And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

    Why is it now, do you suppose,
    That dad won't tell me, if he knows?
    This poem shows the wonder of a naïve but curious  child  and it reminds me of another writing by Shri Bharat Vyas . In both cases the person wonders about 'Who'? i.e. who spread this beauty on earth?
       Movie : 'Boond Jo Ban Gayi Moti '
    Song:           Ye kaun chitrakar hai
    Singer :                              Mukesh
    Lyricist :                     BharatVyas
    Ye Kaun Chitrakaar Hai, Ye Kaun Chitrakaar!
    Haree Bharee Vasundharaa Pe Neela Neela Ye Gagan,
    Ke Jispe Baadalon Ki Paalaki Udaa Rahaa Pavan!
    Dishayein Dekho Rang Bhari, Chamak Rahi, Umang Bhari,
    Ye Kisne Phool Phool Pe Kiya Singaar Hai!
    Ye Kaun Chitrakaar Hai, Ye Kaun Chitrakaar!
    Tapasviyo Si Hain Atal Ye Parvaton Ki Chotiyaan!
    Ye Sarp Si Ghumerdaar Gherdaar Ghaatiyaan!
    Dhvajaa Se Ye Khade Hue, Hain Vriksha Devdaar Ke!
    Galeeche Ye Gulab Ke, Bageeche Ye Bahaar Ke!
    Ye Kis Kavi Ki Kalpana Ka Chamatkaar Hai!
    Ye Kaun Chitrakaar Hai, Ye Kaun Chitrakaar!
    Kudrat Ki Is Pavitrataa Ko Tum Nihaar Lo,
    Iske Guno Ko Apne Man Mein Tum Utaar Lo,
    Chamkaa Lo Aaj Lalimaa Apne Lalaat Ki
    Kan Kan Se Jhaankati Tumhe Chhavi Viraat Ki,
    Apni To Aankh Ek Hai, Uski Hazaar Hain,

    In hindi  devnagari script-

    ये कौन चित्रकार है ये कौन चित्रकार

    हरी भरी वसुंधरा पर नीला नीला ये गगन
    के जिसपे बादलों की पालकी उड़ा रहा पवन
    दिशाएं देखो रंग भरी
    दिशाएं देखो रंग भरी चमक रहीं उमंग भरी
    ये किसने फूल फूल से किया श्रृंगार है
    ये कौन चित्रकार है ये कौन चित्रकार

    कुदरत की इस पवित्रता को तुम निहार लो
    इनके गुणों को अपने मन में तुम उतार लो
    चमका दो आज लालिमा
    चमका दो आज लालिमा अपने ललाट की
    कण कण से झनकती तुम्हीं छबी विराट की
    अपनी तो आँख एक है,  इसकी हज़ार है

    ये कौन चित्रकार है ये कौन चित्रकार

    तपस्वियों सी हैं अटल ये पवर्तों कि चोटियाँ
    ये बर्फ़ कि घुमरदार घेरदार घाटियाँ
    ध्वजा से ये खड़े हुए
    ध्वजा से ये खड़े हुए हैं वृक्ष देवदार के
    गलीचे ये गुलाब के बगीचे ये बहार के
    ये किस कवि की कल्पना
    ये किस कवि की कल्पना का चमत्कार है
    ये कौन चित्रकार है ये कौन चित्रकार

    This song is from movie 'Boond Jo Ban gayi Moti' sung by legendry Mukesh Kumar and the beautiful video can be seen here

    Far from the madding crowd

    Book: Far From The Maddening Crowd
    Author : Thomas Hardy
    Genre : Fiction Novel
    Published By : Wordsworth Classics
    My Ratings :  4.5/5

    Yesterday I finished this book and in complete contrast of the title I read it in full madding crowd!
    But as is the case with classics , it takes you away from the boundaries of desh-kaal-paristhiti means country, time and situations. And it stole my heart with its captivating description of Wessex nature and the flowing narration.

    Its not a fast paced story or a one with many tumbling events but whatever events occur are, influential and impressive enough to turn the tide of life of the characters .
    Coming to the characters are flesh and bone, lovable or despicable, but real and true. The names of the characters are also captivating Bathsheba, Gabriel Oak , Troy , Boldwood and Fanny,even Coggan, Liddy and all.

    I admired Gabriel Oak .The quiet, honest, sorted  and reliable man who is the pillar of strength not only for Bathsheba and her farm but is also a salient grace and dignity to the story. He is a character emitting sukoon and shanti, stability and calm and he likes to read! and he is concerned about not only financial growth and success but for intellect and  growth as a person.

    Have a look at the simplicity of his  love-
    At home by the fire, whenever I look up, there you will be. And whenever you look up, there I shall be.

    The depth of his love-
    He wished she knew his impressions, but he would as soon as thought of carrying an odour in a net as of attempting to convey the intangibles of his feeling in the coarse meshes of language. So he remained silent.”

    Honesty of his love-
    Thoroughly convinced of the impossibility of his own suit, a high resolve constrained him not to injure that of another. This is a lover's most stoical virtue, as the lack of it is a lover's most venial sin.”

    Bathsheba is  "An Elizabeth in brain and Mary Stuart in spirit....." Chapter XX. She is soft and volatile, vain and decent, playful yet  sensitive ,to feel responsible for her actions ,looking for love sprinkled with romance and social up-lifting (very understandably ).
    She said-
    Well, what I mean is that I shouldn't mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband.”

     and it was said of her-

    She was of the stuff of which great men's mothers are made. She was indispensable to high generation, hated at tea parties, feared in shops, and loved at crises.”
    She played, repented,chose, lost ,rose and found true love .So she is thoughtful and intelligent but lacks the maturity of judgement and wisdom which comes with experience, when pride and vanity are wiped by the hands of fate.

    Her feelings evoke pathos and a  desire to undo what's been done...

     “Until she had met Troy, Bathsheba had been proud of her position as a woman; it had been a glory to her to know that her lips had been touched by no man’s on earth—that her waist had never been encircled by a lover’s arm. She hated herself now. In those earlier days she had always nourished a secret contempt for girls who were the slaves of the first good-looking young fellow who should choose to salute them. . . . she had felt herself sufficient to herself, and had in the independence of her girlish heart fancied there was a certain degradation in renouncing the simplicity of a maiden existence to become the humbler half of an indifferent matrimonial whole . . . facts now bitterly remembered.”

    Between Oak and Troy -
    “And Troy’s deformities lay deep down from a woman’s vision, whilst his embellishments were upon the very surface; thus contrasting with the homely Oak, whose defects were patent to the blindest, and whose virtues were as metals in a mine.”


    The only thing I found odd is the way it ended....  destined but  hasty ...Bathsheba in accepting Gabriel's hand seemed not driven by love but a mixture of friendliness, lack of options, want of stability and him being a tried and tested person with a  good heart and capable limbs.
     (That's why 4.5/5 )
    Though all these traits combined are equal to any love any given day or century ,still Bathsheba must have felt the  attraction to get married.
    but then their relation and camaraderie has been shown as -

    ''Theirs was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each other's character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good- fellowship—camaraderie—usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstances permit its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death—that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.

     So, may be I am adding romance to all this!

    Far from the madding crowd” means away from noise and mindless chase for nothing but, as per the characters it can also be 'safe from the crazies' . It refers to a quiet and rural place.  Hardy took the line from a passage in Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchard, 1751:

    “Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,

    Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
    Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
    They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.”  –Thomas Gray

    Gray's poem was a part of our syllabus in class 10th.
    The people in the novel found solace away from the madness of impulsive decisions, treachery , uncontrolled passion ,infatuation and insecurities.In  chapter XXII while describing nature in Weatherbury , Hardy had written -

    "Every green was young, every pore was open, and every stalk was swollen with racing currents of juice. God was  palpably present in the country, and the Devil had  gone with the world to the town." so the title is justified.

     Some worthy quotes from the book -

    1.  But a resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.
    2.   The vast difference between starting a train of events, and directing into a particular groove a series already started, is rarely apparent to the person confounded by the issue.

    3.   We colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in.”  

    4.  We learn that it is not the rays which bodies absorb, but those which they reject, that give them the colours they are known by; and in the same way people are specialized by their dislikes and antagonisms, whilst their goodwill is looked upon as no attribute at all.”  
    5.   “Indifference to fate which, though it often makes a villain of a man, is the basis of his sublimity when it does not.”   


    Shame ..shame...shame..INDIA

    right now watching  The infamous malign vivad on the current shameful episode of a certain asumal....on India TV NEWS under the guidance of Deepak Chaurasiya. DISGUSTING and Shameful... those people who has the guts to defend such  animals.... worse then naali ke keede
    Shame ..shame..shame..
    According to Bholanad ..his father was murdered and mother was forcefully kept and young Bholanad was so much traumatise that was tongue tied till now ..... and is still under life threat.... who will save this country ?

    ग़ुलाब- The Rose

                     ग़ुलाब एक...                                    डॉयरी के पन्नों में,                                     कोयल ने फिर कुह...