Balto by Natalie Standiford : A True Story

IndiBlogger Badge'Balto' is a true story about a brave dog in fact - The bravest Dog in Alaska !
Balto and his master Gunnar lived in Nome, Alaska- a frontier town which is buried under snow for most of the year. Balto was the cleverest and the strongest sled dog .

When there was a possible outbreak of Diptheria in that quaint town, the medicines were far away in Anchorage, Alaska and the train was stuck in deep snow 700 miles away from Nome....

The Train IS Stuck!!
At that time a plan to take help from the dog teams was the only option.
Team Balto had to pass the medicine chest from Point Bluff to Point Safety, a 31 mile distance but due to blizzard and impossible weather conditions they had to travel further from Point Saftey to Point Nome too- a very long and tiring stretch!
Balto and Gunnar MUST help.
So Balto and Gunnar together accomplished the amazing journey of 53 miles in a record time through blizzard, snowdrifts and cracking ice over frozen rivers to save the ailing children and prevented the outbreak of Diptheria in Nome.
Balto was too tired to Bark!
The hero of the journey was Balto as Gunnar lost the route midway and it was solely because of the dog's ability to find the trail that they reached Nome in time.

And now, there is a statue of Balto standing in the Central park of New York as he is cheered by all America.... The Bravest Dog Ever.

The book is a Must Read

It's inspiring and tailored for young readers with impressionable minds telling the heroics of Balto in a simple manner and ends with an incredible image of children hugging the statue of Balto in New York. 

The plaque under the statue reads, "......Endurance, fidelity, Intelligence." 

Balto's statue in Alaska

In Central Park and original pic.

No children's book is complete without images and Donald Cook did an incredible job by beautifully illustrating the frozen landscapes and bringing out the chill of Alaska as well as in portraying Balto and Gunner's tough and steel willed looks.

Enjoyable and Inspiring.

The Graduation Day : Grace Maccarone

 'The Graduation Day' is a nice little book which tells about young Matt who had just learned how to read and write.He is going to receive his Graduation Certificate for the above said achievement but his graduation cap keeps on falling ! 

Matt is walking very slowly and is keeping his head very still so not to make it fall but what's this ??
 Look at Jane , Matt's friend.
 She's cartwheeling and still the cap is on !

Will he be able to make it to the stage without a fall-off ?
Will he make his Mother and lil sister Pat proud at school ? 
To know this all read The Graduation day. A sweet little book for young readers. With bold big letters and beautiful images .Happy Reading .


Holi Hai !

Just like the festival of Holi - innocent yet naughty, colourful yet meaningful, this image of Anindy is deeply etched in my mind forever. The slight tilt of the head, the naughty twinkle of eyes and this gesture which he used to do for the camera.... He thought that while clicking pictures the finger should be on the chin and as a 2 and half year old boy, he misplaced it near the lips!

                                                    Happy Day # 47

The Taj Conspiracy : Review

Book   :   The Taj Conspiracy
Author : Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Genre  :   Historical Thriller
Book Cover  :(
Published by : Westland
My Ratings : 4/5
Mehrunisa Khosa is a Mughal Scholar with an Indo- Persian lineage who while studying the Persian calligraphy in Taj Mahal ,stumbles upon a conspiracy to destroy the national monument and replant it as a Hindu Shiva temple. She found the calligraphy on the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal altered ......and  got herself involved in murder and mayhem with the only way to come out unscathed is to uncover the conspiracy and save the Taj-one of the wonders on the earth, a symbol of national pride....and the last link to her own Indo-Persian heritage.
The book is engaging historically, culturally and emotionally.
It deals neutrally with urban legends of Taj and provides a sensitive peek in to the mausoleum. It definitely brought me closer to the monument ...making me see the human side of the building irrespective of ShahJahan marrying Mumtaz's sister /daughter or whatever. 
Irrespective of what the emperor did after the queen's death , Taj does represent love.The beauty of the architecture, the design and the details of the lattice work, stone, acoustics, domes, symbols and the calligraphy cast their spell on me. If not for the faithfulness of the emperor then for the conception  and execution of Taj by the artists,the engineers and now the caretakers and historians, I am awed and felt close to it after this book.
The  author did a great job of writing a conspiracy.It provides thrill and doubts, impostors and fraud  at a regular pace. The book is not extensively researched or cerebral .It toys with history,myths, art and culture lightly albeit in a pleasant manner.It is easy on mind though we could do with more research but no complaints! It hits at the mark.The reader is thrilled, is intoxicated by the grandeur of Taj and the occasional discussion of Renaissance art as well as is kept on toes to unmask the impostor and save the day. 
The Ummm Points 
1. ) One is that I got ASI Director under suspicion as soon as he ate a bowl full of walnuts and got wrapped himself in a muffler.(Guess this was intentional)
2.) Two- at the Jaipur Haveli, he almost gave himself away and I was convinced of his double identity.
3.) Three- on the discovery of the 'door framed  table' truth was SO lucid that it takes a blind man not to see it.
4.) The fourth is regarding Pamposh. Her characterization does not match with her deeds.Her psyche with her actions. How can she be so irrationally fanatic to help destroy Taj just because it represents Persian lineage when she is calm and tolerant  enough to house and school orphan Muslim children ?
The above two I can bear thinking that I sensed by fluke or that the author wants me to sense, but the last two points really irked me.That's why 4/5.
The Cover is a BIG let down.Now a days when beautiful mind boggling covers are being produced how come they settled down for such an unimaginative sodden damp image. Specially when the book deals with beautiful Taj ,artistic Persian calligraphy and various intricate symbols of Hindu and Islamic heritage. Sigh! 

Still Something Superb 
I MUST congratulate the writer Manreet for making me read such good language  in a contemporary DESI thriller and the flawless characterization.Special mention to  Mehrunnisa Khosa and special exclusion of Pamposh.
I was pleasantly amazed by her choice of words and was suitably impressed my her writing style. eg-
"Outside the wind must have picked up, for the house had begun to sigh like an old woman."  Pg 312

Being a classic lover I liked the splattering of culturo-heritage talks with a flavour of history,sprinkled with art and architecture and garnished with thrills .The Renaissance conversation between Toor and Mehr at the Dhaba was interesting as well as integral to the mystery.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India Mausoleum Built by Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal aerial view

The realistic yet artistic narration style at places reminds me of Hindi writer Shivani. The way the characters gulp down greasy samosas, kulhad chais, gorge on shami kebabs all the while talking animatedly sticking out gravy stained fingers, they are real people easy to envision and relate to. 
The protagonist Mehrunisa Khosa is  very well drawn and nuanced character ,culturally rich, strong, determined, gullible yet erudite and yes as per Toor - Classic.
 Strongly recommended if you have a flair for words,love history and tend to ignore certain Ummm factors.

For more pictures of the Taj, do visit HERE

Captured !

Sometimes the earth goes round the moon
Sometimes the snow comes down in June ...
Though the Three Musketeers never pose together,
Still I captured them on two afternoons!!!

                                                                   Happy Day #46

Sepia Shades

I always wanted to see myself from the eyes of the future generations...Just like we see the princesses and ladies of yore in old paintings and sketches, adorned with finery and the old word charm.I wished to see how I will look in a yellowed  photograph in a sepia tinted,torn book accompanied by a wilted dry rose and  family heirlooms strung in pearls... 

                                                                       Happy Day # 45


Petals in her hands

This sketch I drew as a teenager when the movie '1942-A Love Story' was released .I was much enamoured by the pristine beauty and the natural grace of the heroine- Manisha Koirala and just as Jaaved Akhtar saa'b payed an ode to her ethereal  beauty in 'ek ladki ko dekha....' I too made this sketch of hers  with petals (instead of water) in her hands....lips parted and hair falling on her shoulders like monsoon clouds... It was bliss to watch her, to draw her (with many shortcomings) and now to see it again and again.

                                                               Happy Day # 44

Kashmir ki Kali

Here is my precious little girl turned into a Kashmiri beauty minus the phiren but with sparkling dejihors dangling from her tiny ears.The sparkle of her eyes diminishes that of the jewellery and this smile of her is far wide and bright then the necklace of semi-precious stones! Mummy's yellow dupatta with Nani's hand knitted woolen offered great contrast to my chubby baby. Now this is what I call an impromptu fancy dress party.

                                                                          Happy Day # 43

The Emerald Fruit

Yum... The on start of the mango season! No body who had spend his childhood gorging on Indian Mangoes can EVER forget the taste,aroma or the Beautiful colour of these heavenly fruits. The various shades of greens mixed artistically with the shades of scarlet,crimson,deep red and all possible hues of brightest to palest yellow... Amazing ! To look at a mango tree loaded with fruits is akin to sighting hanging emeralds!
Here this tree at my cousin's place is full of unripe mangoes good for chutneys,pickles and the golden-emerald Aam ka Panna.

                                                                          Happy Day # 42

Recipe for Aam Ka Panna-
serves 4
Preparation Time - 25 minutes
2  raw mangoes - medium size
Cumin seeds - roasted
Black/rock salt - according to taste
Aesfoetida - a pinch
MInt leaves - 8-10 leaves
Black Pepper - 4 (powdered)
Sugar - 3 table spoons (acc. to taste)

Wash and peel the raw mangoes.Separate the fleshy part from the drupe with a knife.Boil the raw pulp with water. (Or you can boil it as such and later, after cooling can separate the pulp from the drupe.) 
Mash with a ladle or better give a turn in the mixer along with mint leaves. Strain the pulp.
 Add roasted cumin seed powder , black salt , sugar and asafeotida, black pepper powder and mix well .Add 2 glasses of water with ice cubes or chilled water.Garnish with mint leaves ,stir and serve. :)

Vrinda-van in my Balcony

The manjari of good luck, the flowers of blessings, the leaves of domestic peace and the aroma of health and  prosperity.... the Tulsi or Vrinda plant is integral to almost all Indians. And in my balcony potted garden it has bloomed in scores and millions with its tiny purple flowers flowing all over the place, making it a VrindaVan! Its said that an earthen diya lighted in mornings and evenings with devotion and piety blesses the home with all that is shubh. After all Tulsi is the pure and chaste better half of Lord Vishnu.
                                                                     Happy Day # 41

The Early Bloomers

Today when I entered the balcony with the morning cuppa tea, these delicate twin blooms were demurely hanging their necks and welcomed me bashfully. Nestled among the other bossy grassy stuff, these two are coy and timid, stirring their tiny petals at the slightest hint of wind and wished me 'Good Morning' in the most humble manner.Like the early arrivals these were little uncomfortable amidst the sharp green blades but were definitely enjoying the view from the fourth floor.
Hopes they soon find the majority with the late bloomers of their family and a riot of colours will be  splashed in my sunny balcony.
Happy Day #40

The Glass Fountain

The broken window, a solitary plant and the crystallised image of the other side..... The aqua colour and the fountain like quality of the pieces took my breath away. Like the fountain of life, fountain of joy. Awesome !
Happy Day #39

The Peacock and the Mesh

What's there to be jubilant, if you spot a dancing peacock with wings spread in all its royal grandeur? 
Agree, it's rare as the creature knows we are dying to see the Royal plumage and they just won't budge. Hence, to capture the national bird in its regal splendour that too by the amateur photographer, IS laudable.
Especially, as I accidentally shot the bird through the iron mesh by blurring the thick meshed wires completely! 
Chole Goyché!        
                                                                         Happy Day #38


The image is slightly blurred as the camera is in the hands of my too energetic son ,hence is constantly shaking.Still I liked it as first, it caught me unawares and second ,it indeed is a Happy day.Kids in pool, hubby in tennis court and I with a leisure with Mother Nature, peace,ginger-cardamom tea and books -a perfect afternoon !
Happy Day #37


Under The Chikoo Tree

 Anindy like most of the boys is just vaguely interested in nature.He does like the calm and restive environment and is a great fan of Enid Blyton mostly because the settings of her stories are in sunny fields, neat green pastures and calm blue skies.Still, once in such environment for more than an hour, he becomes restless and quite understandably craves for adventure!In this image I happened to catch that languid mood of his though he was totally besotted by the fact that he is actually holding a Chikoo tree ripe with fruits! Another first of his life.                                                  

                                                                       A Happy Day #36
In a Languid Mood
Yet Besotted and Thrilled to hold the Fruits!


Librarian in Stitches !

I don't remember from which site I got this image saved in my computer hard disk but it is there from weeks I am unable to part myself from it AND I am not a Librarian. 
It is the infatuation with books which made me envious of Librarians.Be it that mystic aura of  books stacked in rows after rows,the long gleaming tables,the filtering sunlight lighting up the awe inspiring floor patterns in a plush up-city library or the four roomed shack with books piled up high up to the ceiling and dust particles dancing in the incoming sunlight and colourful mats and rugs for seating ....they all have their own charm and aura.
This design whoever had done it is -marvellous! Needle and books. Embroidery and words.
A cerebro-lethal combination and surely a happy one.
                                            A happy day. #35

Sorting Out Sid : Review

The Sid-dom and the Bean Bag
Book : Sorting Out Sid
Author : Yashodhara Lal
Genre` : Modern Fiction
Published : Harper Collins
Best Buy : Here
When author Yashodhara Lal started the 'Sorting Out Sid - Blogger and Beer contest 'asking why are we interested in 'Sorting Out Sid' I answered honestly 'because Sid's world is stark opposite from mine's and I want to experience up-close and personal how he gets sorted out.'
I received a copy of the book! with a red tiny Bean Bag (Brownie is for Sid) and a promise to sign the book at some later opportunity :)
Siddharth aka Sid is a cool guy, with a ten years old marriage, loving friends, a promise of soon to be the 'youngest VP' of the company and much more .. Still his life lacks the zest ...why? Failing childless marriage, great unfulfilled expectations of parents,too interfering friends, obnoxious boss and manipulative colleagues.... then enters a single mom, revival of lost hobbies,a share in  responsibilities ......
Will he be able to sort out his life and himself?That's the big question.
Witty, hilarious and simple.
Its a slice of life book of modern day professionals. And this sliver of a slice offers you more flavour and variety then an international main course!
The book has it all. Though Sid definitely is missing on one important ingredient called....calm.
Through out the book he is running and running and that too, not towards something but from it. And 'It' here covers a wide spectrum.It is something which is vague for him and he don't want to confront it.
Impulsive and evasive,he seriously needs sorting out.He is seriously screwed. Having all he has none. 

The author successfully  portrays the complications and stress of today's life.And the glaring fact that these are totally manageable with a slight change in perception makes Sid and other people in the book vulnerable. 
Mandira being the head-strong wife, Aditi - a true friend but with insecurities,Meenakshi - the colleague with hidden agenda .... are all flawed to the realistic extent .Neha -is the only breezy character, responsible,smart and creative... some one good, for a guy like Sid but then Sid is far too habitual to be with Brownie rather then move his body for someone's matter if that someone is the best one he had met so far!
Me and my book
Author signing the 'SOS'
Writing style - Lal's style of writing is short and crisp. Her words and exclamations drip with humour.
The characters she created are of a believable grey.Be it Sid's parents or in-laws.In fact, that mini Banshee Rukmini is described so accurately that her image 'crouched somewhere behind the sofa' will be etched in your mind! 
Narration is full of hilarious moments and I laughed a lot inadvertently.
A Realistic Climax-The book ends on a positive note concluding that sorting is a process which goes on through out our lives.
Sid had been initiated (perhaps)towards the correct path where he can explore his inner self, his basic nature and find a way for release (!) from the rest. If not, then Brownie with Beer is there after all :) 
What It Lacks -
A good story to build up to.Due to lack of a solid,basic story the characters so nicely drawn do not grow or develop.
Good for a light read with a reality check on metropolitan-life-style with relations in juxtaposition. 
The Book is received with thanks from the author and the publisher as a part of "Sorting-out-Sid -Blogger and Beer contest".


The Girl with the Conch

I accidentally stumbled on this image while following one link after another and was dumbstruck.Its one of those images which I used to see everywhere in my childhood,with which I grew up.
At that time in the 90's it was very popular on greeting cards, posters, as gilt edged paintings and photo-frames.One of my friend used to have a letter pad with this baby girl on it.All pale and dim, in the background.My friend never wrote a single letter on that sheet! That much was the frenzy regarding this image.At least in our group.After so many years,like many other things, it too had slipped from my mind but when I saw it, memories came flooding back.As if this was the only piece missing from my existence! 
But yes, it does mean a lot to me.
this little girl with her pale hair swaying in the wind conspicuous in her red sweater (The sweater I had seen as a brown version also) playing in water ........... the ripples in the water suggesting vastness... and the conch shell suggesting a beach.Perhaps.

Thanks ti Internet,I know now that this image is an Oil Painting by Donald Zolan. Thanks to him for creating this wonderful image.                                  Lost in memories... 
                                        A Happy day #34

The Little Reader

Few images have this ascendancy over me as this one .Though a simple one it is poignant and it speaks volumes to me ....about childhood, its dreams and aspirations, imagination and the insatiable quench for knowledge...the love for reading, the immersion and absorption in the task,the detachment towards the surroundings adding more to the charm , the beautiful pink glow on child's fair, unblemished countenance may be, due to the joy of reading a book and that peculiar expression stuck in the involuntary parting of her lips! 
Sitting in a place which seems like kitchen area to me with a cupboard and pots in the far dim corner and the innovatively designed  round table (most peculiar!) with bolts to turn the half side down and vice versa !!
Engrossed and Blissful she is. And to see her IS happiness to me. 

The Beauty in White

I was not enthusiastic about going to a Home Decor`Fair but, on my partner's insistence I agreed and the moment I  entered ....I knew I was going to be happy!
The place was stuffed with many beautiful artifacts.Furniture pieces and decor items were placed under bright and dim lights as necessary.Small pieces are placed strategically to ensure they catch the eye. But I was more caught up in the Sang-e-Marmar OR The marble section. I specially liked this beautifully carved Marble Lantern embellished with stones glued into an intricate lattice work in the traditional red ,green and golden.Plus its electric and don't forget to appreciate the black marble table top on which it is placed.The flower motifs with that Rajasthan Blue!

Happy Day .# 32


Buttertea at Sunrise : Britta Das

Lingshi Dzong
'Buttertea at Sunrise'
Author  :   Britta Das
Genre` :   Travel Memoir
Published : Summersdale
Year             :  2006
My Ratings :  7.5/10

I read this book almost three years back and have mentioned it here and there as a passing reference in my other posts. Iam glad that today the muhurtam for its review has come as its one of my dear ones.

 The Blurb 

"Often seen as a magical paradise at the end of the world, Bhutan is inaccessible to most travellers. Set against the dramatic scenery of the Himalaya, this beautiful memoir reveals hardships and happiness in a land almost untouched by the West. When Britta, a young physiotherapist, goes to work in a remote village hospital, her good intentions are put to the test amid monsoons, fleas and shocking conditions. But as she visits homes in the mountains and learns the mysteries of tantric Buddhism, the country casts its enduring spell. Gaining insights into the traditions of this mystical kingdom, she makes friends and falls in love. Bhutan will change her life forever"

My View 

Unlike many readers, I LOVED the book! 
Yes, its more about Britta and less about Bhutan but then she never claimed it to be a 'Lonely Planet' on Bhutan. There is nothing wrong in writing about yourself ! Or your feelings and observations, about cultural differences be shocked by some and to  savour the others. Specially when you got yourself married to the local doctor Bikul Das.Definitely it was these turn of events which would have urged Britta to write about her experiences while in Bhutan and how her life got altered during her stint their.

 That she has blended  the amazing natural beauty and cultural experience of the place with the incidents of her life ,without giving  prominence to any is no problem at all!
The book offers a mere glimpse of BHUTAN while following Britta's life.But  the glimpse is enough to lure to read more about it, the rich fascinating country that is Bhutan.
Pack your Bags !

Mongar terraced rice paddies
Rice paddy fields
Her narration is lucid,clear and beautiful.It captures the calm and mystic quality of the east and flows soothingly through out the book. Just like the wisps of  the morning fog rise  from the deep valleys to embrace the mountain peaks, her narration envelopes the mind and haunts much after you have read the last page. Yes, she has left much but I am not complaining .

Its not a treasure chest on the tiny Buddhist Kingdom  but it certainly fascinate and lure us to pay a visit.To know the traditions and culture, to feel the chill and the cold and  to see that un-spoilt grandeur of nature about which she alluded  in careless whispering tones while telling the story of her own life at center stage.

I like it as I like all those stories where someone adapts to an entirely different  life and where love wins despite odds.

 So, I totally loved the book!

Chances are that if you have been there (Bhutan) you will find it insipid but for someone like me, its a window to the mystical country of  snow capped mountains and maroon robed monks .

For more on Bhutan :

Sky Kingdom

Ngatshang Monastery
Ngatshang Monastery

Chillies drying on the rooftop
Red Chillies for drying on roof
All Images from HERE. Visit for more such original images by the Author.


The Jade lanterns

We spotted this amazing bunch of leaves hanging from the iron mesh roof of the famous Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. Lalbagh is full of such surprises.Many such beauties emerge from unexpected nooks and corners and mesmerize you, gladdening your heart .

This particular creation I saw for the first time and considering there was no name plate to indicate its botanical name ,I guess it must be pretty common out here in Bangalore woods.I am ashamed as I don't have the slightest cue what it is except its not a flower!! But its BEeeeeutiful .... and there were hordes and hordes of such green lanterns hanging.The meshed roof was completely covered by the crisscross branches of Bougainvillea and other flowering shrubs cum climbers and from that web of colour these beauties were hanging down... Like the jade lanterns swaying in welcome for a Chinese emperor.....    A Happy Day #31

Jade Lanterns 


Jiyo jiyo jiyo mere Baingan Raja! -- "Condition serious hai"

Long Live The Brinjal KING:5-star magic
Saira is upset.She had got a nasty fracture in her right leg and is bedridden for weeks perhaps months !! "Aww... " she moaned inwardly. "What the fish! To get your leg broken prior to the college trip! What's worse luck than this for a 16 year old?" She sighed.

And ALL her friends were going, except she.. lying like a rag doll in this hospital with bald docs and busy nurses buzzing here and there like Busy-Bumble-Bees.
Specially nurse Capsicum. Saira didn't know her name but the body sahpe with a greenish ghoulish look of her skin made her think of her as a capsicum !
 "Nurse capsicum needs some beetroot juice to get some colour "she guffawed inwardly.
Bedridden state has spurred her creative juices, she thought!

Suddenly the door opened and nurse Capsicum entered with another nurse Nithya ."My God!" wondered Saira, "Another vegetable?" The new nurse looked like a shrivelled Lady finger, reed thin, gaunt, complete with a triangular cap and the light shade of her uniform like the colour of dry henna just added to the imagery!

 Nithya was not old, just stale...and the nasal voice ..." AWESOME !" thought Saira, "to have my own botanical garden here tending me" ...she felt like the kids who went in the vegetable's world in a popular DoorDarshan Serial when Saira was young.

The door opened once again and her two younger sisters entered. Saira beamed at them.They had brought books,fruits and a Cadbury's 5star  for her.But Saira did not need books now. She grabbed the 5 star and opened it slowly. She was smiling .Uzma, the thirteen years old and elder by five years to Najma, asked "why are you smiling Baaji? "
Najma whispered "May be the impact of the accident had affected Baaji's mind "
Saira lost in her imagination, laughed on hearing the concern and pulled Najma near her. She looked terrified which further provoked Saira's  laughter,unable to explain she giggled hard, equally unable to control!

Najma pulled away her hand from Saira's grip and hid behind Uzma. By now, Uzma was also concerned but being the elder of the two she ventured forth slowly and asked "Kya hua Baaji?"(What happened ?)

Saira somehow controlled herself and between hiccups of laughter she told about Nurse Capsicum and Lady's finger when suddenly (again) the door opened and in came the owner of the hospital Dr. Satish .. and Saira went blank.Her face showing shock and she muttered 'Baingan Raja'.

 Dr. Satish was so dark that he had a purple shine on his face ! His eyes were beady and  he had a thin pony-tail dangling limply over his Doctor's Coat.The shiny hair coiled together like a wiry tail, the BIG rotund paunch covered in lavender shirt,the deep purple skin and the bemused patronizing expressions on his face made him look like the 'Baingan raja' or the Brinjal King straight from the DoorDarshan Serial.The fact that he is the owner of the hospital only enhanced the similarity !

Hearing the term even Uzma and Najma had to put their dupattas in their mouth to stifle the laughter...but it erupted! Like a water stream cascading down on stones,  it flew from the hearts of the three sisters and filled the room.The doctor was alarmed but beat a hasty retreat may be to come back later with Capsicum,Lady's Finger and other seasonal vegetation. But the three sisters laughed their hearts out in mirth while sharing the Cadbury's 5-star to add sweetness into their spicy imagination.

Seriousness is a disease which saps out the positive energy and life spirit from a person. The only way to eradicate it is by laughing on life's little ironies and accepting wholeheartedly what is bestowed on us.Life is too short to be marred by unanticipated incidents and mishaps.Yup , "Condition Serious hai" but a Cadbury's 5-star is always a bite away to disperse the seriousness into thin air!A serious hilarity with a bite of Cadbury's 5-star will help remove it from he face of the earth!  So,don't 'bear' with life but give it a BIG 'Bear' hug...come what may. Just like Saira and her sisters :D

Above story is written as a response to the contest “Condition Serious Hai” by in coordination with Cadbury’s 5 Star. 

The Growing up

"Mom, Mom, come fast.... " There was urgency in Anindy's voice but it definitely and thankfully lacked the panicked under notes,so its not a bruise or a breakage of home items OR Anindy himself .... it ought to be something urgent in a non dangerous way.While running from kitchen towards him in the outer foyer, all this information my mind analysed in the 100th part of the teeny second.It had told me to be relaxed and calm.
It was right.
The summon was for an incident he saw... that a pigeon sat on an empty nest and then flap her way to the adjacent beam and miraculously, two eggs appear there! Magical!! He was excited as he feels he 'saw' her laying eggs ! Pihu, his younger sister,is cool... as if she had midwifed in many egg- laying.

She wisely commented "Ais ehi hota hai.. Muumy hi baby ko paida karti hai..Papa khana late hai " (Its common, the mother gives birth to babies and the father had to bring food for them).I decided to keep mum till they ask.Both were glued to the nest, so near to our foyer.The mother flew back and sat on the eggs. Pihu shrieked,"She is killing them ".
"Now is the time to intervene' I thought and told about incubation.
They were interested and listened intently.Soon, the darkness descends and we moved back.late at night, they told their father about it and all three now armed with a torch light again had a look.Some how this all made it a Happy Day.#30

The View

Its rare that I get enamoured by materialistic things but this image upon which I stumbled through Internet, simply denies to fade away from my mind.I am so into it that I have thought about all the reconstruction my house,in Bangalore or in my native has to undergo in order to get this place.The only thing which was able to put constraint on my craziness is - no matter if I'll  attain this tiny reading place with books stacked in its drawers, but no way on earth can I get the outside view....sigh.

God lies in being free from material bonding and infatuations.... Hm... I take a deep breath ....inhale...exhale....inhale...exhale... Yes,I am a free bird!
Happy Day . ;) #29


I with my Mum and both the kids went for Lalbagh. Lush greenery, calm and freedom always welcomes us as expected.Kids have brought their sketching books, a version of beach ball and water bottles.I was heaped with mats and fluff blankets for Mum (it gets cold there under the thick canopy of trees)The picnic went nicely.
On returning,at my leisure in night when I was checking the pics, I found this image of Pihu clicked and then edited by her dada.I was touched as I know how hard it is to cajole the STUBBORN  Pihu to pose for a snap. She is too lazy to turn the head and move her lips in a smile and here she is with tilted head,a genuine smile and is even holding the edge of her swaying skirt ! The simple image now held a deeper meaning to me ... comforting me of their natural bonding.It was a hectic n fulfilling day. Now its a Happy Day! #28


Timur and his squad

Book: Timur and His Squad
Author : Arkday Gaider
Genre : Children
Published By : Progress Publishers
The book achieves what most books meant for children only aspire. Love and Respect.Appreciation and Admiration both. Its an honest book where the author speaks to the children with respect and honesty about 'the most important things in life' .He never creates a fairy world to them but a real world with good and bad, pompous and suffering all types of people.
(from preface)
Timur is a schoolboy ,a member of the Young Pioneers, who thought up a splendid way to assist those who are dependents of men in armed forces of Soviet Army. They did it secretly, so as to remain anonymous and to shroud their work in the aura of mystery so dear to children.Timur is an energetic, daring, big hearted lad who devise ingenious ways of doing this task.
What I Think
Like 'Chuk and Geck'  here again one can marvel at Arkday Gaider's command over words and emotions. He says it all with amazing simplicity and a poignant effect.The book understands the restlessness of young people and provides a beautiful outlet for their energies and emotions.It arms them with a cause to utilise their potential while giving the taste of  thrill and adventure so dear to youth!

The book is so popular that at a time TIMURITE became a word signifying children's patriotism and their desire to serve the Soviet Land.

'Timur..' tells truth, is wisely written ,simple and sincere and does not 'hides life's worries and disappointments' from the readers but confronts them in a way suitable for them.
It has patriotism, helping the needy , secret syndicate, ways to spying and sending secret messages, two loving sisters, camaraderie, friendship and all with a vaguest possible stroke of romance.

The opening scene between Jenny and Olga sets the tone for the rest of the story, mischievous,just and fearless.. just like Jenny , in red sun-dress, standing barefoot on the third floor windowsill cleaning a wide open window.
As the story unfolds the reader is engrossed into it not only for its virtues and goodness but for the simplicity of expressions.Gaider reminds me of Premchand.... for example-

 "....Yes .But you could have stood and listened from the road.Why did you have to climb over the fence?"
"Me? Climb over the fence?" The man was obviously offended." I beg your pardon, but I am not a cat.There's a gap in the fence over there and I squeezed through it."Perhaps you will be good enough to squeeze back into the street through it."
The man did as he was told.Without a word he walked through the gate and bolted it behind him.This pleased Olga.
"Just a moment!"she called , coming down the steps."Did you say you were a singer?...."

 Go Grab it if you have not read already !Or you are missing out on something genuinely good .

 For online reading visit here

ग़ुलाब- The Rose

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