The Bobbsey Twins on a House Boat : Young Readers

IndiBlogger BadgeI have always believed in these words (somewhat altered) that  -  ' Its better to hear the Bulbul sing then the mouse squeak'
So, I picked this book because its title invites me to experience some thing about life on a House Boat!and I am dying to live on a House Boat from the longest time...(still longing..) but if  you think that the book had satiated my longing of life on a house boat then NOTHING of this sort has happened .It had only increased the want and had made me more miserable ! 

So I am going to do what I am here to do and be done with it that is to write ... And you read about it only ON YOUR OWN RISK as it has the capacity to entice the wanderer in you and summer vacations being just around the corner.. chances are you are gonna find yourself in deep smooth sails.

The children on the awesome House Boat 'Blue-Bird'

Now for the story  -   Its a simple tale of two sets of Bobbsey twins who along with their two cousins, parents, their loyal cook Dianh and the Captain of the boat are sailing through their vacations on an awesome House Boat. How they came to acquire the houseboat along with the Captain Mc Ginty is in itself an interesting incident. 
The description of the children and their different nature makes for an interesting read.
The story revolves around their trip and the adventures , some mishaps and surprises they had during it including the plethora of people they got acquainted with and  a pleasant discovery they made only at the end.  

Amidst all this fun, frolic and adventure the book also involves a tribal tale, a well preserved secret of the tribe, dancing ghosts and a hidden treasure of the Indian tribe.... 

"The children saw their pet SNAP emerging on the top of the fall !!! A secret hide way"
So by the end of the trip we all are VERY happy with cheeks burning with excitement ,eyes flashing with adventure and  heart beating fast as a result of  a good deed done and finding new friends.

All in all a good book for young people to urge them to go and explore the look outside and be happy . 
                                                                  Happy Reading.


Dirty Face : Poetry

IndiBlogger BadgeThe poem is so like MY childhood ...
The images are sweet and one can feel good in just a casual glance, without investing much time. 
But, if only for once you spare some precious seconds to 'look' at one of the kids, you will smile inadvertently. The sheer joy on their faces derived from the simplest acts..... The glowing serenity on the contours of the  child with the rabbit, the look in the eyes of the boy with the duck and the concentration in the body language of the child with the net. Divine.
THIS is what Life is all about !
The Happy Day # 55

"Where did you get such a dirty face,
My darling dirty-faced child? 
I got it from crawling along in the dirt
And biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.

I got it from chewing the roots of a rose,
And digging for clams in the yard with my nose.
I got it from peeking into a dark cave
And painting myself like a Navajo brave.

Happy Day # 56

I got it from playing with coal in the bin,
And signing my name in cement with my chin.
I got if from rolling around on the rug
And giving the  horrible dog a big hug.

Happy Day # 57
I got it from finding a lost silver mine,
And eating sweet blackberries right off the vine.

I got it from ice cream and wrestling and tears,
And from having more fun than you’ve had in years. "                                                                                           -Shel Silverstein                                    All Paintings  : Donald Zolan (Internet)


Top Post on IndiBloggerHere is a beautiful poem 'Friends' which I chanced across internet and saved it instantly.It captures the carefree innocence of childhood in simple and pleasant words. The silvery, bell like euphonious quality of the words is enhanced by Donald Zolan painting, and like his other paintings this also portrays the carefree spirit of childhood while in lap of nature.

 Merry Recital !

"How good to lie a little while

And look up through the tree!
The Sky is like a kind big smile
Bent sweetly over me.

   The Sunshine flickers through the lace
   Of leaves above my head,
   And kisses me upon the face
  Like Mother, before bed.

The Wind comes stealing o'er the grass
To whisper pretty things;
And though I cannot see him pass,
I feel his careful wings.
Happy Day # 54

                                        So many gentle  Friends are near,
Whom one can scarcely see,
A child should never feel a fear,
Wherever he may be."
                                                                              BY -                            Abbie Farwell Brown
Painting : Donald Zohan
Image courtesy : Internet

For those who dare to TRY..

I think to Live- may be a Bliss
                                   ... To those who dare to try
                                                                    -  Emily Dickinson

                                                                                                        Happy Day # 53

My Own Nature...

" I'll walk where my own nature would be leading;
It vexes me to choose another guide:
Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding;
Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side. "
                                                                                                           EMILY  BRONTE

                                                                            Happy Day #52


The Hog Music: Young Reader

IndiBlogger Badge'The Hog Music' is a book written for young readers offering them much - to read, understand and imagine. The book tells the story of a parcel sent to Lucy by her Great Aunt  Liza after Lucy's parents shifted west for a new life in Illinois . Aunt Liza refused to go with them and stayed back. Now its Lucy's Birthday and she had send a plain hat in a wooden box via a mail-coach. 

From here the adventure of the box begins ....... and with each incident one thing or the other is added to the box making it rich and sort of mysterious.

The box fell down...
 Its route and the fate of Aunt Liza's gift became unpredictable and this adds the element of mystery to the simple tale.

The box again met an accident !
The box passed many hands before reaching to its intended destination and received a souvenir from each of its courier. 

The box passes through unusual hands.

This made its content  fascinating and on opening it Lucy was utterly flummoxed on receiving such a diverse and unusual collection from Aunt Liza!!

She wrote a 'Thank You' note to Aunt Liza and found out that the best gift she had yet to receive. Happy Birthday Lucy! 

The book is a beautifully written simple tale of old roads and their travel experience woven together with human elements of honesty, humility and care.It is done with a rustic
M.C. Helldorfer
The Author
charm .The author's inspiration for this story was from the letters of people describing their travelling experience on the National Public Road.
The illustrations definitely MADE the book, lending the jaunty rustic touch and the 18th-19th century look to the characters and all this  while having a funny element in the drawings....... Be it the loud splash! or the group of men sleeping in a row after heavy dancing.... all are  fine, nuanced, jaunty and funny. 
I have posted only a few as not to spoil your experience and I think these are enough to see the beautiful backgrounds, blueness of the night sky and the white foamy splash in the river.
                                                                            HAPPY READING

The Quest

Reading is A Discount Ticket to everywhere. - Mary Schmich

                                                                  #Happy Day 51


# My Dream Library

Even a nook is sufficient for readers !
IndiBlogger Badge
First things first. 
Bless the person who asked me to write on this :)
"It's only a room with shelves and books,
 but it's far more magical then it looks."

As my dream library is still going to be a time for sometime (may be more like this life time :)) what else can be better then writing about it. 
It involves the conceptualisation, planning, altering, arrangement of books , visualising and writing about it all!!! What a pleasure :D Praise the lord er.. the fellow blogger.

Now for the topic-

"I love my books as drinkers love their wine..
The more I drink , the more they feel divine "

I believe that books can offer you wisdom, joy and understanding  anywhere anytime. Its only when you start to fall in love with them as drinkers love their wine that you feel the desire for a personal library.

A GREEN view , A comfy couch ,a fire place and a rug ... Perfect !
According to me,a state or city library needs to be stacked of books on every conceivable topic under the sun,have to be opulent, grand, majestic and stately with big granite floors and sweeping halls. But a personal library is a cosy affair.

LIGHT tones, with bright hints, ample sun and comfy couches.
Well, my dream Library is going to be full of books (LOL) but will not be stacked by them. The books will offer you glimpse of me in their selection.

My library will be a place to relax and unwind while you read. It will allow you to ponder on what you will be reading. It will be cosy, quiet, and subdued yet vibrant.

It MUST have a big window to allow the sunlight and must offer a green view barring the noise.
 My library will have a comfortable couch ,a thick rug and a rocking chair to choose from as a seat of reading.
It will have my personal touch in earthen soothing tones of rugs and couch only to be perked up by bright shades of cushions .

The big bay window must have pastel breezy curtains to show life when I open the window for a whiff of fresh air.

Additional  Accessories
 A fireplace, a coffee maker, a pot full of fresh blooms ,some simple stationary  as pencils, erasers etc , book mark holders, a small unobtrusive table with drawers to hold all this stuff and my laptop with charger!!
Such will be my dream library.
Its Loved and the books treasured
 But the crux of the matter is the BOOKS. 

The joy and the wisdom which we acquire from them , the gossip, the undesirable habits of youth from which a bookworm is saved because of being too engrossed behind the pages... this all is what which is more important then having a dream library. The goal is what is between the pages.
So, till the dream is fulfilled I am very pleased and satisfied with my this study-cum-library nook in my Bangalore Apartment.
My present library

Here in its three walls, half lined with books - simplicity of Premchand meets the burlesque  reality of Austen, Shivani's  'jatil naari hriday' beats near to Christiie's bubbly girl sleuths and Mahadevi's 'karuna v peeda' intermingles with Hardy's tragedy and Lawrence's pathos.

I am blessed to be able to read and that is enough   ... as someone had said "A Library is not a luxury but a necessity of life" 
 A perfect library needs only BOOKS ! 
Yes, I still have a dream that questions - 
"What will your dream library looks like ?"
But the answer you now know,I guess .

The post is written in response to Indispire's 'what will your dream library look like # Dream Library' 

Phillipa Gregory : Just One Question !

 I chanced upon a book called 'The Other Boleyn Girl' in a dusty pile in a dustier corner of a book sale shack in Koramangala
I liked the cover image and the book was a story from the Tudor History. On reading I found the book to be sensitively written without hiding the grimness yet avoiding being vulgar. It presenteded the kings and queens as people, with flaws and  weaknesses . As persons with limited options, struck amidst conspiracies of habits and nature. 

I liked it. 

After some time, I purchased another book on Tudor history around same characters of Queen Anne and King HenryVIII . 

With great expectations I read and found my mouth go sour with 'almost' indecent language, explicit narrations and lifeless, limp fact recitation. 
Its then that I realised the beauty of Phillipa's writing .... true and  imaginative, grim and sensitive... its a boon to read Tudor History through her books. Reading her is like understanding the longings and sufferings of the bejewelled princesses and queens and the shortcomings and high-headiness of princes and kings... in an era of wealth, power, conspiracies and mistrust....

Its then, that I loved it. 

 She offers mystery , drama, emotion, serenity,passion and the general environment of mistrust and  darkness which is always around the royalty but the human element and the realistic approach towards her characters makes her stand out from other contemporary Tudor  writers. 

Her writing strikes me, in one word, as - compassionate 

So when Goodreads provided this opportunity "Ask Phillipa Gregory a Question ..." I was ecstatic!!

I grabbed upon it and darted my question which is  HERE .
To which she duly and very nicely answered  HERE.


Kokila wrote: "I was introduced to the Tudor History through your books.Your books felt sensitive and grim at the same time ...I specially love the detail you weave in the story which gives it the period flavor....My question is what is that ONE book/subject/topic except the Tudor history which is close to your heart? Which you love?
Thanking you in anticipation..."

"Thank you so much for "sensitive and grim" - I really love that description. It's how I feel writing when something is absolutely fascinating and at the same time rather terrible. If you mean what do I love outside Tudor history then I think it would be the idea of writing history of oppressed people - whose story has not been told. So I wrote a novel called A Respectable Trade which was about black slavery in England - something that is very little studied and indeed sometimes still denied. When I write about Tudor or Plantagenet women I am writing about people who have been quite ignored by historians, and I love the feeling of discovering an untold story, and doing something (however small) to set the record straight - to bring justice to people who have suffered and not been heard.
 "                                         -  Phillipa Gregory

Thanks Phillipa for a nice and deatiled answer.It makes me appreciate your books , choice of characters and writing style even more . For more on Phillipa's books visit HERE 


Rachel and Obadiah : Young Readers

 'Rachel and Obadiah' is another gem for young readers which I got from the same shack for a meagre 10 bucks! 

The book tells about Rachel and Obadiah Starbuck. These are brother and sister who live on Nantucket island.The story opens on a warm, sunny day  at the point when both were picking black berries. Suddenly whole island came alive as the 'Clio ' was returning from a safe journey.

The mill owner wonders if Rachel can do it ?

 Obadiah 's brother Asa earned a silver coin by telling the news first to the captain's wife . Jacob Slade,the mill owner had send Asa to deliver the good news. 

The captain's wife blessed the child with a coin and a kiss !!
Now Obadiah as well as Rachel wanted to earn a silver coin.
The 'Speedwell' is coming next week and they have to wait for it. 
But Rachel will not get the chance as girls are slow runners. 

Now, will Rachel prove them wrong?
Will she get the chance to deliver the news and get a coin?
Will she be able to out run Obadiah ?

The book is good for the young minds as along with the main story it beautifully hints at many stories lurking in the background as - on how life on Nantucket Island offers spicy-sweet slices of excitement, joy, partings  and of feverish prayers for the safe return of the loved ones. 
How on an island most men go on voyages and the women folk stay behind waiting, praying and hoping for their safe return.. etc. All this is wonderful material to discuss with children.
The book is dotted with beautiful illustrations of ladies with parasols and girls with frilly bonnets. A good book.
                                                                           HAPPY READING

P.S. The author Brinton Turkle is a narrator as well as a self taught master illustrator .

Ask For A Wish

IndiBlogger BadgeThis beautiful poem I found on Face book and saved it immediately.Later at leisure I searched on the poetess Dora Owen and came to know about her only book "The Book Of Fairy Poetry" which is an anthology of poems on fairies,gnomes,elves and other fantastic creatures, came out in 1920 and it included the only poem she ever wrote- this one!
Now it has been learnt by heart and is added to the ever growing list of lullabies-cum-night time songs. My children loved it and are asking for it every night! 
Hopes your precious ones will also like this sweet little nugget on elves and fairies full of forlorn charm.

                                                                    Sweet Dreams 
                                                                         Happy Day #50


Who is this MAN ?

IndiBlogger BadgeIt's not a pic which I should post on social network as it's not bright, nor is any of the person involved are smiling, looking particularly attractive or beautifully dressed. Far from it, its a night time click when you slowly but surely slip into a deep slumber too tired to take heed of your surroundings.
And, both the protagonists are tightly packed against the Dehradun winters without any importance to aesthetics. 

Still the pic is here just to show the look a 7 month old baby gives when she finds that the dominating and boisterous giant of a man called father, that too, a loving papa, first, wraps and disguises a bollywood song as a lullaby and then, sleeps after 4 lines! Arghh... 
May be she is wondering "what's more in store MOM?"

                                                    Pihu and her Papa darling  : Happy day # 49
I am almost sure that Kapil Sharma of 'Comedy Nights with Kapil ' must have stole the line- "BITOOO..Kaun hai ye Aadmi?" from the expressions of my baby girl! 


Words on Water

Top Post on IndiBlogger
Words on Water' is a beautiful book, an anthology of poems penned by children for the Young Obserever's National Children's Poetry Competition sponsored by Water Authorities in the year 1986 ! 
From 73,000 poems the selected few are published in this book so aptly titled as the theme of the competition was 'WATER'
Children from 3,500 schools took part in it and it was the largest poetry competition on record.

And to think that I found it in layers of dust pining for attention with a Rs 10 Sale sticker!!! I actually asked the shop owner if the sticker is correct to which the uninterested person shrugged and pointedly said, "jo mark lagaya hai wahi pay karna padega" almost like 'My sticker is final' to which I replied grinning, "No Problem Sir." 

The book is a myriad of images of water from Ice caps and puddles, docklands and lonely seas, thirst and Noah's Ark, tidal waves and rain and  even ...Tears and Saliva!
It boasts of beautiful detailed black-n-white illustrations by William Geldart and contains the list of prize winners as well.
I was sitting on the beach one day,
And soaking up the sun
when panic around me 
and people begun to run.
For out there in the distance was a sight I've never seen 
A tidal wave was coming so big, so wild, so mean!
                                                                                                               Chris Noon , 11 years.
The place for me,
Is not the sea.
                         I might sink,
                         I think.
Another thing ,
Jelly fish sting.
                          Crabs have claws,
                             Sharks have jaws.
 In the sun
The waves look fun.                                                                                                      
                                    But underneath
                                    The horrible teeth.
                                                                                                           Gregory Allin, 15 years.

My tears are big and round
They run down my cheeks
Just like miniature footballs running down a pitch,
and shooting in to an open goal............           Amit Kochhar, 9 years

Sculpture of a River

 An old sketch. 
Memory is hazy still I remember the idol is a river personified, Kaveri perhaps. I liked this sculpture for the curved crocodile and the inexplicable expression of the statue unlike other mythological faces where benevolence is the common expression.
I sketched this not from the idol directly but from its photograph .
At that time I had  a Kodak K-10 camera and the image I took from it helped little in recreating the idol . So, though the sketch is as near to the grainy image I clicked, the detailing is mostly imagination.

                                                                    Happy Day 48

ग़ुलाब- The Rose

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