Damn you Irene!

Lots of days have passed by, and I am still pondering what the next post should be about. Mind you, not a day goes by without me thinking of a subject for the post. But when I sit down to write about it, it all seems trivial. Nothing seems so strong enough to compel me to actually write about it.

That all changed right now. As all might already know, we are expecting hurricane Irene to blow all over us this weekend. No big deal. Until I realized it means the husband wont be able to make his weekly trip home ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Damn you Irene!

Time for some feel-good junk food…pizza, and icecream…loads of it. Groan.

 

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Labor of Love

This summer, my garden blossomed for the first time. The foliage is dense and green and the flora is colorful and plenty. Yay!!

Some pure white blossoms…

And some colors…

A gorgeous gerbera!! Yippee!

Some buds waiting to blossom..

Lush new leaves…

And some lost causes…these were supposed to be beautiful dahlias…:(

Here’s how my garden looks (when I have just worked on tidying it)..

Want to come over for a cup of tea in the garden? ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Flora and Fauna | 1 Comment

The day I thought I was going to die

Today was scary. S*** scary.

Since morning, the weather was stuffy and rainy, very reminiscent of Pune monsoons. The kind of weather that makes you want to drink hot chai and watch the rain. But by noon, the weather gods had started to unleash their fury. The skies had become dark, and clouds had started to rumble. Weather.com indicated that the area was going to get a severe thunderstorm, so I closed all the windows, got my plants inside, and waited for the rain to stop.

In just a few minutes, the seemingly innocent rain had transformed into an incessant downpour, accompanied by winds speeding over 60 mph. I checked weather.com again and found out that the area was marked for a severe tornado!! I was reminded of the episode in Desperate Housewives where the entire street gets wiped out by such a tornado. The lightening had increased and thunder was roaring in the background. The trees were swaying wildly and looked as if about to break any moment.

Now, the sane thing to do in a thunderstorm is to go to a basement. But since we do not have one, I decided to take refuge in our small closet. I had read somewhere that one should cover up with blankets and pillows in the event of a tornado. So there I was, in a tiny closet, under piles of blankets and pillows, with my laptop at the side (to check weather.com). At that moment, I thought I was going to die. All I wanted to do then was talk to my husband. The busy guy that he is, he did not pick my call :(. I sent him a message, hoping that the message would not be my last communication with him, and waited for the wind to stop howling and the rain to stop pouring.Those were probably the worst few minutes of my life.

About ten minutes later, the skies cleared up, and the sun shone again. All was well ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Yes, I thank J.K.Rowling for the last line. Just seemed so apt here, no?

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I wish

I wish someone would pay me to….

  1. Read books
  2. Read blogs
  3. Watch Hercule Poirot and Perry Mason series, Alfred Hitchcock movies
  4. Study and learn
  5. Cook and eat
  6. Listen to ghazals
  7. Swim
  8. Sit by the window and enjoy the rain

Sigh…time to get back to work…

Posted in Rants | 2 Comments

Schools – now and then

I had the opportunity to visit my three year old niece’s school a few months ago. My sister was more excited than my niece to show me around and after I saw the school, I knew why.

I was flabbergasted. This is school? Colorful walls? Dancing? TOYS??? To top it all, children unwilling to leave after school because “its more fun here”!! This was all unheard of when I was in school. I fell head-over-heels in love with this school. To give you an idea, here are a few projects and activities organized in the school.

1. Animal show.

The teacher brings two animals to the class everyday and the children observe, touch and talk to them. Dogs, cats, rabbits, cows, mice, the kids have seen it all. The teacher explains how animals have feelings like us, and hence we should not abuse them. What better way would there be to teach children about sympathy for all living beings!

2. Family tree.

Children are asked to bring photographs of five family members to school. Children craft out flowers from colored paper, and decorate the photographs as they wish. The photographs are then mounted on sticks and placed in a flowerpot. The child then talks about each of the family member.

3. Activity room.

A big room with setup for a mock bank, vegetable market, kitchen, hospital etc. Children can withdraw money from the bank, buy vegetables with it and cook them in the kitchen. The teachers give real life lessons about handling money and talking to customers.

4. Songs for kids

On the first day of school, the teacher sat each kid on her lap, and sang a song with the kid’s name in it! My…how special and welcomed would the kid feel!

All this makes me wonder whether it is really so difficult to have such activities in all schools? Why cannot teachers in all schools take the effort to make school enjoyable, interesting and a true learning experience? Surely this approach is better than “learn this poem by heart” or “write the names of all animals 100 times”, isn’t it?

The problem lies in the kind of teachers we have in most schools. Majority of them have no clue about child psychology. They do not know what makes a child think or what interests a child. All they have seen is the power(?) of rote learning, and the cane. I have heard of some horror school-stories of misunderstood children, but that would take up another post. Secondly, since teaching is such a low paying job in most schools in India, it is difficult to find peopleย  who are interested in teaching and hence would take that extra step to make their lessons effective.Until we get educated and thinking professionals into the teaching field, I do notย  see the situation improving.

Do you know of any such learning initiatives or fun projects undertaken by schools? Do post them!

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

Attempts at writing

Writing has never been one of my strengths. I have never written witty mails, or funny posts, or insightful comments on blogs. I was one of those unfortunate kids who have to memorize their essays before language exams. Yet, I always wanted to write.

Sure, I had that sporadic bout of penning down what I called poems. I remember something on the lines of “Its evening, the sky is gray…little birdie is done for the day”. So you see why no one (except my dear mom) gave it a second (or even a first) glance. As I started college, I tried my hand at shayari, but was rudely reminded of how extremely limited my command over the language (both Hindi and Marathi) was. When a friend started a band, I again tried to write a few songs for them to play. It should suffice to say that I was never invited to their practice sessions after that.

Not a problem, I thought. Maybe I am not creative enough. Maybe I cannot write something original. Not to be daunted, I started translating an English book into Marathi. Few pages into the book, I gave up after trying to translate a knock-knock joke to Marathi. (Try it, believe me, its not as easy as it sounds!)

I come from a family where almost everyone is a writer. My mom writes poetry, dad writes articles and travelogues, aunt and grand-dad are both published poets…the list goes on. I had missed that writing gene. But yet, I wanted to write. A part of me wanted to be like those super cool bloggers who churn posts after posts on varied topics, host heated discussions, and more importantly, have an opinion. The other part just did not want to give up!

So, this blog will be my sounding board. Now that I have taken the first step, I hope I will get into the habit of writing regularly, and eventually, writing well ๐Ÿ™‚

Read on!

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