Thursday, April 22, 2010

Colours of the World

In the middle of yet another exciting summer camp with kids in Bangalore. Our theme for the first session is 'water world'. So in class today, i decide to tell them a story about a little duck called Davy who decides to follow the migrating swallows and has a little adventure on his own. Although he feels that he has crossed the ocean and the desert and the mountains and reached the warm plains, he actually has just gone a little distance away from his little pond in the woods. The story ends with him getting saved from being devoured by a cat just in time by his mommy who had come looking for him.

At the end of the story, we decided to colour a picture of mamma and baby duck swimming happily in the pond. We have a few common 3-4 sets of crayons that is shared by the batch. Before i could say, alright let's begin, there was this wild scramble for the yellow crayon. EVERYONE wanted to colour the baby and mamma duck yellow. Now i for one have never seen a yellow duck (except of course Davy in the story!)

So here's what was the perfectly coloured picture of a duck for the kids:

(Obviously by the kid who managed to actually find the yellow crayon in the box!)

Not wanting to miss this learning opportunity, i got the children to talk about different birds that they might have seen and how all birds are differently coloured. We then talked about ducks. Just the previous day, some kids had got a duck picture for their show & tell and we discussed how there actually could b different colours on the duck. And post this little talk, besides stopping the fight for the evasive yellow crayon, here's what i got:

Quite happy with the results, i started to get the kids to close the activity, put things back in place and get ready for home, when little Aditi walks upto me and says, 'vijji, i think the baby duck's got to be yellow....but who says the water HAS TO BE blue??" And here's what her picture looked like:

Well, actually when was the last time i saw blue water anyway?!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oh so NOT fair!

Wednesday evening and Nia is all set to do some art project with me or just curl up and listen to a story, but mamma has something else in mind:

me: nia not tonight, pappa and me are going for a movie

nia: that's not fair
(seems like a standard response to everything i say or do these days - how come nobody warns us unsuspecting parents about fiery fives after terrible twos??)

me: sorry nia but you just have to read to yourself tonight

nia: from my birth till now (not a very long time we are talking about here - but for the little one, that's when civilization began!), we have gone to see only 2 movies together

me: no nia - 6

nia: ok mamma, 5 and that is final. and the number of movies that you and pappa go, even if i use all my fingers and aaaaaaaallllllllll my toes, i won't be able to count

me: nia its not my fault that they make fewer movies for kids and more movies for adults

nia: (with the most grieved expression on her face) how come EVERYTHING in this world is on the side of adults only????

Well, it's tough being a child!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A lazy Sunday afternoon....

................may not be so welcome after all is what i discovered yesterday as i experienced a real hot day in the otherwise-bearable weather of Bangalore. I did everything to cope with the heat – loads of fluids, sleeping on the floor, trying to immerse myself into Steig Larson’s novel, spending time in an air conditioned book store followed by coffee shop and even swimming late night. None of this helped in taking my mind off the sweltering heat.

The irritation continued Monday morning and i was all grouchy complaining about the heat. The husband, his usual optimistic self said don’t worry it will rain (yeah right!)

And now as i sit by my office window, late afternoon, there’s a wonderful wind blowing and the sky is cloudy. The air is rich with the promise of evening showers. And i am in love with Bangalore all over again! Rain or no rain – its getting cool already, its time to enjoy my evening cup of tea and say a prayer of thanks to mamma nature. And hope that this benevolence continues!

There is something so magical about rains! Growing up in Bombay, rain always made its presence felt in our life. Through the school years, heavy rains meant a holiday because area around the school would get flooded. In college, rains were a huge feel good factor, there was either the promise of romance or just (equally nice) casual walking in the rain followed with ek cutting chai. When i started to work, heavy rains meant a few anxious evenings wondering whether the trains would still ply and yet it was as magical as the city got washed with unexpected thunder showers.

Now rains mean happy moments with the little one all excited about her rain dance.

Or just sitting with the husband revisiting memories of that long walk in the rain that changed our lives.

At times, lazily chatting with a friend, enjoying some hot chocolate and pakodas.

Taking shelter in the little tapri by the road side hoping the vehicles whizzing past don’t splash the muck around

Walking along splashing in the puddles.

Or standing by the road side seeing the Jacaranda blooms float by.

Maybe just sitting alone breathing in the bheeni mitti humming some of gulzaar’s work......

.....So what do the rains mean to you – do share with me!