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Shishuvan’s Project Day 2014

2014-07-26 10.27.15Kavya’s school, Shishuvan held their Project Day 2014 on July 25th and 26th. As has been the norm every child participates in the event (will not wax eloquent on that lest I stray from my thoughts) The theme for Kavya and her class IV was India and her neighbours. Kavya had sung the Bangladeshi song (she said it was written by Rabindranath Tagore), the Pakistani song (which was more like a nice prayer) and the Chinese song not to forget a song in different languages including French and German words considering my little knowledge of all the languages. She was to introduce the Chinese song so as a Toastmaster in the making, it was my duty to coach her which I did and she carried it off with aplomb during the rehearsals at home.

Friday being a working day, I could not attend but Saturday made it with her by 0850 which was her reporting time. There was so much knowledge to imbibe from children. I went to her class first and was greeted by a huge map of India showing mountains, plains etc. and children would ask questions. It can be embarrassing believe me to tell a 10 year old that you don’t know something. They would then explain it all to me. Kavya and her friend were talking about National Symbols and would pose questions on that. There were a lot of other things including a word search in Hindi which for me was very tough. Then they had capitals of states and I was wronged when I said that the capital of Assam is Guwahati – It is Dispur for those who think like me:-) Learn from me!!! I learnt it from them. The children even wore the traditional attire for states and had the delicacies of that state on the table. The vada paavs and other items were sure tempting and I would joke with the kids if they were meant for me. The musical event then started and so I witnessed that as will be seen from the video links below. Kavya spoke well so yes she can be a Toastmaster if groomed well. Potential member in the making for Bombay Toastmasters 🙂

After that I strayed into the Class V rooms just to see what was in store for Kavya next year. It was impressive to see children at that age discussing solar photovoltaic and solar water heating systems. They even had a complete chart on the Solar Park in Gujarat which was worth reading. Sometimes you skim through news paper or magazine articles but these posters are short and the copy is crisp so you can gain the gyaan you want. Try it if you haven’t.

Came back to Kavya’s class ie Standard IV and saw the Indian monuments made by them. Well, don’t expect models to be replicas of what you actually see but these were children’s ways of portraying. Kavya had chewed my head over some words on Howrah Bridge which I gave to her thanks to Google & Wikipedia. Lo and behold, I see those words there along with their model of Howrah Bridge. Children maintain that veil of secrecy honestly. She wouldn’t divulge what to expect and it sure came as a surprise to see so many models made by the children.

The revelation for me was that they had actually contacted a school in Bangladesh and exchanged Powerpoint presentations with each other showing them their school, the country etc. And they received similar presentations from there as well. Wow. That was impressive indeed. I always wondered that pen friendship was all but over with the advent of Social media, e-mail etc. but no it is there in some other form. How I wish Kavya takes to pen friendship like my Dad (her Grandfather) and me. We have both enjoyed and continue to enjoy writing to friends over the years and they are now more than family to us.

Then heard this rhythmic loud drumming which was quite impressive so went up to the 4th floor and saw these two boys from VII standard playing drums (sorry but for a layman anything would be a drum even if it were a tabla or mridangam). They showed great dexterity and the crowds were equally enthusiastic in cheering them. Worth a dekko any day.

Enthusiastic parents and grandparents thronged the school but honestly it was the enthusiasm of the students and teachers which could be sensed in the air and that made the whole event a memorable learning experience. Keep it up Shishuvan and keep it up Kavya and all students. Proud of you all.

Photographs available here

The beginning of the musical event with the children saying Hello available here

The Bangladeshi Song is here

The Pakistani Song is here

Kavya’s video introducing the Chinese song available here. Coincidentally I ran out of memory just when she finished speaking so couldn’t get the Chinese song.

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English Gaffes found during trip to Kashmir

These are pictures I took during the trip to Kashmir in Summer, 2014.

The first one was taken on the drive from Katra to Srinagar. While Ladies is fine, what is Jinds? Some 4th sex?? Supreme court should regularise this one too.

The second picture was taken in Pahalgam market. Pastre??? Paties??? I sincerely hope they don’t botch up spellings on the Birthday cake like this.

2014-05-31 18.52.46



2014-06-05 17.21.44

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Elections in the air or is it a battlefield?

India, the largest democracy in the world is in the midst of the General Elections so naturally it is the largest election ever being conducted. The 2014 elections are being conducted in 9 phases right from April 7 to May 12, 2014 and the results will be out on May the 16th.

What is so special about these elections? For a change, the current Prime Minister has opted out of the race (Phew!!!). The anti incumbency factor is showing up loud and clear with the nation clamouring for change or so it seems to me. This time it looks like a clear battle between an individual who surely had no silver spoon in his mouth and a scion, though I have my serious reservations on the capabilities of the scion. I have always believed that dynastic politics must end and I am hoping that these elections banish this nonsense from the face of India. Of course there is a third angle but unlike a show spoiler some months ago, he can do little this time as people have seen through his game plan.

So many personal attacks on each other, whether veiled or open who cares? Paid news, paid coverage in the media, you name it and we are witnessing it all here. Technology being used to the hilt with Google+, Facebook and Twitter agog with posts and counter posts. TV interviews resemble a mud slinging match on a tennis court with the mud ball being sloshed from one end as the other end already is sending out one. No serve and volley only blindly serve.

In Mumbai the voting day is 6 days from today and as we approach the last weekend before the voting day the campaigns are reaching a crescendo (read more cacophony, more traffic snarls, more junk being delivered to homes, more trash in the newspapers, suddenly unknown people smiling at you, you name it and it is all there). Thursday morning voting starts at 0700 and I plan to beat the rush and be amongst the first few to get in and vote. Save the bother of long queues as there are more number of people expected than before.

All in all, I am clear that I am backing the winning horse and I just want him to win handsomely so that the other jokers are completely banished. We have had enough and want to live at least the next five years if not more in peace.

Disclaimer: I am not exhorting anyone to vote for any particular party or person. I just want people to go out and vote. Every vote counts as this is the only time we can teach all these !@#$%^s a lesson. PLEASE GO OUT AND VOTE ON THURSDAY MORNING.

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Reblog: Happy Quotes to Live by in 2014

Link to the original blog post

Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year? One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to live in the moment and just be happy. If your goals are similar to mine, I think you’ll relate to these 10 happy quotes. They keep me motivated and make me stop and think about what’s really important in life. I hope you like them too!

Happy Quote #1: If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.

If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Happy Quote #2: Send your fear on vacation.

Send your fear on vacation.Happy Quote #3: Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Happy Quote #4: Take time to do what makes your soul happy.

Take time to do what makes your soul happy.

Happy Quote #5: Note to self: “Don’t worry. If it’s supposed to happen, it will.”Note to self. Don't worry. If it's supposed to happen, it will.

Happy Quote #6: Comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison is the Thief of Joy.

Happy Quote #7: When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.

When writing the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen.

Happy Quote #8: Some days when we least expect it, we evolve.
Some days when we least expect it, we evolve.

Happy Quote #9: Breathe & let it go.

Breathe & let it go.

Happy Quote #10: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” – John Lennon

John Lennon Quote

Every photo except 3 & 4 was taken by Jack Bates.

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2014 – A New Beginning


The google doodle today is apt as it signifies change of guard from 2013 to 2014. As the clock strikes midnight tonight we will bid adieu to 2013 and welcome 2014. Wish you all a very Happy New Year. May the new year be filled with joy and prosperity. On this occasion, I would like to share a video by Suneel Agarwal – A new beginning.

Another song that has been buzzing in my mind since this morning cycle ride is from the film Mashaal sung by the evergreen Kishore Kumar. A song full of hope and very very lively. Do listen to it if you haven’t.