Posts Tagged ‘children’

The blanket comes to life, 080717

July 8, 2017

Sometimes a blanket is quiet…

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But sometimes it becomes active…

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And soon shows its face!

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Life is made up of such joyful moments. This has been his favourite game with me since he was two!

Kolkata, Jorhat, Kaziranga, 07-130517

May 19, 2017

We visited Kolkata

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had an evening admiring the Victoria Memorial,

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enjoying puchka

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jhaal mudi

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and visited the family who brought me up.

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We visited Pradeep and Sulakshana Barthakur at their home in Jorhat, where they run a centre for children. (Pokamura, 7km from Jorhat)

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The location is

here

Their home is a veritable garden of Eden which they share with all kinds of beings:

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Bronzeback Tree Snake

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Blue-throated Barbet

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We went to Kaziranga National Park, staying at Wild Grass resort.

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Hog Deer

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Red Jungle Fowl

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Elephants

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Rhinos

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Swamp Deer (bArAsinghA)

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Here’s K1’s beautiful depiction of the elephant safari,

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where we saw so much of wildlife.

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The Flickr albums are:

Blr-Kol and visit

Kol, Science City and Gariahat Mod

Kolkata-Jorhat

Jorhat, 100517

Wild Grass, Kaziranga, 11,120517

Jorhat, 130517 morning

Jorhat-Guwahati-Bangalore, 130517

It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed it very much, through my own experience and that of my family.

Visit to Shivamogga, Mathur, Kudli, and Sakrebailu, 080417 to 100417

April 19, 2017

Kiran Kannappan and I went to Shivamogga to help conduct a summer camp for 85 rural children, under the aegis of

Vatsalya

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run by Shaila, Shruthi and Adarsh

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Morning prayer

Story-telling, some Sanskrit shlOkAs,

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nature around the campus, basic birding

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Red-wattled Lapwing on the school campus

basic origami,

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basic cartooning

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…these were some of the things we went through with the very receptive children.

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On the 9th evening, we visited

Mathur

where Sanskrit is taught, and still used extensively. We visited a couple who have settled down there, having built this beautiful house:

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Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Mathur

We then went to the shAradA temple at Kudli

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as it was about to close.

On 100417, we visited the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp.

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Kiran decided that we would return by the afternoon train rather than wait for the overnight one…so a memorable visit to Shivamogga came to a conclusion!

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Minnal Shaffer, 190108

January 19, 2017

In front of the waving grasses in an urban park
Facing the calm waters
Lies a small brick, upon the ground,
That carries your name.
O dear one, my firstborn’s firstborn,
You went away before you even came into this world.
Souls of great ones, our scriptures say,
Do not have long to spend on this earth.
Coccooned within your mother,
You had very little time.
But you were here long enough
For us to love, remember, and cherish you.
You remind us how every live birth,
Every normal child,
Is nothing short of several miracles.
You were a lightning flash that touched our lives;
But,like lighnting, you had great power
To open our eyes to the fragility of life.
Your home in our hearts is eternal,
As is that of every being whose lifespan is small.

lagOri, Kaikondrahalli kere, 080117

January 8, 2017

We often lament about our children using tablets and X-boxes all the time…but I find, often that even our urban children are quite in touch with the traditional games of childhood.

Today, when I went to Kaikondrahalli lake, I found this pile of flat stones, with a young girl piling them up carefully.

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I knew that a game of

Lagori

was in progress, and waited a bit while the girls surrounded the pile of stones and began their game.

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The game involves a ball and a pile of flat stones, generally played between two teams in a large outdoor area. A member of one team (the seekers) throws a tennis ball at a pile of stones to knock them over. The seekers then try to restore the pile of stones while the opposing team (the hitters) throws the ball at them. If the ball touches a seeker, she is out and her team continues without her. A seeker can always safeguard herself by touching an opposite team member before the ball hits her.

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There are some other rules that may be added in different regions of the country.

So here, to please all of us, is the scene of children (the girls were dressed to the nines for an event at their school, which is adjacent to the kere) playing a traditional game which does not need electricity, and which is one that their parents and grandparents have probably played!

“Top” fun…no electricity required…and it’s a lot of fun! Blr, 131216

December 14, 2016

I decided to show K2 how tops work, and I wondered if I still had the old skill. The first two tries did not work, but on the 3rd attempt…

(I had to throw the top and then pick up the camera!)

Here’s K2 demonstrating the best way to enjoy a spinning top.

Here’s the top:

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Obviously, watching it upside down between one’s feet is good:

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Then he comes closer, only to be stopped by my warning not to touch it!

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We had an hour or so of this…I hope, one day, to see him very proficient with the top,too!

Traditional pastimes for children, which are delightful, and require no electricity!

K1’s progress with Hindi: Blr, 110716

July 11, 2016

She first looked at the Hindi alphabet in March of this year…and I think her progress (while handling so much that is new and tough) is excellent. Here she is (as usual, in the car!) reciting a Hindi poem about a bird:

Both my daughter and my granddaughter continue to amaze me….!

Jenga, and earthquakes…..

April 30, 2015

KTB is now the right age to enjoy simple card, board and concept games. For her birthday, this year, she was given the game of

Jenga

and cottoned on to it fairly well..but her Nanna managed to build quite an edifice!

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Pic: Anjana Mohan

I guess it takes an architect to work out how to keep the structure standing while removing something from its base…I know it’s beyond me.

I thought of how Jenga has played out, in such a deadly way, in Nepal….

Terrorists:can they be so barbaric? Yes, they can….

December 17, 2014

Obviously, I’ve been musing on this phenomenon of terrorism. War, in itself, is a form of terrorism; it’s always the innocent pawns who get slaughtered while the King and Queen look on from their safe fastnesses.

It’s interesting that we use the term “barbarism” to describe terrorists; the

Barbarian

according to the Wiki entry, is “a person who is perceived to be uncivilized.” but may also mean “an individual reference to a brutal, cruel, warlike, insensitive person.”

“Romans used the word “barbarian” for many people, such as the Berbers, Germanics, Celts, Carthaginians, Iberians, Thracians and Parthians.”

I thought the word derived from the Berber people, but apparently not.

Well…whatever it is..we thought we’d plumbed the depths of human cruelty when terrorists thought up a plan to send passenger aircraft hurtling into buildings. But to attack a school and kill children there brings our inhumanity to a new low.

One friend incredulously exclaimed:”No one can, atleast in full conscience (I feel), be so brutal and remorseless!”

Oh…but they can.

Several years ago, A was on a flight, and next to her was a woman soldier who told her she was returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The conversation was desultory (A did not want to pry into what was obviously an unpleasant experience the woman had had)…when the child in the seat across the aisle started crying.

The woman soldier immediately turned her head away and just shut her ears. And, later, explained why.

In Afghanistan, American soldiers would smile at a child that was wandering from the Afghan tents into their space,hoping to offer them sweets…and knowing this, the Afghans strapped explosives to the child’s body, and sent them to the American camps….where, at the moment when the most Americans could be killed or maimed, they would detonate the charge remotely….

One of the reasons the woman soldier was returning was that she could not any longer bear to see such scenes; she was returning for counselling for her deep disturbance. She said, “I cannot bear to LOOK at a child any more. I see only death and destruction and enemity when I see one.”

It stands to reason that the children were Afghan ones….so yes, humanity can be incredibly inhuman.

On the death of children….

December 17, 2014

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Yesterday,
Children reached out
For the shimmering colours
Of their future
Little knowing
That their own elders
Would burst that bubble
In the red glare of a bloodbath.
Nothing will remain now
But the memory of their innocence.
Trusting lambs,
Slaughtered where they came to learn, to grow.
Agony, incredible pain,
In the hearts of their families.
What inhuman beings are these
Whose hearts hold so much anger
And hatred, that they can kill children
In cold blood?

Every child, to me, is like my little grandchildrn, chasing dreams, with happiness and hope..