Friday, April 29, 2011
The Perfect Murder is the first mystery story in the series and has incidentally also been made into a movie - Ghote's character enacted by Naseruddin Shah.
Lala Varde, the hard nosed businessman is shattered- his secretary Mr Perfect has been hit on his head- the very same head that holds all teh numbers, his business secrets and the very core of his business.
Around the same time as this, there has been a serious case of theft- a Re 1 note from the Minister Mr Kamath's office drawer has been stolen.
As luck would have it, Inspector Ghote is assigned both and both are top priority- along with being the key resource for a Swedish scholar who is researching on Police methods in India.
While he seems to be a nuisance or a distraction in Ghote's work, he will eventually become his strong ally in detection.
We are taken through the delightful train of detection in this simple story. No suspense or thrill but a simple case of intelligent detection ad putting the facts together.
There are false trails, missed moments and then in a flash the case is solved.
Read on. You are going to enjoy it if you like books in tehe lines of No 1 Ladies detective Agency.
Check out the nursery themes also.
Now if only there was an Indian connect also!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Here Tejas solves this with lots of directions from me.
I usually lock the watches in the cupboard and give it to them under my strict supervision.
Every night I confiscate the watches and put them in their boxes and put them in the cupboard much to the twins' frustration.
So Ojas hit upon the perfect place to hide their watch away from my direct view.
He removed the watches from the boxes, closed the lid and hid the watches in the laundry bag.
And here I was thinking the watches are safely inside the boxes!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
My work in these industries have facilitated me to appreciate this fact even better.
But never have I encountered this sort power to transport before.
A couple of days ago, when I came home in the evening, Tejas hugged me and exclaimed- "Wagonr smell".
I work in place where there is a distinctive chemical odour which sticks to the clothes.
During my first stint with this company, I used to drive the wagonr to work and therefore Tejas would have associated the odour with Wagonr odour.
Shortly after I left, I bought the Swift.
I didn't think much of Tejas' comment and attributed it to transportive memory, until last morning when realisation came to me in a flash.
I used to drive the wagonr in 2006 from the time Tejas was 6 months to 1 year old and that too not regularly.
Does smell has a power so strong that a child can be transported to the time when he was as little as 6 months to as much as 1 year old?
If you go back to my posts, I left this place just before the kids turned 1 and the smell in the Wagonr would have lingered till Jan 2007 when I sold it.
Tejas has this style of smelling us and telling which car we drove- he always associates the husband with the Honda city or the Innova. Such is the power or uniqueness of association!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Asha, just like the meaning of her name, lives in hope. A hope for her future, a realisation of her dream of being the first bengali Psychologist in India, and above all she is entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of her mom and sister in her father's absence.
Set in the 1970's the secret keeper records the life of Asha. The Secret Keeper (nick named SK) is her personal diary- complete with a lock and key- her outlet where she pours her thoughts, feelings, dreams and hopes- just like our blogs.
Asha's father loses his job. He decides to try his luck in the land of hopes- USA leaving his family behindAsha and Reet along with their mother move from Delhi to Calcutta to bide their time in their uncle's household until their father sends for them.
With great ease, Mitali Perkins tells the story of their settling down with the household. Unsaid responsibilities are taken, friendships are formed, and the two girls become an integral part of the household.
An unexpected tragedy forces them to take tough decisions and optimise resources in the face of this sudden crunch.
The book is a young adult fiction but can be appreciated by others too. The voice definitely is young adult centric- the actions and decisions of the protagonists are to be viewed through the lens of teenagers on the verge of adulthood rather than through an adult's lens. And that too, young adults who lived in the 70's. When feminism was not so much there in India and tradition and culture was still having a strong hold in the mindset despite some people breaking free of the confines when they were not in their childhood homes/ with their ancestral family.
Which is why I had to struggle with the turn of events at one point of time. Asha's hard decision which was her best decision in her words might not have been so if the book was set in current time.
The book left me very sad. It is realistic. It could happen to anyone but somehow I felt very emotionally drained after reading the book.
It had good moments, funny lines but mostly it was full of moments comprising the struggle of survival. Struggle to maintain the family honour and uphold dignity inspite of the situation. From the word go there is a sense of urgency and tension.
So much so that the few times the family went for a shopping round- I found myself asking- why are they wasting money!
I loved the lines- Certain stories could come back to life on the second, third, or even tenth reading if you gave them time until the next encounter.
But what we forget that we human beings are gifted with decision making skills naturally. We sometimes just forget that logical thinking and jugaad comes naturally to us. After a point we stop questioning the facts handed out to us and accept things as is.
Not my kids.
There was a picture puzzle exercise in one of their activity books.
The picture was that of a striped wild cat and there were 4 spaces given for the solution.
While a striped wild cat means tiger, the 4 spaces prompted us to write Lion.
Picture the twins debating the problem.
I think it looks like a tiger
But there are only 4 boxes.
Does it mean Lion?
But it is not a Lion.
Shall we say cub?
But cub is only 3 letters, and we have four letters here.
I think answer should be Tiger
But there are only 4 boxes, and Tiger has 5 letters.
So what shall we do?
Let us write Tiger.
We will put R outside the box.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Ashok Banker's Ramayana series is highly recommended for those looking at a thrilling rendering of the all familiar story of Ramayana. A perspective of good wins over evil is often the backdrop of most renderings but this one takes a different angle- one in which good co exists with the bad. An angle which is relevant to modern times which is not black or white but grey. The premise is that evil never dies, it is reborn or rather always there as long as the good is there.
The 7th book talks of the time after the Lanka war. Ram returns to Ayodhya and takes over his rightful place as the King.
Peace is imminent as Ramrajya is back, but is it so in reality?
A huge army is at the gates of Ayodhya
Kala Nemi - evil incarnate is back
Valmiki is back to warn Rama about impending doom.
Meanwhile, the Gods want Rama to come back to his heavenly abode and Rama feels his work on earth is not yet accomplished.
The stories traverse time-space- matter dimensions and the concept of parallel universe is explored here.
The 6th book left one matter unresolved- what was the legacy of Ravana that was being left behind.
Read the 7th book to learn that.
This particular aspect is explored in the Thai rendering of Ramayana- a different dimension to the link between Ravana and Sita- the abandoned baby- the cause of the downfall of Ravana.
To me, this is the first of its kind- this aspect fo Ramayana has not been explored in any of the versions that I have read or seen on TV. And it suits this series perfectly because this series has taken the entire concept of Ramayana to a different plane.
My only grouse- too verbose, too much description and a little confusing.
And yes, I love this ravana- lean, mean and less clumsy with the pyramidal rack of heads as against the linear one which has a more unbalanced feel.
An urge to find their own space or niche is ever present across ages. At 52, Indira Sen was supposed to have done it all- yet Mil shows her new paths and poses her with new challenges which she could take up.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
The kids in the building has taught the 4-5 year olds in my building the following rhyme.
I reproduce the same over here- uncensored, inspite of really wanting the entire poem censored out of my building- else it really loses the flavour/ key message!
Bum Bum Bum
Take a Bubble Gum
Stick it in your Bum
Gas will not come
This is done with complete action. No other poem has been recited so surely and so clearly as of date by my kids atleast.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Ojas was very upset that he was using valuable cartoon type for playing games.
Said Ojas after I managed to get back to the TV screen -
Mamma- go and buy PSP tomorrow, connect it to the TV and play games.
I wonder how they know about PSP? Your guess is as good as mine.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Ojas was creating a big ruckus and I said- you go on the road - you are road ka bachha.
Ojas- still crying loudly- car humko dash kar dega ....waaaaaaaa
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I loved the way these books move forward at a slow and steady pace. Lets say vowels and consonants. You have practice sheets of just identifying and filling in missing vowels. And slowly the child is led to a or an or The.
We were trying to teach the kids the concept of nouns and as a follow through we played the much loved -name, place, animal, thing game.
Then there is mathematics- which has simple addition, subtraction to problem solving. On Saturday I had done double digit number additions with them.
Last night, I saw that I had skipped the <10 additions.
So as I was doing that with them, says Ojas- why are you doing easy ones? Give us difficult ones. I am truly impressed.
I am teaching them ways to do part mental calculations. the bigger number in the mind and smaller number on fingers. Rather than counting everything using toes and fingers or beads. They have picked it up pretty fast.
We learnt how plants grow from seeds and Tejas was eager to plant his mango seed to watch it grow- he basically voiced my thoughts. I was feeling quite lazy to do a demo of planting seeds but Tejas voiced it a couple of days later.
The danger of studying during holidays is not knowing when to stop. They are unstoppable ones they start learning and I do not want them to get bored in class 1.
I also need to get the writing in place because while Ojas has a beautiful handwriting, Tejas doesn't want to write.
Tejas is quick with mental maths whereas Ojas lieks to count it out even if he knows some of the calculations mentally.
So yes, we are in action- learning, absorbing and challenging ourselves, this summer vacation.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I did the final handovers and collected my papers and the umbilical cord was well and truly cut when I err, gave up the SIM card and for the first time in so many years - for a few hours I was unreachable. Unless if they called me on my land line!
Yes, I ultimately got my closure and once that was done, I was eager to leave, inspite of the feet shuffling I was doing even after resigning.
For the first time in 4 plus years, I faced an unpaid weekend and thereby appreciated the value of work even better. Touch Wood.
11th April, I joined back. A week or several weeks earlier than I had wanted to or rather decided to, with just a weekend break behind me.
Back to pavilion. Back home. Back to the first love. Back to my first job. Back to my core competence.
Were the various versions of responses I received when I told them I was joining back.
Well, that was not what I thought, but it makes for a good blog story or a good life story. Since I am destined to do the same thing during my entire working life I might as well make a good story out of it!
I loved being part of the food industry and I still miss the tasting. I lapse into saying tasting rather than smelling from time to time. I refused to see what others saw and refused to acknowledge what others said, hotly denying the existence of "real love- smelling rather than tasting".
While I am equally good at both, I slipped into this old familiar role with much ease and to me it doesn't feel that I was gone at all. Inspite of the gap of 4 plus years during which I was tasting more than smelling.
I don't know what the future holds for me. I do not know whether I took the right step. Only time will tell. But for now I am just happy that I have enjoyed the best of both worlds in this industry and have come back richer in knowledge and more adventurous in attitude.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
Tejas picks up t he shirt, shakes it open and holds it against himself. Looks at it critically and says- Dadda's!!
Me clearing my shelf- I come across a silk top smallish looking and wonder- whose is this?
I look at the size- S- definitely cannot be mine
I happen to see the age- 3-4 years
The penny drops
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Me to Husband- why don't you dry the bathroom with the "wiping equipment" before coming out after the bath As if on cue Tejas - after I washed my feet and came out without doing the customary floor wipe- Mamma, why are you keeping the bathroom wet wet ?
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
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