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Showing posts from May, 2009

A science question for you (blog marathon post 27)

We went to an amazing place today--It was a Science discovery centre. It was tucked away in a very quiet shady lane, and housed in a beautiful medieval Cathedral. I never knew science could be so much fun and could be made to come alive. (Click on the link to know more)

It was all very hands on, very colourful and very vibrant. I couldn't help thinking that while in school, if science had been this much fun, I might have changed my attitude to it. My children loved it and did not want to come away. We were there till the closing time and were the last to leave! They had been enjoying it so much.

The part I loved most were the toys and the puzzles. We spent more than three hours there, engrossed completely in the various exhibits. If you want to see pictures and get a feel of what it was like, click here.

One of the things I bought my children is the toy that you see in the video above. (My son made that video specially for my post)

My questions for you--

1.What is it called?
2. What…

A peep into a slice of my life (Blog marathon post 26)

There is bright sunlight streaming in through the window as I type this. It's 7.51 on a Saturday morning and I have just woken up.

The whole day stretches gloriously before me. My daughter has gone for a sleepover at an English friend's place, and son and husband are fast asleep.

Last night we got some rare exclusive time with my son. He had the undivided attention of both his parents. Usually his sister, being younger, female and more talkative (goes with being female) grabs all the attention. If she doesn't get it she ensures she does, by her dramatic, in depth narratives, with action and sound effects. Husband says she is a mini replica of me, almost exact to the words she uses and the gestures and facial expressions that accompany her. Her eyes sparkle with joy. She is so full of life.

My son is the quintessential male. Typical response to "How was your day?' would be "The usual". All men are like that. He is almost as tall as me now and I cannot beli…

Five Fun Friday Questions (blog marathon post 25)

The Cure - Friday I'm in love
Normal is boring. Routines are boring. Being staid and not expressing yourself and withholding what you truly feel is boring. Being like everybody else and saying what everyone else says and doing what everyone else does is boring. I hate boring. Life is too short to be bored!The above video is one of my favourites. I like it a lot because it is-- well--not boring! There is so much life in it and so much of self expression. Besides , it is about Friday--and who does not like Fridays?!
Here are a fun set of questions for you that are not boring. They will make you think--that is for sure-, and you do enjoy that don't you? The first question was on BBC Radio two, two days back. The callers had to call in with their answers and what a terrific set of answers we got to hear! The other questions I made up.
I have just discovered ---One thing that I will unabashedly admit—One thing that I would never ever do, even if you pay me a million pounds—Right now …

Simply irresistible (blog marathon post 24)

A few days back, we were out on a picnic at a place called Lenwade ( which is known for its array of museums, cathedrals shops and theatre apart from its landscape that seems like it has been snatched out of a 18th century English painting ) with friends who were visiting from India. We were waiting for the bus and we had a good twenty minutes to kill. The scenery was truly picture perfect but there is only so much of perfectness you can take and I began looking around in a distracted sort of way, having run out of conversation with my friend, partly on account of having husband all ears in the hearing vicinity and partly because we had been chatting non-stop ever since she arrived which must have been one massive talkathon (If there exists such a thing—if it doesn’t, it gets invented whenever two good women friends meet) of 48 hours even if you discount the time we took to catch up on sleep, which really wasn’t much (the time that we took to catch up on sleep that is, not the tal…

It is never too late to follow your heart (blog marathon post 23)

A
Apologies--- have removed this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write. Apologies! Have removed this post as it will soon appear in an e-book. Making it available here would be unfair to my publishers. Thank you for your support and understanding.

A day trip to Greater Yarmouth (Blog marathon post 22)

We went on a day trip yesterday to a place called Greater Yarmouth. It was, to use a cliché, simply great !
There are many attractions at Greater Yarmouth, apart from the beach. To explore them all, a single day is just not enough. This site has already done a great job in explaining all of it. So it saves me the trouble of writing it here.

We did many interesting things yesterday, but the highlight for me, undoubtedly was a visit to the Merrivale Model village which is a remarkable tribute to the model makers skills. It is a miniature model town, replete with every single detail that a town can boast of--a railway, a Church, a musical band, a hospital, a town square, a zoo, a petrol garage, a farm, a village green, a stadium, racing track for cars, bridge , ruins of an old cathedral, a circus and even a medieval castle! The eye for details is astounding. The whole town is laid out amidst beautifully landscaped gardens and it will take you at least an hour to walk around the winding…

The girl and the cloud (Blog marathon post 21)

I am sorry I had to remove this poem as it is under consideration for publication.© 2009 Preeti Shenoy
_____________________________________________________
Kindly do not reproduce without permission

I get by with a little help (blog marathon post 20)

Many of you, especially after my book has been out (and I am so overwhelmed by the response—and grateful too) write in and ask me how in the world I manage to do so much. Many of you ask me if I sleep and if so for how many hours! Many ask if I know some secret that they don’t. What do I say?

I do work late into night.There are morning persons and there are night owls. There is no doubt which category I belong to.
Till about two hours after waking, I am still in a zombie-attains-nirvana mode. Which means mostly I am on auto-pilot and that is indeed a big achievement, as while still in this mode, I do manage to check my blog comments, check my e-mail, pack three lunches (for husband and the kids) and also manage to listen to BBC Radio 2 and cook breakfast. I manage to do it all efficiently (I am told) and by 8.15 a.m a full course Indian meal (ready to be packed into dabbas) and an Indian Breakfast is ready. Of course it helps immensely, that S wakes me up with Coffee (carrying my hot s…

A love letter (Blog marathon post 19)

I don't know who you are. Please believe. There is no way I can convince you that this is not one of their tricks. But I don't care. I am me, and I don't know who you are, but I love you. "

It ends with the lines

"I don't know who you are. Or whether you're a man or a woman. I may never see you or cry with you or get drunk with you. But I love you. I hope that you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better, and that one day people have roses again. I wish I could kiss you."


To read the full text of the letter click here

It convinces me what millions of people have felt, experienced and thousands of artists and poets have tried to convey--Love is so powerful an emotion, that it can achieve anything. It does not matter between whom, what gender, what ages ,what time period. Sometimes Love is truly all that you need.

And of course the right words to express what you feel.

Guest Post by Ajay (Blog marathon post 18)

Usually, most posts of mine for the blog marathon are written in the night, after putting the kids to bed. But last night I was exhausted and decided to put it off for today. But today, my children are at home--they have a school holiday due to some staff training day at their school. Meanwhile I had already got three mails asking why the blog isn't updated and asking if all was fine. That was really thoughtful--thank you to all who wrote and asked.

One of my good friends Ajay (those who read this blog regularly will already be familiar with this name) too asked me the same and I asked him if he would like to write a guest post. His mom is an author and I think he has inherited some of her qualities. He asked me what the deadline for completing the post was and I said two hours. He texts me in 20 minutes saying he has mailed it to me. I couldn't help laughing out loud after reading what he wrote. Let me not keep you in suspense. Here is his post:


Last night, on returning home br…

Sometimes

Sometimes I cannot believe that you are mine. Sometimes I wonder what I have done to be this fortunate to deserve you. Sometimes when you’re asleep, I gaze at you in admiration. Sometimes something you said makes me smile long after you have gone. Sometimes I just long to have your arms around me and feel your cheeks against mine. Sometimes the wisdom in your words takes me by complete surprise. Sometimes I wonder if you really need me at all, but I know that I need you badly. Sometimes when I don’t want to face the world, the thought of you keeps me going. Sometimes I want to go to a place where nothing else matters and I come to you. Sometimes when you hug me, nothing else matters but just the two of us. Sometimes Iwonder if you are an old soul living in a very young body. Sometimes I marvel at how the years flew with you. And just sometimes( once a year) I get to wish you aWONDERFUL Birthday.
Happy Birthday my darling Purvi. You mean more than the world to me. (My daughter turns 8 today) © Preet…

What can you think of? (Blog marathon post 16)

Oh my God! 564 page views, 367 visitors, yet only about 50 odd nice people wrote back (see last post)--that is still a 50 short of the 100 mark. (I did mean what I said in the fine print) At least, Nancy of Reflections tried really hard.

Thank you Nancy!!

And to all others who commented too



But it still means that second post on Car adventures will have to wait a bit.
(but watch this space, as they say in those adverts)

And here is today's post for you.



I clicked this picture here in the UK, at a park near my place where there was a fair going on. They had tables where each table was selling different things from different countries. I stopped in surprise when I came to this particular table. I have lived in many different parts of India for nearly 36 years and never once have I come across this strange contraption which they claim is an Indian head massager! (click on photo to enlarge) You're supposed to hold it by the handle, in an inverted position on your head and move it up an…

Michael Schumacher and Mommy driver (Post 15 Blog marathon)

Three powerful words and five powerful phrases (Blog marathon post 14)

Death of a parent shakes you up in many ways. Especially if it is unexpected and not due to old age. It knocks you like a big iron bar swung hard across your forehead and makes you see for yourself how fragile life is. (That is what happened to me.)

Death of a young person too does the same. It is the many things that could have been done, that could have been said, that could have been achieved which is most mourned for.

Three very powerful words " Could have been".

Most of us never express ourselves completely. Don't ask me why--I don't know. It's easier to just make a joke and laugh it off, than actually say the words, especially to those who matter the most to you. It is that huge block that stands in between you like an insurmountable castle wall, which prevents you from saying what you feel. Heck--most of us numb ourselves so much and refuse to look inside ourselves that we are not even aware what we really feel and what we really want.

Cherished moments are …

A song to brighten your day (blog marathon post 13)

The video embedded above really brings a smile to my face each time I view it. It is a remix version of a classic song from the movie Padosan, which dates back to 1968, and is sung by one of the legendary Indian singers, Kishore Kumar. I embed the original video below.
I love the animation in the remix version, the exaggerated emotions, the sexy lady, the young man madly in love with her and the sequence of events that follows.

I really like the meaning in the lyrics too. (If you know Hindi you'd appreciate it. I find it hard to translate the essence of the song into English)

I am sure the song will brighten your day and take you back to that time you fell madly in love with that one person whom you could just not resist.

Have a great Sunday, folks. And don't forget to tell me if you liked the song and which of the versions you prefer.

Fights in a relationship (Blog marathon post 12)

Like I mentioned before, one of my closest friends is visiting me from India. Her children and my children are really great friends and have a wonderful time together. They can spends hours and hours endlessly in each other's company and never get bored. When they are apart, they crave for each other. When they are together like they say "Life rocks!". I love the easy camaraderie they share and the grand time and amount of fun they have with each other. The best part is they fight too and they make up just as quickly.

This observation led to an interesting discussion between my friend and me. She said she knew people who never fought. I said that if people never fought it means that they aren't one hundred percent complete in that relationship. I always feel that if a relationship matters to you, then fights will be natural. One cannot have a relationship with absolutely no fights. We express anger because we are comfortable knowing that the other person will not re…

Sometimes you have to do what you have to (Blog marathon post 11)

The alertness, agility and the speed with which this little fellow moved enthralled me completely. I had to capture him on film. I squatted on the dirty ground, which had a lot of ants and flies because of the rubbish strewn around. To get a good picture I had to be almost at ground level, eye to eye with this little squirrel.

This was just outside the Taj Mahal, in Agra , India. I squatted down a sharp pain shooting up my legs because of the unusual position. I was sitting almost motionless, as the slightest jerk would frighten the squirrel.
"Maaa--get up, What are you doing? You can't sit by the side of the road like that," hissed my son.
"Get up, people are beginning to stare," urged my husband.
"Mummy, what are you doing?" asked my daughter.

Of course I did not get up till I was satisfied with my shot.


How can I explain the magic of a good picture? How can I explain the joy it brings me to observe nature, no matter where I see it, in what surroundings a…

A Math question for you.(Blog marathon Post 10)

Mathematics--it either terrifies you or makes you ecstatic. You either like it or hate it. Somehow with Math, there are usually no middle paths.

Many people even fear it and I know some of my friends who still get nightmares about themselves being in the examination hall and not knowing a thing on the Math paper, even twenty years after they have left school! Such is the impact of the subject.

I like Math. But the last Math exam I gave was ages and ages back. I got a chance to relive that vicariously as my son has his Math papers tomorrow and day-after tomorrow at a National level examination. He too likes Math and so we have fun revising together and going over the concepts together.
What I really like about the U.K is their approach to education. In India, the Math teachers usually never make it fun. Also the schools really do not encourage any fun activities connected to Math. Here they have so many activities to make it interesting and now with the reach and penetration if Internet …

Love is like that! (blog marathon post 9)

This poem is dedicated to a good friend of mine whose Birthday it is today(12th May).[It's already tomorrow in India, but for me it is still today :)] These lines came to me after I had a longish conversation with him this morning, and as I was ironing the washing. Often I find, creativity comes to me when I am doing mundane jobs that involve no thinking like doing the dishes. I jot down my ideas on whatever I happen to find lying around at that time. Later I develop them into sketches, poems or write ups.

Many have appreciated the simplicity in my work, yet they say, there is so much depth and so much power in my words. They ask me if I do it deliberately. They say it is really hard to be simple. Honestly I don't know, because I never think when I am writing. Not consciously anyway. I write sincerely with honesty and I guess that shows!

Here is the poem I just wrote. This one is for you Ajay. Thanks for being there always when I need you.

Love is like that!
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Look…

The possibilities are endless (blog marathon post 8)

In scale and magnitude, in ambition and grandeur, in showmanship and co-ordination, in organisation and splendour, there are very few events in the UK, that match the prestigious annual Norwich and Norfolk festival. In fact, according to Jonathan Holloway, the festival director, this festival is among the top five in the UK. This year it is taking place at multiple venues across the city from May 1st to May 16th. I am fortunate to be living here, that too very close to most of the venues. I have had the opportunity to witness some of the most creative, dazzling and inspiring performances, street theatre and works of Art. For more information and some brilliant photographs which give you an idea about what exactly I am talking of, you must, mustsee this.One of the events that I liked,was “Sputnik—a project of possibilities”.( The pictures you see above are the ones I clicked at this event )
It is hard to explain what exactly it is. It is a performance blended with a kinetic sculpture th…

Goodness Gracious- Niall and-- me!(blog marathon post 7)

What many of you said about my last post made so much sense. Talking of sunshine one friend who is a big sunshine for me is Niall. I have blogged about how we met accidentally online, and how this accidental meeting led to many many emails being exchangedand which led to a real life meeting in London.(Click here if you want to know more .) Little did I dream then that I would be moving to the UK (and therefore closer to Niall, geographically) and when I knew I was, I was so happy to already have a good friend in an otherwise alien country. Niall and his family came home very recently (picture on the left clicked when he came home) and we had an amazing time. Niall keeps telling me about how multicultural Derby(the place where he lives) is and how much Indians have integrated into the society in UK. [Many say that the national dish of Britain is Chicken Tikka masala :-) ] Niall also told me about a BBC comedy programme called ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ which was ground breaking in bringin…

Sunshine, shoes and other such things (Blog marathon Post 6)