Let’s just chat over coffee #writebravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and this is my post for the last day, Day 7 in response to the prompt – ‘If we were having coffee…’


If we were having coffee…

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Image source : Pixabay

  1. I shall tell you how happy I am that my parents have come to stay with me for a few days. I shall love to treat you with sweets and laddoos, they have brought with them.
  2. I shall tell you there is no other place like Delhi, among all the Indian metro cities, where you can get the best of mithai (sweets). I missed the sweet delicacies of Delhi a lot when I used to live in UK. All the cakes and pastries of the world are nothing in front of ‘Dilli ki mithai’. 
  3. I shall ask you if you remember my Day 3 post on Delhi – ‘Delhi in ruins’? Just do me a favour and kick it out of your mind for today my mood is chirpy and filled with happy thoughts about many things.
  4. I shall tell you my early morning workload has reduced for the time being with my mother taking care of the cooking part. Mommies are wonderful human beings, isn’t it?
  5. I shall tell you how much I am looking forward to the next 4 days of extended weekend which means I do not have to wash Dhruv’s white uniform urgently.  You can imagine what holidays mean to me.
  6. I shall tell you that WTFOW#6 has been an enriching experience for me. The prompts were easy for even a not-so-seasoned-writer like me. I had fun writing and bringing out posts everyday and interacting with fellow bloggers, many who have been with me and also many new ones.
  7. I shall tell you that I found my blog’s 200th WordPress follower on the same day on which I had written my letter. She is Sheethal Susan Jacob who blogs at Scribblings. Can I ask you a second favour? Will you be kind and follow her blog on my insistence? I know you love me for who I am and will not refuse me.
  8. I shall tell you as much as I am happy and content with my participation in WTFOW#6, I am also looking forward for it to get over so that I can get back to reading my books. Especially, the ones – ‘Perfect’ and ‘Flawed’ by Cecelia Ahern, which I bought with the Amazon gift coupon I won as the winner of Day 1 of this Write Tribe festival.
  9. Realizing that our coffee is almost finished, I shall ask you if you had a good time having coffee with me? And, would you love to meet me over coffee again, someday? I promise, I am going to speak less the next time and let you do all the talking. I promise to be all ears.

#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords

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Guest Post : Open a Book…Together #writebravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and this is my post for Day 6 in response to the prompt – ‘Feature a guest.’

For my guest post, I am thankful to Sunaina Bhatia who agreed to do this post for me at a short notice. Sunaina Bhatia is an avid reader and a talented blogger who blogs at ‘When I stopped to smell a rose’ and ‘Mere desh ki mitti’She is a good friend, I have found courtesy the world of blogging, and both of us share the same passion and commitment for raising readers. You have read about my reading journey with Dhruv quite a lot. Today, Sunaina will be taking you along her reading journey with her 2 children.

If you think raising a single child as a reader is a challenge, then Sunaina is an inspiration for all of us because she is doing the same with 2 kids.

Let’s give her a warm welcome.


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Image source : Pixabay

 When my son was born, among other things that I bought for him in the first six months were books. Small, colourful picture books that he started holding the day he started sitting up. It was a ‘weird’ sight for many, and some even laughed at me and considered me crazy. But I turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to all criticism and continued my ‘crazy’ shopping. I even started going to the library, a blessing in the US. Free access to countless treasures in print lured me almost every week. And icing on the cake was the library bus, the Bookmobile, that would visit every fortnight, the complex we lived in.
 
I was an avid reader myself as a child. I didn’t travel much, didn’t go to many places. But thanks to my parents, I was blessed to have books every now and then. From detective fiction to literature, my parents endowed me with a wealth that would stay with me forever. Books would often let me travel to places unseen and unheard of. The feeling is indescribable in words for me. It is something only a reader like myself can savour, can relate to. Needless to say, I wanted my kids to experience the same joy, the same delight. 
 
Raising a reader is not something that happens overnight. When it was time for transition from picture books to stories, I was faced with a challenge. Children have strong personalities that is reflected in the way they play, the choices they make when they are little. It is not at all necessary that they will enjoy the same stories which we have loved. So, I would bring books after books from the library to understand my son’s (my first born) taste. After umpteen number of attempts, I finally found a book that absorbed him completely. It was titled Henry and the Dump Truck, a story of a shy boy who was fascinated with the dump truck that came to pick their trash every week. I read that book to him during daytime, and night-time, whenever he demanded. And so began our ‘reading’ time. I have read to him every day if my memory serves me right –  even after he started reading on his own, because he enjoys this ‘together’ time a lot. I pick books for him even now, although he is eight and has clear interests. I don’t intend to impose my likes and interests on him but I wish to expand his horizon. 
 
The challenge to figure out your child’s leaning is something I have faced with my daughter (my second born) as well. She has inherited her brother’s collection but she has made strong, definitive choices of her own. This reflects her taste, and boosts her individuality too. This I think is very important in raising a reader. Let them choose, and respect their choices. It is crucial in developing their confidence. So, while offering them a range of topics that are diverse and new to them, I have given them space to enjoy their princesses, monsters, Fly-Guys, Captain Underpants, and Ballerinas.
 
Reading sensitizes the mind. It opens up one’s perspective. It lets one imagine, it allows one to delve into the other’s shoe and look at things from a different angle. Reading together is even more important because it gives you a chance to interact, to express difficult feelings like that of anger, and loss. It also gives both the child and parent a chance to come closer by communicating the thoughts that come up while going through a story together. It tells you what is going on in the child’s mind – his worries, his concerns, his queries.
As a parent, it is so important to know what is going on with your growing child, right? And don’t worry if a book doesn’t catch your child’s fancy. It is okay. It shows that s/he has a taste. Also don’t grudge if the book that s/he chooses is not as per your taste. It ought not bother you because s/he is the reader, not you. The best that you can do is to give your child the freedom to choose. Make books accessible in your home. Give them gift of books. Read, read together. Make it enjoyable – for you and for your child.
 
Read together with your child
About things that are funny and wise
Tell him about things that are true
and things that are only lies
Let him imagine 
Let him pretend
Give him the chance to make book his best friend…..

I hope you enjoyed reading this post by Sunaina.

You can also follow her on Twitter

#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords

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Letter to my 200th WP follower #writebravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and this is my post for Day 5 in response to the prompt – ‘Write a letter.’


Dear 200th WordPress follower,

I hope this letter finds you in the pink of your health.

You are awaited, eagerly awaited.

The Write Tribe Festival of Words has brought me closer to you. I was standing at a distance of number 6 from you for over a week and now I can’t believe I have a reason to celebrate.

It has been 3 days of earnestly staring at my blog’s stats page. I have called out for you everywhere in the void – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But, you are elusive.

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Image courtesy : Pixabay

If I were a religious temple going person, I might as well have vowed to distribute ‘sava rupay ka prasad’ in your name. Unfortunately, this is not who I am today, having done with all of that long ago. If I could spend money, I would have got an attractive mailer designed seeking you. If the movie ‘Jab Harry met Sejal’ had not met with a disastrous outcome, despite my loving it ardently, I would have quoted a quote from its poster – ‘What you seek is seeking you‘.

What I could do, however, was to write a letter to you in a space where there are more chances of your finding me and my blog and vice versa.

I know 200 is just another number and it is the same for me. Yet, The 200th follower, you are special to me.

Hoping my search for you comes to an Happy Ending with this letter.

Sincerely waiting,

The Bespectacled Mother

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Do you recognize this? I circulated this photo everywhere on social media.


#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords

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My day ends at 7.20 am #writebravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and this is my post for Day 4 in response to the prompt – ‘Feature a day in your life or someone else’s life.’


Just like everyday, the alarm rings at 6 am in the bedroom.

Just like everyday, I am in the kitchen preparing food for the tiffin boxes. They are 3 in number. Within 2 seconds, I am in the bedroom and even before my mouth opens, the voice in my head startles out loud in the repetitive mode setting – “Dhruv, uth jaa, 6 baj gaye. Wake up Dhruv, it is 6’o’ clock now.” The repetition in my head makes me qualified to become the cuckoo inside the wall clock with the only difference of my not cuckooing but ‘uth jaa, uth jaa, 6 baj gaye’.

And, since the cuckoo in my head is incapable of waking him up, my voice comes to my rescue.  What happens next is also the everyday pattern. Taking him to the bathroom, brushing his teeth, giving him a bath, getting him ready and bringing him to the dining table in a matter of next 30 minutes.

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Image Courtesy : Pixabay

Do you know early morning exhaustion? Try doing all the above with a sleepy child who moves at a pace slower than a sloth, at this time of the day, and countering his pace with your fast pace and then striking a balance. On top of this, also making sure that everything happens in a calm and composed manner because if I blow my fuse, then everything goes haywire.

Continuing…

He gets seated in the chair, all dressed up, with his egg and 1 cup of milk, just like everyday. Why same food everyday? Because it is safer to be stay predictable rather than trying to add variety and inviting resistance and melt downs. While he eats and drinks meditatively with a question or an information or an exclamation in between, I do the final packing of tiffins reminding him of the remaining time intermittently. I feel grateful to God and Dhruv, as well, because he has finally learnt the art of finishing one egg and one cup of milk within the 30-35 minutes duration.

The alarm finally goes off at 7.20 am to leave the house and go to the Bus Stop to wait for the school bus. Yes, just like everyday.

And this is how my day gets over.


What about the rest of the day? What do I do for the rest of the day?

Well, the answer is whatever I do for rest of my day is nothing to what I accomplish in the first 2 hours after waking up in the morning. And therefore, I say my day gets over at 7.20 am.

Don’t be jealous if you slog all day. I am plain lucky.


#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords

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Delhi in ruins #writebravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and this is my post for Day 3 in response to the prompt – ‘Feature a map and write about a place either real or virtual’.


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Ask me, “What is Delhi for me?” and I will reply it is in ruins.

I can see you twitching your face slightly because this is not how you see the city of Delhi which is ever expanding, where the new takes over the old swiftly. But didn’t you ask me the view from my eyes? Yes, it is in ruins, I would say again.

However, it was not like this always.

At 18, when I moved to Delhi for higher education, Delhi was promising. It was hope. It was a dream. Delhi, for me then, was laying its foundation.

5 years later, Delhi turned into a building, robust, strong, flourishing. I was out on the streets, not walking but flying high. I was making my own living.

I fell in love with Delhi and it loved me back. I began painting it in the colour of red and it happily let me do so.

Gradually, new inhabitants moved into my Delhi bringing their own colours. One of them was a bright yellow while the others were dull and shades of grey, brown and black. The red couldn’t stay unaffected by the overpowering dull shades and my Delhi which was a bright red started fading, slowly changing to black.

Black is beautiful but this wasn’t. It was the colour of decay and rot.

In the absence of light, Delhi kept on darkening until its collapse became inevitable leading to its downfall.

The Delhi of my heart was no more. It turned into shambles. It turned into ruins.

I moved out with its broken pieces safe in my heart. It was hard to let go.

I moved away far. I moved away for long. The broken Delhi inside me got resurrected but the Delhi outside could never. It could never rise again from its ruins.

I feel at home when I am away from it.


#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords

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My 3 empowering resources #writebravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and this is my post for Day 2 in response to the prompt ‘Write about a resource or resources you have’.


I am a parent who is raising her son single-handedly for the past 2 years in a city where I had no family or relatives to depend upon for a considerably long time. While I am acting as the single parent by circumstances with husband being away in a different country for work but the decision to live on my own alone was a choice I exercised independently.

Often, I am posed this question of ‘How do I live alone with a small kid?’

Some think I am strong while there are many who think I am a fool to do what I am doing. My answers never satisfy such people and hence they come back to question me repeatedly.

Therefore, today, I thought of sharing my 3 resources which empower me to deal with my everyday life effectively.

A. A car

One evening, 16 years ago, I came back home from college and my mother announced that Papa had enrolled me with a driving school. Oh God! I was petrified. Why? Because I was never the confident kid who embraced new challenges and secondly I was very scared of my father and couldn’t say no to him. I dreaded him because he always pushed me around. So, this is how I began my driving lessons. I was a lousy driver for a long time.

Yet, today I cannot be more thankful to my father to push me hard to learn driving because he could see what I could not. Driving was a life skill which is paying me today, by making me independent. Knowing how to drive is immensely empowering.

It is not actually the car but the driving skill which is my resource number 1.

B. My People

I have a few people in my life who, howsoever far off they might be living from me, are my support system.

  1. Husband who makes sure Dhruv and I don’t lead an impoverished life and have enough on our plate to live comfortably.
  2. Parents who are just a phone call away. They claim to be merely 2 and a half hours away (by air travel) from me and have been always there for me even if it means catching the next available flight at exorbitant prices in case of emergencies with me.
  3. My brother and my sister-in-law who moved to the city, I live in, 7 months back and have been my pillar ever since.

C. Strong Spirit

More than the above 2 resources, the most important has been my strong spirit without which I would have succumbed to the pressures long back. I am not sure if I was strong enough 2 years ago when I took the decision but I have surely become much stronger over this period of time.


#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords

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My cherished treasure #WriteBravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6 and this is my post for Day 1 in response to the prompt ‘Write about a treasure you have’.


Long ago I read somewhere that the only relationship one gets to have a say in choosing is friendships. All the rest of the relationships are either entrusted to us by the virtue of birth or marriage.

The best of the friendships are those where the persons involved contribute in uplifting each other with positivity and understanding.

Do you remember how important it used to be for us in kindergarten to promptly answer to the frequently posed question to us – ‘Who is your best friend’? And we always promptly answered furnishing our best friend’s name with a sense of pride. Having a best friend was the ultimate thing.

Then, we kept adding friends as we moved on along the way in life, right through school, college and the work place/s. Many moved away during the course while many new moved into our lives. Their faces changed in tune with whoever we were at a given point of time.

After going through the roller coaster of half of my lifetime (I do not see myself beyond seventy), the friends I have come to cherish most are the ones I have made through blogging. Although most of them are virtual, they are the closest to me because no one understands me better than they do. They have been with me in my good times and bad times and in times of illnesses and injuries. They are the ones strengthening my belief in myself. They are the ones who share my love for books, who are kind to me and are far from judgement.

My cherished treasure are my blogging friends.


#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords

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Jab Harry met… #MondayMusings

I am not a fan of watching Hindi movies. There was a time, a decade or so earlier, when I liked to watch them but not anymore. And romances are a strict no. I just can’t bear them. I shall hold my middle age and the quote ‘Sansaar ek mithya hai‘ (This world is a misnomer) responsible for my present orientation.

This weekend, I learnt the truth in the saying ‘Never say never’.
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Cycle Repair Wala #MondayMusings

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Image courtesy : Pixabay

Madam! Aap!

Oh yes Shakur Bhai, It’s me again.

What brings you this Sunday morning to our shop Madam?

See Shakur Bhai, what happens on Sunday mornings is my maid takes her weekly off so there isn’t any work for me in the house. Thus, Sundays are the best for getting the weekly repairs done on the cycle. Today, it is the shaking mud guard over the front wheel.

No problem at all. This will be mended in a jiffy. How about the repairs I did last Sunday? All well?

Of course, it is all well. You are an artist Shakur bhai. Any repair which you do will fall apart within a week? Never!!  Continue reading

5 ways I work to deal with my yelling problem #MondayMusings

Dhruv, stay seated.

Dhruv, stop talking and finish your meal fast.

Dhruv, this is what I have cooked today and you will have to eat it, whether you like it or not.

Dhruv, get ready fast, we have to leave in 5 minutes.

Dhruv….Dhruv…Dhruv….

This must be the common scenario in every home with a change of situations and definitely change of names.

How many times it happens that we, as parents, reach the brink of our patience levels. We keep reminding the children but our reminders fell on deaf ears causing us to lose our patience and yelling at such times becomes inevitable.

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