A Child’s Note to Parents

Dear Parents,

Soon you would be having conference regarding my performance in school. As you listen, please remember that what my teacher might be describing may not be the complete truth. So, do not get uptight if you hear any blemish. I hope you will accept me as I am as long as I am trying.

Remember that all children do not walk or speak at the same age, nor do they learn math, reading or science at the same rate. Please do not compare me to my brothers, sisters, cousins or friends. I am unique to this world. Be realistic in setting my goals. Challenge me but do not push me beyond my abilities. Please let me be a child first before labelling me as a success or a failure.

The conference would be a picture of me at school. I am very different at home. In school, I have to deal with around 25-50 kids my age, I sometimes respond in a different manner. My teacher knows me at school, You know me at home. The real ‘Me’ is somewhere in between.

When these images blend with sufficient understanding, acceptance and love, I hope you’ll see a unique individual who can make you proud and bring happiness to our family.

Love you,

Your Kid

(We received this touching leaflet from my Son’s school before a conference. I could not help sharing. Do share this post, it is worth the effort. Because sometimes we adults are incapable of seeing a child’s point of view.)


Images courtesy Google

Anecdote: Haldiram’s is Healthyram’s?

My five-year-old recently learnt about the difference between need and want foods. He was informed that milk, eggs and green leafy veggies are need while cake, chocolates etc are want.

But recently his one observation left me in splits. He asked me whether sweets like Rasgullas, Pedas and Barfis are healthy? I said, “No, sweets are want.”  He retorted in his American accent, “But sweets come from Healthy-ram’s, Right.” I couldn’t help laughing aloud!

Haldiram’s is an extremely popular sweets and snack brand in India. And it’s snack items are available in US too. We often buy Haldiram’s sweets so, my Kindergartener probably put two and two together and concluded that – Haldiram’s is Healthyram’s!

I guess the advertisers would adore the line!


Images courtesy Google

Announcing Free Book with Big Thank You!

wordpress

Very recently, my blog turned 2 and I feel gratitude as well as so much love for you. All of you have influenced me in your own individual ways. THANK YOU! Today, I am also mustering courage to present my 2nd Kids free ebook – ‘Who Ate The Moon?‘, available on Apple https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/who-ate-the-moon/id1206671343?mt=11.

The book is about two naughty brothers, Aala and Uja, who unhook the moon off the sky and hide it in a fireplace. But something or somebody eats the moon!!! To know more, download it for free…

The book is also available on Blurb http://www.blurb.com/b/7758497-who-ate-the-moon?ebook=614969 (Add to Cart and give your email Id) as well as Smashwords -https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/699450

In order to make the book even more accessible to our little ones, I have created a sort of audio book on YouTube. Please excuse my accent in the video. The book is less than 7 minutes long, fit for a quick watch.

My first ebook – The Princess with Brown Teeth was a huge learning experience for me. I have learnt a lot in this one too and am still learning. Your feedback, likes and share will help me immensely.

Thanks once again for being there for two long years!

Comic Relief

As they watched a movie in the theatre, little Avi fidgeted. “When will spiderman come?”, he asked. “Hush, he will come soon,” his mom whispered, making sure others watched in peace.

In the film, the dreaded biker’s gang was wrecking the town. And the heroine was murdered. Mom had teary eyes, when Avi interrupted again. “What about Spiderman?”, he asked. “Eat the popcorns, Spiderman will come at the end,” she tried to distract him. 

He ate for a while and began to play with the popcorns. While in the film, the hero was about to be killed and there was pin drop silence! Just then, to mom’s horror, the spidey fan vocalized loudly – 

Spiderman, Spiderman, 

Does whatever a spider can

Spins a web, any size,

Catches thieves just like flies, look out…

Embarassed, she scooped the little singer up and walked out of the theatre but the crowd cheered. The film was too intense, they needed comic relief!

(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the amazing Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you Sunayana for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

The Big Brother

He knew it was late. His mother would be anxiously waiting for him but he wanted to dilly dally. He wished, she could come down to receive him at the bus stop just like she used to do! But these days she was always busy with the whining little thing, they brought from the hospital. 

It was his dream to be a big brother but now he realised how challenging it was. The baby was a cranky one. If only they could replace her with a sweet, sleepy baby! He no longer liked being a big brother. He wanted constant attention from his parents more than ever.

Dragging his feet, he went home. His mother was at the door with the baby. She reproached him for loitering around. But the cranky one smiled. He ignored her. But she cooed again and held out her baby hand. 

His feelings changed from dejection to exhilaration! She was quite cute, after all!

(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you Jessica Haines for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

Remembering Jasoosi Duniya by Ibn-e-Safi

My grandfather was a big fan of Detective Colonel Vinod of Vinod Series by Ibn-e-Safi (pen name of Asrar Ahmed). And my father and his siblings would compete with each other to be the first to lay their hands on those thrillers, that arrived every month by post.

Colonel Vinod (Faridi in original Urdu version), the main character of Jasoosi Duniya was huge at one point of time and almost as famous as James Bond or Sherlock Holmes. My grandparents, uncles, aunts, everyone loved him.

 For me it was different. I was born after Ibn-e-Safi’s death. As I grew up, titles of the books – ‘Tijori ka Geet’, ‘Khooni Pathar’, ‘Pahadon ki Malika’, ‘Baraf ke Bhoot’ –  intrigued me. And the pictures on the covers were fascinating too. One day, when I was in my teens, I just picked it up from a big box of books and read it at one go. That was the beginning. I soon got addicted to them.

Thankfully, my parents were not very strict about my reading those ‘kind of books’ because they knew that the series did not have sub standard or cheap material in it. Every member in the family could read it. However, they warned I may end up paying more attention to the thrillers rather than course books. But I managed to strike a balance.

After Devkinandan Khatri in the 19th century, it was Ibn-e-safi who set the beat of detective novels in the second half of the 20th century in Indian subcontinent. His contributions to not only Urdu but Hindi literature was immense. The books were published in Bengali, Tamil and Telugu as well. 


Wikipedia says about Jasoosi Duniya series – “Its first novel, Dilaer Mujrim was published in March 1952. In the following 27 years, Ibn-e-Safi wrote 127 books in the series with his last Jasoosi Dunya novel, Sehra’ee Deewana appearing in July 1979, a year before his death.” He was from India but migrated to Pakistan in 1947, post independence.

It is said that some Safi’s books have been inspired by English novels but the much-loved characters, Vinod and Rajesh (Faridi and Imran in original Urdu version) are his own creations.

My favourites were Colonel Vinod and his feisty aide Captain Hamid (akin to Dr Watson). As I read him more and more, I felt Ibn-e-Safi was well informed about the political situations in the world. He wove a glamourous and dangerous world in 1960s India that enchanted readers.

 I think Colonel Vinod was very much like Howard Roark of  Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead’. Both of them had super integrity, both were brilliant at their jobs but appeared to be rather heartless (Colonel Vinod was nicknamed Father Hardstone by his friend Hamid). Both had lofty ideals. Infact, it was said that Ibn-e-Safi wrote very carefully about Vinod as people sort of worshipped him and would not tolerate anything untoward related to him.


Ibn-e-safi’s other lead character Rajesh (Imran in the Urdu version) was equally popular. A fool by the day and secret service chief by night, Rajesh’s unpredictability always left me in splits.
It should also be known that Safi’s works were widely plagiarised by writers who enjoyed limited fame but could not match his popularity. His books were often sold at black market prices in and around India. 

A big reason for the charm of the novels were the minor and comic characters Qasim, Black Force, gilehri jaan ( in Vinod series) as well as servant Bholu, Jolly, Madan (in Rajesh series). The master storyteller had the knack of drawing readers into the world of ensnaring beauties, night clubs, fancy locations, Lincolns, Tommy guns, poisonous needles and lethal enemies. 

Back in India, I always wondered about Lincoln – Colonel Vinod’s car and excitedly called up my father when I saw one in the US. 


The Hindi version of – Jasoosi Duniya series are hard to find in today’s world of Ebooks and downloads. I yearn for the crispy touch, musty smell and excitement that preceded reading the thrillers. It was heaven to read it in a quiet corner of my house, munching guavas and wondering what was going to happen next.

Gone are the days but who knows…I might still find my younger self somewhere inside one of those nail-biting books…!