Where am I being taken?

I never knew where I was being taken, the cacophony of horns gave me no sense of location or direction.

All I was staring was at the back of a man wearing a shirt. Looking forward was not an option. All I could do was to look sideways. But, how long can you look sideways, it is a pain in the neck.

And, you are constantly squeezed by the person behind you. Who also is holding tightly and ensuring you are not be able move. The grip is very secure and I am unable to flex my lower body even an inch.

Only saving grace was that the cold wind was not hitting me directly. The wintry gust was not able to harm me, but where am I going.

Everything then came to halt and I was freed at last. Such a relief but also I fear that very soon I will be again put into this situation with no escape!

This is how many Indian kids travel squeezed between parents on a two wheeler might be thinking πŸ˜€. Just imagining what a toddler or a little kid might me thinking traveling this way!!

Who knows where you will live in future?

I live in the Indian City of Pune. It is a wonderful place with climate being mostly moderate. The natural surroundings are very tempting and the city still has some idleness left. It also has it’s share of traffic and quality of living problems which any big city is plagued with.

About 32 years back I was on a family trip to Mumbai and the magnificent Ajanta Ellora caves (these places are 3 hours and 8 hours from Pune respectively). We were two families out for a summer vacation holiday. Incidently a relative of the family accompanying us lived in Pune. So, we all pulled out a day from our schedule to pay a courtesy visit to Pune. 32 years is a long time and I don’t remember much from that day except that though it was summer the night was quite cool.

Today I live and earn my bread in the same place where I was present fleetingly 32 years ago. If someone asked me that day ” Do you see living a major part of your life in this city “?. I would have been clueless about a place more  than 1400 kms from the place i was growing up.

We all have plans but the plans of Life are very different. We really don’t know where we will end up and call which place our home. To think that a place where I accidentally landed up when I was just a 10 year old becomes my home when the hair is greying and thinning would have been unimaginable.

Where you grow up and where you land is all unknown!. What my daughters call home might be just a railway station as they chug along the age tracks!

School Projects – who’s really doing it?

School projects are usually more of projects for parents. This is a hard truth and little ones would be anyways be lost by kind of the projects that are usually given. You don’t expect them to search some concept on internet or visiting a place to prepare a story if they are like 5 year old. So, it is highly improbable to expect them to actually “do” the projects.

So what I try to do is to make sure that my daughters do as much possible on their own in these projects. For example, I might get them prints but I ensure they do the glue and paste work. I make the concepts for them but the artwork, writing or even typing on the computer for a PowerPoint presentation is done by them.

This approach has quite a time backfired as the projects never look perfect. Obviously, there would be difference in the execution perfection between an adult and a child. But, what I gain is that my kids are involved in the process. Even if the project does not turn out great “it is their own work” and something they can be proud of. Small price to pay but a larger gain is made.

As a practice,Β  I try to see that quite a bit of work is done by my daughters themselves. The downside, of course is that the project might not come out very appealing as children will not be so proficient as an adult. But, what’s the point if the adult does the project and the kids actually learn nothing.

Simoni had a project this Diwali vacation to click pictures with different flowers and trees. After the initial posing and prints, I made sure that the whole pasting,  writing and decoration is done by her. Felt little guilty since I could have easily done her part. But, had to start instilling “My work culture ” which would do her a lots of good.

Glimpses of her effort,  proud that she did it!!

Every dark cloud has a silver lining!

It has been a torrid week almost everyone in the household falling sick to seasonal flu. The only bright spot was the halloween party in my Daughter’s school (The Joker costume has been quite hit on my social media handles).

Rest of the time has been tonnes of medications, missed office and school, no exercises and general lethargy. Things are finally looking bright as all are on the recovered or recovery path.

This time though had some silver lining as well. Lots of chatting with better half which daily routine hardly allows. I could work on her Dance Classes Visiting Card ( She has started teaching dance, check out her video on YouTube https://youtu.be/SU7AGf2QDgk). We spent quite a time reminiscing past memories. Regular life hardly allows us to connect with Kids, school, office, household chores, exercising and all the time consuming elements of modern life keeping us busy 24Γ—7.

Kids got extra cuddles, off time from studies and once recovered some extra time to play. Their recovery was the most relief element with the house looking dull without their antics. Kids were at their best once recovered when they took care of us – giving water, medications and a loving pat to us wishing get well soon.

This is what family is all about whether large or small one like us. Ups and downs are inevitable, just couple of weeks ago we were have a great time in a disconnected location and for past few days it was a torrid time for all us.

Clouds how dark they may be, do come with a silver lining. Life would always be half empty unless you look it as half full. Signing off for a healthy everybody!!

This blog really allows me to pen my feelings without any inhibitions, thank god I write here. It is like my extended family now!!

Halloween Time!! Joker on the prowl

It's a Global World...Halloween in Indian Schools!!

Thug life – The High Voltage Dialogues from Little Devils of the Household

Those who read me would know that my daughters are not shy of interesting antics and don’t back out from making sarcastic comments. Sample these high voltage dialogues heard very recently in the household.

Situation, mom asking for something, who will go and get her the stuff is the debate?

Elder : ” Simoni you are small, so you go”

Younger : “I am only a small 5 year child, you are big 10 year old – you go!”

Elder (a bit shaken by the retort) : ” No you are young so you go”

Of course further dialogue delivery is cut short by mom’s mega voltage shriek .

Situation, when Younger is talking absolutely gibberish with her friend.

Papa : “Hey Suditi, what nonsensical thing is this Simoni talking?”

Elder : ” Looks like She might be giving some very high funda knowledge “

Sarcasm has hit the roof of the home!

Situation, when Younger wears skimpy clothes while it is pretty cold.

Mama : ” Simoni wear some pyjamas, else you will catch cold”

Elder (absolutely uninvited) : ” Oh, Momma actually She thinks She is looking hot “

No opportunity can be lost.

Situation, when Elder not feeling well with winter setting in.

Younger (Now her turn for uninvited sarcasm): ” Give her some injection, everything will be ok”

Scores settled.

Lively filmy style dialogue delivery is providing me enough stuff to write about!

The Real Life David vs Goliath Story – A College Volleyball Game

College time had many memorable moments which we reminisce about with lots of nostalgia. The stories usually hover around the bunked classes, the rigid professor, the failed attempt to replicate a filmy love story or the night which directly ended at dawn. Mine was no different,Β  but one event stands out is a volleyball match during my time in college. It was a true David vs Goliath story.

So, the setting was a volleyball match – finals of inter-wing tournament of my hostel. My wing was with an average height of about 5’6″, substantially less for a volleyball ball team. But somehow in this competition of 6 wings, we managed to reach the finals to face the strongest and the tallest boys. The opposition wing was favorite to win as they had boys well over 3-4 inches taller than us. Anyone with even little understanding of volleyball would realize the importance of height in this game.

We were the underdogs but what we had was lot of faith and were absolutely humble and realistic about our chances. The match began with exchange of shots, we were pretty sure that spiking was not our cup of tea due to our height. The strategy was to keep the ball in play and let the opposition make mistakes. And, once in a while tip the ball over the net in a vacant space.

The favorites ran straight into our trap, their over confidence ekeing out mistakes regularly.Β  By the second set there was a visible discord amongst them while we were “focus, we are not yet winners”. By now though we had started believing that we can pull this off. After some nail biting moments finally we won. I don’t remember the scoreline as this event happened 19 years ago, but who cares?, we won!!

I though remember the jubilation and joy of an underdog win. The smallest guys pulling off the biggest win. What role who played, who lead who followed, what was my role – all these are immaterial with respect to the collective success. Not sure if life will give such a chance to become David and defeat Goliath.

Being disconnected!!

This Diwali, I had a surreal experience. Family visited a small hillstation about 5 hours drive from my place for two days. The awesome part was that it was a place bereft of any internet connection. Few locals who were connected to the only service provider in the area had internet but not strong enough to share with others.

Flora of the hill station with a lake and hills in the background – a before sunrise click!

These two days were spent without internet, as if we were transported back to the innocent times that we all keep on missing.  Yes, I did miss wordpress,  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. and since coming back I am catching up.  The feeling was discomforting to begin with but by the time the two days ended it was almost “wish it was always like this”.

Haven’t seen a clear sunrise since ages!

For my kids it was all likely their first experience without internet. They were absolutely busy doing things like playing badminton, carrom, Ludo, cards etc, and for me it was like back to my own childhood in every sense. Isn’t that the way we grew up. What made me more happy was for them to realize that food can also be eaten without watching videos on mobile phones.

The couple of days were spent visiting a quaint little beautiful temple, adventurous speed boating, a first kayaking experience and a wonderful sunset boat ride. The occasional miss of internet arose from loss of the safety net of maps and carrying cash making the wallet an uncomfortable thing to carry.

Who needs internet on holidays when Nature can keep you so busy!

Yes, we cannot live, work and thrive without internet but, have to admit this kind of detoxification is needed once in a while. More necessary for our kids to come in touch with real world instead of always knowing the world using the crutches of internet.

Known Strangers Part 3 : The Fitness Enthusiasts

I used to weigh at around 1.2 times my BMI few years back. Over the years, I have been exercising regularly and right now hover around 1 BMI ratio. This is not a self – appreciation post, rather it’s about all the amazing strangers whom I regularly see going about their exercise routines in these last few years and have been inspiring me!

An amazing uncle who looks more than 60, but jogs almost everyday. He then concludes with a yoga session. Keeping the energy up at this age is a “wow”. Many a times he actually outruns me.

The married couple who take their evening walk holding hands is such a nice beautiful sight. They walk in sync and come across as an absolute insync couple.

The lady who has lost oodles of weight in last few years. I remember she used to walk at a very slow pace and now I see her jog. Such grit!

The evening walker, who has been consistently walking at the same pace. He is the one who actually waved back to me when we resumed outdoor work out after the covid break, a co-fitness enthusiast.

The lady who is the fastest walker among all those whom I see during my outdoor runs. She is literally blistering fast despite being into her middle ages. Everytime same energy and gait.

These are only few of the awesome people that I have come to know by seeing them regularly going about their routines. There are many such faces who I see exercising regularly.

It is such a big motivator and sometime I try to pace, gain or outrun these people without them knowing. Challenging self against such lovely fitness enthusiasts is so refreshing.

Known Strangers is a series of posts where I write about people whom I see almost regularly in my locality but whom don’t know personally. This is the 3rd edition of the series.

The Community Lifeline

A city where every inch is precious, a large piece of open space is a God’s gift. The community playground of my locality is such a life line that everybody holds dear. The playground is a gated area with a football ground surrounded by walking track, an open gym, a roller skating ring. sitting benches and open space for physical activities.

The hustle bustle starts early in the morning.  The rush of joggers and walkers throng the place. The elderly have their own chatter groups while many tiny tots run around enjoying the open space. Young boys knock football around and we have yoga enthusiasts enjoying the morning fresh air.

Things calm out by office time, and rekindles again around  5pm in the evening.  The usual suspects from the morning are back as more people come in. The kids practicing boxing or simply playing tag, the football squads, men and women who can only manage time in the evening to exercise and the roller skaters, all are now in. Despite so many people the Playground accommodates all and allows everyone the space to do their own things.

Things spice up in the weekend with a karaoke group belting out bollywood songs, some of the vocals are surprisingly good!. Sometimes few college going lovebirds also throng the place, getting not so friendly looks from the regulars πŸ˜€.

Then, at 9pm everynight the lights are switched off. The darkness is temporarily lit by mobile phones and the activities come to a stand still. As people start moving out of the two gates, the ground seems to be getting ready to rest so that it is fresh for all of us the next day morning. As if the playground knows the importance of it remaining fit and available for the overall health and happiness to the people living around it !

Roller skating ring with few regulars having their weekly karaoke session
The opening space followed by the football ground and walking track

Cooking bedtime stories real-time – Scribbling Dad’s guide πŸ˜€

I have developed almost superpowers in cooking up real time stories to make my younger daughter sleep. There might be tens of stories that I would have cooked, but the plot hovers around few central themes.

The Horror Theme [Run time – 2-3 mins]

In this, inevitable setting is a dark forest with a young boy walking alone. You can add up some sound effects but ensure you don’t end up spooking the kid – then you are in for a sleepless nights.

Back to story now, so plot usually now has a sudden entry of a tiger or a ghost who wants to eat the boy. By now the kid is also engrossed in the suspense. Time to release pressure and end the story happily. The last scene is then played out with boy scaring the tiger or ghost and walking again merrily.

The Damsel in distressΒ  theme [ Run time 2 mins,Β  scope of extension to 5 mins]

The plot line is very simple, a princess in a castle alone with an angry king father or a wicked aunt. The princess is locked up and then a prince comes to save her. The plot can be strengthened by adding pieces fromΒ  Rapunzel, Cinderella, Frozen, Helpful fairy, monsters etc . Dad’s only have to make sure that they sound soothing and not like the angry king father during this story telling session.

The Adventure Theme [ Runs for 3-4 mins]

This plot is all about adventure with likes of Sindbad making a random entry in a setting which can be sea, forest or even a city. The end is always to get a treasure meanwhile chased by monsters, villains, dangerous trolls. Sometimes plot scenes from LOTR, Harry Potter, GOT are freely included. The narration tone has to be moderately exciting, don’t make the kid too excited to hamper sleep.

These I have developed in better part of last decade and have successfully ensured that my kids have a continuous supply of bedtime stories.

Happy parenting, these themes work wonderfully πŸ˜€.

The Aftermath of festivities!

It was a great week and half with the country dipped in the navratri and Dussehra celebrations. Two years of social distancing and carefulness were tossed away this festival times. Boundless and countless fun seems to be the theme this year. For bengalis it was a great Durga Puja 2022. After the absent 2020 and masked 2021, fresh festive air was sucked in at full vigor!

My household was no different, the kids enjoyed a lot. Wearing new clothes every day, being pious and paying homage to Goddess durga and immersing themselves in delicacies was the norm. This year was also special as my wife, got her back on the dancing stage after a long 15 years. She performed a dance duet with my elder daughter and it was a great feeling for me to see her back doing what she loves.

Mother and Daughter Dueting β€οΈπŸ’•

Now after this wonderful joyful time, the reality is back. The Aftermath of the festivities is a hard truth to face. Who all are facing these?

  • The weight addition is a real thing, and it has added up at the wrong places. It’s going to be grind to shed off those extra 2-3 kilos which got added thru festival delicacies.
  • The credit cards bills have their peak month now, all the shopping to look Facebook and Instagram worthy has to be now paid back.
  • What in the world are studies, kids are still having the festival hangover. Wait Diwali is just round the corner so the fun train chugs along.
  • Regular life routine hits you really hard. The daily grind seems just a thing of distant past. Wake up from dreamland please.

Slowly life is coming back to normal, but it is a lovely Aftermath to have year after year!

A short story book – Ramayana for Kids

Free ebook the-king-of-ayodhya-1Download Attempt to write continues, with Suditi pushing me to write a short story book on Ramayana for her. It’s free for everybody!

A short story book – Ramayana for Kids

New Beginings and New Responsibilities!

A busy period of last couple of months is coming to end. Lord Ganesha festival, my elder daughter’s Bharatnatyam grade 2 exams and shopping for upcoming Durga Puja (the biggest festival celebrated by Bengalis) has kept the girls busy. There was also Suditi’s stage performance in a local beauty contest. Both girls also are in their school routines and studies.

Admist all these, both my daughters have started something new this month.

Younger one, has started a hobby class – drawing. The attempt is to test out if she is interested in any extracurricular activities. Drawing is an easy start and She hasn’t shown any discomfort in the 4 sessions that she attended. The teacher’s patience is what I worry about πŸ˜„.

Output of a month of classes πŸ˜€

Elder daughter has now become the Class uniform monitor. Her task is to check whether all the pupils are in right uniform, make a record and submit to the class teacher every week. I was surprised to see that She is diligently making records in her note book, good to see her feeling and acting responsibly. What is funny is that now she has to be well dressed everyday and can’t be shabby any longer πŸ˜‰ .

New beginnings and responsibilities will add to their growth arc, and my job to keep them charged up!

Daughters Day : I don’t love my daughters!!

I don’t love my daughters,

When, they pick mom over me in the silliest question you can ask a child ” which parent do you love more”.

When , they ditch my proposal for a car ride and go to play with their friends.

When, they jump upon me and defeat me in the fake wrestling match that we have.

When, they tell me “dad you are now old and we have grown up now”.

When, they go to school while I am at home waiting for them to return.

When, they no longer wear clothes which I select but they do on their own.

When, they become the reason to visit a particular eatery for eating out.

Happy Daughter’s Day!, they keep giving me reasons not to love them πŸ˜€.

A Good Feeling!!

Funnies of Year 2022 – Updated Till Sept!

I keep on posting thoughts on social media platform and at end of a period like to put all of them in one single post to enjoy in posterity. Here are the funnies as on Sept of 2022 Went for a regular medical check up. Lab technician misread β€œ1” in my employee number as β€œ7” […]

Funnies of Year 2022 – Updated Till Sept!

The wonderful power cut of every evening when I was growing up!

Sometime back there was a power cut in one of the rainy evenings that we are enduring this monsoon. My little girl was playing with a friend and both kind of gave a funny shriek as soon as the light went off. More of a joy than panic. Oh, this power cut in the evening used to be such wonderful joyful thing when I was also growing up. In the 80’s and 90’s of India there used to be scheduled power cuts in the evenings. Like one locality will have it from 7pm to 8pm while other one from 8pm to 9pm.

This one hour used to be the extra playing hour of the day. If you happen to grew up in a friendly middle class neighbourhood (the one where you knew even what was being cooked in which house) it was a grand party. The power cuts usually happened in summers when we would be on school vacations, so all the more fun!

I still remember we used to have this scheduled power cuts every evening. Almost all the neighbourhood kids nearly 7-8 of us would gather on someone’s terrace or simply on the road. We would then play word games, antakshri (sing along) or handkerchief game in the dim moonlight. Or, we would simply gossip, tell tales and just chit chat. Mom’s would be having their own chit chat with one aunty who would always crib dinner getting delayed.

Once, the power came back on, the byes and see you tomorrow used to be similar when someone goes for a long journey. This would continue the whole vacations, a definite thing to look forward.

Today, power cut takes the Wi-Fi away so it is no longer a good thing like it was way back during my childhood.

Sometimes I feel, I don’t write about my experiences as a dad rather I write about my growing up experiences when I see them through the eyes of my kids.

The Lord Ganesha Festival

Last week was a very joyous time with family and my extended family- residents of the building I live. We all celebrated Ganesh Mahotsav with lots of gusto and fun. I had a busy time in the five days that the festival was held juggling office and being part of the cultural activity organizer team. Boy, I had an amazing time playing the host, planning the events and conducting them for 5 days that we celebrated.

DAY 1 – Kids Talent Show Night

The first day was kids talent show. The 2 hour program was originally planned with few kids and they performed superbly. Seeing them many other kids got inspired and we kept on getting queries of “Uncle can I sing”. I was really enjoying being the host and encouraging the kids.

Day 2 : Games evening

The second day was dedicated to games.  We played the old and trusted musical chair followed by break the clay pot blindfolded. Our team roped in the adults as well. We also played decipher the song and finally the night ended wih “dance as much as you can”!

Day 3 : For the Parents Night

Why should the Uncles and Aunties be left behind.  And, surprisingly many of them took the bait and sang & danced their hearts out. It was lots of fun for the kids to see their parents enjoy. Our organizing team was having a real challenge  to keep the audience under control πŸ˜€.

Day 4: How can we miss Drawing Competition

The trusted drawing competition was done on the fourth day. The theme was Ganesha and Earth.  The children were really creative  with colors.

Day 5 : Scavenger hunt

This was amazing fun with clues hidden around the building. I planned maths riddle, physical exercises, which food am I riddle, find the location and even a quiz. The aim was to give the kids a mental and physical exercise. The winners got pizza coupons.

Now, the reason for this long post. The last two years of our lives were devoid of any celebrations. We got a chance to have some fun this time around. So even if it took a toll on our time and energy, we parents in the organizing team could not let go of the chance to make it memorable for residents of our building.

Who knows what more travesty is lurking around the corner,  so trying to make most of it!

Also did you read my short book on Lord Ganesha specifically written for kids…https://thescribblingdad.wordpress.com/2022/09/02/a-short-book-on-popular-stories-of-lord-ganesha-new-edition-with-2-new-stories/

A Short Book on Popular Stories of Lord Ganesha- New Edition with 2 new stories!

Couple of years back when I started writing this blog, one of the first things I wrote was a short book of stories about Lord Ganesha.

The purpose was to write an easy read book for kids. The book is free!

In last 2 years around 300+ downloads of the book has happened.
This year i have updated the book with two new stories.

Download  thru the below tab and read it to your kids .

Popular-stories-of-the-cute-god-lord-ganesha-an-easy-read-for-kids-new-edition-with-2-new-stories ; Click here to download

Would be immensely grateful if this is shared ahead as well!!