The charm of paper flowers!

My heart lies in doing craft activities. It the best way to unwind after a stressful day at work. And what better than to make a bunch of flowers. They add colour to the your life and become the reason for a big smile on your face.

Unfortunately I had to give up this hobby because just like humans, the paper flowers are unable to survive the dusty-hazy environment of Gurgaon. I hope to get back asap.

Presenting here, a few flowers I made over the years.

The poppies take on a realistic look

Bird of paradise flower…to brighten up your day!

Fuchsias…one of my favorite flowers

“Celebrating creativity is like giving voice to my inner thoughts”

Morning Glory
Cala Lily

A bunch of Mountain Lilies…don’t they look real!?!


Book Review: ‘Let Him Not Sink’ by Samir Parikh

‘Let Him Not Sink’ is a book that we all should read. ‘We’ stands for adults especially those working with children or who have children of their own or around them.

This book is a concise guide to identify any deviation in mental health conditions of a child/young adult and the ways to work on it. Sometimes the best way is to simply guide them to a counsellor or a medical practitioner at the earliest.
The lack of information or knowledge on our part can make the condition go unrecognized and put the child at risk or put the other children at risk who are in close relation to the said child/adolescent/young adult.

This book lists facts, signs and symptoms, causes, identification and ways to deal with the individual and their caregivers who have/may have mental health issues.

Some of the mental health concerns/illnesses listed in this book are
– autism spectrum disorder
– Intellectual disability
– Specific learning disability
– Substance use disorder
– Disruptive behaviour disorders
– Anxiety disorder
– Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
– Selective mutism
– Trauma and abuse
– Depression, etc.

To be informed is to be empowered and that is the goal towards which this book is directed.

Do read it!!

‘Red Birds’ by Mohammed Hanif

I am in love with this book. It’s been a while since I read a book and connected with!!

The book is about wars…not the ‘futility’ of wars but the ‘absurdity’ of wars. No doubt that wars are useless as we are only left with large scale destruction, sorrow and loss on both sides.

The absurdity of wars as this book brings about with wit n satire is funny and tragic at the same time.
* the US bombs a desert country and later sends the aid to show their compassion
* then enters the psychologists in the arena of the war trodden camp to study about life of people after trauma
* the main character bombs the desert…not because he is a patriot but because he wants to stay away from his nagging wife
* the bomber crashes into the desert and enjoys the hospitality of the people he came to bomb
* he marvels at the ruined place and can’t understand how the teenagers here could be a threat to USA
* the bomber has been taught to think about the under-privileged and under nourished who are trying to survive in war-trodden areas to avoid self pity…he hates to have his own kids so he says why would I think about KIDS!!
* the people in the camp themselves, do not want war to end because that would mean the stopping of free rations and material aids from other countries
Wars are preposterous but peace is impossible in this world because it is basic human nature to be selfish and work towards ones own gains!!

Typing-writing or writing-typing or wrytyping?

“Today, I was writing my next story.” Hey…wait a minute…

“Did I write the story or did I type the story?” Umm…ya, I was just typing the story.

“And if I was just typing the story then how do I say that I am writing a story?” But…uh, I was indeed writing a story which I typed.

“And if I claim to write the story then why’s the pen missing to pen down the story.” Oh, I didn’t give it a thought that story-pen-write go together.

“If I am penning down the story then why do I have the iPad to type it.” Ya…umm…uh…ya, I had the iPad in my hand, the fingers on the keyboard so I guess you can say I was typing the story.

“Just typing the story, is it? What about the expressions, thoughts and ideas that go into writing a story.” Now, now this is getting out of hands. Write-type-pen-pendown-expression-thoughts-a different story!! What’s this all about?

“What was I exactly doing?” Help me out! Find a new term, a new word to express this complex situation. And since your are at it, I will keep writing-typing my next blog!

Looking forward to your suggestions…

Teachers and ‘acche din’!

The future of a country is shaped in the hands of parents and more importantly, in the hands of the teachers. These days there is a dearth of academically sound, passionate, sincere teachers who genuinely pursue teaching as a career to bring about a positive change in the lives of children and mould the future of this nation.

The present scenario is agonising. The candidates who have been left out of the-Rat-Race seem to be the only ones opting for this pious profession. The minimal salary, long working hours and the ever-increasing workload (unnecessary paperwork) are working as deterrents for the passionate candidates who wish to take up teaching!

Just as we had the Green Revolution in the field of agriculture, we need to revolutionise the teaching profession of our country. First and foremost, the salary should be at par with those of the other professions; and why not…don’t we all want our kids to be taught/mentored by the best professionals in the world! And mind you, the increase in the salary should NOT be synonymous with increase in working hours. The teacher already does enough physical labour with the students and he/she needs time to relax and rejuvenate so that she is ready with a warm smile and an open heart when the child walks into the class, each day…!!

Next, the lost dignity and respect of the teaching fraternity should be restored. Here, I mean the dignity and respect which was bestowed on the gurus in the ancient times and also on our own teachers, till the recent past. The integrity of our teachers was never doubted. Ask any individual who graduated till the late 90s, and they would flood you with stories of corporal punishment meted out to them or their classmates. The teachers were never questioned either by the institution or by the parents, not because the parents were scared that the teacher would spoil the future of their ward, instead the teachers were trusted. If the child dared to complain to the parent, the only answer he/she would get was “I am sure you are either not studying well or done something wrong to get the wrath of your teacher”. By saying this, by no means I advocate corporal punishment. I only wish to bring home the point that no one doubted the credibility of a teacher or a guru in the past.

Since the dawn of this century, the teacher has slowly lost her glory. Today the teaching fraternity is at the mercy of the parents. And it is a major challenge to satiate the expectations of parents. Educators, who were once revered, have become the means to bring home a commodity namely ‘education’. The parents forget that if they do not teach their child to respect the teacher, the child will be unable to hold the teacher in high esteem and benefit from their vast knowledge. This is the reason why today’s child is lost. The deterioration is not only evident in the system but also in the society at large.

I hope that the teaching fraternity is once again revered so that we can pick up the loose threads of the value system in our country before they become too weak and snap off.

I hope that the most honest and dedicated people opt for the teaching profession so that we soon witness the ‘acche din’ which our Prime Minister had envisioned for the country.

I hope that the best of minds take up teaching as their first choice because if their is no teacher, then there aren’t any other professions. Such is the magnanimity of this profession.

Hoping for a better future for the teachers… !! And more so for the future generations of our country!!

p.s. – I wrote this blog not because I am a teacher, but because I want each child to be mentored by the academically sound, passionate and sincere teachers.