Saturday, July 31, 2010

Buke anyone?

Sighted in an upmarket Bombay suburb-

From the context, I presume 'buke' means bouquet.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ode of the Date Palm

From the desert they came, loaded not on camel backs but in refrigerated trucks. An exotic fruit, unseen in urban markets, till recently.
The buyer was hesitant- “I’ve never had this before”. The seller insistent- “Try one, I am sure you will like it.” She bit into the proffered piece, but remained unsure. “I’ll give it to you cheap”, the seller said.
On the long commute home, she reached for her banana, then changing her mind, took out the dates instead. The fruit was delicious, she spat the seeds out.

Two months later, there were date palms lining the train-tracks.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

For the full story, and how it relates to writing, visit Burrowers, Books & Balderdash, and while you are there, catch up with some great posts from the rest of the Burrowers.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not the Grammar Police, but......

I’m hiring for a position that was advertised as requiring 'excellent written communication skills'. Excellent is obviously subjective, but I was definitely not prepared for a e-mail like this-
“I m Preparing reply for u u u u u u only, Patience to look / see my
Reply, Thanking u for sanded Ur message.
Sowing Seeds of Positive Change

i give to u reply shortly
thanking u”
I admit I am a near extinct species that resists using chat-speak even while texting or chatting, but try as I will, I cannot bring myself to accept that a message such as this is in anyway acceptable while applying for a job.

Will it really kill the person to type ‘you’ instead of ‘u’.Doesn’t ‘u u u u u u’ take up far more keystrokes than a simple ‘you’? And what’s with the capitalized ‘Ur’- is that to indicate that since the pronoun applies to me, it deserves to be capitalised (proper pronoun, as my six year old might say)? But if that is the case, why is 'I' not capitalised- does he not give himself the same importance as he does me?

‘Sanded?’ I thought of carpenter shops, and desert dunes, before realising he probably meant ‘sended’- like many Indians not familiar with the language, he probably assumes that the past tense of any verb can be created by adding an ‘-ed’ as the suffix.

‘Sowing Seeds of Positive Change?’ Now that is the scariest bit- is he looking for Grammar World Domination? Perhaps I do need to make that down payment on the tropical island to retreat to.

And in case you are wondering, I did not even open the CV. I am definitely not the Grammar Police, but however brilliant he may be, I am pretty sure I would not be able to work with him.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Review: The Counsel of Strangers

It is hard to be objective when you are reading a book written by someone you know. There you are immersed in the story, and suddenly something triggers off a sense of déjà vous, and you recognise an incident that you know is autobiographical. It happened to me so often while reading Gouri Dange’s ‘The Counsel of Strangers’ that I had to re-read the book after a gap of a week before I could look at it dispassionately.

The premise of ‘The Counsel of Strangers’ is simple- six strangers are thrown together for a night, and under the shadow of anonymity share their stories, and help each other come to terms with the events that have been troubling them. The Hows and Whys of six diverse people finding themselves together is immaterial- they could have met at an airport longue, they could have been held hostage in a five-star hotel by terrorists, or they could (as happened) have found themselves as reluctant guests at a boisterous Indian wedding. The point is that six people ranging in age from 14 to 70 were thrown together for a night, and they each chose to share their stories, and offer support to the others. And there the author excels.

Gouri Dange is the undisputed Master of the Short Story- each story was beautifully written, and drew the reader in. The characters were etched with firm strokes, with just a suggestion of colour- the reader could choose to fill in the shapes, or leave them minimalistic. The situations were believable, even if they were situations we normally tend to avoid thinking about. And each of the characters held all the pieces of the future in their hands, and needed only a little help in putting together the jigsaw puzzle of their lives. At no point did you wonder how each of them was able to offer sensible advice to the other people, but struggle to bring their own life in order, because you know that it is the way things actually work in life.

If there was a flaw, it was in the narrative technique adopted. Each of the characters told their story, at the end of which the others helped point the character in the right direction. The book ended with an epilogue where each of the six strangers sent an e-mail to the others telling them how they managed to resolve their own particular dilemmas. The weakest point of the narrative was when each of the stories were interrupted by celebratory fireworks, or by a sortie to scrounge for food. It was necessary to contextualizing the location, but I wonder if it could not have been done in a way that integrated better. But that was a minor point- one which I was more than happy to overlook in an otherwise excellent story.

Could something like this actually happen in real life? Would anyone confide their deepest secrets in a total stranger? Would a stranger be able to offer meaningful counsel? I personally believe that the answer to all three questions is a resounding ‘Yes’. There are people with whom I have clicked at the very first meeting, and at least one person has confided in me the very first time we met (that we later became good friends is a totally different story). More and more, in my life, I find that the most unexpected people end up offering the best advice and support- where once you may have relied on family and friends, today you cannot predict who it is that will help you and when.

Overall, a must read for anyone who wants a slice of modern urban and NRI India.

[This is an unsolicited review. I do know the author, but she did not ask me to do the review, or influence it in any way. I bought the book myself.]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tamarind flowers

Analyse my DNA, and you will definitely find at least a little bit of Tamarind. It is the one seasoning element most of my favourite South Indian dishes share. The Bombay street food I am almost addicted to would be meaningless without huge dollops of tamarind sauce.

I’ve grown up with memories of drying Tamarind fruits in the courtyard, cracking the shells open, and storing the fruit in huge ceramic containers. I’m guilty of surreptitiously stuffing myself with the unripe green tamarind. I’ve followed the germination cycle of tamarind seeds.

But the tamarind flower I never met till last week.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Four Years

Four years. Exactly four years.

Four years since I lost the most wonderful father anyone could hope to have.

But was it four years back that I lost him? Didn’t I actually lose him the day he stopped recognizing me?

And have I really lost him? Isn’t he still around? I can feel his approval when I do something really well, and I can sense his anxiety when I am in trouble. He is as much with me today as he ever was.

It has been four years. But four years since what?

Four years since he breathed his last.

"Pops, I can try to convince myself otherwise, but I can't stop missing you."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Flowers at your Doorstep

We normally do not undertake deliveries so far away, but the client was willing to pay and we couldn’t afford to refuse. My arms ache from having to hold the flowers up over my head so they did not get crushed in the train. I have no idea what the message says- even if I could read, I would not want to pry. But I know that I will miss the bouquet when I hand it over- when you are responsible for someone on a Mumbai train, you develop warm feelings for it.

I hope the lady likes the flowers.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Time cannot destroy, nor reflections distort these buildings outside the busiest railway station in the world.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Exhibits, or friends?

As a part of their ‘social sensitisation’ exercise, my four-year old’s kindergarten class is being taken to a school for the hearing impaired today. ‘What is the purpose of the visit?’, I wondered aloud. ‘To teach our kids how privileged they are’, replied a parent of a child had been taken on the same trip last year.

While I applaud the sentiment behind it, I am not
sure if I approve of it. Last year, his class visited the zoo and a pet shop. This year, they are visiting a school for hearing impaired children. Don't you think the children would subconsciously equate the two? Are hearing impaired children exhibits for the non-hearing impaired children to ogle at?

I do not think so. As far as I am concerned, the hearing impaired children are children not very different from my two. Unlike the kids in my son’s class, the hearing impaired children start off with a disadvantage- they would need to work much harder to achieve similar results, they would need to be extremely strong to move forward in a world which is imperfectly designed for them. BUT, they are not creatures from outer space- they are children much like the children in my son’s class.

What they need is not sympathy, or curiosity. All they really need is a little bit of compassion- an un-obstructive nudge or a silent gesture when they are missing out on something. And that they will get more readily from people who grow up thinking of them as peers.
Rather than ‘visit’ the school, I would much rather have had the kids from both schools meet in a common place for an hour of fun and games. Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense than moralizing sermons about compassion and pity?

Or, am I just over-reacting as I tend to do?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Write Like...

Everybody and their second cousin twice removed (and when did the second cousin twice removed not qualify as 'everybody') has been bitten by the I Write Like bug. It is simple (go to the site, paste a piece of text, click the Analyze button, and share or not share depending on how you feel about the result), it is addictive (if you get Kurt Vonnegut and PG Wodehouse, wouldn't you want to keep going?), and great fun (who would have thought chick lit could seem like hard core science fiction?).

But this is not about me. This is about my six year old and his future. About a year back, he decided he was a 'Storyteller', and for nearly a month insisted on telling me a story a day everyday. Sometimes I wrote them down, mostly I couldn't dredge up the energy to do to so, but the stories never ceased. This summer (an Indian summer, in case you don't know, rougly corresponds to an American or European Spring- it starts in March and ends sometime in May/ June), he discovered Powerpoint, and insisted on typing the stories himself. Since his spelling skills are at about the same level as his typing skills, it was tough going for him, and after a couple of days, he stopped writing stories altogether (and discovered a new medium for storytelling - puppets, but that is another story). But I do have this
bank of stories written entirely by him, without any unconscious edits from my side.

I decided to analyse one of those stories, and this is what I came up with.
Next story. Identical result.
Third story. Same result.
Fourth story, fifth story, sixth story....... there must be something to the programme after all, if it throws up the same result each time.

When I ran out of stories from this Summer, I tried some of the stories from last year. Every one of them threw up either a Rudyard Kipling or a L. Frank Baum.

Nobody else that I know of has got such consistent results. Maybe I should stop stressing about his (lack of) subtraction skills, and start focussing on encouraging him to write. Who knows, there may well be a future Nobel laureate in the family?


For another Delusional Thursday post, head over to Burrowers, Books & Balderdash to learn why you should not be turning fans on unless you want to heat your room in winter.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Drabble Dare, and an Award

That temple is not native to Bombay- it has been patiently put together by immigrants in a bid to create a home away from home.
Those brightly-coloured statues would feel more at home on a busy Madras street, where they could hear people conversing in Tamil, not Marathi.
The only person comfortable in her surroundings is the cat- she will feel at in home anywhere.

There are stories waiting to be told, but somehow, I never got down to telling them. And now I have passed the challenge onto you. Tell the story behind the picture in exactly 100 words.

Once you are done with the story, you could mail it to theburrow360 (at) gmail dot com by Thursday (July 22, 2010) midnight GMT. Hurry!!!

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Laura Eno from A Shift in Dimensions awarded me the Fabulous Flash Award. In case you haven't visited Lauras' blog, you should. She writes the most amazing stories, and she writes them in 1,000 words or less. The amount of tension and humour she compresses into just thousand words is more than what a lesser writer would do in a complete novella.
Coming from Laura, the Award is equivalent to an Oscar for me. The only difference is that nobody is compelling me to make a speech!
I am supposed to pass the award onto four people, but I do not know of that many people who publish their Flash Fiction and/ or drabbles. So, I reserve the right keep the Award with me for now, and only pass it on when I find a sufficient number of worthy recipients.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Which genre is it anyway?

Those days, there was no YA- when you were done with kid lit, you graduated to romance or mystery. I chose science fiction. Classic science fiction is all I ever knew- Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.

I soon exhausted all the books that were available in India, and my only contact with the genre was through movies. Minority Repot, Matrix, Fifth Element, Total Recall- I loved them all.

To me, they were all science fiction- not cyberpunk, steampunk, distopia or any such genre. I leant of those names last week, I felt almost bereft. I miss plain science fiction.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

I really don't want to know if Alex J. Cavanaugh's book pure science fiction (of the kind that gladdens my heart), or if he chooses to categorise it into any of these brand new genres that seem so popular today.

Would watching the book trailer of CassaStar help make up your mind about the genre?

Not really. The only thing I know after seeing the trailer is that I can't wait to get my hands on the book!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why Holland?

Toto arrived on my second birthday. She was pearly white, with the softest fur, shiny eyes and a cute red nose. It was love at first sight, and we soon became inseparable. She once got left behind at a friend’s place, and a rescue party had to be launched, before I could be convinced to go to bed.

Over the years, her fur was rubbed off, and despite numerous baths, she settled on a darkish shade of grey. But she never stopped being my best friend.

Her family history placed her in Amsterdam. Is it any wonder I support Holland?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

[Toto doesn’t like being photographed. This is a picture of their Toto’s to be, taken by my then five year old.]

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cafe Terrace at Night, Drabble # 8

[Eighth in a Set of Drabbles based on Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888]

This was not exactly what I had in mind when I ran away from the farm. I dreamt of becoming someone glamourous- a cabaret dancer perhaps, or the mistress of a famous painter. Had I known I would end up as a waitress in a café, I am not sure I would have come to the city. Had I stayed back, I would have married Jean that fall, and had three children by now. It would have been a different life, a more secure one.

Do I have any regrets? Of course.
Would I swap this life for that? Never!

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Monsoon Magic

The Monsoons hit Bombay a little over a month back, and are still going strong. Since I am working from home four days a week right now, I can enjoy the rains as they are meant to be enjoyed.

Here are a couple of photographs I took of the plants on my window sills.

More shades of green than I imagined possible on my Aloe vera

The twin of the building I live in reflected on a droplet clinging onto my tamarind.

I think they look like pearls, my son insists they are diamonds. Either way, the raindrops on my powderpuff flower are beautiful, and precious.

And a photograph, I have always dreamt of taking. A bit of stem, some leaves and a droplet....

... zooms to reveal, a building trapped in its fragile walls.

Is it raining where you are? Are the rains as divine?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cheaters never Win

I overheard my son discussing the Football World Cup with his friend.
“Holland is the best team”, my six-year old said.
“If they are so good, why did they lose?”
“They are the best team, but because they were cheating, they lost”, my son insisted.
“No, Spain is the best team.”
“You don’t know anything.Spain is a useless team. But Cheaters never win.”

As a lifelong supporter of the Netherlands, I was hoping they would lift the Jules Rimet Trophy this year. But as a mother, I am glad my kids learnt a valuable lesson that day.

Cheaters never win.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Just Rant"

My Second Grader is reading "Just Mabel" in school. The book is perfect for a beginning reader- simple, but with a sprinkling of words that challenge. Attractive illustrations that engage, and refuse to let the attention flag.
Mabel is the friend I wished I had in school- smart and loyal, with just the right amount of self doubt. She stands upto bullies, and stands by her friends. She learns to love herself, and isn’t scared to be different.

"Just Mabel” is an appropriate book, but I am still disappointed- couldn’t the school have chosen a similar book set in India?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lessons from Weight training

In the gym today, I found myself struggling with one of the exercises. While normally, I start flagging towards the end of a set, today, I was struggling almost from the time I started. “All your fault for being so irregular”, I chided myself and somehow finished the sets.

It was only while putting the dumb-bells back that I noticed that I had picked up the 9-kilo weights instead of the 6-kilo that I normally use. No wonder it had been so difficult!

Which set me thinking- how many of our limits are real, and how many are self imposed?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

The photograph was taken off the internet- I look nowhere near as good as that Goddess does.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The first year of blogging, I blogged in the dark. If anyone other than people personally known to me read my posts, I do not know. For weeks, even months, I would churn out a post a day every day, and get no comments. When I now go back and read some of those posts, I am amazed. How did I motivate myself to maintain a fairly consistent standard, without any feedback?

A year back, Tami started blogging. Following her example, I started commenting on blogs, even following them. I made a bunch of new friends, all of whom I knew by name, and who’s blogs I followed regularly. The number of followers climbed up to the twenties and remained there for months.

Then I took part in Arlee Bird’s A to Z Challenge, and the number of followers started going up everyday. Fifty followers was a number I never dreamt I would reach, by the second week of May, I had reached a 100. Life was beyond hectic at that time, and I missed celebrating entering three digits.

I thought 125 followers could be a good milestone to celebrate, but by the time I noticed, I had gone beyond that. Would I never get to celebrate my wonderful followers?

Then on my blog-iversay, Journaling Woman became my 150th follower!!!

While I have always said, and still maintain that the number of followers I have doesn't say anything about me or my blog, I would be hypocritical if I say that I am not overwhelmed by the number.

So, Celebrations!!!

I would love to do a giveaway to celebrate the Anniversary and the Milestone, but living in India makes it rather hard. The postage on almost anything I choose to give away is likely to end up being more than the value of the giveaway itself!!! And yet, I adore each one of you, and want to give you something.

When I was still mulling about it, I saw that Al had decided to celebrate his blog-iversary by giving away three 8x10 photographs taken by him. I loved the idea so much, I decided to steal it and give away three photographs taken by me to one lucky winner.

The rules to enter the give away:
- Leave a comment on this post on or before July 20
- Be a follower of my blog (new followers are welcome)
- For additional points, tell me which of the photographs on my blog are your favourite

I will pick a random winner and contact them to decide on the three photographs.

If you do not win, and you still like any of my photographs, let me know, and I can send you the photographs in the highest resolution that I have so you can print them out yourself.

And whether you choose to enter my giveaway or not, please enter Al’s at Publish or Perish. Not only does he live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world (I refuse to tell you which one- visit and find out), he is such a good photographer, any of his photographs can grace a living room wall.

And since I am not sure if I have told you or not- thank you, everyone. Every single one of you has enriched my life in some way or the other, and I adore you all.

Thank you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What is inside?

“What is inside the soap?”
“More soap.”
“What is inside the more soap?”
“Even more soap.”
“What is inside the even more soap?”
“What is inside the bubbles?”
“What is inside the air?”
“What is inside molecules?”
“Neutrons, protons and electrons.”
“What is inside that?”
“Sub-atomic particles.”
“What is inside that?”
“If you find out, you might win the Nobel Prize for Physics.”
“What’s that?”

If and when the four year old decides to become a scientist like his great grandfather, I wonder if he would remember that conversation he had while his mother was bathing him.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cafe Terrace at Night, Drabble # 7

[Seventh in a Set of Drabbles based on Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888]

‘Why do you stay here’, Paul keeps asking me. ‘come with me to Tahiti, where the weather is good and the girls are better.’

This is home. I don’t want to leave. But the picture he paints is appealing.

Nobody here appreciates me. It would be nice to have half naked girls ministering to me. I spend every franc I have on paint, and can barely afford food. To have a village feed me unlimited fish and fruit is enticing. I am tempted to leave for Tahiti.

If I paint myself into this picture, would I be compelled to stay?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Portrait # 6

She may be only one among the 20 million people who call Bombay home, but that doesn't take away from her individuality. She is 'She'.
Flower vendor in a busy market in Bombay, India

Friday, July 9, 2010

Writing without self doubt?

[DL Hammons is an author about to start quering, and today's post inspired me to write this.]

“I don’t need help”, my son told me last week. “I can do this on my own.”
Wisely, I let him. He got a 6/10.

“I don’t want to go to school tomorrow”, he told me this week. He didn’t want to do badly in his test.
“Come I’ll help you”, I said. He let me, and I taught him to break down words phonetically. He maxed the test.

Nobody is born knowing everything. Given basic talent, the one more likely to succeed is the one who listens. Second Grade student, or author about to query, self doubt is good.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Speaking of authors seeking publication, "Heart of the Darkness" by Lisa A. Koosis is one of two novels competing in the finals of Dorchester Publishing’s Fresh Blood contest- the grand prize is a publishing contract with Dorchester's Leisure Horror imprint. Horror is not a genre I am comfortable with, but her entry is spectacular.
Don't take my word for it- click across to Fresh Blood read the two entries, and decide for yourself.
Alternately, take my word and send a blank email to with Fresh Blood Vote - Heart of the City in the subject line. Only one entry per e-mail address. Multiple e-mail addresses permitted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


“Could you could contribute to our blog once a month”, my boss of four months asked me.
“I guess I can”, I replied.
“I wouldn’t normally ask”, he clarified. “But it would be nice to have a view from the ground.”
“I’ll give it a shot”, I assured him.
“You don’t have to write much. Just throw in a lot of pictures and describe them.”
“Yeah, sure.”
“The first few posts may be hard”, he said. “But after that you should discover your voice.”

I nearly snorted. Should I have just told him I have been blogging for two years?

Yes, you heard it right. It was on July 8, 2008 that the first post went up on Coffee Rings Everywhere, and except one day in November 2009, I haven't missed a single day.

Time to gather the balloons and celebrate, don't you think?

Today is also the day when my first post is up at Burrowers, Books & Balderdash. Head there, grab a coffee, and read a requime to the Cafe Steinbeck, one of the finest places in the world.

And thank you everyone for your supportive comments on yesterday's post. It never fails to amaze me how, when I am so often misunderstood by people around me, people I have never met, and who I may never meet are able to offer exactly the kind of comfort that I need.

Thank you.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How Acceptance?

WARNING- This is a rant, so feel free to read no further. I had to get this off my chest and will be back with something more cheerful tomorrow.

When people have hurt you in the past, and not attempted to make amends. When they have wrecked havoc in your life, like it was their birthright to do so.

After you have spent years erasing all traces of them from your life, what right do they have to waltz back into your life?

When you have stopped caring, either way, how dare they inform you they thought your silence was acquiescence?

Why demand acceptance, without feeling the need to ask for forgiveness.

What right do people who have hurt you have to come back, even if they are family?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Mixer

The four year old was drawing something that looked like an animal to my untrained eyes.

“What are you drawing?”, I asked. He neither looked up, nor bothered to answer.

Outline finished, he proceeded to cover the body with stripes.

“So it is a Tiger”, I said, to preserve what dignity I had left.

“Do tigers have ears like this?”, he asked.

“So it is a zebra”, I concluded.

“It is a Zebra and a Tiger mixed together”, he informed me. “It is a Mixer.”

We call ourselves writers. Can our imaginations ever match up to that of a child's?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

And if you have been living on Jupiter, and missed the event that rocked the earth yesterday, do visit us at Burrowers, Books & Balderdash for today's post on Writing Tuesdays.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Burrowers, Books and Balderdash

In June 2005, when Countess Vera Rassakoff proposed opening an online café where writers and readers could gather for coffee and books, everyone laughed at her. She stubbornly refused to listen and opened the Café Steinbeck. Within hours, she gathered a loyal following- most of whom came for her famous Sachertorte and stayed on for the discussions. When the Café was forced to down its shutters two years later, its walls were adorned with paintings, and its shelves with the ghosts of future books.

The Café is no more, but the writers who got started there are very much around.

Many of the writers are already known to you, but starting today, seven of us would also be coming together for a collective blog- Burrowers, Books & Balderdash.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cafe Terrace at Night, Drabble # 6

[Sixth in a Set of Drabbles based on Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888]

I see them at the Café every evening. Men and women laughing at jokes I can never be a part of.

I long to join them, but dare not. No matter how hard I try, my words and my manner will give me away. I would never fit in; I don’t want to be rejected by them.

I do the next best thing, I promenade up and down the sidewalk every evening, taking in everything. Living vicariously.

But one day, I will be brave. I will walk in. If I am lucky, they may not realise I am the marquis.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Who's Versatile?

“So you think you are a versatile genius”, I was asked during my interview to get into b-school.
“Genius, no. Versatile, I try to be”, I replied.
I got through.

Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks I am versatile. About a month back, Debra gave me this-
Then a couple of weeks later, Amber gave me the same award again.

Last week, Jemi gave me this variant of the same Award-
Yesterday, both Ella and Jan passed on the same Award to me. Even a person as thick headed as me had to take the hint- I could not ignore the Versatile Blogger Award much longer. Though I hoard awards the way Victorian heroines did love letters, it was time to pass this particular Award on.

The Versatile Blogger Award in both its variants comes with its rules-
(a) Thank the person(s) who gave it to you- I adore all five ladies in different ways, and if you havent’ visited their blogs yet, please do.
(b) Share seven things about you– taking a cue from Jan, I am sure I can dig out seven things that will show my versatility
(c) Pass it onto fifteen other versatile bloggers – now this is the difficult part, and the main reason why I have been putting this off. So many of you are so versatile, it is hard for me to pick 15, and only 15. Time to break the rules, me thinks. I am going to pass it on to a single person- the person who, I think, is the most versatile of the lot. She blogs about music, she blogs about summer, she blogs about family, she blogs about friends, she blogs about happiness, she blogs about sadness- and she does it everyday and she does it all in verse. Yvonne Lewis of Welcome to my World of Poetry.

And since I have been drabbling for the last couple of weeks, here are seven things about me, expressed in exactly 100 words-

I first spoke in public when I was three, and haven’t looked back since

Their fur is loved off, but I still have many of my soft-toys from childhood

I love knitting, but only if the pattern is really complicated

I made it to sports teams in school because what I lacked in skill, I made up for in enthusiasm

I think some of the weeds in my garden are prettier than the plants

I stack books everywhere, but still don’t have enough place to put them

I leant to develop and print my own photographs- photoshop is more fun


Saturday is the day I normally reserve for photographs, so here is one of a flower that bloomed on my birthday.

Calliandra emarginata

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wet Woodpecker

“You know, Mamma, there is a tree outside my classroom window”, my six year old began. “Today, there was a woodpecker on the tree, and the poor woodpecker had got wet in the rain.”

I was sure I didn’t wanted get into discussing purchasing rain-wear for creatures for the monsoons, so tried to change the subject. “And how did you know the woodpecker got caught in the rain”, I asked.

“Because his hair was wet, and it had become spiky and was all standing up”, he said.


How could I have been so dumb as to not know that?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Image from HowStuffWorks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Watching my beginning reader son struggle with the difficult words, I realised that few things build up character as much as reading does. Without a lot of perseverance, it is unlikely that you would ever have graduated to the stage of reading books for pleasure.

Once you start reading, books constantly challenge and stimulate you. You are introduced to new and often uncomfortable ideas, and unless you learn to process them, you will eventually stop reading. Reading does make you a better person.

No wonder, therefore, the one thing all my friends have in common is the love for Reading.

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


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