2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Trip to Konaseema

Having not had a proper vacation for close to an year, not wanting to waste A’s Christmas holidays, not wanting to spend too much on the flight travel, wanting to quench V’s thirst for long drives et al, we took a trip to Konaseema last week, all the five of us, covering close to eleven hundred kilometres, back and forth, in the car, with V and FIL taking turns in driving . We stayed at Palavelli Resorts, which is quite good in terms of spacious and well-maintained rooms, beautiful landscape and gardens, good food and hospitable staff.

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The resort we stayed at…

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At the resort…

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At night…

The whole of Konaseema that we covered can be described as an amalgamation of coconut trees, coconuts, paddy fields, banana trees and tractors.

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Paddy…

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Roadside food in the mornings…

From Antarvedi, we took a boat ride to an island where one side of it was the river and another side was the sea, still water on one side and tides on the other side, mud cum sand under your feet, which was simply awesome. At that point of time, we were the only people on that island making it more beautiful !

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The island that seemed a private island with just us !

To top this all, A had been a very obedient child all through the drive, never complaining about the duration, given her usual nature of wanting to reach the destination immediately upon getting into the car.

My only regrets were that we couldn’t get any merchandise representing the local area. Excepting that, it was a memorable trip !

A dream come true !

Of the innumerable dreams I had as a kid , one of them was all about the authors, to meet them, to talk to them, to know how it feels like to have authors as friends, and a far-fetched dream, to be an author !

The dream grew with me and all of a sudden , when I was least expecting, something on those lines came true.

Last month, I saw a giveaway on IMC for this story book, Dances of India, and I entered in it for A. To my surprise , we won the book and I felt so happy to receive an e-mail from the author of the book, that she has shipped the book.

Here it is, making me so happy for having received it straight from the author 🙂

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Yeh hai A ka style !

How do you describe ?

Two kids have come to our flat and invited us to some stall opened by other kids of the apartment. After they left, I asked A about their names and which of them was B. While I was expecting her to use height, dress colour or something else to use as a parameter to describe them, the reply I got was “The one who had some sweat was B ”

How do you flatter ?

A volunteered to make and take some greeting cards, Christmas and New Year, to her class. And the task was duly passed onto me, the mother. When I showed her some sample of what I was planning to draw, she replied “It’s good, it looks like a sweety pie, like u Amma ”

I finished reading out a story from Milly Molly Mandy and was urging A to sleep fast. She kept on talking and I shouted at her to stop talking and sleep. She replied with a smile “Don’t be cross with me Amma”, the vocabulary learnt from the story I had read out to her couple of minutes earlier.

A’s class teacher was on a holiday for 3 days and was back after that. She got some new pouch and A went to her and said, “Ma’am, your pouch is very beautiful like you !”

How do you react to a remark ?

A is a miniature version of tiger at home and her replies are instantaneous to all the members at home. When MIL remarked that she has got a knife at the edge of her tongue, her immediate reaction was to pull the tongue out and check it.

How do you share ?

A’s classmates were supposed to bring all sorts of things to give them to the class teacher and then decorate the class. Her friends forgot to get anything and so she gave her balloons to them to give to the teacher as she had taken greeting cards and extra balloons.

Everywhere !

I open my emails, you are there
I talk to a colleague, you are there
I look at a hoarding, you are there
I check FB, you are there
I do some browsing, you are there

You are there literally everywhere I look at, the GOSF, Great Online Shopping Festival !

First the letters GOSF didn’t make any sense to me until I got to know the expanded form. Now seeing this everywhere in my little world, I who had no intentions of shopping anything anywhere, am now thinking of what can be bought 🙂 But all I could think of, until this moment, are couple of books for A. She seems to have developed a great liking towards Milly Molly Mandy books and Suppandi books, so these are the only two on my shopping list. Who knows it might get longer in a day or two 😉

The big flop show :(

Confession : First things first, let me tell you that am very very poor at creating stories to be narrated to kids.

That being said , here was how our conversation went the other day, between A and me, while putting her to sleep.

I had to break our usual routine of reading out a story book at bedtime, the reason which I don’t remember now, and A insisted on hearing a story which she has never heard so far. That did not leave me with many options and I took on the task of creating a story , with much reluctance.

After pondering for less than 2 minutes, beyond which my mind was not cooperating to work further, I came up with this.

“There was once a forest which was inhabited by lots of animals, ducks, squirrels, elephants, deers, tortoises, blah blah blah. And all of them used to spend their day happily, moving about, building their nice cute homes, gathering food for themselves blah blah blah, working hard blah blah blah. But there was one particular animal, rabbit, which was not working at all.”

The little lady interrupts now saying “I know, the grasshopper has become rabbit, and the ant has become all the other animals. Now winter is going to come ”

I resume ” No baby, not winter but hunter comes trying to attack these animals. Since all the other animals have worked hard in building their home, they are well protected from the hunter except the poor rabbit. The rabbit, now worried, runs here and there for help, and finally is offered help by a tortoise. The hunter, unable to get any animal, retreats, and all the animals , including rabbit, now continue to work hard for themselves.”

Both of us laughed at my poor story and went off to sleep, and this was the story of my big flop show 🙂

Having read…

The beautiful book “Palace of Illusions” put me in a blissful state.

For the great epic Mahabharata , which was introduced to me in the childhood in lots of tiny pieces through story books and serials and movies came in a single piece, right from the celibacy oath of Bheeshma to the birth of Parikshit. It was a great delight to read the different episodes that spanned quite a few generations or lifetimes. The thoughts and feelings of Draupadi, who thinks like any girl next door, and how her life transforms with each incident, are beautifully narrated. How things, which she could never even dream of happening, take place and how she takes different roles from a little girl to a grandmother, how she fights the feelings within her, how the things that seemed so important at one point of time seem nothing at another point, and so many other things just took me into a different world. The philosophy of why to grieve when the soul is just changing bodies the way we change clothes, sounded so true and so simple , except that the attachments in reality are too strong to be overcome and I realised that the wisdom is too strong to be gained with just a single book. The characters, each who lived for a different purpose as love , friendship , faith , honour, destiny , revenge , and ended up in the end, made a distinct mark in my mind as I read through the book. All in all the book started , continued and ended in a nice way.

p.s. This is my reading of an e-book after a long time and although the reading has been a pleasant experience, I couldn’t help but feel to hold a paper back rather than this. But this had one big advantage that I didn’t have to explicitly use a bookmark and I could read it anywhere and everywhere, even in the absence of a proper light.