Saturday, January 30, 2010

Standing up for your child

This happened some days back at our local fresh market. Aadu loves to pay the vendors and asks his Dad to pass the money to him so that he can pass them on to the vendor.

At one vendor he gave the money with his left hand....which is his right hand I mean he is a left handed guy so for us his left hand is his right hand ..did I just confuse you??

So the vendor tells him 'give with your right hand...must never give with left hand'
This confused Aadu and he looked up to Daddy dear.

Daddy dear says to the vendor:'this is his right hand...he is left handed; you should take it from him from the same hand. Don't ask him to change'

Vendor then proceeds to take the cash from Aadu from the left hand.

During all this I was not around...I was busy yapping with my favorite vendor who had just returned from a trip to India !!

I was told all this much later when we were back home. I felt very proud of Amol for having stood up for Aadu.

In other places which we regularly visit, the people know that Aadu is left handed and so they never bother to say anything.

This served as an important lesson for Aadu also, he will know that it's OK to be different and that we have to stand up for ourselves...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Searching for Schindler

Searching for Schindler is a memoir written by Thomas Keneally.

This is one of the books that I had picked up from the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in November. I had bought it thinking that I will enhance my minuscule knowledge of the legendary gentleman Oskar Schindler. The very first time that I knew something more than just his name was when I watched the movie Schindler's List early last year. The movie shook me to my core would be an understatement. It ripped me apart, my emotions were raw at the humiliation, torture, barbaric treatment that the Jews received during that shameful time in our human history.
The movie also filled me with awe for this man who helped so many Jews. It only made my belief stronger that 'there is good in this world'. I tried looking up more info on the net and was flooded with it. I read and read.

This book, actually told me that much before the movie was made, the Author Thomas Keneally had written a book by the same name, and then it got made into a movie by the awesome Steven Spielberg.

The journey of the book and the movie is what is opened up in this memoir.

Thomas Keneally is an Australian, who was in Lon Angeles met the real star Leopold "Poldek" Pfefferberg who ran a boutique of Handbags etc. The author had gone in to purchase a briefcase.
Poldek and his wife were holocaust survivors. In his possession were numerous photographs, paper cuttings, documents related to the holocaust and about Oskar Schindler. He had tried on many occasions to get someone to write a book or make a movie or a TV series out of all the real and amazing data that he had, but had no success.

Keneally took up the assignment and after a lot of hard work, travelling, meeting more holocaust survivors the book Schindler's Ark/ Schindler's List was published. The book won him the Booker Prize.

The book and movie was possible only because it had the relentless support of Poldek who traveled and interviewed people along with Keneally. It was his mission to see it being made into a movie. He would often say 'An Oscar for Oskar' !! And his dream did come true when The movie actually won 7 Oscar Awards.

The book is great, informative, has many photographs of the actual Schindler, and many more of the camps in which people were held. The book for me showed that if we really want to accomplish something - it is possible.

The recent spat between Chetan Bhagat and the makers of 3 idiots looked very stupid to me at first. ( I was/am on CB's side).
But when I recalled reading that the author Keneally was actually invited by Spielberg to the shooting of the entire movie and that he was given first class air fare wherever he was flown to, he was always put up where Spielberg himself stayed shows what kind of treatment an author ought to deserve for the original idea, story etc. Keneally was also asked to be present at all press conferences related to the movie, he was invited to all the glittering premiers that the film had. He was paid his dues when Spielberg (or was it Universal) bought the rights of the book from him; but the points to be noted is the treatment and respect he received for his effort and knowledge of the subject. I firmly believe that Intellectual property needs to be respected and treated as a commodity abiding by the laws of the industry as such.

Overall I say: go read this book

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our Art n Craft

Number 1: Fruit and Vegetable Basket
This needs a paper bowl or deep plate, newspapers, paint and a stapler.
Using the news paper, mould them into different shapes like a sphere, oblong, etc then simply color them as per the fruits you like. Here you see a tomato and a banana. Once the paper fruits are made and the paint is dry, place them into the paper bowl and using some more paper make the handle by simply twisting it. Staple the ends of the handle onto the bowl.

Number 2: Mumma and baby hen.
This needs: 2 paper cups, some color paper, paints, crayons, glue and scissors.
Method: Cut one of the cups halfway to it's height. This is for the baby chick. Now paint them, while the paint dries, using the color paper cut out beaks and feathers. Stick these onto the mumma and baby chick. Next draw the eyes with crayons. Finish off by gluing together the duo of cute baby chica and mommy hen.

Number 3: Slithering snake.
You need: Green paper, glue, red paper or white paper, scissors and red and black sketch pens.
Method: Cut out a long stripe of green paper, taper it towards it's tail end. The other end (head part) should be rounded off. Trace out the portion of the eyes and the matching rounded part just like the head part. Also cut out the tongue. Now take the snake body and fold like a paper fan making big folds. Draw out the eyes and nose, and stick this part onto the head portion of the snake, make sure you place the tongue in between before pasting. Your slithering snake is ready.

Number 4: Butterflies in the park
You need: Play dough, and butterfly shape pasta.
Method: Make small portions of the play dough, roll out into cylindrical shapes, tapering them at the ends. Now simply press the pasta onto this body. Note: Press lightly.
If you are in a mood to paint, then one can paint the butterfly wings as well.
This one is great to do on a lazy afternoon when the kids are full of energy and you are not ;)

Number 5: Slow and steady Mr. snail.
You need: Play dough and shell shaped pasta.
Method: Roll out the dough into oblong shapes to make the body of the snail, make the back portion stick onto the paper the head part is to be made standing out. Take the shell shaped pasta and press on to the mid section.
Another easy peasy craft that is a sure hit with kids.
For more adventure, color leaves, or collect some from the garden and place them around the snails and enjoy the sight of amazed kids busy for a couple of hours with Mr. snail and his house.
You can make multiple snails and play family !!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Finally...NRIs may soon get to vote

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said that Non-Resident Indians may soon vote in the elections and that the process may start as early as the next general elections.

Inaugurating the eighth edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, Dr Singh said: "I recognise the legitimate desire of Indians living abroad to exercise their franchise and to have a say in who governs India. We are working on this issue and I sincerely hope that they will get a chance to vote by the time of the next regular general elections."

"In fact, I would go a step further and ask why more overseas Indians should not return home to join politics and public life as they are increasingly doing in business and academia," he added

"It gives me very great pleasure to join you at the inauguration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2010. Every year, on this day we celebrate and honour the contribution of the overseas Indians is making for the development of their spiritual and ancestral home. We are immensely proud of the achievements of our Diaspora."

"Your achievements have made a great contribution in changing the image of India to the world at large. Let me therefore join Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and the Chief Minister of Delhi to welcome you to New Delhi and wish you a very happy New Year," he added.

Article Courtesy: