Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wont you smile....!


Once you’ve lived abroad, especially the US, you get accustomed to nodding or smiling at strangers; Wishing “Good morning” to a fellow jogger on your morning walk, or waving at a fellow driver who yields to you at an intersection or simply smiling at someone you’ve never met simply because you share a seat on the subway! It is not uncommon to  even strike a conversation with someone while waiting for the doctor, or waiting on your kids at the park or a swimming class, or waiting in line at a grocery store. Well, it’s a different matter that the conversation may last only for a couple of minutes or that it may be about something as inane as the weather or the kids in general. But it does leave you with a pleasant feeling, at the end of your short encounter. In fact, I hadn’t realized the power of a smile or a simple ‘hello” until we moved back to India – the land of grumpy faces! Leave alone smiling at strangers, folks here don’t even say a hello, even if you bump into them every day!!! Your eyes may meet every day as you drop off your respective kids to same bus stop or the same music class, or you live in the same community, or you visit the same grocery store – but its still a crime to smile until you've been formally introduced! :-)

Anyway, off late, I have noticed that Abhay is equally guilty of not warming up to other kids he meets. As soon as he sees someone his age in the park, his instinct is to cross his fingers meaning “two” ( You’ll know what I am talking about, if you have studied in Indian schools! For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune to go to an Indian school – it means he no longer wants to be friends!) So as soon as I learned about a book titled “Siri’s smile” by Amarendran R and illustrated by Bhakti Phatak, I immediately placed a request for it and was delighted to discover that it has become one of Abhay’s favorite books. Set in a rhyming prose, this is a charming little story with vibrant illustrations sure to everyone to ..well  smile…..from three year olds to thirty year olds alike. Siri, a curious little princess of Chennaipuri, is always asked to smile. One day, when no one is watching, she slips out of her palace and wanders into the garden. When she looks up and finds the sun shining in the sky, she asks "Smile Sun...wont you smile?"  But the sun replies that he can shine and burn but smile he cannot as he is hot! Disappointed, Siri then moves from monkeys to peacock, from the  moon to the fish…..asking all of them to smile but no one obliges. As she sits by the pond, she sees a little girl’s face in water and asks her to smile. To her delight, the little girl smiles back and as she Siri waves back, the girl in water waves back too and Siri is happy! From that day, nobody asks her to smile as Siri always has a smile on her face! So….smile Bangalore….Wont you smile?


  1. Glad your son and you enjoyed Siri's Smile, Divya :) Do visit our website to browse through more of our titles.

  2. Thank you for appreciating my book. I have written another called Salim the knife sharpener... See if Abhay likes it. R.Amarendran

  3. Thank you so much! Will surely look up "Salim the knife sharpner".