Sunday, December 31, 2017

Zoo time in December!

Like many, we are on our annual year end vacation and like every year, we are at my parents' farm "Shristi" at Dharmasthala for a combined celebration of new year's eve and my father's birthday!

Like every year, this year too we managed to squeeze in a visit to the nearest city, Mangaluru, with a mandatory stop at one of its beaches and another one at the local zoo, which has in a way become a tradition of our annual December vacation. 

While it’s important to discover the new and explore the hitherto unchartered experiences, I feel it is also reassuring to slip into familiar patterns or revisit known experiences at regular intervals so as to understand the value of what we have and how we have evolved! 

Anyway, for my little one, the highlight of this trip has been receiving her mother’s undivided attention. With courts on vacation, and the office shut and no clients to disturb, I guess I almost made up for my near absence during the previous weeks, on account of work. As we are at an end of our vacation, and are soon to get back on the work mode, I now feel weaning her off would be the first challenge of the new year!!!! 

Anyway, another memorable feature of this trip for my little one has been a visit to the Pilikula Biological park near Mangaluru. While this is not the first time we have visited the park, it is the first time that my toddler took notice of the animals she saw in the zoo. A truly well maintained zoo, with a great variety of animals that can be viewed within a short distance range (with the hippo treating us to a spectacle of 180 degrees wide open mouth and tigers allowing for the closest view ever!)  and a battery operated vehicle to take the visitors around, Pilikula Biological park is a must visit spot in Mangaluru. 

As a follow up to the visit to Pilikula Biological park, we read Tulika's latest offering for toddlers " Im going to the zoo" by Narendra Jain and illustrated by Alakrita Amaya and the Kannada translated by Nayana Kashyap, which makes a delightful read for young children. With age guideline mentioned as two and above,  it didn't take long for this book be the new favourite of my little one.  Narrated in first person by a little girl on her trip the zoo as she saunters around the animal shelters, wide eyed with fascination at the long trunk of the elephant, ferocious growl of the lion or the sky high neck of the giraffe, or the green-blue colours of the parrots,  or the water-borne giant hippo  or grass eating one horned wonder of a rhino... there's no reason for not to love the zoo!!! Simple verses accompanied by colourful and playful yet realistic illustrations, this book is a must have for the toddler library! advertised by Tulika " Tots like it lots" 

So as we look back on the year that has gone by and reassess our lives, and look forward to the coming year, here's to the pleasantly familiar and excitingly new in 2018.... a very happy new year everyone!