Saturday, January 19, 2019

Not a morning person!!

My little one has been a morning person ever since I can remember! Well.....barring a few bad days................she was pretty much pleased to open her eyes to the world around her.  So much so that no sooner did she wake up than she was ready to ride with her dad on the bike to drop her brother to the school-bus pick up. In fact, there were days when I had wished that she would sleep in a bit more so as to allow us a morning walk together in the near-by forest reserve.  I should have known better.... with two kids you lead your life by taking turns! :-)
Anyway, over the past few months, we have been having trouble getting her out of the bed in the morning. I'm not sure if it's because of the fact that our live-in nanny has now been replaced with a day-care-giver, leaving us to manage the never-ending-nightly bedtime routine and the always-on-your-toes morning routine  on our own (like all parents...I know...we were spoilt!), or the sudden cold spell in Bangalore or the change in her sleep patterns owing to the change in care givers..... our little one simply refuses to wake up!!! Frankly, I now miss our little Miss morning sunshine who used to smile as she first opened her eyes eager to see what the day has in store for her!  Not my husband said ..... 'the real world has probably dawned on her" !:-)

So I fell back on a book that showcases a similar situation so as to help us ponder over the same and find a way out. Though this book has been around for a while now, it is only now that I found it to be relatable for my little one. "No" a bilingual book by Cheryl Rao and illustrated by Samitha Gunjal  by Tulika publications is a simple and endearing tale of a little girl named Annika who simply refuses to wake up in the morning! Though her father gently goads her into getting her out of bed with all the her favourite things she will probably look forward to doing..... from wearing her new dress, new shoes with matching socks, even her butterfly clip (when for a moment she opens her eyes) and also savour her favourite breakfast dish - poori-potato baji ...... Annika simply doesn't budge and her state mirrored by her pet cat!  But then as the father finally mentions her most favourite activity, saving the best for the last........Annika along with her cat jumps  out of bed to quickly get ready - brushes her teeth and takes a bath and puts on her new dress, new shoes with matching socks and gets her butterfly clip for papa to help her with and sits down with papa for downing her favourite poori-potato bajji that papa has lovingly dished out.......(wow!)..Annika is all set to go and she and her father are off to catch a bus to Dadi's house!  Aided by suitable and playful illustrations, the  book also includes certain subtle elements to impress upon the young minds and adults alike, from gender neutral hands-on parenting and self-reliance in young children  to using public transportation, etc. Though the book is based on a simple theme, it perfectly captures the mind of a young girl and sure manages to bring a smile on your face as you find your toddler relate to Annika's morning routine in many ways........ but you can only hope to achieve the same success Annika's father!  Anyway...taking a cue from Annika’s father, we woke up Aadya in morning with a promise to visit her grandparents over the weekend....... are now on a bus to Dharmasthala !!! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

So whats the big deal about the Vedas and Upanishads?

As we step into another year, anticipating new experiences and opportunities, making new promises or renewing old promises, readying to face new challenges and hoping to learn more and grow wiser, I couldn't have asked for a better start to the year 2019 on Onestoryaday!  Well....ever since its release late last year, Bangalorean Roopa Pai's "The Vedas and Upanishads for children" has been doing the rounds of Bookaroo and  many such events all over India....except Bangalore!!! In fact going by the author's face book posts .... I saw the book in the hands of practically everyone in India, other than the readers in Bangalore! In fact, the run up to the book release  in Bangalore had stirred up so much excitement that that we didn't need to think twice about driving past the dreaded Silk Board get to one of the most chaotic places in South Bangalore, these days - Koramangala...(thanks to all the Metro construction work.). But what relief it was to find the drive to Koramangala easy going a breeze as the author had put in her forwarded invites! Truly, it felt like all the elements of the cosmic world did come together to enable us to walk into Hippocampus on a beautiful Sunday morning at 11 AM....where the one of the most awaited books by Hachette India was all set for its Bangalore launch! 

Of course, we've only just begun reading the book, so this is not a review yet in a strict sense  ( in fact, none of my posts are a review in the strictest sense but a write up about our experience reading the book!) , but the author Roopa Pai in a thought provoking session about the book, took us through what the book is about and what it seeks to deal with. Written in her characteristic style (which we saw in the Geetha for children released a three years ago)  "The Vedas and Upanishads for children" seeks to break down one of the oldest texts known to mankind into making it more comprehensible, more accessible and more relatable. While the first section deals with Vedas, delving into its history, purpose, the structure of each Veda, the construct of its hymns, and most importantly the lessons we can draw from the Vedas, all packed with fun facts, pop quizzes, and catchy phrases! The next section beginning with "So what's the big deal about the Upanishads"  opens with a broad view of the Upanishads to zeroing in on ten greatest  Upanishads from Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittriya, Aitareya, Chandogya to Brihadaranyaka, with their respective back-stories, prominent shlokas  and valuable lessons weaved into after-stories, their various interpretations and deductions these Upanishads lend themselves to, wherein lies the true value, power, beauty and wisdom of the sacred texts. Needless to say, this book is meant not only for children...though I can't help feeling jealous of today's children who have such wonderful books to draw inspiration. Brilliantly written so as to engage the readers of all ages above nine years, V and U seeks to contemporize  the ancient texts and compositions, with a narrative filled with tongue-in-cheek one-liners and punch-lines,  stories inter-twined with the Upanishadic messages (If I can say that!), empowering the reader to question, and seek out answers mindfully while trusting oneself and feeling thankful for the world around him or her! A must-have book  in your library......along with its pre-written sequel "Gita for children".:-)