Posted in My life, Random Thoughts

Plagiarism with brains: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

My daughter has got a way of being inspired by other works.

For instance, lately, we have been competing to create stories involving different animals. We give each other random animals and, then, the other had to create a story out of that animal. A couple of days back, my daughter gave me rather a tough combination: Peacock, Hippo and Rhino. I asked her to reduce the number of animals but she won’t relent. So, here’s the story I created.

Once upon a time, a peacock was flying. Since they are heavy and not used to flying too far, this one decided to sit down on a rock beside the river. It was a huge grey rock and as soon as he sat down, the huge grey rock began to move. The peacock thought it was an earth quake and flew up lest he would be crushed beneath the now freely moving rock which also sprouted four thick legs. After a few seconds in air, the peacock again felt tired and chose another rock–a huge brown one–inside the river. As soon as he sat down, this rock too gave a huge lurch and started walking out of the water. The peacock took flight in time to see the rock open its huge jaws to display teeth large as daggers. Now, wary of rocks behaving like animals, it chose a fallen log beside the river. He had come pretty close and was really hoping to sit down, since his long wings were now soggy and heavy with water, when the log opened its yellow eyes and bared a log set of sharp teeth. The peacock decided that ground was not safe for beings like him anymore and sat on a tree far away.

My daughter felt the story was not long enough. So, I asked her to create another story with the same combination she gave me: Peacock, Hippo and Rhino. She was not allowed to tell the same story as mine. She pleaded her case as being only four-years-old and requested to reduce the number of animals. I refused, hoping to give her a taste of her own medicine. Here’s my daughter’s story.

Once upon a time, a peacock was flying. Since they are heavy and not used to flying too far, this one He was flying for hours, got tired and decided to sit down on a rock beside the river. It was a huge grey brown rock. As soon as he sat down It sat there for sometime, then, the rock began to move. The peacock thought it was an earth quake and flew up lest he would be crushed beneath the now freely moving rock which also sprouted four thick legs. After a few seconds in air, the peacock again felt tired and chose another rock–a huge brown grey one–inside the river. As soon as he sat down, this rock too gave a huge lurch and started walking out of the water. The peacock took flight in time to see the rock open its huge jaws to display teeth a couple of horns large as daggers. Now, wary of rocks behaving like animals, it chose a fallen log beside inside the river. He had come pretty close and was really hoping to sit down, since his long wings were now soggy and heavy with water, when As soon as he sat down, the log opened its yellow eyes and bared a log set of sharp teeth. The peacock decided that ground was not safe for beings like him anymore and sat on a tree far away. The tree began to move too. It ran in really long strides. The peacock decided that only safe place to sit was bare ground and that was where he stayed for the rest of his life.

I argued with my daughter that this was more or less my own story. But she pointed out that in her story:

  • The Hippo comes before the Rhino.
  • The peacock sits for sometime before it has to move.
  • The crocodile allows the peacock to sit down before deciding to make a meal out of it.
  • And then, there was the bonus animal–the giraffe.

Well, I really couldn’t argue against such a strong case. So, I gave up trying to pry another story out of her. With five animals, her story trumped mine!

It reminded me of remixed songs–add an extra beat, a couple of extra instruments, a few hip-hoppers, and you have a quick hit and a chartbuster.

Plagiarism with brains!

Posted in My life

Help!

Those of you who have followed me for some time must have noticed that lately, my posts are less and farther between than ever in the past. It’s not that I am out of juice…just out of energy. My househelp had to leave suddenly and I haven’t found a replacement.

I am not sure how many of you can truly understand the place of househelp in an Indian household. Losing one is akin to losing a hand and both legs.

If her husband is ill, an Indian woman will be concerned. If you tell her that her maid is unwell, she will be hysterical. She will cry her eyes out and blame her husband for all her misery while washing utensils in the kitchen or kneeding the dough, as if he’s the only one who eats. And while washing clothes, she will pray for her sons (even six-months old…or rather, especially six-months old) to grow up quickly and get married so that there will be someone to help in washing their clothes. If it is a daughter, she will try to help, keep getting in the way and falling over the spilled detergent, increasing the size of laundry. Then, the woman will wish that she would grow up and stop helping.

A house without househelp is a complete chaos. Mountain of utensils keeps toppling over. The mop gathers dust and clothes gather in piles all over the house–piles of washed clothes, piles of dirty clothes, piles of clothes okay to be worn again and so on. The family winds its way around these hillocks, trying to find space enough to place their feet.

Visitors are returned from the door on the pretext of COVID to avoid potential embarrassment due to the lack of space to sit, since all chairs are covered with clothes of varied level of privacy. Husbands might have to sleep in a sitting posture if the clothes on the bed are not dealt with, until a replacement is found.

With my househelp gone for a month, I am now looking for a spot big enough to sit so that we can sleep. If not, one of the hillocks will do…

Posted in My life

The Forest Bed @ 0.99

Buy my first eBook, The Forest Bed and other short stories, for less than $0.99/ยฃ0.99 on Amazon Kindle. The countdown deal begins at 5th Nov and ends at Nov 11th EOD.

amazon.com: $0.99 | Nov 5 12am PDT till Nov 12 12am PST. Click this link.

amazon.co.uk: ยฃ0.99 | Nov 5 8am GMT till Nov 12 8am GMT. Click this link.

Here is a sample.

Share this post. Help me spread the word.

Posted in My life, Random Thoughts

Social Distancing

Lately, I went off the social grid for a couple of weeks due to the new mobile I had bought.

I am scared of new technology and keep each of my phone until it almost dies. The last one was with me for 4 years and was a birthday gift from my husband. After four years of constant nagging from my over-indulgent husband, I agreed to let it go. It was still in a good shape. The only item I ever had to replace was the charging cord. The adapter was still good as new. I wouldn’t have given it up but the carrot my husband had hung in front of me was the much-superior camera quality. So, finally I took the bait.

Now, I have the new phone, but am scared to touch any button for the fear of triggering… something… Not sure what that something is but the fear of the unknown evil far outweighs the excitement of discovering something new. Hence, I haven’t downloaded the Whatsapp and WordPress applications.

Initially, it was weird to have nothing to do. I thought it was the end of the world. How would I exist without Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram…how would I connect with my friends and family? How would I live without checking WordPress comments every free minute I had…

Well, I survived.

Here I am–a new person who has more time in her hands than ever. I have painted, watched movies, created storage boxes for toys, mended clothes, resized old dresses, taken active interest in daughter’s home education…anything to kill time! I even need less sleep, I get up erlier than usual and don’t feel loopy all day.

And I made real phone calls to people–not just texting on Whatsapp but actually dialing the number, waiting for them to pick up while listening to the caller’s tune and talking to real people who mean something in my life! And I visited relatives who live in the same city–real people in flesh.

I know! Weird…

Posted in My life

Tattoos and Difficult Clients

Mehendi is a lost art…

Okay, not entirely lost, but it is certainly changed quite a lot. Mehendi tattoos are a pain (only) in the ass because of sitting ducks for hours. You can’t even twiddle thumbs. The traditional subjects for the designs include flowers, peacocks, plants and marriage. But the new generation has changed that.

I made my 4-year old daughter’s Mehendi tattoos a couple of days back on the occasion of Eid. Any guess on the subject?

Right hand (my fault): Before, After and Between

What better way to give your child a Maths lesson that sticks, literally? The numbers are mostly illegible, thanks to my superior(?) skills with Mehendi cones, but well, it served the purpose. In case you are worried, it will wash off within a couple of weeks. ๐Ÿคฃ

Left Hand: Kung Fu Panda and Furious Five

It all started with a random doll and a beaver that my daughter took fancy on. But beavers live near rivers that have fishes and octopus, and they need trees to gnaw. And then, gnawed trees could fall on little dolls. (Please don’t ask me to label the characters. It is too embarrassing. ๐Ÿ˜)

So, Po, the Panda Dragon Warrior, had to come for rescue along with the Furious Five–Monkey, Viper, Mantis and Tigress. I know, there are only four here because Crane decided to stay back to take care of the old Master Shifu (Pssss, I forgot both of them but don’t tell my daughter that.).

Overall, my client was satisfied and declared her Mehendi better than mine, which was, I guess, the best praise I could expect.

What do you think?

Posted in My life

Fourth Day

Four days back when I started my Eid break, I was over the moon for the 9-day break. And in the daze of happiness, I made a hasty promise to my daughter. I said I’ll spend the entire holiday playing with her.

Trust me, I had no idea of what I was getting into when I uttered those words. I had assumed, I will attend a few tea parties with her dolls and, maybe, draw a few animals. But now, I am dealing with the horror of Disney Princess and Animal Planet full blast.

I have binge-watched Grimm’s Fairytales and animal-drawing. Later, as my daughter slept, I willingly watched Masha and the Bear alone to wash out the taste from my brain!

Every day, I am the teacher teaching a class-full of stuffed animals good manners, maths and zoology. Every night, I am the Evil Step-mom taking the stuffed monkey and bear to the ball. I am the Fairy Godmother and also the Prince. I am also the Royal Messenger who puts shoes on Cinderella. I am afraid she will ask me for Snowwhite. I am unsure how to be 7 dwarves at the same time.

Every inch of my daughter’s artbook is now covered with different scenes from Fairytales.

Cinderella walks out in the yard wearing her tiara and best dress while a female dwarf stalks her.

Snowwhite in her tiara deals with lions, beavers, oversized ants and, guess what? sharks in the little rivulet outside her place. All in a day’s work.

The jungle overflows with animals and their babies while a jungle princess (Pocahontas?) in her tiara oversees their comings and goings.

A fairy with specs (Yes, those are wings, and you thought you knew what fairies looked like!) teaches a shorter fairy how to look after whales…

Now, no one can say that fairytale heroines had it easy…

I am so over it. I’m already counting days for this holiday to get over.

Posted in My life

Busy Bee (Part 2)

I mentioned a couple of projects for my daughter in my last post, but elaborated only one–the folding kitchen. Well, the other one is a jungle/zoo/farm backdrop.

Everybody at home had been complaining about how my daughter’s toy animals turn up everywhere in the house at the most inopportune moment, like on the floor under your bare feet, on the pillows when your head hits it too hard, on the chair seat when you are too tired to check before sitting, under the bed where you can’t pull them out without getting yourself dirty, behind the huge almirah which needs four grown up men to move (we have only three at home)…

I guess, the herbivores have the habit of running away to go looking for grass and plants, and the carnivores follow them to eat them…

Well, it became important to build a ranch/sanctuary/safeplace where they were allowed to roam. It also helps my daughter create stories that I could, then, publish in the blog (Hah! Mastermind me, stealing stories of the minions…).

So, I used an old flat cardboard box to build the backdrop with water colours (all that I could find at home during lockdown).

The walls have silhouette of a deep forest.

I also built a detachable cave and a hollow tree out of a plastic box. The 4-year-old Madame Leonardo Da Vinci coloured it to perfection.

The forest comes with yellow and red trees built out of old coloured cardboard boxes. It also has a fishy pond and an even fishier river that can be moved around at will. These were made of the old plastic sheets from my old organiser diary. The stones donated by an unsuspecting relative add to the effect.

To ensure flexibility to convert it to a zoo, we have combined it with a set of foldable cardboard cages and coloured by the family artist a few months earlier.

The piece is a continuous work in progress since we plan to add grass, a few more trees, a lying down hollow tree, and other cool stuff to build stories. We are gradually working towards adding farm buildings to the set as well. I’m looking forward to building a nice blue ocean out of the box top, thanks to my daughter’s new found love for water creatures.

The best part is that it also works as storage space for all these sets.

All in all the hard work seems to have paid off, considering the time my daughter spends with the set. I had too much fun…so there’s that too.

Posted in My life

Busy Bee

So, you might have noticed that my posting frequency declined greatly lately. Earlier I used to write at least a couple of posts every week. But in the last month, since mid-Ramadan, I went slow, too slow actually.

No, it had nothing to do with fasting, something to do with my book–The Forest Bed–and everything to do with a couple of projects I had going on for my daughter.

As you might know, I love building things with hands. Earlier I saw on You Tube a folding kitchen that a father had created for his daughter where she could stand and cook. The kitchen was simple, clean and orderly with hangers and stands for utensils, a microwave and a working sink. I was specially struck by how everything was in place and ready to play when the girl opened it so the child doesnot spend time setting it all up.

My house doesn’t offer enough space for anything that elaborate. But setting the kitchen up is my daughter’s pain point. Usually by the time she is done with it, it is time to sleep, eat or study. So, I definitely agreed with the ready-to-play and folding kitchen part.

So I built it out of waste material.

The cardboard was home, thanks to Amazon–around 12 X 8 inches. I just cut one side to be folded up and down. Then, I used the side flaps to add to the depth. Of course, they close too when we are folding, making it a compact storage for all the things that were earlier found all over the house. Since cardsheet was not available due to lockdown, we covered it with the artsheets my daughter had already coloured. The utensil hangers are made of old buttons. The racks are made our of smaller cardboard boxes.

Since the space was too small, rather than sticking the oversized plastic stove on the counter top, we painted it on the counter…by we, I mean my humble-self and my very own four-year-old Leonardo da Vinci.

I added a bit of rough outlines for accent…”rough” being the operative word here. I didn’t want to take away the childish feeling from the paintings so I ensured that the outlines were not clean and symmetrical…they were drawn as if I didn’t have my glasses on (which I didn’t)…way off the mark but still leaving a mark (smudge, actually) on the sheet.

Closed front gates open upwards all the way back and down to form the floor.

The crazy fun I had during the process made me question my mental age…which was about five a couple of years back. I think now it has shrunk to three and a half.

I am planning to add a refrigerator and oven on the outerwalls in my next vacations. Any ideas?

Posted in My life

Negotiating with Intelligent Beings: Act 2

Author’s note: I recently had this conversation with my daughter. Note how priorities change with time.

“Mom, Make me a fairy. I want to fly.”

“Baby, I can get the wings from the market for you, but I’m afraid that won’t help you fly. You need hollow bones.”

“Fairies don’t have hollow bones but they fly.”

“First, you don’t know that yet. You’ve never met one. Second, fairies are born as fairies. You were born a human. Maybe you can grow up and become a pilot. Then you can fly.”

“Who’s a pilot?”

“Well, you saw those aeroplanes the other day? Pilots fly them.”

“But I don’t want to fly inside an aeroplane. I want to fly like fairies.”

“Well, there is hand-gliding. You hang on those gliders tied to the wings and fly.”

“I don’t want to hang to anything while I fly. It’s dangerous.”

“Okay, then become a pilot.”

“Fine, make me a pilot.”

“Well, to become a pilot, you must study a lot…for many years…”

“How many years?”

“15-16 years…maybe more…”

(A pregnant pause)

“I think, I’d rather have the scooter you offered the other day…”

Posted in My life

Delay in Story Compilation

Hi!

Some of you probably know that I am writing a short story compilation. It was due January first half this year. I had taken a vacation in early Jan just for that.

But I sustained a back injury on January 4 and have been on bed rest. Hence, there is a long delay since I have used up all my sick leaves and nearly all vacation. Also, I am trying not to push myself too hard in the coming month while I return to working part-time with full-time motherhood.

Sigh! I really wanted this one out for Valentine’s day! But I guess some dreams need time to nurture! ๐Ÿ˜

Wish me luck for future.

Posted in My life, Nature

My Neighbours: The Underbird

My area is used to seeing 10-12 birds at any given time except during the intensely hot summer afternoons when these birds are hiding in the cool shade of trees along the roadside. On winter mornings, this number rises to 20s.

Today started as any winter morning. I am on bed-rest because of a back injury and was looking out of the window. Pigeons were enjoying the sun perched on the electric wires on opposite side of the road. There seemed to be a lot more than usual…so many that I had to count them–58! It made me wonder whether a high-tension wire could break down under the weight of 58 full-grown rock pigeons.

And then, all of a sudden around 70 crows flew in from the right side of the sky. There could be more. Since they were coming in large groups and continued circling the sky, it was impossible to count unless I had a very quick brain. But after 14 days of bed-rest due to a minor back injury and 5 fantasy ebooks, my brain is less cognitive and more imaginative. They were cawing at an intensity that made me wonder whether it was a war cry.

Suddenly, the crows started retreating. I turned around and saw a huge number of pigeons flying in from the left side of the city. Suddenly, the pigeons perched on the wire took flight together, swooping in from the left, filling the sky with at least a hundred pigeons and my brain with the scenes from the movie Underworld. I wondered if I was stuck between a war of shape-shifters–the Crow clan and the Pigeon clan.

The remaining 30+ crows were clearly outnumbered by 1:3 ratio. Holding my breath, I waited for the fighting to begin. But the crows descended and perched on trees on the right of my house (which is the tallest tower in the area) looking irritated and guarded. Then, the bulk of pigeons retreated and nearly 50 pigeons stayed to take their rightful places on the electrical wire in front of my house, looking watchful yet at peace, as always.

I was left waiting for the rounds of silver bullets and wondering if they can penetrate the walls of my house…the only thing between the two clans. Only time will tell, because they are still in position, so if I live to post tomorrow morning, you’d know too.

Posted in My life

The Curious Case of M&S (Part 2)

Illustration by M at Ammpryt ART

A lot of you already know my best friend M through my post–The Curious Case of M&S. She’s my soulmate, except for the romance part.

We had rediscovered childhood together at an age when most women try to act grown up. We had run amok on streets ducking angry cows, eating unhealthy food, just loitering around on the pretext of finding coaching centres, attending those coaching just to be around each other during summer breaks…well, you get the drift.

What I didn’t tell you is that our common love is painting. We met during our Bachelor’s at our painting class and it was love at first sight. We were the fiercest competitors and best friends. We had entered competitions together, exhibited paintings together, experimented with colours and dabbed with different styles.

I was her biggest fan…the kind who collect waste paper after the other, literally. So, she used to carry out five-minute experiments on scraps of paper, intending to throw them away. I used to collect these little gems. Some may find it a little creepy–stalker-kind of behaviour. But I knew someday, I’ll sell them off as M’s first and become a millionaire. I had that level of confidence in her skills.

She is the best painter I have come across, and I have met some some really successful Indian painters during Bachelors. After she finished her Masters, she had to take a long career break due to the reason the world knows as marriage and children. Now she’s back in full force and raring to go.

She paints both for love and money. She has created some illustrations for my site under the pen name Ammpryt ART.

She also has a website that has her contact details in the About page. So, in case you are thinking of some custom-made paintings that you can print, she is the go-to person. She also has a design shop on redbubble.com by the same name (Ammpryt ART). They print your chosen designs on blankets, mugs, t-shirts etc and deliver at your doorstep. There are a bunch of Red bubble links in her blog, though she hasn’t figured out the blogging part properly yet. Do check her site and let her know your thoughts about her designs.

We are currently working on our first book–a story compilation with some kick-ass illustrations. Wish us luck!

Posted in My life, Random Thoughts

Indian Snowman

Lately, my daughter asked me when we’ll have snowfall. She wanted to build a snowman that she had seen it in the cartoons.

But we live in temperate zone and never see snow unless we travel all the way to the mountains. So, together we built an Indian Snowman…the Orange man! He looks rather sunny, I’d say.

Posted in My life

Negotiating with Intelligent Beings

My daughter is notorious for harbouring animals, cooing at live ๐ŸฆŽlizards๐ŸฆŽ and hello-ing hovering ๐Ÿฆ…eagles๐Ÿฆ…. We have been debating lately about the pros and cons of owning real animals.

Iniatlly, it started when we realised that Mathew๐Ÿ (our resident mouse who lives in our house without paying the rent) now has a batch of newborns yet again. We know what to expect next–mice overrunning๐Ÿ the house๐Ÿ, playing around๐Ÿ in pairs๐Ÿ๐Ÿ, looking around๐Ÿ the house๐Ÿ๐Ÿ for new property๐Ÿ to build homes๐Ÿ, chewing๐Ÿ on our fingers๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ๏ธ while we sleep (it happened when I applied coconut cream)…

So she saw the opportunity to ask for a cat ๐Ÿˆ “to kill the mice ๐Ÿ๐Ÿˆ” and play with her ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿˆ in her free time. But I countered that the cat would eat the birds๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ‰๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ๐Ÿˆthat frequent our rooftop and drink away all her milk๐Ÿฅ›๐Ÿˆ.

Then she asked for a cow๐Ÿ„ to ensure we had a never-ending milk supply๐Ÿฅ›๐Ÿฅ›๐Ÿฅ›. Upon my objection that we didn’t have enough space indoors, she offered to keep it on the rooftop. I relented and asked her to carry the cow๐Ÿ„ upstairs in her arms, since it couldn’t climb the three floors on her own. She asked me for help, but I had to decline the generous offer considering that both I and her father were too old for such antics.

That was when she realised that the cow would eat her Aelovera plant๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ„, and kick the (imaginary) pet monkeys๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ„ who sleep on our rooftop every night. So we dropped the plan of buying a cow, and the cat got suspended until the milk crisis was resolved.

Then she asked if she could build a nest inside the house to woo the pigeons๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ that have been frequenting our area (I told her how birds hate cages). She was super excited about the little pigeon babies๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ that would live in them someday. But I reminded her that the cat might eat them ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿˆ.

So she asked for a dog๐Ÿ• to keep the cat under control๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ•. But I reminded her that both the animals together would drink all her milk๐Ÿฅ›๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ•.

She again suggested the cow๐Ÿ„ for the milk for the animals๐Ÿฅ›๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ• and I requested her to carry it up the three floors to the rooftop.

She, then, decided it was a good idea to drop the cow, and in the process, dropping the cat, dog and pigeons as well, and invest in a good rat๐Ÿ poison.

Such a relief!

Posted in My life

Claws: Filed

As some of you might already know, I am on a weight reduction program that my husband arranged for me because of knees problems I faced due to sudden weight gain (thanks to hypothyroidism). I wrote a post about it earlier.

Hence, since 10 July, I am on a diet that largely contains fruits, dry fruits, milk and a meal-replacement shake called Safolla Fittify. It tries to keep me away from regular oily and spicy Indian food. But an Indian cannot live without spices, so I am allowed normal food during lunch only. My breakfast and dinner are strictly controlled. I am allowed dry fruits all day, but they don’t taste as good as the Bread-Jam and Aaloo ka Paratha (Potato-filled Chapatti) I would rather have.

In the beginning, I could feel a pride of Lions clawing from inside out, but after 3 days, they shrunk to the size of a small pack of Dogs and I stopped crying at dinner time. One week later, they gave up the struggle and died a painful death. I only have little mice now, who often remind me that they would rather eat something. I throw them some dry fruits and they are happy.

Even though I was reluctant to accept the rules in the beginning, I have to admit, I feel like a new person. Since I was only 60+ kgs when I began, nearly 10 kg reduction in 3 months is a lot. Ever since then, my weight has stablized and I can hear my knees thanking me for the small sacrifice. I am still on the diet, but now, I am okay to trudge along as long as needed.

Posted in My life

Lessons on Minimalism

My daughter is a minimalist. Her paintings contain only what is absolutely necessary. For example:

Two caterpillars and half-a-fish

Her caterpillars have multiple feet, yet her fish is an oval without fins or tail…but what’s the big deal! The fish knows she needs neither fins nor feet while living out of water. She is what she is and that should suffice.

Two horned (African) Rhino

This two horned Rhino…just so that you know, the horns are blue triangle patches and round orange patches are the eyes. She told me it is African, and hence the two horns.

Monkey atop a fish’s head

Her monkey has no hands nor legs but makes do with his tail. No need to add extra weight to his frail body that already carries the weight of an oversized head. The head beneath him belongs to a fish (a hammer head shark, it seems from the shape of it!).

Cat with her litter of five kitten and an adopted monkey.

The best part is the cat. She has two legs and a tail, and a litter of five kitten-blue and black. All her babies are unique in shape and have different characteristics (two legs, no legs; ears, no ears; body, no body…). She also seems to have adopted a yellow baby monkey (because I have been assured by the painter herself that it is indeed a baby monkey and not a cat). He also seems to be wearing a monocle on his eye, however, the painter declined to comment. I believe diversity and inclusion is the cause.

She created all these paintings in her first attempt at painting on the day she turned three. It was a hasty work to finish the masterpieces before any interception from a meddling mother.

The background was the walls of the playschool I had created for my daughter on her birthday out of an old refrigerator box (since she could not go to Playschool this year, thanks to COVID 19). My daughter quickly painted the inside walls while I was busy arranging food for hungry mouths. I hadn’t even finished sticking chartsheets on the outer surfaces by then. She had a gala time.

But now the playhouse had to be retired because of its depleted condition. I have pictures for memories though.

Here is some work we had done together on the walls. I had written a couple of posts about it earlier.

1.5 Dollar playhouse

3 Dollar playshool

Posted in My life

Of Sheep and Lion and wayward Hippos

My daughter’s next killer story. Please note that the entire story has been lifted…I mean, inspired by a Disney story called Lambert, The Sheepish Lion.

Original plot:

  • One night a flock of sheep is sleeping on a farm. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ
  • A stork, by mistake, delivers a Lion baby to a Sheep. ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ
  • The rest of the sheep make fun of him, ๐Ÿˆ
  • and he grows as rather a sheepish lion, who is “not ferocious like a sheep but has rather a sheepish grin”. ๐Ÿฆ
  • One night, a wolf ๐Ÿบ tries to pull away his mother ๐Ÿ, the sheep, by the tail to eat her.
  • She cries for help. ๐Ÿ
  • It wakes the Lion’s inner ferocious Sheep. ๐Ÿฆ
  • He ๐Ÿฆ runs to the wolf ๐Ÿบ, gives him a head butt like a true sheep, throwing him down a cliff. ๐Ÿ
  • He becomes a beloved Hero.

It is a lovely video about finding your true identity. You can watch it on You Tube via this link.

So, I had asked my daughter to tell me a story (to escape a similar request from her). I told her I wanted a story of a Hippo. She offered the Hare and Tortoise again and later, Lambert the Sheepish Lion. But I told her, I wanted a Hippo story. So, she simply replaced ‘Sheep’ and ‘Lion’ with ‘Hippo’. Here is her story.

  • One night a flock of Hippos was sleeping on a farm. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ
  • A stork delivers a Hippo to the Hippo mom. ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ (Of course, the stork won’t always be making wrong deliveries. He isn’t your local postman.)
  • The rest of the hippos make fun of him. (Not sure why…) ๐Ÿˆ
  • He grows as rather a…Hippo. ๐Ÿฆ (What else would you expect?)
  • One night, a wolf ๐Ÿบ tries to pull away his mother, the Hippo, by the tail to eat her. (At this point, I remind her that hippos are rather heavy to be pulled by the tail. She explains that it was rather a strong wolf.)
  • She cries for help. ๐Ÿ (I ask her why the Hippo mom did not bite the wolf with her large teeth, but she ignores the question and ploughs on.)
  • It wakes his inner Hippo. (Of course!) ๐Ÿฆ
  • He๐Ÿฆ runs to the wolf๐Ÿบ, gives him a headbutt, like a true hippo throwing him down a cliff. He becomes a beloved Hero. (Tadaaaaaaaaa)
Posted in My life

Calling W

My smartphone has a thing against making calls to my husband. Specially, during the pandemic, our connection has gone for a toss.

1. On the first call, I get no dial tone, no caller’s tune–only a woman in her mid-twenties educates me about COVID 19, washing my hands and keeping a six-feet distance. Yup! That’s the standard caller’s tune in India now. I wait for her to end her ranting so I can bug my husband. She speaks non-stop for sixty seconds. Then the call goes dead.

2. I call again. This time, some random guy picks up the phone and we both hello each other without being able to talk. I hang up.

3. I call yet again. The call gives some feeble beeps and goes dead.

4. Desperate to get through to him, I call yet again. The call connects but I can’t hear him. The call disconnects after 8 seconds.

Frustrated, I dump my phone and stomp off to let off my steam.

5. Five seconds later, my husband calls me demanding to know why I had called him four times and never cared to speak. Duh!